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Problems With Car / Mechanic - Desperate Help Needed Please :/


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I'm looking for some technical advice as all the mechanics I have taken it to have drawn a blank :/ I'll keep this as simple as possible and just explain the facts.

Ford Focus, 2005, 65k on the clock. Owned it for 4 years with no problems.

December 2014 - developed a severe misfire. It was caused by rain water leaking through the washer jets and making its way into the spark plug wells. The spark plugs rusted so badly that upon removal broke in the head.

I took it to a garage who removed the head, got the plugs out, put everything back together. Cost me £900. All appeared in order.

The next day the engine warning light came on. I took it back to the garage who plugged it in and said the error code related to the "alternator over or under charging". The car was performing 'normally' and they reset the code and off I went on my merry way.

Two days later petrol was leaking from one of the injectors. The garage couldn't fit me in as it was Christmas and a friend (ex mechanic) replaced a seal for £5. Cured the problem.

Couple of days later the engine warning light came on again, same thing. They reset it and off I went...

Now in March , it has been on a couple more times. Sometimes it went off by itself but it's stayed on for a few days now which is the longest it's been on for. I took it to another garage who said the codes were as follows:

P0138 and P1632.

The guy said he isn't exactly sure what the problem was and recommended I take it back to the original garage.

I have also noticed that the car sometimes splutters during starting since I had the work done to the head and sometimes surges during idling. By surge, I mean I can feel an intermittent vibration not in keeping with a normal idle.

My problem is, the original garage are basically saying I need a new alternator but I had a new one fitted in 2013 and I've only had this problem since they carried out the work on the engine (including the starting and idling problem).

The car is driveable and there are no obvious issues other than that I've mentioned. I just think that something can't be right. I will add that fuel consumption is normal.

Can someone offer any advice? It used to be a great car and I just don't know what to do or who to take it to without costing me another fortune.

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Sorry forgot to add - it's a 1.6 petrol Zetec climate.

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Corroded wires in engine wiring loom possibly, known fault. that will put the engine light on for alternator fault intermitantly. That would coinside with head removal etc , as they would no doubt have moved, disturbed the harness in the engine bay, just checked the dtc, first one is hego sensor dtc, thats unrelated to alternator issue

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Ok thanks very much I'll have it checked out. One of the codes (this is a new development) apparently relates to an O2 sensor in the exhaust. The mechanic said its weird because they are totally unrelated from each other. Could it that be due to the same wiring issue?

Also would that explain the starting / idling issue?

I don't know a huge amount about cars sorry.

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Unrelated dtcs, doubt both wiring corroded at same time, not sure of the routing of the hego sensor, dont think its in the same area of harness, its the 2nd hego sensor that dtc relates to, so wont affect the running of engine as its there to to check the catalyst efficiency , not fueling.

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Ok thanks. Do you think it's reasonable for me to hold the garage accountable to fix? I didn't have these problems before they carried out the work so I'd assume they are liable?

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Sometimes hidden faults can surface when working on cars, unavoidable unfortunatly, sounds to me you need to find a decent mechanic /garage who know to fault find.

Do another post on this site asking for recomendations in your area

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To late to help you now Kowsmou , but broken plug,s can be removed without taking the head off the car , a compnay called Tipler Enginering off the Old Kent Road do the job. Broken spark plug,s was a common fault on KA,s with original ford plug,s that had not been changed for a few years.

PS. And a lot cheaper than the £900 it cost you.

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