Loss of power, drop to zero of speedometer.

Hello Readers,
Ford Focus 1600 Ambiente 5 dr Wagon build 2001
During driving, there is a sudden loss of power and the speedometer drops to zero. Loss of power is for seconds. (10-15 ???). Speedometer stays
on zero for a bit longer. Frequency is rear. (Between 1st and 2nd occurence there where 4 weeks en several hundreds of km. But the frequency is increasing, now it's once a week around 150 km).
I am not the driver and haven't counted the seconds or the real frequency. My wife is getting very nervous with the car. Seen some other reports in this group of about the same symptoms, but not the same car.
The car has been to a Ford workshop, but there was no readout from the computer and the testdrive did not give any results. There reasoning is if the do not have a readout or the problem during the testdrive they do not know what to fix.
Does anybody know what problem can cause these symptoms ? Does anybody have advise or suggestions ? What to tell the Ford workshop to get the problem fixed ?
Thanks for your time and attention, Ben Brugman
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ben brugman wrote:

This is a well-known problem caused by failure of the vehicle speed sensor (VSS). If you are lucky it may be possible to correct the problem by removing the connector to to sensor, cleaning it up and replacing it. Usually the sensor needs replacing.
It is possible to do it yourself if you have some skills. It is a bit difficult to get to, and there is the remote possibility of breaking the sensor in the transmission. This would become an expensive repair!
The sensor costs about 27UKP, and a UK dealer would charge about 100UKP to replace it. Sorry, I can't predict costs where you are.
The problem will get gradually worse until the speedometer stays at zero for ages. When this happens the display showing distance travelled will show "----" until the sensor starts working again. The fault will not cause the vehicle to break down to the point of needing recovery however. When slowing to a halt whilst the fault is present, the engine may cut out. It will restart straight away however. I ran my Focus like this for a year or so until I got round to fixing it.
New sensors are improved and the fault should not happen again.
There has been much discussion and advice here about this problem. If you Google in this group you will find all the info you might need.
HTH
Chris
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ben brugman wrote:

This is a well-known problem caused by failure of the vehicle speed sensor (VSS). If you are lucky it may be possible to correct the problem by removing the connector to the sensor, cleaning it up and replacing it. Usually the sensor needs replacing.
It is possible to do it yourself if you have some skills. It is a bit difficult to get to, and there is the remote possibility of breaking the sensor in the transmission. This would become an expensive repair!
The sensor costs about 27UKP, and a UK dealer would charge about 100UKP to replace it. Sorry, I can't predict costs where you are.
The problem will get gradually worse until the speedometer stays at zero for ages. When this happens the display showing distance travelled will show "----" until the sensor starts working again. The fault will not cause the vehicle to break down to the point of needing recovery however. When slowing to a halt whilst the fault is present, the engine may cut out. It will restart straight away however. I ran my Focus like this for a year or so until I got round to fixing it.
New sensors are improved and the fault should not happen again.
There has been much discussion and advice here about this problem. If you Google in this group you will find all the info you might need.
HTH
Chris
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First of all thanks for your response and time.
I did Google and by that found this newsgroup. This morning I confronted the Ford dealer with 'almost' this specific information and he 'denied' such a general solution. I will show your answer and maybe even 'demand' the sensor begin replaced. This might cost something but that is no big issue.
I allready googled and your info is more specific than what I found. Just had another go added the term "vss" to the search but didn't come with anything relevant.
Question : The problem with a faulty VSS does this cause a a power loss as wel ? (Not being able to accelerate or keep at the same speed) ?
Could you point me out to some search terms or threads concerning this subject ?
I want to prepare myself for the 'discussion' with the mechanics !
Thanks for your time and info, Ben Brugman.

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<top posting fixed> ben brugman wrote: > First of all thanks for your response and time. > > I did Google and by that found this newsgroup. > This morning I confronted the Ford dealer with 'almost' > this specific information and he 'denied' such a general > solution. > I will show your answer and maybe even 'demand' the > sensor begin replaced. This might cost something but > that is no big issue. > > I allready googled and your info is more specific than > what I found. Just had another go added the term "vss" to the > search but didn't come with anything relevant. > > Question : > The problem with a faulty VSS does this cause a > a power loss as wel ? (Not being able to accelerate or > keep at the same speed) ? > > Could you point me out to some search terms > or threads concerning this subject ? > > I want to prepare myself for the 'discussion' with the > mechanics ! > > Thanks for your time and info, > Ben Brugman.
Hi Ben
Yes, a faulty VSS will cause a power loss. If your radio is set to turn up the volume as you go faster, you will also notice the radio suddenly going quieter.
The reason is that the VSS signals vehicle speed to the ECU. This speed information is used for a number of things, including altering the fuelling. When the signal is lost, the ECU gets confused and that is why the power is reduced. If you change gear or stop whilst the fault is present, the engine will cut out.
I would suggest that if your dealer is unable to understand this, you find another one fast! It is a well known Focus fault.
In the UK it is possible to telephone Ford themselves to make enquiries about problems such as this. Perhaps you can do the same?
If you Google in alt.autos.ford.focus using the search term "speed sensor" you will find a lot of old posts on this subject.
Let us know how you get on with the dealer.
Chris
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Its happened to me twice. The first time (about a year ago) I cleaned the connector and it was fine. The second time was immediately after I changed the plugs and leads, within a couple of miles of doing the work.
I thought it was odd that the fault had happened right after doing the plugs and recalled reading a TSB on the subject. I got my Ford TIS CD out and sure enough there was a TSB about the CHT sensor harness being too close to the HT leads on the 1.6 engine and giving speedo problems. I moved the harness as far away from the HT leads as possible and it was fine.
If the original poster has had any work done in the area of the plugs or HT leads he might want to check it out.
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Paul Giverin

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<snip>

Makes you wonder about the quality of the OP's dealer, does it not? :-)
Chris
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Nothing surprises me these days.
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Hi, Took mine to 2 main dealers in the UK and neither were able to say what the fault was "unless I left it with them for a day or 2 to check out the computer...........there were no fault/error codes and the charge started with UK 70. I declined and sought help from this group.
I got the info from such helpful people on this group as Paul, Tim and Chris. Armed with this info, I went back to Ford and asked them whether there was a problem with this item (the Vehicle Speed Sensor). They admitted that there had been a problem with some and when I drove the 25 miles in my 2000V 1.8 zetec to my favourite family Ford dealer, Watson Ford of Marske (Northeast coast - was Yorkshire, now Cleveland......), they knew exactly what the problem was. They contacted the Ford technical dept before it was changed (Craig there had just done one the day before, and still had the skinned knuckles to prove it........it is a bit of a bugger to get the retaining pin out) anyway, Ford said they would pay 80 per cent of the cost so as the car was approaching it's 5th year, I was very happy with that. Mine went faulty twice, restarted first time both times and drove away ok, the problem not recurring until about 4 months had passed. No problems since fixed but as our helpful friends have said, Google the VSS and all the details of how to do it or get it done are there. Good luck and thanks again to "the Knowledge" on this group, Justin Case

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