Ford Focus Hatchback - ZX3 - Part V



  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    My car is in - at the dealers, a couple hours drive away! I'm so excited! Will post details when I get them, thanks for all the moral support!
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    Let's not get carried away with the significance of these car of the year type awards. Car of the year doesn't mean it's the best car, or even the best car in it's segment. It just means it's a significant car, something new, something different, etc. Motor Trends COTY was the Lincoln LS. Does that mean it's better than a BMW 540? Or even a 328? Heck no. It just means its different, its a big step for Lincoln (Even if they were just playing catch up and that step didn't carry them ahead of the competition). The Mustang II got COTY from a major auto rag. So did the Chevette when it was new. They even said in the article the chevette was junk, but it got COTY because it of the same reasons posted above.
  • mp10mp10 Member Posts: 103
    The Focus was European Car of the Year (no, I don't know who bestowed that honor) in 1998 - it had been around in Europe and is quite popular there - so I didn't feel I was buying a completely unknown entity when I bought what was for the U.S. market a new model line. I have no qualms about the car itself, I love it even just looking at it. I just don't understand how there can be a "parts" problem that no one at Ford Corporate seems aware of or is capable of doing anything about.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Funny that someone recently got a card from Ford that apologized for the problems they had purchasing their car. I believe it had a picture with the words "every journey has its rough roads" or some such. My survey had only positive things in it, so Ford sent me a card with a pretty picture that says "Every journey brings its own unique joy". Happy happy! I can imagine what kind of card they will send drebe73 - it will probably have a picture of a mushroom cloud on it, and say "the horror, the horror..."
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    Motor Trend never gave the Chevette a COTY award. It was nominated in 1976, but the Mopar Aspen/Volare won. Also, Car and Driver didnt either.

    Back to Foci:

    A rumor going arond is that the 2001 Focus will have a price hike due to it's popularity and the "law of supply and demand". Hopefully NOT!
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Previously, I wrote that I finally got my beloved focus back after 6 weeks in the shop due to an accident. However, it had a whining sound in the back due to a damaged bearing that was not repaired. (I noticed the whinning sound after 1 minute in the car, while they had 6 weeks to fix it and were not able to do it right the first time)

    Some days later....I brought the car in and they confirmed the whinning sound. They spent the day diagnosing the problem. They ordered the parts and the parts arrived on Monday of this week. I returned the car on Tuesday and they fixed the bearing, but then the ABS light continues to stay on.... indicating a problem. So.......they have to order parts and it has been 2 days waiting for parts.

    The dealership gave me a free rental car. An abused, fragranced with body odor, cigarette burned, dirty, ill-running Escort with bald tires. Thanks a lot.

    So....I continue to drive rental cars (4 this month alone) while my Focus just sits in the shop.

    Parts are the big issue with the car as mp10 states and to me is the only problem with this car. Even simple pieces takes days or perhaps a week to arrive at best. Worst case is 4-8 weeks for parts to arrive.

    Ford is ruining a great car. They will get burned by this sour reputation. I am sure people have bought CIVICS instead of taking a chance buying a FOCUS. I can't blame them.

    Again and again, I will say the FOCUS is great...but PARTS supply is a joke. I feel like I drive an exotic due to the fact that there are no parts. Rather than an exotic.......maybe I am driving a 1983 Skoda Rapide.

  • spdplayspdplay Member Posts: 12
    for those of you searching for that extra get up and go in your beloved foci, check out and hone in on the focus stuff. i got a chip and air intake system from this place and it's allllll good! Also, is dedicated to getting some hardcore drivers into hardcore machines. They've been working hard developing parts and they've got cool license plate frames for $5. I installed their spark plug wires and a Borla Turbo Tip and I'm running close to 155hp-160hp on the dyno. there's this nice whistle to my throttle as i depress the accelerator that i just live for!! I have a Black Zx3 with a power roof and i am freaking loving this car. Been following it since concept and can truly say it's been worth the wait! I also bought this stuff called "Shadow" which is a "paint" that blavkens tailights and turn signals on my car and does not hinder light when needed (braking turning etc.) well, just sharing my two bits. c ya!
    p.s. for the guy wanting turbo--Esslinger has a bolt on one for 1900 currently.
  • spdplayspdplay Member Posts: 12
    hey! just in...get some upgradable turbos here! i know i will!
  • dlsturdlstur Member Posts: 1
    It took 20 min. for me to change my oil and filter this morning zts 5sp. That's getting out the ramps running the car up on the ramps getting underneath draining the oil and replacing the filter, filling with 4.5qts. Second oil change since I bought the car in Oct. rino ramps make it a breeze. As far as the burning oil smell I took some 409 in a spray bottle and paper towels and cleaned off the areas on the engine and axle where there was oil from removing the old oil filter. 5000 miles on the car still runs excellent and is still fun to drive, no complaints.
  • rubberbanrubberban Member Posts: 37
    My car is here!!! Well I wanted a twilight blue zx3 but my dealer got a black one recently and I'm tired of waiting. So, I'm going to pick up my new car tomorrow. It turns out to be a great deal with the college grad program. By the way, I'm not that knowledgable about aftermarket products and I have a couple of questions. First, to install such aftermarket products like the exhaust Borla offers or the one Focusport offers, the air intake, and the that chip kkm offers, do I need a mechanic to install them or can I do it myself if I follow careful directions. Also about aftermarket wheels, is it just a matter of bolting on the wheels or do I have to make other adjustments if I were to put in, say 17" wheels? Your two cents? Thanks!
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    How could you? If you said a Pachard (Think thats how it spell it) I could understand, but a Skoda! Most people don't even know what a Skoda was, let alone where it was built. Maybe even a Dalphine, but a Skoda, oh no no no! Oh well, I always wanted a Citroen CV4, but it would never go over here.

