Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - james_joyce

Hi I am new to this Forum so apologies for posting straight away.

I have just bought a Focus 1.8 TDCi, 02 plate, with 140k on the clock and a good service history. It had been standing at the dealer's garage for about 6 weeks, unused.

There are two separate issues with the car and I wonder if they are connected, and/or the solution to each one:

1. Clicking noise when engine is starting. This was worse at first, when we went for a test drive. Dealer said the battery had been flat and he hadn't put much charge in it. This tallies with what I've read about this symptom. However it is still going on. Another theory from the dealer's mate was the cambelt was cold and needed to warm up - which seems a bit bizarre and I wonder if there was a misunderstanding somewhere?

2. Intermittent problem with the glow plug light coming on. This has happened twice now, the second time being with what I gather is a familiar symptom, ie the car losing power. I had to pull over and restart the engine. I understand this can be the camshaft sensor, which I am happy to try replacing myself. Alternatively I gather it would be very expensive to resolve.

After I got the car yesterday I had a 10-mile trip home, during which I had one instance of problem 2 above. Then I drove a 150-mile round trip to my Mum's house yesterday with no problems. Then today, having only driven a few miles, I had the second instance of problem 2. If it was really serious wouldn't it have occurred at some point in 150 miles yesterday? In other words is it worth trying the quick-fix idea of the camshaft sensor replacement first?

Also the dealer said problem 1 should be resolved by that long journey, which it hasn't been. I'm not sure how best to proceed with these issues I have run the standard check of DTC codes with the trip reset button, however this currently just shows 'none'. Is this meaningful, ie should I start by getting a proper diagnostic check done?

Any advice on any of this gratefully received!



Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - nick10121974

hi there i to have the tdci and was driveing it when it cut out and would not start again with the glowe plug light flashing the ecu was reset and it ran for a day then done it again. and it was the cam sencore. it sounds as it is the same on yours and i would get it done asap as it will cut out on you as it tells the ecu to shut the engine down when it gose wrong. im not sure what the clicking noise is tho it could be todo with the censore but mine never did that so cant be sure on that. if i was you i would get foult codes cheked out

Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - gfewster

Camshaft position sensor. Go to your local Ford dealer and purchase one at the parts counter - it'll be about £25.

Fit it yourself in about two minutes. All you need is a 10mm socket and the ability to disconnect/connect a small wiring connector. If this is really beyond you, buys a Haynes manual.

Don't let a Ford dealer anywhere near the car. Not unless you want bills for 'investigation', false diagnoses of problems with crank sensors, fuel pumps, glow plugs and other such nonsense. They'll just throw random parts which it doesn't need at the car until they feel they've taken enough cash off you, then they'll replace the cam sensor without telling you and smugly tell you that all their expensive 'diagnosis' work and part replacement has cured the problem.

Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - dieselnut

As you bought the car on Saturday, I would return it to the dealer & advise him of the above problems that he seems to have been aware of anyway, & that the long journey you have made didn't cure the faults.

The clicking probably just requires a new battery.

The flashing glow light fault may turn into an expensive fix if it needs a new turbo or fuel pump.

Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - james_joyce

Hi chaps, thanks for all the replies. I decided to take it to a Ford main dealers to try and diagnose the actual problem and give me some solid evidence to take to my dealer.

Error code P0251, which basically relates to the fuel pump.

The Ford main dealers quoted me £1100 to replace it, plus I would need a replacement cam belt. Needless to say, my dealer nearly had a fit when I told him. However I managed to explain that of course I had no intention of getting the fix done at the Ford main dealers.

My dealer is going to arrange the fix himself. Once this is done I will probably get the diagnostics done again - maybe somewhere a bit cheaper.

I'm glad I didn't start doing some amateur fixes to the camshaft sensor myself.

I'll let you know what happens next...



Edited by james_joyce on 25/01/2011 at 22:11

Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - elekie&a/c doctor
Error code p0251 relates to fuel pump area but not necessarily the pump itself.It could be a fault with the fuel pressure regulator valve which is attached to the end of the pump and is replaceable as a seperate part.Also ingress of dirt or contamination in the fuel can cause this fault.May be an idea to replace the fuel filter first.hth
Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - james_joyce

I don't know much about error codes. If a code stops happening, does this mean the root cause of the problem has actually been fixed, or can it mean that the relevant symptoms have just been temporarily stopped? In other words how easy is it for a mechanic to 'mask' an expensive problem with a cheap fix?

Edited by james_joyce on 25/01/2011 at 23:23

Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - gfewster

Error codes are very vague and you should never rely on them for a diagnosis. They can appear for a variety of reasons, including something as simple as a fault in the sensor/cicruit designed to the detect the error.

They are a crude tool, and main dealers' reliance on them is the reason why there are very few mechanics around these days who can perform proper, old-fashioned diagnostics.

If an fuel pump error code comes up, (assuming no problem with the detection system) then all that means is that a set of conditions have arisen which the person who designed the system thinks would be indicative of fuel pump failure. There could be many other reasons why it comes up, other than the pump itself actually failing. If the pump had failed, it wouldn't be pumping any fuel........

Many apparently healthy cars will show all sorts of error codes if you plug them in, that's how useful they are.

Your sarcy comment about "glad I didn't start amatuer fixes of camshaft sensors", unfortunately, shows that you've the level of mechanical understanding which keeps the main dealers and their sharp practices in business. If you can't see how simple replacement of a component works, and how it doesn't need a 'mechanic' to do it, then frankly, you're going to get ripped off at some point. People on here are just trying to help, so there's no need to be rude or sarcastic.

This engine has a lot of issues with cutting out. They are very difficult to diagnose properly, because the systems involved are so complicated - and the error codes invariably don't tell you much. Historically, a high proportion of these failures have turned out to be the camshaft position sensor - a £25 component which is easily accessible and can be replaced in 2 minutes by anyone who can turn a spanner. I was simply suggesting you tried this remedy, which statistically has a good chance of curing the problem, before you pay Ford lots of money to have a spotty teenager plug the car into a computer and read the near-useless information it produces. £25 won't even buy half an hour's 'diagnostic' labour at the dealer, so it's probably worth trying.

Or alternatively, pay someone loads of cash to have a new fuel pump fitted and yeah, let them replace a perfectly good cambelt before it's anywhere near the end of its natural life. Then act surprised when the problem doesn't go away.

Ford Focus TDCi (02 plate) - Focus 1.8 TDCi - clicking noise/glow plug light - james_joyce

Hi, thanks a lot for the info.

Sorry I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. I just meant that I as a total amateur/incompetent was pretty unlikely to fix anything successfully. I didn't mean to criticise anyone else.

I won't be paying for the repair as I'm taking it to the dealer who sold me the car so he can get it fixed for me. My point is simply that I want to be confident the problem has actually been resolved - and whether if I get the error codes checked afterwards, I can be confident that 'no errors' mean the car has no problem.

Edited by james_joyce on 26/01/2011 at 19:08


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