With a loose connection, the battery is unable to supply the necessary current to sudden hi-wattage demands of accessories such as the headlights high beams. Loose connection problem may cause momentary blacking out of the dashboard, which means the safety features of the car are also momentarily compromised while rebooting (the electronic-assisted power steering, in particular, will be unavailable).
The video was taken with our EcoSport in mid-2019, showing the dashboard shutting down as soon as the high beams are switched on (leaving the car in-gear will automatically re-start the car). This issue was later found out and verified to be due to a corrosion on the positive battery terminal. Cleaning the terminal fixed the problem. The battery continued to serve for a few more months (with the issue fixed and never to recur) but was later replaced as part of a regular maintenance schedule. Always check the terminals for any possible leaks as corrosion is one of the main reasons for a faulty battery terminal connection.
The average engine temperature of a vehicle depends on how efficiently heat is removed from the engine and dissipated through the metal fins of the radiator. A fault on any of the systems involved in the heat transfer and dissipation will lead to higher engine temperatures and in some cases, overheating. Below are some factors that affect a vehicle’s engine temperature, particularly, in an EcoSport.
Heat from the engine is dissipated through the radiator. A dirty radiator with its metal fins covered with dirt or oxidation will not dissipate heat as effectively as a radiator with clean radiator fins. Radiators need cleaning as soon as you notice an increase in the average operating temperature of your vehicle (87 °C on a brand new EcoSport).
If there is no air flowing through the radiator (e.g., when the vehicle is stopped on traffic or idling in a parking lot), the engine temperature rises due to minimal heat transfer to the atmosphere. To force air through the radiator and keep the engine temperature to about 100 °C or lower, the auxiliary fan spins.
Heat from the engine is transferred to the radiator by circulating a liquid (called coolant) through the engine, letting the coolant absorb the heat, then transfer the heat to the radiator where it will be dissipated. A coolant that has passed through the radiator then becomes cooler, and the cycle continues as the coolant is pumped back to the engine to absorb heat. The coolant must be maintained at the proper level (volume) and have the proper water-additive ratio to effectively absorb heat.
A failure in the pump that circulates the coolant results to heat not being transferred to the radiator, thus, leading to rising engine temperatures. Failure is usually caused by broken pump mechanism, or a snapped drive belt that spins the pumping mechanism.
The coolant reservoir, hoses, and all connected parts must be checked for possible leaks. When a leak occurs, there will be no coolant to absorb and transfer the heat from the engine to the radiator.
Based on our EcoSport, the average engine operating temperature is around 84 °C to 87 °C when at cruising speeds, and up to 100 °C when idling and stopped. The auxiliary fan spins at 100 °C to bring the temperature back to 87 °C. Overheating of the engine begins when the temperature goes beyond 129 °C.
To minimize heat generation through friction and prevent premature engine damage, proper oil lubrication is essential. Check the oil level regularly. Ford recommends changing the oil every 10,000 km.
Active monitoring of the engine temperature is essential. Consider installing a tool that displays the vehicle’s engine temperature such as an HUD.
To prevent issues related to overheating, perform regular maintenance checks and never ignore any temperature-related alert or warning.
The dreaded check engine light appeared on our dashboard when we were climbing a steep hill in Tagaytay. We believe that the error was tripped by poor combustion since it appeared precisely at the moment when the car was struggling, with the RPM dropping below idling levels (below 900 RPM). We did not reset anything, we simply parked and leave the car for about 30 minutes. When we restarted it, the error has disappeared.
The error appeared when our EcoSport was still at 31,000 km. The car now has covered more than 55,555 km, and the error has not reappeared.
Early warning devices (EWDs) are signaling devices used to alert other motorists of a road emergency, and must be used whenever a vehicle is stopped on the road for any reason. EWDs are mandatory accessories for all motorized vehicles, as required by law.
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Warning lights are used to indicate the status of a vehicle. Green and blue lights indicate that a component is activated. Yellow lights indicate that a component needs attention. Red lights indicate urgent and pressing error.
To learn what these warning lights mean and what to do when you encounter one, head directly to: EcoSport Warning Lights.
Whenever I switch on the high beams, the cabin lights dim, and the cabin fan (at max speed) slows down, and random dashboard errors show up, indicating a weak battery. Upon inspection, I noticed a light corrosion build up on the positive terminal of the battery. Clearly, it needs replacement soon. This is to be expected since the stock battery is already 2.5 years old. As a general rule, one should replace the battery every 2 years.
EcoSport accepts both DIN44 and DIN55 batteries (DIN refers to a battery standard, with the numbers indicating the capacity, AH or ampere-hours, of the battery). I opted for an Emtrac DIN55, and it comes with 2.5 years warranty. Considering that the stock battery lasted 2.5 years, the warranty period of 2.5 years offered by Emtrac is enough incentive for me to consider purchasing the brand. According to the dealer, if the battery fails within the warranty period, it will be replaced with a new one.
DIN44 is perfectly capable of handling the demands of an EcoSport. DIN55, however, has 55 AH, thus, has a higher battery capacity than DIN44, which is rated only at 44 AH. The difference of 11 AH is desirable if you have installed a number of accessories, as in the case of my EcoSport. DIN55 costs about 7,000 pesos (140 USD) and DIN44 at about 6,000 pesos (120 USD). Replacement takes about 30 minutes.
A word of caution:
For MT variants: There is no need to keep the computer powered up during battery replacement. Simply disconnect the battery terminals, swap the batteries, clean the terminals, then reconnect the battery. The system’s time and date will reset due to disconnected power, but no error should show up.
For AT variants: There have been a number of reports that errors show up on some (but not all) AT units, when power gets disconnected. You may use an extra battery connected in parallel with the old one, so as to keep the computer powered during replacement. This issue seems to affect only some AT units, since a number of AT owners have successfully replaced their batteries with the power fully disconnected. It is still unclear what causes the errors to show (no formal statement yet from the car manufacturer). Some shops charge up to 3,000 pesos (60 USD) to fix this error—computer reprogramming, as they call it.
In May 2019, I went on a trip to Iba, Zambales. From Cavite, the trip took around 6 hours, via NLEX and SCTEX, passing through Subic, and eventually, through the Olongapo-Bogallon road. I had a flat tire due to a ‘key’ left on the road, which pierced a tire some 30 km before reaching Iba proper.
On the way home, I stopped by a long bridge traversing a very wide river, where the lahar from Pinatubo discharges directly to the sea. The amount of lahar deposited in that river is massive!
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Have you driven your EcoSport with an almost empty fuel tank? In June 2017 (about 2 years ago) I was able to do so. While the information display shows “0 km range” indicating an “empty” gas tank, I was able to drive around for about 2-3 km after reaching the zero mark. I do not know how much fuel is left at zero mark (I have yet to measure that), but it appears that there is still some “reserve fuel” in the tank. As a safety margin, the gauge is probably calibrated to display zero even though there is still some fuel left.
Changing a flat tire is an essential skill that every driver must know. With practice, changing tires should take only about 20 to 30 minutes, even for first timers. You should not be driving if you do not know how to swap tires!
To change a flat tire:
1. Loosen the nuts using the supplied tool found at the boot.
2. Engage the hand brake.
3. Place the supplied jack in the designated position.
4. Lift the car to free the wheels.
5. Remove the nuts.
6. Swap the damaged wheel with the spare wheel.
7. Replace and tighten the nuts slightly.
8. Lower the car.
9. Tighten the nuts completely.