Ford Focus Hatchback - ZX3 - Part V



  • orlockorlock Member Posts: 25
    Hint: If your car rates 70% on his list, you must be a God reading his mind in search of his dream car. I looked at his overall reviews of some Hondas, the mustang (which actually had three reviews giving it a less than 70%) and Chevys. I have no idea what he likes.

    The review said it wasn't sporty. I can go 0-50 in maybe four seconds and the speedometer says it can go 140mph. Has anybody had a problem that it can only go 140mph? For $40,000 more you could get a car that goes 167 mph (and no ac, radio or back seat).

    One car he said was made out of steel (which must have been a bad thing). Is that a new concept? What's your car made of critic?

    Actually the guts in my car are great. Expect road noise (especially where I live). It's the way the new roads are designed. They put metal bars across the road to add stregth to the road and these bars cause bumps in the road. At 60 mph, a 24' Rent-it truck with a full payload acts like a bucking bronco because of this. Yes the engine is loud, and I think it is more stick users to be able to hear the revs.
    I don't hear the wind noise.

    Is there suppose to be a gutter on the top of the back side windows or is there suppose to be rubber there? I don't know if they didn't paint it correctly (I see primer in the gutter on both sides) or if there is suppose to be a strip like what is on the bottom of the window. I there suppose to be a rubber strip on the top of the back glass too? I do work at a Ford Dealer, but we only have seen maybe four ZX3s (3 sold before I got mine) and mine. We have nothing to compare it too. It seems odd that there is suppose to be a 1/4 inch gap from the front top of the side back glass window down to the back of the tail lights.

    There was also some over spray and scratch problems.
  • zx3beastzx3beast Member Posts: 661
    if one considers the size of the heads of some of these so called expert reviewers it may well indeed
    be only average headroom!in response to the zx3
    not being sporty-i believe it combines the best of
    both - sporty handling + exceptionally comfortable
    ride like a fine sedan.also i did notice that my passenger door lock seems to stick on occassion.
    powered graphite sold in a small tube should cure that problem.i did forget to mention my first re-
    placement was for a defective horn.these are only minor annoyances.still love it!
  • gmanzx3gmanzx3 Member Posts: 37
    New to the Town Hall. Just purchased a white ZX3
    a/c, locks, smokers, 5-spd. Wanted windows and tilt/cruise but didn't want to wait.

    I really enjoy this little car! I wish it had about 20 more horsepower, but that may be obtainable with some aftermarket goodies.

    I took the car into the dealer for it's first oil change/recall fix. I was in and out in under 1 hour.

    In reference to previous posting, my car also hesitates when trying to cruise at 1800-2500 rpm on slight inclines. Any reasons? Also, the clutch placement is a little to far right. Not the most comfortable position.

    Finally, ORLOK, your car will only do 109mph.
  • tomp8tomp8 Member Posts: 23
    Thanks zx3beast for the graphite tip. I now remember a friend using it on an old van several years ago.

    I also think that the MSNCarpoint review was poorly done. I read that the Focus uses a modified and more compact version of the European Ford Mondeo rear suspension.

    Headroom is huge! I am 5'11" and I must have a good 6"+ above my head. Same for the rear seats.

    I find that acceleration is also good. It only feels slugish if you shift from 1st to 2nd at low rpms to save fuel. The ZETEC engine seems to like to rev, tell that guy at MSN he needs to use the upper rpms where the power is...(?)

    Just my $0.02
  • hugozhugoz Member Posts: 82
    Calico1: thanks for the thoughts re my problem opening the hatch. So far this has only happened that one time (knock on wood!). Also, do you mean to unlock BOTH doors? When the problem occurred, I was in my garage, and the driver's side door was open, but I think the passenger side was probably locked. Anyhow, merely starting the car must de-activated the motion sensor, and presto, the remote release button worked.

    MSN Review: yeah, that Daniel Herauld is up his you know what. Don't give up on, though: I used the site to buy my car and was very pleased. One of the other two reviewers was quite pleased with the car as I recall. Also, I agree with tomp8's point -- that the pickup only seems sluggish if you shift too soon to save gas, otherwise, our little Zetecs are powerful. Personally, I think it's better to stay on the sluggish side by shifting sooner. After all, you have less chance of getting a speeding ticket!
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Hi Drebe,

    Good luck getting the extended warranty. It was the area manager that gave me the extended warranty. I think it is 5 yr , 50,000 miles. Apparently, the area manager phone number is in your car manual. I cannot confirm this because my car is at the shop. You deserve compensation Drebe! You take care.

