So my 2007 Focus Petrol 1.8 Zetec Climate wont start. It just cranks over.

It worked with no problem until 2 days ago. As soon as I engaged reverse up a very slight incline the engine died- it was a cold January evening and we had just done a 5 minute drive followed by a 2 minute drive.

Next day I found it had no oil on the dipstick whatsoever. So I filled it - actually a little too much as it is just above the top marker. Still no start. (FYI- I don't believe there is a leak- I've never seen any oil puddles left by the car)

Battery was just a little low- I took it out and trickle charged it and that is now good, but as I said the engine does crank and all expected electronics turn on in the car.

I've put in 4 new spark plugs.

I've checked the fuse is good for the fuel pump, which I believe I can hear on ignition as well.

I've opened up the coolant and can see no problems there.

There is 1/2 tank of fuel as well :)

So whats next? Do you have some ideas to help me in the right direction?

Haven't tested the spark plugs are actually sparking, or the engine compression- are they worth doing?

Any help appreciated :D

BTW, it's done 66k miles. Full serviced in June 2018, done 10k miles without service since then.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Jan 23, 2019 at 19:56
  • 1
    Did you check the oil level with the car on a flat level surface? if not then the reading you got was probably incorrect...
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 23, 2019 at 20:25
  • @SolarMike well it's on the road ATM and it's really only a very small decline so I don't have any concerns there.
    – Jono
    Jan 24, 2019 at 8:08
  • Hmm, the effect on the reading will be dependent on where in the sump the dipstick takes its reading, but, fine your choice.
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 24, 2019 at 8:17
  • Had a mobile mechanic out yesterday who plugged is diagnostic gizmo in. There is a cylinder to crankshaft reference synchronisation fault! So it could be a massive internal issue but in the meantime Im replacing the sensor to see if that works!
    – Jono
    Jan 25, 2019 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


You'll need to check the fuel pressure. Just because you have fuel in the tank, doesn't mean you're getting fuel to the rail. Turn the key and listen intently for the fuel pump. Check the fuse for the fuel pump to ensure it's good. Best of all, get a fuel pressure tester and plug it into the fuel rail to ensure you've got fuel pressure.

The other thing you can do is check to ensure you have spark at the plug. Remove a plug and attach it to the coil (this is a coil on setup, right?), ensuring you've got the plug grounded. Turn it over and check for the spark. If not spark, check another cylinder to ensure your first choice isn't a bad coil. If nothing at two cylinders, ensure you've got power/ground at the coils with the ignition on.

You don't mention if the check engine light is on. If so, get the code read. The reason I say this is, if the engine just suddenly stops working, the cam and/or crank sensors could have gone out. You may want to test these anyway. If one or the other is at issue, this will usually throw a code, though, which is why I was asking about the CEL.

  • Turn the key and listen intently for the fuel pump Check the fuse for the fuel pump to ensure it's good Did those things thanks @paulster2 (See OP). get a fuel pressure tester I could do that, but what would that mean? Would that then be something I could fix myself? check to ensure you have spark at the plug Thought about that too, with a plug tester, but again, would that then be something I could fix myself? if the check engine light is on Well yes on ignition as usual. But as the car doesn't start, I don't see it turn off!
    – Jono
    Jan 24, 2019 at 7:59
  • Yeah you can test these things yourself. @Jono did you ever find a resolution?
    – rogerdpack
    Mar 9, 2022 at 23:14
  • Well I took it the garage (or rather they took it!). From memory I believe they found that there was an earthing problem (I don't remember where exactly). So it wasn't earthed, thus wouldn't start. The investigation time took longer than the fix :)
    – Jono
    Mar 27, 2022 at 12:29
  • @Jono - If there was an "earthing" problem, that means the "earth" or "ground" wasn't good or complete. Electrical problems can sometimes be the hardest to diagnose. Glad you got it fixed! Mar 27, 2022 at 12:46
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 indeed! Would you have an idea where this eath/ground could have been? Perhaps the gearbox?
    – Jono
    Mar 28, 2022 at 15:53

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