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MK1 1.8 TDCi Questions...

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Hi all,


I own a MK1 Ford Focus 1.8 TDCI (2004 facelift model). I have a couple of questions that I hope some of you may be able to answer for me. There are some things that probably can't be answered, but some general advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. 


1. Sometimes, when I'm starting my car it seems more difficult than it should do, it's like a sort of constant, fast 'thud' sound if that makes any sense at all. When that happens, it usually starts but takes a few seconds longer. Sometimes it will take two cranking attempts. What would be the likely cause of this? I wait for the glow plug/coil light to extinguish, but that's almost instant - should it be disappearing instantly? I renewed the glow plugs around eight months ago. Anyone have any ideas?

2. The (red) battery warning light has been appearing on my dashboard intermittently. Some days it won't appear, other days it will. When it comes on, the light will remain on the entire journey or until the engine has been restarted (turning it off and on again). Fan belt appears to be slipping, as it will whine when changing gear at low revs or upon cold starting. A battery test confirmed that the battery could do with a recharge, and that test was done four months ago. The battery hasn't let me down yet. Could a slipping fan belt cause this issue?

3. I bought two 6-LED canbus solved number plate bulbs for my car and installed them. They were working great for the first few weeks then I noticed on the way home tonight that they were intermittently flickering on and off. I swapped them over with the original festoon bulbs. I also noticed that 3 of the 6 LEDs weren't working on each of the bulbs. These bulbs have built in load resistors. What would have been likely to cause the flickering? Was it because there was too many LEDs per bulb? I purchased 3-LED bulbs earlier, hopefully they will last. 

4. I seem to be averaging 250 miles out of £35-40 of diesel - would you consider this bad? I don't drive with a heavy foot either, and no matter how hard I try to keep the revs at a minimum, my MPG doesn't seem to be improving. What would you recommend I do? I don't think the fuel filter has yet to be changed - would this improve my MPG, though?

5. I'm thinking of buying the front fog light units and surrounding plastic bezels from an ST170, would these be a straight swap with my original fog light units? It looks as if it would be, but I'm not so sure. Would it also be possible to install half-leather ST170 seats from a 3-door into my 5-door Focus? 

6. I would like to remove the rear wiper arm completely, basically a de-wiper job. Does anyone know where I can find a plug/grommet which will be a good fit? 

7. Would a stage-1 remap (115 bhp -> 146 bhp) on a car of my age be a risky manoeuvre? The car is 11/12 years old and I had the turbo reconditioned because it was whining loudly when I originally bought the car. I'm tempted, simply for the power increase, but if it's going to cause me more bother than it's worth then I'll leave it. 



Apologies for all of these questions, I hate asking because most of it is probably common knowledge, but I thought I may as well ask people who may have previous experiences with some of these issues. I'm not expecting all of the questions to be answered, but any help I can get would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, have a nice day. :smile:

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hi mate think you alternator is on its way out based on red batterty light and flickering of the led lights, possibly battery, get them both checked soon coz mine went and lost power steering and became quite unsafe. When was you car last services plus try terraclean which will bring your car back to life and remove all carbon deposits. Remap should be fine, always slight risks on any car, get car running nice before get done.

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Andrew, you lost your power steering because it's electro-hydraulic (I think). On his car it's just hydraulic so he won't lose it while his engine's running (unless the belt snaps of course).


(1) the glowplug light may not be showing when power is actually applied to the glowplugs. On our old 1.8TDCi I found that although the light went out almost instantly the 12V stayed on the plugs for about 5 seconds. Try waiting for a few seconds with the key at position II before cranking.

(2) I'd definitely get the belt checked before going for more expensive options. If the belt is ok the alternator would be next for checking.

I'll leave (3) - (7) of your "couple":biggrin: of questions for the gurus.

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