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New User

Aug 23, 2015, 1:41 AM

Post #1 of 4 (936 views)

  Ford s max 1.8 diesel 2007. Hi driving down to South of France in a Ford s max. Fully loaded with bikes on roof. After driving for approx 5 hours and with 1/4 tank left car stalled pulling off a motorway going up a hill. Repeated attempts to Re start no good. Towed off and now car waiting to be looked at tomorrow in ford garage. Similar problem once before also fully loaded, similar distance travelled and pulling off motorway up a hill. However difference being it restarted after a few attempts. Battery now flat in car due to flooding it don't speak French and have a feeling this is a fuel problem? Not getting through?? Any help appreciated. Holiday already going to pot will be delayed at least 4 days so any pointers prior to speaking to mechanics appreciated. Thanks

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 23, 2015, 3:38 AM

Post #2 of 4 (920 views)

I'm not a diesel tech but see the common problem is your load and car quits. This is a US based site but happen to have
been to S. France near Italy in the Alps. Wild mountain highways (motorways) and this time of year possible high
temperatures for the load. Car would start you said till battery flat - you tried too long and too hard or battery not up
to good shape?
Were there any warning lights even if icons you didn't know what they meant?
What I do know of diesel engines is they work off of heat of compression not spark plugs
so fuel delivery on time is key plus high pressure. I really don't know if the fuel boils early
if too hot and or you can guess at the altitude. High altitude is less air to compress would be compensated for
with boosting air intake in some manner. A poor battery or charging system may be also in the mix not being able to deliver enough fuel pressure probably pumped by an electric pump.

Tell the mechanics of the load and times this happened. Think I'd request charging system and battery both need
to be in great shape. In fact if you know the battery is original in a 2007 model it's too old already IMO
even if it behaves in more normal use for a while longer and may be the real problem if so?

Bonne vacacion/weekend (that's still French I think isn't it?)
Bonne chance mon ami, (means good luck my friend with old high school French, inadequate for real use)


(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Aug 23, 2015, 3:45 AM)

New User

Aug 23, 2015, 4:33 AM

Post #3 of 4 (909 views)

Thanks Tom we weren't at altitude and battery fairly new - 3 years and in apparently good shape. We had been in a low altitude autoroute and just on a minor incline exit road when it happened. our mechanic had checked over car before we left. It had been hot all day ~27 degrees. But when it happened previously we were going skiing in Scotland and it was about 2degrees Celsius. Unfortunately we had forgotten to mention problem in Scotland to our mechanic since it was seemingly transitory! Our mistake! Thanks again

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 23, 2015, 5:16 AM

Post #4 of 4 (906 views)

Clearly need some checking out. So far you've ruled out high temps but still common is the roof load of bikes and their possible wind resistance which wouldn't matter too much if not at speed IMO.

Was just looking for a common reason and may not be at all?
Your battery went "flat" you said. How hard to you try to start this for how long? A real good battery would crank engine at a good cranking speed with a rest to cool down many times before going flat - at least 10 I would say up to 15 second tries. If you crank a starter way too long you do harm it but once running not a reason to quit running.

Fuel delivery would be. If your fuel filter has a water drain (some did or do) or water somehow involved in fuel I do know that's a problem more with diesel.

Again can't know but model year 2007 even diesels would have codes that could help but maybe not for the country of it's original destination and specifications for there.
Give them all you've just mentioned here to help them help you and target the problem.

Side note: Was a loooong time ago when in France myself. I did notice if there's a language barrier it was away from major cities of world interest and think some areas would be more apt to speak German as a second language than English. Point is just make sure you and mechanics understand each other.

I was staying in LaPlagne, France at a resort. Long ago the staff there did NOT speak English well except at a front desk type thing. If they don't understand well and this car just starts right up with a battery boost or charge they could be lost in finding the real problem over misunderstanding,


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