Ford Focus Won’t Start: What Could Be The Problem?

WVDOT Automotive is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Ford Focus is a great car. It’s affordable, it’s reliable, and it’s got some great features. It’s also a good choice for anyone who wants to buy a solid car that will not cause too many issues during its lifespan.

Although the Ford Focus can be classified as a reliable vehicle, it is far from perfect. There have been issues reported by owners that can get pretty serious.

One of those problems is related to the car unable to start. Many people have wondered, why won’t my Ford Focus start? Well, there can be many reasons for it happening.

The most common ones are:

  1. Weak Battery
  2. Severe Corrosion
  3. Key Fob Battery Low On Charge
  4. Malfunctioning Alternator
  5. Faulty Starter Motor
  6. Clogged Fuel Filter

This article will be diving straight into the details of all of these issues. It is advised not to skip over any section of this article as it could delay you in diagnosing the source of the issue.

So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it.

What Would Cause A Ford Focus To Not Start?

As promised, this section will not waste any of your time. Here I will discuss the above issues in detail, so you can figure out exactly why your Ford Focus is not starting.

1: Weak Battery

A weak battery can cause your Ford Focus to not start. If the battery is weak, it may have trouble producing enough power to start the car.

You might have to jump-start your car on a cold day if you’ve left lights on or other electrical components running while parked overnight. A mechanic can test your battery to determine whether it needs to be replaced.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you have a weak battery, you should drive more often so that it can be charged more often and will not be too weak when you need it to start your Ford Focus.
  • Also, if other drivers in your household use the same vehicle ensure they do not leave lights on or doors open for too long when driving because this could drain the battery and cause it to fail prematurely.
  • If the battery does not hold a charge, you need to replace it entirely.
  • A new one does not cost a lot, and it is recommended that you get an AGM one.
  • It is not only maintenance-free but is also more reliable.

2: Severe Corrosion

If your Ford Focus doesn’t start, it may be because of corrosion on the battery. If you park your vehicle in an area with a lot of rain, or if you live in a place with high humidity, this is a possibility.

You can check if this is causing your problem by checking for visible corrosion and rust on the battery terminals. Corrosion prevents current from passing through, which can result in the engine being unable to turn over.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If corrosion has built up on your battery terminals, it can prevent the Ford Focus from starting.
  • You can use a wire brush to clean off any corrosion and then try starting the car again.
  • This should work for most cases of corrosion-related problems. You can find a wire brush at a hardware store.
  • If cleaning the corrosion was not helpful, then there is a chance that it is too severe. In cases like these, it is recommended to replace the battery altogether.
  • You can keep your new battery in check by using a wire brush every few months to prevent the problem from building too much.

3: Key Fob Battery Low On Charge

The key fob battery is one of the most common reasons your Ford Focus is not going to start. If you’re experiencing this issue, your key fob will not be able to communicate with your vehicle and unlock or start it.

This can happen if you’ve left the key fob in a hot car or the battery has been drained completely. Although the chances of this happening are once every few years, almost everyone has to experience this.

The newer smart systems of the cars have not been designed with this issue in mind. So, you will have to face frustration once every few years.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You will need to replace the battery in your key fob to fix this issue. This can be done by visiting an auto parts store or dealership and purchasing a new one.
  • If the problem persists after replacing your key fob battery, the fob may be completely dead.
  • In this case, you will need to replace it with a technician at an auto parts store or dealership.
  • If you have to replace the fob, a third-party service is more advisable as they will do the same job for you at a fraction of the cost.
  • So, save money while buying a new fob. Keep some spare batteries with you too, in case this happens when you are in a hurry.

4: Malfunctioning Alternator

The alternator is a crucial part of your Ford Focus’ electrical system. It charges your battery, which supplies power to the car’s electrical and electronic components.

If your alternator isn’t working properly, it could cause problems with starting the car. You can identify a faulty alternator by looking at things that are out of the normal.

Dim lights and a slow or resetting infotainment system are common symptoms of failing alternators, along with the car not starting.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can replace the alternator yourself if you have some basic mechanical skills and knowledge about cars.
  • Otherwise, it’s best to bring the vehicle into a shop so they can diagnose the problem properly and replace necessary parts quickly without causing further damage to other parts or systems within your engine compartment (which could lead to additional costs down the road).
  • There are different qualities available for alternators. You should always settle for the high-end ones.
  • They cost a bit more but are more reliable and will last for a longer period.
  • You can expect to pay around $500, including labor charges, for a new alternator.