    I will be getting my car back on Tuesday of this week. I will be away, but it will be waiting for me upon my return. I hope it will still be a fun drive.

    The rear quarter windows do look like they require additional weather stripping, but I have observed that all zx-3s have this tacked on appearance. I think it is visually effective.

    I am planning to have a thin key cut that I can put in my wallet that will open the door just in case that I do lock myself out of my car. I know that it will not start my car because it does not have the internal chip.

    Just to let everyone know, I will keep my zx-3 rather than trade it in on a Saturn LS-1. (I would trade it in on a Saturn V though....that would be cool!!). I am extremely disappointed with Ford Customer Service, but I have to admit I love the Focus. It is a great value as that fellow mentioned earlier with 29 years auto owner experience wrote. Great statement!

    I'll be away for a week and so I will not be reading the posts for sometime. I look forward to reading Focus zx-3 Part VI.

    Drive safely.

  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Friday was gorgeous in Philly...I was at a stop sign driving my lowly rental blue escort and a very attractive girl zoomed up in her silver zx-3. It was my first close encounter, but rather than being able to smile or give a thumbs-up, I did nothing because I am slumming in a rental blue escort instead of my fabulous Sangria Red ZX-3! I missed my moment because of lousy service by Ford. You see it is the intangibles like this that really disappoint me!

    I WANT my ZX-3!
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Check out;

    (Carlady must be really impressed with me now!)

  • zx3beastzx3beast Member Posts: 661
    having previously owned a zx2 /traded for zx3
    i can attest that whatever concerns you have regarding acceleration or percieved hesitation is
    normal with this stated in previous post
    this engine loves to rev /definitely a wide-open
    throttle design.let her rip!my wife has a zx
    25000 miles-zero those with cars tied-up waiting for parts - i can understand your frustration.if its any consolation,its not just ford
    its everywhere-just in time inventory
  • vldvld Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if Ford plans to release a 5 door hatch back -- NOT the station wagon -- in the US? I have driven and admired this car in Europe, and I am prepared to buy one RIGHT NOW, but the 3 door is not optimal for me.
    Also, what was that bit about the engine offered in Europe versus here from NorwayDoug? Is that different too?
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    Triple A offers extended warranties based on the reliability of your particular auto. I intend to purchase mine after the three years of Fords are up. Should be cheaper.

    Also, was in the Cherry Hill Mall yesterday and parked next to a clone of my Silver ZX3. Maybe it was the blonde Doug.:>)
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    I noticed a special '10 Best' advertisement section in Car and Driver Magazine (May 2000 issue) has an overhead picture of the 5 door hatchback model. All can see the additional rear door handle and the hatchback style rear light.

    Leave it to Ford to have a picture of a car that is not available in the USA.

    Marketers at Ford have no attention to detail as anyone can observe.

    I think it is just another example of the lack of thoroughness of Ford Management.

    I hope someone at Ford reads this and checks out the May Car and Driver issue and see the error in the Manufacturer Report --Design and Engineering-- and say.......Boy do we look dumb

    (I think they are dumb and STUPID!)

    I could do so much better than them.


    Dear VLD,

    Only 2 engines are offered for Foci in North America. Zetec 2.0 or SPI 2.0. Please note, that only the Zetec is offered in the zx-3. The zetec is the higher performing engine and IMHO the engine of choice.

    As far as the future availability of the 5 door hatchback......only the marketers at Ford can determine if there is a NA demand for a 5 door. Of course, plant space must be available too. So ......I hope you don't expect much from them!
  • orlockorlock Member Posts: 25
    If the car only goes 109 mph, why the 140 mph seedometer and not the 120 speedometer. It's probably a limiters, which are popular for automakers. Racers use a six speed, and probably can go 140 mph, with available parts. Maybe they have logged onto and thought those cars were a good idea.

