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Instrumentation Lights And Engine Warning Light Issues.


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I am having problems with control panel lights on my 2011 mark 3 Ford Focus Zetec 5 door hatchback 1.6 tdci. (32000 miles). Purchased s/h November 2014.

When ignition switched on, the halo light surrounding the radio on/off button, and the hazard warning switch, along with the heating controls, the steering wheel controls, and external lights switch (but NOT the radio control panel switches) come on. However once the engine is started and running, the radio and hazard illuminated switches go out (heating control etc remain illuminated). With engine running, if the headlights are then turned on, the radio on/off and the hazard switches then come back on (but the rest of the radio panel switches remain unlit). Still with engine running the radio is switched on, all of the switches on the radio panel light up.

When I switch off the engine (leaving the radio playing, and the head lights switched on) and open the drivers door, sometimes the radio automatically switches off and the "lights on" alert sounds, and on locking both dashboard screens go off. Most times, however, on opening the drivers door, the radio stays on and playing, and the "lights on" warning doesn't sound. Even after locking and alarming the car, the radio will remain switched on and playing, and the information screen above the radio stays lit. on the occasions when the radio doesn't switch off automatically, and I switch it off before locking the car, the screen above the radio stays illuminated (showing the Ford logo) for some minutes before going off.

Strange thing is, every time the front passenger door is opened, the radio will without fail automatically switch off, but the "lights On' warning doesn't sound.

I have had the car for 2 months and these problems have been present throughout. The car had a 2 month warranty from dealer, and they have replaced the radian control panel (done yesterday) but this has not cured any of the issues detailed above.

There has also been one instance of returning to the car in a car park to find all of the side windows fully open (the car has "global opening /closing"), and another where the radiator cooling fan stayed on after the car was locked - cold day after a short run of 15 miles, air con switched off, and temp gauge showing normal reading - the fan when off after car restarted and switched off.

Yesterday, for the first time the amber engine warning symbol came on. The dealer found a fault code (didn't say what it was) but a reprogramming was done. The light has not come back on.

From purchase the car is a little hesitant on pick up away from standstill and between 1st and 2nd. It also appears to be producing poor fuel consumption. After filling up and resetting the MPG computer, on a 120 mile run (all motorway) at 60/65 mph, the recorded MPG was 42. Official fig 68mpg so realistically expected to see 55+ on this type of journey.

Can one of your contributors help with the likely causes of

1 the expected switch illumination

2 the failure of door opening to control radio and lights warning

3 the cooling fan

4 the mpg/ amber engine warning symbol

As an aside I have a friend who runs a bus company and had Bosch diagnostic tester. He found the following errors (BEFORE the car when into the dealer).

In respect of the engine warning light,

Engine Management System

Error : CAN data bus. Malfunction

And re the instrumentation system,


Error : Instrument cluster. Configuration error

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If you purchased it second hand from a garage, take it back and get them to fix it as you have the standard 6 month warranty with the car - -the problem is theres, not yours.

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Thanks jeebowhite. Afraid dealer only offers a 2 month warranty, and this has now expired. Agree it is the dealers responsibility to sort, but they are threshing around in thd dark as to the cause of the problems described above. Reason for my question was to understand how the lights and hazard warning switch SHOULD be working so I can tell if I'm being hoodwinked.

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read my signature - click on the "dealers obligation" link. They could sell it to you with a 30 day warranty, its not worth the paper it was written on. The Sale Of Goods Act states that any used vehicle sold that develops faults within the first six months, are deemed to be inherent faults with the vehicle. The act identifies it is the responsibility of the dealer to prove the vehicle has developed the fault as a result of your interaction with said vehicle and the fault was not present at the time of sale. Given the cost of an independant engineering report, which 95% of the time will come back proving its not you - they tend to just go for the repair option - its a darned site cheaper.

Contact them and advise that you have developed a fault and you require them to resolve it, if they call the "2 month warranty" line, then repeat after me:

"The amendments to the Sales of Goods Act (EC Directive 1999/44/EC) that came into force on 31st March 2003 now place the burden of proof on you 'the car dealer' for the first six months after a purchase.

If your customer makes a claim in the first six months it will be up to you to prove the vehicle was correct when it left your premises.

This is your customers’ legal rights, not their warranty. In addition to having their legal rights a customer may be offered a warranty by the car dealer on a voluntary basis."

Now, if they dont start quivering at this point and say "bring it down and we will take a look", then I would advise them that if they fail to oblige your request, you will then have the pleasure of repeating the following:

"Failure to honour my legal rights, will allow me to invoke a return of the vehicle as not being Fit For Purpose" and also not of satisfactory quality (Section 13 of the Sale Of Goods Act) for a full refund of the vehicle and all costs assosciated with it. I will also contact Trading Standards, advising them of the breach of my legal rights, and I will also be contacting Citizens Advice and a solicitor I know for further guidance on this matter. I would advise you he has over the course of the last 6 months, returned a 100% success rate of similar cases in obtaining a full refund".

Now - if they should refuse further still, then make the calls to the three above. As for the Solicitor - Dave (The Dark Knight) on this forum is going through the hoops and has advised me on several occassions and has assisted in getting all my issues sorted with my car :) I had to do all of this as well, and lets just say, I didnt need to take further action, all of a sudden this guy backed down and I got what I wanted!

Finally, follow up all communication in writing. Either in person, by getting them to sign a receipt as you hand them the letter, or post the letter via recorded delivery with Royal Mail, quoting the issues, the date the issues commenced, the date you contacted them, and reinforcing your rights to the vehicle being resolved. In writing state "I give you a period of 7 working days from the date of receipt of this letter, to offer a satisfactory conclusion and the repair of my vehicle under my consumer rights. Failure to do so, will result in further advice from third parties. This will involve discussions to return the vehicle to you as being of 'Unsatisfactory Quality'.

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  • 3 years later...

It's a bit late for this fella but it might help others. I had a problem on my 09 Focus with the dash lights lighting up on their own,. exterior lights flickering and engine hunting. This would start to happen after 2 or 3 miles driving. After a lot of investigation work by my local garage they decided it was the dash cluster. They took it out and posted it to a company who do dash rewires. It came back and was refitted. The dash rewire costs £350.00 plus post and packaging and the local garage labour £148.00. on getting it back I got 3 miles down the road when it started again so I took it straight back. To cut a long story short. we found that the rewiring company had put it on a test bed for 5 mins and found nothing wrong with it and sent it back altho they still charged £350.00. It was returned to them, they put it on the test for an hour and found the problem, some chips had gone etc. Got it back and it's been fine for a year now altho the dash lights where the odometer is takes 10 mins to go out upon locking the car. All this took a period of 5 weeks and no I wasn't charged any extra.

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