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Zetec 1.4 TDCi Diesel mk6 facelift (2007): Engine Misfire, Intermittent Fault


EpicFishFingers
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Hi, I've has ongoing problems with my 2007 Diesel Fiesta since I bought it 2 years ago.

Firstly I know diesels can't misfire in the normal sense of the word because of the lack of spark plugs, but it's the best way to describe the problem.

Basically (usually under load), every now and then (once every 500 miles), the car will lose power for a split second then regain it. Once it starts doing this it will do it a few times then stop, usually. Sometimes it lasts longer than others, and it can do it several times in a row. The more I'm accelerating when it happens, the more violent the kangaroo effect is. Of course, when I get a mechanic to sit in the car with me while I drive it, the car doesn't do it...

The full timeline of events: I buy the car used, ~50k miles on the clock, average mpg of 47mpg suggests it's been used for driving around town. I start driving it 70 miles a day, mpg increases. first big journey, it starts misfiring. Check engine light comes on at end of journey. EGR valve replaced by person I bought the car from. Every other fix this guy did was a bodge, so I didn't expect much. some time later, car goes into limp mode. Power train failure, dashboard becomes a christmas tree. When car is turned off and on, it often stops going into this mode. Took it to Ford garage for diagnosis. Fault determined to be with injector no. 1, Ford garage wanted £1000 to fix it. Took it to independent tester with full machine for injector testing. He found no faults with any of the injectors, so he switched injector no.1 and injector no.3 around so if the fault re-occurred, we would be able to find the faulty one. "Misfiring" persisted.

A few months ago, the check engine light came on again, then disappeared. Eventually it was on more than off, and as I'd determined it was an EGR problem, I wasn't concerned. During thsi time, average mpg steadily dropped from ~60mpg to ~56mpg (maybe because of increased heater use as winter started properly though). Eventually got it booked in a few weeks ago. EGR valve replaced, check engine light cleared.

Since the most recent EGR valve replacement, not only is the problem still present, but the car seems to have less power. Most worryingly, pushing the throttle a certain amount (just above cruise speed) causes the engine to act as though one cylinder is not firing, then firing, then not firing, then firing etc. it doesn't do it when flooring it, however the car now tops out completely at 95mph, whereas before it could go faster, so it's definitely less powerful. Car is now at 83k miles, and gets driven around 80 miles a day.

I've seen lots of other threads about this issue. They point all over the place. The throttle linkage, splits in air hoses or boost hoses, ECU software updates(?), and injector seals.

No smoke is present and the car isn't giving me any engine fault codes either (at least, the check engine light hasn't come on). What I'd like to know, is if the fault is something potentially causing damage to the car e.g. timing chain misalignment or something?

And no I don't really think replacing the EGR valve ~3 weeks ago made it worse, it just didn't fix the main "misfiring" problem as I hoped it would.

 

TL;DR: Car has always had intermittent "misfire" problem, once it got bad but problem couldn't be traced, now it seems less powerful too with certain throttle setting causing more power/less power/more power etc. problem, with noise to go with it. no other problems with car, no warning light currently on, car was at 50k miles, now at 83k miles. Help?

 

Edit: I should add, the air con was bodge-fixed by the previous owner so is now broken again (he just topped it up rather than fixing the leak, so gas has since evaporated off). The AC is always off. Could this lead to problems at all?

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Intermittent faults are difficult to sort. You could try a fuel cleaning addative although this is purely a suggestion not based on experience.

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The injectors are coded to the specific cylinder so cannot simply be swapped around unlike other injector systems.

What code does it come up with? Have you gone into the hidden diagnostic menu in the dash (holding down the end of the left stalk and turning the key to position 2, then waiting for the dash to say 'test' before releasing the stalk - you can then scroll through the various options using the stalk, one of them will be DTC codes.

I am guessing that the 95mph would be on a private road though as if it were on a public road it would be highly illegal and would be the reason why accidents happen.

Things to check:

  • The injectors are in the correct cylinder
  • The wiring loom above the injectors are ok (taking the airbox off)
  • The injectors are correctly seated and sealed (it doesn't make a chuffing sound on idle)
  • Filters have been changed - mainly the fuel filter
  • MAF sensor/any other sensors are connected ok and not loose
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  • 3 months later...
On 2/2/2016 at 8:37 AM, m1tch said:

The injectors are coded to the specific cylinder so cannot simply be swapped around unlike other injector systems.

