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Intermittent Momentary Power Loss? (57 Plate 1.6 Tdci Mk.2)


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I'm getting annoyed with this car already... Last month the alternator went haywire, melted a bunch of connections, and left me stranded on the side of the road at rush hour when it all shorted out, then a wheel bearing went (OK, so they're kind of wear items, but still), and now I've got intermittent power loss.

The car has developed a weird problem where it feels like I have momentarily taken my foot off the accelerator. The cut out is very quick though- far quicker than it would be if you actually took your foot off the accelerator, and almost like when a car with ESP cuts the engine for a moment, except my car doesn't have ESP. It also doesn't seem to happen at full throttle, but mostly at part throttle and ~2,000 rpm. There seems to be no mechanical problem- it goes fine, and there's no smoke, rough running, or anything else like that. It does this when the engine is cold and when it's hot. It had the turbo replaced relatively recently (May I think, before I bought the car). The car's done 138k miles or so.

The only other thing I've noticed is that the glow plug light doesn't come on when I first turn on the ignition. TBH I'm not 100% sure I've ever seen it come on when I've started the car, as I normally turn the key immediately to the run position and then faff around with the seatbelt, plugging in my phone etc while the car wakes up. However when the car had its meltdown it, along with every other light on the dash, did come on, so I'm certain that it's not just a burnt out bulb. The car can be a little bit slow to start from cold, but never unreasonably so (although it's not been properly cold this winter anyway).

Any ideas? I really like the car to drive, but I'm beginning to think that I've bought a dud.

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Hi Felix

Do you know when the Fuel filter was last changed

Turbo's are common with this engine,

When was your car last serviced,

Does it use oil

If you dont know when the fuel filter was changed if ever it may be a contributing factor

The change interval is 37500 miles which is a long time for a filter.

I recommend 12500 -15000 miles


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I bought the thing on the 31st of October*, so not had it long, and I don't have the records with me, but as far as I know it was last serviced in May when they did the turbo. It was certainly some time in spring 2015! I've not done masses of miles since then, and most of what I have done has been on the motorway (in terms of miles- had a fair few short city journeys too, but with the motorway journeys the DPF should be happy). I can have a check and see if the filter was changed in May, but all the documentation is at my flat back in Manchester, and I'm on placement in Wigan right now and not commuting (thankfully!).

It's such a shame that it's being a pain- it's great to drive, being a Ghia model the spec is great, and the 1.6 for all its problems is good on fuel (especially on long motorway journeys!) and it goes so much better than my old 1.2 Polo did.

*it's definitely haunted. It was also initially registered in the UK on the 31st October 2007, so I probably need to call out GhostBusters! :P

Edit: Just done the Self-Test thing by holding the trip reset button in while starting the car. The glow plug light came on with all the others, and it gave me 4 different DTC codes. A103 (Antenna Not Connected / Defective Transceiver), 9318 (battery Voltage Low, it later said voltage was 14.2), 9681 (PATS Transceiver Signal Is Not Received (Not Connected, Damaged, or Wiring)), and D900 (Communications Problems?)

The battery one I'm not worried about- it wouldn't surprise me if that was left over from when the alternator died. The Antenna and PATS ones are more worrying- the central locking works fine, but is the immobiliser being funny, potentially trying to cut the car out while I'm driving? The D900 I'm also unsure about- it could be something to do with the alternator too, as the modules cut out and shorted. The whole car didn't shut off in an instant, I'm guessing it's to do with that. But it might not be? There aren't any normal error lights on the dash.

However- way more worryingly- the check engine light, which from a quick google should be between the ESP light and the coil light, and the ABS light, between the fuel light and brake warning light, don't turn on. Insert expletive here. I've not had any need to check the ABS operation thankfully, but I might have to take it someplace quiet and try an emergency stop.

Pro tip- don't buy used cars from dodge used car salesmen.

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OK, so I borrowed a friend's bluetooth OBDII dongle and tested it using Torque.

It has 2 further codes in the memory.

P0500 - Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction

P2002 - Diesel Particulate Filter Efficiency Below Threshold Bank 1

Also, I noticed that there was slight light bleed, from the light for the white speedo numbers, through the functioning, but turned off, lamps on the dashboard (things like the blue High Beam lamp). There is however no light bleed through where the Check Engine and ABS lamps are supposed to be, but close inspection shows that there is a marking where they should be. I cranked the exposure time up on my phone, which showed up every little tiny spec of dust on the dash cluster cover, but you can see what I mean.


^Hopefully this thing resizes OK!

The P0500 code would throw up an ABS lamp. I've not driven the car today as I've had no need to, but I will go and try an emergency stop later on on some quiet street to see if the ABS is still functioning.

The P2002 code would throw up a Check Engine light, and potentially explain my weird hesitation issues.

