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Ford Focus Wagon

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  • **Thank you Sylvia for clearing that up. My bad.**

    fdthird wrote:
    <<Seems to me that what Ford is saying is that IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE PROBLEM you need to pay for the diagnostic>>

    Yes that IS what the peolple at Ford are saying.

    fdthird wrote:
    <<How many of those letters did they send out? They're probably just trying to stop the vast majority of folks who don't have a problem from descending on the service depts and eating up the replacement parts>>

    And what an unexpected windfall they could get from all the folks that will pay $60- $80 to have a diagnostic done to see if they have the "Program 03N01" problem. Good thing they sent out all those letters!

    This is the third recall on the fuel filter assembly for Ford Focus' produced 2000 through 13 June 2001.
    Ford knows they should be doing a recall on this defect, but to avoid having to pay for a recall they call it an "extended warranty".

    Ford isn't doing this "extended warranty" offer to be nice, they are doing it because there has been a proven history of a defect in this specific area. 3,475+ consumer complaints about this issue moved Ford to action not anything else.

    Since I did have the symptoms described in the letter concerning "Program 03N01" and the letter said if owners experienced any of these problems to "take the vehicle to your dealer". It would be only logical to assume that Ford would not charge me to plug my car into their computer to see if they could tell me if I had Ford's "Program 03N01" defect.
    Having them do a diagnostic may not be the answer either.Who knows if the diagnostic can even tell if the fuel pump fuel filter assembly is defective. Maybe the diagnostic will only give "Program 03N01" status if it determines the fuel pump is completely gone and you are broke down on the side of the road.

    As I said before, Ford is trying to prevent a full fledged recall and this is the fix they are currently offering.
    That problem is very easy to see.
    Don't be surprised if "Program 03N01" evolves into a complete recall and then Ford won't have to bother with any diagnostics and just throw a new fuel pump and filter assembly in all the vehicles in question.

    **********more info below
    http://www.ofoc.ca/news/news_2003_11.html
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Your opinion...mine is that they are standing behind the product and doing the right thing.

    It was not always like this and I am one of millions of consumers that have paid to have manufacturing errors corrected.

    I am happy that should I have a problem with the fuel pump on my 2001 Focus (and at 45,000 its running fine) it will not be my problem.

    Sorry but my glass is half full!
  • No need to apologize for having a glass that is half full, unless of coarse you paid for the full glass and they just gave you half. I think you should be entitled to a "repour". But then again that's just my opinion. LOL!
  • I have an incredible Focus problem story, and I think I have a case for some restitution from Ford. Any advice appreciated... To wit:

    I have a 2000 Focus wagon. Bought new after seeing them on a European trip. It was, according to the dealer, the first one in the state of NJ. It's had its share of troubles, including all the recalls - brakes, fuel filter, etc. But, all in all it's a great car to drive, as many agree.

    A couple weeks ago I returned from work, drove into the garage and shut off the car. The next morning I went out and the key wouldn't go into the ignition. Not frozen, just wouldn't go in. Of course, the car is facing into the garage, with the steering and transmission locked. I tried the spare key, which was virtually unused, thinking maybe the key is worn &#150; no luck.
    Luckily the car was straight into the garage, straight up the driveway, so that when the AAA guy came and succeeded in unlocking the transmission, he was able to just pull the car straight back onto the flatbed and take it down to my mechanic.
    Diagnosis: a new lock cylinder. So, a new lock cylinder doesn&#146;t seem too complicated, right? Well, think again.
    After 3 new tumbler assemblies the mechanic and the dealer have finally determined that the lock on my car is unlike any other installed in a Focus. In fact, the lock assembly does not match the combination of tumblers that is supposed to be in the car according to Ford&#146;s own VIN computer records! The Focus lock is supposed to have 8 notches/tumblers &#150; the one in my car has only 6! The dealer is completely stumped by this. So, despite all my (excellent) mechanic&#146;s attempts to install the proper Ford replacement part, supplied by the local Ford dealer, IT WILL NEVER WORK! Now, he is forced to replace ALL the locks in the car, doors and ignition, in order to make the car usable.
    How can this happen? Is it because this car was one of the first off the line? Why would it not match Ford&#146;s own computer record? I have been driving a rental for over a week now &#150; I feel like I should be able to get some restitution for this, since this is surely a major manufacturing defect. Not to mention the fact that the car is ONLY 4 YEARS OLD, so why is the lock worn out in the first place? There&#146;s one other key on the key ring with it, so the old wive's tal about too much weight wouldn't apply anyway. Why would it wear out so fast when my wife&#146;s Escort is 10 years old with almost 100K and no problems?

