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Hi,

I'm new to the Focus - just bought one for my kids (1.8 petrol 1999 V) - small problem in that the speedo will just stop for no reason and then anything from 1 to 10 minutes later it comes back to life. Guess its an electrical contact but where do I look?

Other problem is perhaps more serious - twice now the engine has just cut out for no reason. OK it starts again as soon as you turn the key but this time it happened on a roundabout - not good! Any ideas?

Many thanks
 

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I really hate to guess "computer issue". Check the battery terminals, starter connections, block and body earths, and alternator connections first to see if power failure could be causing the problem. It's hard to determine because you're not giving us information on whether or not anything else is working at the time that the car goes dead.

I assume that the speedo goes to 0, but you're still moving which is why you say it goes dead when the car dies. That's why I'm leaning toward a possible computer problem. These are rare- although computers are commonly blamed for a lot of gremlin associated problems in cars. I'd check all the electrical earths and positive connections to be sure that none are loose before taking it to a dealer to have the computer checked.

If the UK Focus is built like the US Focus, you can also try checking the bulkhead connector for possible corrosion or short. This is where all the wiring from under the hood is transferred to the inside of the car. It should be on the left hand side under the plastic inner fenderwell. It will be a large electrcical connector with a bolt holding it in place in the center. Unbolt and unplug to inspect for suspicious issues, and I recommend locating some di-electric grease (spark plug boot grease) from an auto parts store to put on the pins when you plug the connector back in. This will help prevent future corrosion and shorts.

Also inspect all your wiring carefully for physical signs of damage. If you can't find anything wrong yourself with the wiring, then we can safely assume if a mechanic tells you that the computer needs to be replaced then he's probably telling the truth.

More power to ya!!
 

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It might be worth looking at the ignition switch, the electrical part. If it restarts right away, about the only thing that has moved is the ignition switch.
 
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