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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SOLVED: 2012 Focus Engine Dies at random times

Thought I would post about my Focus problem and keep its outcomes updated. I've noticed a couple other problems like mine with no resolution.

I've been driving a new purchase 2012 Focus for a little over 2 years now without any problems until about 2 months ago. At highway speeds or at idle such as a stop light, the engine will just die or go into a rough idle and will not respond to throttle. Engine will not start back until it has set for 15-30 minutes. After restart it just dies again a few miles down the road.

I had the car towed to the dealership and told them about the problem and the Oil Leak on one of the Exhaust manifold bolt studs.

10 days later they called to have me come pickup my fixed car. they fixed the oil leak on the bolt stud and replaced the STARTER RELAY to fix the engine problems, I gave the service manager an odd look, he assured me that would cause the engine to die...... I said I will be calling you when it dies again. I got 5.2 miles down the road and the car dies again.

Its being towed back to Ford as I am writing this.

Here is a video I recorded of the Problem.


http://youtu.be/Znr7ALehvSQ


Resolution..... Replaced Transmission Control Module covered under the 8yr 80,000 mile warranty located on page 18 of your warranty booklet.
http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/catalog/owner_guides/12frdwa5e.pdf
Page 18
EMISSIONS DEFECT WARRANTY COVERAGE
— 8 years or 80,000 miles (whichever occurs first) for catalytic
converters, electronic engine control unit (ECU), transmission control
module (TCM), and any other onboard emissions diagnostic module.
 

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Interesting that the gear indicator "P" starts flashing when the rough idle and CEL come on. Good chance that it's not a coincidence and is another symptom of whatever weird problem that is.

Did they find any stored codes?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting that the gear indicator "P" starts flashing when the rough idle and CEL come on. Good chance that it's not a coincidence and is another symptom of whatever weird problem that is.

Did they find any stored codes?
Yes and it was something like P0850 don't quote me on that as i am going from memory and it indicated the starter relay. Here is my theory on why that code is in there. The CEL only goes solid after you shut it off and try to restart it. Since it doesn't restart for whatever reason (could be a starter relay disable ability) it reads and throws a starter relay fault..... any ideas?

Also I should add that when I say it wont restart I mean the starter will not engage at all indicating an electrical issue. It wont turn over at all till it cools down or some breaker resets or whatever.

Another note that when the car has sit long enough and everything is back to normal, the first time you turn the key back on you can hear all the transmission servos just a clanking and grinding away like they are somehow resetting their positions
 

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I swear that looks/sounds like what happens when the spark timing is off on car with a distributor. Something like swapping the plug wires for cylinders 2 & 3 or retarding the timing until you're firing after Top Dead Center. It'll try to fire on the expansion/exhaust strokes, but it doesn't quite work.

I think that's a major problem with the PCM, especially with how erratic your indicators are.
 

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Also I should add that when I say it wont restart I mean the starter will not engage at all indicating an electrical issue. It wont turn over at all till it cools down or some breaker resets or whatever.
That is an important clue.

Is there any indication of an excessive voltage drop when it doesn't start (such as any lights/indicators becoming dim).

The first thing that I would look at is the battery connections and the battery itself.

A dealer tech with half a brain should realize that trouble codes are unreliable when there are electrical system issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is an important clue.

Is there any indication of an excessive voltage drop when it doesn't start (such as any lights/indicators becoming dim).

The first thing that I would look at is the battery connections and the battery itself.

A dealer tech with half a brain should realize that trouble codes are unreliable when there are electrical system issues.
No there is no indication of any brownouts or such. However, I did replace the battery about 4 weeks ago trying to fix the issue. The max voltage on my battery was reading 12.1 volts with it disconnected and also the fluid level on it was down a bit. I also removed the ground lugs under the air cleaner and ground the paint off and used dielectric grease on the connections.
 

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Why exactly would a bad fuel pump cause the starter not to engage?

Do you happen to work for the dealer that replaced the starter relay?
Sorry, missed the part about the starter not working after you turn it off. No I do not work at a dealer, nor am I a mechanic, just play one on TV and slept in a holiday inn last night.

Anyway, seen low fuel pressure do some weird stuff in these direct injection motors, and thought that may cause it to die or run rough
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Just talked to the Dealership and they were able to reproduce the malfunction this time. It seems to be worse when its hot outside and its 105 degrees today, he didn't make it out of the parking lot. We will see what part gets thrown at it this time.
 

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Did the dealer look for a faulty TCM ? I know on the Fiesta 2011, when the TCM is faulty, the gear position will blink like in your video.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did the dealer look for a faulty TCM ? I know on the Fiesta 2011, when the TCM is faulty, the gear position will blink like in your video.
Funny you ask that. Before I took the car in i saw this video and pretty much made my mind up that this is probably the problem. When I called to make arrangements to have my car put in the shop I told the service manager that its more than likely to be the Transmission Control Module. He replied if its dieing then its not transmission related. This brings me back to when I picked it up the first time and he told me it was a starter relay. He assured me that would cause the engine to die. Today is day 14 they have had my Focus.
 

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The max voltage on my battery was reading 12.1 volts
Wow that's low!

11.8v battery 0% charge, 12.5v 100% charge (you need to wait a few hours to let the battery stabilize after the engine has stopped.)

12.1 while engine running this is a regulator and/or alternator fault.

Should read higher than 13 volts (14.7 max!)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow that's low!

11.8v battery 0% charge, 12.5v 100% charge (you need to wait a few hours to let the battery stabilize after the engine has stopped.)

12.1 while engine running this is a regulator and/or alternator fault.

Should read higher than 13 volts (14.7 max!)
I think you misread my post or I may be misreading your post.

The max voltage on my battery was reading 12.1 volts with it disconnected and also the fluid level on it was down a bit.
with it disconnected
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: Called Ford Dealer today and wanted to get the low down on what the plan was to get the problem resolved. The service manager told me it looks like the Transmission Control Module is frittzing out and that the part should be here tomorrow. I reminded him that I made that suggestion the first time I called you 2 weeks ago. (listen to your customers)

I'll know within 10 miles after picking up the car if that fixes it as it is 104 degrees out.
 

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Sorry my bad ! :)

Did you check while the engine running?

Anyway I think if it was that, the alternator fault light would have come on. (unless it's still a stupid light who only check alternator coil excitation)

EDIT: Probably more TCM related but well .... sometimes you could have another thing that fried your TCM, like a faulty regulator :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry my bad ! :)

Did you check while the engine running?

Anyway I think if it was that, the alternator fault light would have come on. (unless it's still a stupid light who only check alternator coil excitation)

EDIT: Probably more TCM related but well .... sometimes you could have another thing that fried your TCM, like a faulty regulator :)
Yes I totally agree that something could have caused the faulty TCM but I think it will have to go out again before they start looking at possible causes.

As far as running voltage it is at 14.2-14.5

I suspect the reason my battery was dieing was because of my Ham radio being left on a couple times and completely draining the battery. I have since installed a relay that operates off the cig outlet to power off the main power to the radios when the car disables the outlets after 15 min of inactivity.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What was the reason this Thread was moved from:

MK3 TSB, Recall & Problems Archive
The place to chat about TSB and Known Issues for the 2012 Focus.

To


MK3 Focus
The place to chat about general questions, window tinting, exterior body, interior and lighting upgrades for the third generation 2012-Current Focus.
 

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I don't see a note on it's being moved, I'll put it in the recalls & problems section for you.
 
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