Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Focus Hatchback ZX3 - Part X



  • bstreckebstrecke Posts: 5

    thanks for the encouragement about my zx3. has any heard of colored window tinting? i'm getting autumn orange and thought that getting my windows tinted to match might be cool. any comments, suggestions?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    I beg to differ, but all you have to do is remove a wheel and look at the information cast into the inner surfaces of the wheel spokes. When I removed my ZX3's wheels to install the EBC disc pads, I noted the wheel dimensions (15 x 6J) and offset (ET 42.5), as well as country of manufacture (Mexico) are clearly visible. If your car has 5.5 inch wide rims, that's rather odd.
  • moses5moses5 Posts: 61
    Now, I just got my car back after a week in the Shop. I wrote the president of Ford back in May about my dissatisfaction with their customer service and the dealerships handling of my complaint about suspension noise in the right rear--I heard creaking noises that accompanied changes in ride and handling.

    Well, they finally, had an engineer to look at it. Of course he or she did not find anything wrong, just as all the other dealer technicians.
    However, in during there test the found a problem with the front strut and replaced that instead of fixing the rear suspension. There explanation to me was that the strut noise in the front was echoing to the rear--yea right!!!

    So now my car has a new strut which I never knew was broken and a rear suspension that still needs fixing. I don't know what to do.

    I know others have heard this noise and I even mentioned to them a few others on this site express hearing similar things. I was told that I need to be careful about the info you here on such sites. Well that makes 2 repair attempts and 4 dealer visits. Ford stated that lemon law is 4 repairs to be declared a lemon. I like my car but am tired of dealing with this issue. I don't know if I would purchased this car again if given a choice!!

    I welcome any feedback.
  • moses5moses5 Posts: 61
    I ride looked at several tire size specs for the ZX3 and they all said 15 x 5.5. and 6.0 for the ZTS wheels. however I may be wrong.
  • powerslidepowerslide Posts: 48
    I saw an intersting article that every new driver (and a lot of older drives) should read. It deals with optimum driving position and hand placement on the steering wheel. Sounds like basic (boring) stuff, but it can make a BIG difference in emergency situations. Here is the link:, click on Basic infomation, then Driving Positions 101.
  • kerlandskerlands Posts: 3
    I FINALLY got brave and purchased the Kona edition last night. Needless to say, I'm still hyper-ventilating, asking myself, "What'd I do?" What a great car, full of zip and handles so well. Now, if I can just figure out what I'm going to do with the bike!
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    I took Edgar (that's my Z's name) in for its first service today. They were very friendly, put in 4 quarts as I asked (I'll top it off), were very quick and courteous...however...

    When I went to the cashier, she wanted to charge me $27 for my service. I bought the service plan (just didn't want to deal with it) so the charge should have been $0. That was quickly corrected. No biggie. Then I looked, and I couldn't find where they listed tire rotation on the invoice. I had reread the maintenance schedule, where it lists "Rotate Tires" as one of the 5000 mile services.

    I said to the manager, Tim, "Tim," I said,"I don't think you rotated the tires."

    To which he replied, "We don't rotate the tires yet."

    To which I replied, "It says here that you do."

    An he says, and this is a gem, "Yeah, but WE don't. We do it at 7,000 miles. Your next oil change."

    I felt like saying "Unless YOU aren't Ford, 'cause this is a Ford document, you DO." But instead I just pointed out that my next oil change was at 10,000.

    Anyway, they did it, but they wouldn't have, even though they had about 10,000 brochures that said they were supposed to. All happy now. Oil changed, filter changed, TIRES ROTATED, etc.

    Edgar is happy =]
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    I took a close look at the gas pedal.
    It's just one chunk of plastic with a cable attached through a hole. Never seen anything like this before.
    Clearly a cost cutting measure.
    Also, wonder about the outcome of your trip to the dealership on Monday. Please keep us posted.
  • jwkessler1jwkessler1 Posts: 99
    Here's a philosophical question for you.

    Over the years I've made a habit of not rotating my tires. Why you may ask? Because I would rather pay for my new tires two at a time then four at a time. When the front tires finally wear out I move the still like new rear tires to the front, and put the new tires on the rear. I'm guessing that over the long haul the average wear and cost is pretty much the same.

    So what's the hole in my logic? Is this a good idea or am I just an eccentric nut case?
  • rgarnerrgarner Posts: 37
    Sorry to hear what you're going through. I empathize with you totally. A couple of things:

    That comment about being weary of what you hear on these sites is a bunch of crap. I don't think anyone on here has any vested interest in making Ford look bad. Ford just doesn't want you to think that there could actually be a problem with your Z and a problem that is more widespread than your situation. Ford just wants to censor you from the truth, and that's just plain wrong.

