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Ford Focus ZX3



  • ukbbukbb Posts: 11
    Imagine my surprise when I went to set the wipers on my new to me '03 ZX3 to intermittent and it doesn't have it. The car has just about every option with power locks, power windows, 6 CD Tuner, even a rear wiper. But no intermittent wiper? Even my el cheapo Escort had that option on it. I saw this over at that says it will upgrade my Focus to intermittent wipers.

    Has anyone done this and is it as easy as they make it sound also should I worry about my warranty if I mess with it?

  • bbbb51bbbb51 Posts: 1
    hello all i just got a used 2002 focus with the 6cd in dash player and just found out it will not play any cd,s that i burn. If anyone has any idea what i am doing wrong or is this just the way they made these cd players , whats wierd is it plays store bought cd,s fine.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    After reading the small car & hatchback related boards for months, the Focus ZX5 looked like the best contender to replace my 92 Civic Si on the basis of a good combo of performance, economy, handling and comfort. I was in SoCal for a week & rented a ZX5 SES from Budget.

    LIKES: Handled very nicely while maintaining a comfortable ride, functional 5 door set up with plenty of room in hatch with seats up, plenty of usable cubbies/spaces in front, nice, well placed, functional armrest, basic controls easy to decipher, especially the stereo (handy steering wheel controls) /AC. A small thing I especially appreciated was the automatic volume control of the stereo, seems to be a Ford specialty that should be emulated by other makers. AT is smooth, responsive, low revs on highway. Height adjustable front seat (though awkward mechanism). NIce combo of standard features (PW, PL, PM, remote

    NEUTRAL: Power with AT adequate, not exhilarating, I liked the exterior look, wife does not, highway noise par or slightly better for class as is equipment.

    DISLIKES:Gas mileage less than 30 mpg with mixed, conservative driving. Both my wife & I found seats comfortable initially, but that was short lived - after about 1/2 hour started to notice a lack of lower back support.

    BOTTOM LINE: Nice car over all, lack of lumbar support in seats is a deal killer.

    What I Really Want: a hatchback (prefer 4 doors) under $17K, 30+ city mileage, 38+ highway; both front seats height adjustable with good lumbar support (especially important for my wife), adjustable arm rest, decent cornering and relatively smooth quiet ride, readable, straight forward stereo & heater controls, basic luxuries of PW, PL, PM, AC, sunroof, ABS, SAB. The two main contenders now are used 2002-2004 GTi (class act of bunch, I assume it do as well or better that the amazinging gas mileage of our A4 w CVT), Spectra5 (quite nice, but gas mileage falls short - I look forward to what the Edmunds long term test results), Mazda3 (stereo controls & HAV control are small and confusing), or Honda Jazz if they bring it to USA. Looks like I will continue to ready what y'all have to say on Edmunds and keep on slumming around in the ol' Civic w 169K. It lacks the comfort and convenience of all the above cars, but it still gets 33+ mpg in mixed driving, has a certain verve and has the proverbial old shoe feeling.

    RENTAL CAR NOTE -- BEWARE OF USED RENTAL CARS - maintainace may be poor: I spotted the ZX5 on the lot and asked specifically for it. The agent asked how many miles I expected to drive. When I said:" less than 500 he indiciated that it was due for an oil change, but since I wasn't going far, he rented it to me. I inquired how often they change the oil -- normally at 5,000. However, this rig had 8,100 and the oil had yet to be changed and was just above the add mark.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Thanks for the test report. I have owned three ZX3's and they all drove well, although the first two had some bugs. You said:

    after about 1/2 hour started to notice a lack of lower back support.

    On my 2000 ZX3, when you raised or lowered the seat, the seat back and the cushion where linked and moved up and down as one piece.

