Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Ford Focus ZX3 Hatchback - Part IV

1910111315

Comments

  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Before I bought my ZX3, my last car was a '99 Civic CX hatch that I only kept for a few thousand miles. It was a nice enough car, but it can't compare to the ZX3 as far as overall design, features, power, and fun are concerned. Every time I got into the Civic, it made me feel like a cheapskate due to its stripped equipment level - not even a tach or cargo cover is standard! IMHO, that car was no better assembled or finished than my ZX3. Admittedly, the Honda is a nice "appliance", but for the exact same price I paid for that Civic, the ZX3 is a much better equipped and more satisfying car.
  • xquxqu Posts: 55
    Before I bought my Focus, I test drove Civic HB too. The Focus feels more solid, quieter and for the same price, you got A LOT more: fog light, 15' alloy wheels, CD, height adjustable seat... Just sit in both and turn on the radio (Civic has only a radio) then you'll figure it out. Plus current generation Civic was designed four years ago so it will show its age very soon. Most important, I can't live w/o a tach for 5 speed and it is not available for Civic.
    About the reliability, it's too early to say now, at least I have 4,100 trouble free miles on it so far, I'll let you know when I pass 100K :o)
  • skater4skater4 Posts: 35
    Hi all. Just have to say that I've spent the last week moving into a new apartment, and I couldn't have done it without my wonderful Focus hatchback! I moved all the furniture with a rental truck, but otherwise have shuttled everything else in my little hatchy. I can't believe the amount of stuff I was able to cram in there. I even got a 6-foot stepladder in there, something that never would have happened with a sedan.

    This car has a beautiful form, but it's incredibly functional, as well. I don't know why I've never owned a hatch before; I think I'm now a forever convert. :-) Still no problems (fingers crossed). Things seem to running smoothly. Now have 3500 miles, and have noticed a definite improvement in gas mileage.

    Focus rocks!
  • moses5moses5 Posts: 61
    Thank you bjammin2. I know now that I am not crazy. My service department told me the same exact thing. I think they drove my car a mile down the road and called it a day. I don't remember hitting any huge bumps or holes, however, I have taken a few fast right corners. Now, I just want to trade mine in for the SVT model--I haven't even paid the interest on this one yet. :)

    Thanks again.
  • imsoyboyimsoyboy Posts: 34
    After a 2 week search for a car, my husband and I returned to the first car we saw and fell in love with....the Ford Focus ZX3. We got the Sageria Red automatic...I am truly in love! Years back we owned an Escort but sold it and regretted ever since. Thanks to all the postings which made our decision so much easier!!!
  • ragtop99ragtop99 Posts: 33
    I've read in several places that cars should not be allowed to warm up for more than a few seconds before taking off. Most experts say to start the car, put on your seat belt, and go. When a car is started cold it is sending a higher ratio of fuel to the engine then when it is warmed up. This excessive fuel can strip the cylinder walls of oil if the car is left in idle, therefore causing wear. Start it, buckle up, and go. I've been doing this for 20 years and have never had engine problems or burned oil. The last new car I had that burned oil was a 76 Olds, and it burned oil when new.
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    My car exists!! Somewhere.... I know because I finally got a VIN #. I heard that there is a website or something where you can track your vehicles whereabouts by the VIN, anybody know where I could do that? Thanks!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Ragtop99 is correct - you should not idle a car to warm it up. Ten seconds is enough time for oil and fluids to circulate except on the coldest of days. You should drive moderately until your oil temp comes up (the coolant temp gauge won't help you here), but sitting idle at startup should be avoided.
  • Tickbitty, Rubberban, Iam just about at the same place you are. Waiting for that special someone to dish the 411 on that vin sight. Supposedly, It'll be here in a week and a half, but I've been following this discussion long enough to know thats probably a beggars ride.
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    I called Ford customer service and they did track for me by the VIN #. I think your dealer can also do this. (I am buying thru internet so can only bug my dealer so much...)They said my car is "at the ramp" which they said means it is in port. THe build date was March 6th, which is probably why carorder gave me that erroneous date as the original ETA. They said it should be at the dealer March 29, OR April 5. SOunds like weekly deliveries? Weird. Guess I won't start holding my breath till the 29th.
  • silverzesilverze Posts: 5
    I'm new here to the group. Just ordered a silver ZX3 a couple of weeks ago here in Northern Utah. I got all kinds of options: pw, pwr mirrors, remote, cruise, ABS, side bags, tilt/map light (I'm afraid I went overboard and got more than I really needed but it seemed like a great price for a loaded car). It's my first time to buy a NEW car. I've been following the conversations here and am very happy with what I read. I can't wait to get mine. Anyway, not that it's important, but I'm curious as to what the dash display looks like at night. Colors? Is it back lit or does it just have a bulb in front. I was originally enticed by the VW Jetta and it's dash is so cool looking at night but hardly worth all that extra jack for an inferior car compared to the Focus.
    Also, when I get my new car should I use the higher octane gas or is the engine better suited to the regular stuff? I really want to take care of this baby. Speaking of gas, my state is chuck full of monster SUVs and most people think I'm nuts for wanting a HB. I almost hope gas hits $2.00 just so I can zip past them in my hatch and laugh as they're all crying at the Chevron.
  • p345spdp345spd Posts: 24
    pkingroch - Did you check the car and body panels out before you accepted it? Unfortunatley, once you accept the car and sign for it, Ford only is required to bring within their spec. It seems obvious their body man doesn't want to do squat. Take it to another dealer, or contact the Ford rep, and have him inspect it. Ask him if it's within their spec.
    Glad to hear you're getting good mileage w 5 spd.

