I have just discovered that my Focus TDCi 115 is not as whizzy as it ought to be.
Symptoms: When I start to use more than 'normal' power, the engine appears to lose the will to pull. It's OK for say the first couple of bends on a nice B road, or an overtaking squirt on the motorway from 70mph, but after the 2 or so corners / straights or if I'm going at 80 and want to accelerate - nothing there. I thought it was the fabled dodgy fuel pump, but the only fault code we could foind was P1200 - 'faulty injector'. The technician said that he has seen a lot of TDCi's with knackered injectors (they seem particularly prone to damage)which feed back data to the ECU, which shuts down the fuel delivery, presumably to prevent further damage. it's not a critical fault, so the glow plug light does not flash. I am told that the best you can expect to pay for an injector is around £300 from an independent, but you still have to get the injector calibration details programmed in by Ford. I have also heard that this is illegal... Ford cannot stop other companies from doing the work. It seems that a mild dose of petrol or water will do an injector, so be careful.
I am stuck with an underperforming car, which I bought on the understanding that it was one of the most reliable cars out there. Wrong. Beware. Any advice would be most welcome.
To be honest I think you are going to be stuck with letting Ford sort you out on this - unless you are very lucky and find an independent who really knows his stuff on these engines.
I must confess that (as I've said many times before) I am very wary of the latest high-tech Diesels. Yes, they go well and are potentially very economical etc., but the pressures and tolerances mean that any small amount of wear or contamination rapidly brings about expensive problems. If you are unlucky with one and its out of warranty then it can rapidly become a money pit. There don't seem to be that many people out there who can reliably diagnose and fix the problems either.
Grr - I had just crafted a long response to this post, only for the forum software to lose it and ask me to log in again!
Doesn't sound like an injector fault to me - they usually either work or they don't and when they don't the glow plug light comes on and usually the ECU goes into limp home mode. Has a leak back test been performed to confirm the fault code? Once reset, does the fault code reappear? If the answer to these two is no then I wouldn't be hasty about an injector change.
2 other common problems this could be:
TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN No.69/2003
Car and Light/Medium Commercial 28.05.2003
Subject: Poor power; delayed accelerator response and/or rough idle, engine hard or impossible to start
Should a customer express concern over poor power; occasional delayed accelerator response and/or rough idle and the engine is hard or impossible to start, the probable cause is insufficient signal from the camshaft position sensor (CMP sensor). Some vehicles may also have diagnostic trouble code (DTC) 0340 set. To rectify the concern, the signal at the CMP sensor should be increased from 5 volts to 12 volts using a CMP sensor additional wiring harness.
or the well known faulty EGR valve - if its smoking a lot under hard acceleration then this is pretty likely.
Don't overlook obvious things like a loose intercooler pipe or damaged intercooler either.
Try a Delphi diesel specialist for the injector should you need one - they may also have the kit to progam them.
Long term reliability of these engines is unproven. I'm no engineer but it to me it seems that having very small solenoids in the top of the injectors holding off fuel at 1500psi whilst opening 3 times per 4 strokes is not something that is going to last forever.
"Grr - I had just crafted a long response to this post, only for the forum software to lose it and ask me to log in again!"
I have had this, it is worth copying the teaxt every couple of minutes if creating a long post then if you lose it you can re paste it in.
Re the injector problem, the Focus TDCi has been around over 4 years now and the Mondeo 3.5, there must be many examples of both with over 150k on the clock and I have not heard of regular injector faults. Perhaps I should say "touch wood" because my Mondeo has done nearly 89k however it's performance and economy is as good as ever, it is true to say that on the odd occasion it sounds a little more diesely than normal though soon settles down, I have wondered if it is slighty sensitive to various fuels. On the otherhand a good motorway run (which I don't do as often as I used to) seems to clear it out nicely. It is easy to spend all day, even all week without seeing much more than 2000 rpm due to the immense torque at low revs however a good run using the revs does it good. I have had only one incidence where an injector needed re calibrating by plugging in to the dealer diagnotics computer.
Common rails run at 1650 bar - eg 24 THOUSAND psi!!! Even more reason to possibly doubt their long term reliability. There are plenty of PSA HDi engines that seem to have gone the course though, and showing mileages into the multiples of 100k. ISTR there was lots of doom mongering about cats and ECUs on petrol engines 15 years ago, but it has proved mostly unfounded. There's always the exception that proves the rule, and it will be a wallet draining experience if it's yours!