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2005 Ford Focus TDCi. Turbo issues / new engine required?


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Hi all. Apologies for the length of this post. I have an ongoing problem with my car and I'm really stuck now - it has cost me a lot of money already and I have no idea how much help I can reasonably expect from all parties involved.

 

I purchased a 05 plate Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi in December 2009 for £4000. It had 78,000 miles on the clock and a full Ford service history. When I bought it, I did so on the understanding that it had just had its 75,000 mile service done and all issues had been addressed.

 

In early December 2010, with 85,000 miles on the clock, the car suddenly lost power. No warning lights on the dashboard. No odd noises or smoke. I booked it in at a local independent garage. This garage has been used by my family to service several cars over several years with no problems. We consider them trustworthy and reliable.

 

The garage took the car for a few days, checked for performance, diagnosed a bad turbo, flushed the system and replaced the turbo. This cost me £950.

 

The car performed fine until May 2011 when, with 87,000 miles on the clock, it again lost power. Again, no warning lights or noises or smoke that I noticed. I called the garage. They said that they should be able to claim for the faulty turbo on warranty and fix it for free.

 

In order to claim for the replacement turbo as faulty, they took the car to Ford themselves. This is when it was revealed that there is a Technical Service Bulletin relating to these 1.6L TDCi engines, and specifically to blown turbos. It seems that the engine design is such that debris builds up in the system and reduces oil flow to the turbo. It is a "common concern".

 

My local garage took this TSB and the required parts from Ford and set about following all the required steps - flushing the system, removing the sump, replacing oil pick up and strainer, replacing turbo feed and return pipes, replacing banjo bolts and replacing the turbo.

 

After carrying out this work, they performed the test required by Ford to check oil flow, measuring 900ml in 60 seconds (against Ford's required minimum of 300ml in 60 seconds). By all accounts, the issue was now correctly diagnosed and fixed. Ford would not cover the parts under warranty since they were not faulty. The garage charged me £800 for parts. but provided labour for free. At this point I asked if the issue was properly fixed and was told that yes, the turbo should not cause me any more problems and as long as I service every 6,000 miles or so (instead of Ford's recommended 12,500 miles), the car would now be good for several years to come.

 

Now, in August 2011 the turbo failed again. I booked the car straight in at Ford.

 

I received a call from Ford saying "Your garage didn't do the work properly. They didn't connect the turbo reworks, so it is not receiving any oil."

 

This made no sense to me, so I challenged it, saying "If the turbo was not connected or receiving any oil, how have I been able to drive the car for the past 2 months, with a functioning turbo?". I was put on hold for a couple of minutes and then told instead that "Your garage did not take off the sump and clear the oil ways properly". I again challenged this and explained that they were provided the TSB by that very same Ford branch and followed it correctly. By this point, I have no idea who is telling the truth. The Ford mechanic seems to change his story whenever challenged.

 

The two garages spoke on the phone. My local garage convinced the Ford mechanic that they "did everything Ford would have done" when fixing the turbo for the second time. The Ford branch then called me back and admitted to me that they have had around 20 customers in the past year or so with identical cars, with identical problems at that branch alone, and that the only solution is getting a replacement engine. I was provided with Ford's Customer Relations phone number, but told that I won't have much luck. I called and I was fed the line that "Due to the age of your car, Ford cannot offer any financial assistance".

 

So, I am left with a 6 year old car with around 90,000 miles on the clock which needs a new engine. This would be upsetting enough, but it has cost me the best part of £2000 to reach this point.

 

I am pretty ignorant of car issues. I don't cover many miles and have always bought cars of around the same age and mileage (last 2 were a Mazda 323F and a Golf mk4), driven them for 4 or 5 years, serviced them regularly and never had any kind of breakdown. I accept that things can go wrong, of course, but a but of digging around online suggests that the issue I have encountered is pretty much an open secret amongst mechanics.