  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Skoda is considered an excellent automobile now. It was purchased by VW in the late 80s or early 90s. All the cars are now VW based. Skoda are now either POLO, GOLF or Passat based. Quality and durability is just like VW, but cheaper. Great cars now. Check out the english car magazine 'CAR' for details.

    However, the Skoda Rapide was a rear engined air cooled beast and a genuine piece of junk! Laughable really because it was a very old design, but still being built in the early 80s!

    Thanks for enjoying my little joke. I am glad you responded.

    With the weather so great in Philli....I just miss the opportunity to cruise in my 5spd zx-3.

  • spdplayspdplay Member Posts: 12
    way to be with the black rubberban! as far as the installation of the aftermarket parts, the only really tricky on is the chip. it's not mechanical but you need to know the EEC calibration and where to locate your chip and what to do once you have it. your car's pretty dead without it. the rest of the aftermarket stuff comes with installation instructions and they're pretty easy to follow. of course after your done, just in case, you might run your car by your local garage to make sure things check in right (although the check engine light will do the same). all in all it's pretty plug-n-play!
    the wheels can be bolted on no problem. the only thing left after installation is taking them to your local tire garage and having them balance them so you don't ruin a worthy investment.
    which wheels are you thinking about? i bought the OZ F1 (grey with yellow letters)and haven't regretted it yet. check out
  • spdplayspdplay Member Posts: 12
    edmund's list of standard options lists "foldable" driver and passenger side mirrors. what's the deal? mine aren't.
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    To buy various Focus gear,,,,check out The canadian website:

    They have some neat stuff and not too pricey either.

  • mp10mp10 Member Posts: 103
    Despite my unabated bitterness over the Focus parts issue, my husband and I went to look at Foci Hatchlings tonight (for him - his 11 year old Corolla just blew a head gasket). When I went in December, there were 2 hatchlings on the lot - tonight they must have had 15 or 20. He was going to get a silver one like mine, but we saw one in Sangria Red and pretty much decided on the spot that was the one. We're going back to do paperwork tomorrow. I asked about power windows, and my salesman said he hadn't seen any. He also said that because when I wrote my letter to Ford Corporate Customer [non]-Service I had absolved the dealership of all blame and praised them to the sky for the way they treated me when my power steering pump went, that I would be "given the red carpet treatment" forever (free car washes, folks!) I was surprised that he had seen the letter and he said oh, yes, and the dealership was *thrilled* that I had put the blame where it belonged (for the parts problem) - on Ford Corporate. But I told my accident prone husband that if he gets into an accident he's going to wish he had died and just gone directly to hell.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Very cool - a two Foci couple! I don't think you're making a mistake - the ZX3 is terrific. I know this doesn't mitigate the pain for folks like drebe73, but long waits for all the miscellaneous "bits" to put a modern car back together after a collision are normal. It doesn't matter if you buy foreign or domestic, and a "new" model isn't necessarily more vulnerable to this problem than one nearing the end of its production cycle. The real culprit is the "just in time" parts supply systems adopted by most manufacturers. With parts streaming in from dozens of suppliers located all over the globe, the chance of the parts pipeline running dry is greater than ever. Ford would get eaten alive if they kept large stocks of every conceivable part gathering dust in warehouses waiting for someone to buy them. It isn't a happy situation, but it's the way of the world. Look at the bright side, mp10 - with two cars in the family, spare parts are as close as your own driveway :-)
  • calico1calico1 Member Posts: 52
    First, congratulations to Tickbitty! Just in time for the weekend -- excellent! Hope you have good driving weather where you are.

