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Ford Focus ZX3

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Comments

  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    I usually do 7mph over the posted limit, so most of the Hartford trip was 62-72, give or take. The time I could save going faster isn't worth the ticket cost, insurance, or explaining it to a future employer. One moving violation in 11 years. :)

    Even though driving at a lower speed is part of it, keep in mind that this wasn't straight highway... Stop-and-go traffic did play a small part in this most recent trip.

    On the other end of the spectrum, a recent mostly-city tank was as low as 22mpg. I have a somewhat heavier foot around town. :)

    -SHOV6
    2001 5spd
  • scootchscootch Posts: 70
    Shov6 - actually on the open road I travel about the same rate as you i.e. 6-7 over the posted limit. Once away from suburbia the interstate limit in California is 70mph and in Arizona it's 75 mph. My last moving violation was around 20 years ago when the limit was 55! I got nailed in the boondocks of Arizona for 68. I'd been tagging along behind a motor home on a slightly winding road for about five miles and cars were piling up behind it. I thought there was some requirement that a vehicle had to pull over if it was holding up a certain number of other vehicles. Guess not. When the road finally cleared I punched the 262 cubic inch smog pump in my rented Grand Prix and eventually wheezed by him at 68 mph. Sure enough, there sat the radar gun. Driving at less than 80 in the California desert on arrow straight roads where you can see five miles ahead is numbing. My Arizona trips are 90% cruise control. Guess the car is pushing too much air. I wonder what the drag coefficient is. My Neon was .33 and my '86 VW Golf was .34. The ZX3 is sure a good cruiser though, and they have the suspension settings down for compliance and road holding. Sure wonder what Ford's plans are for the SVT
    version. I hope they're holding it 'til they get it right. This is their first time with variable valve timing in the US. We'll find out eventually.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    I'll tell ya, it must be nice to have a speed limit of 75! Or to be in Montana and theoretically, at least, have NO speed limit...

    There isn't even a 65 zone within a half-hour drive of where I sit right now, that's the fun of living in a metro area in the northeast! To head south on I-95 is a revelation once you are past Richmond, as the hills mostly disappear and it's pretty much ALL 65-70 zones, but 75? We can dream, can't we?

    In any event, I can confirm that the car WILL equal or beat its' highway rating if you are going 65-75mph, have the cruise control on, and you have a 5spd. :)

    It sucks to be driving so painfully slowly (when 75-80 on EVERY highway would be my wish), at least I don't have to answer to "the man". My buddy drove up from Long Island to hang last weekend and got nailed for 82 in a 55... We don't even know how much the ticket is going to be! His first ticket EVER, having had a driver license for about 13 years... But I knew he was due for it, that guy drives 75 EVERYWHERE, no matter what the speed limit is.

    I just wish I had a BMW M5, a sunny Montana afternoon, and every cop was out at Dunkin Donuts... *sigh*

    -SHOV6

    P.S.- Am I the only one who's noticed that you can squeeze an additional gallon into the tank after the pump clicks off? I don't mean a little dribble, but a FULL gallon?
  • Overfilling the tank can often lead to a CEL when excess fuel finds its way into the evaporative cannister or lines. I'd recommend stopping when the pump clicks.
  • scootchscootch Posts: 70
    I'm afraid I don't know what a "CEL" is. I do seem to remember reading my owners manual (or someplace) to give the fuel nozzle three clicks after it initially shuts off. I give mine four and use the same pump at the same station as much as I can. My '98 Neon R/T had 150 horses and was rated at 29 city/41 highway. The best I ever got was 34 on the drive to Phoenix. When I use the a/c on my ZX3, the same drive has gotten me 27 something. Speed and comfort cost mpg's. I'm sure nobody knew that!

    Shov6, I'm afraid your dreams of having an M3 to drive in Montana won't come true. At least the Montana part of it. Montana dropped the "reasonable and proper" speed limit a couple of years ago. I think the highest speed limit posted in Montana is now 75. Sorry to have to tell you this.

