Ford Focus Hatchback - ZX3 - Part V



  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    I drove a focus last week that just came in. Couldn't help but try the diagnostic mode on the odometer after a couple of clicks got E0009. Could it be this mean it's not done or does it mean its been done.Hmmm?
    Parsa - try and see if that code is in your diagnostic readout. If it is, the dealer probably punched in the code to indicate that the injector was replaced.
  • stanky73stanky73 Member Posts: 14
    I know I saw a post here about these things but I can't seem to find it. I want to paint the brakes on my ZX3 since you can see them so well through the 5 spoke wheels. Can someone recommend a type of paint that will hold up to the heat at a reasonable cost? I am looking for a bright yellow color ideally. I also wish to get rid of some of the water noise heard in the back wheelwells when it is raining. What type/brand of undercoating is best for this and its costs? Feel free to email me at: [email protected]
    Thanks in advance,
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Joe, the main body of the caliper is yellow cad plated, and should resist corrosion quite well - don't paint over this plating. the caliper bracket is the part that gets a light coating of surface rust, since it is left unpainted by the factory. This bracket, and any other suspension pieces for that matter, can be painted with a good quality high temp spray paint available at any auto parts store. VHT is a very good brand, and is commonly found at motorcycle shops. I've also seen "caliper paint" in a rainbow of colors available from some of the vendors that advertise in Sport Compact Car - this is also a VHT product, I believe.

    One word on undercoating over the felt-like inner fender linings at the rear - DON'T. Ford chose an odd material for this area, but they did so for a reason - probably having more to do with noise supression than cost. Applying a rubberized or asphaltic undercoat over this material would not be a great idea. I'd say live with the noise, or try installing Dynamat under the carpet if it really drives you nuts - or get a Focus sedan ;-)
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Check out the April 3, 2000 issue of AutoWeek for their AutoFile In Brief on the ZX3. It is very interesting to compare stats with a similar report on the Neon and Echo in this same issue. AutoWeek lists 0-60 in 9.14 seconds, lateral acceleration at 0.81g, and 60-0 braking in 130 ft.
    For dislikes, they name "uncomfortable seats" and "mushy shifter". Funny, I love the seats (I'm 6'5"), and while the linkage is a little light and throws are on the longish side, I'd never call it "mushy". Oh well...
  • cefurodcefurod Member Posts: 72
    Anybody know if it's possible to get a lock installed for it? I want to install a md changer in it and would feel safer if it could be hidden and locked.
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    For those interested:
    Getting 28.5 mpg at last fill up. About 5500 miles on ZX3 with automatic. This is after recall fix. This is better than right after the fix when I was only getting 26 mpg. Before the fix I was getting 28/29 and got over 30 on a weekend trip to Virgina. Don't know why pressure sensor affected the mpg, but it did in my opinion.

    My normal driving conditions are 60 round trip daily to work (expressway) at abt 70 mph and a mix of city/highway trips on top of that. Am still tending to push it as I love the sound of the motor. You'd think at my age I'd be over that, but there's something about a good sounding car.

  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    Got my second coat of polish on her this past weekend. Looks great even in the rain. Reflects like a mirror, better at night. Igor Parsadanov's XZ3 has a fantastic finish too! Check out his site; you can find address at post 313.

    I used ZAINO polish. You can find info and opinions about it under maint./repair Conference here at Townhall.

  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    Pat, what's the difference between polish and wax? Do you do it yourself? Anybody thought of anything to prevent or avoid the inevitable rock chips? (I hate masks) They do sell them now though for those who like them. At Ford owner connection, go to and click on accessories. They have the bike rack on there too. It is overpriced, I think.
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    Wax is just that, wax; which turns yellow over time. The zaino is a show car polish, optically clear. It is a synthetic product, which is long lasting. I did it myself. Go up to Search and type in Zaino and click on go. It's also in Womens Auto.

    Paint chips: Found out Lund makes a contoured bug deflector for the Focus. Waiting to picture of it. Also found a clear mask. Posted site on Focus aftermarket.

  • p345spdp345spd Member Posts: 24
    Am I wrong in saying silver bullet, that a 1999 contour w/ the dohc 16V rated at 125 horses will beat the focus? I've seen times for that contour of 8.8 and lower. Plus the contour weighs more.

