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2009 C-max engine malfunction. Intermittent problem where the car doesn't start.


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Hi all, 

I was hoping one of you fine people could help me. My wife's C-Max has developed an intermittent issue where it wont start. The engine malfunction warning comes up and the car doesn't even try and start. If you leave it a few minutes it then starts fine. This is intermittent and sometimes happens a few times a day, other times the car starts fine for a week and then the issue reoccurs. I've plugged in a fault code reader and when the car is running I get no fault codes. When the issue occurs, I try scanning for fault codes but the OBD reader doesn't connect to the car and says I need to turn on the ignition which I can't do. So far the fault has only occurred while parked on my drive but I've read instances where it can happen while driving and I'm worried it'll happen while my wife is out with my children in the car.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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There are many possible reasons for the fault you describe. In order to try and narrow down the issue you need to use the software FORScan on a laptop. Almost all generic code readers will not read Ford specific DTC's because of the two different CANbus speeds that Ford use.

One quick test. Next time it won't start just give the dashboard a "thump" with your hand just above the instrument panel.

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

vLinker FS lead: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vgate-vLinker-Adapter-FORScan-MS-CAN/dp/B0952P4MLP/ref=sr_1_5?crid=6W7E1ELSHGAN&keywords=vlinker+fs+usb&qid=1674832107&sprefix=vlinker+fs%2Caps%2C532&sr=8-5

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Does cmax have same instrument cluster as focus. Sounds like it could be the common problem of focus instrument cluster needing resoldering inside. Which unofix’s suggestion of thumping might confirm. 

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