    In subsequent years, they changed the mechanism so only the cushion goes up or down. This can result in an uncomfortable gap between the top of the cushion and the bottom of the seat back, and may have been what you were experienced. if you forego the seat height adjustment and reset the seat height so it closes the gap with the seat back, the seat is much more comfortable.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617

    You are right about the lack of lower back support - at least on the 2005 model. I have rented a 2005 Focus ZX4 SE (which is the plane jane four door) for a week now, and it has much worse lower back support than my former ZX3's. It isn't an issue of the seat being lowered, as I had suggested in my prior email. They must have changed something.

    On the other hand, I have been using the rental Focus for a 35 mile commute which is almost all freeway, and been pleasantly surprised by the 30 mpg on my first tank, despite having an automatic. This matches the mileage I typically get on stick shift cars of this size and weight, and is much better than the 26 mpg I got on my 2002 ZX3 with automatic (and older style Zetec engine).

    The pzev engine continues to have flat spots and hesitations, except under hard acceleration it feels "out of tune" though of course the mileage proves it isn't. These flatspots and hesitations are similar to what I had experienced in the 2003 2.3 pzev I had. I think it's because the engine must run very lean under light throttle (cruising etc.). I guess it's a trade off between the nice feel of a Golf or Scion and the outstanding emissions levels on the new Focus...although maybe Ford can do something about the flat spots and hesitation as they further develop the technology.

    You are right about rental cars. This 5000 mile old, 2005 Focus from Hertz feels less "tight" than my 44,000 mile 2001 Golf did when I sold it. Theoretically there isn't any maintenance required on this rental unit, but rental drivers must beat the heck out of it.

    BTW, you might want to be a little cautious if you buy a used Golf GTi vintage 2004-2004. I love VW's, but always worried about the heat put out by these smaller engines (and turbos from other manufacturers) the heat is hard on oil. In fact, there are now widely reported serious sludge problems in the 1.8 turbo when installed in the heavier Passat - synthetic oil and 5,000 mile changes are a must, which is no problem when you buy new but who knows what the former owner did, right? As I said, the problem so far is limited to the Passat but does emphasize the importance of regular oil changes using the recommended synthetic oil.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    Decision time has come & gone. I really wanted get an economical small car such as Focus, Scion, or Honda Jazz, but we decided on a different route. We have reducee our car population by one. Sold the fun, economical 92 Civic daily driver and the boat towing, people hauling 97 Caravan Sport. They have been replaced with a compromise vehicle to tow the boat and a haul a reasonable amount of gear while still being relatively fun to drive & beating 30 mpg on the highway. And the winner is a Subaru Forester XS.
    All good cars and tough choices, but the Subie feel right for the next few years.
  • ridefreeridefree Posts: 2
    Yes. I bought the unit and then procrastinated putting it in thinking it would be difficult. Boy was I wrong. Not much I have ever done to a car has been simpler. The unit works like a charm. Don't wait another day. Bother the warranty? I doubt it as it is an actual Ford part. (at least mine was and in the Ford factory part box to boot!)

  • ridefreeridefree Posts: 2
    This is not specifically going to help but might not hurt. I only have the single player in a 2001 ZX3 and it will play least the one and only that I have bothered to burn so far. I don't recollect what brand the disc was though. You might try a different brand of media.

  • myers4myers4 Posts: 1
    Great forum... I am researching Focus fuel economy and happened to land here. There is a site that compares MPG across all major car brands, and it is user-driven to some extent. They list the manufacturer's city and highway MPG, then ask owners to post what the cars ACTUALLY get.

    I would encourage y'all to post your MPG on thatr site. Only one or two Focus owners have posted so far, leaving a dearth of information on this model.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    and refrain from using profanity (masked or otherwise) in your postings.

    Actually, the "Rules of the Road" state:

    "No profanity
    The Forums do not tolerate profanity, obscenity, or racial or sexist slurs. This includes abbreviations and profanity with strategically replaced vowels. Even if a coarse expression is common in popular culture, it may not be acceptable."

    It seems to me that stringing *#(&$#5' together as a mask for something else does not even begin to approach the "strategically replaced vowels" restriction.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    One would think but as soon as I don't call someone on it, the person who does just replace the vowel and gets their post removed goes nuts. If you want to discuss further - please feel free to email me so we don't disrupt this discussion.

