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Strange Dash Fault?


james132
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Had a bit of a strange fault with the dash today when driving.

Got in the car and was proberbly 5 mins into driving when the handbrake light came on, this has happened before to me where the handbrake isnt 100% released, so lifted the handbrake slightly and released several times and the light still stayed on, so I pulled over and engaged the handbrake properly and released, still on. Drove on a couple miles and noticed that the outside air temp gauge was not showing a reading, just --. So thaught id pull over to turn the car off and leave a few mins and turn it back on.

Saw somewhere to pull over so started indercating, no tick tock noise and no lights on the dash to show the indercators are on. Pulled over and checked outside the car, and they were working fine, along with all other lights. Turned the car off, left for a min or two, turned it back on, still nothing. Indicators still not showing on dash, no outiside temp reading and handbrake light still on.

Done a scan with the scangauge, no faults found. Decided to drive on, about 4/5 miles down the road handbrake light went off, temp reading came back and indicator ticker and lights working again...

Anyone else had anything like this happen? Im hoping its not going to lead to something else and was just a one off 'strange' moment.

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  • 3 years later...

I had this exact fault twice...each time I had my egr valve flushed and cleaned and it fixed it...I do need to replace the egr, but it's a cheaper fix for now..

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Thats weird something similar happened to me this morning,5 minutes into driving stopping at lights the car just cut out and upon restarting the EML came on,followed by the seat belt warning beeps ,not mine the passenger side ?? and i was alone .. was ok if i held it down but EML still on would that be a cluster problem ,,

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5 hours ago, angus5041 said:

was ok if i held it down but EML still on would that be a cluster problem

Hi,

Rather a confusing set of symptoms. I am not sure what you had to hold down?

In this, I am assuming you have a Focus, though I think Fiesta is similar.

A cluster (IC) fault is possible. It links all the car's electronic systems together. Both of the main digital buses go here, so a lot of information passes through it.

Engine cutting out is more likely to be an engine related fault, normally, and the seatbelt warning could be just a sensor or connecotor. But linked together, the IC seems the only common part.

If the EML comes on, there should be some diagnostic information. And you will need to read these to get any further.

For diagnostics, you have some options:

1) Go to a garage for a diagnostic readout. Free if they know you and are generous(?), up to £100 otherwise.

2) Find a mate with a scanner: Cost you a pint or equivalent maybe!

3) Get a generic OBD2 scanner. From about £10.00. I got a U480 off Ebay, worked fine. Very easy to use, self contained, but limited capabilities.

4) Get a powerful Ford specific system. Cost £15.00 for the interface. Needs a computer of some sort. (COM port, USB, bluetooth or WiFi interfaces available). Not as simple as the self contained OBD2 scanner.

You will find a lot about ELM327 & Forscan on this site, which together provide a very comprehensive diagnosis & maintenance tool. Post here if you want more info.

Note: Simply reading the codes can do no harm, and does not change anything. Just do not reset the codes (and you would have to ask the scanner to do this) if you are going to take the car to a garage.

See:
http://www.spanglefish.com/TunnelratElectronics/index.asp?pageid=516992

its a dead handy thing to have and will more than make up for the cost if you can narrow down the problems, you can purchase it there and follow the instructions to get it working.

you will also need a program called Forscan, its free and you can get it from

http://forscan.org/download.html

For restraint system or IC problems, you really need option 4, Forscan. An OBD2 scanner is very limited here.

Peter.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi peter, apologies for the reply . could not find it tbh lol ,, i did get my son to use his OBD hand held and it was 2003 i think,pointing to maybe the coil pack or leads , I have changed the coll pack twice in the last three years , once with new leads,, so he turned the EML light off, the next day [thursday]  it came back on .. what i meant by "holding it down" was the trip button to reset the mileage to zero as you are aware if you switch on the car whist holding it down it goes into a sweep mode then by pressing it it goes thru other modes which i have no idea what they mean but this turns the light off,. on friday drove from Merseyside to Dundee no problem but the return journey on the sunday the EML came back on minutes later, the reset didnt work this time the car drove fine, stopped at Carlisle for 30 minutes got back in to continue and the EML was out has not been on since .....

i did buy an ELM 327 from this site but was far to complicated for an dinosaur like me    Regards  Jim

 

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45 minutes ago, angus5041 said:

far to complicated for an dinosaur like me

Many of the Dinos were intelligent, adaptable, possibly warm blooded creatures! And I am sure you do yourself an injustice, too!

The Forscan system is very easy to install, and to use, try to work through it with your son if needed. I am almost certain it will be worthwhile. Forscan is much more powerful than a standard OBD2 scanner.

James (jeebowhite) has done a nice guide: http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=21196

Garage costs for a problem like this can be horrendous, they have no time, and will change whatever is 1st suggested by the diagnostics. And a new Cluster can be £500 to £900. They can be repaired for about £100, usually, but not many garages would do that.

The collection of faults (indicators, seat belt, engine stop, plug leads) is complex, but IC (Cluster) is a common link.

It might help if you confirmed the car model & engine. P2003 is a DTC for Diesel DPF efficiency, a bit incompatible with plug leads on a petrol car. Also 2005 to 2007 Foci ICs are a bit notorious for odd faults.

Hope this of some help!

Peter.

 

 

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Hi Peter , i think it may have been p303, i new it had a 0 and 3 in it , what put me off was having to download stuff for the elm 327 and when i plugged in the car was terrified of touching anything in case something went wrong 

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18 minutes ago, angus5041 said:

terrified of touching anything in case something went wrong 

Have a look at Jame's guide (above). The Forscan developers are very well aware of the risks of upsetting car internal settings. The software will only read data, unless you ask it to do otherwise, like requesting it to clear DTCs. And it will always warn you if about to do something major, like reset learned values.

