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Keyless Entry and GPS Not working


DoTheDonkeyKonga
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Hi all,

Edit: It's in my profile but just to avoid any confusion it's a 2017 Ford Focus Titanium EcoBoost 1.0 Petrol (Automatic).

I don't know if these two issues are related or not but figured there's at least a possibility they are so thought I'd put them in the same topic just in case:

Firstly, a couple of months ago the GPS in my car started intermittently going wrong. Connected to Apple Car play all of a sudden the GPS lock would be lost and the map would be going crazy trying to pinpoint my location. This would happen with Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze. When unplugging the phone the GPS on the phone would find the location immediately but I'd notice an icon on the car's own Navigation display saying 'GPS' with a red circle with a bar through it - so it's definitely an issue with the car's GPS and not my phone. At the same time the car's own SYNC3 interface would often lock up and slow to a crawl - and this behaviour would also translate into CarPlay too. It seems that as soon as the GPS stopped working everything else would freeze and/or slow down too. I tried factory resetting SYNC3 but this didn't help and to this day the GPS fault is still occurring (though intermittently - sometimes it's fine for a while).

Secondly (and possibly related?) my keyless entry stopped working today. It's as if the battery on the fob is dead - but it's not. I had it replaced only about 6 months ago and the spare fob has also stopped working too. To gain access to the car I have to use the physical key but when I do the car alarm sounds until I've placed the fob on the back-up spot and started the engine. The central locking and push-button ignition work fine once the key is on the back-up spot, but the car won't respond at all to any button presses on either of the key fobs and as already mentioned the alarm sounds whenever I use the key to unlock it and won't stop until the ignition has been turned on. I also have to manually lock the car with the physical key too.

I'm not sure if there is some sort of general electrical fault linking these two things or whether it's pure coincidence.

I don't currently have an ODB reader to check any fault codes. I do have one on the way but it's not due for delivery until the weekend.

Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong, or what diagnostic steps (if any) I can take to try to find out in the absence of a way to read error codes?

I'm hoping, if possible, to avoid having to pay for a diagnostic scan at a garage!

I need the car for work so I'm having to still use it for the time-being despite the issues, but I'm a little worried there's a deeper fault somewhere and I'm going to end up at the side of a road somewhere awaiting the leisure of Green Flag!

Thanks in advance.

Dave.

Edited by DoTheDonkeyKonga
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Dealing with the second point first, I'd say that your car battery is in a low State Of Charge.

Have you got a digital multimeter ? Measure the voltage on the battery terminals one hour after the vehicle has been parked, it should be at least 12.6V

Once the State Of Charge falls below 70% then the car automatically starts to disable certain functions to conserve battery power. The Stop/Start function is usually the first to be inhibited, followed closely by the heated front windscreen and the Keyless entry and Keyless Start.

Get a smart battery charger (Maypole for under £25 from Amazon) and charge the car battery for 12 hours. Make sure you connect the positive lead directly to the battery terminal and connect the negative lead to the chassis earth point, NOT to the battery terminal.

SOC.JPG

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Thanks unofix.

The battery didn't even enter my head as I do around 60 miles of motorway driving 5 days a week so it should be fully charged most of the time. Do you think the intermittent GPS issue could be to do with the battery as well, or is that likely a separate issue?

Unfortunately I don't have a multimeter. Would you recommend I get one or is there another way to test the battery? Is that the type of information I can get from the ODB2 scanner? I'd rather find out for sure (if possible at least) before I Shell out for a battery charger.

Also, out of curiosity, what is the reason for connecting the negative lead to the earth point instead of the negative terminal?

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With modern cars you could drive to the Moon and back 5 days a week and still it would give no guarantee of a fully charged battery. The cars own charging system is programmed to charge the battery to a maximum of only 80% it's to save the dolphins and keep Greta happy. It takes a teaspoon full of fuel more to full charge a battery and the manufactures have to save everything they can to get emissions type approval.

A digital multimeter is always a very useful thing to own, so yes I'd invest in buying something for £20 from eBay if you only plan on using it occasionally.

Don't even think of buying a ODB2 scanner. Most will not read Ford specific DTC's and can often lead you on a wild goose chase. All you need is a laptop computer, the software FORScan (It's free) and a good connecting cable like the 'vLinker FS' (£33)

Download FORScan:   https://forscan.org/download.html

vLinker FS cable: https://www.cartool.co.uk/wholesale/elm327-for-ford-mazda.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw94WZBhDtARIsAKxWG--wZkDBPn5LptaqdlLq4hkywvb0_vYAoirCixvjE7_UIXaRvqBe5TAaAnULEALw_wcB

Also get yourself a Smart battery charger @StephenFord is a fan of the Maypole which I've recently bought myself. It does an excellent job for a lot less money than some of the others.