    Poor NorwayDoug. Let us know again who your dealer is. I spend time in SE Pennsylvania/Central Jersey several times a year. I need to know what to avoid.

    Count me among those whose hatch release doesn't work. Well, to be fair, it worked once so I assumed I was just hitting it wrong. Not so. The once working was a fluke. No big deal, though. Until I take my calicomobile in for the recall, I'll just use the hatch release on the keyfob with the remote locks. Meanwhile, I've still got to get my chrome exhaust taken care of. I've got an awesome silver and malibu blue NY Yankees license plate on the front, now all I need to do is make the back just as gorgeous and I'm ready for anything!

  • mac54mac54 Member Posts: 22
    1984(?) Car & Driver Car of the Year: Renault Alliance. Need I say more?
    I would agree that awards alone don't mean that much. But driving the Focus certainly explains how it's been earning them! 650 miles, 30+ mpg, no problems so far.
  • kdominczakkdominczak Member Posts: 174
    It is the most detailed review of focus to date.
    I think mostly on the money,i don't agree with the seats critisism,i think seats are great(when you judge $35K BMW you can get that picky, not with a $13K focus!)Part stating that someone cut his leg added unnecessary "terror" element,what for?
    Also why there is no word about availability of power windows,mirrors,telescoping steering wheel.
    Overall, review is well written, but why not to remember that we're talking about $13K car here!
    Why the tires were different size(smaller) than stock and, why brakes where all discs, where we get front discs only.
    I'll have to read it again to say more about it.
    Finally, is the engine really that loud? It is not M3 it is zx3 for 1/3 of the price!!!
    still in love...
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • sentient_lifesentient_life Member Posts: 10
    Who is this person? Can you post something please?

  • mp10mp10 Member Posts: 103
    My owner's manual is out in the car, but I know I read something about the inside hatch release not working if you have the remote key entry. Mine has never worked (the inside dashboard button).
  • mp10mp10 Member Posts: 103
    Besides my silver hatchback, there are 2 green sedans and one silver sedan in the parking lot where I work now. That wouldn't be unusual to say about a car like a Civic or Corolla, but to have 4 Foci already is surprising I think, and they all showed up in the last 3 months.
  • orlockorlock Member Posts: 25
    Ford and VW are having parts problems in general. Ford buys parts using projected figures. Ford seems to keep coming up short.

    A rubbery stickshift? I think of it as precision (in a bad way) shifting that clunks. The reverse gear stumped me for 5 minutes until I asked a lot boy to tell be how to go in reverse. A guy I work with got a sedan and his wife drove it. She called saying her transmission was broken. It ended up that she didn't know how to get it in reverse either. My '87 Escort had a clanking reverse (because it was dieing I think) but I had no trouble slaping it around.

    I agree, the cup holders should have been moved back from the dash.

    The seat belt is too far back. I like the active restraint system. My Escort was passive and kept getting in the way. They tend to hang up too.

    I don't mind the adjustment mirror on the passenger side. If it doesn't get banged around a lot, it's not going to be set very often. Power mirrors are about three times the cost.

    I'm 5'10" and had to raise the seat up just so I could see the front of the car. When I did that, I couldn't see the speedometer because the steering wheel was in the way. I don't want tilt steering (when they break its like steering with a wet noodle), so my dream car would have the gauges on top of the main dash. Some cars do this. Having a short front end improves the steering.

    No body roll for me and the speed was fine. It goes up some major grades without a problem. This thing is shooting for gas mileage, not power. Ford has the Mustang.

    Noise...not at 2500 rpm (the setting I like). In fact, that's what I use the gauge for since I can't hear (along with deaf drivers) the engine
    (I know I'm going to double start it a few times).

    So the guy cut himself in a vehicle.
    Just look at OJ Simpson and his cell phone. I'm sure people cut themselves in their Lexuses too.

    The seat doesn't bother me.
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    One must have the driver's side door open to open the hatch. It is a 'safety feature.' I have remote locks and the hatch release button located on the dash works while the driver's door is open. Try should work. Otherwise it is defective and should be fixed under warranty!!

    The review is fair, but I disagree about the seats. The seats are great.

    I think it is great that you have 2 foci! Mine is sangria red too!!

