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2005 Ford Focus 2.0 Running fault


kingarthur83rd
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Ladies/Gents.

I'm after a second opinion as I'm not convinced that the local mechanic has really delved into this enough to prove a fault.

As some of the more hardcore members of the site might remember, I had an idling fault that was resolved (seemingly) with a replacement throttlebody. 

more recently I experience on a cold start, when getting to operating temperature, (mainly 60c-75c) there is a noticeable hesitation/juddering under 2000rpm (to the point that if i hold, say 1500-1800rpm, it judders, the engine hunts on idle (and some cases severely enough to cut out in traffic). sounds like some clapped out old banger thats ready to give up the ghost.

However, once it gets to this fault condition, I can kill the engine. give it 5 mins, restart and it drives much better, though some times doesnt settle at idle. (a common occurence for me is for my car to run like garbage going to asda, 8 miles away, and running much better on the way home.

The mechanic took it for a test drive and came back to state that "It drives great. not a lot wrong with that, its getting old". Whilst, yes, I accept that its a 17 year old car and it is indeed getting "old" for a modern car, I don't believe that age is the cause of this. (the car otherwise is in great condition for 17 years old, with 90,500 on the clock.)

I'm under the logic that its an electrical/sensor fault (although no CEL is shown and I haven't plugged in to get any DTC information/fault condition to command the CEL on (i have a cheap nasty £5 OBDII bluetooth reader from china, along with an app on my phone). the fact that I can restart after I get the fault condition and 95?% of the time it clears it suggests electrical/sensor fault.

Its worth mentioning the LCD display on the clocks doesn't display right, which leads me to believe MAYBE a cluster fault? as I'm not sure what part the instrument cluster plays in the CAN bus.

Other than getting a second opinion, has anyone else experienced something like this? as I remember a similar thing happening on one of my learner bikes (the XVS125) which turned out to be a duff CDI unit. do I suspect the ECM/ECU?

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Start with some professional software and check for Ford specific DTC's

Download FORScan on a windows laptop:

https://forscan.org/download.html

Good quality connecting cable ELM327(modified):

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

Or better still use the new vLinker FS:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vgate-vLinker-Adapter-FORScan-MS-CAN/dp/B0952P4MLP/ref=asc_df_B0952P4MLP/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=534732308385&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5193710047797139007&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006688&hvtargid=pla-1430824679036&psc=1

The instrument cluster may well play a part in the problems but you need to logically fault find and not jump to conclusions. There is also a good possibility that the Body Control Module may also be suffering the usual water damage, corrosion of the connectors and or circuit board. As said connect to the OBDII and get the DTC's  

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Is it a late MK1 or an early MK2?

If it's a MK2, suspect the dreaded cluster fault

If it's a MK1, make sure the crank position sensor and the gearbox speed sensors are working correctly.

Maybe the coil pack is going down?

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@unofix  @DaveT70

Thanks guys. Uno - i think thats more for a deep dive which i dont really fancy doing right now. As much as the mechanic has said its old, there really isnt anything "wrong" with my car (it took me to cardiff and back in june, never missed a beat) which i think i will do after having the cluster looked at.

Dave - its an early mk2 (pre-facelift) this is exactly my thinking. I'll look to get the cluster repaired first as i know via these forums the cluster is a common fault. i was suspecting swirl flaps - the other common fault(but i dont know if they are actuated by a servo motor or if its simply air pressure that moves them. as there is a rod that goes through the flaps (oooh yea) id surmise its controlled by a servo motor thats fed from the MAF or some other air intake pressure sensor, via the ECM? idk how this stuff works, i just understand the theory of it!)

I'm hoping it is the cluster fault as its a cheap (enough) fix rather than new swirls/rod/servo.... basically a new intake manifold 😂😂😂

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I didn't think Ford used the swirl flaps, I thought that was Mazda only??

Have a look at your fault codes, use FORscan, if you see lots of "Lost communication with" faults and the main one "theft detected" then it's the cluster fault.