    So, what do you all think of this? Any suggestions? I&#146;m at my wit&#146;s end…
    Thanks in advance!
  • I know some people who work at the Dearborn Ford Test Facility who work on the Focus's ill ask them if they know how to solve the problem. Most likely its some problem with the Computer software. Thats fairly easy to change if you have the right equipment i wouldnt expect a dealer to have it.
  • I have a 2002 Focus wagon. I have been having problems with the engine stalling at sudden stops and surging at normal driving speeds. Ford dealer has been telling me for some time that the problem was in my head, not in the car. When I received notice of the extended warranty coverage for the fuel pump, I immediately called the Ford service manager and said I wanted a new fuel pump. He said I could bring the car in and if they could determine that I had a fuel pump problem in the shop, they would replace it. But, I said, the problem doesn't occur all the time, or even most of the time; just occasionally. How long do you think I can afford to have my car sit in your shop until it proves it has a problem, I asked? Well, that's the only way we will replace the fuel pump for free, he said.

    Now, the problem with this is that the notice from Ford says something else. It says that if I say I have the problem, and if Ford cannot determine that the problem has some other cause, then they will do a free replacement.

    Also, in a Feb. 13, 2004 letter to the Center for Auto Safety, which you can find via the following link, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote: "Owners will be able to obtain the free remedy whenever they experience any stalling symptoms, without any need for dealer confirmation of a problem with the FDM (i.e. fuel delivery module; aka fuel pump)." In other words, Ford is promising the NHTSA one thing, and telling us suckers who bought an early Focus another.