    As far as Ford Motor Co., you can bet that they don't give a rat's a** about you or your situation. Ford is a huge multinational corporation, and their interest is purely financial. YOU are a monthly check to them. Don't kid yourself into thinking that they actually care about you. For example, they spend millions of dollars buying up ad space in Time magazine's Earth Day issue (to remind us how environmentally friendy they are), and make those great "world" commercials, but then they introduce the Bolivian Troop Carrier (aka Excursion), not exaclty a step towards environmental stewardship. So, it's doubtful that Ford is going to go out on a limb to help you.

    I recommend that you one, document all of this. The letters you've sent, service you've had, discussions with your dealer, Ford, mechanics, everything. Depending on where you live the lemon law will go into effect after a couple of services, so why not get your Z checked out 2 more times. If they can't fix it, boom, it's a lemon. Remember, YOU are the customer, and you have the right to have a car that works according to your desires and what is reasonable. If your dealer refuses to service your car take it to another dealer. If Ford Motor Co. refuses to service your car, seek litigation.

    And that brings me to the last step you could or should take. In most states the Attorney General's office handles the lemon law and other consumer complaints. Don't hesitate to contact the AG should Ford stonewall you.

    Just my thoughts, but I strongly believe that you should do what you can to have your problem fixed. Like I said, you are the consumer.

    Hope that helps...
  • powerslidepowerslide Posts: 48
    Sounds like the sales manager is a jerk.
  • powerslidepowerslide Posts: 48
    Sorry, make that service manager.
  • moses5moses5 Posts: 61
    I must say that the Assistant Service Manager was nice to me. More personable than the last sevice advisor and manager. However, overall I don't think service departments really care about your complaints. It seemed as if I was just a routine thing. Everything comes down to money. If I had bought a Lincoln LS or more expensive brand, I believe I would have had a different response from the beginning.

    My case is hard to prove, now that a Ford engineer, not the dealership service people has looked at my vehicle. I have had my ZX3 for 7 months. I have over 12,000 miles on my car and have been dealing with this since 4,000 miles. I wonder what will happen the day after my warranty runs out?
  • jimjetjimjet Posts: 27
    My story: One car I own is an '86 Accord (bought new) with 5-spd. I changed the MT fluid for the first time at about 90K miles. That was definitely overdue (maintenance manual says about 50K) as it had the stinky overdue smell to it! I replaced the fluid with Mobil1 15W-50 Synthetic engine oil. It took about 2.5 qts. That was 5 years ago. It's been shifting smoothly ever since - notably so during cold weather. No leaks.
    Someone here posted a week or so ago that, on the Contour board, there were many MT problems noted. As the happy owner for 6 months of a 2000 Mystique with V6 and 5 speed, I haven't noticed that and I'm quite satisfied with the shifting and the clutch.
    I'm mostly just "listening" here because I'm a car/ZX3 fan. To me, the Z is more car for the money that a Civic Hatch and a comparable car to the VW Golf Hatch for less money.
    By the way, are the Z and the Golf built near each other in Mexico?
  • tr4racertr4racer Posts: 5
    Driving home from work last nite, the engine died at a stop light and would not restart. The car was towed to the dealer.

    The fuel pump went out. Dealer says the part will be in Monday as he had to get the part from Ford. We shall see!
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    jwkessler1- one can certainly be an eccentric nut
    case and logical at the same time. actually,i find
    it makes life more i ask,does this
    sound logical ? or does this sound like an eccentric nut case? by the way ,i agree with you .
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    But when the tires are worn at different rates, it significantly affects handling characteristics...
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Posts: 516
    Stopped on way home to wash ZX3 yesterday. After leaving car wash I noticed a black Kia Sportage following me. Two blondes in it. They followed me all the way home. Drove by about 3 times. My wife told me NO, I couldn't keep them. Darn!
  • jwkessler1jwkessler1 Posts: 99
    togneter - Good point. I do monitor wear and replace tires before they get too nasty. Also I don't typically push the car so hard that minor changes in handling characteristics would be much of an issue.

    What works ok for me might not be a good thing for everyone. On the otherhand folks who drive moderatly, avoid the weekend motorcross events, and don't have piles of cash sitting around waiting to be spent, might want to consider my practice.
  • zx3zx3 Posts: 167
    Since your z has had good luck with it, I too will dump my Mercon ATF fluid out -- and change to "Redline MTL" synthetic transmission fluid for my 5-spd tranny.
    Those few z owners who mention having occasional faint tranny-noise, should give it a try also -- since Redline synthetic is supposed to make transmissions quieter and smoother. (2 quarts won't bankrupt anyone).
    Is it available in Walmart, or auto stores, or do you have to contact vendor?
    Does anyone have a link to Redline? Thanks.
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    I'll feed them and walk them and clean them and...oh dear...this is a family program. We'll stop at clean them... =]
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    they didnt realize you said focus.
  • focuszx3rfocuszx3r Posts: 92
    Anybody got the part # on the k&n filter for the ZX3?
    ps- My ZX3 is back from the body shop, looks better then the day I got it off the lot!
  • domingos34domingos34 Posts: 27
    i just got my silver far so good.not a problem.automatic,power locks,ac.paid $13900 for it.was it to much.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    You will probably have to go to a performance parts shop, or high-end accessory shop to find Redline locally. I usually order mine from one of several mail order vendors, like Eurasian Parts in Temecula, CA.