I have never heard of any problems like that. Just read the screen before clicking ok. And that is always good advice!

Yes, P0303 is cylinder 3 misfire detected, quite a possible code. There could be more useful codes like that stored in there. The diagnostic interface is really the Only way of looking inside these electronic cars.

Peter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The temperature display, handbrake light, etc, also happens if something goes wrong with the MS-CAN (iirc!) bus (as I found when I accidentally shorted the bus wires together...). Possibly a bad connection either at the IC or any other module/water contamination/bad solder joint.

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6 hours ago, angus5041 said:

well i got to number 8 .. was going ok then lappy died lol 

I guess the 8 was step 8 in James's guide, was that on the car, or demo mode?

If on the car, did it come up with any DTCs before lappy expired?

Like Micro says, CAN bus errors (MS & HS) can cause these symptoms, and should show up on Forscan.

Hope you can shake it back to life, or replace it! It was going well.

Peter.

 

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Too hot to have another go , not sure if in demo mode i think it was the real deal. i double clicked as it said and things came in box then died ., :(  at least i am having a go . i wouldn't had the confidence without your help .. will try again soon ,,,

 

Sorry yes .plugged in the car

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Hi,

These are the dtc's showing from the laptop,

I also run a live test monitoring the throttle voltages and cars rpm which seems to dip to about 600 quite a lot almost causing it to stall as its usually idling around 1000,

from the dtcs it looks like coil pack problems again and throttle sensor issue which i've not come across before.

Any advice on my next steps please?

thanks a lot,

 

Jim

 

 

 

 

image1.JPG

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22 hours ago, angus5041 said:

These are the dtc's showing from the laptop,

I also run a live test monitoring the throttle voltages and cars rpm which seems to dip to about 600 quite a lot almost causing it to stall as its usually idling around 1000,

Symptom list to date is:

car just cut out and upon restarting the EML came on,followed by the seat belt warning beeps.

DTC  P0303 is cylinder 3 misfire detected.

DTC P2300: Ignition Coil "A" Primary Control Circuit Low

DTC P2303 Ignition Coil "B" Primary Control Circuit Low

DTC P0133: Oxygen sensor circuit slow response

Apart from the seat belt problem, which looks like a red herring at the moment, the common link seems to be the coil pack, or the wiring to it from the PCM.

Ignition problems could cause the misfire, could possibly confuse the O2 sensor (mix not burning properly), and cause the engine cut-out.

The advice for this seems to be check the wiring (the ordinary wiring from coil pack, not just the HT wires), and any connectors. The coil only seems to have a 3 pin connector, two wires go to the pcm, & the middle one goes to Fuse F34 in the engine bay fuse box, which supplies power for the ignition and the fuel injectors.

If the wiring is ok, then replace the coil pack seems the next step.

But continue to monitor for DTCs in case something else crops up to change the picture.

Peter.

 

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Cheers Peter , another coil pack it is then , about 3 years ago i put a Bosch coil pack and ngk spark plugs , about 14 months ago i changed the pack for a non branded one,

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52 minutes ago, angus5041 said:

about 3 years ago i put a Bosch coil pack and ngk spark plugs , about 14 months ago i changed the pack

That suggests some underlying fault, either damaging the coil packs, or is the real culprit.

The wiring connector & harness back to the pcm, and to the battery supply in the fuse box, are definitely worth checking.

Have the HT leads & plug connectors been changed? Open circuits here could damage the coils.

Any signs of water ingress into the area? Leaks from screen wash systems have been known to cause problems.

Coil packs should last longer than that!

Peter.

 

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Hi Peter,

I have double checked visually all around the engine bay no signs of damage/water etc

The leads all got changed the same time as the coil pack as well as brand new spark plugs.

Is there a throttle body sensor I can replace seen a few on ebay but can't exactly find where about in the engine bay it is? i'm clutching at straws now as I cannot find anything obvious wrong with the wiring etc and surely it cant be the coil pack/leads again.

Thanks,

Jim

 

On 21/07/2016 at 5:56 PM, Tdci-Peter said:

That suggests some underlying fault, either damaging the coil packs, or is the real culprit.

The wiring connector & harness back to the pcm, and to the battery supply in the fuse box, are definitely worth checking.

Have the HT leads & plug connectors been changed? Open circuits here could damage the coils.

Any signs of water ingress into the area? Leaks from screen wash systems have been known to cause problems.

Coil packs should last longer than that!

Peter.

 

 

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On 20/07/2016 at 1:27 PM, angus5041 said:

These are the dtc's showing from the laptop,

And the key ones were:

DTC P2300: Ignition Coil "A" Primary Control Circuit Low

DTC P2303 Ignition Coil "B" Primary Control Circuit Low

Have these codes re-appeared at all? They really are quite specific, and it is difficult to see how the system could muddle them up with others. If you have not cleared the codes, I recommend you do so (unless the car is going to a garage for repair soon), then you will be able to see if they come back.

My favorite culprit remains the power wire from the fuse box to the central pin of the coil pack connector. Bad connection here would be consistent with those DTCs (the control wires will read low voltage), and it would explain why replacing coil packs in the past has not fixed the problem. Wiring & connector faults are often not visually obvious, wiggling wires or connectors while the engine is running (if safe to do so!), may cause the error to occur. Testing with a meter is the best way.

Throttle body is a bit of a long shot, symptoms are usually unsteady idle, or power dips or surges. It is not a very easy or cheap thing to replace on spec, I have heard the sensor bolts can be a pig to undo, likely to break, though I may be mixing that up with another car.

My advice:

Keep using the diagnostics, and (get someone to) very thoroughly check the continuity of those primary side coil pack wires.

Peter.

 

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