What code does it come up with? Have you gone into the hidden diagnostic menu in the dash (holding down the end of the left stalk and turning the key to position 2, then waiting for the dash to say 'test' before releasing the stalk - you can then scroll through the various options using the stalk, one of them will be DTC codes.

I am guessing that the 95mph would be on a private road though as if it were on a public road it would be highly illegal and would be the reason why accidents happen.

Things to check:

  • The injectors are in the correct cylinder
  • The wiring loom above the injectors are ok (taking the airbox off)
  • The injectors are correctly seated and sealed (it doesn't make a chuffing sound on idle)
  • Filters have been changed - mainly the fuel filter
  • MAF sensor/any other sensors are connected ok and not loose

Hi guys, thanks for your replies. The problem sort of subsided and I've had a lot on so I let this fall by the wayside, sorry for letting the thread die.

In don't know exactly what the injector-bloke did who looked at my car, however he said something about switching injector 1 and injector 3 around, so if the fault changed from cylinder 1 to cylinder 3, we'd know it is in fact a dud injector and not some sealing/cylinder issue. Nothing came of this, in the end - no more faults, but some intermittent 'misfiring'.

Regarding the garage that sorted the EGR valve: I took it back to them and they found no problem with it, suggesting that I clean my EGR throttle valve(?), something which is an afternoon job. Why they didn't do this I don't know, and frankly I've let a side down by not actually doing this, which may have lead to where we are today

Today the car really started 'misfiring', then went into limp mode. Got the RAC out and their code reader gave me the following faults:

Name: F6JA - DURATORQ-TDCI - 1.4L - 50 (68)
DTC: P1412,Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve Frozen
DTC: P1204,Cylinder #4 Injector Circuit Open/Shorted

So the EGR valve is still having some kind of issue, and now I'm concerned that I've knackered the EGR valve I only stuck in it 3 months ago - implying the EGR valve replacement is just treating the symptom rather than the issue. Seriously considering just blanking it off if this is the case; no doubt Ford fakes their emissions results like everyone else anyway.

I digress: seems the injectors are the cause of the problem, with the EGR valve issue possibly being related somehow (or it might just be all sooty). I take it this is a step up from the jidden settings you mention, however I'll look into this if I ever find myself without a code reader.

Regarding your list of suggested checks:

  • The injectors are in the correct cylinder -- I'll get this checked
  • The wiring loom above the injectors are ok (taking the airbox off) -- I'll check
  • The injectors are correctly seated and sealed (it doesn't make a chuffing sound on idle)-- There always has been intermittent idle chuffing, I just accepted this as "it's a diesel" though. Will look into this
  • Filters have been changed - mainly the fuel filter -- This is changed every service or every other service
  • MAF sensor/any other sensors are connected ok and not loose -- I'll check but I do trust these are working properly, given the nature of the codes they are reporting

Regarding going 95: I definitely didn't just bomb it up a quiet straight road one night, I made sure to find a track for my 1.4L diesel.

Regarding fuel cleaner: I'll do this ASAP.

Thanks again for all your help guys, the car is now at 91k miles so it's likely it'll be in the bin before I get the EGR problem sorted, but I'm glad the coughing can be narrowed down

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Im still guessing injector fault, and as for egr, was egr cooler checked for blockage at same time as egr was fitted? Also was egr learn values reset after egr fitted?

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  • 1 month later...
On 19/05/2016 at 1:20 PM, iantt said:

Im still guessing injector fault, and as for egr, was egr cooler checked for blockage at same time as egr was fitted? Also was egr learn values reset after egr fitted?

Hi again

So the car feels like it's about to blow up. Some days it runs fine, others (today) it plays up near constantly under any acceleration, no matter how light.

I'm getting the egr deleted and engine remapped, and if that doesn't fix it, I'll sell it. Egr guy thinks the turbo is knackered due to oil in the inlet end, and apparently, play inside the turbo, suggesting worn seals. Relayed this info to my uncle, who has 25 years experience as a mechanic, and he thinks the egr bloke is full of !Removed!. Given that egr guy told me the oil shouldn't be black, and that I didn't observe the turbo play, I'm inclined to agree.

Egr replacement was an oem part. I never saw the old egr valve so I don't even know if the bloke replaced it, let alone anything about learn values bring reset, or egr cooling.

