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!

  1. If you’ve replaced the fuel filter, make sure you fill it with fuel before you attempt to start the vehicle
  2. 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
  3. If necessary, repeat step 2 on the pipe before the fuel rail


By Richard

Businessman, camping enthusiast, Formula One fan and Real Ale drinker.

14 thought on “Cranking Time Exceeded | Ford problems”
  1. I have a Ford focus 1.0 turbo it says cranking time exeaded and car will not turn over the car was overheated then I fixed it and it was running now it won’t turn with the key it’s saying cranking time exeaded

    1. I have the same problem with Fiesta diesel.
      The car overheated,i fix it,and nor says that message.
      What i need to do?

  2. I bob sorry to bother you, my ford focus has just done the same thing on sat, did you get any help
    from any one. I you could help me on this that would be great .regards Geoff
    email address is
    regards Geoff

  3. I just read that you will have to wait 15-30 minutes to crank again depending on the model and another site said to press the brake pedal all the way then start. I am having the same problem with my 13′ Fusion Se. I tried cranking too many times during this polar vortex. I’ll try this brake method when I get home. Let us know if it works for you.

  4. My 2014 ecosport 1.5 tdci is displaying “cranking time exceeded”. I’ve waited over 2 hours and tried to start it again, but it still wont start and is still displaying the same message anyone got any ideas ?

  5. Focus 1.6 Diesel. 2014
    You must prime the filter after fitting and before cranking. Having failed to do this, Doh! I primed the filter with a vacuum pump (pulled a litre of diesel through) then carefully removed the two red clips on the return pipe and vacuumed another litre through there and on refitting the pipe and clips, the engine started. Be very careful with the red clips as they are delicate.
    The foot on the brake did over ride the time out but do not just keep cranking. You can damage the pump.
    The engine idled a little lumpy until I cleared the two fault codes, ‘crank time exceeded’ and ‘low fuel pressure’. (Faults my carelessness introduced) Then it ran perfectly.
    If you don’t know what you are doing or are not competent with these systems, do not mess with them.

    1. Good advice.

      When I first posted this, our Snap On computer didn’t have the ability to purge the filter. It does now.

  6. 2017 ford f350 6.7 It’s 18° outside with snow on ground didn’t plug it in lastnight turned over now won’t crank and displays cranking time exceeded

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