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The Duratec engine does. the Zetec engine idk. the eco-booms 🤷‍♂️. I'm probably gonna go with having the cluster repaired first as the LCD screen is jank (some of the lines don't display, with the top row being distorted). granted it might just be the LCD thats faulty, but whilst its being repaired, the pins/connections/soldering on the PCB can be checked/tested at the same time. if it still runs funny then, i can rule out the dreaded cluster fault.

I'll have to get my grubby little sausage stumps on a laptop, I think I've got one somewhere that needs a repair. Things have taken a back seat whilst I've been dealing with life events.

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  • 3 weeks later...

little update - it seems to be getting worse as driving back from the family static i noticed quite a bit of juddering/power loss, to the point that i had to basically take it to 2000rpm to pull off. th'owd bat conked out about 0.3 miles away from home. literally ignition off, (a few choice words, selected crude vocabulary) ignition on, cranked a few times, starts and purred away as if nothing was wrong and it hadnt just limped the last 15 miles! 🤬🤬🤬🤬 no hunting, no funny idle, revs nice and free no sign of being poorly, nothing.

The good news is I have acquired a surface4 and one of the fancy OBD2 readers (i dont trust the chinese tat) suggested by unofix. I haven't got to plug in yet as work has been in the way, its generally been miserable to work outside and on top of that, I'm still taking my time (mentally) dealing with the loss of my dad (he passed away at the end of sept - the "life events" I eluded to)

as some of the more hardcore members probably know, i've had access to a focus CC3 (was my dads) for now, so the hatchback hasn't really been a "priority", but having being told that the insurance on said CC3 is much more than my step mum expected, i've kinda got to get the old girl off life support and running right (not running well, running RIGHT)

hopefully can get on this tonight and have a text file or 2 for investigation. (by trade I am IT support so i can probably make an educated guess or 2, but its always best to get the opinion of the people that know!)

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focusforscan.txt

so, after an eventful monday night (figuring out that the Vlink OBD2 reader does, in fact, NOT work with the surface, i ended up digging out an ancient Windows 7 laptop which it works a treat with.

attached is the output from forscan. a cheeky googs points to some weird and wonderful errors. the majority pointing to a cluster fault.
the TL;DR version:
cluster - DTCs in IC: U1900-20
cluster - DTCs in IC: U1900-20
low battery in fob ( RCL still works, battery hasn't been changed since 2009 when I bought the car 🤣)
cluster - DTCs in IC: U1900-20
cluster - DTCs in IC: U1900-20
AC low pressure (id expect this, being as how its missing the split pipe that the garage took off 🤣🤣)
cluster - DTCs in IC: U1900-20
cluster - DTCs in IC: U1900-20
and, oh - cluster - DTCs in IC: U1900-20


MECHANICALLY theres nothing wrong. I did some live data streaming and everything looks normal. to be rainman level picky, theres slight variance (but i would expect this as things will get worn and loose over time, ie MAF sensor readings, TPS readings, coolant temp sensor readings.

logically, in my very uneducated opinion, (and the fact some of the LCD pixels dont always display) I have come to conclude this is probably(?) a cluster fault. and of course, throughout all this, starts on the key, purrs like a kitten, nothing obviously wrong.

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That's actually a very useful report.

'U' codes are related to communication errors. In the Canbus system has lost communication or has corrupt data from the instrument cluster. There will be others on the forum who can probably give you the exact breakdown of each DTC.

This a very common failure caused by the poor quality (lead free) solder that was used to put the IC together.

If you have a look on eBay for example there are companies who repair and refurbish the instrument cluster for around £90 - £120. It generally takes only a few days.

Once you get the repaired IC back, then reconnect the battery, clear the DTC's using FORScan and your new 'vLinker FS' cable. When all clear then you should be good to go !!

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yeah, I've put an ad out for a local auto sparky to do it. one of the skills i didnt have the patience for is microsoldering. the LCD panel probably needs doing anyway, so I'll ask them to just go balls to the wall and refurb/inspect/re-solder whilst they've took it apart.

not that i dont trust the eBay guys, I'd rather deal with someone face to face.

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