Maypole Battery Charger (£24.89) : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maypole-7423A-Battery-Charger-Electronic/dp/B009A83P1E/ref=sr_1_4?crid=LFEA0PM0RN8P&keywords=maypole+battery+charger&qid=1663173527&quartzVehicle=29-10519&replacementKeywords=maypole+battery&sprefix=maypole+battery+charger%2Caps%2C122&sr=8-4

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5 minutes ago, unofix said:

Don't even think of buying a ODB2 scanner. Most will not read Ford specific DTC's and can often lead you on a wild goose chase....

Was quite tempted on seeing the attached in Aldi last week (whilst on holiday in Donegal, Aldi don't operate in NI). Glad I didn't...

Image00040.thumb.jpg.196f0583108af00f9e5bd1300b36fbd4.jpg

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1 hour ago, DoTheDonkeyKonga said:

Also, out of curiosity, what is the reason for connecting the negative lead to the earth point instead of the negative terminal?

Thought I'd answer this separately.

Located in the negative battery lead just near the battery terminal is a sensor for the battery Management System (BMS). It monitors all the current leaving and entering the battery and therfore knows the SOC and can adjust the cars charging system to maximize efficiency. If you connect the negative battery charger lead directly to the battery then you will be bypassing the sensor and so the car will not know the correct level of the state of charge.

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7 minutes ago, StephenFord said:

Was quite tempted on seeing the attached in Aldi last week (whilst on holiday in Donegal, Aldi don't operate in NI). Glad I didn't...

I just love how you 'always' have a photo of everything 🤣 Your phone must have one hell of a size memory.

Did you know that Aldi is now the UK's forth largest supermarket ?

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3 minutes ago, unofix said:

I just love how you 'always' have a photo of everything 🤣 Your phone must have one hell of a size memory.

 

Force of habit LOL I was first in a 'camera club' over 50 years ago, learning how to develop & print my B&W photos in my own dark room (Youngsters will have to google that). Just a 128Gb SD card in phone, it stores quite a lot, and I've always bought into the ethos of a picture paints a 1000 words, so take alot of photos...

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40 minutes ago, unofix said:

Did you know that Aldi is now the UK's forth largest supermarket ?

Forgot to say, yes, I was aware they were in the top 5 (a lifetime career in retail has given me an abnormal interest in such matters LOL). I'd love Aldi to open up here. Though we also don't have Morrisons or Waitrose, I'm not posh enough for either of those so don't really care about their absence 😅

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I didn't realise this thread was going to turn into an Aldi discussion thread! :laugh:

 

16 hours ago, unofix said:

A digital multimeter is always a very useful thing to own, so yes I'd invest in buying something for £20 from eBay if you only plan on using it occasionally.

Don't even think of buying a ODB2 scanner. Most will not read Ford specific DTC's and can often lead you on a wild goose chase. All you need is a laptop computer, the software FORScan (It's free) and a good connecting cable like the 'vLinker FS' (£33)

I did used to own a multimeter but it went missing in one house move or another. I really should get another one.

I bought an OBD2 scanner based on a pinned thread in this very forum but if it doesn't work I'll grab a cable and the FORScan software as you suggest and give that a go. Thanks for the advice.

 

16 hours ago, unofix said:

Also get yourself a Smart battery charger @StephenFord is a fan of the Maypole which I've recently bought myself. It does an excellent job for a lot less money than some of the others.

I'm not averse to buying a battery charger as it'll likely come in handy in the future anyway, so definitely good advice, but out of curiosity if the battery is degrading to the point of not holding a proper charge once engine has been off for a few hours then how would it help in this situation? Purely as a diagnostic tool to rule out other issues?

 

As an update I drove my usual 40 or so minutes of mostly motorway driving last night and when I arrived home the problem still persisted - as in I had to manually lock the car using the physical key... but then this morning, after the car had been sitting unused all night, the keyless entry system was working again. Colour me confused! :unsure: Do you think it's still a possible car battery issue, or would that maybe point to something else?

Thanks again to both of you for the help and advice so far, I appreciate it. 

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23 minutes ago, DoTheDonkeyKonga said:

I didn't realise this thread was going to turn into an Aldi discussion thread! :laugh:

Lol, there are very few threads on here that finish with the same topic they started with - it's all part of the fun!😀

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2 hours ago, DoTheDonkeyKonga said:

 Do you think it's still a possible car battery issue, or would that maybe point to something else?

