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White smoke, Black smoke, poor starting...

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Good morning.

I've been having no end of problems with a car that I bought second hand that seemed to run fine for the test drive, yet developed a whole host of problems straight after buying it.

It's a Ford Focus Estate 1.8 TDCI 2002.

I'll run through the list and hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.

- Poor starting from cold (sometimes won't start at all without EasyStart)

- very dogged idle when it does start. Have to let it warm up before setting off

- poor MPG. Currently around 400 miles from a tank.

- blue/grey smoke when cold

- black smoke when driving and engine under load

- engine "cuts out" into a kind of limp mode if I try flooring it on motorway and the glow plug light starts flashing. I turn the key to off and on and it drives fine till I put stress on the engine again.


I've bought and fitted a new battery, new filter, new plugs. Now is the point that I think I need to ask for guidance. My thoughts are now with the injectors, but I'm on a very tight budget (just started my own business) and figure it's time to stop and ask before spending more.


My background is IT but I'm not shy about getting my hands dirty under a bonnet (I've rebuilt my motorbike engine 3 times... the joy of 2 stroke!) So if there are things I can try before lacing a mechanics palm with silver, then please pipe up and I will gladly try them.




P.s. I'm new here... if you think this would be better suited in another category then please feel free to move it. Thank you :)

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Also, does anyone have any idea where I can buy a Dipstick Holder/carrier tube from? I've tried loads of places and can't find one.

I did have a breakers tell me they had one but when I ordered it the next day they said it had sold.... more like they broke it just like i did when changing my glow plugs :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has nobody got any advice to help with this? :(


So far the only advice I've had is "don't buy ford, buy Jap or German".... so really helpful as usual lol

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