    http://www.autosafety.org/article.php?scid=37&did=853
  • jimjpsjimjps Posts: 146
    In my experience the way to deal with this is to write a letter. It's amazing how they suddenly take it a lot more seriously when it is in writing. I'd write the dealer and CC Ford. It's a hassle but in the end you may have to do it anyway.
  • hotx3hotx3 Posts: 71
    Mine is being replaced right now, at the second dealer I took it to. The first wanted to charge $2200 to replace the head because of a carbon buildup on the exhaust valves TSB 020901. The second dealer tells me there is no buildup, but he did drop the tank and found stuff in the pump inlet, qualifying me for warranty replacement.
    Bottom line - there are so many problems with these cars you have to find a dealer you can trust and get whatever needs to be done while you're still under warranty. This may mean putting up the money for diagnosis. It's aggravating, but it's not worth saving money now to be left paying big $$ or arguing for customer goodwill later. You know your car and the service people know how to find the problems. Work with them.
    Time will tell if I made the right decision, but sometimes you have to do something.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    if smoke came out the vents 2 daays before, it means your heater core failed, then you kept driving the car, the coolant all leaked out the heater core, and you blew the motor. I'm surprised Ford is offering any assistance at all. The steam coming from the vents was the indication to get the car to the dealer immediately. Heater cores fail for a number of reasons. For some reason, on Fords, they fail dur to corrosion from of all things, static electricity. The way to keep this from happening is to make sure all cooling system components are properly grounded. I'm not joking. Put grounding straps on the heater core, on the radiator, and any metal lines in between. It will prevent this from happening again.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    An earlier post asked about traction control. I believe that Ford has discontinued it as an option for the Focus despite it allegedly being one of the best systems on the market. Too few ordered it and the cost drove the MSRP too high when all the other options were added. This may be more appropriately referred to as a vehicle stability system.
  • carguy04carguy04 Posts: 22
    Hello everyone, first time poster here to this board. I am thinking about buying a 2004 ZTW Wagon, Sport Group w/leather & heated seats. I have read previous posts re how uncomfortable the lumbar support is on the driver's seat, so I hope to be able to take a long test drive to check this out before buying. Also, does anyone have the leather seats, and how durable are they? How about the heated seats? How well do they work? Do they have 2 settings, for low and high heat?
    Also, the side air bags... do they protect just the torso area, or the head and torso? Thanks.
  • jimjpsjimjps Posts: 146
    I've been looking at the wagons too for some time and been on the verge of writing the check recently. I have road tested 04 wagons and rented an SE sedan for a long trip and found nothing remarkable about any of the seats and am not too worried about it. But I know the owners comments will carry more weight. There are some hard core Focus sites and it seems not an issue to most people. Worse possible case you can get some aftermarket seats with the money you save on this vehicle. The side air bag is not a curtain if that was the question. Not sure if it protects the head which I think is way more important then hip area. Here are some items that people do notice - inconsistent start times - they don't seem to always start right up and that is probably a function of PZEV emissions. In the unlikely event you are looking for a 5-speed (I actually found some) the 1st to 2nd gear change is a little clunky and surprisingly that tranny is made in Germany. Also the rear shocks in the wagon don't seem to be firm enough - some folks get new firmer ones even on a brand new car and are happy they did. Well, the prices are sensational and I still think it is an unheard of bargain especially with the warranty. Car and Driver just did a quick road test on a 2.3 wagon with a 5 speed and got 0-60 in 7.8. Not bad at all. If you've seen the 2005 which will be released early (soon) I think you may want to get the 04 while you can. The 05 has been really uglified IMHO and they will drop the 2.3 from most models and go back to a 2.0. Hope some of this might help.
  • carguy04carguy04 Posts: 22
    Just wanted to say thanks for your response to my posting. Lots of good info you provided. I hope to test drive a ZTW soon, as I have found one in a local dealer's inventory thru Ford's website with the options I want. I am looking for an auto, but I did happen to find one in my state with a 5 speed. I agree with you that the '04 does seem like quite a bargain, especially with the $2500 rebate. Also, I would prefer to have the 2.3. Is this the same 2.3 that Mazda has in its new 3 model? I noticed the 3 has a higher hp rating @160 compared to the Focus @ 145.
    I also did some further research re the side air bags, and they do cover both the head and torso areas.
    Since you have already test drove the '04 wagon, what is your opinion re ride, handling and noise level? Thanks.
  • jimjpsjimjps Posts: 146
    Thanks for the info on the SAB's,
    The 2.3 is the same basic engine and Mazda designed it. The difference is the Mazda has variable valves like a Honda VETEC so it kicks in extra hp on the high end. The engine feels the same to me except the Mazda spins up better to red line. It is exceptionally smooth like a V6 - they did a super job with the balance shafts. Also the Focus engine is made in Mexico and the Mazda in Japan. I'm not too worried about this because it is all new tooling and Ford has been pretty good with their new engines and it has that super warranty anyway. Note that the Focus wagon 0-60 is just .1 second slower then the SVT 170hp. The 2.3 PZEV guys on another site are having a good laugh over this one! I personally would not get a Focus without it. I think the suspension strong point is that it is about as quick and precise as a Civic (which I think is a benchmark in small cars) yet it is more compliant and feels like it has more travel. ON the other hand the Focus is a little higher so it rolls just a little more. The only caveat is the rear suspension which does not dampen rebound sufficiently. I would replace the rear shocks with KYB GR-2's and leave the front alone. Someone on