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Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Smoke on startup - lennylegs

Hi I'm wondering if anyone can help diagnose my car issues, info on car from Ford: Focus 04-08, 1.8L Duratorq-DI HPCR (115PS) Lynx, Sea Grey (Metallic) I've had the car a year and it has 74k on it. Purchased oil from Halfords in the summer to top up (wasn't halfords own but a brand), about a week and half ago when filling up used some of cleaner in the fuel tank to keep injectors cleaner - we have done this in the past. Anyhow since weather has got a bit colder in the last week (but no snow here!) on start up the exhaust is kicking out tons - and I mean an awful lot - of black smoke - two ladies walking past my car this morning had to cross the road it was so bad, for about 10/15 secs the engine is all lumpy as well. (my oh didn't believe me about the smoke until he saw it then he couldn't believe how much there was) Within 20 secs all is absolutely fine. The car seems to have always been fine bar a hose splitting over summer which was prompty replaced. MPG appears to be reasonable given that it does a lot of short distances bar one slightly longer journey a week. I try to drive fairly sensibly (bar when i'm running late for work :) but even then im talking 90mph nothing to get excited about - oh seems to drive sensibly too, well when im around anyway)

Any thoughts on what it may be? Glow plugs seem to be ok (i tried 'warming' them up twice before starting engine to see if that made a difference but it was exactly the same) Have seen all sorts online about what it could be from minor to major problems, it seems to depend on the colour/quantity of smoke etc

Really grateful for any advice

Thanks

Lennylegs

Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Smoke on startup - Peter.N.

The usual thing to get when starting from cold is blue/white smoke which is unburnt fuel, black smoke is a result of overfueling or lack of air so I think you need to get the fault codes read.

Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Smoke on startup - lennylegs
Thank you, I'll try and arrange this for this to be done then.

Out of interest what causes overfueling / lack of air ? If you don't mind me asking.

Thank you so much!
Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Smoke on startup - Peter.N.

On cars made 15 years or more ago I could have told you exactly but now everything is electronically controlled its difficult to say. But briefly: a diesel has no control over the air intake, it takes in a full charge of air every stroke, the power is solely a product of the ammount of fuel being injected - unlike a petrol engine. An excessive ammount of fuel being injected will make it smoke but only normally when the engine is under load i.e.. when you are driving. Reducing the ammount of air going in has the same effect, this used to be caused by an obstruction in the air intake, a blocked air filter or collapsed hose, but on a modern engine it could be an electronic fault.

Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Smoke on startup - unthrottled

Could be glow plugs. you won't notice if they're burned out when the weather is warmer, but diesels will smoke quite badly in the cold if the glow plugs aren't working.

Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Smoke on startup - ItsChris

My 52 plate Focus 1.8 tdci 133,000 miles has a cold running fault. It starts easily, even at minus whatever, but then I get lots of light coloured smoke, smelling of diesel. If I drive off straight away it misfires violently making me stop again until it clears. I can get round the problem by starting and then waiting for the engine to warm up for five minutes. Once the engine is warm it runs perfectly,

I took the car into my local diesel specialist, Kent Diesel Centre in Maidstone and they kept the car overnight to do a cold start diagnostic check yesterday morning. They found one bad and another couple of poor injectors, basically it needs a new set. The cheapest repair cost would be for them to remove and overhaul my injectors (as opposed to fitting mew). This would cost about £930, so I'm afraid it's curtains for the old Focus.

I have decided to carry on sitting in the car for five minutes warming it up first and then get another car before next winter!

Incidently, the expert I spoke to in the garage advised to never use any oil or diesel additives, ever. He said they are corrosive and could accelererate injector problems. If you use an additive in a new Ford diesel it will invalidate the warranty!

Edited by ItsChris on 12/02/2012 at 13:15

Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Ford Focus 56 plate 1.8 Diesel - Smoke on startup - Englishbullterrier

Modern diesel engines do not require glow plugs to start the engine, but are included in the design to reduce cold start pollution, (such as black smoke).

You might want to get your plugs checked. Resistance should nominally be less than 1 ohm.....ebt

 

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