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spottedtango

Intermittent Electrical Problem Mk2 1.8TDCI

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Hello there, Im new to the forum as i've recently acquired a 1.8tdci mk2 which has 126k miles on the clock.

I just have a quick question. My focus has only done this twice since i've had it. judders slightly when driving, the clocks and gauges reset to zero along and the mileage disappears.

The clocks then go back to normal and the mileage reappears. Engine power is fine but a red gear cog appears on the dashboard which i understand indicates a drive train problem.

The cog then disappears the next time the car is started.

What I don't understand is why if theres a drive train problem why would the clocks reset to zero? Is this the result of a corroded earth or loose wiring somewhere that I need to track down?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

 

 

 

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If the red cog warning has been on then there should be at least one DTC (error code) stored in the ECU.  You to get the codes read by either a garage/auto electrician or yourself using a modified ELM cable and software called Forscan.

There is plenty of info within the forum on using an ELM cable and Forscan.

The error codes don't always give a precise answer as to what is specifically causing the problem but it gives you/us a starting point.

MK2 Focus instrumentation clusters are known for failing which can cause all sorts of weird behaviour but you really need to get a list of the codes that are stored and work from there.

Edited by 1979Damian
User error!

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4 hours ago, spottedtango said:

red gear cog appears on the dashboard

It means Engine Systems fault on a Mk2 Focus. It can be caused by a breakdown in the CANbus system. Just like Damian says, there will be codes, probably U codes, that can be read by a good scanner like Forscan.

The classic 2006 Mk2 (slight typo there, Damian!) Instrument Cluster (IC) problem is a bad solder joint where the CANbus connects to the back of the IC. It can cause a huge range of problems, from dodgy dials & mileage readings, to reported (false) ABS and steering errors, to complete vehicle immobilisation. It is very common, but there are other related causes, like wiring connectors.

I fixed the bad solder joint for free with my trusty soldering iron. There is a PDF about that:

http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=40491

Some companies claim to repair them for about £100, but you need to be fairly sure it is the IC. A Ford franchise garage will probably charge about £800+ for a new one.

My standard intro to Forscan follows:

Forscan is a powerful Ford specific system, Cost £15.00 for the interface. Needs a computer of some sort. (COM port, USB, bluetooth or WiFi interfaces available). You will find a lot about ELM327 & Forscan on this site, which together provide a very comprehensive diagnosis & maintenance tool. James (jeebowhite) has done a nice guide: http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=21196

Forscan works best on a Windows laptop, with a USB ELM. The Tunnelrat one (below) has been reported to work well by several people. Forscan is also available for iOS & Android for some tablets & phones.

For a USB ELM327 adapter, see
http://www.spanglefish.com/TunnelratElectronics/index.asp?pageid=516992

Wireless ELMs are also available (bluetooth & WiFi), but are often not as reliable as the wired ones. Also they are rare in the "modified" form which is needed to access the 2nd Ford bus system. This 2nd bus is the MS-CAN bus, and links all the car interior electronics like door modules, and the BCM (aka GEM). But a standard ELM will still work with all the Underbonnet Modules (PCM, ABS etc) and with the IC (Instrument Cluster).

For an bluetooth wireless ELM, which one user at least says works with Forscan, see the KW902: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ELM327-KW902-Bluetooth-Scaner-OBD-Link-OBD2-Diagnose-Interface-Tester-white-UK-/281631334205

The Forscan programme is free (in Windows format) and you can get it from:
http://forscan.org/download.html

Note: Simply reading the codes can do no harm, and does not change anything. Just do not reset the codes (and you would have to ask the scanner to do this) if you are going to take the car to a garage.

 

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Cheers for the responses. I've got an cheapo bluetooth elm327 kicking about that I got off eBay a while back. I got it cause my old mitsubishi was throwing error codes cause of a dodgy tps sensor. Ill try reading it with that and see what codes if any come up.

 

I will probably invest in an actual cable obd reader and forscan as I've heard with a few makes of car a cheapo ones don't read all the codes.

 

I do have a soldering iron handy too so I'll have a look at the guide. I'll post up the codes if the cheapo obd reader finds any.

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2 hours ago, spottedtango said:

I've got an cheapo bluetooth elm327

It is worth trying this with Forscan. It needs an ELM327, though some wireless ones do not work well with it.