  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Hate to bite the hand that feeds us, but I wish the reviewer had done a bit more research before sitting down to write the review. Where did they get a ZX3 with rear disk brakes? Looking at the rear view picture, it appears from the amber turn signal lenses that they didn't test a US spec car - or is that just a different photo? Finally, they give the wrong tire size - 175/70 instead of 195/60. Get past these errors, and the basic article is okay, although a bit subjective.
  • mattozzi_ajmattozzi_aj Member Posts: 24
    I have found that the passenger doors must be UNLOCKED for the inside hatch release to work. Hope this helps.
  • zx3cdnzx3cdn Member Posts: 27
    I pick up my Sangria ZX3 tomorrow. I called the dealer and he said the cd/tape deck swap went ok and it's ready to go.

    Happy cruising everyone
  • gabegarwickgabegarwick Member Posts: 127
    Yes, please post a description when you receive them. Length and so on... Sounds like they might be alright for the price. (I wasn't going to pay $100 for carbon fiber ones)

    CD silver ZX3
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    our zx3 is in for hatch release repairs. i will feel like a complete dunce if they tell me that the door must be open for the button to operate! haha! i'll let everyone know what happens when we get her back later this afternoon:) if that is the case i guess one really can infer that it pays to read the owners manual... which i only glanced at.
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    Got a delivery right after i posted my last message! Our aftermarket 17x7 TSW SGV's just got here! LAST SET IN THE UNITED STATES (according to TSW and FocusSport! TOO COOL!!! Also Focus Sport H.O. Spark plug wires (blue...just for show we know), FocusSport.Com license plate frame!!!! I posted this earlier i think but i'll do so again. Focus Sport is a GREAT company to deal with. I highly recommend them! Tires should be coming any day! YIPEEEE!!!!!
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    I read it... decent. I liked the seats but my way larger friend felt pinched in by the side bolsters. As to back pain, I think adjustments are the clue. I drive a pickup so when I test drove, I cranked the seat all the way up. Soon found this was not actually the best postition for me so I cranked it back down and adjusted the back a little...voila!! I also agree that it would have been better to split the lower seat.

    WHy oh why did they have to mention even the possibility of head gaskets failing someday (my great fear)!!

    THanks for the congrats, I TRIED to catch a ride to my car last night but a third party screwed up. WIll try again tonight. Yipee!!!

    Funny to read of the Citroen on here, my dad is picking up a 2CV in Calif this week and driving back east with it. Geez, good luck dad.
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    dosn't that malibu blue look great in the review article? In person, I thought that blue was a little bit to "cerulean" (for you artists out there) and could have used a shot of cobalt. But in those pics it just looks great!!! I'm guessing that with the malibu and twilight blues, they were trying to "reserve" the more cobalty color for the cosworth or "R." in a year or two. Just as I suspect they are saving my precious zinc yellow for the future!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    There is a class action suit pending against Ford filed by owners of cars with the 3.8 liter V-6 engine. Apparently, this engine has suffered a very high failure rate for the head gaskets. I'm not aware of a similar problem with our Zetec engine.

    I agree about the blue - a cobalt blue would possibly have swayed me away from my silver car, and a bright yellow would have been too much to resist. The first ZX3 I ever saw was at the Houston Auto Show in January, and it was Malibu Blue. It is a "distinctive" color, I'll say that!
  • joea4joea4 Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a ZX3 last week (Silver). The car is really great! Finally a European car sold in the States that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg but is yet fun to drive and good looking.

    I agree with most of you that the reviewers are a bunch of “knuckle heads”. That is they do not compare things that are equal.

    - Engine, more that adequate power, remember 135lbs torque at 4250RPM, so have fun driving and don’t shift at 1800 shift between 3200 and 3800.
    - Stick is not “rubbery” did you ever drive a Civic?
    - Handling, just great.
    - Buy two for the price of a BMW 328

    For 13K you can’t beat quality, fun, excellent road manners and good looks.

    The only thing to should get extra is cruise control for those boring highway rides.
  • stoehr1stoehr1 Member Posts: 2
    i presently have a 93 festive and it has 345,000 on it, i still get 37 mpg on the highway with 3 1/2 cylinders still pumping. I am presently interested in buying a focus zx3 5 speed, but am concerned about the highway mileage 35mpg listed. All of my driving is on the 4 lane highway and i drive about 50 k miles a year. Can anyone help me on the actual highway mileage that they are getting on the focus with a manual transmission. I need this info as quick as someone can respond. I have to buy a new car very, very soon, thanks
  • infra_redinfra_red Member Posts: 7

    After 3000 miles my wife's 5sp ZX3 gets around 30mpg in a roughly 50/50 mix of highway/city driving. It will never be as high as an Aspire but you can't expect that with more than twice the horsepower (63 vs 130). Hope that helps!

