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Your non-diagnostic vehicle-related problems solved by Steve Rothwell


Q The headlight levelling has not worked since I bought my 2007 Ford Fiesta Mk6 1.25. I’ve replaced the headlights with new ones (Depo brand) mainly due to discoloration. But still the headlight levelling does not work.

Can you guide me through the process of finding out why they don’t work please?

I’ve a multimeter and a Foxwell NT301 OBDII reader.

A The first test where the headlamp levelling is not operating on either headlamp is to check the voltage supply to the headlamp switch. If the headlamp flash works, then this is deemed to be OK.

The next test is to ensure the earth circuit is functioning correctly. To do this the connector should be disconnected from the headlamp switch and the circuit tested by using an ohm meter between pin number 10 and earth – the resistance should be less than 2 Ohms. If it is not then the circuit needs to be checked.

If the feed and earth circuits of the headlamp switch are good, then there is a possibility that the headlamp switch is at fault. Testing for any power from pin 1 should indicate if this switch is faulty. The wire coming from the switch to the adjustment motor should be blue/red and goes directly from the switch to the adjustment motors in the headlamp. This should also be checked for continuity.


Q My 2016 EcoBoost 1.0-litre Fiesta is a keeper as it is the last of the zero road tax models, therefore I’m looking for future reliability into my retirement! Current mileage is around 64,000 miles.

I see that the 2018 onwards EcoBoost 1.0-litre engines have ditched the belt-in-oil idea and have reverted to chain drive and appear to be the same engine otherwise.

I imagine that it would have been sensible for the Ford engineers to make the chain sprockets interchangeable then, with the existing engine components in order to save manufacturing time and cost.

Would you happen to know then, if the new chain and sprockets are indeed interchangeable with the belt-in-oil engine?

Alternatively, would you know if the whole 2018 chain-engine is swappable for my belt-in-oil engine?

A The engine in your Fiesta should be the SFJC series which uses a timing belt running from the crankshaft to drive the camshaft pulleys – this belt does run in the lubrication system and so does run in the oil.

The later engine (B7JA) is a different design and although it uses a similar setup, the belt and pulleys are replaced with a chain and sprockets. The two engines do also have a few subtle differences and although both units are three-cylinder OHC engines, the compression ratio and valve operation are different.

I am not aware of any company that can supply a conversion kit to replace the belt with a chain and although the engine could be replaced with the later versio

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