FEH - No Start

Discussion in 'Ford Hybrids' started by GaryG, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Well, I've started two other threads because of having to have my FEH towed to the dealership because it would not start. Thought I'd better start a new thread with a better title so people could find the answer easier as it relates to "will not start".

    Towing (3 times), repair hours, a 12V battery and $36 in relays cost me ~$1250 and 10 days without a vehicle. I feel it's important that you learn from my experiences and save yourself some money and a big headache in the future if it happens to your FEH/MMH. The Hybrid Tech and Ford's Hotline say this was the first time they've seen 3 main relays go bad like this, and they wanted details of any thing I was doing that could caused the relays to go bad. Nothing I told them explained what the cause was, so they gave me a spare relay so if it happens again, I could change it myself and get started again. There are 5 relays, and are all the same and cost $12 each. They are located in the Battery Junction Box behind the engine air filter and can be changed without tools in seconds.

    Take off the cover and you will see the relays on the left and fuses and stuff on the right.

    From the back to the front in order are Relays 001-005, here's what they are:

    001 Relay - Power Sustain Relay (mine was bad)

    002 Relay - PCM power relay (mine was bad)

    003 Relay - Injector relay ( mine was bad)

    004 Relay - Heater Pump relay

    005 Relay - M/E coolant pump relay

    The power sustain relay controls charging the HV battery with the generator and regen. The PCM power relay powers the PCM and the Injector relay can prevent fuel for starting as the engine turns over.

    These relays can be interchanged, but the only one safe to remove and drive the vehicle is the Heater pump relay. The heater pump only comes on in EV while the belt driven coolant pump stops. I may pull that relay to save energy and keep the engine hot in EV anyway if I don't get a warning light. You can also turn the climate control system off like I do to keep the heater pump off in EV.

    If your engine will not start, you may want to plan a head and get at least one spare relay to try to trouble shoot to get going again.

  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Gary:

    ___Can you upload some pics for current and future FEH owners to give them a better idea about what you are describing?

    ___Thanks in advance!

  3. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    That's a good idea Wayne, I'll take some pics in daylight, but I may need help putting them in this thread.

  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Oh man, Gary. You have really suffered at Ford's hands lately! :( I'm glad that you have your vehicle back, but what a price!!

    Thank you so much for sharing so that no one else has to go through what you have in the last couple of months!

    I can help with the photos if you like.
  5. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Wow. I'd like to see those pics of the relays, especially the supplier. I'd like to know where they're buying their junk parts!
  6. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Was that not covered by warranty, Gary? It makes me mad that that cost you a penny!
  7. CarlD

    CarlD Well-Known Member

    Gary, was there any visible sign the relays were bad? I mean, were they burnt or something else?
  8. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    They took the injector relay apart and pointed out signs of carbon build-up. Ford requested the dealership to ship my PCM power relay to them for evaluation. I've got the injector and the power sustain relay from the first time the FEH would not start. I didn't have time to take the pictures Wayne ask for today, but I will include a shot of the carbon on the injector relay when I get to it.

  9. DebbieKatz

    DebbieKatz ФЕХ Царйца

    Hi Gary --

    Thanks again for the benefit of your experience in not just the good things about our FEH's :), but also the problems :eek:

    While I've learned something about walking into a dealer service dept. ready to show them what I know, it helps to be able to suggest a possibility for the tech(s) to look at ;)
  10. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Your welcome Debbie.

    I took a few pictures of where the relays are at and tried to show the area where the carbon was on the contacts. The tech had taken apart the fuel injector relay to explain to ford what it looked like. The picture didn't come out good enough to see the carbon because of being so small.

    Also took a picture of the manual that describes what relay serves what. These relays just plug in, so having a spare in the clove box might be a good idea.

    The photos are in my photo gallery, but if anyone wants to post them in this thread, go right ahead.

  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Gary:

    ___They are a bit large at 800x600. I will resize them to 400x300 and link them back into the thread in a few.

    ___Good Luck

  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Gary:

    ___Here you go:

    Relay box.

    Relay and Fuse box opened up.

    Pointing at Relays.

    Relay and Fuse Layout. It should be labeled inside the Fuse and Relay box cover?