another site replaced the rears with Koni's (maybe overkill) and was very happy with the results. Noise level is pretty good. AT bout 75-80 I began noticing acceptable wind noise around mirrors but only because the car was otherwise quiet. I was expecting the rack to get noisy but it didn't. It didn't have cross bars installed. I'm not sure the cross bars are standard on the 04. Other possible problem I noticed was same I refered to before. The car had an initial long start of a few seconds, next start was still a little long. Not sure if this is some from sitting on lot too long but I think it is PZEV emission issue. I will check it again on my next test cuz the car still has not sold. Also I think the steering wheel placement on the SE is too far from driver - but on ZTW you can adjust with the tele/tilt wheel. I have to ask what state you are in, because I can't find a ZTW 5-speed wagon here in California. Pleae let me know your impressions of the car. With all the analysis of the thing I've done I don't know why I haven't bought it yet!
  • carguy04carguy04 Posts: 22
    Thanks again for your comments and analysis. You certainly are a wealth of information on this Focus ! I live in Colorado, and the one ZTW 5-speed I found here is in Rifle CO, which is on the western side of the state on I-70. This ZTW is white w/beige cloth interior. It has the weather package and sport group, but no ABS and no side air bags. It's MSRP is $18,155. That would be quite a drive for you from California !
    I didn't have time today to test drive the ZTW, but hope to next Saturday. I only found 2 or 3 ZTW's in local dealer inventories w/ the options I would like... Sport Group, auto trans, heated seats, side air bags and ABS. Most models in stock are the base SE models.
    This next week I am going to check w/my insurance agent for rates on the ZTW.
    I am also going to test drive the Mazda 3 hatchback for comparison. I know it has less than half the cargo capacity of the ZTW, but from all I have read about it it seems to be quite an appealing car.
    Have you shopped any other small wagons? I have also considered the VW Jetta, Subaru Forester and Outback, PT Cruiser, Toyota Matrix, and the new Mazda 6.
  • jimjpsjimjps Posts: 146
    Looks like we are thinking the same cars. I tested the Mazda3 hatch. It is a really good car and it shows that it is made in Japan. The interior is nicer than the Focus (if you like black) and it feels rock solid and the suspension is great. The electric power steering is super quick. Note that it is geared a little high - engine is spinning pretty fast at 70mph, but the engine is smooth. Maybe a consideration if you drive long highway runs at significant high speeds. What killed it for me is that I want a wagon with some cargo space for camping, etc and the Mazda3 is only 41" between the wheel wells whereas the Focus is 45" and the Focus wagon has an exceptional amount of useable space for a smallish vehicle. However, the Mazda3 is up to date, no doubt stiffer chasis and latest safety, so I'd have to say it is the superior vehicle in this category, bar none, but more $$ of course. If you are looking for Outback note the all-new outback is just months away with significant improvements. Well, happy car-shopping - Seems like I am making a hobby of it and may never buy anything because it will spoil the fun!
  • cjsbcjsb Posts: 71
    Make that three of us. I'm up here near Toronto looking at the same cars (as listed by carguy), drawing many of the same conclusions and raising the same questions.
    I've been on my search for a vehicle for nearly 6 months and am close to pulling the trigger on an '04 ZTW. Why haven't I yet? First, because I was hoping to get a look at the '05 before making my decision - though I agree with Jimjps that it looks like it may be "uglified" (only seen photos). The added variable for me is that the '04's here still use the 2.0 130hp engine...I believe the two of you may already have the 2.3 145hp (#'s correct?). I also have heard the concerns about the seating/lumbar support (as per carguy). Lastly, I want to see where the Mazda 6 wagon will fit in all on this.
    Ultimately however, this car seems a very good deal and offers a unique value equation (moderate cost, substantial cargo room, above average fuel economy, not a mini-van) not commonly seen in the current market. At least by my estimation. Other equally outfitted "competitors" are either pricier, smaller or both.
    My negotiations have resulted in a cash purchase of around $23 500 or a 60 month finance of about $445/mo with zero down. Figures are in Canadian dollars and include all tax/license.
    And like carguy, I'm not sure I want to give-up what has become a genuine hobby...maybe I'll also end up not buying anything just to keep the search alive.
  • jimjpsjimjps Posts: 146
    IN Canada you may actually get a better engine by waiting, because the 05 2.0 will be a "Duratec" and get just a few extra hp over the 130hp 2.0 Zetec. I think this is from improvement in head design. The 2.3 PZEV is a Duratec and already has the improved head design. Here in the states we will loose hp going from the 2.3 to 2.0. Here's my opinion on those other cars and they are just that, opinions: MAtrix - the 1.8 just doesn't cut it, the Ford/Mazda 2.3 is in another class. Matrix reviews are not great. PT cruiser - kind of a styling statement. The bulging fenders are just dumb - extra turbulence and less interior volume for the car exterior size - but it makes up some with the height. Jetta - quality of the NA car is not too good. Get it with a German engine like a TDI and now you've got something worthwhile. It has already been replaced by the next generation in Germany. Wait a year and get the next generation.
    Forrester - mechanically good. I really wish they styled it differently. Mazda6 wagon is now on dealer lots. For cargo volume it is not much bigger then ZTW. The 3.0 will be a lot lower on mpg and not a lot faster then a 2.3 ZTW. Oh, and the 4 cylinder version - well that's the same engine as the Focus and Mazda3 2.3! Good looking vehicle though and latest safety. It's made in US (as is the ZTW) and the MAzda3 will probably have the edge on build quality. Outback - the 05 will drop 200lbs while it is stronger, stiffer, safer chasis - mostly through extensive use of aluminum, so the car is stronger with the same engines. Think of it as being Audi-ized. I would wait for the new one and it is just a few months away. The Japanese-made new Outback has been out for a while. Ours will be the same car but made in US. It's a very good looking car indeed.