The "modified" ELM327 is not essential for this problem, I have a plain ELM327, not got round to modifying it yet. Most of the faults in this IC problem are on the HS-CAN bus, which is the one all adapters usually use. Body related stuff like doors, radio, park aid and the BCM (aka GEM) are on the MS-CAN bus.

Let us know what codes you get. Some are rather short lived, so need reading on the next ignition on cycle really. But it will need the Ford specific nature of Forscan to probe into the IC, ABS & steering modules, where the communication related errors often occur. Most generic OBD scanners only read the ECU (aka PCM).

The resistance test in my pdf (60 ohms from pins 6 to 14 on the diagnostic connector) can also be a useful test if you have Comms problems.

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Okay so before I managed to get an OBDII reader on the car (which ill hopefully do tomorrow), the car decided to stutter and roll to a stop not far from home.

The immobiliser light keeps flashing and a gear cog with a ! will appear on the dash. The car will not start.

 

I read your PDF on the IC unit and I'm assuming mines has went the same way the symptoms seem the same. I don't have any water or corrosion in the fusebox area though and all of the fuses are intact as I recently had to test them all because of a suspected faulty reverse switch which is a story for another time. 

 

I'm gonna try taking my IC apart tomorrow and having a look at pins 6,16,17 and 18. Is there anything I obvious i should look for?  ill try the 60ohms resistance test but my gut is telling me the IC is at fault.

 

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47 minutes ago, spottedtango said:

look at pins 6,16,17 and 18. Is there anything I obvious i should look for?  ill try the 60ohms resistance test but my gut is telling me the IC is at fault.

The IC & ECU need to talk over the HS-CAN bus to authorise the PATS (immobiliser), so this is the worst bit of the IC problem. It caught me too. First in Tesco car park, but it did eventually get going, then later at home just before setting off.

Look under a strong light with a magnifier, for any dark lines around the edges of the solder joints, where it may have cracked or separated from the pin.

There is a 120 ohm resistor on the IC pcb, and another on the ECU pcb. When the HS-CAN bus is connected from end to end, then you get both in parallel, so 60 ohms. An open circuit at any point will mean the meter only reads one, hence 120 ohms. If it reads 120 ohms, and still reads 120 ohms with the IC disconnected at its socket, then is pretty positive proof the problem is in the IC, since the diagnostic connector is right next to the IC, and the 120 ohms it is still reading must be the one on the ECU.

I found that wiggling the IC connector did make & break the circuit.

The best way to re-solder joints is to suck off all the old solder with braid or a solder sucker, then re-make with fresh flux cored solder, allowing several seconds (up to 10 sec is ok) for the joint to wet & tin properly. If still in doubt, repeat the operation.

 

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I managed to get the code reader plugged in. I tried reading the codes in the ecu but I think you're right they are fairly short lived.

However despite this I decided to clear any stored codes, since I didn't have anything anyway. The car started instantly. I managed to drive it back home where I'll try and have a look at the cluster.

What I don't understand is why it let me drive after clearing the ecu. If a soldered pin has came loose or damaged over time then logically the car would stay immobilized as the IC and ecu cannot communicate. Or would something like that cause the ecu to throw a wobbly until it's cleared by a code reader.

I'm still gonna try having a look at my IC asap, Im just glad it didn't have to be towed.

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29 minutes ago, spottedtango said:

I decided to clear any stored codes, since I didn't have anything anyway. The car started instantly.

Some codes are what are termed CMDTCs (Continuous Memory DTCs, I think). These do not go away. A system like Forscan would probably have displayed them, but it looks like your reader did clear them.

I found that once the IC fault had reached the Immobilise stage, even when fully repaired, it would not start until I had cleared these CMDTCs.

Good news that you got it moving again.smile.png

 

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On 21/01/2017 at 2:18 PM, spottedtango said:

I'm still gonna try having a look at my IC asap,

Any progress or changes?

Any information about how these sort of problems progress or are fixed is useful to me & others.

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I haven't managed to get a look yet due to work but I have managed to read two codes from the ECU. 

I've got error codes

U0121 and U0423

It might be a wee while before I get a good look at the IC works being a pain in the butt just now. If I don't get a chance I might consider sending them away as I noticed an advert on ebay offering a repair service for focus clocks

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2 hours ago, spottedtango said:

I've got error codes

U0121 and U0423

Those look like IC fault CAN bus errors. I had U0121, and U0423 relates directly to the IC.

