Ford Focus TDCI starting problems

Hi everybody. I have a 2002 Focus TDCI which has an intermittant starting problem. The car occasionally just refuses to start. It has been checked out by my local Ford dealer twice whilst under warranty
and they found nothing wrong with it. The symptoms are not dependant on hot or cold starting, it just seems a random problem with the engine turning over but failing to ignite the fuel. It has happened about 8 to 10 times during the three years I have owned the car and although been checked for fault codes by Ford dealers and my local garage nothing is every found. The Focus,when the engine is running is a superb car and I don’t wish to change it unless forced by this unreliability problem to do so. The engine, has so far started eventually after about 10 minutes, but I would really like to get it sorted.
Thanks Rob.
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wrote:

At a guess I'd say glow plugs. Does the light go out or even come on?
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Try the car for a couple of weeks using your spare key- this sounds on the face of it, a fairly well known immobilizer problem, with one key sometimes failing to transmit the code to the ECU.
Tim..
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If the key is not recognised the engine will not turn over.
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Alan
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the
sometimes
I know thats what's meant to happen, but I've had several cars in exhibiting a 'immobilzer failed to initialise' fault code, which wouldnt start, but *would* crank.
I doubted it at first and checked and double checked pump pressures, pressure transducer, crank sensors etc etc til I was blue in the face, and eventuially it was the pick up coil on one car and a faulty key on the other.
Tim..
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"Tim..1" wrote:
> > > Hi everybody. I have a 2002 Focus TDCI which has an > intermittant > > starting problem. The car occasionally just refuses to > start. It has > > been checked out by my local Ford dealer twice whilst under > warranty > > and they found nothing wrong with it. The symptoms are not > dependant > > on hot or cold starting, it just seems a random problem with > the > > engine turning over but failing to ignite the fuel. It has > happened > > about 8 to 10 times during the three years I have owned the > car and > > although been checked for fault codes by Ford dealers and my > local > > garage nothing is every found. The Focus,when the engine is > running is > > a superb car and I don't wish to change it unless forced by > this > > unreliability problem to do so. The engine, has so far > started > > eventually after about 10 minutes, but I would really like > to get it > > sorted. > > > > Try the car for a couple of weeks using your spare key- this > sounds on the > face of it, a fairly well known immobilizer problem, with one > key sometimes > failing to transmit the code to the ECU. > > Tim..
Thank you for your reply.
I wait until all of the warning lights are extinguished before trying to start the car(which has behaved very well since the incident yesterday). I did notice that the glow plug light was flashing as I kept cranking the engine. I took the key out of the ignition and left the car( to top up my mobile phone so that I could contact the breakdown recovery service) and when I returned the car started first time as usual. The symptoms are always the same, refusal to start, leave it for ten minutes and then it seem to start without any problem. The Ford dealership are not really interested apart from me spending money on servicing. Does any of this make sense?
Kind regards
Rob.
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"Tim..1" wrote:
> > > Hi everybody. I have a 2002 Focus TDCI which has an > intermittant > > starting problem. The car occasionally just refuses to > start. It has > > been checked out by my local Ford dealer twice whilst under > warranty > > and they found nothing wrong with it. The symptoms are not > dependant > > on hot or cold starting, it just seems a random problem with > the > > engine turning over but failing to ignite the fuel. It has > happened > > about 8 to 10 times during the three years I have owned the > car and > > although been checked for fault codes by Ford dealers and my > local > > garage nothing is every found. The Focus,when the engine is > running is > > a superb car and I don't wish to change it unless forced by > this > > unreliability problem to do so. The engine, has so far > started > > eventually after about 10 minutes, but I would really like > to get it > > sorted. > > > > Try the car for a couple of weeks using your spare key- this > sounds on the > face of it, a fairly well known immobilizer problem, with one > key sometimes > failing to transmit the code to the ECU. > > Tim..
Thanks Tim for your input. I have tried alternating starting the car using the spare key today and as usual the car starts without any problem. Its been almost exactly a year since this problem occured and always when It time for holiday trips on board a ferry. I am anxious that the car will let me down whilst I am waiting to leave the boat and there are several irate motorists, lorry drivers etc desperate to get onshore. I am unsure if the problem is related to the immobiliser as last year when the engine refused to start, neither key made any difference. The local garage engineer seemed to think the engine had become flooded and did get it started by flooring the accelerator pedal and cranking for about ten minutes. I wonder if there is an electronic glitch within the system that only seems to occur when the temperature, humidity conditions are such that some system conditions are not being met by the engine management system.
The local diesel engine specialists are not interested in looking at the car until if fails completely so that they have some component to diagnose and I imagine replace.
Many thanks for your interest.
Kind regards
Rob.
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Hi all
I had a similar problem once with a ford diesel, the fuel cut off valve would fail occasionly, could be worth a try,
Peter

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Do a Google groups search on "TDCi" and author "Gary McClean" if you want my tale of woe regarding the same problem. There have been lots of useful replies too.
Actually mines booked in on Tue after throwing up loads of fault codes yesterday evening, in a problem that *may* be related, but I will post more info about that on Tuesday if that turns out to be the case.
Gary.
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"Icefox" wrote: > Hi everybody. I have a 2002 Focus TDCI which has an > intermittant starting problem. The car occasionally just > refuses to start. It has been checked out by my local Ford > dealer twice whilst under warranty and they found nothing > wrong with it. The symptoms are not dependant on hot or cold > starting, it just seems a random problem with the engine > turning over but failing to ignite the fuel. It has happened > about 8 to 10 times during the three years I have owned the > car and although been checked for fault codes by Ford dealers > and my local garage nothing is every found. The Focus,when the > engine is running is a superb car and I don't wish to change > it unless forced by this unreliability problem to do so. The > engine, has so far started eventually after about 10 minutes, > but I would really like to get it sorted. > > Thanks > Rob.
A mechanic (ex Focus owner) mentioned a similar problem to me a few days ago. His problem was finally traced to the injector seals (after many costly replacement parts). They cost about ten quid.
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