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Ford Focus ST '22 Battery Drain!


LukeJQuinn
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Wondering if anyone can suggest why my 4 month old Focus ST has dreadful battery drain? 

 

Let me explain what has gone on so far. Ford have tested the battery and seem to suggest the battery is in fact fine. (after a google I do see this battery issue popping up all over the place and most people also confirm the battery is in fact fine, plus being 4 moths old you'd expect it to be) I won't bore you with how dreadful M53 Ford have been having me pick up the car today only for me to notice the issue isn't fixed and having to drive it back, but anyway they say the battery is ok and I believe them for now.

They tested it last night and it showed 100% charge, I picked it up at 12pm today and no stop start and alerts in the FordPass app about battery life. So clearly something is draining the battery rather quickly. They made suggestions before bringing the car in about unplugging the dash cam (even though I used this dash cam in my 2019 Focus ST, and my 2021 Puma ST with no issues) but I thought I would humour them - anyway it made zero difference as I expected. 

They updated the B.C.M last night (Body Control Module) which they said has been known to cause battery drain as it fails to turn the aux power off after a certain amount of time. They applied further updates to ABS system and APIM - SYNC Module (which I guess would take care of any bluetooth battery drain which is known be an issue on older Focus models). Even with these updates it has failed to make any difference. I asked them to supply me with a list of all work done so this is why I know about the updates etc.

There is nothing else on the car other than an L.E.D bulb in the boot which was bought from AutoBeam and tend be good all round bulb replacements. The bulb shuts off when the boot is shut and even if it didn't I can't see 1 L.E.D draining a battery within a few hours. 

Does anyone have any other suggestions as the garage seem to be out of ideas and I'm pretty close to refusing the car, however some what reluctant as I know I would have to wait roughly 1 year to get that same model and spec. Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks

Luke

 

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  • LukeJQuinn changed the title to Ford Focus ST '22 Battery Drain!

Hello Luke, sorry to hear of your problems. Issues like yours are quite common but unfortunately the Ford dealerships seem to have a lack of qualified auto electrical technicians, and even the ones they have seem not to have kept up with the technology now being fitted to cars.

A proper investigation for a potential parasitic current draw needs to be undertaken. It can take several hours and even in some cases most of a day. Which is why the dealers don't like to get involved.

My guess (and at this stage it is a PURE guess) it's a problem with the telemetry and the built in modem for the SOS system. I stress that this is a guess, but it is certainly worth investigation. It only takes one module not to fully shut down and enter the full sleep mode, to keep the canbus alive which in turn keeps other modules awake.

I could begin to talk you through fault finding and tracing the parasitic current draw but I don't expect that you actually want to get involved in doing the job yourself. 

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The Telematics Control units on these cars have known to give problems by not going to sleep, but it is up to Ford to spend some time doing a parasitic current draw test on the car to find out what is causing the current draw and to fix it. It may not be the TCU.

In my experience with dealerships they look for a quick and easy fix to see if that works and don't spend the enough time diagnosing problems. It is only when you go back to them as quickly as possible that they do spend the requisite time.

It is a bit late now but what I did the last two times that I had warranty work done was to check the car before leaving the dealer and immediately going back to reception to tell them that the problems (different problems from your ones) were not fixed.

That worked great both times, probably embarrassment on their side, I even got to speak with the Technicians and Master Tech and they put the required effort into fixing the problems.

Edit, I have just seen @unofix's reply and it is essentially saying the same thing.

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Hi @unofix and thanks.

As a Ford fan since a young age, it breaks my heart to read that these issues are now all but common. It down right annoys me because they can build good cars, sometimes anyway.

I will make that suggestion tomorrow when they call me. Guessing I have ***** them off seeing as I emailed their Director and the Head of Ford UK. They have given me a 9 Seater Toureno Custom as a courtesy 'car' which is great to be fair but rather large for my needs. 

@Tizer Thanks also, I will most certainly make that suggestion to them only because I want them to get their act together so I can enjoy my car again. Apart from this issue its been perfect. No rattles or anything. Just ***** annoying. Thanks again both.