    Car and Driver say that the percentage of sticks in the U.S. is 19% and dropping. Sounds like a great incentive for the auto companies to put sticks in their cars...not.

    If you order a Zx3 with a Zetec now, you will probably get a 2001 model. That's how back logged they are. Once the backlog stops, then Ford might offer more options.
  • silverzx3silverzx3 Member Posts: 40
    I think you will see manual transmissions completely go away in the next few years. I'm sure there is added cost for engineering a car the can use a standard or auto. I just drove a Stratus rental car (yuck) and it had an autostick. The upshifts sucked (not a very positive feel with way too much time between hitting the stick and the actual shift) the downshifts were much better. It was kind of cool, I was in Tahoe and I could use the autostick for the twisty mountain roads, and the just switch to full auto when I hit the traffic in town. I am certain a much more improved version of this will be a part of the drivetrain of choice in the future. Surely the high-end mfgs. have this system dialed in, it may just take a while for the technology to filter down to cars like the Focus. I think up-shift / down-shift paddles or buttons on the steering wheel (a-la Formula One) would be really cool. However it works, I think the days of the left calf workout are numbered.

  • torinopaddytorinopaddy Member Posts: 55
    I wouldn't count the days left for the manual trasmission just quite yet. You are forgetting that while your logic may apply fine to the US market, European markets are not going to take so kindly to such a move. There are a number of vehicles so equipped over here, but the demand for automatics is low. People actually enjoy shifting gear. I for one would not have considered buying a Focus if it only came as an automatic or semi-automatic. Market forces drive the manufacturers and as long as enough of us feel the way I do, the manual trasmission is here to stay. That's not to say that it may not disappear from the US market but, in Italy, the hatch at least (I didn't check out the others) isn't available with an auto box even as an option.
    Manufacturers offer what they think the public will buy. Nobody here would be seen dead in an automatic Focus sedan, which is why the top-of-the-line model here is the hatch, available in 3-dr and 5-dr variants.
    Who said building a world car would be easy?

    On another note, the MSN review just goes to prove that this is a car you either get or you don't and he didn't, which puts him down as a loser in my book.

    I haven't driven my car yet (still waiting) but factory figures for the 2.0L Zetec E suggest a top speed of 125mph. Looking forward to checking it out!
  • nschortnschort Member Posts: 9
    Ordered fully loaded zx3 2/2/00 Deliverd Madison Wisconsin 4/8/00.
  • focuszx3rfocuszx3r Member Posts: 92
    It not that hard to engineer a car for both trannies. All they have to do is basically just thorw the stickshift in there, they use that same 5-speed for most of the cars, its not that hard. Their will always be stick shifts cuz they are so fun to drivew and people want them in low power econo-boxes and u skids want them in our inexoensive cars too.
  • focuszx3rfocuszx3r Member Posts: 92
    what i said was: us kids want them in our inexpensive cats so we think we are fast
  • gmanzx3gmanzx3 Member Posts: 37
    Our cars have a speed governor on them that limits their top speed to about 109mph. The un-restricted cars available in Europe will do somewhere in the mid 120's. That's why we don't have a speedometer that only goes to 120. Why, you ask, then the 140mph gauge? Well, I guess it's because it looks cool.

    Also, I have a few observations/questions/annoyances that I need help solving:

    1. Why no redline? Does Ford want me to hit the
    rev-limiter to see when I need to shift?
    2. This is the first car I've ever owned that did
    not have the top 3 inches of the windshield
    tinted. Why? Does being blinded by the sun
    give the car character?
    3. The car comes standard with a CD player, yet
    there is no place to put CD's. (center console)
    4. The crank windows are backward of any car i've
    ever seen. Up is down and down is up. Why?
    5. Have you seen the rear floor mats? Laughable!
    6. Why is the gas tank filler on the right side of
    the car? When I pull up to a gas pump I should
    not have to walk around my car to fill up.
    They make right and left hand drive cars, how
    about right and left hand fill-up.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my car. But Ford really confuses me sometimes.
  • nastyemunastyemu Member Posts: 6
    The crank windows are different than you are used to becuase the car was designed in Europe, and thats the way they crank over there.

