Ford Focus - key not detected - Supertramp

Our Ford Focus '09 1.8 petrol has developed a fault or two.

Been out with it today and its started flashing up a warning to say the key has not been detected, the key was in the car, it didn't cut out.....just gave us the warning every 10 mins.

Then I noticed a red LED on the dashboard up near the two green turn signal indicator lights started to flash intermittently, no pattern......just random flashes.....any clues?

Also I noticed that once in a while the amber light/icon showing a car on slippery roads flashes

Oh and the radio has started cutting out.......and the windows won't go up and down suently every time....every now and again it pauses and starts again, in no particular place.

Are these Fords a bit troublesome with the electrics?

Ford Focus - key not detected - elekie&a/c doctor

I would get the battery and charging system tested.Any erratic voltages on modern cars can cause havoc with the electronics.Fords are no worse than any other maker for electrics.

Ford Focus - key not detected - MrEckerslikefromRamsbottom

I'll second that. This isn't something as simple as a slipping alternator drive belt is it?

Ford Focus - key not detected - Galaxy

You haven't fitted a non-Calcium battery by any chance have you, OP?

Ford Focus - key not detected - Railroad.

You haven't fitted a non-Calcium battery by any chance have you, OP?

Not being funny but exactly what difference would fitting a calcium or non-calcium battery make?
Ford Focus - key not detected - Galaxy

With a Ford electrical system, a great deal!

A non-Calcium battery will cause all manner of electrical oddities with the car. Search this forum, there are plenty of examples given.

Ford Focus - key not detected - Railroad.
Do you know that for fact, or is that one of those myths going around? I am aware that there are some differences, but none that are either major or fundamental. Over many years I have attended dozens of training courses, including batteries and charging systems, but this is the first time I have heard this.

Calcium batteries tend to be preferred because they retain there shelf charge for longer than traditional lead acid batteries. This is because the plates are harder due to being coated with calcium. They also gas less which means they are safer. The disadvantage is if they are allowed to become discharged because they will need a boost charge of around 16 volts for about an hour before they will accept a charge at normal rate. No amount of driving will recover a discharged calcium battery.

Problems caused to smart charging systems due to non use of a calcium battery though really is news to me, nor have I ever experienced any problems.

Edited by Railroad. on 02/05/2014 at 19:37

Ford Focus - key not detected - Railroad.
I've just read on the Valeo website that Ford smart charging systems are indeed designed to be used with calcium batteries. This is due to the higher voltage output required to charge them when cold. Such voltages could damage a lead acid battery.
Ford Focus - key not detected - Supertramp

I will have a look tomorrow morning and report back

Ford Focus - key not detected - Supertramp

so its a Ford calcium battery.

been to it this morning and it won't start.

Ford Focus - key not detected - FP


Ford Focus - key not detected - Galaxy

Alternator or something that's permanently draining the battery, even with the ignition switched off, I would say.

Certainly needs further investigation and some measurements taken.

Edit....................Could even be the battery itself.

Edited by Galaxy on 03/05/2014 at 12:04

Ford Focus - key not detected - Supertramp

thanks to everyone who has replied on this thread.

The other thing we found was after it refused to start that the headlights came on dipped beam and we couldn't turn them off, only switching on the side-lights would put them out

We put jump leads from a second good battery and it started immediately, took the leads off and it spluttered and stopped..

As some of you have said it does seem that there is a drain through the alternator which has turned in to a massive drain, almost a short circuit. Hope it won't have done prolonged damage to any of the control modules.

Anyway we called the Ford dealer who we bought it from 3 weeks ago and asked them to sort it out. bearing in mind it has a 1 year warranty.

I will report back what they find out

Ford Focus - key not detected - Galaxy

Sorry, I didn't realise you'd just bought this car.

If I had known I would have just said take it straight back!

Ford Focus - key not detected - Supertramp


A technician showed up, told us that there are (quote) "three panels underneath where water gets in a fuse board"........"its probably that"......loaded the car up and took it away.

So we await with bated breath to hear the full post mortem


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