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Focus 2 Will Not Crank / Enters Limp Home Mode - Related To Steering


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Hi all,

For just over a week I have been finding that 30% of journeys result in the car refusing to crank Thanks to "engine systems fault" and a further 30% have the car entering "reduced acceleration mode"

While there is no mention of "power steering assist failure" I do note a link to steering.

The limp home mode usually appears after pulling away from a side road, ie accelerate and steer.

More notably I have found that turning the steering wheel slightly overcomes the refuse to crank engine systems fault.

Not wanting to spend 500 notes replacing the PAS unit on a whim, can anyone advise a known link between steering and engine systems fault.



Focus 2 1.6 petrol 2005

Em327 odb reader with torque for Android reports no error codes found, even during engine systems fault.

Secret dash error codes report






I believe these to be misfire from leaking washer jet seal, plus can bus fault on odometer and speed sensor

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none of those are fault codes so no idea where the conclusion comes from based on that d9600 not a code d9601 not a code e510 not a code the steerings hydraulic so no idea why that would be effecting it to be honest ide have it properly looked at before buying anything

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Thanks for the reply arthur, sorry for my slow response, been a busy week at work plus lots of time spent in rainy car parks trying to get my car working.

I can't remember how I got the 9600 error decoded, I think this was about 12 months ago when I took it to a mechanic for a proper read after not being able to decode it myself, and he diagnosed that there was a poor spark because the spark plug recess was full of water. A fresh core plug and then a further replaced coil due to the water coming in again, then finally a new leak free washer jet has finally sorted this one out.

The E197 I found on here


I'm reluctant to take it to a garage just yet as the fault is so intermittent and no fresh codes came up when I got afriend to plug in an ODB reader - even when reading at the time of the fault occuring.

I would agree with you about the hydraulic steering being unable to offer any feedback to the engine management so prob isnt the reason the ECU is refusing to crank. It was a theory that came from this seeming to be a common issue in google searches and also the fact that steering seems so conclusively linked to the fault.

Next time it fails to start I intend to try wiggling the wire running from the wheel arch to the front hub, and see if this has any effect on the behaviour. A broken core within this wire could cause intermittent problems and would also be moved by the steering moving so would explain that relationship. Hopefully that can prove / disprove any sort of relationship there.

Guess I'll just keep trying, and hopefully be able to post a resolution up here sometime soon for helping anyone with similar issues.


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  • 3 months later...


As I have just done 1000 trouble free miles I think it is safe to say that my fix for this intermittent problem has worked so I will share with you all incase anyone else comes across it.

Most of my error codes were unrelated, the only significant one seemed to be U0001 CAN bus fault.

The symptoms were gradually getting more common so that I could study them a bit more.

Intermittently while driving all the gauges would drop to zero and the dashboard LCD would read "Acceleration Reduced"

Slapping the top of the dash would bring the gauges back up to operating mode.

Very rarely I would also find that the fault occurred while parked, in such a situation the engine would refuse to crank.

After driving with no steering column shroud for many weeks, and wiggling wires while in fail mode and working mode I concluded the fault was inside the cluster.

I removed the cluster, pulled all the needles off the gauges so I could get the PCB out, and then resoldered the joints between the wiring loom connector and the PCB.

I then reassembled the unit (this would have been easier if I had noted the positions of the needles before removing them as they ended up reading incorrectly on my first attempt) and put everything back in the car.

Finally I have a car that will reliably get me to work and back so I am once more a happy ford owner.

Cheers for your advice everyone.


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Sadly the issue was inherited from the MK2's daddy, on a plus side if you resoldered it yourself then you saved yourself more money still. Did you have any issues in the soldering process, or was it just a case of add solder to desolder, suck the solder and replace with new?

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I had no trouble at all with the soldering aspect - but that was because I have a colleague with a very good solder rework station, and when I asked if I could borrow it she took the speedo from me and did it herself. :D

But yes it was standard rework process, nothing out of the ordinary that I was aware of.

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