Ford Focus not starting when warm

Ford Focus 1.6, 2001, Mk1 ? in the UK
When the engine is cold the car will start on the first turn of the key
? everytime. When running there are no problems at all, idle is smooth
as well is the acceleration or travelling in any gear. There is nothing
wrong with the battery ? its heavy duty and around a year old and the
engine turns over okay.
If the car is stopped after 2 minutes or 30 minutes or 2 hours then 1
percent of the time it will not restart again until the engine has fully
cooled down. The problem is getting progressively worse.
All symptoms suggest lack of fuel. The engine turns over but will not
catch. In the fault condition the fuel pump doesn't prime on the turn of
the key BUT when the engine has cooled down it will prime without
problems and the engine will again start on the first turn of the key.
While I cannot rule out a fuel pump I suspect something else is
inhibiting the pump from being started during these episodes
An OBDII diagnostic doesn't show any fault codes, even when the engine
will not start. Real time monitoring of engine temperature shows no over
heating. The fault can occur after the engine has only been running a
few minutes and hasn't reached the opening temperature of the
thermostat. The hottest the engine ever gets is 119C (the sensor doesn't
measure the water temperature but the temperature of the metal in the
head). The temperature sensor has also been recently replaced.
Also replaced recently as part of a general service are the spark plugs.
The relays associated with the fuel system have also been swapped. Most
(all) connectors in the engine bay have been separated and remade with
no apparent signs of burning or contamination. Hoses all seem to be
okay. There is no loss of coolant or oil.
A Google for the problem shows it isn't uncommon but most postings don't
show any satisfactory solution. Owners have spent a lot of money having
fuel pumps and filters replaced for the fault to re-appear a short time
Any sensible clues about what may be going wrong?
Reply to
Have you tried just directly powering the fuel pump, then you will know whether it is definitely lack of fuel. Or run a pressure test on the fuel system when it will not start.
First thought for your symptoms would usually be crank sensor rather than fuel.
Reply to
Last time I had this happen was years ago with an Hillman Imp. After trying absolutely everything it turned out to be a blocked jet in the carb'. One jet came in to start the engine and the blocked one took over after the engine was warm. Unblocking the jet cured it. I found out this was standard practice with most makes of carb'. I've no idea if things were done the same way in 2001 but I'd go for carb' trouble.
Reply to
Almost impossible to get the fault to occur when the car is in my driveway - it usually happens away from home - and in the rain (only because it hasn't stopped raining this year)
Thanks - you are the second person to suggest this today.
Reply to
carbs on new cars disappeared in the early 90s
Took me a while to work out why I couldn't find the Autochoke on my Astra.
Reply to
Gareth Magennis
critcher said........ my 2002 1.6 petrol focus always started on the first pull, then after having a service the engine now requires a pull of 3-4 secs, as if the fuel is not available for a few moments. Mind you it has done 142,000 miles and is very near to retirement.
Reply to
You know, you don't need to preface your own replies with "critcher said". That task is performed by most (if not all) news clients. (See the top of this message).
A recoil starter on your car?? ;-)
Reply to
As did my A40 Somerset. Once, whilst teaching an inept friend to drive, he stalled at a junction. In a panic, he pulled the starter knob so hard, the cable came off the solenoid. To my amazement, he just kept pulling, until the whole of the inner came out. I laughed so much that I was unable to tell him what to do!
Reply to
Chris Whelan
Not seen one of those. I do remember starter buttons and stater pedals though.
Reply to
my A35 had a pull starter knob. probably early moggy minors too.
My Parents' Ford Consol had one of those. And a column gear change. And an umbrella handbrake. And a front bench seat.
I never managed to get the valve radio working though.
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Reply to
Gareth Magennis
Touch wood, fingers crossed, a replacement crankshaft sensor seems to have cured the problem - albeit the original fault was somewhat intermittent. I have started the engine at least 100 times at all temperatures and after a couple of 30 minute runs. It now always starts on the first turn of the key without a failure.
I have to thank the Ford designers for making the job extremely fiddly by placing the mounting bolt in the most inaccessible position they could think of. I had to use a 1/4 inch drive socket with an allen key in the drive end and then just undo the bolt a quarter turn before repositioning. Just rotating the sensor by 180 degrees would have made it a 1 minute job. The old sensor shows around 400 Ohms both cold and hot (as does the new sensor) so its not open circuit. It wasn't tested dynamically as at the time as I didn't have a helper to crank the engine whilst laying under the car.
As the sensor is magnetic I wonder if the thin film of contaminants on the old sensor contained metallic dust from 100,000 miles of engine wear?
Reply to
I am pleased it is fixed. As to the contaminants I had a Focus (30k miles) come in with a cam sensor fault showing, I cleaned the sensor and the fault has not recurred in several years, so you may be right about metal particles.
Reply to
I currently have the exact fault alan describe in the original post, i put my car in for a diagnostic check which was inconclusive, my garage suspects a fault with the ECU which they informed me would have to be sent for chec ks leaving me without a car for an estimated 5 days which would cause me mu ch inconvenience. I asked them to replace the Camshaft sensor without doing anything else and sadly have to report that this has not cleared the fault , had to sit for 10 minutes after i stopped on the way home to wait fot the car the car to cool down before it would restart and the Engine systems fa ult message/light were both displayed. I drove the car home the last mile w ith no effects of a system fault or lack of performance. Not sure what to d o next a i totally rely on my car and to lose it for a week will be a right pain. Glad i tried Alan's suggestion as it hasn't cost too much to replace the sensor but in case anyone else has this problem maybe i have helped th em save their money.
Reply to
In article ,
Far more likely for a position sensor to be effected by heat than the ECU, IMHO, especially if it's a hall effect type.
But the ECU costs more so must be faulty.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)

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