    Waiting on delivery of SE w/all xcept auto and leatherEngine oil / break-in

    This my opinion: Never trust what's in the car on delivery. Junk, water, metal filings, all contibute to early engine failure. Plus mfrs. use camshaft and other prelubes which can change oil viscosity. So, after you have that first ride, change the oil and filter w/ petro-based oil (API spec minimum). Run the engine 250-500 miles, change the filter only, unless you're switching to synthetic, now's the time to do that (Follow syn oil procedures). W/ petro oil change the oil and filter again between 3000-4500 miles (if you drive for long periods change it more often). You can also protect the engine better changing the filter twice as often.

    Break-in is a little more complicated. This is THEIR opinion!!!!!

    Here are a few links that you might want to look at: Everybody has their opinion on this one. I don't believe you'll ever find two mechanics that'll agree on this one!

    http://fourps.wharton.upenn.edu/~simon/r1/archives/v02/msg00660.html
    http://www.micapeak.com/TL1000S/faq/#Q4
    http://www.koan.com/~pollys1/YFS200/High_Output/Engine_Break_in.html - pseud for one of the top engine builders in the world.
    http://www.bostonengine.com/articles/fresh.html
    http://driversedge.com/breakin.htm
  • silverzesilverze Posts: 5
    I'm new here to the group. Just ordered a silver ZX3 a couple of weeks ago here in Northern Utah. I got all kinds of options: pw, pwr mirrors, remote, cruise, ABS, side bags, tilt/map light (I'm afraid I went overboard and got more than I really needed but it seemed like a great price for a loaded car). It's my first time to buy a NEW car. I've been following the conversations here and am very happy with what I read. I can't wait to get mine. Anyway, not that it's important, but I'm curious as to what the dash display looks like at night. Colors? Is it back lit or does it just have a bulb in front. I was originally enticed by the VW Jetta and it's dash is so cool looking at night but hardly worth all that extra jack for an inferior car compared to the Focus.
    Also, when I get my new car should I use the higher octane gas or is the engine better suited to the regular stuff? I really want to take care of this baby. Speaking of gas, my state is chuck full of monster SUVs and most people think I'm nuts for wanting a HB. I almost hope gas hits $2.00 just so I can zip past them in my hatch and laugh as they're all crying at the Chevron.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Silverze, our ZX3s have fairly conventional, but extremely legible dash illumination - incandescent bulbs provide the light. IMHO the blue dash lighting in new VWs looks neat, but is not very easy to read. I'm one of those "old guys" (I'm 43), and I get to drive my fiance's new Passat if I've been a good boy. At night, my tired eyes have a hard time with the blue lighting - everything looks fuzzy. However, the illuminated switches on the doors are way cool and very much appreciated!
  • drebe73drebe73 Posts: 243
    I was dissapointed that they opted for ordinary dash lighting. A friend has a ford ranger step side and it has cool blue dash illumination. I think ford got cheap when it comes to the focus dash lighting.

    speaking of switches, why are the door locks in when unlocked and out when locked?
  • I know sunroofs were a topic of discussion earlier; this company has a good picture of their spoiler-style sunroof on a Focus ZTS. One of the factory authorized installation centers here in Chicago quoted me $695 installed for this model.

