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1.8 Petrol Duratec He Mk2.5 Hesitation Issue?

That bloke Richard

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Hi all,

Spent a lot of time reading and searching these forums, but unable to pinpoint my problem from other threads and noticed you are all very helpful so signed up!

I have a 2007 (57) 1.8 Petrol Duratec HE focus on 98k miles with a bit of an issue which I, and two garages are having trouble dealing with.

The problem
When the car is hot, i.e. mainly after travelling for around 8 miles on a dual carriageway at 70mph and around 3.4k revs in fifth, the car starts hesitating them coughing. t doesn't do it so much on A roads at lower speeds, though does have issues climbing longer hills.

So, if I'm driving along the dual carriageway and slow for a lorry, when I pull out to overtake the car surges sometimes, feels like the drive is pulsating (as if I'm slowly pressing on and off the accelerator) and often "coughs" and jolts.

This will happen then for the rest of the journey after I leave the dual carriageway, until the car is switched off and left to cool.

Associated with this, when I have the passenger window down, after around 15 minutes of driving on an A road, every time I use the throttle I hear a sound which I can only describe as someone shaking ball bearings gently in a tin can! My dad drove it and suggested it sounded like pinking, though he also feels, like myself that it's coming from underneath the car. Doesn't do it when cold.

Should also point out that just before the car hesitates, it produces a different engine note, much like I've put a "performance" air filter in. It then hunts a bit and coughs (like a misfire, but I'm told by my dad, (font of all knowledge) that it's not that.

What I've done

- Taken it to a Ford dealer - no faults, they couldn't find anything on the computer, so seemed hesitant to do anything else. They took it for a drive and said it was fine....of course, it was cold by the time they took it out.

- Taken it to another independant garage. Same problem. Didn't seem interested, took it out later in the day when cold.

- I've personally changed the spark plugs (Bosch Platinum), regapped them from 1.3mm to 1mm.

- Changed the air filter.

- Changed the oil and filter (5w30)

- Tested all four coils by unplugging the electrics when running. Car runs as expected when removing them one by one, so seem OK.

- I have bought a Bosch MAP sensor, attempted to fit it, but it's right down under the manifold and I don't have the facilities to raise the car to get underneath and fit it from there. I also have a fuel filter which I was going to fit when doing a service on the car.

idles fine. Drives fine otherwise. Holds revs high and drops slowly after first starting (especially when warm starting) for around 2 mins.

Would appriciate any thoughts, as I don't really want to play the parts lottery and throw loads of parts at it.

Many thanks and apologies for the long post.

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Do you use cheap supermarket fuel? That may be causing the pinking my old 1.8 hated the stuff

other than that you will need ford to do live data whilst driving the car a missing feeling can be a fuel filter a fuel pump it could be a faulty ecu as in a faulty diode so diagnosis is key

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Thanks Artscot. No, mainly use BP, and usually throw a full tank of super unleaded in every 5-8 tanks or so.

I can't seem to get ford to take too much of an interest in it and £90 an hour to try things out is out of the question for me. I have an bluetooth OBDII gadget thing which I can link up and get live data from (have got OBDWiz on a laptop, or could use Torque Pro on an adroid phone), trouble is, I haven't got a clue what's correct and what's not on the graphs and readings.

I'll get the new MAP sensor installed and get the fuel fitted fitted and go from there I guess.

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  • 1 month later...

Did you ever get to the bottom of this as I am experiencing a similar problem with my 1.8 duratec.

No, unfortunately not, though it does seem to have become far more an intermittent problem on it's own behalf....which is a blessing sometimes, but also a curse!

I've had the MAP sensor replaced which didn't make a jot of difference.

I've also found a fiesta forum where people with 1.6 litre fiestas seem to be having the same problems, but as of yet, no one has found the answer.

I've found the following possibilities looking at other forums...

- TPS Sensor

- Crankshaft sensor

- Coolant sensor

- Cambelt


Now, the TPS sensor looks VERY promising, the only problem being, I cannot find mine anywhere, and no one can seem to help. Everyone and everything seems to refer to the 1.6 engines! Every throttle sensor picture I can find I cannot find on my engine.

The cambelt is a worrying one, as I was always led to believe that I had a timing chain rather than a belt. But i DO have a squeaking on startup that seems to squeak in time with the engine RPM. I just thought this was the water pump / alternator belt to be honest.

My CAT is apparently fine.

