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First Time Focus Problems = New Alternator


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Hi All

need your opinions if possible. I have a Mk2 2005 focus with 38000 on the clock. Never had any problems in the past. Is always serviced and well looked after.

Last week for first time i had problems. (on Good Friday) Had been out for the day and my Ignition light came on. Took it to quickfit for battery test and alternator test and was told it was low power. (the chap seemed to know quite a bit)

Took it down to the ford garage in altrincham and they were no help. No one available for advice. Anyways went back to the car park to drive home and got no power. All the lights were flicking on an off on the way to the garage.

anyways, the guys at ford didnt help me so the recovery guy came and booted the battery. Got 3/4 way home and it died again. Booked in next day in local garage and they replaced the alternator for 371.00. (not happy but had to accept it)

the car ran ok for 3 days then took it for drive down motorway (approx 40 miles) On way home my ENgine management light came on. Just out of interest i had bought a diagnostic cable and software when it went wrong earlier in the week. I got home and connected it up and the following were logged.

P0523 Engine oil Pressure Sensor/ Switch Circuit High Input

P0620 Generate Control Circuit

P2503 Charging System Voltage Low

I didnt want to cause any more problems so didnt drive it over the weekend.

today took it back to the garage (the engine management light was on every time i turn the car on over the weekend but today it was off)

I showed the guy at the garage the printoff from the diagnotic software i used(called Formidable 2.03) and as expected he just said "leave it with us"

i got a phone call mid afternoon to say my car was ready. have picked it up and been charged another 40 +vat

speaking to the guy i asked about the log that i had found and he told me that his machine didnt show anything up other than error codes relating to low voltage

The invoice said the folliowing

"Check engine management light activation - connect to Bosch KTS 670 diagnostics and check engine management system. Note error codes relating to low voltage and earse. System Requiring 40 cycles for system reset."

i asked if it was related to new alternator problems as have read that new alternators can provide to much power which can trigger other issues.

he said the faults could have occured in the past and just decided to "show up" This i'm not convinced about! Ive never had any problems at all in the past.

Does this sound correct?? Im a pc engineer and when i diagnose computer problems the first thing i do is check the fault logs, repair the problem, check and empty the fault logs and see how the system runs.

i just cant believe the two problems are not related.

any opinions/ comments welcome

many thanks


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Sounds like talking and backside are coming into the same sentence here!

First off, is the battery silver calcium, if not then get yourself something like the Bash S4 or S5 for best performance. This will handle the charging correctly, if the battery is the original then it needs replacing, they often dont tend to last beyond 5 - 7 years, so you had a good run out of it!

Unless you cleared the error codes accidentally and only voltage came back up, then there is no reason they shouldnt have seen the other code.

I suspect that you had an unfortunate failing of both alternator, which then killed the battery if it was an old one. the battery light should have come on already, but the EML would come on with the oil light, so it sounds like the ECU is a bit confused.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok so the car has been ok apart from when I took it on another short run last weekend < 20 miles. The engine management light came on again just as getting near home and was on over the weekend but the was off Monday morning and has been ok since.

The only thing I'm aware of is that when I turn on the ignition. The oil light stays on a fraction longer than all the others (maybe 0.5 second)

i've never been aware of this before. Maybe i'm just being paranoid. How long do others stay on for?

I havn't plugged in my diagnostic cable until the engine management light is on permanent and I can then take it back to the garage.

Any other thoughts.

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Hi Rick,

Normally it stays on for a second or two, but any faults with the car will slow its processing logic down, so if its low battery output for example, then this will slow the oil pressure check a little.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So the next problem. Not used the car all weekend and drove it tonight about 4 miles on motorway. Engine light came on again. Check the diagnostic when got home and got the following message

"P2300 Ignition Coil A Primary Control Circuit Low"

Done a lot of reading tonight and found it could be a problem with the Coil Pack???

going to take it to the garage tommorrow who have already taken 400 quid from me for the new alternator and 50 quid to clear the diagnostics. They told me they had cleared the errors. Im a bit worried what i have read.

I also found i guy who said he started feeling a slight vibration through the car which i have been feeling similar. Not had any problems with performance apart from feeling a slight vibration under my seat with in standing traffic.

Hopefully i can get the coil pack changed. also sounds like might need the cables and new plugs also.

Any feedback for me to ask the garage about??


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Just had a call from the garage. 150+ for new coil and cables. Does anyone think it could be all related to the new alternator? too much power? bad spark plugs from my service back in December?

I can't believe i'm just being unlucky and that all the problems are not related. I'm starting to get a bit paranoid.

What other things could potentially start failing? A silly question but is it worth attacking Ford for financial support? the car has only done 38000.

once again the guy at my garage is not very helpful but the work does have a guarantee.

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Its possible, it could be an incorrectly installed alternator, not regulating the voltage correctly, likewise it could be a bad battery that has given up the ghost and is spiking.

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