    As for the gas tank being on the right side, i've owned several cars(honda crx si, huyndai excel, vw jetta, mazda b2000 pickup, focus zx3) and all of them were filled up from the right side. I don't really pay a whole lot of attention to it, but since you mentioned it I think most cars that I see have the gas tank fill up on the right side.

    My glove box does a great job of holding my cd's. I just hope I don't get in an accident trying to reach over there. :)

    I'm with you on the redline though. I don't get it. My dad bought a 2000 Ranger and it doesn't have a redline on the tach either. Maybe Ford ran out of red paint.
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    hey, guys! Lots of posts this weekend! Sk8ter, I was in richmond with my ZX3 to see the "godfather of soul" at the Landmark, - still didn't see you though!

    I don't really care which side the car fills up on, did notice however that the whole body-color tank lid is PLASTIC including the hinge part, what's that about? I've never heard of such a thing and it seems like a bad thing to skimp on! I plan to keep this car a long time and I can't believe that thing will hold up! Is it like that on the sedan and wagon, too?
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    in addition to the "backwards" features, (window crank, door locks, seat levers) did you guys notice that there are 4 "oh god" handles on the ceiling, - even on the driver's side! funny. Guess this is for our friends in England!

    Also just noticed after a week that my interior is 2 tone, - I have the dark interior but just noticed that the pillars and headliner are all much lighter pale grey. I don't mind- it just give the illusion of even more space! For those of you with the lighter interior, is that the color of the entire interior for you?
  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    I noticed that my friends jetta has 4 "oh shite" handles, I didn't notice if my Focus did. I still thinks its weird that out is locked and in is unlocked. The window cranks dont bother me that they are reversed. I hope to convert them to power someday anyway. What does it matter what side the gas cap is on, there are so many cars and there is no set rule to which side its on. Are we that lazy? You just learn which side its on and then it should become second nature to pull up to the right side. My last car was on the passenger side so its no problem for me. If it really is a bother, then go to the full service pumps. Speaking of the gas cover, The fact that it seemed a bit flimsy was something i noticed right away. Does anyone know if the cover can be replaced? I kind of like those ones like on the eclipse, i think, where its a silver cover. I would love to replace mine with a billeted aluminum cover.
    How about side markers, has anyone installed them on your focus? I was only going to do it if
    I could find the triangular ones that come standard on the Euro models which I did find at The last time I inquired about them, Focusparts said that they were expecting a shipment of them soon. That may be my next purchase, depending on if it won't require huge holes drilled in my car.
    How about replacing the shift knob? I can only seem to find one place on line that sells a small selection of shift knobs that would work with the Focus.
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • ragtop99ragtop99 Member Posts: 33
    Since this car was originally designed for the European market the gas tank filler was placed on the right side (drivers side in Europe). They probably left it there to keep the cost lower (less reengineering). Part interchangeability is also possible with U.S. & European models being the same. My son just bought a Honda Insight and the filler is on the right side. It was released a couple of years ago in Japan and the filler was not changed to keep costs down for the U.S. model.
  • dustoffbobdustoffbob Member Posts: 8
    I am not sure how much time you have spent in Europe, but the right hand drivers side is not standard in Europe...only in the U.K. and a few others like Australia and some of the U.K. colonies. Most of the Europeans drive just like the Americans, however they do have their gas tank caps on the right side. I am not trying to start anything, just didn't want everyone thinking that everyone in Europe drives on the opposite side of the car & street of the U.S. (I have spent several years abroad and this is just one of my observations) Additionally, for anyone who has spent time in Europe the ZX3 is very very very European. I actually bought it because it reminded me of the ford KA. (KA is pronounced KAAAR, like someone from Boston, but is spelled correctly)
  • gmanzx3gmanzx3 Member Posts: 37
    Well guyindasky, it obviously pays to be informed.
    I'm not sure I would trust ordering a car over the internet anyway. I'm too chicken.

    Other U.S. cars also have the filler on the right side. It's not a European thing, it's just a little pet peeve of mine.

