Tech Stuff

Chasing common electrical problems with the Ford Focus

Naturally, if this is the case, replace the ignition switch. Be sure the battery is disconnected. Remove the lower steering column shroud, and using a thin screwdriver, release the clips hold in the top shroud, and remove the shroud. If the car is equipped with a lock lever, remove the lever. Disconnect the electrical connector. Release the clips holding the ignition switch, and remove the switch. Install the new switch in the reverse order.

Sometimes on the performance version of the Focus, we have seen the ignition switch operate just fine, and all of the dash displays are okay, but it won't crank. Before you are inclined to replace the switch, check the basics by inspecting for loose/corroded battery cables and connections (at the battery, ground and starter). Once again, after the cables are cleaned and tightened, a little dielectric grease goes a long way to prevent future problems. Of course this is not limited to the performance version, it could happen on any Focus, or any vehicle for that matter.

YET ANOTHER COMMON PROBLEM

The cruise control unit is located behind the air intake ducting
<p>The cruise control unit is located behind the air intake ducting</p>

While under the hood, inspect the cruise control unit, which is located on the firewall. The problem is that the cruise unit is mounted directly under the low pressure line for the air conditioning. As you know, the low pressure line creates moisture during condensation. Unfortunately, condensation drips, and in this case it drips directly onto the cruise control unit. This can create two different problems.

Cruise control cables require cleaning and lube
<p>Cruise control cables require cleaning and lube</p>

The first one is the electrical connectors to the cruise unit. Most of the time the weather pack connectors do the job, and prevent damage. If not, clean the connections and reach for the dielectric grease when putting it back together to prevent a rerun.

The cruise control unit is located under the A/C tubes, allowing condensation to drip onto the control unit
<p>The cruise control unit is located under the A/C tubes, allowing condensation to drip onto the control unit</p>

However, the more likely problem with the cruise control system may not be electrical at all. Instead you may find that the throttle cable from the cruise had all the water it can handle, and the cable is rusted solid, requiring a cable replacement.

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Tags: Ford Focus 
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