    Can someone explain it/ Or are the ponies leanving the barn.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    p345spd, lots of factors influence acceleration tests, such as who does the driving, how much the car is "abused" during the run, the weather and track conditions, miles on the test car, etc. etc. What is the gearing on the Contour? If you have two equal cars, except one has a low final drive ratio (like a 3.24) and the other has a high ratio (like a 4.11), the 4.11 car will run away and hide from the car with the 3.24 -- at least up to a certain speed when the engine in the 4.11 equipped car is maxxed out. You have to take all magazine test figures with a grain of salt, since they vary so widely.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    ...and often damage the finish, too. Tickbitty, other than only driving on empty roads, the best you can do is keep a good coat of wax on the front of your car (for another discussion of polishes vs. waxes, see the excellent product website at, don't follow too closely, don't drive behind large trucks, and hand wash your car so you can keep a sharp eye for any new chips - touch them up carefully using the paint stick available at the dealer.
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • spdplayspdplay Member Posts: 12
    check this site out for some nuts driving pix of our beloved foci!

    to the person posting about other tips, i put on the Borla Turbo Tip and love it. it sticks out about 2 inches for that stinger look and it merely a "ti-me-over" until my custom pipes are finished.
  • focuszx3rfocuszx3r Member Posts: 92
    I ordered my Focus about 5 weeks ago and have heard nothing. When do they give you the VIN number? Also, rubicon, how long ago did you order your car? What options did you get (I got none)??
    Thanx for any info you guys can give
  • catmomcatmom Member Posts: 42
    Has anyone had occasion to use Ford's Roadside Assistance? If so, what kind of experience did you have? I've had AAA for years and it is time to renew. Seems silly to have two coverages if all things are equal.
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    As you all have read (many times, unfortunately) my car has been in the shop for many weeks (8)due to a simple little car accident. I am uncertain at this time when I am getting it back.

    I am considering to trade it in for a mid-sized Saturn LS1. It is a very dull car, but at least I feel that Saturn will not leave me out in the cold like Ford has done.

    I really like the Focus, but my taste in my mouth has really soured this past week. I am totally disheartened.

    Should I go with a Saturn LS-1?

  • hotx3hotx3 Member Posts: 71
    Catmom: Our van's fuel pump when out when we were checking out the ACOE campground outside of Abique NM. Very nice cg people got our trailer parked. AAA and some similar RV service (since dropped)were no help, but Ford sent a tow truck 30+ miles an took the van to a dealer who had it fixed in two days (had to order part). Had to get a ride from ACOE area manager, but we had our van fixed at no cost. I like AAA for discounts and planning, but Ford delivered in a pinch.
  • zx3cdnzx3cdn Member Posts: 27
    My zx3 now has 160 miles on it. In 4th at about 35mph the rpm is at 1800. When holding a steady speed it seems to hesitate. Anyone notice this. Also I've tried holding the trip button while starting the car and nothing happens. Could someone please post the exact procedure. The dealer didn't say anything about the recall and I registered on ownerconnection and can't find where it says if the recall affects my car. Please help again.

    Thanks guys (and girls)
  • silverzx3silverzx3 Member Posts: 40
    Go for the Subaru 2.5 RS. It is really a fun car and is just underrated here in America. 165 HP and a ton of bottom end torque. The AWD and very flat torque curve of the 4 cycl. "boxer" engine makes it a great sport compact in any road conditions. By the time they have a Focus R I will be tired of the body style. If rumors are true the first performance varient of the Focus will be a N/A 2.0 Zetec warmed over for 170 H.P. with bigger wheels and tires for about 20k. Sorry for just under 20 I can get a 2.5 RS w/ AWD It might be different if there is a 220 H.P. Turbo

  • gpsgps Member Posts: 4
    Agree w/ Scott on the Suburu. Also, I liked the Saturn LSs, esp the LS2 and the LW2. The dealerships are always great in PR. The cars are not terribly sophisticated, but are reasonably good values for the money. Also consider the Sentra and the Echo. This is a great site. Sorry about your car and Ford treatment
    2000 Celica GTS (my 5th Celica-can't help it!)
  • silverzx3silverzx3 Member Posts: 40
    The new Celica is awesome looking, the rear end is a little bland but the front blows our Foci away. I have test drove Saturns and they always seem to have low HP and a very harsh and noisy engines. They seem very "vanilla" or plain to me.

    Good luck.

    I do not blame you for being upset about your Focus. The people who have had accidents have me scared [non-permissible content removed] about having one. This is my first Ford, First Hatchback, and first 4 cyclinder. I would be wigging out if Ford left me hanging like yourself.