    http://www.solairesunroofs.com/focus.htm

    Has anyone had a sunroof installed yet?
  • focuszx3rfocuszx3r Posts: 92
    Hey, I bought a new ZX3 in Rainforest green. I was very hesitant to buy a car made in Mexico, but this message board changed my (and my father's) opinions on the car. I really love the handling and I cant wait to drive my 5-speed cuz the dealer only had automatics to drive.
    I have some questions:
    Has anybody seen the Rainforest Green color? does it look like the pictures on Ford's site?
    How long did your order typically take?? (they told me 6 weeks)
    I am 17 and a major car nut and I am excited to drive my new car! (about thew only car I would rather have is an Impreza 2.5 RS cuz I am a subaru FREAK!)
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    You can trace VIN numbers from right here at edmunds.com. Check out the Carfax Lemon Check. You can get a basic report for free, the more detailed version is $19.95.

    Everything is at edmunds.com! Just ask! :-)

    carlady/host
  • calico1calico1 Posts: 52
    To Ford4Ever and anyone else who is wondering...I'll have my sunroof installed by this time tomorrow. I'll let everyone know how it goes. I'll be at work biting my nails the whole while my malibu blue baby is in "surgery"! If you don't get a report from me tomorrow night, it means I haven't gotten her back yet. I'll log on as soon as I do!

    One more thing....how are you getting power windows in Utah when we can't get them anywhere else? Do tell! Actually, I'm okay with the manual windows ever since a friend got trapped in a car with power windows. Something to think about, even though I did request the powers this time.

    Thanks for the chrome tip advice. I'm headed to the BMW dealer this weekend to try to get one. The joke will be on the BMW folks when I drive up in my Focus and all eyes are on me!

    Later--
    Calico1
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Posts: 256
    focuszx3r, i saw a rf green zx3 about 1 month ago.
    the brochures and pics don't do the color any justice. its even better in person! you'll love it:) i ordered my twilght blue 5spd. before i saw it. i still love my dark blue but rf green would be my 2nd choice. GOOD CHOICE!
  • silverzesilverze Posts: 5
    calico1,
    The power windows are available in a "power group" which includes power mirrors and requires that you get power remote entry. The order code is 60A and the invoice cost is $307. More info is available from Edmunds. From what I understand the option became available in Feb '00. Good luck on the sunroof, I don't think I'd have the stomache for it.

    I'm a bit disappointed to hear about the rather dull dash lighting but the rest of the styling makes up for it. Also, I read where the Focus out paced the Audi A4 in a slalom (handling) test. Not bad for half the price eh? Can't wait to take mine up a winding canyon.
  • Hello, this is my first post here at Edmunds!

    I'm in Atlanta and I just got my ZX3 last week! I went through quite a bit of trouble trying to find one, they are in pretty limited supply here. Since I got mine, I have only seen one other ZX3 on the road (although I've seen quite a few LX and SE sedans). I also had quite a hassle at the dealership. My ZX3 is Sangria Red, I originally wanted to go with white, but the white one didn't have a CD player installed, which I really wanted, so I went with the red one (which has single-CD as standard). I have to say I am really happy with my red one now. However, when I finalized the deal on the red one, the dealership put the VIN number of the white car on my Buyer's Order as well as to my insurance agent. So, I was insured for the wrong car and I had the wrong number on my order!!! I was really mad about this, but the sales manager took 500 bucks off my price for this mistake. Is it just me, or are the Ford salespeople not as professional as other dealers?

    I have to take my car back next week to get the cruise control and power locks/remote keyless entry installed. I paid almost $1800 for the cruise control (500 for the option, 900 for the custom steering wheel that had to be ordered, and almost 400 for labor/service), but I think it will be worth it. I do a lot of long distance driving and the cruise control is almost a necessity.

    I haven't heard anything about a Ford Box with the watch...does everyone who buys a ZX3 get one of these? Incidently, my watch just broke and I need a new one. Does anyone know how long it takes to get it? Wondering if I should go ahead and buy a new one now...

    Also, about the recall (00E09?), how do you check to see if your car is affected by this?

    And does anyone know the item number for the armrest/center console? This is something I might have put in.