  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    Ordered a loaded (black, parchment)SE W/5spd on 2/23. Spoke w/ dealer this afternoon and they now predict mid- to end-of-MAY. MAY! I knew there would be a delay but MAY! It's still March where I am.

    Ah! The FOCI two-step, entitled "Should I wait until May (June if there is another recall)" or "should I buy one off the lot>"

    Scene: On the phone with the sales manager.
    Dealer: I've got a silver SE with a 5-spd (sport no comfort, charcoal)."

    "No thanks, say I.

    "How about a ZTS, blue w parchment?"

    "A 5 Speed w/ ABS?" I inquire.

    "No, but we'll put in an ashtray."

    "Wow!" I exclaimed. "I'll rush right down there and pick it up."

    "Really?" He asks.


    I think this will either be a long wait or ...

    Sorry, just venting.

  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    Guess they have a right to their opinion. But the complaints sound like they are coming from my wife. I kept telling her to slide the seat forward and use the right seat back release. Also told her about the rear and front hand grabs above the windows. If she would use them it would be so much easier.

    And whats this about the brakes?

  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516

    Think I got model #'s mixed up. Can he drop it off in western NY. Would love to have one of those "ugly ducklings" So cute and indestrictable too! My son said there's one on Ebay. Have to check it out. BUT, I wouldn't trade my ZX3 for one.

  • espowariespowari Member Posts: 36
    BMW dealer got his head out of his "3rd point of contact" and said the part should be on today's truck.

    So the part number is correct!
  • catmomcatmom Member Posts: 42
    The owner's manual states that the hatch release will not work if you have central locks which are engaged. All you have to do is unlock the door and the hatch release should work. It also won't work if you are traveling over 4mph!
  • xquxqu Member Posts: 55
    After I got my recall done, the gas mileage goes up A LOT. I ususally got 27-31 before but my last two tanks (after the recall) got 35mpg (mostly highway with 70+mph) and 32mpg (stuck in traffic for more than 3 hours and moved about 20 miles, rest is 70+mph highway driving) So I'm thinking if I just drive at 65mph with no city driving, I might hit 37-39mpg. Keep in mind we have a 2.0L engine under the hood.
    I've got a 5 speed with 4700 miles.
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    our inoperable hatch problem was due to a faulty wiring assembly. they replaced it in about 1 hour. i had them check for oil leaks and/or spills.. remember we had a faint smell of oil buring after they changed the oil & filter. the official document (receipt) says ford service test drove and checked ..NTF NO PROBLEM FOUND. I haven't done any highway driving since they checked it but i did about 10 miles around town. I don't smell anything... I guess they cleaned off the oil they spilled! haha! happy motoring ZX3 friends! I bought a set of Rhino low profile ramps... from here on I'll change my baby's 'diapers' meself! out cruzin'?????
  • mp10mp10 Member Posts: 103
    We went to buy our 2nd Focus today - it only took an hour since it had the same options as mine and there wasn't much to discuss - except the new one has the CD player like it was supposed to - the salesman still gave us the $100 discount that I got on my car for the missing CD player, and even though the destination charge has gone up $20 (probably due to the cost of gas), I didn't pay that either. The Sangria Red is gorgeous too, it has a jewel like appearance. I hope my husband can get it home in once piece tomorrow morning...I told him I would ride shotgun to spot any wayward deer who might be thinking about crossing the road in front of us. Just kidding (sort of)...
  • mp10mp10 Member Posts: 103
    If you try to order something with the online form, there is no option for shipping to the US. m.p.
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    2 Focus family! I wish I could get my wife to warm-up to the Focus. She still cannot get used to the 'bold' looks as she calls them. We will be in the market by this winter and I was hoping to buy her one... a sedan. She saw my neighbors sedan and still can't 'accept' it. The Focus IS the best buy for the buck... bar none.
  • stoehr1stoehr1 Member Posts: 2
    what's all this noise i hear about parts not being available, and the suspension problems? What has ford done for you. What has the dealer said? Do you have a lemon law that allows you to return the car if the dealer can't fix the problem , or you can show excessive shop time.
  • rubberbanrubberban Member Posts: 37
    I finally got it. I love it. I wanna go out just so I can drive it around. I know there was discussion about the breaking in process and some of you have said that for the first 3000 miles you should try to refrain from revving it past 3000 rpm's (I have a 5 speed btw). I find that extremely hard to do. What do you all think about the breaking in process? Also my dealer told me to get my engine oil changed after 1000 miles so that all the loose inpediments can be flushed out. Would you guys recommend this? Maybe it's just because my car is black too but everytime I see drebe73's car on the yahoo club 'ford focus place' it gives me the creeps! It'll be a perfect weekend to drive my new zx3 here on long island.
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