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Fiesta Zetec S (Red Edition) hesitation pulling away when engine cold.


Matt Alsop
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Hi,

I have a Zetec S 140 Red Edition that I've very recently bought pre-registered with 25 miles on the clock (17 plate) so it's basically a new car. It's a fantastic car but I just wanted to ask about a strange characteristic I've noticed. When I start the car on my driveway (a downwards slope) for the first time on any given day I find as I pull away onto the road at the bottom of the driveway that the engine seems extremely hesitant to deliver any power for the first five seconds then it's fine after that. It's like I have about 20% of normal power for that first five seconds and the car just refuses to accelerate then it shudders a bit and accelerates away normally after that. Is that normal (possibly a safety feature where low power is available until a certain oil pressure is reached) ? I always start the engine, roll down the driveway and pull away immediately without waiting for the engine to warm up or without touching the accelerator until actually on the road. Any ideas ?

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I take it you leave the car to idle for a bit before you drive off anyway? It's never been recommended to start your car and drive off straight away, always give time for the oil to reach everywhere, especially with a turbo too.

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Hi Luke,

Thanks for your reply. I do tend to drive away immediately but slowly as soon as I've started the car. I'll try waiting a minute as you've said especially if that's good for the engine.

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It might be worth reading the owners manual then too on the correct break in procedure on a new engine. Many people don't follow it, but I would have too much mechanical sympathy not to.

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Yes, I'm following the break in procedure and have looked at general advice on the same subject from the AA. General consensus (petrol engine) is to limit revs to 3000 during the first 1000 miles...........then 4000 revs limit for the next 1000 miles etc. I'm at about 500 miles now so am still being very careful. I'm always careful with a cold engine regardless of the mileage of the car. I didn't ever think about waiting for the engine to warm up before driving away though. I normally just start the car and immediately drive away carefully. I'm aware not to rev the engine before switching off as that'll spin the turbo up then starve it of oil as the engine stops.

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Also making sure you vary the revs and don't sit at one speed for too long. Stop start is a big one and letting the engine fully warm up (so about 10 minutes worth of motorway driving) before stopping it. Note that this isn't the coolant temp on the dash, I'm talking about letting the oil get to temperature. 

We have diesel transit connect vans on the site I work at, all on a 3 year lease, none that have done more than 20k miles. About half have had to go back to Ford at some point. We had to buy one from the lease company because someone crashed it, 4 years from new and the engine blew up, got put down to bad break in procedure. It was doing 20mph in first a lot of the time because the DPF's clog up otherwise.

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