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"Engine Malfunction service now" Appears and then clears

Aled Evans

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Hi everyone, I've searched the forums but I haven't been able to find a topic that is similar to my situation. 

I'll start off with my car make; Ford Focus MK3, 2013 1.6tdi. ~31,000 miles.

I've been having intermittent errors with the car. I've been having the message "Engine malfunction, service now" appear on my dashboard, but then clears after a few seconds. This only happens whilst I'm driving, and has never appeared upon first starting up the car. It usually appears when doing around 60-80mph.

Every time this happens, the engine then has limited power; I can put the throttle right the way down but the car won't accelerate, and will stay at around 50mph - I assume this is limp home mode however there is nothing on the dash to indicate that this is so, even though the "engine malfunction" message has cleared. 

If I turn the ignition off and back on again the engine will be back to normal and I will have acceleration again. I think it's strange how the error message appears for a few seconds and then disappears, however the car still remains in limited power mode. 

I've also run the self tests however it shows no codes. 

The issue has been ongoing for a couple of months; it did it maybe once or twice over a period of a couple of months however a few days ago whilst I was driving in very wet and very cold conditions on the motorway it occurred around 10-15 times in the space of an hour, so I suspect the cold conditions might be a factor to this too?

I think I also managed to recreate the issue but without the engine malfunction message appearing - the engine would chug quite roughly at around 3.5k revs but I still had the acceleration at lower revs, whereas when the message appears I would not have any acceleration at all.

The car had a full service 2 weeks ago, which had all its filers replaced. 

Any suggestions or help would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance.  


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as above without codes its a stab in the dark almost anything can throw up the fault from a faulty dash cluster faulty mad a fault with a sensor such as abs etc unless the newer focus has changed the faulty message should stay on the display followed by acceleration reduced and a red fault light stay illuminated

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  • 1 year later...

This has happened to me today,  the exact same symptoms as described.  My model is focus 1.6 2014 year.  The car is a month out of warranty fs.  Did you manage to get a fix? 

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On 3/29/2016 at 6:18 PM, ippy said:

When it was serviced did they reset the service schedule counter?

That's a different message. That's "oil change required".

service now means something has potentially fundamentally gone wrong with the engine. Without codes you won't have any idea. Mine did it and it was related to the fuel pump circuit staying open for some reason.

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