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Much reduced power in higher gears after 3k revs

919 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  spyda
I have had my Mk3 Ghia 2.0 since December, bought privately with full history and receipts for any work carried out. Over the last few months the car has been great, running well and has made a nice change from my aging Volvo S40 2.0 that was sold soon afterwards.

Only yesterday I noticed whilst driving along a straight that the engine seemed to be racing and went to change gear - only I was already in 5th!

I then noticed that at anything above around 3k revs I could hear a whining sound from the engine bay building up on accelleration. Furthermore this only seems to happen in 4th and 5th (thought it could be there in other gears and not audible over the sound of the engine revs).

I have also noticed that when motorway driving and when in top gear the engine seems to be racing and there is very little power. I suspect I would have a hard time building up my top speed to anything more than about 85mph the way things are.

To summarize, there seems to be very little power at the top end and this is most noticeable in top gear when driving at above 50mph - it feels like there should be a 6th gear to drop into where of course there isn't!

Before I take her in, can anyone hazard a guess as to what may be causing this? It's a sudden change and there are no warning lights on the dash. Had the car been a turbo I would understand the whining but it isn't!

Apologies for the long first post. I gained some very useful info from my old Volvo forum and I hope to be able to contribute here as well as find answers to the problems I may encounter during ownership.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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My Focus had similar behaviour to this... My guess is as I had.... It's the clutch slipping.. For some reason my Focus started slipping in 5th... so for example if I was doing 50mph and accelerated to 70mph, the revs would sky rocket to the redline, it progressively got worse and the clutch burnt out completely. Good luck with Diagnosing the problem, pretty sure this is your problem.
Thanks MondeoMan91 I wondered about the clutch but thought that would happen in all gears if this was the fault and not just the higher gears?

Also, what about the whistling noise on accelleration, I am not sure how that would be clutch related and I am pretty sure the two are connected.

Don't know whether to take the car to a Ford dealer and pay £££ or to an independent garage to diagnose.
The noise is probably your thrust bearing on the clutch, this would generally get faster and slightly higher pitched as your revved the engine.

With the price of used cars being crazy now and not that much choice in decent motors being around, you should replace the clutch, I'm not sure if the 2.0 Duratech-HE engine has a DMF Flywheel but that could be knackered too when replacing the clutch...

It's best to take it to an indy.

I took my focus to a regular garage and although it's a bitch of a job, because the subframe needs removing it wasn't anymore costly than to replace the clutch on my 406 HDi... About £350 for a full new clutch kit for my 1.8TDCi focus if I remember rightly... P.S The flywheel was ok.
The noise does indeed get higher pitched as the revs increase and the lack of speed in relation to the engine revs does indicate the clutch to be at fault.

Ok, I'm going to go with the clutch possibility and call Mr Clutch in the morning for a quote (not looking forward to that)!

May take it in for a free check before any work is carried out just to be sure.
Guys I have just been quoted £750 for a replacement clutch (by Mr Clutch) as he said the flywheel would likely be shot as well!

There has to be a cheaper option - anyone have any advice on where to get this done cheaper?

I can take to Sheffield / Rotherham / Chesterfield and surrounding areas.

Any garage should be able to undertake the job... My focus was done by a Renault Specialist for christ sake... albeit up here in the North East.

£750 is well out for doing a clutch, it should be around the £600 - 630 mark and if you are driving a petrol, the chances are that the DM Flywheel won't need doing as the last a lot long on petrol cars.

I only know clutch places up near bolton and wigan if you want to trek out a little further.



There have been some developments in the last few days on this - though I've still not got a fix!

Day 1 - Mate drove car and noticed the n/s rear brake disc was red hot (much hotter than the other side). Took car to garage that had previously suspected the clutch and after we pointed out the brake seeming to stick he said the cluch was fine and said the problem is with a seized calliper and cable. Replacement single calliper, brake cable and new pads £260.

Took to another garage and told them brake seems to be sticking - freed the mechanisms off and greased up and advised if it happens again it may need new callipers - £120 per side with pads.

Day 2 - Car seemed to be driving better after this (maybe placebo though) and somehow seemed less effort when driving with both brake discs staying equal temp. Soon went back to normal though so decided to book in for new callipers. Unable to book in for a few days I called the other branch of the same company and arranged to drop off for new callipers.

Day 3 - Dropped car in as arranged. Received call a couple of hours later to say they have found nothing wrong and there is no need for new callipers BUT the clutch is slipping a little. Problem is the same and now the handbrake points skyward when applied!

Now, I have tested the clutch every way I know how and so has my mate and neither of us can feel it slipping! So, as the disc is getting so hot on one side again this HAS to be a sticking calliper, right?

I always thought it advisable when changing brake pads / callipers to do both sides at the same time whereas the first garage seems to think this is not necessary and that we can just get away with a full set of pads. Seems a tad pricey at £260 though (single calliper, pads and brake cable).

What to do now?
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Pads & discs should be changed in pairs but calipers are not as important.

When they fit the new caliper they should brake test it to ensure that its even.
Thanks for the confirmation. Maybe I can get away with just doing the one side then providing all pads are changed.

The question now though is whether it's just the handbrake cable thats seized and needs replacement or the caliper as well - reading here it seems the cable is a common fault on the Mk3 :-/
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