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Old 01-03-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
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Engine Fault - Service Now | Engine dying while driving MkIII

Hoping somebody can help me out. I just took my 2013 Focus into the dealership for the 5th time in the last month and a half to try to resolve an issue where my engine either does not start or will die on the road and not start up again. I have had to have the car towed into the dealership each time, and each time the service dept has been confident they have resolved any issues, only to have the same thing happen again within a day or two of driving.

Essentially, the car will be running per normal (if it starts...), but the engine will die on me at a traffic light or stop in traffic, and the 'Engine Fault, Service Now' notification will appear. At this point, the engine is unable to restart. All electronics continue to work so it does not seem to be a battery issue.

It is incredibly frustrating to be worried about your car dying each time you take it out, and to make matters worse, I am stuck with a dinky fiesta rental through some pretty serious winter conditions right now. The dealership is not helping at all, and the Service Manager blames me - saying if his techs can't reproduce the issue it must be something I am doing.

Anybody else seen or heard of this issue? The car is exactly one year old with only 15k kilometers on it so needless to say I am pretty frustrated.


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Old 01-03-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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Is there a rough idle at all or any sort of symptoms that prelude the engine cutoff? Also, how do you start the car up again?
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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Have you pulled any codes from the car yourself before taking it into the dealership?
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
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I'm by no means an expert or a mechanic. And I don't want to step on anyone's toes.

I say that because I don't want anyone using any internet post as fuel to go back to a dealership and argue with them. A 'well someone on the internet said' never bodes well and should never be used in conversation. All we're here for is to help you better understand what may be going on or what the difficulties in diagnosis may be.
Trained, experienced and employed tech's should trump opinion from the internet almost always.



So when the tech takes the car they'll scan it for any pending malfunction codes. If none are present the diagnosis time grows. If a code were present there would be attached "freeze frame data". That is what the car was doing at the time of the fault. If there is no pending code there is no freeze frame data. And that is why diagnosis time grows.
They must then watch live data. The have no indication of where to look and there are a lot of data streams that could be possible. Anything from a security fault to fuel pump fault may be possible.

My guess is that when it is towed to them they try to start it and it fires right off as normal. That will probably really confuse them and give fuel to being a customer problem and not one with the car.
I would view that just the opposite. I would say it's a time based problem or something electrical getting hot and shutting down until it cools. Finding what that part may be is a challenge. But it is narrowed by what you can and can't do when it shuts down. That helps to isolate a circuit to look into.

My best guess is that a faulty relay is to blame. One that may supply power to the "start" side of the PCM. and the "run" side of the PCM. Or something similar.
Regardless the start and run side of the ignition circuit are both affected. So again we have narrowed down where the fault may lie. So anything associated with those circuits may be the culprit.
Not having a wiring diagram, I can't really narrow anything down further than that.

But I would guess it'd be something simple and quickly overlooked that will be the fault. The testing of parts and fail rate is pretty low nowadays. So the odds of it being a big multifunction item (PCM) would be rare IMO.

Best course is to be thorough in your explanations. When the car does die, keep records of how long it was running since the last turn of the key (that time based indicator may shed light), all items that do work and what does not (for instance, does the fuel pump cycle? may need a second ear near the fuel tank to hear), climate (if it's only in brutal cold, wind, moisture, etc).
I think the time indicator is the most helpful. If nothing else it'll tell the shop about how long they need to run the car to recreate the fault. Or at least give them some idea about how long.

Biggest thing is to be patient. Electrical faults take time to sort out and those few who are good with them never get the recognition they deserve. Try your best to help them help you. It's better for everyone in the end.
And keep in mind that all this work is being done free of charge, for both you and the tech (warranty work doesn't pay well, if at all).


You may not understand much of this but they are great guides for learning:
https://www.motorcraftservice.com/vd...&menuIndex1=18

Click your Model Year and it'll open a PDF for the manual. Understanding how the car works greatly helps to diagnose what's going wrong, maybe why and where.
It may help you help them some.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerdrb View Post
Is there a rough idle at all or any sort of symptoms that prelude the engine cutoff? Also, how do you start the car up again?
I have noticed a 'rough idle' prior to the engine shutting off. The one time I was able to restart, the car only restarted for a few seconds before dying again. The other times I have needed to be towed to the dealer
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iminhell View Post
I'm by no means an expert or a mechanic. And I don't want to step on anyone's toes.

I say that because I don't want anyone using any internet post as fuel to go back to a dealership and argue with them. A 'well someone on the internet said' never bodes well and should never be used in conversation. All we're here for is to help you better understand what may be going on or what the difficulties in diagnosis may be.
Trained, experienced and employed tech's should trump opinion from the internet almost always.



So when the tech takes the car they'll scan it for any pending malfunction codes. If none are present the diagnosis time grows. If a code were present there would be attached "freeze frame data". That is what the car was doing at the time of the fault. If there is no pending code there is no freeze frame data. And that is why diagnosis time grows.
They must then watch live data. The have no indication of where to look and there are a lot of data streams that could be possible. Anything from a security fault to fuel pump fault may be possible.

