Howdy, Stranger!

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

Ford Focus ZX3



  • 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.


    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.

  • 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...

  • In order to bring my mileage up...I'm going to buy a Segway and use it to get to and from work...even if it's snowing and 10 below zero. I'll just use my Focus for nice long trips, but only in the spring and fall. The AC may hurt the mileage too much in the summer.
  • boston14boston14 Posts: 111
    Aroung 22 or 23 all the time. Only hit 30 once on a 160 mile freeway trip. When summer is here and the ac is on I expect 18 to 21. Had my car 10 months and 5k.
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    Congrats to all of you who are getting great mileage. I must admit I'm a bit jealous.
    With 6,500 miles and an automatic I'm only averaging low to mid twenties around town and upper 20's to 31 highway (speeds 65-75mph).
    Seems mileage varies greatly w/ the X3s. When it's really cold out my city mileage is dismal in the low 20's and in the warmer months 24-26. Hwy mileage never exceeded 31 and is usually 29-30mpgs. (I mean my dad's Caddy and minivan get 29mpg hwy!)
    Maybe after some more miles things will loosen up and mileage will be a bit better but I'm not holding my breath. Granted there are many variables in getting good mileage but I think I'm pretty 'easy on the gas' and generally drive for good mileage (except for those 80mph sprints in the interstate). I suppose I've been spoiled since my previous car (excort, 5spd) NEVER got below 27mpg and usually averaged 30 city and 38 hwy winter and summer. Oh, well. the X3 is a vastly superior car to the escort and that compensates somewhat. Overall, though, I'm very happy w/ the X3 so far.
  • OK. Listen up. In 18,326 miles I used 621 gallons. I believe that works out to 29.5 mpg overall in the 20 months I've had the car. High was 32.2 and low was 25.2. Pretty good, huh? Yeah, but obviously I don't do much city driving. I take the bus to work and the ZX3 sits in the garage beneath its NOAH cover all week. Weekend driving is almost all freeway. The a/c does some gas sucking as I've gotten in the 27's driving from Phoenix LA, strictly on I-10 at 70-80. I did get 35 once but that was coming down from Prescott which is all down hill so that's not fair. Now over to the SVT Focus site to talk about an article I read in the February issue of CAR.
  • From the recent posts it appears I'm one of the lucky ones getting good/great MPG,(30.2 overall), from my ZX3. Most of my driving is easy highway miles, no bumper to bumper city traffic at all. Those of you familiar with central PA know there are no cities in central PA! Not much need for A/C either, even in summer. Anyway, I'm sure most XZ3 owners will agree the many positive aspects of the car far outweigh any negative MPG concerns.
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    Is it me or has everyone gone to mexico for the winter? the last post I can find is 5 Feb. Today's the 11th. Hmmm......
  • shov6shov6 Posts: 177
    Well I'm still around, I just don't have anything to say. :)

    Although I did just get the oil changed at the local jiffy lube-type place, and the guy at the shop was working REALLY hard to get me to spring for an "oil system flush". I pointed out that I doubted the car needed it at only 15k miles, but he then berated me for waiting "over three thousand miles" to get my oil changed... It was, in fact, five thousand miles. Now I know they are trying to beat the idea into your head that you "NEED" to change the oil every three, and I have fallen for that line before, but I think it's just a waste of good oil (thanks to various things I have read by experts in the field, the 3k thing is total nonsense)... But still, to practically INSIST on a full system flush?

    Hard times, I guess. The terrorists have already won.

  • tgrcubtgrcub Posts: 22
    a lot of service places really push those extra, unnecessary services ( not that they are bad, per se, just not needed )... I'm sure they are able to talk some unsuspecting people into all manner of system flushes and complete engine rebuilds... I'm hoping that the Ford people are reasonable when I go in for the last recall and complain about the very squeeky rear brakes... not really in the mood to fight them right now...
    anyone have a hard time getting a dealership to work on that problem, even with the bulletin?
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    I was told by my local jiffy lube outfit that to change the focus' oil would be an extra cost as the foucs' oil is (i think) 5/20 and that's not something they usually stock. They wanted to charge me 38 bucks for and oil change!!!! I now go to my local dealer w/o an appointment and in 15 minutes or so have my oil and filter changed for 19.95.
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the "squeeky brake bulletin"? I'd like to bring it w/ me to the dealer so I have some "official" back up incase they balk at fixing the squeek.
Sign In or Register to comment.