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Breakdown - help!


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I’m currently sat waiting for recovery. 

My focus let me down tonight. Outside lane of the motorway, suddenly the battery warning light (red) came on. 

A few minutes later I got warning lights for the ABS, power steering and handbreak. Then the cherry on the cake. The power steering fails, my lights all go out and the speedo stops working, dropping to zero several times over. The car is literally dying. And in the dark it’s not good. 

I managed to get to the inside lane but by this point my engine has also cut out. 

Anyway, I’m hoping this isn’t a major fault. 

I was thinking the battery was on its way out as I’d had the battery light on a couple of times recently but each time a drive fixed it. Not today however. 

So is this looking like an alternator fault, a battery fault or something else?

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sounds like exactly what happened to me, my alternator was cooked. something went very wrong stopped charging the battery then decided to suck 120A out of the battery for good measure.

The battery may or may not be any good but its largely irrelevant once your going. The alternator is the most likely suspect.

Its about an hour an a half of a job, so around 60-70 quid. plus parts, I picked up a new 150A alternator for about 120, soa  little shy of £200 squid.

I have a 1.6 TDCI so your times and charges may vary depending what engine you have. id have done it myself (and was actually driving home with the alternator to do just that) when I conked out on the business road in Scotland. Mr AA man would only take me to the nearest garage though =, such is life

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Yeah I don’t imagine it’s going to be cheap. 

It’s annoying. 2013 MK3 Ecoboost Focus that’s not even hit 38,000 miles yet and this happens. 

Full service history and looked after. Not impressed. 

And this genuinely nearly killed us. Getting from lane 3 to 1 with no engine or lights in the middle of the night isn’t fun. And didn’t help that some trucker then drove up our behind going mad at us as we came to a stop. 

We had a 6 week old baby on board who didn’t do well in the -3c temperatures outside either. Not a lot of fun all round to be honest. 

I’m quite surprised how dangerous this fault is and how it can suddenly put you at risk in a matter of seconds. 

The car was recently fully serviced and looked over for me by a decent garage. Nothing was picked up. Very worrying. 

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How many miles have you done?  An alternator should last considerably longer than 4 years unless you've done loads of miles?  But a battery (especially with stop start) could easily be dead in that time.

Edit - Posted at the same time lol.  I'd be surprised if your alternator has failed so soon.  Unfortunately both that and the battery need testing though, it's not something we can diagnose online.

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A per TomsFocus comment, alternator shouldn't die after only 4 years, battery on a stop start engine is possible and if the battery is dying it can put extra load on the alternator as it tries to charge a battery that doesn't want to hold a charge and also isn't capable of delivering what it should be back into the system.

Not much more you can do until the battery and alternator are tested, it could just be a wiring fault, even a simple earth fault can cause also sorts of seriously dodgy behaviour from a modern car.

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You should also inspect the water pump. Just like some other Ford engines the 1.0 ECOboost has a coolant lubricated water pump seal (mechanical seal). On this type of seal a miniscule amount of coolant is allowed to pass/lubricate the seal. Unfortunately these waterpumps are known to leak quite often.

The water pump of the 1.0 ECOboost is mounted directly above the alernator. In case of a leaking water pump the coolant will drip directly into the generator. This will reduce the life expectancy of the alternator drastically. 


Last week I changed the water pump on my 1.0 ECOboost because of this problem. 

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