The fact that those 2 codes are stored in the memory, and that those 2 lights 'don't work' on the dashboard, is highly suspicious. I'm thinking I need to get rid of the car. It does need a new front bumper, after a bus clipped it (and then drove away, but thankfully Stagecoach's office staff have been very helpful, even if their drivers don't obey traffic laws). I'm thinking that I should get Stagecoach to fix the bumper, and then flog it to some awful advert off the telly for £500.

The P2002 code can apparently sometimes be just that it needs a regen, the fact that the light isn't on and has been covered up suggests that it's already been investigated, they've found that it's an expensive problem to fix, and dumped the car, which makes me think that it needs a whole new DPF.

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Just been to the back of Tesco's carpark. Checked there was nobody around, took it up to 20, and stood on the brakes. The rears almost immediately locked up, no pulsing through the pedal of the ABS system.

I'm a broke student, so I really can't afford to be replacing expensive parts of my car. But I need it to get to placements which are all over the place! I'm beginning to think leasing something new but basic might have been a better bet :( I phoned my dad and asked for his advice, he sighed and said he had no idea what to do with it. I'm thinking get rid and get something else, whether that something else is another cheap used car or a cheap-and-nasty something with a warranty, I don't know. I really don't want to end up in something like an Aygo, I do a fair few miles and the reason I went for the Focus is due to its efficiency and comfort, along with being a great drive. But so far it's cost £569 in repairs already, in 2 months, (that does admittedly include 2 new tyres, which I knew would be needed when I bought it) and that goes a long way towards the payments for a new cheap car like an Aygo.

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The first problem you mentioned which is in the title of the thread sounds like what I had with the same car (but hatchback). It would happen occasionally, sometimes you could just about feel it, but other times it was more obvious. Once the car died completely as I was pulling out onto a busy roundabout, but restarted ok with a turn of the key. The problem has since disappeared but only after a combination of new fuel filter (probably worth doing anyway as it often gets missed in normal servicing), removal of DPF which had run out of additive and was clogged at that stage and blanking the EGR valve which is a good thing to do anyway. All this happened at about 85,000 miles but that was 3 years ago.

Out of interest if you don't mind me asking, what did you pay for the car back in October?

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Thankfully, not very much- £1790. It's not stalled on me, which is good, but it's the rest of the problems that I'm worried about TBH. I slightly feel I should cut my losses and get rid of it now before anything else happens.

I've seen some reports linking the EGR, fuel filter, and dead DPFs. I bet that's what's happened!

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I did the same as you 2 years ago lol... Bought a nearly new 107 (same as Aygo but cheaper) and hated it, sent it back and spent the same amount on a 6 year old Focus with the 1.6TDCi thinking it'd be economical and reliable... Yeah, it's not. However it is comfortable, grips well and has most of the spec I wanted, just a shame I chose the wrong engine. <_<

I havent read the whole thing but what probs are you still having? The power dip is normal around a DPF regen.

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Momentarily having no power. It's only for a split second, but you feel the car lurch as it stops fueling for a moment and then cuts back in again. TBH I'm more worried about the fact that someone's covered up the Check Engine and ABS lights- makes me think that they've taken the same care over the rest of the car, and that it'll be a complete dog as everything will start to fall apart. My parents had a very unloved Audi A6 for a bit, with the normally bulletproof 1.9 TDI engine, but it was a nightmare as it constantly broke. It too was a sub-£2000 car bought from some dodgy used car salesman. They replaced it with a brand-new Skoda Superb, which they love, and is costing them about the same amount but doesn't leave them stranded on the side of the road every few weeks.

I've actually just been looking on Drive The Deal. You can get a brand-new 5dr VW Polo 1.2 TSI Match for £11,021.38 if you already have a VW in the family (we have 2!). The discount plus what I'd get for the Focus (£1000 is a conservative estimate for selling it privately I think) is more than the maximum amount of deposit VW will let you put in their finance calculator, but put in just the discount (minus the £1400 that VW already give straight up if you finance) and the monthly lease is £157.53, for a car that, while being a fair bit smaller, is still very comfortable (I rented one over the summer in Spain, although with the slow 1.0 engine) and pretty well equipped. I got almost 50 mpg from the 1.0 in Spain, and apparently the 1.0 and the 1.2 TSI get the same official figures but the 1.2 TSI is better in the real world as you don't have to flog the poor thing so hard.

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I had exactly the same problem as the first post, changed my fuel filter and now the car feels so much more responsive and doesn't cut out.

Easy job to do yourself if you have basic diy skills.

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So, driving back from Wigan today, and on the motorway it started lurching, with power coming and going. At one stage it was doing 65mph in 5th with my foot flat to the floor. I think it needs a one-way trip to a scrapyard, personally.

I've taken it to a local mechanic, who fixed it after its last attempt to get scrapped (alternator overcharged and melted stuff) to get his opinion. I showed him the blanked out lights, and explained what had been happening. He's going to have a look, and see what is the best thing to do, but he didn't seem convinced. Hopefully he'll be able to get it running at least, enough to sell or use as part exchange.

In the wind the other night I was hoping a tree would fall on it and put it out of its misery... :wacko:

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