My guess is that when it is towed to them they try to start it and it fires right off as normal. That will probably really confuse them and give fuel to being a customer problem and not one with the car.
I would view that just the opposite. I would say it's a time based problem or something electrical getting hot and shutting down until it cools. Finding what that part may be is a challenge. But it is narrowed by what you can and can't do when it shuts down. That helps to isolate a circuit to look into.

My best guess is that a faulty relay is to blame. One that may supply power to the "start" side of the PCM. and the "run" side of the PCM. Or something similar.
Regardless the start and run side of the ignition circuit are both affected. So again we have narrowed down where the fault may lie. So anything associated with those circuits may be the culprit.
Not having a wiring diagram, I can't really narrow anything down further than that.

But I would guess it'd be something simple and quickly overlooked that will be the fault. The testing of parts and fail rate is pretty low nowadays. So the odds of it being a big multifunction item (PCM) would be rare IMO.

Best course is to be thorough in your explanations. When the car does die, keep records of how long it was running since the last turn of the key (that time based indicator may shed light), all items that do work and what does not (for instance, does the fuel pump cycle? may need a second ear near the fuel tank to hear), climate (if it's only in brutal cold, wind, moisture, etc).
I think the time indicator is the most helpful. If nothing else it'll tell the shop about how long they need to run the car to recreate the fault. Or at least give them some idea about how long.

Biggest thing is to be patient. Electrical faults take time to sort out and those few who are good with them never get the recognition they deserve. Try your best to help them help you. It's better for everyone in the end.
And keep in mind that all this work is being done free of charge, for both you and the tech (warranty work doesn't pay well, if at all).


You may not understand much of this but they are great guides for learning:
https://www.motorcraftservice.com/vd...&menuIndex1=18

Click your Model Year and it'll open a PDF for the manual. Understanding how the car works greatly helps to diagnose what's going wrong, maybe why and where.
It may help you help them some.
thanks a lot for all of the feedback. The car has refused to start in my driveway on 2 occasions which would go against the 'something electrical getting hot' theory. To date they have replaced the PCM, Throttle Body and done some rewiring. I just got off the phone with the service tech who said they will be doing some more rewiring and replacing another part, but did not have specifics.

Will update the thread once I have more info
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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In the MkIII section there is an "archive" of older threads on issues with this newer model, looking there might find a similar problem mentioned.

I THINK I've seen it before, but it's not one of the common problems seen more often.

Intermittents can be a bear to fix as Iminhell mentioned.

Luck!
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gg0528 View Post
Hoping somebody can help me out. I just took my 2013 Focus into the dealership for the 5th time in the last month and a half to try to resolve an issue where my engine either does not start or will die on the road and not start up again. I have had to have the car towed into the dealership each time, and each time the service dept has been confident they have resolved any issues, only to have the same thing happen again within a day or two of driving.

Essentially, the car will be running per normal (if it starts...), but the engine will die on me at a traffic light or stop in traffic, and the 'Engine Fault, Service Now' notification will appear. At this point, the engine is unable to restart. All electronics continue to work so it does not seem to be a battery issue.

It is incredibly frustrating to be worried about your car dying each time you take it out, and to make matters worse, I am stuck with a dinky fiesta rental through some pretty serious winter conditions right now. The dealership is not helping at all, and the Service Manager blames me - saying if his techs can't reproduce the issue it must be something I am doing.

Anybody else seen or heard of this issue? The car is exactly one year old with only 15k kilometers on it so needless to say I am pretty frustrated.
Hi gg0528,

Please send me your VIN, phone number, full name, odometer reading, and servicing dealer via PM so I can do more research for you. :)

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Old 01-15-2014, 07:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gg0528 View Post
Hoping somebody can help me out. I just took my 2013 Focus into the dealership for the 5th time in the last month and a half to try to resolve an issue where my engine either does not start or will die on the road and not start up again. I have had to have the car towed into the dealership each time, and each time the service dept has been confident they have resolved any issues, only to have the same thing happen again within a day or two of driving.

Essentially, the car will be running per normal (if it starts...), but the engine will die on me at a traffic light or stop in traffic, and the 'Engine Fault, Service Now' notification will appear. At this point, the engine is unable to restart. All electronics continue to work so it does not seem to be a battery issue.

It is incredibly frustrating to be worried about your car dying each time you take it out, and to make matters worse, I am stuck with a dinky fiesta rental through some pretty serious winter conditions right now. The dealership is not helping at all, and the Service Manager blames me - saying if his techs can't reproduce the issue it must be something I am doing.

Anybody else seen or heard of this issue? The car is exactly one year old with only 15k kilometers on it so needless to say I am pretty frustrated.
Hi gg0528,

Is the problem still persisting today? Please send me a PM with your VIN so I can look into this for you. :)

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Old 12-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #10
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THIS EXACT THING IS HAPPENING TO ME WITH MY 2013 FORD FOCUS!!! They can't reproduce this issue for me either. PLEASE TELL ME THEY HAVE SINCE FIGURED THIS OUT FOR YOU. No one is helping. I am having such a terrible experience with Ford. Even their "customer service manager" from head office is rude and useless. Please help!
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