    I took my five speed ZX3 to an indicated 106 one time in early morning on I-10 in Arizona and it was smooth as glass. I thought the electronic limiter would cut in about then. Maybe another mile or two and it would have. I've checked it several times against mile markers and the odometer seems to be spot on. In fact it's actually ever so slightly pessimistic e.g. an indicated 100 mph is actually ~101 mph. Glad to see an accurate speedometer. Don't know why the SVT has a 160 mph speedometer though. The 140 version in the basic Focii is more than sufficient. I read somewhere that the estimated top end of the SVT Focus was 124 mph (or close to that) and was "drag limited." Of course, with Montana joining the rest of the Union what difference does it make. A little (considerable) hyperbole I guess. My 1974 Opel Sport Wagon (those vintage Opels had incredible paint. Lasted forever. Must have been all the lead in the paint) had 74 horses and a 130 mph speedometer though so I guess Ford can isn't the only one guilty of false advertising.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    Another dream down the toiley!! *WHOOOSH!!*

    What a shame, that old "reasonable and prudent" thing was such a pie-in-the-sky thing to me that I am devastated that it is no more! Oh, well.

    When I am making highway trips I fill the bloody thing up to the rim so I can make more accurate fuel mileage calculations, I don't normally do it, though the "CEL" thing, by which I presume you mean "check engine light," is news to me. Perhaps that's why MY CEL went on a couple of weeks ago? No matter, it has extinguished itself and everything is back to normal.

    What is NOT back to normal is that I noticed the bolt holding the door to its' hinge, the bottom one, is loose. Wouldn't have noticed at all if I didn't lift up on the door yesterday, and then it became painfully obvious... It has no effect on the opening or closing of the door and isn't noticeable unless you stare at the hinge (or lift up on the open door!). As the car is FINALLY making its' first trip to the dealer on thursday, they can take care of it when they do the recalls. The Hartford trip happened on the due date for the car's visit to the shop, but I decided a job interview was more worthwhile than taking care of a recall. :)

    Anyhoo, keeping ridiculous speedometers in mind, let's think about such cars as the Countach and BB512 that were saddled with 85mph speedos in the 80's, back when having anything reading higher was against the law. Strange, as my friend's old XR4Ti had a speedo whose NUMBERS stopped at 85, but a needle that would gladly sweep past that much higher speeds... The hash marks were still on the speedo face, and were at 15mph increments, so all you had to do was some simple addition... Or not so simple when you are doing 135 LOL!!!

    -SHOV6
    ...who's never pushed his ZX-3 past 85, no matter what the speedo CAN read
  • Make sure the manual isn't referring to tightening the gas cap "at least three clicks" as opposed to giving the pump three clicks. You want to avoid overfilling the tank - trust me. Fuel expands as it heats, and an overfilled tank can lead to fuel finding its way into the evap system -- the OBDII diagnostics system will often trigger a CEL when this happens.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    True, it does expand as it heats, but this won't be a problem if you top it off to the brim and then drive off on a hundred-mile car trip... By the time the fuel expands, enough will have been burned that it won't matter. When I got MY CEL light, I had topped it off and then drove two miles and parked in my garage. So now I am more convinced than ever that THAT'S why my light came on. Lesson learned.

    -SHOV6
  • scootchscootch Posts: 70
    As a matter of fact I do remember the speedometers on the XR4 Ti's having all the extra markings. I thought that was so neat. Talk about thumbing their noses at big brother. I also didn't like when some manufacturers used numerals that ended in "5's." i.e. 15, 25, 35, instead of 10, 20, 30. It made it easier to high light "55" I guess, which ticked me off. I realize that most speed limits generally end in "5" but I sure don't count that way!