  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    'nuf said.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    These questions/answers belong in our Ford Focus ZX3/ ZX5 Owners: Problems & Solutions discussion.

  • I'd like to answer your message, one issue at a time if I may.

    First, I have a 2001 ZX3 with 155,000 miles on it. There are only 4 recalls to this model issued. That's pretty low compared to the previous year that had 15 in the first 6 months.

    Outside from these few recalls, I have had my car in for a broken control arm which I did when I ran into an 8" curb with my wheels turned at 5mph on ice, and regular oil changes and maintenance. It has never had a tune up and the struts and shocks are original. Ford brakes laster 40,000 (normal) and the second of brakes were Midas which lasted 85,000. I'm now on my third set of brakes, also Midas. Original exhaust, 3rd set of tires.

    Now for your issues:
    1. DPFE sensors, no problem at all. None, zero zilch.
    2. I've already told you about my brakes. Excellent, perfect.
    3. CD player. No problems. I clean it every 40 hours of play.
    4. Fuel pump. This was a recall and fixed free.
    5. Thermostat housing leaks. I have no problem with the housing, just replaced the thermostat and gasket, and filler cap. Car has never overheated, never leaked.
    6. I have an automatic so I cannot answer to this issue.
    7. Headlights have not been a problem. No melted clips.
    8. I have no issue with the belt, the coil, the adjuster, or anything else with the seatbelt system. It has worked fine.
    9. I average 28 mpg, 31 on highway, 26 city, without tuning it up for over 150,000 miles.
    10. No problem with license plate bult or any other bulb. Looked at owners manual and it gives very specific steps with pictures of changing all bulbs.

    I'd also like to add that both my sons have the same kind of car and in 2002 versions with no problems at all, my wife's entire family drive Ford as they are ford employees and retirees with no problems, and I have friends who I recommended this car to who have had no problems. I am not a Ford worker, nor do I believe Ford is the end all of cars. But this Focus ZX3 with the Zetec is the most reliable car I've owned and maybe you must drive very hard, like off-road!!!
  • Has anybody seen a ZX3 or ZX5 with 2006 Sport Appearence package? Ford website says that this Package is a late introduction, but I wanted to get a preview.

    I am seriously considering getting a ZX3 in a few months for commuting.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    If you are getting it just for commuting, a used ZX3 might be good, a new ZX3 S (cheapest trim) with optional aircon is a steal...

    but wait until Ford has at least $2-3K in rebates on them, this happens about 5 times a year.
  • HI fdanna, thanks for your info, which 3 components? Clutch, flywheel, thow-out bearing, slave/master cylinder? I wonder if your trick will work in Canada...thanks
  • hi micweb, how did those Monroe's hold up over the long term? My rear shock is leaking after only 40k km (covered by now expired warranty at 60k km, total 100k km on car now), but don't know about going aftermarket since in my mind OEM would be designed for longer life? I just want the original, soft, plush, keep-tires-on-pavement confident, ride...are the Monroe's stiffer than OEM? Are OEM made by KYB?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617 long term never seems to get beyond 10,000 miles or so per car...the most miles I put on a car in the past five years, was 44,000 on a 2001 VW I can't help you there. But Monroe and KYB both have an excellent reputation. Don't know who makes OEM. The KYB's I put on my recent ZX3 are too firm.

    I recommend shopping for "menu" pricing on struts/shocks at some Ford dealers. OEM is best - exactly the right spec matched to your VIN. Pricing does vary a lot from dealer to dealer, on the menu pricing deals it includes installation which is the biggest part of the cost. That having been said, any number of independents seem to do fine strut work at great prices, including Pep Boys (used them), Wheel Works (used them), Big O Tires (used them) etc. Sears also has great ad specials and uses Monroe, I believe.
  • ok thanks for your response, that was must have ESP to have known I posted here! I will learn more about this 'menu' pricing...but thanks again
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