    I do have to say, however, that all in all, I am very happy with my ZX3, it is everything I expected and much more. I also get great gas mileage (30-35 mpg) and I fly by the other cars, even the V6 Mustangs, they eat my dust every time!
  • drebe73drebe73 Posts: 243
    i wish I had my zx3, its so sad i try to visit it every weekend. its pathetic.
  • bjammin2bjammin2 Posts: 41
    I'm quite happy with the zx3 dash. Simple, yet very well laid out. It has all the necessities in plain sight. For you technophiles out there, I heard this on another bulletin. Hold down the Tripodometer reset button as you start up the car, it takes the display into test mode where it will function as a digital speedo, tach, and temp guage. I have yet to try it.

    I bought my zx3 with only a/c and abs. I'm a college student trying to get by on as little as possible. I'm starting to wish I got the power windows and maybe even the power locks w/ remote. The crank on the windows makes the door pockets useless, and trying to crank the passanger side window while driving is not recommended. I would have gotten cruise, but it wasn't offered at the time (Nov.) I guess the only way the factory offers it, is to buy the whole steering wheel at over $400. I really hope at some point they will just sell the control pods for the wheel.

    As far as reliability goes, I'm straddling the fence. I looked at civics last year before settling on the zx3. The civic is just too generic. Too many of them on the road. They don't seem to do anything exceptional, just well. Well, except maybe the engine, especially the si. The zetec has more power but just isn't as smooth. My whole ordeal with the lame suspension has really made me wonder how well my car was put together. Recalls happen all the time, even on Honda's, but that doesn't stop my friends from making fun of me for buying a ford. I guess right now with the bitter taste in my mouth after spending so much to get my car fixed I'm expecting and looking for things to go wrong with my car. So far so good though.

    Oh, one more thing. About warming up the car. Ten seconds sounds more than enough. The way it was explained to me, it really doesn't do much good to let the car idle for minutes. It just wastes gas. You just need to give the oil pump time to circulate the oil through the engine for a few secs. before taking off. The only time I ever let it idle for long is to warm up the heater on cold sub-zero days. So, just start up the car, buckle up, and take it easy on the revs until the engine warms up.
  • alf3alf3 Posts: 83
    I had to laugh when you asked the question "speaking of switches, why are the door locks in when unlocked and out when locked?" The very first time I drove my ZX3, before I even purchased it, I stopped at a McDonalds' to examine the car. I left the engine running, so I wanted to be certain that I didn't lock myself out of the car. I thought the same thing you did - and promptly locked myself out of the car! 20 minutes later, the dealer showed up with an extra set of keys to let me in!
  • alf3alf3 Posts: 83
    carlady/mzn....I think that these folks are wanting to trace the whereabouts of their new vehicles - where they are in the production or delivery stages. I don't think that they are looking for past ownership or lemon info. If I'm wrong.....sorry!
  • silyboysilyboy Posts: 90
    i also have a sunroof installed in my focus. it is a holandia power sliding sunroof. i love it!! it looks like it was from the factory. perfect size for the car and the install was great! it cose me about 700. It has one touch open close, and ignition auto close.
  • gabegarwickgabegarwick Posts: 127
    I called MacNeil Automotive again yesterday to see if their shipment of deflectors for the ZX3 came in. They did! Total with shipping came to $52.95. (These are the deflectors that attach to the windows, allowing you roll down the windows several inches without getting blasted by rain/wind) Note: These particular ones install without any adhesive {I couldn't stand the thought of putting glue on my car!) {Too bad I haven't got my car yet...soon though!)

    Gabe
  • skater4skater4 Posts: 35
    Hey focuszx3r, I have a RF Green Focus, and I think it's beautiful! Of course, I'm biased, but I still think it's the best color. After reading about all you who had ordering/delivery problems, I feel lucky that my purchase was pretty hassle-free. I went in, told them what color and options I wanted, and they found one on a lot in West Virginia. I don't know how big their area is for checking out a car, (I live in Richmond, VA) but they found what I wanted.

    Am I supposed to ask the dealer myself about that recall? They haven't sent me any kind of notice or anything. I've never had to deal with a recall before, so I don't know how it works. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Happy driving!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Call a dealer and ask the service dept. to input your VIN into their computer - that will tell them if your car is part of the 00E09 recall. Manufacturers are supposed to send a postcard to the owner, but I think most of us are way ahead of Ford and have found out about the recall on our own. It is a quick and painless fix; my dealer did it in an hour, while I waited.
This discussion has been closed.