    Is it just me, or is the "leather wrap" steering wheel look and feel a lot like vinyl? I've had several cars with real leather steering wheels, and my ZX3 isn't even close. Maybe it's just my car. Anyone else?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    I, too, have owned a variety of cars with leather wrapped wheels (BMW, Triumph, others). IMHO the wheel in the ZX3 is the nicest of the bunch, and I'm something of a nut when it comes to how a steering wheel looks and feels. Regarding the window cranks, well, Ford just did them backwards. All of the foreign cars I've owned with manual windows crank the opposite from the ZX3. You adjust to it, no big deal. Yes, the gas filler door is plastic, and seems a bit fragile, but so is the gas door of the Neon (at least on the older one I owned), and on many other new cars I've looked at. Engineers will do amazing things to save weight and simplify manufacturing. Plastic parts aren't automatically inferior to metal, so don't get too concerned.
  • rvtex1rvtex1 Member Posts: 23
    Is the decline of the std trans consumer driven or marketing driven? In Houston, which has about 10 Ford dealers area wide, I could only locate about 1 or 2 ZX3s with manual trans. Quite a few were available with auto trans, hence, I had to order mine. If the manufacturer only sends auto trans cars to dealers, the stats certainly seem to show a decline in manual trans (but an increase in profits for dealers). Most people do not want to wait and order a car. Typical also seems to be the marketing concept that if you opt for manual trans, you also want a stripped model with no options. I will wait (unfortunately) for my "loaded" manual trans "sporty" car!
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    well my dealer did over-fill my hatchling when they changed the oil. i drained 1/2 to 3/4 qt. out over the weekend. naturally i did carefully check to make sure i had the proper level before restarting the engine. i haven't driven very far since but i believe the burnt oil smell is going away. i am sure some excess still remains to burn off... but i get less and less smell each day. ZX3 OWNERS...DO NOT OVERFILL YOUR OIL! Our owners guide specifies that serious engine damage can result. i want to thank Scott again for informing me on this subject. Drebe, what can i say? i hope to hell you get your car back soon. have you tried calling area ford dealerships parts dept to see if they have the parts you need? can't hurt. remember i found the left fender for my car with the help of an edmunds friend. get the part #'s and call around a little. i wish you luck! norway, hope you get on the road and have some fun soon! :)
  • jedimaster1jedimaster1 Member Posts: 32
    Morning everyone.

    I finally got my recall done this morning. Took it in before I went to work and it only took about an hour.

    I got my G-Shock Watch yesterday! It's dark blue and I love it! I know some people have been selling theirs on Ebay and I thought about it before I got mine, but not now, I'm keeping it.

    I, too, am not crazy about the crank windows and I have also noticed that it is reversed. I talked to a guy at my local dealership about power windows. He said they could install them for about 400 bucks, but since my car was not originally built for power windows, they would have to do all the wiring and crap and that could make it really expensive, and he stressed the "really". So I'm not gonna worry about it, I can deal with cranks. But has anyone gotten theirs done, and if you did, how much did it cost?

    When I was leaving the Ford dealership this morning, I saw another Focus hatchback, but I did a double-take because it was a Focuz S3. Yes, it was spelled exactly like that. Is this one of our European Focuses? It was really cool-looking, it was a black one and all the windows were tinted. However, it looked exactly like the ZX3 from the wheelbase to the roof. Does anyone know any more about these?

    Well, that's all for today, I'll report more news later.

  • ragtop99ragtop99 Member Posts: 33
    Yea, shows how much I know about Europe. Been to a lot of places in the world, but not Europe. I just assumed, and you know what they say about that. Thanks for straightening me out, or did you dust me off? :)
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    I also thought the leather wheel seemed "vinyl-y" but you can see the stitching where the pieces meet. (not the obvious stitching, the other subtle stuff.) Anyway, those of you with the "leather trimmed" seats keep saying that you can hardly tell the leather from the vinyl anyway, so they must be very similarly treated on the surface. Makes me wonder why even get the leather then! :)

    Drebe, how goes it? I remember the early press for this car said you could buy accessories from Ford, such as the gear knobs you are looking for, and they also mentioned "neoprene seatcovers" I'd be interested in seeing. (Dog hair factor on my seats already pretty high for a week.) Anyway, looks like these accessories are another thing Ford is running late on, but perhaps they will come through in the end, like they did on the watches for most of you. Anyway I'm sure all the stuff will probably be pretty expensive soo....
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Rvtex1, I am another Houston based ZX3 with 5-speed driver. I found my car at Dub Miller Ford, and its a good thing I wasn't interested in all the toys, because A/C, floor mats & smokers pkg. is all I got. You are right about dealers equating manual transmission cars with "stripper" cars. They want the profit generated by a fully loaded car, plus fewer people seem to be willing to commute in Houston traffic with a 5-speed -- keeps folks from eating and yakking on their cell phones, I suppose.