Still a battery issue 👍

Your drive home will probably have just got the battery SOC back up to 80%. The keyless locking won't reset and become active again until the vehicle modules complete there shut-down mode.

Your battery is not at fault (most probably). It is the way the cars smart charging system operates that causes problems. It it will get worse as winter comes and the demand for heated screens, heated seats, wipers, headlights, etc becomes more and the charge going to the battery gets less.

Remember the BMS monitors the battery SOC but will not charge it above 80% capacity. On some vehicles like the Focus Mk4 the SOC can be adjusted to a higher level like 95% which for most people fixes the problem. On your model I understand that the SOC is not adjustable using FORScan.

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I experienced similar to yourself until one day, it just stopped working. Previously for about 6 months, it was intermittent, would work most times, sometimes wouldn't. Replaced battery in fob (with energiser even though I replaced it before it started playing up when the car told me to), did everything I could find on forums across the internet for 'tips etc'. Left it intermittently working because mostly it worked and although irritating the times it didn't work, I'm busy.

Then it started to not work at all, ever. (no remote locking, no sensing the key, no keyless start) Was very annoying having to use the blade when it was keyless entry and start so started to get determined to sort it out.

I replaced the main car battery for a decent silver Yuasa 5000 and the problem persisted. I then used FORscan and there was a fault in the RKE for non communication with RF Control Receiver check wiring. More than likely wiring wasn't the issue so I bought a used £13 RF Receiver from a Freelander 2 as it's the same part and bingo, fixed, sorta...I say sorta because thecar nowresponds to the key and the keyless entry and start works but it's randomly now locking and unlocking by itself.

Either I have a faulty used RF Reciever or judging by what I can find, the last 2 letters on the part number, indicate it's older than the one that broke in my car, so I probably need to get one with the same last 2 letters incase of any revisions my car needs. Either way it's that, that is the fault.

Hope this helps :)

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5 hours ago, unofix said:

Your battery is not at fault (most probably). It is the way the cars smart charging system operates that causes problems. It it will get worse as winter comes and the demand for heated screens, heated seats, wipers, headlights, etc becomes more and the charge going to the battery gets less.

Thanks again unofix. What I don't understand though is you say it's (most probably) not the battery - but how can it be anything else? What I mean is I've had this car for nearly 4 years and in that time I've put around 40K miles on it and never had this problem before - no matter the environmental conditions etc. So surely it's a degradation in the battery's capacity or performance, right? I understand what you're saying about the SOC only ever reaching 80%, but that's always been the case and has always, until now, been fine so what's changed if not the condition of the battery? I'm not doubting what you're saying - just trying to understand is all.

 

5 hours ago, unofix said:

Your drive home will probably have just got the battery SOC back up to 80%. The keyless locking won't reset and become active again until the vehicle modules complete there shut-down mode.

The thing is, after it started working again I drove it another 40 or so minutes and when I reached the other end it had stopped working again... and so far at least hasn't started working again so not sure what's going on there.

 

The OBD2 scanner arrived early so I gave that a try. It seemed to work just fine (I had fun playing with the real-time graphs lol) but it didn't find any error codes. Not sure if that's because there are none or because as you say the OBD2 device isn't worth a damn. The car had a full service about 6 months ago and passed it's MOT with flying colours only 2 weeks ago so maybe there really are no error codes? I might try one of those cables and FORScan as you suggested.

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1 hour ago, starbuck88 said:

I experienced similar to yourself until one day, it just stopped working. Previously for about 6 months, it was intermittent, would work most times, sometimes wouldn't. Replaced battery in fob (with energiser even though I replaced it before it started playing up when the car told me to), did everything I could find on forums across the internet for 'tips etc'. Left it intermittently working because mostly it worked and although irritating the times it didn't work, I'm busy.

Then it started to not work at all, ever. (no remote locking, no sensing the key, no keyless start) Was very annoying having to use the blade when it was keyless entry and start so started to get determined to sort it out.

I replaced the main car battery for a decent silver Yuasa 5000 and the problem persisted. I then used FORscan and there was a fault in the RKE for non communication with RF Control Receiver check wiring. More than likely wiring wasn't the issue so I bought a used £13 RF Receiver from a Freelander 2 as it's the same part and bingo, fixed, sorta...I say sorta because thecar nowresponds to the key and the keyless entry and start works but it's randomly now locking and unlocking by itself.