  • rubiconrubicon Member Posts: 12
    I've been quoted a 2 week time from build date to dealership. Apparently it only takes 4 hours to build the car to your options.

    I "ordered" my car from in January. The dealer said he already had a car ordered and that he could change the options on that car to my liking. What I wanted was: ABS, A/C, Tilt/tele, floor mats. What they apparently built for me was: ABS, A/C, speed control, air bags, keyless remote entry.

    My price before fees was 12,120, which is just plain impossible to get locally.
  • rvtex1rvtex1 Member Posts: 23
    Thanks rubicon for phone # tip on tracking order. My dealer sent order confirmation back to me but it has no build/delivery date. I E-mailed owner connection, took 3 days to thank me for my e-mail and another 3 for actual response. The actual response was worthless, they suggested I check with my ordering dealer. 7 days to get a worthless answer. Are we still in the Model A days? I thought we were in the instant information days.
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    I also had a hard time finding the recall info on ownerconnection. BUT, you go to the main page, then there are 3 "file folder tabs" on the top, the one on the left reads "maintaining your vehicle." go in there, the recall link is in the left hand column.

    Norwaydoug, I was suspecting that by asking if you should buy a new car in this forum, you were expecting us to talk you out of it! I know you love your car. I know you and drebe and everybody else has a right to be royally pissed at Ford. They have screwed up. I'd be pissed too. But this is a great car, and look at the popularity it has and is going to have. If this is really the "world car" they are aiming at, they are going to make so many that the parts issue has GOT to catch up, right? It's got to. Don't forget this is still a new car, 2000, and we're only 3 months into 2000. Good luck, and we are pulling for you.
  • hkoenen2hkoenen2 Member Posts: 70
    What are you talking about tickbitty? The Focus has been in the market for well over 6 months and there is no excuse for not having the parts available.

    Norwaydoug, they good point about trading in now is that you should get a good trade in for it since the car seems to be in high demand and your mileage is low. Let us know what you get on the trade if you decide to go that route. I may be right behind you on trading it in.
  • stanky73stanky73 Member Posts: 14
    Thanks silver_bullet! But couldn't I take the felt inner fender linings off in the back and then spray under them, then put the linings back in? Would that do anything for the water noise?

    Thanks again,
    [email protected]
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    I have to say that Ford has been manufacturing this car for numerous months and I feel that they should have parts available. Currently, I need an abs ring (a single part) and I have been waiting for exactly 8.5 days for it. This is not acceptable.

    Also, the insurance company of the person who hit me...will not pay for my extended use of a rental car. They are going to make me pay. I can't blame them.

    I am going to call my dealer and tell them Ford must pay. I will see how that goes.

    So for me, owning a Focus causes me financial pain, embarassment---my friends are speechless and it also irritates the heck out of me!

    I would hate to sell my Focus. When and if I get it back...I will just let myself 'cool off' a bit and then make a decision.

    Saturn appeals to me only because customer service should be better. A LS-1 average car.

    I am 6 ft 3 inches tall and the Subaru and the 2000 celica are just too small. Focus is awesome for me---one of many reasons why I like it.

    Thanks for the comments. Absolutely, I am looking for comments.

  • gabegarwickgabegarwick Member Posts: 127
    Hey! I was thinking of putting a MD changer in my ZX3! Didn't think anybody else would want to spend the money for it. (for that matter, not many people use MD). I can't see any reason why a lock can't be put in the door. (don't you lock your doors?)

    What brand and model MD changer are you getting? I imagine it should fit, but have you double-checked measurements?

  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    Hey Man you have to make yourself happy, I am just as mad and have gotten not sympathy from Ford. Im waiting for 2 more parts and it will be done. I wish I could afford to trade it in I just cant afford to be upside down. The Funny thing is I would probably trade it for an all power ZX3.

    I just bought a mindisc recorder/player and I just love it. I have the cd changer which i bought for my car that had a cassette stereo, so I was thinking about selling it and buying a MD changer since the ZX3 has a cd player. Just an Idea I was throwing around. Just be sure that the changer you buy will fit in the glovebox. I can't remember what the glove box in the car is like but im sure it will need to be mounted on a flat and stable surface. You know how some glove boxes are a drawer that tilts down I dont know if that would be good. I still think mounting to the floor of the car somewhere would be best. Or how about attached to the center console, between the front seats? Cant remember if there is enough room there. you might lose the use of the rear cup holder. I will decided myself if im going to install the changer when and if I get my car back.
  • zx3guyzx3guy Member Posts: 9
    Here are some odd-n-ends I thought you'd be interested in:

    MPG: The May 2000 issue of Automobile Magazine says that their long-term test Focus (a 5-sp ZTS) achieved 29.3 mpg after three months (4472 miles) of service.