    I used to top off the tanks on my two Neons until I could see it sitting stationery in the filler neck so I too could get an accurate reading. I was listening to "Click and Clack The Tappet Bros" on NPR one day and someone called them about filling to the very top. They responded in the same manner as Silver Bullet. My CEL never came on in the Neons but now I stop after the fourth click of the nozzle. Will uncover the car in the garage tonight and go thru the owners manual. Man that thing is made out of cheap paper!
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    LOL, wotta riot! I had never noticed, nor thought about that! All I know is I read it once to figure everything out (like the infuriating method used to tone down the seatbelt alarm), and pretty much haven't looked at it since. I was just happy it came in that nifty zippered case (with its' own clip in the glovebox)! :)

    -SHOV6
  • scootchscootch Posts: 70
    Neat clip in the glove box for the manual? Man, I thought it was for a pen! Never looked into shutting up the seat belt warning buzzer though I though it was neat that you could program a key for the ignition rather than paying the dealer to do it - page '73 of the '00 manual.

    silver_bullit: Page 219 of the '00 owners manual actually talks about "Filling the Tank." I'd thought I'd seen it somewhere but sure couldn't remember where. Glad I found it. Anyway, it reads: "Use the same filling rate setting (low-medium-high) each time the tank is filled. Allow three automatic click-offs when filling. Always use fuel with the recommended octane rating of a known quality gasoline, preferably a national brand." I give it four "clicks" when I fill my ZX3.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    "Topping off the tank with more than four clicks will alert local families of Trolls, who with their keen hearing and sense of direction, will follow you home. Once they determine where you live, they will eat your firstborn, steal one sock every time you use your clothes drier, encourage mice to live in your attic, steal the TV guide section from your sunday paper, and call you repeatedly during dinner and hang up."

    Wow, I guess I should have read the manual more than once! And I thought it was just going to make my "check engine" light come on!!

    -SHOV6
    Anyone have any Troll repellent??
  • scootchscootch Posts: 70
    That's why I stop at four clicks. Don't want to get no trolls after me. I must have given the nozzle five clicks one time though as I've sure lost a lot of socks!

    A little more trivia. As you know, the ZX3 comes standard with the single disc in-dash CD player. Since I have yet to buy a CD (since I don't own a CD player - I'm sure the day will come when I join the 20th - let alone the 21st - century) I ordered the car with the cassette player that comes with in the LX sedan. This was a no cost option. The funny part is that it costs $150 to upgrade from the cassette to the CD layer if you have an LX but did I get a $150 credit when I went from the CD to the cassette? Nooooo. Guess you can't fight city hall, or the optioning of a mass produced car. I'm sure this wouldn't have been a problem had I ordered a Corniche!
  • ... but quite a few other things have gone wrong with our 2000 ZX3 in 15K miles (recalls, fuel pump failure, ignition lock failure, leaking A/C evaporator core housing, warped brake rotors). The info I volunteered re: overfilling the fuel tank comes directly from the Ford factory service CD-ROM, and from my ASE certified neighbor who wrenches on Fords for his daily bread. Take it FWIW, or don't - I certainly don't care.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    I have warped the rotors on every, and that's EVERY car I have ever owned (then again, I've never owned a BMW or a Porsche). The Focus doesn't seem any worse in this regard, it usually happens around 10k miles or so. Sure enough, it's happened again, though not as bad as it has with other cars.

    My friend has a Contour SE and his rotors are warped so badly that the whole car shakes, alarmingly so, any time the brakes are applied above 45mph. It even makes NOISE. Since the Focus has some things in common with the old Contour, I wonder if it has the same brakes?

