Car Mechanics (UK)
There is an intermittent fault with my 2008 Ford Focus 2.0 Titanium diesel. It has 68,000 miles and has driven faultlessly until just recently.
On one occasion, there was an alarm while driving and a large triangle appeared on the dash saying ‘Engine Malfunction’. After stopping the car then re-starting, all was OK. On another occasion, I was away from the car for a few minutes, then on restarting a large spanner and a warning triangle appeared. Similarly, this cleared after I stopped and restarted.
While driving in traffic, a large warning triangle appeared with the messages ‘Engine Malfunction’ and ‘Reduced Acceleration’ and the yellow ESP light stayed on. This was cleared once again by stopping the engine then restarting after a few minutes. Later, the same messages reappeared on the dash. I turned off the engine and restarted it after a minute or two, but the same warnings returned. On pressing the reset button on the end of the indicator stalk, a spanner and a warning triangle appeared, but also a warning for ‘Power Steering Malfunction’ and the tachometer went down to zero. I turned off the engine and restarted, after which everything was OK. A few days later, the spanner and warning triangle appeared, along with the message ‘Power Steering Malfunction’. I lost power steering and acceleration was reduced, so I had to stop the car. On restarting, everything was OK again.
I have a code reader, but because the EML didn’t illuminate, no codes were stored. Do you think the fault lies with the electronic power steering? There is no fluid loss from the reservoir under the offside front headlight.
The warning signs you have received are possibly due to a problem with the battery or charging system, so this is the first point I would check. Even though you mention no problems with starting, if your Focus still has the original battery fitted then I would replace it as a matter of course. It may not be the source of the problem, but it is a likely contender. All of the systems you mention rely on a constant and steady voltage.
All of the warnings you have seen relate to electronic acceleration control, stability control and steering. The spanner and triangle seen together indicates that you should have the system checked as soon as possible.
You do not mention which code reader you are using, but although your device does not show any stored codes, a dedicated Ford scanner system could reveal more.
After eliminating the battery and charging system as possible sources of the problem, if the warning signs continue to be displayed, the fault may be due to the steering motor drawing too much current. This can be checked using Ford diagnostic equipment, but it would be worth inspecting the connections first to ensure that a high resistance to the motor is not being caused by a poor connection at the terminal.
By stopping and restarting the engine you are resetting the systems and it might be worth reading off any codes with your code reader before turning off the ignition. In these circumstances, codes ‘P1650’ and ‘P1651’ relate to power steering. You may find that the steering angle sensor is at fault and may simply need recalibrating. It should also be noted that, after changing the power steering pump, you may need to recalibrate the system using suitable diagnostic equipment.