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Billy, Trainer/Master tech.
Category: UK Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3498
Experience:  Trainer 8+ years, Master tech. 10+ years, SAE member
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Ford Fiesta: Billy, Mike here. my mk6 fiesta Zetec 1.25

Customer Question

hi Billy, Mike here. my mk6 fiesta Zetec 1.25 cut out while driving yesterday, cruising at around 60mph. it sounded like something went, but it was a fairly clean breakdown with a small sound followed by engine instantly cutting out, steering and breaking going. I have now checked timing belt, and fuel flow - both fine. not too sure how to check electrics beyond fuses. she turns over but won't start. any ideas? appreciate your time.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Ford
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Mike and Welcome! I'm Billy and i will assist you with your inquiry. Feel free to ask if any further info is needed.
Is the immobilizer warning lamp in instrument panel flashes continuously when system armed ?
Switch ignition ON.
Ensure immobilizer warning lamp in instrument panel illuminates for approximately 3 seconds.
If immobilizer warning lamp remains ON or flashes rapidly:
Key code not recognised.
Remove key and try again or try using another key if available.
There are many components that would cause this, most commonly: the crankshaft position sensor, the fuel pump or a coil (igniter block as you called it).
I would start by checking the immobilizer system, and then check the impact switch (it is behind the glove box, make sure it is pressed, try depressing it, as it would disconnect the electrics to the fuel pump).
Get back to me with your findings, so we proceed as necessary...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the hasty response!No immobiliser warning light (so I assume no immobiliser).Fuel pump is fine as I removed the fuel hose from the injector rail, placed it into a plastic bottle and turned her over, plenty of fuel.Tried the impact switch, it was pressed, pressed it anyway and turned her over again but still no start.Thanks,
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Mike,
My apologies for the delay, thank you for your patience.
Indeed, great news, as the fuel pump requires the removel of the fuel tank, and the immobilizer requires dealer tools to reprogram.
Now, we're at coil or crankshaft sensor mostly... (other things could go wrong, but those are the most likely).
Would you be able to check for spark? (simply remove a spark plug wire, insert a screw driver in it, the screw driver being close to valve cover, have someone start, and check for spark jumping from the screwdriver to cover)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Billy,Apologies for the late response; tried your test mentioned above and she sparks, bit of a bum I was hoping it would be that!What's next please?Regards,
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Mike,
You have spark on all four plugs?
did you check the spark plugs themselves?
having fuel flow, did you check if the injectors are getting pulse (using a led test or multimeter on the injector plug, while connected and trying to start)?
As if you have fuel and spark, the engine should fire...
Get back to me on these, so we proceed as needed
PS: getting a scan (using a diagnostic computer) might reveal the fault codes that are causing this, but since you don't have the scan tool (i'm assuming as you did not mention it) we'll leave this for later...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
All four a sparking yes, not quite sure how to do the injector rail test you mention as the plugs have no bare wires...?
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Mike,
The injectors have each a connector, you can back probe the connector using a small pin or a thin multimeter lead, to check if you are getting power to these injectors, while trying to start.
As fuel is flowing, and you have spark (and you mentioned that the timing belt was checked), if the injectors are pulsing, then the engine should fire. That's why we need to check this first.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Apologies, can you explain in more detail where I place the two probes of the multimeter please?One in the back of the connector and the other...
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
the connector of the injector has two pins. Each probe of the multimeter on one pin (pin, wire etc..).
The multimeter should be set on volts range around 20 DC volts.
When cranking, you should see voltage going up and down, meaning that the injector is getting power (pulse from the ECM)
A basic way to test as well: you can put a stethoscope on the injector (or a screwdriver) and listen on the other end, the injector should clicking, as it opens and closes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Billy! Tried each injector terminal and all gave a reading; however, I don't have. proper multimeter so I used an LED continuity tester (which also displays voltage). No voltage was displayed (perhaps this was due to how short each pulse was) but there was certainly a pulse indicated by an LED - I placed one probe on the -ve terminal of the battery and tapped one repeatedly on the +ve terminal and got exactly the same result which gives confidence... right?
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
The pulse duration is small (a few milliseconds). If the LED was blinking while trying to start, this means that we have injector pulse.
Next, we need to get the car connected to a diagnostics computer, to retrieve any fault codes stored, as these would indicate the direction to go. Which components to check etc...
As the situation we have here is quite weird (having spark, fuel, good timing and injector pulse, still the engine is firing).
I should be able to explain the fault codes, and advise on what to check and how to check...
Kindly get back to me with your findings, so we proceed as necessary.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Billy leave it with me, I'll take her to a friends garage and get on their diagnostics system after hours.Regards.
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Great... get back to me with the codes...