Work is often a pain when you don't want it, then it can be even more of a pain without work, or at least without the pay that is usually attached! There is a bit more risk in just sending it away, in case is is a connector in the car, but the IC pcb is a bit notorious for this problem. One site has been recommended here:

 

 

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Okay update. I've managed to get time to do the soldering myself. I re soldered all the pins just to be sure. I've noticed the car can be unlocked from miles away now and it feels quicker during acceleration as well as reduction in hesitation at the 1750 rpm mark. Would these pins affect this or am I just under the placebo effect?

I've ran into a slight problem though. I think my calibration is slightly off for the temperature and fuel needle as they seem to be a bit stickly. I might have pushed them on to much. I was wondering if there was a sweep test for the mk2 focus or some way of making the calibration a bit easier. Mines doesnt have the fancy computer though showing the mpg ect.

 

I also meant to say before it fixed this I had another error code U0155 and when i flicked the IC when the car tried to act up it would return to normal which was interesting to say the least.

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1 hour ago, spottedtango said:

I've noticed the car can be unlocked from miles away now and it feels quicker during acceleration as well as reduction in hesitation at the 1750 rpm mark. Would these pins affect this or am I just under the placebo effect?

I've ran into a slight problem though. I think my calibration is slightly off for the temperature and fuel needle as they seem to be a bit stickly. I might have pushed them on to much. I was wondering if there was a sweep test for the mk2 focus

The lack of hesitation and better response could well be real symptoms. There is a lot of communication between IC and PCM, including one of the dual accelerator position sensors. Not sure about the remote control, that is all handled by the BCM (aka GEM) under the glovebox, not much to do with the IC.

I think holding in the trip reset stalk while turning on the ignition should put the IC into a test mode, Release the tripmeter reset button when TEST is displayed on the LCD. This may take between 5 and 8 seconds.

Forscan can also trigger an IC self-test, which I am fairly sure includes gauge sweep.

I did say in my pdf: "don't push the needles on too far!":whistling1:

Great to hear of what hopefully sounds like a result!

More on IC secret test mode:

 

 

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On 1/19/2017 at 12:59 PM, spottedtango said:

Hello there, Im new to the forum as i've recently acquired a 1.8tdci mk2 which has 126k miles on the clock.

I just have a quick question. My focus has only done this twice since i've had it. judders slightly when driving, the clocks and gauges reset to zero along and the mileage disappears.

The clocks then go back to normal and the mileage reappears. Engine power is fine but a red gear cog appears on the dashboard which i understand indicates a drive train problem.

The cog then disappears the next time the car is started.

What I don't understand is why if theres a drive train problem why would the clocks reset to zero? Is this the result of a corroded earth or loose wiring somewhere that I need to track down?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

 

 

 

This is typically the alterator. The juddering, whilst driving is all to do with the alterator. Continously driving the ford focus mk2 will cause the battery to go flat if not careful enough. Open your bonnet, you should see once you've started the car, the speed of the alternator running a bit slow. Just stand a floot away from the car focusing on the alternator and the drive belt you will see its not running properly. 

Once you have put in a new alternator, it's worth mentioning that the battery should be a Bosch S4  with the ability to have a crank power to start the car every day regardless of local and distance driving. It's been advertised by a AA mechanic that the LION batteries are not recommended as AA mechanics find that the battery failed are on the LION batteries. It's also been advertised check the condition of the drive belt as it will also contribute to the running performance of the alternator and potentially snapping off if not attended to. 

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@Stoney871

Another one for you Clive :laugh:

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not sure why this has been resurrected. Re the alternator on a 1.8tdci.  the pulley has a one way clutch built into it. On my brother's 1.8tdci we thought the alternator was knackered as voltage output low and erratic. Bought new alternator and when doing the fitting we found the pulley was the problem (one way clutch failed so alternator turning a lot slower then pulley) and nothing wrong with the alternator. 

On a 1.8tdci the pulley is totally separate from the alternator. So on a 1.8tdci never go down the road of replacing the alternator unless you have checked the pulley. and replacing the alternator on one of these is a lot of work at least it was on this one with aircon on. 

For anyone intrigued about the pulley being separate from alternator it shows if here:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FORD-FOCUS-MK2-1-8-TDCI-ALTERNATOR-WITH-PULLEY-2005-2010/193491799716?hash=item2d0d028ea4:g:avEAAOSw7O9e1P2I

 

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