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MK1 Focus 1.8 TDCi Acceleration Issue


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Hi everyone,

I own a MK1 Ford Focus 2004 1.8 TDCi with 97,000 miles on it. 

Today I noticed that when I was in third gear and accelerating, the revs were increasing as they should, but once it reached about 2,500 revs, it started to spike and climb the rev counter unusually. The needle on the rev gauge was jumping and you could even hear from the sound of the car upon acceleration that it wasn't quite normal. 

This has only occurred in third gear, from what I can tell. Would this be a sign that the clutch is slipping? 

Cheers. :yucky:

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all,

Apologies for reviving my old thread, but I didn't want to create a second one relating to the same issue. 

Anyhow... this issue seems to be intermittently happening once every few weeks. Surely if the clutch was slipping/on its way out, it would happen constantly and not the odd time? I have a split air intake hose; the hose running from the air filter housing down to the turbo. It's a big split, not a small one. I'm in the process of ordering a replacement part, but do you reckon this may be causing my issue? I'll see what happens upon replacing this hose, but if anyone can provide their input then it would be appreciated.

The car is definitely under-boosting, and you can hear a faint whistle upon accelerating when the turbo kicks in. It hasn't been whistling like this the whole time though, only recently, which leads me to believe there's a leak from another boost pipe, because the air intake hose has been split for two-three months and this sound has only been occurring recently. 

Please drop a reply if you are able to provide me with more of an insight. Many thanks. :-)

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Note; I have had a brief look around the boost/air intake hoses and there's nothing obvious, other than the air intake hose having a massive split in it. It's hard to see the other hoses because they leak down the back of the engine bay. I'll bring it into work in the next few days and start stripping it down and checking things more thoroughly. Thank you. :smile:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Quick update;

It's been nearly another month and I'm still driving, if it was the clutch then it would have problem given out by now, surely? I replaced the air intake hose due to an obvious, large tear and it hasn't made a difference. I get the occasional whistling noise from the engine bay when I'm accelerating, it was happening quite a lot two weeks ago, but it hasn't been whistling for at least ten days now, which is odd... :huh:

I made a 20 mile trip to college this morning and it was fine, made another 10 mile trip into the town. Took a run to the shopping centre and the traffic was stop-start. By the time I got out of the queue, I had some room to properly accelerate, that's when the issue started to occur again, and it kept doing it on the way back from the town. I guarantee, as soon as I take my car on another trip later, I won't be able to get the issue to occur again; it only seems to happen on long journeys. 

I'm thinking it could be the crankshaft oil seal, perhaps leaking fluid onto the clutch, causing it to slip every so often? Would these symptoms relate more to a mechanical issue or an electrical issue? I wonder if something to do with the fuel system is to blame, or perhaps the MAF sensor. 

Any ideas? 

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I'm hoping it's something less costly than a clutch kit. I don't want to be continuously throwing money into the car. It requires 4 tyres, front and rear brake pads/discs, brake fluid change and a couple of other things soon as well. :wacko:

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I have had two cars with slipping clutches, and the symptoms you describe do not match.

It should only slip under high torque (wide throttle opening), once it starts slipping the revs rise smoothly. Releasing the throttle should enable the clutch to re-engage, and with gentle throttle should then stay engaged. Also it was not rpm dependent, after a while I could pull away like an Auto, release the clutch & keep revs constant (quite low) until it engaged.

Yes, and it quite rapidly got worse.

Perhaps the rev counter is rising, but the actual engine rpm is not?

oil on the clutch does not really go away, residues will tend to make it stick or judder on pulling away, and slip under heavy load, for quite a while after the leak stops.

Might be worth a diagnostic check, minor malfunctions do not always light the lamp. See some of my other, recent posts for diy diagnostics.

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5 hours ago, ippy said:

sounds like it needs a good service and a new fuel filter to start with then a good glug of diesel system cleaner

Thanks, but I serviced it recently, including renewal of the fuel filter. I ran some diesel treatment through the system when I first purchased the car (13 months ago) because it was a bit smokey under acceleration. That was due to the turbo which I then had reconditioned and I also blanked off the EGR, which sorted that issue. I suppose it could be worth running some more cleaner through the system, just for a peace of mind. 

 

5 hours ago, Tdci-Peter said:

I have had two cars with slipping clutches, and the symptoms you describe do not match.

It should only slip under high torque (wide throttle opening), once it starts slipping the revs rise smoothly. Releasing the throttle should enable the clutch to re-engage, and with gentle throttle should then stay engaged. Also it was not rpm dependent, after a while I could pull away like an Auto, release the clutch & keep revs constant (quite low) until it engaged.

Yes, and it quite rapidly got worse.

Perhaps the rev counter is rising, but the actual engine rpm is not?

Oil on the clutch does not really go away, residues will tend to make it stick or judder on pulling away, and slip under heavy load, for quite a while after the leak stops.

Might be worth a diagnostic check, minor malfunctions do not always light the lamp. See some of my other, recent posts for diy diagnostics.

Sorry, I may have not described my symptoms correctly - it does seem to slip under high torque, but not necessarily all the time, only when I've been driving for a good 40 minutes or so. It usually occurs after fast gear changes and putting my foot down harder than usual. There was, however, once time when the issue was occurring in first gear as well, but perhaps it's because I gave it too many revs? Don't worry, I wasn't attempting to spin the wheels or anything of the sort. :laugh:

The rev counter seems to somewhat fluctuate upon acceleration, but the engine speed, according to the speedo, does seem to be rising at a steady pace. Once I ease off/remove my foot from the throttle, the rev gauge returns to its normal position.

I shall get it checked over for diagnostic trouble codes. I was pondering that idea for a while but originally thought that it would either bring on a warning lamp or be something entirely mechanical which won't throw up a fault code. 

Thank you very much, Peter. I shall keep you all updated. 

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Slip after engaging the clutch with a large throttle opening (whether from starting in 1st, or on any gear change) would be an early symptom of a worn & slipping clutch.

The next test is to drive up a hill with the engine at just below 2000rpm in any suitable gear (max torque point for a 1.8TDCI, I think), and fully open the throttle (after making sure the road ahead is clear!). If the rpm rises faster than expected for the speed, release the throttle and see if the revs drops back to normal without the car losing much speed.  A good long, straight, fairly steep incline is best for this test. After few tests you may be able to feel just when the clutch slips & re-grips.

Though in my mk2, it is hard to find a hill steep enough & straight enough to be able to use full torque for any distance, it accelerates too quickly! It was much easier doing this test in a 1.6L Cortina!

 

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