    Tires: I recieved an email from Ford of Canada stating that the 2001 model ZTS will come with standard 16" wheels & tires. It made no mention of the availablity of the 16-inchers for the ZX3....

    MISC: Well, I ordered my twilight blue ZX3 on February 7th (the day the Comfort group was first available), and expect delivery in late May. It's a little scary reading posts from drivers who are already looking to trade-in their Foci. Just so you know, my car dealer (who happens to be a good friend of mine) tells me that Ford expects to be producing enough foci(& parts) to match consumer demand by August. The problems with servicing and parts is only temporary, people! Ford isn't interested in leaving customers out in the cold...
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Don't mind me (NorwayDoug), you'll love your car. I am expecting my car on Monday, however, I am away for a week in Memphis and won't miss it anyways. I hope to have dinner with Elvis. I am currently waiting on a confirmation.

    It's a great car. I just wish I wasn't burned, but I am hanging in there. I am uncertain if I am keeping it or getting rid of it. It is solely due to Ford's lousy service. I expected much better service. Customer Service is so unresponsive and of no value in my particular case.

    I'll say it again....You will love your ZX-3!!

  • ragtop99ragtop99 Member Posts: 33
    The Saturn LS1 is the new, bigger model, right?
    You should have no problem getting parts for the new Saturn. They are selling so poorly the plant has been shut down 3 times since the start of production.

    Being tall, I would consider looking at the Honda Prelude. I drove one last week. The drivers seat goes an incredible distance back. Much more so then any car I have ever driven. Tons of leg room.
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    Hey Norway Doug,
    My neighbor's brand new Saturn rolled backwards out his driveway, across street, thru my side lawn and into my tree about 100 feet from road. All this happened while the Saturn was in first gear and brake on. It had been parked over night. He took it back to dealer and got no answer on how it could happen. It is a very slight grade.

    I'm not knocking Saturn. Even considered one, but liked the ZX3 better. But I do like the plastic fenders and doors with their memory.


    PS: I don't think the ZX3 is that much in demand, at least where I live. Here in Western New York State there are lots of them on the dealers lots (most with automatics), and not a lot on the road. In my travels I see sedans and a few wagons but very few ZX3s (so few I can count them on one hand for a two month period). I get looks like I'm driving something from outer space. People still ask "Who makes it?" even after seeing Ford emblem. The dealers seem to be hiding them out back and not advertising them. Maybe they are holding off because of the parts shortage thing.
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    norway... don't do it. if you're really that ticked off ( and i know you are ... i have been there) write nasser or someone high up in Ford. I bet they give you a brand spanking new Focus before they let you go elsewhere. And that would be good business if they did it. I mean whats a couple thousand bucks to Ford? Love my ZX3!
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    Just received a recall notice in the mail from Ford and they state it should only be a half day job. Mine took less than an hour. Also, they are authorizing your dealer to supply a loaner for free if they cannot fix it while you wait.
    Bottom line: If your car needs the recall fix you will be notified by mail.
    As for trading in your ZX3? Don't do it! Every time you see a ZX3 on the road you will eat your heart out. Hang in there.
  • hatchqueenhatchqueen Member Posts: 27
    Did I hear you right? Did your dealer quote you two weeks from build date to his lot? If so he's definitely suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Norway: you're damed if you do, and damned if you don't, fgaydos is right, you'll kick yourself every time you see one. I pre ordered the Feb. options on Jan 15, and the car is in limbo, supposedly built but eternally en route. I heared that some workers down south must actually push the car on foot all the way to the boarder.
  • rubiconrubicon Member Posts: 12

    My dealer basically told me that it takes 4 hours to build the car (not sure if thats including options and stuff but either way I reckon it takes less than 24 hours to build the car to completion). It takes another week or two to get it shipped from Mexico to CA. In theory it seems completely logical to me.