 

I can't post links, but searching for 1.6 tdci turbo failure brings up discussions on Cmaxownersclub and Honestjons and similar, where mechanics are saying things like "these engines are a nightmare", "I tell my customers to avoid them", "why aren't Ford telling people?", "There are going to be a lot of unhappy Focus owners over the next couple of years". etc. As well as posts from consumers explaining similar stories - repeated turbo failures, being told they need to pay for a new engine, regardless of whether or not they used Ford garages or independents.

 

From searching around, it appears that this engine is causing this exact problem for many customers. Ford's own mechanics admitted it to me themselves. They agreed with me that a car of that age, with a full service history should not need a new engine. Ford's customer relations representative told me that "that is the mechanic's own personal opinion".

 

It seems outrageous to me that I could ring around every Ford service centre in the country and all of them might admit to me that this particular engine is a problem and customers are left with worthless cars as a result, but Ford themselves accept no responsibility.

 

- Why aren't the feed pipes and banjo bolts etc replaced as a matter of course as part of the regular service schedule?

 

- Why don't they insist on more regular servicing to check oil flow and flush the system, if that is known to help? I saw the last service sheet from Ford in December 2009 when buying the car. It said next service due at 12,500 miles.

 

- Should my local garage have known about the TSB first time around? If they had known about the "common concern" and had been able to explain the issues to me accurately first time around I could have at least cut my losses early on. Instead I have paid £2000 to drive my car an extra 6,000 miles and ended up with nothing. Are those kinds of TSBs only authorised for circulation amongst Ford's own mechanics, or can independent garages access them on a database somewhere? Should the TSB have been supplied with the first replacement turbo?

 

Apologies again for the length of the post. I just want to provide all necessary details. I'm really at a loss here. Do I just go out and buy a new car and move on? Would I have any chance of getting anything from Ford? A 6 year old car, which has been serviced by Ford, needs a new engine due to an acknowledged fault - it seems outrageous to me, but I appreciate that my viewpoint is a little biased now.

 

Is my Focus worth anything at all as it is? Scrap? Part exchange? Even buying and fitting a second hand engine would feel like throwing good money after bad. If I'm paying to fix it just to sell it, I'm at a point where the sums don't add up regardless of what I do.

 

All advice gratefully received.

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The issue seems to hinge about the first repair and whether or not the repairing garage should have been made aware of the TSB at the time. Since the block exemption rules came in it has been a requirement to make this information freely available but I am not aware of any requirement that they have to supply it. Good practice would dictate that with the new turbo unit the TSB was included as a matter of course.

 

One course of action would be to bring it to the attention of the board of Ford in the US as they now employ a strategy of "One Ford" employing global powerunits and platforms. Needless to say they will refer it back to Ford GB but I understand they do follow through such issues. Dealing with Ford Customer service in the UK will run you around in circles as their argument will be that it has been repaired outside the dealer network. Your defence to this will be they were never told about the TSB and perhaps should have been due to the nature of the problem. I would emphasis that you need to be absolutely sure the correct oils have been used as they can detect this should there be a requirement to examine the parts. This obviously is on the assumption that there is actually an issue with these engines as at the moment all you have is heresay it seems.

 

Perhaps an easier route would be to PM a poster on here called Hammy 19?? or something who I know is very experienced on these type of issues and ask his opinion. You don't often see him post but I do know what he tells you will be definitive. Try that as well.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

The issue seems to hinge about the first repair and whether or not the repairing garage should have been made aware of the TSB at the time. Since the block exemption rules came in it has been a requirement to make this information freely available but I am not aware of any requirement that they have to supply it. Good practice would dictate that with the new turbo unit the TSB was included as a matter of course.

 

Yes - this is one of the main sticking points. I consider the independent garage to be straight up, but of course I'm wondering if they should have known about / researched the correct procedure for changing the turbo in December. From reading discussions online, I gather that some garages know about it, some don't. I agree that it would make sense to supply the TSB with the replacement turbos. It seems irresponsible not to.