5: Faulty Starter Motor

If your Ford Focus isn’t starting, one of the most likely causes is a faulty starter motor. The starter motor is what kicks off the car’s engine. It’s also responsible for keeping it running.

If it is faulty, the engine will not be able to start. Replacing the alternator or the battery will not help as this part is what turns over the engine.

You can identify a faulty starter motor by listening for grinding noises when trying to turn the key in the ignition. This is a clear indication that the starter motor is at fault.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The first step in diagnosing a faulty starter motor is to check all relevant components of your vehicle, such as the battery, alternator, and fuses.
  • If these are all working properly, you should consider replacing your starter motor if there are no other issues with your vehicle, such as an open circuit or short-circuited wires that may prevent the starter motor from operating correctly.
  • You can expect to pay between $500 and $1000 for a new starter motor.
  • Like with the alternator, you should get a high-quality motor for your Ford Focus, so it can last longer.

6: Clogged Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter can prevent your Ford Focus from starting. When you turn the key, the fuel pump delivers fuel to the engine through a filter that catches any particles in the gasoline.

If this filter gets clogged with dirt or debris, it will restrict fuel flow and prevent the engine from starting. This issue is pretty common and normally appears after people have filled their vehicles up with gas.

They start to wonder if they put in the wrong fuel or if the fuel pump is fried. Well, that is certainly not the case.

What Should You Do About It?

  • The best way to alleviate the issue is to replace the fuel filter. A new filter for the Ford Focus does not cost a lot and is easy to replace.
  • You can do it yourself or can get it done by a mechanic. It does not take too much time or effort.
  • You can make do by cleaning the existing fuel filter, but it is not recommended.
  • It may get clogged up sooner and may not be as effective in cleaning the engine as a newer one. You don’t want contaminants entering the engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start With New Battery?

The new battery of your Ford Focus may be low on charge. This is a common occurrence in batteries that have been bought online.

They have been on the shelf for quite some time and just don’t have enough juice to start the engine. Or some other part of the starting system could be at fault too.

Q2. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start Even With A Jump?

Check for corrosion on the battery terminals if you are unable to start your Ford Focus with a jump because even if the battery has power, the engine will not start if there is corrosion on the terminals.

If cleaning the terminals does not help and you still cannot start your engine by jumping, the starter motor or the ignition system could malfunction.

Q3. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start But Lights Work?

The fact that the lights are functional means that the battery is working. So, we have ruled one thing out. Check for corrosion as it may prevent all currents from passing through.

This can cause the lights to start but not the engine as it needs more electricity. If that is not the case, then check if any fuse is blown.

Q4. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start But Cranks?

The cranking sound can easily be identified when trying to start an engine. The sound is produced when the spark plugs cannot produce enough spark.

This can be due to a lack of fuel. The engine may not receive enough fuel if there is a clogged fuel filter or if the fuel pump, itself, is faulty.

Q5. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start Just Clicks?

The clicking sound indicates that this is an electrical problem. It could be a dead battery, a faulty alternator, or frayed cables.

You need to check all of these one by one. Start with the battery. Connect it to a multimeter. If the voltage is less than 12V, then you have your answer. Also, check the cables to make sure they are intact.

Q6. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start In The Cold Weather?

If the battery was functioning without any hiccups before, then it means that it was not designed for such weather conditions.

It is true that some batteries are designed for extreme conditions while others are not. They can be differentiated by their cranking amperes.

For cold weather, a battery with more than 800CA is suitable. Anything lower than that will struggle to start the Ford Focus in one go.

Q7. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start After I Get Gas?

This means that your fuel filter is finally clogged. This issue varies from area to area due to the fact that fuel quality differs too. Fuel needs to filter by a fuel filter.

It does not let contaminants pass through, but it does slowly get clogged. Replacing it is the only viable option.

Q8. Why Won’t My Ford Focus Start But Radio Works?

Once again, this rules out the battery as the source of the issue. It could be related to the alternator or the ignition system. Corrosion on the battery terminals could also be playing a part in this issue.

So, if your radio is working and the Ford Focus is not starting, you need to check all parts of the starting system except for the battery.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Ford Focus?

Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve found the answer to your question of “Why won’t my Ford Focus start?”. In short, there are a few reasons your car might not start.

If you’re still having trouble, try checking the battery, making sure it’s charged, and looking for any signs of corrosion or damage.

If all else fails, you should definitely take your car to a mechanic. A professional diagnosis will help you pinpoint the issue. So, you will not have to spend time and money on fixing parts that didn’t require fixing.

I hope you can get your Ford Focus up and running in no time.