Frankly this car has been !Removed!, but the local mechanics have made me pretty cynical too. How do I even know they're doing the work I pay them for, when the car comes back in just as much of a state as it goes in?

Essentially I've lost all faith in the car and will be scrapping it entirely if this egr delete fails to solve the issue

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16 hours ago, EpicFishFingers said:

 

On 19/05/2016 at 1:20 PM, iantt said:

Im still guessing injector fault, and as for egr, was egr cooler checked for blockage at same time as egr was fitted? Also was egr learn values reset after egr fitted?

I recommend finding a decent diesel specialist (& be prepared to travel some distance if needed!), to properly check the Injectors & fuel system.

If the fuel system is playing up, all the egr messages could be a side effect of that. Gas flows and O2 levels will not be what the PCM expects.

If Ian says injectors, then 80%+ chance it is Injectors!

Peter

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, iantt said:

egr delete  wont fix the injector issue assuming your still getting the same dtc p1204.

Everyone is saying injectors - here's why I'm not so sure:

This problem has been present since DAY ONE (at 44k miles). I had all the injectors checked within that year and they all gave fine readings back. We switched the injector in cylinder 1, with the one in cylinder 3, to see if the error code migrated from cylinder 1 to cylinder 3. It didn't, and now the car is saying cylinder 4! 

So tbh I don't even believe the error code for the injector, as it played this same card before and there was nothing wrong there.

The other error code (the EGR error) has come up every time the Check Engine Light comes on, or every time it goes into limp mode. EGR, EGR, EGR. Every time, sometimes along with an injector code (which has come up twice, now). So I honestly believe one causes the other.

The injectors aren't my biggest concern though - if they're knackered and I delete the EGR, they won't become any more knackered. But if the EGR system is knackered and I replace the injectors, i'll only knacker the new injectors too.

If I delete the EGR and am still getting injector problems then yes I'll take them to the injector bloke again and have him strip down half the engine, as I recognise that they may well be knackered. But I'm hoping they're not, as they're not cheap.

Neither is a turbo, for that matter. Been quoted £340 for a new one - seems a bit steep. Does anyone have anything to say about black oil or oil on the intake side of the turbo? If this par for the course or signs of a problem?

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27 minutes ago, EpicFishFingers said:

black oil or oil on the intake side of the turbo

Diesels will always have fairly black oil. I had mine changed about a month ago, & had to suck out a jam jar full (level was just over max). It was dark black to look at in the jar, but in thin layers, or just a little on a tissue, it still looked almost clean.

And there will always be a little oiliness in the intake ducts & turbo compressor, it comes from the crankcase breather.

But thick, black sticky deposits of it are not right, that would indicate a worn engine, or too long between changes, etc.

So in answer to your question, it depends how black, how much, and whether it is nice and oily, or thick and tarry.

Does it use much oil? A lot of oil going through the engine could coke up injectors and the EGR valve.

I hear what you say about the EGR, but you said it was changed recently. I don't know how the EGR system works on these cars, is there a flow sensor, or O2 sensor that is used to control the EGR flow? Could the fault lie there?

More questions than answers, I am afraid, but that is often how it goes with these jobs. It is only obvious once it has been fixed!

Peter.

 

 

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3 hours ago, EpicFishFingers said:

Everyone is saying injectors - here's why I'm not so sure:

This problem has been present since DAY ONE (at 44k miles). I had all the injectors checked within that year and they all gave fine readings back. We switched the injector in cylinder 1, with the one in cylinder 3, to see if the error code migrated from cylinder 1 to cylinder 3. It didn't, and now the car is saying cylinder 4! 

So tbh I don't even believe the error code for the injector, as it played this same card before and there was nothing wrong there.

The other error code (the EGR error) has come up every time the Check Engine Light comes on, or every time it goes into limp mode. EGR, EGR, EGR. Every time, sometimes along with an injector code (which has come up twice, now). So I honestly believe one causes the other.

The injectors aren't my biggest concern though - if they're knackered and I delete the EGR, they won't become any more knackered. But if the EGR system is knackered and I replace the injectors, i'll only knacker the new injectors too.

If I delete the EGR and am still getting injector problems then yes I'll take them to the injector bloke again and have him strip down half the engine, as I recognise that they may well be knackered. But I'm hoping they're not, as they're not cheap.

