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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, over the last few months I've been having some bad issues with my car. Every once in a while, it wouldn't start and simply removing the battery terminal and putting it back on would fix the issue. Then, I tried doing the same yesterday and I couldn't get the car to start at all. Someone tried jumping my car and I still got nothing.

Yesterday, the speedometer would gently bounce when the key turned, but there was no click/crank/etc. just silence. The electrical would kick off for a few seconds and then kick back on. I took my DMM outside and measured 13.38V on the battery which implied it was still in decent shape (I know you need a load tester to properly test, but it was just too see). The battery was purchased August 2013.

I then tried starting my car and it started right up, so I went and ran a couple of errands. Right before I got back, the engine started stuttering and a minute or so later just died, but I managed to pull off into a parking lot. The dash lit up and my odometer went blank, showing dashes on both levels. I then had the no crank no start condition again so I just walked the half mile or so back. Does anyone know what might be the cause of this? My Focus is completely stock except for an aftermarket stereo.

Pictures of engine and dash:


 

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I had fire ant problems on my 2000 and experienced the same issue. I don't know what fixed it but the problem went away by itself. I read a bit here and there and some people suggested it might be the anti-theft. But as your problem is as hit or miss as mine I thing it is a ground, relay or connector problem. As I said I don't know what fixed it. I played around at the hood latch and never failed again. I would suggest looking at your battery connections, the ground located just outside of the battery, and the general condition of the ignition relay.

Sorry I can't be of more help...
 

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I had fire ant problems on my 2000 and experienced the same issue. I don't know what fixed it but the problem went away by itself. I read a bit here and there and some people suggested it might be the anti-theft. But as your problem is as hit or miss as mine I thing it is a ground, relay or connector problem. As I said I don't know what fixed it. I played around at the hood latch and never failed again. I would suggest looking at your battery connections, the ground located just outside of the battery, and the general condition of the ignition relay.

Sorry I can't be of more help...
I have already looked around as well as I could and didn't see any connection issues. If I really must I will take it to a technician, but if I can get this fixed by myself I will. I'm going to take a look at the fuses tomorrow but I have a bad feeling it won't prove beneficial.
 

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Look particularly at small ground wires to battery/battery to body.

Dashes in odo are loss of power/grd. to it, intermittent points more to ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Look particularly at small ground wires to battery/battery to body.

Dashes in odo are loss of power/grd. to it, intermittent points more to ground.
I'll be sure to do that. I actually had the anti-theft issue about a month ago which I saw the sticky for. I'll dig around in my electrical tools to see what I can dig up to reground. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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I see I typed a little fast this AM, meant that dashes in the odo are a sign of loss of power/ground to the PCM.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you know what to check for? I can do a fair bit with electrical but I'm unfamiliar with automotive. I don't have a diagnostic and getting it towed somewhere isn't what I'd like to do, unless required.
 

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Battery negative has a number of grounds connected, not just a single wire.

You want to check those, and the other end where you'll see a small one connect to the chassis as well. Should be one or two from harness to ground at the battery, on some the critical one is black with yellow tracer.

Power side, there's a black diode in the underhood fuse box that looks like a small fuse, you could check that for proper directional continuity (only works in one direction, you DID mention some electrical familiarity).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Battery negative has a number of grounds connected, not just a single wire.

You want to check those, and the other end where you'll see a small one connect to the chassis as well. Should be one or two from harness to ground at the battery, on some the critical one is black with yellow tracer.

Power side, there's a black diode in the underhood fuse box that looks like a small fuse, you could check that for proper directional continuity (only works in one direction, you DID mention some electrical familiarity).
Yes I've done a fair bit of electrical stuff and have anything I could possibly need to do minor electrical repairs like bad wires, regrounding, etc. I'll try to take a look tomorrow since I wasn't able to get out to look at the fuses today. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got back out to check today. Tried turning the key and it was about to start, then stalled and went into anti-theft mode again. Went ahead and tested the fuses since I already had my DMM with me and they all checked out. Removed the battery terminal to try to get the anti-theft to go away, replaced it and tried again to the same dashes and lights as before. Battery is a little corroded on the positive and ground wires are oxidized a bit though. My battery had higher voltage today than last time so I don't think battery or alt are at fault. Looking more and more like a worse problem like PCM.

More pics:



 

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Looking more and more like a worse problem like PCM.
What!?[boxface]

You have been asked/told to clean that ground cable on the drivers side wheel well (shown in your 3rd pic of post #10) more than once and you have not done it yet (!!??) and now you think the problem could be the PCM? Please please clean that connection point first; and the other connection points after.

Edit: Prior to cleaning that one, or the other points, please disconnect the battery first.

Edit2: Excellent pics. Well done.
 

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All the connections pictured are nice & corroded, imagine the batt. negative & wires to that match.

As Marde said, try the easy stuff first.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry I wasn't very clear, those were pictures I took before. I put some baking soda on it then regrounded after wiping clean and no luck. Had it towed today and it's a faulty ECM. So very expensive repair...
 

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Your choice, your $.

Can't see an ECM problem causing all the symptoms described, but poor wiring connections would.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Your choice, your $.

Can't see an ECM problem causing all the symptoms described, but poor wiring connections would.
That is according to the Ford dealer in town. Something wrong with the engine computer so they are going to see about repairing it before replacement.
 
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