    Loved the comment re: "focus", zx3beast. Family program, indeed.
  • ottosottos Posts: 80
    Hello, Focus owners. I am considering a Zx3 myself, and I was wondering how it compares with Honda Civic Si, or VW GTI GLX, disregarding the difference in price. I like the idea of getting a $17k or $22k experience for $13k.

    Let me share my knowledge about breaking in a car and general car care with the newbie car owners (enthusiasts in the case of ZX3 owners). My qualifications for giving such advice are: I read a lot of technical and auto repair literature, do my own car repair, have a mechanical engr. degree and I work at Ford. Consequently, I know very little about things besides cars, hehe.

    Anyway, just follow the owner's manual about break-in period and technique. In general, cars are broken-in the same way. Light braking, light acceleration, varied speed, keep RPM under 3500. First oil change after ~3000 miles, then follow the owner's manual.

    Same goes for maintenance. Follow the owner's manual. No need for excessive oil changes, excessive being every 3000 miles. You're beating a dead horse by changing it so often. No need for synthetic oils either, unless specified.

    Tip: When having trouble shifting into reverse, go into fourth or 5th gear, then shift. By doing this, you are stopping the layshaft from spinning. Sometimes you have to move the car in neutral too, to line up the reverse-gear's teeth. Shifting into reverse should be easy and quiet.

    Some safe driving tips:
    - Practice emergency braking somewhere safe. That is, not locking the wheels and maintaining that limit. It's like balancing yourself. It is called threshold braking. Do this in dry and rain (quite important to know the limits of your car in the rain, b/c the limit is more easily exceeded).
    - Practice circling your car as fast as possible until your tires make noise, to know the limits of your car. Do this in both dry and rain. Be safe about it of course (a wide open smooth parking lot).
    - Practice scanning your eyes far ahead, assessing the traffic, planning your path, preparing for emergency stopping.
    - Check the tire pressures, especially after tire work. Those guys often overinflate it, which can be dangerous for handling and braking.
    - These tips are from race car driving, and apply to road driving as well.

    Less important tips:
    - Don't be scared to rev the engine to near- redline after ~2000 miles break-in. It's fun too.
    - Do not accelerate hard while the steering wheel is turned all the way. It wears out the drive shaft joints.
    - Do not overfill the oil
    - Do the easy maintenance yourself if you can! Like oil change (to avoid overfilling), brake pads, tire rotation (to avoid over-torquing the wheel nuts).

    You must be a budding enthusiast to have read this far, hehe. What do you think?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Most of your points are well-taken, but I don't agree with your views re: oil change intervals and use of synthetics. Most people use their cars under conditions generally referred to as "severe service" (stop and go, short trips without adequate warmup, etc.), so I've always used "3000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first", as my rule of thumb on oil and filter changes. I, too, have an engineering degree, and several friends who are lubricant chemists (one at Mobil, another at Pennzoil). Their advice, and my personal experience with race and competition engines has made me a believer in synthetic lubricants.
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Posts: 516
    Gotta go with silver bullet on the oil issue. Infact just read a article in paper by triple A that most vehicles are driven under severe service conditions. Stop and go and short trips. This is especially true of commute to work travel. I get in my ZX3 in the morning, travel about 2 miles, with only 3 stops, at 30 mph, then hit expressway at 65/70 mph for about 30 miles. This is an ideal situtation.

    The important thing to me is that I want instant oil circulation. Would like the oil coating everything inside motor before I turn the key, but that isn't possible, so synthetic is the next best to this. Plus from everything technical that I read, synthetic appears to hold up best under severe conditions. And its pour point is excellent for the upstate New York winters.

    Thanks Otto and Silver Bullet,

  • drebe73drebe73 Posts: 243
    I appreciate all the input you have givon on my shifter problem. I just want to let you know that this started after 2500 miles on the car. I had no problem unill just last week. Now the shifter gets stuck in 1st,or reverse and also gets stuck in netural trying to shift into reverse or first. I end up stalling the car when i cant shift out of reverse. Also I noticed a few times that if im stopped at a light and I have the clutch depressed and im in 1st gear and my foot on the break the car just wants to go. If I lift my foot off of the break slightly the car starts going w/o gas and I don't mean slightly it feels like it wants to take off.
    I know how my car behaves normaly and these two occurances are not normal. Oh plus they still havent fixed the loose window or ratlling sound.
This discussion has been closed.