 

 

One course of action would be to bring it to the attention of the board of Ford in the US as they now employ a strategy of "One Ford" employing global powerunits and platforms. Needless to say they will refer it back to Ford GB but I understand they do follow through such issues.

 

OK. I will try this. I have already written to Ford UK and received a "we have looked into the issue and our position hasn't changed" reply.

 

 

Your defence to this will be they were never told about the TSB and perhaps should have been due to the nature of the problem. I would emphasis that you need to be absolutely sure the correct oils have been used as they can detect this should there be a requirement to examine the parts.

 

The invoices from the garage both say "5w30 fully syn oil - 4ltrs £34". I gather that this is what Ford themselves use and recommend.

 

 

This obviously is on the assumption that there is actually an issue with these engines as at the moment all you have is heresay it seems.

 

Yes. This is my main problem I suppose. I can find a good half a dozen or so threads online with mechanics discussing problems with this engine and the process I've been through - 2 blown turbos, new engine needed. Ford's own mechanics also confirmed several other cases at their branch alone. I'm particularly annoyed that they tried to pin the blame on the independent garage first though, and changed their story so quickly when challenged. Ford's mechanics would have happily accepted £1500 from me to change the turbo yet again, I suspect.

 

The process of flushing out the system as outlined in the TSB is apparently not foolproof. Debris can remain and block the pipes again, at which point it's new engine time. I never imagined when buying a car of this age that I could end up in this position.

 

 

Perhaps an easier route would be to PM a poster on here called Hammy 19?? or something who I know is very experienced on these type of issues and ask his opinion. You don't often see him post but I do know what he tells you will be definitive. Try that as well.

 

Thank you. I'll drop him a message.

 

Any further input would be most welcome, of course.

 

Is my car worth anything as it is?

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the cause of the excessive carbon in the engine if the garage did remove and clean the sump originally is a leaking injector seal ! This is a known issue ! its normally number 3 injector on a focus 1.6tdci and it leaks carbon around the injector inside the cylinder head and the carbon then circulates around the engine causing the blockage.

The original garage may of done the job properly but ford may of found carbon in the engine ! The rocker cover needs removing and inspection of the injectors to check for any carbon around the base of the in jectors. This is a serious and well known problem in the trade effecting the Focus.

You would be best off taking some legal advice as the first garage have not done the job properly, ignorance isnt the answer ! Best get the original garage to put the car right or take them to court, little knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge!

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the cause of the excessive carbon in the engine if the garage did remove and clean the sump originally is a leaking injector seal ! This is a known issue ! its normally number 3 injector on a focus 1.6tdci and it leaks carbon around the injector inside the cylinder head and the carbon then circulates around the engine causing the blockage.

The original garage may of done the job properly but ford may of found carbon in the engine ! The rocker cover needs removing and inspection of the injectors to check for any carbon around the base of the in jectors. This is a serious and well known problem in the trade effecting the Focus.

You would be best off taking some legal advice as the first garage have not done the job properly, ignorance isnt the answer ! Best get the original garage to put the car right or take them to court, little knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge!

 

Thank you for the info. The plot thickens. I asked the independent garage last week if there were any other possible reason for the buildup of debris in the system and was told that there wasn't. It was explained that there was just too much debris in the system despite the flushing out and replacement of pipes and filters, and the banjo bolts are so small that it only takes a tiny bit of remaining debris to starve the turbo of oil.

 

If it's well known, why didn't the Ford branch advise me that this is the probable cause of the 3rd turbo failure? Instead they first claimed the turbo reworks weren't connected at all (they were), then they claimed the sump wasn't removed and the system wasn't flushed (it was), then they just said "you need a new engine".

 

If it's a well known issue, why isn't it covered in the same TSB that details the process for flushing the system and replacing banjo bolts etc?

 

Why didn't Ford advise the independent garage to check the injector seals when supplying the 2nd turbo and TSB? Ford inspected the car prior to the 2nd turbo being fitted and provided the instructions and parts for the fix.