    The dealer I go to has a Focus only accessories brochure. Those of you looking for factory supplied goodies might want to check it out. I did notice that this catalog lists a complete kit to add factory cruise control to a car not originally equipped with it.
  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    Has anyone had any problem with the cover peeling on the wheels. My passenger cover is peeling. Also, has anyone noticed any noises coming from their rear suspension when you turn in your drive way or a parking lot etc.. I know most of us have the radio on when we drive, but if you could check and see, I would appreciate it.

    Here is an update on my suspension problem. I was leaving work the other evening and as I turned out of the parking lot, I heard a loud thump as if something was bending. Well, when I got up on the highway, I noticed that the car was driving correctly after 2 months of having problems with my springs moving on the drivers side rear. There was none of the uneven or leaning feeling coming from that area. Well, as luck would have it. After a few days of turns and bumps, and noise coming from the rear, it seems to be sliding out of place again. Its like a knee joint popping in and out of place.

    I talked with two dealerships, including the one who fixed it the first time, and they have never heard of such a thing. I think it might be a problem with other focuses. However, the change is so subtle that I don't think many none car enthusiast would even notice. Including Ford sevice depts.
  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    ZX3Fan - While checking out a 5-spd w/zetec that my salesman tried to sideline me into (while I'm still waiting for delivery of my loaded (5-spd)SE, I noticed that after starting car (clutch in) and releasing clutch in neutral, I heard a thump, which sounded like a bad throw-out bearing (or the clutch plate could be bad) The sound quickly disappeared. I don't know if this is related to your problem, but have the dealer (or a mechanic)check it out. Insist he drive the car.

    Gas Cover -- I rented a Focus (7K miles)for a weekend. The gas cover latch was broken, I'd be real careful, or pick yourself up a spare, or an aftmkt add-on.
    If that is the only problem I ever have, I'll be happy.

    Limiter - The suspension (and tires)was detuned for US roads (roads in the U.S. suck) and American's taste for a soft ride. This can cause a plethora of problems at high speeds. Hence the limiter. P.S. Notice the tires are only R rated. At 120 miles an hour an R tire could (not can) come apart.

    A, B, C posts in different colors. I checked, dark interiors - light accents, light interiors dark accents, neat huh!. I didn't notice that, thanks.

    Has anyone asked their dealer mechanic for diciphering the diagnostic codes on the odometer?

    Also, the plastic rain diverter (splash guard???) just in front of the rear wheels. What the hell is that?

    Many posts about everything from launching cigarette lighters and locking problems to rough idle. For all future focus owners check out those babies (and test drive) BEFORE YOU BUY.
  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    I just posted a long note but then saw your post. I think I might know your problem,
    since I had this problem (different car - similar suspension, which took forever to diagnose.

    First, try this. Go to a parking lot or somehere with a lot of room.
    Try turning hard right (steering wheel at
    the lock, full circle, then hard left. See if you can reproduce the thunk you heard. If it doesn't happen try it again - this time hard left, then hard right. Sometimes, you might get the thunk in only one direction. Try this several times -- if you do get that thunk (you might feel it in the steering wheel, you may have a problem with the sway bar(s). Sway bar could be bad, not torqued to spec, or the bushings are bad.
    If this does not reproduce your problem, it does eliminate the sway bars as the culprit.
  • cefurodcefurod Member Posts: 72
    I do hear a sound, but more of a rubbing sound when i turn my steering wheel all the way to the left. It sounds like the wheel is rubbing against the wheel well. When i bought it to the dealer and had them look at it, they said they couldn't find anything. I will have them check it out again since it is an obvious sound and i could reproduce it everytime.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    P345spd, the "R" on the sidewall stands for "radial". It is the letter before the "R" that denotes the speed rating ("T", in the case of the Goodyear RSA's on our ZX3s). See for a nice explanation of sidewall codes and the various letters used to denote speed ratings.
  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    Actually, I do believe its the springs because most of the time I hear a creaking noise when the weight is transfered in right corners and parking lot speeds. A thud noise comes every once in a while.