Neither is a turbo, for that matter. Been quoted £340 for a new one - seems a bit steep. Does anyone have anything to say about black oil or oil on the intake side of the turbo? If this par for the course or signs of a problem?

Get an EGR blanking plate for about £3, try that and see if there is a difference.

To check the turbo, take off the pipe going into it on the front and check for side to side play, if there is some play its ok but not excessive, if there is back and forward play the turbo is worn. The turbo is a KP35 - its fitted on the 1.5 DCi clios as well - the black oil on the intake side will just be the vented crankcase oil (there is a pipe just before the turbo pumping oily air into the turbo.

Also, have you tried unplugging the MAF sensor to check that its working correctly - if the car works better without it then its probably just a dirty or damaged MAF which might be throwing out the fueling.

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Car is really looking past it now. Driving it is clearly damaging it, as the problem is getting worse still (not really surprising).

Sometimes it misfires on consecutive revolutions now. Did it on a dual carriageway yesterday, and the car felt like it was braking heavily. The lorry behind me was unhappy, as my brakes lights wouldn't have come on. This car might kill me yet.

So now the fault list is:

- EGR
- Injectors
- Turbo (unlikely)
- A hole in a hose or something god knows where
- O2 sensor
- MAF thing, whatever that is

Every mechanic is dragging their feet. The EGR remap guys are saying they won't touch the car at all without doing the turbo. Called another remap place and will wait to hear back from them. Turbo play is minimal, none forwards or backwards play that i know of.

For now I've ordered two blanker plates and will get it blanked off. IDC about an engine light as long as it doesn't go into that stupid limp mode.

Let's see if I can get this done before the car just blows up - very disappointed with Ford and every apathetic mechanic who has looked at this car and led me down the garden path.

AVOID THE DIESEL FIESTA
 

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You just havent got a garage to diagnose it correctly, cant blame ford for that. Have you been to a ford garage for diagnosis?

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32 minutes ago, EpicFishFingers said:

Sometimes it misfires on consecutive revolutions now. Did it on a dual carriageway yesterday, and the car felt like it was braking heavily.

That sounds way beyond EGR problems, it just can't do that. You really should try to find out what codes are behind the Error light, it is there to help, not to hinder. Like Ian says, a good Ford garage should be able to track it down, but they are not all good, and can be expensive. Though the car is not that old, nor high mileage, so it should be worth it. It sounds almost worthless if you tried to sell it now.

Major O2 sensor errors will give a diagnostic code, as will the Mass Air Flow sensor.

If the car was actually decelerating, it sounds like combustion was taking place too early, during the compression stroke. That could be a leaking injector, or crankshaft sensor error, or even a pcm error.

Just shutting the fuel supply off (possible result of faulty O2 sensor or MAF), should only cause the vehicle to stop accelerating, and coast.

Seems a shame to chuck away an 8 year old car. Do you have a code scanner? There is loads of advice on this site about them. They are a worthwhile investment for Every owner of a modern car.

Peter.

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Hopefully he already has his own code scanner as its so simple to use and will point to the issue usually and its something that can then reset the fault light to check that the fault has been fixed.

Have you unplugged the MAF to see if it does anything? The turbo seems to be ok if there isn't any play etc.

I have a feeling its injector related - I am guessing the ECU was reprogrammed with the correct injector codes when they were swapped around - they are individually coded and you can't just swap them over without telling the ECU.

I would also suggest doing a leak off test on the injectors.

I am guessing the car doesn't 'chuff' on idle at all which would indicate the copper seal no longer sealing (common issue).

The 1.4 TDCi engine is fine, its the 1.6 TDCi you have to watch out for! My 56 plate 1.4 TDCi is only on 116k miles.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys, bit of an update

I couldn't be bothered anymore, got a new car, and SORN'd the Fiesta.

Getting a new car and the stress related to getting this Fiesta fixed has been almost overwhelming. Everyone has something to say about the issue, and most people told me I was doing the wrong thing, regardless of what  I proposed. I do 80+ miles a day on my commute and the public transport alternative costs more, takes longer, and dumps me 6 miles short of my destination. Having to make the journey without the car has cost me time I could be looking for a new car, and money I could have put towards said new car. Not having a car is just not viable, but neither is it viable to rely on the Fiesta.

Anyway sob story over. The other EGR guy was a complete tit: wanted to remap the car without blanking off the valve, acted like he had no idea about EGR blanking, and said it would cost me £80 an hour for them to fit the blanking plate, which he couldn't tell me how many hours it would take either. It's not like Ford Fiestas are the most common car on the UK's roads, after all. Oh wait...

