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Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • Is it still working fine today? Have similar problems with our 2005 model.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    NAPA does have a point about the quality of chain-store rebuilds. Alternators are rebuilt from random reconditioned parts. They don't rebuild each one using all its original parts. So if the process is rushed or they cut corners, quality control goes downhill fast.


  • ? Is eng hard to start when eng is warm, Does it always turn over ok but will not fire ? You May Have an ign sw going bad causing both problems.
    I need more info.
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    I have a 2004 Malibu and a 2005 Freestyle with the overheating bulbs. My solution was switch to led bulb. It flashes faster, but it eliminates the meltdowns.
  • There are after-market light suppliers such as Keystone lighting and you may also NAPA for these assys. Good luck.
  • Thank you! I'll try the LED bulb this time with the new assembly. I appreciate the help!!
  • achowardachoward Posts: 3
    edited September 2011
    Im thinking its the ignition switch as well. It always turns over but doesnt fire, cold or warm and it happens about 90% of the time and light issues are about 95%. Im changing the spark plugs and fuel filter today and will see if that helps it start. if i turn the ignition on and off without starting the car i can eventually get lights back. the odd thing is i have no other electrical or dash issues. jsut lights and starting. im also going to check the light wires witha multimeter to see if theres power going to them when they dont work to know if its a connector issue or a break or fuse.

    **just a tip for all focus drivers who think 300 kms per tank is ridiculous. the permanent air filter on the car is NOT a permanent filter. i switched mine out for a cold air intake which cost me $30 and fits right on the old pipe where the old airbox was. No modifications necessary all sensors stay where they are and i now get 600 kms per tank and have better response. **
  • You can try this, remove the plug wires and insert a phillips screw driver in each plug wtre, and hold shaft of phillips about 3/8 " from ground and have a friend crank over eng and watch spark . If no spark, check crank-posistion sensor. should be mounted at 10 or 2 oclock pos. above front crank pully. these have been known to go bad at times .
  • Hi,

    Well problem with the lights is fixed. It turned out to be a severely corroded relay. And i replaced the spark plugs yesterday and its runnning way better. Just wondering tho, Does anyone elses spark plugs read that the engine is running hot? All four plugs were completely white. I put in new ones and made sure their gapped correctly. And so far no hesitation, or surging and the car feels looser.

    Next question, Im replacing the fuel filter this week and just wondering if anyone knows which fuses i should pull as theres like 5 that are assigned to fuel.

    Thanks for the help!
  • cheesehead7cheesehead7 Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    My headlights go out when i turn my turn signals on, doesn't happen all the time.
    2002 Ford Focus
  • You do NOT nead to pull any fuses. Your fuel system will be pressurized so do this when the car is COLD. When you remove fuel line, do not have your face inline with filter and also wear eye protection. Make SURE your ign switch is NOT on.

  • Do NOT be concerned about your plugs burning white. Now if 3 were white and 1 was black,
    then you get concerned.