    Sadly, the last technican checked and said he could not find anything lose, but my guess is that this problem is only produced when the weight of the vehicle is on the suspension, not lifted up in the air. My car will not cooperate. The week before I decided to take it to the dealer it was making lots of noise and then the day I decided to go it stopped.

    Lastly, an embarrassing situation. Saturday night I was driving down a busy club area of Dallas. Traffic was stop and go--the weather was cool that night. Every time I stopped my brakes let out a long loud squeal as I slowed. Since people where already looking at my car as we all have had, this made for a horrible impression. I know others have had the same problem. The dealership said that there was nothing wrong with my brakes. Hummm!

    I sometimes wish I could trade this one in on a new SVT model in the Fall.
  • emkayusaemkayusa Member Posts: 7
    Squeeks? Thuds? Rattles? Thumps? Sounds like a typical American car to me...which is a shame, I posted awhile ago that the Focus was a great effort to produce a truly well built American compact car. I guess I was wrong. Too bad, I am a big fan of sporty hatchbacks, and was considering a small car for fun commuting. The Civic is a great car, but it's about as exiting as church. Metro? puleeeze. Golf? I'd rather drive the Jetta...if anyone could possibly squeeze into the back seat. Looks like I will stick with my '96 Galant until something I like comes out...I do want a hatch.
  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    Honda Just a another Ford in 20001???
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    Whats with the rocketing cigarette lighters and locking problems? I try to keep up with the Focus Forum but completely missed the above referenced items. Could have missed it but remember nothing about cigarette lighters taking off like rockets and nothing about locking problems.
    Some people don't like the door locks, complaining there are backwards, and one person locked himself out; which I still don't understand unless he/she manually locked the door leaving the keys inside. You have to watch out for that on any car out there, not just the Focus. As for the other backwards items, maybe Ford had to engineer them that way for us to have such a fantastic ZX3. I find that you get use to these minor inconveniences after a while.
    As to the speed limiter, I don't know where you can legally go over 100 mph here in the states. Maybe out west. And if you are into the racetrack thing you can go out and buy a new computer chip. They are on the market.
    If you want info on the DIAGNOSTICS codes check out "". Not sure it matches the focus but it looks close to what we have. Theres also info at that site on where to buy the diagnostics info.
    OIL CAPACITY: Think the oil capacity is 4 and 1/2 quarts. They are might be putting in 5 quarts. I change my own oil, except for the first service which I got free from my Ford dealer.
    GAS DOOR: You can get a euro Gas Door from "", but I don't know anything about them or how the door goes on.
    Rattles and squeaks? I don't have any of these problems and have only read of a few people having them. Doesn't seem to be a big problem. There's always a few vehicles which get by quality control.
  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    Cleveland - The point I was trying to make (I think I read the rocket-lighter on yahoo) is that many new car buyers (focus and otherwise) order a car or see car that has the right color and options, they begin to swoon (love?), sign the papers and drive away with their new car. They then complain that five minutes or five miles down the road they find a small problem or a big problem and it becomes their problem. If they took the time to look the car over (try everything)thoroughly inside and out and take it for a test drive before they buy it, it's their (the dealer's) problem.

    Strange though, typically, a used car buyer is much more careful???????
  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    Just finished attending "Morpace International,Inc." survey on the Ford Focus. I fully offloaded on them about the wait on parts and the problems with the brakes. It took a full 2 1/2 hours for the survey, most of which was person to person with the reps and the vehicle. They seemed interested in my thoughts as far as more power, better brakes, and the lack of parts being available. They even video taped my cig. lighter jumping out of the reciptacle into the back seat with a full red tip glowing !!! Hope none of you have that problem.

    from # 947 fordfocusplace\

  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    rotation actually made sense when I thought about it. Lefty loosey (open), righty tighty (closed.) Just like a screw, a faucet,or whatever.
This discussion has been closed.