The issue I have now is that it's so intermittent, I can't take it to a garage and show them whats happening.

It's still mainly on hills it will happen though. Absolutely horrible experience driving it when it does. Pinking / detonation does seem to always be there when the rough running and lower "blowing exhaust" type sound has happened.

Got my MOT next month, so just waiting to put it through that, see if it fails any emissions etc. It's been in garages for four solid days over the last few months and I haven't got anywhere apart from having a lighter wallet, so given up really.

Other than that, I've taken to driving my partners car on longer drives!!!

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Thatnks for the reply, it's a shame you haven't got to the bottom of this yet.

My car also pinks on half throttle when going up small inclines and with sudden use of the throttle. I replaced the map sensor as well which made no difference.

I use to have a squeal/clicking on cold start up and I replaced the aircon belt which cured the noise.

Mine is an 07 plate with 50,000 on the clock and apart from the pinking and pulsating acceleration on the motorway at about half throttle it is fine,so really annoying and would love to sort this.

I'm waiting on a mate who is going to see if there is any software updates he can do on the engine to see if that cures the faults, as it seems like maybe a software error. I'll let you know if they help.

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Mine is on the latest software, thats something Ford did confirm.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is the EGR valve. Just looking on the internet, to me, the Throttle Position Sensor and EGR Valve look most suspicious.

The TPS will likely cause the pinking and hesitation. With mine I do get a bit of surging normally just before it hesitates and starts pulsating. I can't hear the pinking on the motorway, but can on the A roads. I just don't know if I have a TPS sensor!! On my partners 1.6 petrol C-Max the sensor is obvious, but this 1.8 engine is difficult to research.

The EGR will also cause hesitation and pinking, but with this one, in my mind, it makes more sense of the "performance filter" type noise I also get when it's running bad. I'm just waiting for the MOT as if my EGR is bad, it might fail the emissions test.

I just can't take anyone to take the issue seriously and as I said above, don't want to Shell out to replace random parts in the hope it might be fixed. Ford don't want to know as there is no code and therefore the "car is fine". I've had a couple of other garages look at it, but not entirely sure they have actually tested the sensors. Both just rang me back later in the day saying it drives fine.

Mines certainly got better lately, not sure if thats to do with the cooler weather or just random luck. However, it's still not right and like you, I know as soon as I hit an incline the pinking will start at half throttle and secondly, on the motorway, any incline in which you have to use the throttle a bit more, it starts stumbling.

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Just drove mine to the Eastbourne air show and it doesn't feel right at anything over half throttle, it feels sluggish like it's not getting enough fuel. Also when I put my foot flat to the floor it feels hesistant, then when I let the throttle off a bit so its about 90℅ it surges and picks up. It's really bugging me now as I bet its something silly.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My 1.8 Duratec HE had a few minor engine niggles, the main one was pinking on small inclines and light throttle openings, in 3 years of it going into FORD dealers they never got it sorted, they never even accepted it was pinking, one idiot who claimed he was the "regional master tech" even said it was the VCT, and they do that. im sure you all know that the 1.8 duratec he DOES NOT have VCT!!!

My car also "stuttered" every time at ONE particular high speed corner coming off a roundabout on our journey home , but thats the only place it did it.

The problem is with 90% of FORD dealers and warranty work on poor running issues and not obvious breakage. FORD UK insist on a full Diagnostic report and error codes being present before paying any money out to the dealer for the warranty work they have carried out.. So any faults that are not blatently obvious they will try to avoid as its them that may end up paying the bill.

then after five years with Full Ford service history and 6000 mile oil services, the gearbox broke and needed full refurb, Ford did not want to know. it was traded in 3 weeks after,

On a positive note, after swearing to never have a ford again. a local small family run dealer said "Try us" and we bought a MK3, after three years ownership the car has had faults but the dealer does not question or try to dodge things, the car goes in ASAP and a courtesy car is waiting. and fingers crossed they have sorted it every time, no arguements etc etc etc. and they charge a lot less for service work than any of the big sheds around the area.

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Efiste - did you every actually get down to what the issue was?

Dan62, I've read quite a bit about that. The main difference is that there is only rattling under light acceleration and especially up hill (say you are in fourth at 40mph and hit a hill, you gently add a bit more acceleration to keep up and then all the metalic ratting starts). I don't get any rattling at idle, so this suggests it's not the flaps. Wish it was in a way!