So had a crack at blanking it myself but bailed on that when I realised I'd need to remove the diesel fuel filter to get to the bit of pipe that needs blanking. Took it to a garage and got it blanked off without remapping it, and not only did it not go into limp mode, but the engine light doesn't illuminate either. I'll assume that's a good thing

The car is still in a state though, however is no longer misfiring. I believe the EGR has knackered an injector or two, as it is chuffing and rough idling, and goes into limp mode about 5 minutes into every journey.

All this time faffing with it meant my insurance and MOT, which both ran out mid July, expired. No I just SORN'd it for the time being.

Now I'm looking at getting it repaired to sell it, so I need to take it to an MOT garage. Can you insure a SORN'd car, or do you just drive it to the MOT centre where you've booked a test without insurance or tax? And if it passes the MOT despite sounding like an old tug boat, how soon do I need to tax it?

Lastly, insurance: As a young driver my insurance is about £750 a year. It's not worth me insuring the car for that much, so I'm looking at monthly insurance or whatever. But what are the rules relating to letting someone test drive the car when i sell it? Let's say I fix the car and put it up for sale, and they want to test drive it: is it just a case of blatantly breaking the law by letting them drive a car they're not insured to drive, or what?

Finally, if anyone wants to buy a !Removed! car with questionable history and a chronic engine issue, feel free to contact me

 

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14 hours ago, EpicFishFingers said:

Can you insure a SORN'd car, or do you just drive it to the MOT centre where you've booked a test without insurance or tax

I am 99% certain that:

You can insure a SORNed car.

You must have insurance for any use of a car on the road, unless it is being towed, or on a trailer!

You can drive to a pre-booked MoT test (or repair for MoT) garage without Tax or MoT:

" if your vehicle doesn't have an MOT you can drive it to or from a pre-arranged MOT or to or from a pre-arranged appointment to have defects remedied that were discovered on a previous test. You can drive your vehicle on a road without road tax in these circumstances. " (from https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q600.htm)

A buyer could drive the car under their own insurance. It usually allows them to drive other cars not belonging to them, but only gives 3rd party cover: So your car would not be covered, but they would be legal & protected against damage to other vehicles or property. Might need to ask them to confirm this first, however.

Sorry to hear about the problems with your Fiesta, they can be very nice cars, but sometimes things do go wrong, then one problem can lead to another. The complexity of all modern cars means that diagnosis of some faults can be very difficult. Hope things get better from here on!

 

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Yeah I just finished getting it cleared out for the sale, and put the stock radio back in.

The stock radio is asking me for a radio code though, and the manual just tells me to phone the dealer. I'm the 3rd owner of the car, and Money Saving Expert tells me the Ford dealer will charge me for the code. Is this true?

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10 minutes ago, EpicFishFingers said:

Yeah I just finished getting it cleared out for the sale, and put the stock radio back in.

The stock radio is asking me for a radio code though, and the manual just tells me to phone the dealer. I'm the 3rd owner of the car, and Money Saving Expert tells me the Ford dealer will charge me for the code. Is this true?

The dealer will usually charge for it, some will give it for free - is the code not in the manual etc?

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2 hours ago, EpicFishFingers said:

Yeah I just finished getting it cleared out for the sale, and put the stock radio back in.

The stock radio is asking me for a radio code though, and the manual just tells me to phone the dealer. I'm the 3rd owner of the car, and Money Saving Expert tells me the Ford dealer will charge me for the code. Is this true?

Press 1 & 6 together or 2 & 5 together on the radio & it should bring up the serial number. If it starts with a V then you have to obtain it from a Ford Dealer. If it starts with a M you can get it here;  www.pumapeople.com/decode.php

 

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12 minutes ago, SpannerTheCat said:

If it starts with a V then you have to obtain it from a Ford Dealer

2 hours ago, EpicFishFingers said:

radio is asking me for a radio code

V series serial nos are also advertised on Ebay, slightly more expensive (£3.00 more).

No idea if it works, but must be a lot cheaper than a dealer?

see: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ford-CD-Stereo-Radio-Code-Decode-V-Serial-Series-Number-Code-Service-/322111854577?hash=item4aff5cd7f1:g:wAYAAOSwOVpXX-zz

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