Ford7 Common Ford 1.5 TDCI Problems: Engine Solutions

7 Common Ford 1.5 TDCI Problems: Engine Solutions


Even with the most well-maintained vehicles, Ford 1.5 TDCI engine problems can occur. The 1.5 TDCI and other variants can show problems from time to time, no matter their past reliability and track record.

With today’s helpful tips we will focus on the Ford 1.5 TDCI and the more popular vehicles this engine pertains to, with possible solutions. Some of these problems can be an easy fix, while others will require more specialist knowledge or a visit to your local garage or dealer.

The tips below will provide you with an excellent starting point for diagnosing your own engine. No matter if your car is brand-new or has a hefty amount of miles on the odometer. We will cover common issues from the TDCI, what to look for, and common part failings.

1. Common problems with the Ford Focus Mk3

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The Mk3 Ford Focus 1.5-litre TDCi diesel will need a cambelt change every 8 years. Brake fluid will need to be changed every 2 years, with major and minor servicing performed throughout the year. A decrease in power around town can indicate a deficient turbo intercooler. A PCM or ECU update to the engine performed by an authorised dealer can also solve a lot of power issues.

The 1.5-litre TDCi has the best fuel economy of the range, at 74.3mpg, with the advantage of no road tax. These efficient models can show engine warning lights which can be the result of faulty sensors or more serious engine faults. An OBD code reader is an efficient way to diagnose a potentially faulty component such as a crank sensor and oxygen sensor. Faulty sensors can be easily fitted but can be expensive to replace on the 1 5 TDCI

2. Engine problems with the Ford Focus 2015

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Image credit: Wikipedia

Many Ford 1.5 TDCi engine problems with the Focus 2015 can be solved with an ECU check and upgrade. Zetec to Titanium S trim levels requires regular top-ups to the engine oil, battery levels, and systematic checks to the diesel system. The 2015 Ford Focus with the 1.5 Tdci engine may be a relatively new model, but there have been cases of bad purge valves within the exhaust system.

Common issues even with EcoBoost vehicles that have driven a lot of miles may suffer from faults from the turbo system, ECM, injection nozzles, or even water pump failure. Once an issue arises where your car does not drive as smoothly as normal, no matter if it is new or used, a trip to your local garage is advisable for a thorough diagnostics check.

Vehicles that have a manual gearbox are advised to have the clutch tested periodically, generally at a long-term service point. This also applies to the oil filter, performing regular oil changes, and making sure there aren’t any general running issues.

Findings from consumer reports show that one of the most likely faults on the Ford Focus mk2 and Ford 1.5 TDCi engine problems is down to a nonworking purge valve. This is part of the exhaust system, which when left unchecked can lead to a damaged fuel tank on a car. There have also been reported problems with the PowerShift dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which will need an inspection by your local dealer.

The Ford Focus mk2 has the older style Duratorq TDCi engine in either 1.6, 1.8 or 2.0-litre variations, but can still throw out the same reliability issues when driving as the newer 1.5 Tdci. While these cars can be driven more than 200,000 miles from new, there’s nothing like a regular inspection or service to highlight a potential problem.

Check your engine on a weekly basis for unwanted noise issues, fluids and leakages.

4. Clutch slave cylinder problems with Ford Focus mk3

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The 1.5 Tdci in the Ford Focus mk3 has had reports of the clutch slave cylinder being problematic on older vehicles. Faulty parts or engine leaks can be quickly rectified on a new car under warranty by your local dealer. While older vehicles will need inspecting by a qualified mechanic.

The Ford Focus mk3 featured the 1 5tdci Durotorg engine after 2016, with economy being the main priority over performance. This engine achieves excellent mpg and is generally a fault free engine in the main. Weekly checks of the engine compartment for leakages and making sure oil levels are topped up should be a regular routine.

The 1.5 Tdci is generally a very reliable engine, but like all diesel engines will need a regular maintenance plan. Prevention is better than cure, so don’t wait until an engine warning light appears or the car starts to run sluggish. The driver’s manual will recommend regular engine checks and maintenance procedures, with specifics to each engine type.

5. Why Has My Ford Focus Lost Power?

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A loss of engine power can be the result of a non-functioning fuel filter, fuel pump, clogged fuel lines, or dirty air filter. Other mechanical problems can be the culprit such as the exhaust manifold, faulty injectors, or low compression.

The Ford Focus coupled with the 1.5 Tdci shouldn’t in theory throw up any problems in the first few years of driving. However, mechanical problems such as the ones listed above can crop up from time to time. Typical examples are malfunctioning sensors, such as the camshaft position sensor and malfunctioning actuators like clogged up injectors.

As soon as the car feels like there is a loss of power, a professional diagnosis is the best way forward.

6. Why Does My Car Say Engine Malfunction?

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Image credit: Wikipedia

If your car is showing any indication of an engine malfunction, through either the check engine light or other dashboard warnings, then there could be problems with your emissions system. A flashing warning light can also indicate more deep-seated problems, which can lead to other engine parts failing or engine misfires.

Generally, you can only drive your car for a short period with an engine warning light highlighted, but only as long as the car is still driving in a normal fashion. However, any warning light means the car and its diagnostic system has found some underlying fault that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The underlying problem can’t be thoroughly checked unless the vehicle is taken to a dealer of a verified garage for a diagnostic check.

If you do have a malfunctioning engine, there may be initial warning signs. The mpg or RPMs of the car may change, the car may drive erratically which could be a fuel or exhaust system problem.

Some reports say that driving your car for a few days can get rid of an engine malfunction light warning. However, any engine warning lights could be the start of a more serious issue. Therefore, a quick inspection can potentially save time and money down the road.

7. How Do You Fix a Ford Focus Engine Malfunction?

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Image credit: Wikipedia

A Ford Focus engine malfunction can happen on a new Focus vehicle to older models. A fault can be down to a false negative, ECU fault, small electrical faults, or more serious mechanical problems. Diagnostic tools will be needed to read more serious problems, but simple fixes like a regular oil change can be easily carried out.

If you don’t have the skills or equipment yourself to fix a problem, then it’s always wise to take your vehicle to a local dealer or garage.

As the engine malfunction warning is a generic message, it can apply to many areas of the engine. Even if the car is running fine, there may be an underlying problem. Without the proper diagnostic tools, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact problem. If you suspect that your Ford Focus engine malfunction message is constantly throwing out a false negative, then it can be reset. Turning the ignition on and off three times with a small pause between each can turn the engine management light off.


The Ford 1.5 Tdci has been reliably used in a variety of cars, chosen for its great economy and mpg. While the engine has had a good track record with reliability, just like any diesel engine, parts can fail from time to time and warning lights can appear on the dashboard.

The next time your Ford 1.5 Tdci starts to run less efficiently than normal or a dreaded warning light appears on the dash, the tips above will give you a starting point for your own investigations. More than likely this will result in an immediate trip to the garage and will incur a cost, but this should be a rarer occurrence than experienced with the petrol counterparts.

Please share this article and comment below with your own experiences with the Ford 1.5 Tdci engine problems. Your feedback could help others in the future with their own particular 1.5 Tdci engine problems.


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