    -SHOV6
    Just a little shudder with my brakes, please. :)
  • jimjetjimjet Posts: 27
    I can only speak from my experience with my 2000 Mystique V6 5-speed that comes with vented rotors both front and rear. First, I always try to brake in the brakes of any new car as smoothly as possible. My Mystique, now with 22K miles, has been perfectly smooth in braking from day one to the present. Really, these are the smoothest brakes I've ever had in 20 plus cars. My Civic's rotors are slightly warped, but not enough to replace. My old '86 Accord quickly developed such warped rotors I had to replace them within the first year (should have been a recall).
  • scootchscootch Posts: 70
    Silver_bullit and Shov6: What was the build date on your cars? Mine was built in May '00 and I've had none of the problems you've described. Of course I use my car only on weekends for pleasure and mostly on the open road so I don't stress the brakes very much. When I do use them the wheels sure get dirty fast though. Outside of the recalls everyone was subject to, the only problem I've had has been with the sending unit for the gas gauge. It was replaced under warrantee but is starting to act up again. It usually reads 42 miles by the time the needle drops to "F," 120 at 3/4, 200 at half, and 272 at 1/4. My driving is obviously very consistent! The low fuel warning light usually comes on around 300-320, though once I went 348 miles before it came on. I made it to Phoenix from LA (372 miles) on one tank (the low fuel light had been glowing for some time) and put something close to 13 gallons in it. By using my "four click" method I usually get at least another gallon in the tank after the first auto shut off. I wonder if Ford considers overfilling to be more than three "clicks?"
  • tgrcubtgrcub Posts: 22
    now, I read the manual right after purchasing my 2001 ZX3, and didn't really know what to make of that "3 click" wording. Is that meant that after the pump clicks off once, you are to resume filling, re-setting the auto-off thingy, and wait for it to click off twice more before your car is truly filled? I have noticed that my Focus seems to run much, much better ( on the average of 30-50 miles per tank ) when I can get it out on a little highway trip ( evey just a half hour of straight highway time ) once per tank... none of which matters, though, as I'm very happy with my car, quirks, recalls and all...
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    Honestly, I don't know... Don't even know where to look! Usually this info is well-known to those who have had troubles with first-year or early second-year cars, I guess, as certain troubles seem to be specific to early build dates. Since I haven't had anything go REALLY wrong, I have never bothered to look it up. I received my car in Dec. 2000, if that helps clear anything up.

    As for the warped rotors... Mine aren't really very bad at all. The only time you notice it at all is with very light braking coming up to a stop, and even then it's only barely noticeable.

    -SHOV6
  • The build date is listed on your VIN label (mine is 12/99) and appears on your window sticker as well. Lots of useful info on the VIN label, such as exterior/interior color/trim codes, engine type, transmission type, etc. Re: warped rotors, my fiancee drives our ZX3, and she is a VERY conservative driver - the rotors still warped at 9K miles and I replaced them with higher quality EBC rotors... problem solved.
  • The build quality or parts failures obviously haven't much to do with build date, since my ZX3 hasn't had as many problems that Silver Bullet has experienced except for squeaky brakes in wet weather and all the recalls. Same build date 12/99. A little over 26,000 miles, so maybe they're coming. For now, I still like my little car. (Even with yet another recall to go. But they seem to come every time I need an oil change, so they're timed perfectly.).
  • You can also easily find your build date on the sticker on the B-pillar on the drivers side. It's even written in plain english. Mine says May, 2000. The build date is significant in that often times the manufacturer changes parts as problems crop up. I missed a lot of the recalls on the first Focii because they'd changed the "errant" parts by the time mine was built. As far as the "three clicks" is concerned (and I'm glad to see they still included that info in the owners manual for the '01 models), I assumed it to mean just what cgsangel thought i.e. after the nozzle first shuts off you either reset it using the little catch or, in my case, I just slowly continue by hand until it auto shuts off. I'm a bad boy though as I give it four clicks after it first shuts off, instead of the "recommended" additional two clicks.

