Diagnose my scumbag car please…

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  • Diagnose my scumbag car please…
  • Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Car won’t start, loud clicking, battery appears to be delivering charge – dash lights aren’t dimming etc..so looking at solenoid problems perhaps.

    But, in addition, the headlights briefly come on of their own accord as do lots of various seemingly random dash lights..

    It’s a bog standard diesel focus. Any ideas before I take a hammer to it?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Any ideas before I take a hammer to it?

    bigger hammer? – try having the headlights on to start with (IIRC) if they dim when you try to turn it over then that should confirm the solenoid….. which can be solved with a tap from a hammer – so long as you know what to hit

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Battery is dead.

    Premier Icon MikeG
    Subscriber

    Could be an earth fault, try sticking a jump lead between the engine block and the battery negative terminal. If it starts replace the main engine to chassis earth strap.
    Had similar symptoms on my campervan and mx-5, both were down to old corroded earth straps.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Does sound like a dying battery, are the dash lights flashing when you try to start the car?

    butcher
    Member

    Could be power not getting to the starter motor. Or could be the starter motor itself fubared.

    Could be an earth, as mentioned above.

    Or could be an immobiliser playing up.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Battery is dead.

    Battery died on my A3 a while back. All the voltages were fine until you tried to put it under any load. Wasn’t even enough to turn it over.

    My money is on the battery being dead.

    Premier Icon 2unfit2ride
    Subscriber

    Well you seem ok at this self diagnosis thing, so if you have checked the obvious then check the engine earth strap.

    Edit, way; way to late.

    Greybeard
    Member

    Which mark/year of Focus? Just had quick look round the Ford Focus Owners Club website for you, since I’m a member (and you have to be for most of it) and it could be a electrical feed.

    Suggestions were:

    Internal fuse box, or multiway connector inside the A pillar where the cables come in from under the bonnet. Water gets in and corrosion does the rest!

    Premier Icon steveh
    Subscriber

    Starter motor sticking? Have you tried rocking it in gear and trying again or hitting the starter with a hammer in case it’s stuck?

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio
    Subscriber

    Same symptoms I had ?ith a dead battery

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Cheers all – I’m a random angry hammerer rather than actually knowing which bit to tap. Just wanted to check there wasn’t something painfully obvious I was missing.

    Car has had battery problems in the past – but this battery is about six months or so old, so shouldn’t in all honesty be buggered yet, and it’s certainly got enough to work the headlights and internals, including central locking etc. Haven’t stuck a meter on it though, so can’t be sure.

    Might try the jump lead trick to see if it’s an earth strap problem.

    Greybeard: Thanks – It’s an 07 Tdci 1.8

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I thought bad earth too, we used to kid about ‘Ford Electrics’ when we used to see Mk2 Escorts doing the disco tail lights thing. Though if it’s going clickclickclickclickclick and not actually turning over then yeah, could well be dying battery.

    Inbred456
    Member

    I would say you have lost a cell or two in the battery. When the dash goes mad and the dials wander all over the place it’s a low voltage fault. Get some jump leads hefty ones if it’s a diesel. If it fires up Bob’s your uncle.

    Premier Icon 2unfit2ride
    Subscriber

    The bit about dash lights not dimming makes me think that it’s not the battery, the starter could be toast so first obvious point of call would be to stick direct power to the starter & bridge the solenoid if access is easy 🙂

    z1ppy
    Member

    Sounds like a flat battery as above, though if a relatively new battery, it maybe your alternator is suspect

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Mystery solved.

    Congrats to all those who went for the simplest option – knackered battery.

    Turns out the motor factor place I got my last two batteries from had been selling me batteries rated for a Focus petrol rather than a Focus diesel, hence earlier than usual failure… 👿

    So, £87 lighter and back on the road. Cheers everyone for the help.

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