1.4 Fiesta Finesse (Duratec)

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Hello everyone, I am in a right pickle here, and hope the best mechanics on here can be of assistance.

we have had a 53 plate fiesta for 3 years, never given me any problems.

decided it's getting on a bit-and before i got any problems with things going wrong i would p/x.

picked a 07 focus recently, supposed to pick that up friday & hand mine in.

last night on way home with no previous warning/problems i was in 3rd gear coasting along with a roundabout coming up and the engine power just died off,the car came to a gradual halt no noises or anything.

the car is a semi-auto (as it's my wifes) i couldnt change gear in auto or manually. i switched off ignition, tried to start it again. nothing.

pushed it on the verge, and waited 75 minutes for the RAC, after much tinkering it resolved nothing he couldnt fix it and brought me home.

Now i dont usually panick, but i have to get this car driveable so i can trade it in, i cant even hear the starter motor nor anything else.

the car battery is dandy as the rac man checked the voltage. i have lights, indicators interior light, and dash is illuminated.

there is a blank green rectangle now where the N usually is, and pushing the stick in to manual does not make 1st gear show up.

i have checked fuses, earth strap and simple things like that, but after calls to friends who know about cars much better than me, no joy.

any one have a starting point for me?

oh by the way, the break lights still work, and rac guy disconnected the battery for 10 minutes to see if it would reset the fault, no joy.

tried google already, it brought me to this site with what i typed in.

i would be grateful, with advice on what you think, providing no one says a gallon of petrol and a match or anything daft like that, we're all part of the ford family aren't we!

ps. 116 views now, no replies/advice. so i bit the bullet and took it to the garage where it was supposed to be traded in tomorrow, i told them what happened, they have had it all day. They couldn't diagnose the fault either and called up a bloke from Snap-On tools they use sometimes. He has diagnosed it as the ECU not communicating with the gearbox or an internal gearbox fault. He will be bringing some ford software with him tomorrow and will attempt to cure the ECU, this will cost me a reasonable £60- if that doesnt work & it is indeed the gearbox, then the work will be in the region of £1200 (not a mis-print twelve hundred quid) thats great news as the car is only worth £1400 if it was working, and we still owe £2500 on the hp.

And you thought you guys had problems! my wife now owns a worthless piece of scrap, talk about unlucky, if he cant fix the ECU tomorrow. I really have no idea what i should do, i dont have £1200, and wouldnt spend that £1200 on a car only worth £1400, because it's still 8 years old this year, great start to the new year.

Hope this post may help other semi-automatic fiesta owners to diagnose their own faults.

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hi. i have a semi automatic gear box aswell and i had something similar happen to me a few months ago. i just couldnt get it into gear and rac couldnt do a thing. the ford garage told me it was the actuator that does the gear changes. it is the motor that does the gear change in auto or manual. id say its more likely to be this than the gear box. theres two actuators one for the clutch and one for the gear change as i understand it. it did cost me in the region of 800 pounds including labour to have it fixed and i havnt had any problems since. hopefully its just the ecu. but just to let you know of this since i hadnt heard of this problem before and it dosnt seem to happen very often. i tried to ask on forums but i didnt get any replies as to the price of changing the actuator. i have a fiesta 03 myself

hope it helps


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Thanks very much for taking the time to respond to my post Mikael.

After research, i too have found other posts regarding this actuator problem. it is clearly a problem on model fiestas made around 2003.

it's a pity that Ford didnt know there was a problem with poor build quality much sooner.

Reason i say that is that the problem does not appear until a car has done around the 50 thousand mile mark, and certainly before 70 thousand miles!

It means that Ford do not have to acknowledge the fault, because by the time 50k miles have been done, the warranty has expired, and Ford make a lot of money in parts and labour.

Despite being a ford owner for most of the last 18 years, you may understand my tone to be less than impressed with my ford car lately-but in the end i have still gone and replaced my ford with another ford, (doesnt mean i am happy though!)

I managed to do a fair deal, considering the faults, and the trader is going to take my fiesta to be crushed as they cant sell it on at auction.

the day the fiesta is paid off it's getting crushed, i cant believe it with just 55000 miles on the clock, it's such a waste!

We loved that car, it never caused us any problems until the day after it was valued, then it died.

i would buy another fiesta in the future, but not with that duratec engine and durashift box, it would have to be different.

If you own a 53 plate fiesta and are reading this, sell it becuase it will all end in tears-sooner or later

You have been warned!

ps, The fault wasnt just either mechanical OR electrical, it was both! (lucky me)

he said in plain english, the ECU is knackered and there is an internal gearbox fault.

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Hi, i have a Fiesta 1.4Ghia with dura shift on an 03 plate,

just before xmas i could'nt select neutral,stuck in reverse gear and the car would'nt start,called RAC(could'nt help)suggested a local garage,they told me it was the actuator that needed replacing,they did this and cost me best part of a £1000,the car is worth about £3000 on a good day,a few weeks later as i was coming to astop the car stalled gearbox warning light came on but gearbox stayed in neutral,would'nt start but i could

push it clear,rang the garage that had done the actuator,took it away for a week and said it was the ECU and

that it cost in the region of £2000 to replace and reprogram,money being very tight i declined there offer and

got my car back,(they dropped it at the wrong place £150),went to the car put keys in and it started drove it home,but now it wont start,select gear etc.

I am stuck with abrick on wheels,

the car has about 65k on the clock and have since been told that at around the 60k miles is when the problems start !?

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Well it's me again.

So you think, my story was unlucky? try this one on for size then.

We did trade the knackered fiesta for the focus, the focus we bought with 31,700 miles on it.

We have had it 7 months & the mileage is now 36.000 so we have done about 4000 miles in it.

We have had to change the sparkplugs, coil and H.T leads.

Today, i pulled up on the driveway, and couldnt get the ignition key out! it is stuck in D the shifter is solid and as it wont start up in D, and i cant get it into park-i have a problem.

I suspected the gearbox or automatic clutch again, but as it drives normally through the gears & only plays up when you stop somewhere ready to park, that it may be just a problem with the gear shifter/ or a part that lets you move the shifter.

The place we bought it from does not want to know, because i didn't take the £40 a month warranty on top of the already stupid finance of £180 a month.

i can honestly say FORD build quality is pathetic.

I have owned cortinas, escorts, sierra's Granada's & i have never had a major problem, so buying "newer" cars has certainly not been a good move for me, i bought a newer car with low miles so i didnt have to replace parts!

I am mad as hell-and who can blame me?

any ideas lads???

ps, apparently there's a little square access hole to the right of the park position if you poke a screwdriver down there, it by-passes something and you can then move the shifter to start the car.

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