Either I have a faulty used RF Reciever or judging by what I can find, the last 2 letters on the part number, indicate it's older than the one that broke in my car, so I probably need to get one with the same last 2 letters incase of any revisions my car needs. Either way it's that, that is the fault.

Hope this helps :)

 

Thanks starbuck88. That sounds like a bit of a nightmare. I'm hoping mine is just a battery issue and that a simple battery swap might fix it but if not this will be my next line of investigation. I'm awaiting a multimeter to test the battery so I guess I'll have a better idea of what might be wrong soon.

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1 hour ago, DoTheDonkeyKonga said:

 

Thanks starbuck88. That sounds like a bit of a nightmare. I'm hoping mine is just a battery issue and that a simple battery swap might fix it but if not this will be my next line of investigation. I'm awaiting a multimeter to test the battery so I guess I'll have a better idea of what might be wrong soon.

To be honest I doubt it's the battery.

Your OBD reader thing you bought probably only reads the high speed can only the more expensive ones seem to have the capability to talk with all the different protocols. 

These cars have both high speed and a lower speed CAN systems. The key system is on the lower speed as are other body type modules. Which is why you need FORscan if you want to fix this yourself. 

Engine reporting is on the high speed hence why you saw graphs etc. 

MOTing a car really doesn't check for anything except safety and checking for fault codes is not part of that. You can have a car that has hundreds of fault codes and if none are related to the engine, braking system or airbags they normally dont illuminate the K light/engine light which is when it'd get a fail. 

Electronic components fail. Resistors, capacitors, small amounts of corrosion (cars get condensation build up all over the place where you don't see it).

Since my last post I think the rf reciever i bought is fine as a new code has come up with door lock switch which is more than likely my cause of 'bouncing' central locking. 

The cheapest thing you can do realistically before splurging on a battery is pay 10 quid for a cable off eBay and use forscan for free. Then you'll have a clearer view of the situation.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, unofix said:

Still a battery issue 👍

Your drive home will probably have just got the battery SOC back up to 80%. The keyless locking won't reset and become active again until the vehicle modules complete there shut-down mode.

Your battery is not at fault (most probably). It is the way the cars smart charging system operates that causes problems. It it will get worse as winter comes and the demand for heated screens, heated seats, wipers, headlights, etc becomes more and the charge going to the battery gets less.

Remember the BMS monitors the battery SOC but will not charge it above 80% capacity. On some vehicles like the Focus Mk4 the SOC can be adjusted to a higher level like 95% which for most people fixes the problem. On your model I understand that the SOC is not adjustable using FORScan.

Hi unofix 

Still having the usual battery issues with my Focus mk4. The keyless entry passenger side still doesn't work, which I thought was a much lower SOC, so surely changing the SOC to 95% using forscan won't make a difference? If the car's never charging the battery enough for even passenger side keyless entry to work let alone stop/start

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3 hours ago, DoTheDonkeyKonga said:

What I don't understand though is you say it's (most probably) not the battery - but how can it be anything else? What I mean is I've had this car for nearly 4 years and in that time I've put around 40K miles on it and never had this problem before

I take your point, and you are correct in saying that the battery will have degraded in the 4 years you have been using it. After all they do tend to have a useful  life expectancy of only 6 to 7 years depending on battery type and charging cycles. Without a digital multimeter to take some accurate readings it's difficult to pass judgement either way on whether it is time to replace the battery or not.

At this stage I'd recommend getting a multimeter and check the battery voltage one hour after parking up and see what the state of charge is. With regard to the OBDII code reader I'm not surprised that it has not found any DTC's. Only when the engine management light is on, do generic code readers normally show the DTC. For the relativity small cost of around £34 you can get the vLinker FS cable and then use FORScan. I don't think in this case you will find any active DTC's but it is an extremely useful bit of kit to have for future problems. 

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32 minutes ago, Matthewc1996 said:

Still having the usual battery issues with my Focus mk4. The keyless entry passenger side still doesn't work, which I thought was a much lower SOC, so surely changing the SOC to 95% using forscan won't make a difference? If the car's never charging the battery enough for even passenger side keyless entry to work let alone stop/start

Hello Matthew, do you have the keyless entry feature on the two rear doors, and if so, do they work ?

Can you measure the battery voltage with a digital multimeter to see what it is one hour after parking it up ?

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Right, so I picked up a multimeter and tested the battery roughly an hour after parking the car. It was registering between 12.38 and 12.4 volts - so between 70% and 80% based on the chart posted further up by unofix. Not sure if that means the battery is to blame or not? The heated front windscreen, heated seats and start/stop function are all working fine and have been throughout. It seems to just be the keyless/remote entry system that's on the fritz (well, apart from the GPS intermittently not working but I'm guessing that's a separate issue). So maybe a problem with the RF module after all?

