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S-Max Starting Problem

Colin C

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Our S-Max is now into it's 4th year (Duratorq 2.0L DOHC CR TC Dsl 143PS, registered Nov 2007). It's had its problems, but deep down I love it! The problem is that since year 2 it has been failing to start first time. The symptoms are different to the previous posts I've read:

- Since its 2nd year it has regularly failed to start on the first attempt.

- Over the past couple of years the problem has very gradually got worse.

- It will typically not start on the first attempt, but almost always will by the third attempt.

- Happens irrespective of the engine being cold or warm.

- Happens irrespective of the weather, from the coldest to the hottest days.

- The likelihood of it starting first time is possibly increased the longer the ignition is switched on before trying to start (several seconds).

Other notes:

- No warning lights on the dash.

- For the first year or so, the glow plug indicator on the dash did not display at all when about to start the car. It displays now, but for no more than a second.

- 47,000 miles on the clock.

- Our local Ford dealer have investigated it a few times over the past two years while under warranty. They were unable to diagnose a problem at any stage (which suggests they were seeing no errors from the engine managment unit, or whatever it's called!), but acknowledged that it was happening and suggested that we could get a second opinion from another branch - we declined.

- The car has had a history of electrical problems, but they all appear to have been sorted.

- The turbo was replaced after 12-18 months due to a recurring engine malfunction (loss of power).

A mechanic friend suspects a fuel pressure problem.

Any other thoughts, or reports of similar experiences and fixes will be much appreciated.



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  • 1 month later...

sounds to me low fuel pressure in high pressure line. tell dealer to connect ids...go into datalogger (live data) and read fuel pressure desired and actual. watch these reading while trying to start 3 or 4 times till it starts. did actual reach desired (or close to) on the attempt that started the car??? i suspect yes confirming pressure fault.

also another possibility...if dealer has faults stored relating to missing messages from various modules the repair is 1. update software on body control module....if this doesn't cure it ALL can bus splices on the car need to be renewed. this repair is only if message faults are stored

good luck and keep us informed, thanks steve

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Thanks Steve for the detailed guidance. Your thoughts re low fuel pressure are consistent with what a mecanic aquaintance thought. It may take a while to get it seen to, but I'll report back here if I get it resolved. Regards, Colin

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  • 9 months later...

Dear Colin C,

I'am also one of the owners of the 2007 S max. More or less I've got the same problems with your cars. Were you be able to fix the problem. If you succeded what steps did the mechanics follow? If you share this information with me I'll be very glad. Thank you for your intereset. Looking forward to here from you.

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  • 8 years later...

I've just tried to start my car and the dashboard is going crazy flashing and hazards coming on then wont start it quickly says power steering fault before nothing on the screen at all 

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