Over the past 6-8 months my 2011 (<40k miles on the clock) Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec has started to stall. A lot.

It's worse in busy traffic with a lot of stopping and starting or at a slow speeds such as approaching traffic lights, however in recent months it's started happening on dual carriage ways and motorways at 60-70mph. It can go for a week without stalling once, or some days it will stall 10-15 times in a single 30 minute journey.

The revs idle at around 750rpm, which will then judder between 1,500 and 400-500rpm, at which point it will either recover itself and return to normal, or more often stall. There are no fault codes, no lights or warnings on the dashboard and it's since passed an MOT.

  • The battery has been replaced
  • I've cleaned the MAF sensor
  • We ran a test on the idle sensor, which apparently is fine (though I'm no expert)
  • I've had it plugged in at an engine mapping specialist and they couldn't find any errors on the sensors

I've read a similar post (2000 Ford Focus, low idle, stalling at lights, white smoke from exhaust - P0171 Code - problem?) but it seems that vehicle has other issues and is 11 years older.

If anyone has any ideas I'd be really grateful!

UPDATE 2018 - The car was returned to a Ford dealer for its service and MOT, the fault was demonstrated to a Ford mechanic but after extensive diagnostics, an issue could not be found. Due to consistent stalling while entering roundabouts and on the motorway, the car was scrapped.

  • This sounds like a vacuum leak. Can you inspect the vacuum line leading to the idle air control unit to check if it's not pierced or disconnected?
    – Zaid
    Aug 24, 2015 at 14:32
  • Regarding the 60-70 mph stalling, is it when you're changing gears or stepping off the throttle? Or does it happen all of a sudden while you're at steady speed, fixed RPM?
    – Zaid
    Aug 24, 2015 at 14:33
  • @zaid It happens far more often when stepping off the throttle, however it does just cut out at steady speeds occasionally. I'll have a look at the vacuum line asap.
    – Dan
    Aug 24, 2015 at 15:53
  • I have the same car same engine and am seeing what appears to be the same problem. Car stalls approaching junctions or doing manouvers like parking. Some days it's fine and some days multiple stalls. But it's happening much more often these days. No fault codes and getting it serviced last week has made no difference. Did vacuum leak turn out to be the problem?
    – user12864
    Oct 25, 2015 at 22:12
  • If you could check the fuel pressure to see what the readings are while it's running, I'm thinking this may be a good thing to check. If you were losing fuel pressure at speed, I think you may find the pump is either cutting out or losing pressure. Just an errant thought. Mar 9, 2017 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


I have a 2011 Ford focus 1.6. Got it at 39000 miles last year and it didn't seem to have quite as much pull as my last focus. Mine was cutting out when stopping in traffic and really struggled to pull away when just started up from cold. Had it serviced and it was a little better but still had symptoms. I read that people had tried plugs, leads and coil packs but the thing that fixed it for them and also for me was a PCM software update. Feels much better now with lots of pull and smooth acceleration all the way through. Most importantly it hasn't cut or once since the update.

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