If anyone else has other suggestions please fire them over. I will chuck everything at them including the kitchen sink. 

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1 hour ago, LukeJQuinn said:

I will chuck everything at them including the kitchen sink. 

Fortunately the kitchen sink has an eco mode and only uses a splash of power 🤣

I wish you good luck !

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Unfortunately i agree with these comments, there is a huge lack of quality technician's in the country, this has been building up for years.

As it stands indy's are far more experienced than most dealers as we have to learn so many different systems and brands which allows for a broader general learning and understanding of how complex systems work. Also we cant just keep swapping bits over from other forecourt vehicles which I so often here happens.

The difficulty is that to have the dealer spec diagnostic equipment for every brand is near impossible, which means generally for updates etc you tend to always go back to the dealers. 

Whenever i here about local dealers I'm always told how they have no staff and the ones that are there are very young and have little experience. These tech's generally work on a bonus system which never works as everything is rushed, you wouldn't want a surgeon replacing your heart trying to beat his 2 hour book time would you? But its ok for someone to do that on a vehicle carrying a family at 70mph down the motorway. Anyway I'm ranting now.

The point is, if there is no bonus to be earned taking all day trying to get to the bottom of a parasitic drain then they generally show little interest.

Goodluck, hope you get to the bottom of your issues 🤞

 

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Spoken to the garage this morning and mentioned the Telematics Control Unit issue. They have said this has already been checked and is only a real issue on new 22/72 plate Pumas. The tell tale sign is the SOS button remains illuminated even when the car is off, to warn of a fault. 

Not too sure how true this is, but they seemed to know the ins and outs of the issue - but it was worth mentioning just in case. 

It does worry me though as this now means the drain is something they have no clue about. I made them aware of the L.E.D in the boot and the L.E.D door mirror indicators just in case but both are from AutoBeam and I cannot find any horror stories relating to their products and battery drain. 

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4 minutes ago, LukeJQuinn said:

The tell tale sign is the SOS button remains illuminated even when the car is off, to warn of a fault. 

If only life was that simple. True in some cases the telemetry system does realise that it has a fault and the light remains on. In other cases the unit fails to recognise that there is a a problem and the light remains off.

I can see the garage passing this problem directly over to Ford and asking for them to send a 'specialist' to investigate.

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Ford Customer Care have just rang me. They are in talks with the garage and offered for one of their Support guys/gals to review the current findings etc. The garage seem confident that they will sort it this week - I just wish I shared that confidence. 

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Please keep us informed of your progress (or even lack of it).

It would be good to learn what they find as the coarse of the fault. Of course what they really find and what they tell you they found is often quite different. 😉

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3 hours ago, LukeJQuinn said:

Spoken to the garage this morning and mentioned the Telematics Control Unit issue. They have said this has already been checked and is only a real issue on new 22/72 plate Pumas. The tell tale sign is the SOS button remains illuminated even when the car is off, to warn of a fault. 

That is only half true. TCU's have been causing battery drain since my car was new, although not on my car. A search through this Forum will confirm this.

The problem with the 22 plate Puma TCU's is a different one to the battery drain one although it may cause battery drain as well as the lack of communication problems with the SOS system .

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Not sure if this comment will be any use, but my September 2021 Fiesta had battery drain issues, I was having to charge the battery every week, and sometimes 24-48hrs after charging Ford Pass was telling me that my battery charge level was low.

I mentioned this to my Ford dealer at the 12 months check-over and the telematics unit was updated. Just over one month later it looks like that has resolved my battery drain issues.  I did also ask them to fit a CTEK comfort connector just in case the problem wasn't resolved but in this instance the Telematics update did the trick.

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@Tizer @Aldridge Andy Thanks for the comments. I will mention it to them if/when they call me tomorrow. I've took short notes from your comments and will relay that to them. At this point I will mention any comments to them. The whole saga is exhausting. 

They did call me today and they now have a Master Tech from Ford Europe who is assisting them remotely and over the phone. - Which means in normal speak they haven't a clue and are asking mummy and daddy.