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Hi all. I have had this problem with my 1.8 duratec he and the eml came on. Said it was the inlet manifold runner control valve. I have taken off my throttle body and given that a clean with carb cleaner and also cleaned as far down into the inlet manifold as i could with carb cleaner too. I then had the engine warm and sprayed the carb cleaner into the inlet manifold while mY mate held on a few thousand revs. After cleaning it all up and replacing all parts I reset the pcm by leaving the battery off the car for 30 minutes. (make sure you have radio code) plugged the battery back in started up engine and cleared eml with code reader. I then gave the car a big run to clean the air a bit. Since then I have had no eml on and the car is running so much smoother. More powerful and also my mpg has increased massively. It was amazing how much crap had gathered on the throttle body. This was a 5 pound fix and it has helped so much I couldn't believe it.

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  • 11 months later...

just coming back to this thread as the problems arrived again this summer after calming down over the winter.

Eventually it got so bad the engine light came one.

Was the Inlet Manifold Runner Control unit. It's on the right hand side of the engine block as you look at the engine. As it says on the tin, controls the manifold!

The ambient temperature outside seemed to make things worse.

Now I know what it is, after nearly 20k of driving around with it, there are plenty of people with the same sort of issues with this engine in the focus and modeos. Garages have trouble diagnosing it as it's not obvious.

Got that replaced and once I got it back I fitted a new lambda sensor as I had one anyway and the car is now running lovely (for now).

Hopefully this might be of help and a pointer in the right direction for anyone who comes across this in the future.

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Just come across this thread. Mines a 1.8zetec s on a 59 plate and mines the same its on 62k miles at the mine.

Not done anything on mine yet as ive only just really noticed it but its fault free with latest software.

I have noticed it uses oil! No smoke or signs of dripping anyway in the tray or on the drive way. Has anyone else noticed the oil consumption!

Sent from my iPhone using Ford OC mobile app

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Mine came up with the same fault in the end, failed intake manifold control. I replaced it but no change to the judder. Mine oil consumption got silly as it was using up to a litre in 300 miles. So I think my judder is from the oil being burnt which in turn lowers the octane rating of the fuel giving the pinking and juddering. It's now in my garage and I'm deciding whether to put a new engine in it.

I have brought a audi a4 1.9 tdi, brilliant car and bullet proof engine. Can't believe the focus with full service history and only 55,000 miles would need a new engine.

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  • 7 months later...

I have a 1.8 petrol 07 plate and when I touch the throttle is has a slight miss under 1000 revs but when u drive it judders like it's running out of fuel up to date I have changed the fuel injectors EGR valve throttle body ignition coils spark plugs cam sensor I have had it to god knows how many garages and nothing's is coming up been told it my be fuel related I'm coming to the end of my tether the amount of money o have thrown at this car and it's still the same I am losing the will to live 😡

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  • 1 year later...

hi all iam getting the same . juddering , revs going up n down , stalling at lights or roundabouts . i did notice i was getting oil in with the spark plugs i think ive sorted that with a new rocker cover and gasket will clean the throttle body out 

gonna try the idle control vale next as ive did everything else . ive also read it could be fuel pressure related . new fuel pump possibly ? 

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 months later...

Hello, I have the same issues with my 1.8 MK2.5 ( 88,000 km / 8 years old car) and currently working on it DIY. Brought down my intake manifold to check flaps and it looked  that its ok and would work again perhaps after installation. Carbon deposits i guess is the culprit. My main issue other than you all mentioned is my fuel consumption. Correct Fuel ratio (14.7:1) has to be maintained and my strategy is DIY and work first on Air intake. Will replace my PCV hose, valve is fine, cleaned the T-MAP sensor. Next would be to check all of my Electrical harness and connectors, to replace 2 Oxygen sensor, recently replaced my EGR, check the condition of all other sensors using multi meter (esp. IMRC) and lastly to check grounding perhaps by un bolting, sand the surface and use dielectric at contact point. One exercise to make is prior to the O2 sensor (B2) installation, before the CAT, i'm gonna have to spray clean the inside of the exhaust. Lastly, i plan to use a fuel additive with P.E.A. to mix with my fuel.

If no reply from me that means my car exploded probably enjoying my days in the hospital....joke :-) :-) 

Fingers crossed hoping to enjoy my FoFo once again.....



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  • 2 years later...

My car started doing exactly the same thing after an oil and filter change, before the  oil change there was no pinking ,everything has been cleaned and theres no fault codes, this car is so frustrating 

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