 

Is there any way to establish just how widespread and well known this issue is other than, as a poster upthread notes, "heresay"? Is it well known amongst Ford mechanics? Is there any way to establish this?

 

It seems to me that the independent garage could claim that they were given incomplete advice by Ford themselves. Yes, first time around they demonstrated an incomplete understanding of the issue (and they acknowledge that), but by taking the car directly to the Ford branch for diagnosis and repair instructions, I would consider them to have taken the necessary steps to fix the issue.

 

Thank you for your help.

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It sounds to me like the dealer and the independent are not aware of the leaking injector issue ! causing the carbon to build in the engine !

The trouble with Garages is they are only as good as the guys that work in them ! there is no licence or code of conduct !

If you contact Forte lubricants they may help with a tech bulliten

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This is too confusing.

 

I can see how the need for a system flush and change of pipes / filters is a known issue, since there is a TSB from Ford themselves which I have seen with my own eyes.

 

How can I establish that the leaking injector seal should have been identified? This car has been seen twice by the same Ford branch in the past 6 months and injector seals have not been mentioned or identified as a problem. The independent garage also consulted a couple of other people in the trade who had dealt with turbo failures on the 1.6 Focus and none of them advised to check the injector seals.

 

What are the signs of a leaking injector seal? Would they have been obvious to a trained mechanic going through the process of changing the turbo, removing the sump and clearing the oil ways? I've been told that there was no sign of diesel in the sump, which I understand is a sign of injector seal failure.

 

I can't pay to fix the car - it's probably only worth about £2500 in a working state, and it has already cost me nearly £2000 in fixes. Any further work is bound to cost significantly more than £500. The bulk of my costs so far has been in parts. It seems my only hope of getting some kind of satisfaction here is by establishing that:

 

a) Ford should have supplied the TSB with the first replacement turbo last December.

b) Ford should have identified the root cause of carbon build up when investigating the failure of the first and second turbos.

 

They made the car and supplied the replacement parts. What are their responsibilities with regards to informing customers of known issues?

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I have a TSB from Forte that shows you pictures and explains the cause of turbo failure ! Its not just about oil flush, it shows pictures of leaking injector seals causing excessive carbon in the engine casuing premature failure of replacement turbo's. If you post an e-mail address I will send you the TSB, I think you need to see it or ask forte for a copy !

There are no real tell tale signs of a leaking injector seal. Its a silent killer for the engine

I have tried to post a link to a site where this in in major discussion but this site will not let me post a link !

There is about 10 pages on the subject of 4 turbo failures on 1.6 tdci focus with all the causes and action and photo's

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Thank you oldgeezer :thumb:

 

I have enough posts to PM now, so I have sent you a private message with my email address. I will also be able to contact the poster called Hammy mentioned up thread.

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Thanks Hammy.

 

Just to keep everyone posted, after receiving details about the leaky injector seal issue from OldGeezer, I popped out to the car and lifted the bonnet. Lo and behold, the 3rd injector has a noticeable amount of shiny black slime around its base, when viewed from above. The other 3 injectors don't. It's by no means extreme, but it's certainly there and identifiable to my untrained eye.

 

So now I'm wondering why neither the independent garage nor the Ford branch noticed or thought it worth checking. If Ford are advising customers to replace their entire engine when instead all that's needed are injectors, it would be pretty scandalous.

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Sorry, but I'm afraid you are getting your injector seals mixed up. The seal between the nozzle and the injector body is a machined fit, not a 'real' seal. these work under extremely high temperatures and can wear giving a poor spray pattern and causing soot and running problems. The oil mist you are observing is between the injector body and the cam cover or head so it is from a traditional seal which should be nothing to worry about.

 

I didn't realise you still had the vehicle, is it roadworthy? What stage are you at with the repairers?

 

H

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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I didn't realise you still had the vehicle, is it roadworthy? What stage are you at with the repairers?