    I talked to my dealer today and he had nothing to say about the delay in build time. He then offered me another ZX3 which had just come in today and I "took it". We'll see if I really get my hands on it or if pulls a fast one again.
  • torinopaddytorinopaddy Member Posts: 55
    Hi all,
    I have just bought what you guys refer to as a ZX3, though over here (Italy) it's just another Focus. I went for the new 2.0 Zetec ESP (Electronic Stability Program) model and can't wait to get my hands on it. Wait I must though, as I have to sort out the financing before they will give me the keys. My old Peugeot 205 is dying on its wheels, so I can't get this car too soon. I dropped by the Ford dealers on Saturday and he had three on hand so I put a down payment on one and have spent the time since figuring out how to pay off the rest! The bank said they would need 15 days to clear the deal, which means at least plus some documentation which means it will be three weeks before I get my paws on the steering wheel. Happy to join the club!
  • mp10mp10 Member Posts: 103
    Gee...the Ford dealership here (US) took my husband's loan application and was back about 10 minutes later and said everything's fine, great credit, sign on the dotted. I suppose they don't care because if a customer turns out to be a deadbeat, Ford Corporate Finance has to deal with it, not the dealership. WHAT A COUNTRY!!!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    I don't know what you'll find if you pull off the one-way push on fasteners and peek under the felt. Take a look, but be very careful applying undersealing anywhere near the exhaust parts. If I were you, I'd just live with the extra noise & wait to see if Ford happens to redesign those unusual rear wheel arch liners.
  • zx3brizx3bri Member Posts: 11
    Torinopaddy - Last year, before the ZX3 was released in this country, I seriously considered buying a 1989 Peugeot 405 MI16, one of the few Peugeots sold in this country, along side the 505. Anyhow, I am just interested to hear how you enjoy the ZX3 in comparison with the Peugeot. I noticed a lot of similarities in terms of performance and handling.

    15 days for credit approval, though? That is an outrage. I'm not sure that I would have done if I hadn't been approved on the spot. Perhaps we Amercians are a bit too "credit happy," though.
  • eyefieyefi Member Posts: 5
    Greeting fellow foci owners, been reading the post for the past week, just got my silver ZX3 friday after about 9 a week wait. It was well worth the wait! I'am a former Porsche owner {924} and have a Honda SI from a friend to make direct comparisons. I think we struck gold here guys! I keep on telling everyone its all relative to what you actually paid for the car. About 12k here in Florida with air. With Ford 4.9% tax tile tag mine Came to 13.8k, My friend SI 20k with tax etc. but Honda has this creative financing, he's paying 450 month 4yrs and then has to pay them 5k!
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    The figures were just released by the State for the deer kill last year in Penn.
    378,592 deer were shot last year!
    That does not include the 45 thousand killed running into autos last year and costing 80 million dollars!!
    They are adding another deer season, hoping to get the kill up to 400,000 this year.
    Besides the auto being destroyed, they are killing the forest and eating farmers out of house and farm.
    Now we are having a Bobcat problem, must be eating all the deer.:>)
  • silverzx3silverzx3 Member Posts: 40
    Available 03/29/00 K&N replacement air filter for your stock airbox

    K&N # 33-2819 suggested retail 39.96

  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • focusfanaticfocusfanatic Member Posts: 42
    hey, does anyone know where you get those stickers that all those custom/tuner cars have displaying the brands of equipment theyve got on their car? I just want little subtle ones. Do they come with a purchase of certain companies products? If so, do you have to specify the color? (black wont show up on black, but white wont show up on white) I havent really checked into it, so its probably just as simple as asking when you order something. Is it? Anyone know?
  • imsoyboyimsoyboy Member Posts: 34
    Good Morning Everyone...

    Just a few quick comments.

    Saw a fellow hatchling owner the other day. Not the stereotypical owner...late 60's. Extremely happy to see another. Honking his horn, waving and smiling...That really made my day!

    NorwayDoug, I owned a 95 Saturn SL2. I'm not trying the knock them but their customer service is not all they say it is. They have a deal 30 days or 1,500 miles and if your not happy with the car they will take it back no questions asked. Well, we have about 10 major problems with the car (knick in steering column, defective rack & pinion,defective shock towers,etc..) within 10 days and only 250 miles. Basically after a lot of fighting and threats we got a brand new car, but still had problems with that car. Maybe it was our dealership, not sure...but the letter to the head office in Spring Valley got us an extended warranty to five years. Needless to say we traded in the car and are very happy to NOT be Saturn owners.

    Have a good day all!
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    Check out Consumer Reports write up of the Saturn before you buy. Not a glowing review!
This discussion has been closed.