As a precaution I replaced the battery in both fobs with brand new Duracell ones so I *know* they're good now but the car is telling me the fob battery is low when I place it on the back-up spot. That happens with both fobs. Not sure if that provides any further clues as to the problem or not?

What do you guys think I should do now? I'm thinking of ordering an OBD2 cable for use with FORScan - maybe I'll find something on there (perhaps it'll help troubleshoot the GPS issue too ... I don't know?) If so do you think the following cable will do the job?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Veepeak-FORScan-Compatible-Professional-Diagnostic/dp/B07S7W14X9/ref=sr_1_5?crid=NJU8JVJA6ET5&keywords=veepeak+usb+obdii+cable&qid=1663337241&sprefix=veepeak+usb+obd+ii+cable%2Caps%2C120&sr=8-5

The one unofix posted doesn't deliver for 7-15 working days so could do with finding an alternative that I can get hold of sooner (though I'm happy to go with unofix's suggested one if it's going to be better).

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The 'vLinker FS' cable is designed for newer Ford vehicles and supports 18V programming which may well be required for the future. It is also auto switching between the HS and MS canbus systems. They are available from many suppliers including amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vgate-vLinker-Adapter-FORScan-MS-CAN/dp/B0952P4MLP

If you prefer the older style lead use the ELM327(modified) from TunnelRat Electronics which is known to be compatible with FORScan.

https://tunnelrat-electronics.fwscart.com/USB_Modified_with_switch_ELM327/p4541936_17045457.aspx

Your SOC at 12.38V after one hour standing is quite typical although not ideal, (mine normally sits at about 12.52V but I have changed the SOC value to 95%). A good 12 hour charge should increase it's standing voltage to a more health 12.60V

I am surprised that your heated front screen is actually operational as they are not meant to work if the outside ambient temperature is above 7C, perhaps it's an interlock function that the Focus Mk3 doesn't have, or perhaps it has been changed by Ford.

After changing the Keyfob batteries it is often necessary to reset the cars locking. Use either of the keyfobs and standing outside the car, use the buttons on the keyfob and lock /unlock the doors 3 times in 5 seconds. This will reset the system and the keyfobs should then work normally.

Until you can use FORScan to check the RKE module for problems there is little more you can do just now.

 

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3 hours ago, DoTheDonkeyKonga said:

As a precaution I replaced the battery in both fobs with brand new Duracell ones so I *know* they're good...

 

Irrespective of brand, you only 'know' if they're good by using a multi meter. They should be pushing out 3.3v, and anything below 3v is likely to give issues...

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Okay so I ordered a USB OBD2 cable which turned up on Sunday. Finally managed to get round to using FORScan yesterday and I got the following error on the Passengers Door Control Module:

"U0202:87-08 - Lost Communication With Door Control Module D"

It also says: "Previously set DTC - not available at time of request".

Does that narrow it down a bit? Could it be a dead RF module, a loose connection/plug, faulty wiring, something else?

I've checked the relevant fuses and they look fine (though I should really test them properly to make sure) but I didn't think a blown fuse was to blame anyway as the keylesss entry worked one time after initially failing - which obviously it couldn't have done if the failure was down to a blown fuse.

 

On 9/16/2022 at 6:38 PM, StephenFord said:

Irrespective of brand, you only 'know' if they're good by using a multi meter. They should be pushing out 3.3v, and anything below 3v is likely to give issues...

Funnily enough I got the batteries the same day the multimeter arrived and I decided to test the multimeter with one of the new batteries so I know at least one of them is good, but I take your point - you should never assume. Good job I've now got a multimeter on hand for future use! :cool:

 

Thanks again everyone for the help so far. Hopefully I can get to the bottom of this eventually. It's obviously not an issue that effects the running of the car but it's annoying and I hate a problem I can't solve lol so I'm determined to sort this one way or another.

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Hi Dave, well at least you have a DTC to be looking at now.

Located in the passenger side footwell behind the kick panel (actually mostly just above the top edge of the kick panel) are some multi-way connectors, and possibly the passenger DCM (but that might be inside the door). Check carefully the condition of the connectors and look for signs of water/greenish corrosion on any of the pins. Check also the wiring between the door and the body of the car.

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Thanks unofix. I'll certainly do that. Unfortunately I haven't got time to do it tonight but I'll get to it tomorrow and post back here with an update.

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