    shov6: good info on the EBS rotors. Where are they available? I'll certainly consider them should I develop the warped rotor problem. The problem may not have a chance to manifest itself should Ford decide to start producing the SVT Focus. That will be neat. Then I could have the opportunity to replace four rotors! I have a friend who's job (PR guy for the Irwindale Speedway - a half mile oval just east of LA) gets him a car to drive (albeit one with signs all over it advertising the speedway). His first car was a Contour and he just got a ZX5. He said he put a different kind of pad on the Contour that really reduced the brake dust, and was going to put the same kind on the ZX5. I'll have to ask him the name.
  • EBC makes several grades of replacement brake pads for the Focus - their "Green Stuff" Kevlar pad is a good choice for the street, and it produces virtually no dust. I run these on our ZX3, along with EBC's gas slotted rotors. You can buy these parts from the Tire Rack, as well as other Ford performance parts vendors.
  • silver_bullit: Thanx for the tip re: Green Stuff brake pads. Will certainly consider them when it comes time to change the OEM parts. I remember having some Repco pads from Austrailia installed on my '86 Golf which were supposed to reduce brake dust but they sure didn't seem to, I even tried some of those slotted shields you put inside the wheels that were supposed prevent the dust from getting to the outside visible portion of the wheel and they didn't seem to work very well either. Glad to hear a testimonial for something that works. I may end up getting an SVT Focus before my current pads need replacing but maybe not, especially considering the rate Ford is having to deal with an ever mounting pile of problems. With the recent verdict on the alleged Explorer handling problems, I wonder if they're going to want to pursue a "niche" vehicle. Ah, I'm sure they will, but there sure has been a dearth of new stuff on the SVT Focus posting.
  • The PBR Deluxe pads are relatively dust free, but their Metalmaster pads will produce visible dust. Of course, all brake pads will produce dust since they work by friction - the "dust free" pads usually are made from a non-metallic compound that produces lighter colored, less noticeable dust. It takes a few weeks before the EBC pads make enough dust to be really objectionable.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    Having extensive experience with MetalMaster pads, I can highly recommend them. The three times I got new brakes for my old Jetta, I just bought a new set of those pads and a set of new, ventilated rotors from Rapid Parts, a downstate NY VW mail-order shop... For 99 bucks! I could even replace the rotors and pads myself, which is about as far as my automotive mechanics skills go...

    Anyway, those pads were totally squeak-free, and the compound of the pads, while not dust-free, was a less-difficult-to-clean compound that just sprayed right off with water if you didn't let it sit too long.

    -SHOV6

    P.S.- Another way to help your rotors warp is to have the lug nuts improperly torqued. Perhaps you can ask your shop/dealer to NOT use the air gun to put the bolts back on if they have to remove your wheels. Not that they'll necessarily DO that, but you sure can ASK.
  • Hi folks, I'm new to the board but not new to Fords. My current ride is a 2001 ZX3, Sangria red, 5 speed, premium package. I've had it 10 months without a single problem. Have averaged 30+ MPG overall for the first 10,000 miles. Traded in an older Explorer Sport for the ZX3 and haven't looked back! I don't think there's a better vehicle for the price on the market. The only thing that surprises me so far is that I don't see a lot of ZX3s around my area (central PA). Way too many over priced Civics, Cavaliers and Neons buzzing around here. Now that I've found this site I'll be visiting often. Later.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    My first 10k miles averaged 26.6mpg. To average 30+ I hope your home is on a freeway onramp and your job is on an offramp... And you never drive it around town. :)

    Seriously, anyone else get over, say, 27mpg average? I thought I held the record, but it appears that snaptab has got me beat.

    -SHOV6
  • Great. Now I have to go home and pull out my little black book with all my mileage readings and see what nearly 19K miles averages out to! I was going to do this anyway, based on the mpg's bandied about. This will make me do it. Right now I'm fairly confident that it will be somewhere north of 28, but as we all know, the type of driving one does is the controlling factor. Will report back Monday.
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    We eagerly await your response. :)

    In order to bring up my average, I am going to start having my car helicoptered up to the top of Mt. Washington and coast down. I should beat 150mpg easy using this method. Unfortunately it does cost a LOT of money to rent a helicopter...

    -SHOV6
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