 

It drives, but without a functioning turbo, so it struggles to get over 30-40 and decelerates whenever there is an incline on the road, so I consider it unsafe. Plus I'm concerned that driving with blocked oil ways will do further damage to the engine. I haven't driven it since the turbo went for a 3rd time (the beginning of August). Ford came and picked it up and dropped it back on August 9th, which is when they diagnosed it as needing a new engine. Since then it's been parked up.

 

I don't really know what stage I'm at with the repairers.

 

- They know that the turbo has failed again and they spoke to the Ford branch about the work they have done so far and are confident that they followed the correct instructions when fitting the 2nd turbo. The garage were genuinely shocked that the turbo has failed yet again.

 

- They have received a few quotes for 2nd hand / re-conditioned engines (ranging from £800-£1500), but have not made any explicit offers to fix it for free or anything like that. They have also said they will ask a local breaker about the possible value of the car as a non-runner.

 

- I have emailed details of the injector seal issue to the garage, to see if they'll investigate it.

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I have to say I was sceptical about oldgeezers post as and cannot see the correlation about the injector issues and stumbles original question. The injector sealing is external, the turbo is internal. I cannot see how it affects the lubricaton system that perhaps causes the turbo failure. If there was any link between the two I would have though this would have manifested itself a lot earlier on.

 

Still, as ever, I'll bow to what hammy posts as said previously, this will be definitive.

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I'll try and collect some links and quotes that I have found (my post count isn't high enough to put up URLs yet):

 

Discussion of Injector Seal leakage in the 1.6 Focus TDCi leading to carbon build up, leading to turbo failure:

w w w.ilexa.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=29874.0 [with thanks to OldGeezer]

 

Everyone keeps on talking about the oil problem. The oil problem is a result of the injector leakage. So if the return flow of the oil out of the turbo is good, after flushen and you don't solve the leakage, the problem starts all over again.

There is combustion leakage along the injector. The cil.head and valvecover will get very hot from this combustion leakage. The oil what is on the inside along these very hot parts will burn and curing. These oil parts will get stuck in the oil filter and all the other oil filters in the bolts and vacuumpump. This because there is a bypass valve in the oil filter. So when this oil filter is full of sticky oil parts, the other sticky parts of oil will run through the system. At the end the oil supply to the turbo will block and the turbo and the turbo will brake down.

 

I have seen 3 engines like this and all of them had leakage. The people of Forte told me that 90% of the time it's cil 3 witch is leaking. The wall between the injector hole and the volume where the oil is is very thin.

If I see anything with this 1.6 engine coming to my door I break out in a cold sweat, A total nightmare they are. You can follow all the cleaning and replacement guides to the letter and the thing may still be back a few months later with a knackered turbo again or worse. From my point of view it is not work to be looking for, you get stuck in the middle between the customer and turbo people and of course it is always our fault!!

 

A quick google search will soon tell you all you need to know about how unreliable they are.

the way I read it is that the combustion gas is leaking up the side of the injector, burning the oil / sludging the oil around the injector / cam cover, then transporting it around the engine blocking filters / galleries etc...... resulting in oil starvation at the turbo.

 

Radnorman has identified this with a fumey smell under the bonnet, so off the postings so far - the injectors don't need testing, it's the seating of the injectors which require checking - that's how I read into it

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So the theory is -

 

- a leaking injector seal allows hot gas to escape, which heats up a certain area of the engine

- this then "cooks" the oil that passes through this area

- this cooked oil causes carbon build-up

- this leads once again to blocked oil ways and turbo failure.

 

Does this make sense to any of the more mechanically-minded forum members?

 

It could certainly explain why my car's 3rd turbo has failed, even after an extensive engine flush and replacement of parts. And also explains why my 2 replacement turbos did not fail immediately, but instead they both failed after a couple of thousand miles' driving.

 

Could it be that the problem isn't the fact that some of the original debris is still remaining after the flush (which is what Ford and the repairers are claiming), but instead that after replacing the turbo and flushing the engine, another 2 months of driving with an undiagnosed injector seal leak has caused enough carbon build-up to block the oil ways yet again?

