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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 22913
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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I have a 2003 Focus 1.6 petrol motor. It has been using a fair

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I have a 2003 Focus 1.6 petrol motor. It has been using a fair bit of oil for a while now and recently started losing power in higher gears once the engine is warm. The engine purrs - no taps, knocks etc. However, today in third gear whilst accelerating, there was the usual loss of power but this time was accompanied by a metallic rattle and a cloud of white/grey smoke billowed out from behind. It did this every time I was accelerating in 3rd gear and also began doing it in second. I managed to limp home in 3rd but not accelerating much - just enough to keep going. Any ideas please????
Hello this sounds like you may be getting pre-ignition also known as detonation and is most likely due to the spark plugs being clogged up with all the burning oil so I'd 1st suggest removing all the spark plugs and replacing them with new and I'd also suggest doing a compression test across all cars - this involves screwing a pressure gauge into each plug hole and the engine spun over on the starter you should then have pressure reading for each cylinder that should be all within 10-15 psi of each other - if they are not then the engine may be damaged if you're not confident in doing any of this then any small garage can tackle this work
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Matt. I must have filled in the wrong box. This is a continuation of the same problem. I've just written that the car is in no way jumpy or kangerooing. The engine is perfectly smooth, it just loses power.
Hello OK in that case it could be a lack of fuel and could be a lack of fuel pressure from the electrical pump at the tank. If the connections to the pump are corroded or damaged then the pump could stop at any time or could not be running at full speed. Check that its relay switches in and out and the relay contacts are clean and bright – replace the relay if in any doubt and do the same for the fuse,Ideally measure the pressure at the injectors and if this is low check the pump as described and also consider changing the fuel filter as if this partially blocked this too will reduce pressure
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would that cause the rattling and plume of smoke? There was lots of it and it happened several times.
Hello the rattling can be poor combustion noise adn this will also make smoke as the fuel isn't being burntSo I'd say check / replace the spark plugs 1st and then check the fuel pressure next
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