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Mk2 Focus Keeps Cutting Out On Motorway

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Hi all,

I really need your help - after 3 years of virtually pain free motoring the last few months have been absolutely horrendous woth my 55 plate 1.6tdci focus. At the moment we can't get the car to reliably travel any distance - it cuts out on the motorway and then usually won't start again immediately. This is usually accompanied by a loss of power, and what is left being really intermittent.

We've had it in in the garage loads since having it in for a recall on the engine cooling fan wiring loom about 4,000 miles ago. So I need to go back to the beginning because I am convinced everything is linked:

First sign of any problem was a lack of power and engine warning lights on a trip up north. The AA told us we could drive home and get it sorted as soon as we got there.

I took it into the next day and they said the additive tank was empty and the particulate filter had blocked. But they couldn't do either so sent us off to a Ford garage where according to my records now they only topped up the additive.

We then moved to Germany (the source of ALL my problems!) but on the way the engine lights came back on, we lost power again and eventually we had a hose in the turbo puncture (because I am told of backed up pressure from the blocked particle filter) so it made big hissing noise.

Got that all fixed which was a right palaver and cost a fortune mainly because the cat had to be replaced too, as well as a couple of sensors.

The car then drove alright for a thousand or so miles, but then developed its new trick, to cut out on the motorway. It's done it 4 times, and usually won't start back up immediately, but will helpfully once a recovery truck has come. This trouble is usually accompanied by a lot less, and very intermittent, power.

We had it in our local ford dealer twice who has sworn to us he's sorted it each time - first time he did air intake sensor and had to regenerate the particle filter, and next time he's done the fuel filter. In particular when he did the fuel filter, it felt great at first, before eventually cutting out again after about 200 miles, and then being spectacularly under powered there after - so definitely back to square one. All in all up to this point we have spent 3000 euros, so are no mood to be messed around any more!

He now tells us it needs a new fuel pressure sensor at a cost of 800 euros, but we have run out of patience for obvious reasons! To make matters worse, the father in law has become involved now and has spoken with a 'friend' who works for a company specialising apparently in writing reports for old or damaged cars. He says Focuses with these particle filters aren't worth touching once they've gone wrong and we should not do anymore work and immediately get rid as soon as anyone offers us anything for it. Apparently once the electrics are gone, it can be a real pain to sort and it's really only guesswork.

down a believer in finding problems rather than passing them on, but is that advice right, or does anyone thing the fuel pressed sensor, or any other bit, might do the job. Also, I am happy to be installing things myself as long as it isn't too hard - would that be possible if there is a potential fix?

Many thanks guys, I really appreciate any advice I can get!


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Has anyone run a diagnostic on the car?

If there is problems with a sensor then that would point you in a better direction.

You can get fuel pressure sensors for far less than that and a decent corner garage will fit for you for much less than €800.

The sensor only screws into the fuel common rail and you could probably do it yourself in a tea break.

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Hi Clive,

Thanks for the response!

They have run diagnostics most times it's gone in (which is loads!) - it was those that meant they replaced the particle filter and cat right at the beginning then the air intake sensor. But I've never been party to exactly what the machine was saying, more their diagnosis of it. If the fuel pressure sensor were out, would it be easy to spot using diagnostics? And could a fault with it be causing the particle filter to block up?

I've seen a youtube video of how to replace the fuel pressure sensor in a Mk1 Focus which looked ridiculously easy - is it the same or similar in a Mk2? In which case I'd defo do it myself.



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Sorry mate, i'm afraid i'll have to burst your bubble.

I thought it was as simple as replacing the sensor, seeing as it just threads in it appeared clear cut.

According to my Haynes manual Ford do not recommend replacing the sensor by itself (it was stated twice in the book).


It looks like a new rail is required, i still can't see that costing 800 Euro though.

Reading up on symptoms, an engine cutting out at speed does point quite strongly to the sensor, it's not performing properly under load and is starving the engine of fuel, the rough running afterwards is still pointing to the fuel/air mix being too lean (not enough fuel).

There are secondhand ones available on eBay so i'll list them to help you look in the right direction-





Seeing as your engine is basically a Peugeot/Citroen engine you could always approach one of their garages and see if they can help and for cheaper than you've been quoted.

Silly question possibly, but has anyone checked the wiring loom to the sensor for damage or loose connections?

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I have asked the garage to do it this time - but the guy working on it only just got back from hols so I will ask him again. Does that wiring loom that supplies the engine cooling (which is how I have had it described) connect closely with the fuel sensor? (sorry if that's a stupid question?). If so, i'm getting suspicious!

And in terms of the particle filter that keeps getting blocked, could a fuel/air mix being too lean lead to that?

Is it possible for me to do the whole fuel rail job (and if so does the Haynes describe it)?

Cheers for the tip on Citroen/peugeot - I'll have a look around...

Many thanks,


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Not sure about the wiring layout but rapid clogging of the dpf would be more from overfuelling.

I reckon the pressure sensor can't get it right in either direction.

You can do it yourself but means stripping some of the cooling system and other parts.

I suspect you'd have to transplant the injectors too to avoid having to recode them.

I'll try and copy off the relevant pages from my Haynes for you in a while If that will help.

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I've ordered the Haynes manual - I should have years ago, and will help me with this and more.

We're meeting the mechanic on Monday (me and my translator-wife!) so I'll put all this to him and ask him what he thinks is going on.

If you have any more thoughts let me know - otherwise I'll post again if I have any more questions, but for now I feel way more informed - thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.



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