My Ford Focus want starting this morning or yesterday evening - turning over fine just not firing up.

I was about to tow it to a mechanic but this evening, my wife tried it, still wouldn't work, then put into first gear, tried again, playing with the accelerator and clutch and then the engine coughed a small bit and fired into action! Now it starts fine just turning the key normally!

I should also mention the other day it refused to start, same symptom, but started fine on the second try.

So what was actually wrong here? I'd like to know because I'm not convinced it's just fixed and am thinking that I'll have the same problem again but getting worse each time, so I might still have to get something fixed

  • You have to check the error codes, there are plenty of issues that could prevent engine from starting. Go to the mechanic and let him read the errors with the computer. This might lead you to a clue what's wrong. Without them you could change the fuel filter and charge up your battery.
    – Mark
    Apr 4, 2019 at 9:39
  • 1
    It it's turning over fine then it's not a battery problem. Fuel filter definitely would be something to check.
    – GdD
    Apr 4, 2019 at 18:01
  • It could be glow plugs or fuelling. Im having problems with my nissan atmo. I thought it was glow plugs but it seem my injector pump is leaking and drawing air. So its getting rebuilt. Apr 6, 2019 at 1:03
  • @GdD actually I know of few cases where 1.8 TDCI Ford Focus wouldn't ignite because of weak battery. The engine was turning but not fast enough to start. Changing the battery (and nothing else) fixed the problem.
    – Mark
    Apr 8, 2019 at 10:37
  • If the battery was weak then it probably wouldn't start the second time @Mark
    – GdD
    Apr 8, 2019 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


It stopped again a few months after this post and refused to restart. It turns out it was the fuel filter so GdD's comment was correct.

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