    Outbacks and Mazda 6 3.0 wagons will cost about 2x a Focus SE wagon and this is no exageration.

    #1 rule in cars - get what you really want.

    FWIW
  • carguy04carguy04 Posts: 22
    Hi Guys.. quite something the 3 of us are shopping the same cars, especially the ZTW. Like yourselves, this seems to have become a hobby of mine too.. researching various models and taking test drives. But, I tend to keep a car for several years, and want to make a good decision. Thanks again for all of your info and insights.
    Would you happen to know the ZTW's cargo capacity? One consumer book I have lists it at 73 cu ft. Is this correct? That's very close to the Taurus wagon at 81 cu ft.
    I hope to test drive the Mazda 3 Hatchback soon, even though the price I got from the dealer is $2000 more than I could buy a ZTW for.
    The Mazda 6 wagon is quite attractive but expensive. Seems like the majority of these wagons will be loaded versions from what I have viewed online from dealers inventories, with MSRPs $26000 and higher. Plus, I agree with you that its mpg isn't that great.
    A couple of things about the ZTW that concerns me is the reliability history along with its high depreciation rate. Although the current $2500 rebate does soften the depreciation blow a little.
    I have been spotting some ZTWs lately around town... bright red, medium green and black. I noticed on the black one it had a chrome molding above the rear license plate.
    Till next time...
  • cjsbcjsb Posts: 71
    Thanks for the input on the engine Jim. Have you seen the '05 in person (uglified?)?
    I agree about the Matrix...1.8 is weak, styling is not to my preference and usable cargo area is limited. PT not for me aesthetically. Jetta - I can get a good deal on as I have a relative at a dealership near here, but even still, overpriced, smaller rear seat and cargo area and sketchy reliability. As does carguy, I intend to keep each car for several years (10?) minimum, so Jetta is dicey (had an Audi and paid for it literally/figuratively as it aged). Forrester/Outback seem very good vehicles...though value (subjective) may be an issue based upon somewhat higher prices. Options seem to really add up to extra $$ on these two. Mazda 6...seems a great car but it will likely be a while until real negotiations/incentives can happen here. Mazda 3...impressive...but I need the extra cargo area the ZTW would offer. Not to mention the 3's still have not come down in price enough to be in this race.
    Carguy: ZTW's cargo cap. doesn't seem far off taurus...though i don't have #'s. Taurus seems antiquated when the two are driven back-to-back. As per reliability/recalls...stats suggest the 2003 models and beyond have overcome this issue. Lastly, I think you're dead on about the rapid depreciation. I've seriously considered a used '03 as a result. Price is $18500 as opposed to $23500. Do either of you think the $5k savings is worth considering this option. Or is new the way to go as I hope to keep this car many years?
    And yup...chrome molding above rear plate here too.
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