99 1.8 battery connection?? - fredblogs
Hi I'm a little puzzled by this on my Focus 1.8tddi and wondered if anyone had any suggestions.

I went to start the car this morning, turned the key once the glow plug light had gone out and got just a click as if the battery was completely flat. But all lights, radio, etc. work fine.
Not releasing the key, I got this clicking sound about once per second along with the electrics going haywire (dashboard lights coming on, windscreen wipers, etc). After maybe 2 or 3 attempts at this, it decided to start. The starter motor sounded normal and the engine ran perfectly as usual. Also as usual, the battery light went out within about 1-2 seconds of the engine starting.

I did notice the trip counter had reset itself.

I checked the voltage on the battery with the engine idling and no lights, etc. turned on and it was 13.4V. The battery never goes flat and the car is always easy to start. The battery terminals/connection looked undamaged.

Is this something as simple as dirty battery terminals, or something more?

99 1.8 battery connection?? - mikej
Sounds like it might be a dodgy battery - are you still on the OEM battery ?

Not sure about the windscreen wipers, but when your dials do a full sweep when you try and start the car and you get a frantic clicking sound, I think that tells you there's a problem with the battery.

This happened to me in recent years and a Halfords check of the battery revealed a dead cell, so a new battery solved the problem. My car had also been starting fine up until this point, so it was a very sudden problem. IIRC, the Focus smart charge system requires 14V+.

If you search this Mk1 Focus section (> and < year), you should find plenty of posts on battery problems, including a post or two on the problems that happened to me.

If it does turn out to be the battery at fault, then make sure you get a Calcium battery - again, there are posts on this subject too.

Incidently - my car was a 1.8i petrol - don't know if diesels are any different.

Edited by mikej on 18/09/2009 at 15:03

99 1.8 battery connection?? - Peter.N.
..or it could be a poor connection in the starter circuit, if the battery connections are clean and tight, check the earth lead from the battery to the engine.