  • I have a 2005 Ford Focus zx4 It has had some weird electrical problems. The trunk will unlock if the brake pedal is pushed. Also the left running lights front and back do not have any power. If you step on the brakes the front running light comes on. Now the drivers airbag light goes on and off intermittently. I
  • Well I replaced the ignition switch but it hasn't cured the problem. The wiring harness doesn't have any noticeable damage. I'm at a loss now. Is it possible there's a ground wire short somewhere? I'm close to just having it serviced.
  • In several messages I have read where people have advised someone to run an extra ground wire to the car body. DON'T DO THAT. My son had a Ford Escort (this seems to be a common problem for Ford) and he had a headlight that kept going out. He bought several and finally checked the fused. It was no good so he put in a new one. That was the beginning. His lights would go off and on. The inside lights would go off and on when he was driving down the road. Sometimes things worked and sometimes they didn't. It died on him twice and had to be hauled to a repair shop. They had to disconnect the fuses for all lights or he had a "Christmas Tree" car with blinking lights and sometimes not working at all. It was draining his battery and ruined one. The car was great - if driven during the day but no lights. (Still had signals) They found that someone had run several ground wires, to "fix" problems before and it totally runined the car. It could have been fixed if they had done it right in the first place. By the time all this happened it would have had to been completely rewired and the mechanic said it would cost more than the car was worth. Good looking car - ran great but ruined because of someone running ground wires instead of having it serviced.
  • appears alternator number four this year will be in the works. My brother just called me to say after three weeks with the new NAPA Bosch alternator the company car is back to doing weird electrical things again including trying to stall and the check engine light has once again come on. Bringing it to a different mechanic Wednesday and see what they come up with. I asked NAPA to inspect the pigtail wiring harness for the alternator for corrosion and they said they did but I suspect they didn't. Will have this next shop look at it in my presence. Something is causing these Focuses to eat alternators and batteries so it has to be in the wiring and most likely a corrosion issue. Will keep those who are interested updated on this new round of repairs.
  • rnolenrnolen Posts: 3
    Instrument panel will not come on when car is first started, then will work fine after 10-15 minutes of driving. occurs when temp is below 50 degrees. Has happened 7 out of the last 10 days. Has worked perfect the two times it was taken to the dealership. Both times it was left over nigth so it would be a cold start for the dealer.
    Odometer, tachometer, none of the guages, LED screen and turn signal indicators will not work.
    Car runs fine, exterior lights, turn siganal, Brake lights, radio and Iterior dome and floor lights work fine.
    Any ideas how to resolve this issue?
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    It is under warranty, so take it to the dealer on a colder evening, leave it overnight and they can check it out in the morning on the first start.
  • I had electrical problems with my 2002 focus wagon automatic.

    1. Gauges dying, then going full sweep, then work.
    2. Fan dying down
    3. Lights dimming
    4. clicking relays from behind the dash
    5. Alternator died
    6. Battery failed to charge
    7. Finally, would not start and would only click rapidly.

    1. I started by removing the battery and cleaning the posts with 220 grit sand paper.
    2. I noticed the positive clamp had corrosion at the wires nearest the clamp. These are large, red colored wires which are obviously hot wires. I cut the wires from the clamp and replaced the clamp with a brass one purchased from an auto parts store.
    3. There are (2) ground wires underneath part of the air cleaner box, I removed them, sanded them with 220 grit, applied di-electric grease and bolted them back to the car. If the bolts break, just use a self-taping metal screw to fasten to the body.
    4. I applied di-electric grease to all connections and re-inserted the battery and tightened the clamps.

    The car started with a boost and sat and idled. I let the car idle up to temperature and turned the interior fan to max, turned on the headlights and turned up the radio. I could hear the engine labour as usual as the alternator delivered current. I drove the car home, about 2 miles and turned it off. It started up again and again after that.
    The battery charge light is still on/off intermittenly but, everything works fine. I have proper power, all accessories are fine. I will likely replace the negative clamp as well because it too looked corroded to me. This was only done yesterday and, time will tell if it was the fix.

    The theory of the problem solution is that the corroded wire cause too much resistance at that junction. Once the car operates and current flows for a while, things heat up and resistance builds. This also hinders charging of the battery and no doubt stresses the alternator. This is a relatively cheap thing to do, it's worth a shot for the rest of you.
  • Update:

    Upon further thought, it makes sense to me that the negative clamp is the problem.
    I cleaned that connection and tightened it as much as I could but still, the clamp would spin on the post. I am going to replace that clamp so that the new one grabs so tight that it will not spin on the post.

    This fault makes sense, it would hinder the charging of the battery and it would prevent the battery from delivering current as the alternator spins down and the car "browns out" at idle. It may also stress the alternator to premature failure.

    So, I would suggests that the first thing done is to make sure the battery terminals/clamps are clean and tight. That would likely solve most problems regarding a lack of current.
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