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Old 08-30-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
Idahomie
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Help with an issue? *solved

I've been reading for a couple days on all the forums trying to figure out whats going on with my car. I got up to 3000mi on my 2013 Focus ST this week and took it in to my dealer for service. They quickly serviced my car and got me back on the road. I had a few issues with the dealership service dept. Mainly the tech didn't put enough oil in, he said he didn't notice it was an ST and put 4.5 quarts in instead of the 5.7 it should have. I caught it right away and we were able to top it off before I left. Also the tech broke a lever on my Recaro drivers seat adjusting it. But they ordered a new one, and gave me some free oil changes to make up for it. And finally he wasn't very careful with my car and scuffed up a few things while he was working on it. But all of these issues are resolved, and are not what I'm really posting about.
When I got back on the road, the car seemed a bit different. It accelerated and pulled in a different way. My drive home was in decent traffic so I couldn't really play with it much. But the next day I drove to work on some of the back/country roads and I noticed it wasn't pulling quite as hard as it did. It was still decently fast, but that 2nd gear pull I fell in love with on my first test drive just didn't put me back in the seat as hard. I played with it for awhile and couldnt convince myself that it was running normally.
I read a lot about couplers, hoses, clamps, etc causing boost leaks. I'm not sure this is my problem, because the power is consistant...just less than before. And I put the factory air filter in and listened for any hissing/excess turbo noise and I heard none. To be sure I checked as many hoses and clamps as I could find, especially those near the oil filter, etc. in case the service tech knocked something else off. It all looks good as near as I can tell.
I've checked the oil and engine compartment for any obvious signs of mechanical issues and found none. The gauges all read as they did before. If anything it seems like oil pressure is reading higher now than it was before.
It seems to me like the boost is less than before. At non-boosting times the car seems to run like it always did. When I mash the gas though, it def doesn't pull like it did before. I plugged in my trusty bluetooth ODBII adapter and started playing with Torque a little. Most of the ECU data that I am capable of understanding seems normal to me. The boost seems lower than I remember it. I never really took note of the exact boost numbers when the car was running good. And that is my main question here. I'd like to know what other owners of stock ST's get for boost pressure. The Torque vac/boost meter on mine is reading -9ish PSI at idle, and -8 to -5 psi staying at most speeds in most gears. At wide open/floored in 1st gear it jumps up to 14 PSI for a bit then drops some. In second at WOT its a bit higher at 15 PSI. In 3rd and 4th its a bit more at 18-19 PSI for a second or two before dropping back into 15ish. I can't find enough road to test boost pulls in 5th and 6th. When torque reads 14-15 PSI my dash gauge is about 1/2. At 18-19 PSI its at about 3/4 mark. It seems like this is less than it was before. What kind of numbers are you guys getting? I keep reading about 15 seconds of 21 lb. overboost. Mine def doesn't do that, not sure if it ever did. When it was running "right" I didn't really pay attention, but it seems like the boost gauge read higher. I wasn't exactly staring over at it when I was in those high boost situations, usually just watched the road. Also the turbo noise (dropped COBB filter back in) sounds a bit different too. Like it dumps more, and it stutters/chatters a bit more than it did. Especially at the 18-19 PSI range mentioned above.
The final symptoms I noticed in the past couple days were different smells. When a car passes you at WOT, a strange fuel smell can be detected sometimes. I can smell this from my car in the drivers seat with the window down, never noticed it before. And today I was in a coffee hut drive through and I could smell a "hot metal" smell coming from the car. Reminded me of burnt wires or real hot clutch/brakes. Maybe the clutch was hot.
So if you know any Turbo boost number aproximations for stock ST's please do tell! And any other suggestions/advice on the issue are welcome of course. I'm running the same fuel I've always ran, from the same stations. And I've only owned it since June and only driven in the summer. The weather here has been mostly consistant the past few months. I'm afraid of going back to the dealer that I already had so many issues with last time...for a number of reasons. And it will be awhile before I can take it to a dealer in the next town. And I know it can be tough to convince a dealership that theres an issue with a car under waranty thats not obviously dead or dying. It is not throwing any codes. Sorry for the long novel, please help if you can.



Last edited by Idahomie; 09-12-2013 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
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The ST has an SAE rated power at 19.5 PSIg, and a peak boost pressure of 21 PSIg (as in gauge pressure)

Quote:
Horsepower 252 hp @ 5500 rpm on 93 octane
243 hp @ 5500 rpm on 87 octane
Torque 270 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm on 93 octane
270 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm on 87 octane
* SAE Certified Performance ratings are achieved with 19.5 psi, but up
to 21 psi can be delivered to maximize power depending on fuel quality
and atmospheric conditions.
From the ST owners guide supplement page 8.