Will update tomorrow should I get a call. 

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On 10/6/2022 at 9:57 AM, unofix said:

I can see the garage passing this problem directly over to Ford and asking for them to send a 'specialist' to investigate.

Well I'm so surprised !!!

I wish I could predict the lottery numbers as good 🤣

2 minutes ago, LukeJQuinn said:

they now have a Master Tech from Ford Europe who is assisting them remotely and over the phone

 

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and my next prediction is......

after redoing software updates on 3 or 4 modules for no good reason other than they have no idea what to do, they will then tell you that they will replace the Telematics control unit (just as a precaution) which unfortunately due to semiconductor shortages is on back order. So in the mean time if you wouldn't mind just keep charging the battery !!

Please keep us informed .... this is more exciting than EastEnders and Coronation Street all rolled in to one 🤣

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....Also I will ask them to remove the aftermarket LED bulb in the boot, and the LED indicators within the door mirrors. As I mentioned above, they are from AutoBeam and I've never had an issue with their 3rd party stuff. But I think it's worth a go just to totally rule them out.

On a better note, Ford Credit have emailed and said they plan on calling me tomorrow, to discuss writing off this months payment for the car along with looking at compensation. So I think I have to give credit where credit is due to Ford on that one. 

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13 minutes ago, LukeJQuinn said:

@Tizer @Aldridge Andy Thanks for the comments. I will mention it to them if/when they call me tomorrow. I've took short notes from your comments and will relay that to them. At this point I will mention any comments to them. The whole saga is exhausting. 

They did call me today and they now have a Master Tech from Ford Europe who is assisting them remotely and over the phone. - Which means in normal speak they haven't a clue and are asking mummy and daddy.

Will update tomorrow should I get a call. 

It might not be a TCU issue, it could be anything else, and it is bad that they gave you the car back the first time when doing something simple like putting a Clamp Meter on it after letting it sit for an hour after the updates would have easily shown them that there was still a parasitic drain. 

Start moving your stuff into your courtesy car, you may have it for a long time. When my car was nearly new all the Audio stopped working and they gave me a nice sporty Fiesta Active for the six weeks it took to fix it I was almost sorry to give it back in the end.

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@unofix Thanks and I agree! I think that is the cause but annoying that we have to let them go through the motions. 

@Aldridge Andy They updated the TCU on Wednesday/Thursday then told me the issue was fixed. It in fact wasn't and the car is still with them while they kick the tyres. They updated the ABS and Sync4 while they was digging round in there so that was nice of them.

@Tizer The courtesy car isn't really a car, its a 9 seater Toureno Custom Titanium spec! Not quite my full Spec ST but I appreciate them giving me something 'similar'. I 100% would rather my car on this occasion ha. I did mention to them that morning I had the alerts from the FordPass app about battery drain and they weren't bothered. They didn't even bother to test the battery charge before handing the keys back, which means they charged it Wednesday night and said yeah all good. Had no alerts since they removed it though and I guess they would call that progress. 

Not too sure if the aftermarket LEDs will affect the car but worth a go just in case. 

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UPDATE! 

They've only gone and bl0ody fixed it! Not 100% sure what they have done but will fill you in on what they've told me has taken place over the two weeks of having the car. 

They ran multiple tests on the battery and car. They also took a battery from a lower spec'd ST '22 and the same battery issue occurred. Then they ran a parasitic test for 4 days straight.

After speaking to Ford Technical for the best part of a week, they replaced the battery (NO shock there at all) however they have fitted a totally different model of battery - this one is slightly larger, higher voltage and more amperage. Updated all the software and firmware and oddly they applied a new update to the TCU.....hmmmm 😉 

They then ran the car, left it over night again, tested the battery again and it remained charged. Left it another day and battery remained as it should. 

So I now have the car back and so far so good (would have updated you all sooner but been busy with work) They have booked it in for two weeks from today to give it another check over and to ensure the battery is behaving as it should.

