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Car won't unlock or start


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Hi guys, I hate to have my first post be a cry for help!

I have a 1.6 Diesel 2014 Focus, the wife was out in it yesterday with no issues, she returned home and I went out to the car, pressed the unlock button and the alarm went off for about 3 seconds.  

The doors had not unlocked so I used the backup key blade to get in.  I then pressed the start button and the dash lights all came on but the car wouldn't even turn over.  I noticed the interior lights would not come on either.

I then went and got my spare key fob, this did the exact same as the other key fob.  I couldn't lock or unlock, however I can see on the dash the indicator lights are blinking when I press the lock and unlock buttons, the external indicators however do not come on when locking/unlocking.

I have fully recharged the car battery and checked the following fuses: Central locking, Fuel pump, interior lights.  They all are fine.

When I press the start button I can hear what I think is a relay clicking in the boot.

Any ideas?  I only have the car 3 weeks!  I do have the dealership coming to collect the car but the steering lock is stuck on with some steering on the wheels so no idea how they will get it onto a recovery lorry.


Thanks in advance!

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On 12/09/2016 at 11:11 AM, Spuddy said:

I used the backup key blade to get in.  I then pressed the start button and the dash lights all came on but the car wouldn't even turn over.

It does not seem that many people (including me!) know the inner workings of the Mk3 Keyless system. I can see from the schematic what sensors are there, and what is wired to what, but it does not really help much in understanding it.

It seems likely that the passive keys are an extension of the older Ford PATS system. The sensors send out a signal that energises the key, the key transmits a code, and if this is recognised, the immobilser is disabled so the car can start.

The same process is used to enable the door unlock buttons, and to dis-engage the electrically operated steering lock.

Since on your car, it looks like all the sensors were disabled, the fault is either in the KVM (Keyless Vehicle Module), which is usually in the boot, or in the bus wiring to it, or even in one of the other main modules, BCM, IC or PCM. Somewhat beyond DIY diagnostics, without a lot of background knowledge.

It is very good news it is under warranty (I hope it is fully covered, and they don't find some loophole!). Good luck to the dealer. If you do manage to find out any details about the fault, please post something here, others may be interested.



Edited by Tdci-Peter
Add "including me!"
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update on this.


Ford still have the car, tomorrow it will be 2 weeks they have it.  They say they think the fault is wiring/relay related and and running a full wiring loom diagnostic.

The dealership I bought the car from is covering any cost e.g. the recover vehicle, the rest should be warranty work, if there is any funny business with asking me to pay I'll just hand the car back as not fit for purpose.


I just hope when it is fixed it will not be something that comes back later.

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I don't think the Ford dealership knows what is wrong with the car.


Now they are saying they think it is the key, I gave them both keys so they better not have lost one of them!

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On 25/09/2016 at 10:42 AM, iantt said:

washer pump


1 hour ago, mrmetallica said:

that will be it . nice one lol

Just in case Gareth (Spuddy) is getting worried, I think that can be interpreted roughly as:

"It could be almost anything"!

Must be some highly improbable connection somewhere, who knows where!

Let's hope the dealership can find someone who does have the specialist knowledge to find the fault soon. Either the garage cannot follow Ford's step by step diagnostics testing, or, more likely in this case I think, the diagnostic procedure is faulty. These procedures tend to get left to junior engineers, because they are tedious, but it is very hard to cope with all faults. Needs some real expertise to break the problem, but that is a bit of a rare commodity.

A keyless vehicle system is pretty simple compared to lane tracking, collision avoidance and driverless vehicles!

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Still nothing back from them.

Apparently they keep running tests and then waiting for Ford technical to get back to them.  I assume thats their Head office or something.

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1 hour ago, Spuddy said:

they keep running tests and then waiting for Ford technical to get back to them.

Sounds like Ford's own diagnostic procedures are seriously inadequate! At least this is happening under warranty. I hope they have given you a courtesy car, though it must still be a pain.

Please keep us informed, especially if you can get any clues as to the cause & cure. But I don't expect they will tell you much.

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