No I don't think the boost gauge is less than before if you're still hitting 19 psi of boost under WOT from lower gears, it seems like either you're getting used to the punch now, or something else is wrong, like a boost leak or something.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, it has been awhile since I read the supplement. It can hit 19 still, if only briefly, and only in 4th gear when I floor it at lower RPM. If I dig in 1st and shift to second, I see only 14-15 PSI (1/2 mark on gauge) at WOT. In 3rd I see boost readings closer to 19 (usually peaks around 18, and again only briefly) I'm starting to think its temp related. Then engine compartment seems to be getting hotter than usual. And I started it today after letting it sit in the shade for 4.5 hours and the water temp gauge shot right up to its favorite spot in the middle of the gauge. Usually takes a few to warm up to operating temp. The oil temp had dropped to the low mark (120) but the coolant was still warm/hot. The weather has been a little warmer the last couple days...but not much. Hopefully that's all it is. Maybe I'm just driving too hard and too much on these hot August days to expect peak performance. I'm pretty sure its not just me getting used to the punch though. Its a noticeable change and it seemed to happen pretty much overnight after the oil change.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahomie View Post
Thanks for the reply, it has been awhile since I read the supplement. It can hit 19 still, if only briefly, and only in 4th gear when I floor it at lower RPM. If I dig in 1st and shift to second, I see only 14-15 PSI (1/2 mark on gauge) at WOT. In 3rd I see boost readings closer to 19 (usually peaks around 18, and again only briefly) I'm starting to think its temp related. Then engine compartment seems to be getting hotter than usual. And I started it today after letting it sit in the shade for 4.5 hours and the water temp gauge shot right up to its favorite spot in the middle of the gauge. Usually takes a few to warm up to operating temp. The oil temp had dropped to the low mark (120) but the coolant was still warm/hot. The weather has been a little warmer the last couple days...but not much. Hopefully that's all it is. Maybe I'm just driving too hard and too much on these hot August days to expect peak performance. I'm pretty sure its not just me getting used to the punch though. Its a noticeable change and it seemed to happen pretty much overnight after the oil change.
The coolant temperature gauge is an idiot light, basically as soon as it hits 40C or so it jumps right to half on the gauge, the oil temperature gauge which is actually a closer representation of the coolant temperature as the oil cooler is tied into the engine cooling system.

The quick way to convince yourself that the car does know what the actual coolant temperature is and it's lying to you (short of torque or any other OBD II device) is to hold down the left ok button from before the engine starts until the instrument panel display says test mode, than scrolling through the displays to find the engine coolant temperature displayed in degrees celsius.

The car is trying to hit and maintain the specified torque target of 270 lb-ft of torque, so if it can reach this from a lower boost level the car will taper the boost back.

Although with heat soak and pushing the car harder the stock intercooler may not be able to keep up with the heat rejection requirements.

The coolant is not necessarily warm just because the gauge says so, especially after sitting for hours or over night. The coolant can heat up fairly quickly, but not instantly up to operating temperature.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suss6052 View Post
The coolant temperature gauge is an idiot light, basically as soon as it hits 40C or so it jumps right to half on the gauge, the oil temperature gauge which is actually a closer representation of the coolant temperature as the oil cooler is tied into the engine cooling system.

The quick way to convince yourself that the car does know what the actual coolant temperature is and it's lying to you (short of torque or any other OBD II device) is to hold down the left ok button from before the engine starts until the instrument panel display says test mode, than scrolling through the displays to find the engine coolant temperature displayed in degrees celsius.

The car is trying to hit and maintain the specified torque target of 270 lb-ft of torque, so if it can reach this from a lower boost level the car will taper the boost back.

Although with heat soak and pushing the car harder the stock intercooler may not be able to keep up with the heat rejection requirements.

The coolant is not necessarily warm just because the gauge says so, especially after sitting for hours or over night. The coolant can heat up fairly quickly, but not instantly up to operating temperature.
Again, thanks. This is good to know. I suspected that the water temp gauge was idiot light style, and not an accurate "thermometer". Today was the first time I saw it go up instantly though, usually takes a few moments. But it looks like everything is operating normally based on my info, in your opinion then? For now I think I'm reassured. Maybe the changes in our weather are affecting my perception of the car's performance. For now I won't worry about it and continue to keep an eye on things, maybe log some data and go over it. Hopefully it will start to pull like I know it can again. Maybe I am too used to it. I'll drive around in our other cars and see if that helps. Let me know if you think of anything we may have missed.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
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Still not convinced my car is driving the way it used to. I'm thinking it may be motor mounts now. I've seen some marks on my intake tubing, where it hits against the firewall, etc. And also the "banging noise" when my engine flops around is gettting somewhat worse. Maybe my mounts are wearing out or getting worse and this is why I cant put as much torque to the ground. I'm waiting on TSB parts for a couple months now. Hopefully I get those soon and I can see if that helps. I'm stumped though. Everything seems to be fine when I check anything out. The ECU data looks normal. But I can tell it is def. not pulling the way it did awhile ago. Please help if anyone has any ideas?
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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Just in case anyone cares :), I figured it out. I got the TSB done, and while that helped some of the performance issues it did not fix the problems I was talking about in this thread. Since I noticed the difference after an oil change, I decided to drain the oil and refill. I put in Motorcraft synthetic 5w30. My oil pressure is back to the way it was for the first 3k miles, and better yet the punch was back too. The numbers are mostly the same, but it spools up faster than it did with the oil from the dealership. Not sure what they put in there, but it slowed the turbo down enough for me to notice it. Kinda strange, I'll have to be careful.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:59 PM   #8
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Seem's i went down this road also. I changed oil at a 1000 miles did'nt use recomended oil wt. Thought i fell a power loss. Now using ford recomened, an the bitch is back,
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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I'm not sure if you got bottled oil now but I'm pointing towards the bulk oil not being "right". Ya know?
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