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"Sorry, but I'm afraid you are getting your injector seals mixed up." Hammy2 is confused !

& shouldn't comment on what he doesn't understand !

 

The injectors are internal in the engine, under the cam cover so if the seals are leaking the gases burn the oil and convert it to carbon ! as I first explained and "Stumble on" has grasped !100%

 

It been a known issue for some time and have seen a few myself. I have spent 35 years as a diagnostic tech , both training and trouble shooting for those that cant fix issues !

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I have spent 35 years as a diagnostic tech , both training and trouble shooting for those that cant fix issues !

 

With respect oldgeezer, not just Hammy but myself have similar lengths of service and both of us have moved on to higher plains in the engineering world i.e. we fix the issues you can't. I and I'm sure Hammy, can point out the fundamental flaws in your posts but haven't done so as it's your right to have your say.:-o

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Please please please point out the fundamental flaws !!

 

I have actually experienced these first hand and have fixed many myself that have already had 3-4 turbots. From experience I can actually tell you which injector seal fails !

I too moved on 4 years ago and now train globally and trouble shoot for manufactures and some of the best engineers overlook the basics or lack the experience where its required too wrapped up in their own little word ! I also write TSB's

 

Look at Concorde and the devastation caused by leaving wheel arches off the design !

 

I can assure you that 9/10 failures of turbo's on Focus 1.6tdci's are caused by no 3 injector seal leaking causing excess carboning of the oil, causing restriction in the oil feed to the turbo. It also blocks the oil pick up gauze.

I even have pictures of injectors leaking and the effects to the oil and gallery's and pumps etc.

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Oh lordy here we go again. Going to abstain now other than say you certainley won't be working for my organisation with a diagnosis such as this. Probably a minor contributory factor but not root cause. Great that you single handedly manage to sort out Fords problems with this engine....

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Global Technical Training, Engineering Troubleshooting (all one word) and TSB compilation are, more than likely, 3 distinct roles and are unlikely to be positioned under a single umberella, you.

 

Despite the poor spelling and grammar,( I think you meant Manufacturers') you imply you work for more than one, interesting! This isn't the standard of someone who writes technical literature.

 

I thought turbots were fish.

 

Hammykins :lol:

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Sensible head on now. Stumbleon, having thought about this over the weekend and talked to a couple of proper technicians this week I think you are going to have an uphill struggle to pin the blame on Ford or one of their dealers, it might be common and you might think that information was withheld which contributed to further failures but it's proving it.

 

Actual Ford technicians that work in actual Ford dealers, today actually, agree the hearsay around the injector seal is not conclusive. Not everyone can be wrong.

 

I would suggest the way forward is to try and do a deal with the non-franchised garage to have another look and come to a definitive diagnosis as to why the 3rd turbo has failed. Maybe even get it tested at the suppliers whom I believe are Garrett. They might be able to tell why it failed.

 

Something needs to be done and you need some pretty defined answers to enable you to decide which is the next best thing to do.

 

Drive slowly to the independent and don't move until they look at it, for free, initially.

 

Hammy

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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I'm sorry Hammy1962.

The spelling is caused by the small key pad on my phone ! perhaps I should only reply when I have access to my PC.

 

I agree with your comments, but I have to add that all the turbo's I have been involved in replacing have not failed. I must add that I insist on increased oil changes and that the strict guidelines to oil drainage is adhered too.

Interestingly I have placed temp sensors on both turbo's and cylinder heads and in addition looked at oil contamination over a period with different diesel oils. Interestingly the temperature of the engine cylinder head and turbo run considerably higher in the Focus compared with the Fiesta 1.6TDCi, which isn't so notorious for turbo's and the P207

 

Oil and fuel testing with a well known American Fuel giant in the past has created an additional interest in engine failures. I would suggest that investigation into the types of fuel users are burning may well assist to find more answers.

I often used to find that certain problems could often be regional, relating to Fuel.

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