Cranking time exceeded is a code which will occur on certain models of Fords (such as the Ford Fiesta, Focus, Mode, Taurus and F150). It happens when an attempt to start the vehicle has occurred for more than 60 seconds in total, without the vehicle starting.
The cranking time exceeded system is designed to stop a fuel pump running ‘dry’ i.e. without any fuel to lubricate it and is most common either after a vehicle has run out of fuel, or as a result of replacing the fuel filter.
What to do if you receive a ‘cranking time exceeded’ warning
Even if you have a code reader, you’re not going to be able to reset or clear the code. The only way to get rid of the error is to wait 15 to 30 minutes (depending on the model) and then try again.
Ensure you have fuel
It sounds obvious, but without fuel, this fault with continue to occur. Make sure there is some.
Ensure you have primed the fuel system
If you’ve run out of diesel fuel, or changed the fuel filter, you need to ensure that you have purged the system of air or the engine isn’t going to start and you’ll continue to get ‘Cranking time exceeded’ message. You’ll just be suck air and the system won’t push fuel through. This should only be done by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you don’t know how to do this, don’t do it!
- If you’ve replaced the fuel filter, make sure you fill it with fuel before you attempt to start the vehicle
- Use a diesel priming kit, or a tube with a non-return valve and attach it to the output of the filter. Pump until all air is removed
- If necessary, repeat step 2 on the pipe before the fuel rail
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