    Carbon Build-up.​

    ___Good Luck

  13. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    Relays like that should last practically forever, unless
    they're surrounded by a really bad design of what they
    feed. Any indication of what made them fail prematurely?
    Why did several of them go at once, as opposed to one with
    a particularly high load on it?
    Something doesn't add up here.
  14. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    Ford thought I had rigged a plug-in charging system and had the Tech take pictures of everything to send them. Of course I did not, and the only modification I did was bypass the heater core. We all agreed that would not effect the relays. I suspect the power sustain relay went bad first and caused the others damage. There were so many codes found the first time it wouldn't start, but they refused to let me see the list. Ford also knew about the MPG Challenge and thought I may have reprogrammed the PCM to get over 60mpg. I had to do a set-up of the SG11 when I got it back, and the Tech said they had him check the the SG11 out also. I told the Tech that I did not use my FEH in the MPG Challenge and I did not have the equipment or knowledge to reprogrammed the PCM.

    The power sustain relay could have continued to provide power to the injector relay till it went bad. The injector relay which had the carbon could have burned out from the continuous power and may have caused the engine not to start and drain the HV battery while being powered by the starter (MG1) as my wife tried to drive the vehicle. The PCM relay was the last to go the third time I had it towed. It appears the PCM relay was acting up the second time I had it towed, but it did start the vehicle when the tow service picked up the vehicle for some reason.

    Yes, this is all strange and Ford stated my FEH was the only one that they've seen with this problem. If someone traced back a complaint I made about a strong smell of smoke and losing autolocks when Ford did not program autolocks in the '05 model because of problems, that may have some connection. The tech said there was no connection, who knows?

  15. Mark Smith

    Mark Smith Active Member

    A lot of FAS in a humid and or dusty area might cause the relays to arch and go bad.
  16. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Care to divulge exactly why that would be the case?
  17. Mark Smith

    Mark Smith Active Member

    Every time you cycle the key you cycle the relays. In a dusty and or humid environment moisture and dust can accumulate on the contacts (these relays are not sealed completely) every time they engage they arch a little bit the more contamination on the contacts the more the "carbon" (its really corrosion) builds up and soon you have no electrical connection. BTW these will start out intermittent and are very hard to figure out until they completely fail.
  18. Mark Smith

    Mark Smith Active Member

    I had to "hold the hybrid techs hand" when my PCM took a dive. There were 7 DTCs listed in the PCMs memory. I have a professional scan tool so I diagnosed mine before it died, when it was intermittent. When it was towed to them I told them all the codes I have retrieved and also told them they would not be there when they got it started. I told them based on the codes and Fords diagnostic manual the PCM was bad. They nooded they little heads and gave me a look like you dont know what you are talking about. It took them awile to get it to die and when it did their first "diagnosis" was HV THE BATTERY! I asked them if they resolved the comunication codes and they mumbled something about calling Ford. Well a week later they installed a PCM and after another day to figure out they had to have both keys to flash the PATS system I got my car back. After that they dont look at me like I'm some kinda fool. Maybe they asked their parts guy who I was. ;)
  19. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    When my PCM had to be reflashed a year ago, the Tech was getting a bad HV battery code also. The same thing this last go around. The Hybrid Tech I see is quite nice and we both learn from each other. It was the SA who would not give me a copy of his notes of the codes found. The Tech would tell me just about anything.

    With regard to the relays, it is very humid here and I live less than 100ft from the saltwater. My FEH is parked outside and I thought the same thing when I looked and saw these relays are not sealed. In addition, my commute is mainly along the beach roads where there is often allot of salt spray on my windshield and I'm constantly going from EV to run.

  20. MyPart

    MyPart Well-Known Member

    I like to use 3M Silicone Lubricant Plus (Wet Type) P/N: 051135-08877 to help seal up fuse boxes.

    I've got a 75 MG (with Lucas Electronics) and giving a good coat of this around the edges of the fuse box cover has drastically reduced the amount of corrosion (and failure) on those old glass type fuses.

    After hearing your story (and also living near the ocean), I think I'll do the same for my FEH fuse box.

    Thanks to everyone for posting your issues so we can all learn and hopefully protect ourselves a little more.

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