Ford Customer Care have been really good throughout this process I need to say. They have offered to cancel this month's payment for the car (which is good considering I've not had it for half the month anyway), £100 fuel voucher as the van was a hungry bugger and another voucher to use on the Ford Online Store. Nothing groundbreaking but the fact they've acknowledged how much of a saga its all been is all I can ask. 

M53 Ford have redeemed themselves in my eyes this time round. Kept me well informed and told me every detail about what is being done. Rang me every day without fail...so for now they back on the xmas card list.

Will update you further after the final re-test but all seems good from here. I hope the post can help someone else get some answers should it happen to another new Focus. Thanks to everyone else for offering their stellar advice! 

Luke

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13 minutes ago, LukeJQuinn said:

UPDATE! 

They've only gone and bl0ody fixed it! Not 100% sure what they have done but will fill you in on what they've done for the two weeks of having the car. 

They ran multiple tests on the battery and car. They also took a battery from a lower spec'd ST '22 and the same battery issue occurred. Then they ran a parasitic test for 4 days straight.

After speaking to Ford Technical for the best part of a week, they replaced the battery (NO shock there at all) however they have fitted a totally different model of battery - this one is slightly larger, higher voltage and more amperage. Updated all the software and firmware and oddly they applied a new update to the TCU.....hmmmm 😉 

They then ran the car, left it over night again, tested the battery again and it remained charged. Left it another day and battery remained as it should. 

So I now have the car back and so far so good (would have updated you all sooner but been busy with work) They have booked it in for two weeks from today to give it another check over and to ensure the battery is behaving as it should.

Ford Customer Care have been really good throughout this process I need to say. They have offered to cancelled this month's payment for the car (which is good considering I've not had it for half the month anyway), £100 fuel voucher as the van was a hungry bugger and another voucher to use on the Ford Online Store. Nothing groundbreaking but the fact they've acknowledged how much of a saga its all been is all I can ask. 

M53 Ford have redeemed themselves in my eyes this time round. Kept me well informed and told me every detail about what is being done. Rang me every day without fail...so for now they back on the xmas card list.

Will update you further after the final re-test but all seems good from here. I hope the post can help someone else get some answers should it happen to another new Focus. Thanks to everyone else for offering their stellar advice! 

Luke

That is good news and hopefully the problem will not occur again.

Just for info and for anyone else reading this as well and unless something has changed on the newer cars, the TCU gets updated over the air automatically if you have Connectivity Settings turned on.

You don't need Wi-Fi to be enabled as well, although if you do then you will get Sync and map updates as well.

My TCU has been updated 3 or 4 times automatically and it happens in the background, you will not know anything about it unless you interrogate the car. 

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@Tizer Should add, the TCU updates on new Puma, Fiesta & Focus have been known to brick themselves whilst updating - This is another cause of the drain as you know, but in most cases they brick, sap the power and results in Ford swapping them out.

The updates performed on my car weren't OTA updates and required installation via Ford themselves. (just in case people think their car will update over time and fix its self...as on this occasion it won't). 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh damn. 

So the issue has now returned. Stop/Start no longer working and getting alerts in the app that remote features disabled to reserve power. The exact same behaviour I noticed the first time round. 
 

I’ll update once I’ve spoke to Ford. As you can imagine I’m not going to be most pleasant self. I’m beyond annoyed at this point.  

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Hi Luke so the celebrations were unfortunately a little premature 😧

Do you have a multimeter that you can take battery voltage readings with ? It would be worth checking the voltage to at regular times after it's parked up to establish just how quickly the battery is been drained. This would give an idea of just how much load is on the system without going through the full parasitic current draw fault finding.

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Took it to Halfords today to get a battery reading. They said the battery reported back as good but their system recommended a charge. 

I got Lower Power messages in the FordPass app on 4th & 5th but none today. So either the battery has fallen low because of the drop in temp (and I've been putting on the heated seats and steering wheel) so it taking longer to charge back up.....or something is just wrong again. 

I tried driving without any heating features on at all and the stop/start still fails to turn on even after doing 80 miles of driving. 

Ford will no doubt call me tomorrow to discuss next steps. 

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