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Ford Focus ZX3



  • Rotor warping problems causing them to be replaced is a major quality issue with many American and foreign car makes. My brake rotors had to be replaced at 30K, due to no fault of my own.

    Brake quality has deteriorated for various reasons. Shorter replacement cycles are common these days.

    Again, there's nothing wrong some of us are doing.
  • I had a 99 Ranger and had to replace the front brakes and the front rotors at around 45K. Replacement of brakes depends on the driving style, traffic, and the type of tranny (I leased 2 escorts with manuals and never had a brake problems, but I would slow the car by downshifting and letting the tranny slow it down, that would cause less brake wear I suppose).

    I just purchased a 2002 ZX3 Premium w/Auto (my wife doesn't drive a stick and with metro traffic I wouldn't even think of driving a manual) out the door for $11,500. No problems yet, but I have noticed a dragging noise coming from the passenger side front area when the window is down, anyothers with similar noises?

  • I should have mentioned that all my vehicles were equipped with a manual transmission.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,023
    A newspaper journalist is looking to speak with Ford Focus owners by Monday, September 16 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on your vehicle with a national audience, please contact me at with your name, daytime contact information, line of work and city/state of residence.
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    PR Director


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  • Hi. This looks like my first ZX3 problem (other than the recalls). Any experience with this one? My rear wiper washer has stopped functioning. I have fluid (I assume it sucks from the same fluid tank as the front washers.)

    Thanks for any help.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You may also want to ask (copy/paste) your question your question in our Ford Focus ZX3 problems & Solutions discussion. Good luck in finding a solution.



    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards

  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    I've been away from this board for several months and have just recently been reading through back msgs. and came across a question I posted but which was never answered. I now have the answer. The body side mouldings are attached w/ adhesive AND with several "set holes" into the body of the vehicle itself. I always hated the black mouldings so I had mine painted the same colour as the car. Much more cohesive appearance, IMO.
    As for mileage.... at 10,000 miles I still get only 28mpg. I get 28 city and 28 hwy (usually) (although once I did get 31mpg on a long trip). Odd the mileage doesn't change much, eh?
    No mechanical (or other) problems so far, knock wood.
  • I've been one of the lucky owners of a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3. It's been awhile since I've posted to this board... I can't remember the last time I visited, it's been that long.

    Maybe because I've had no problems to report. Routine maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, filters and wiper blades). After 35,000 miles and two and a half years of ownership, it's been a nice little car. I imagine it's coming up for its first brake replacement, considering all the brake problems reported. I live in a metro area, but I admit I drive conservatively, usually. On a weekend, I'll take it for a day trip to the mountains just to enjoy the car and get away from bumper to bumper type driving.

    Gas mileage is average and typical for this car, but then I go with the flow of traffic. On the open road, that's 65mph or better. I average the 31mpg on the highway, but the mileage drops quite a bit around town.

    2000 ZX3 Autumn Orange - Auto, Anti-lock
  • Hey! Glad to see you're still around. Good to hear things are going well for you.
  • Hi there, just checking in and saying how happy I've been with my 2002 ZX3. Got the car for $10,448 after $2500 rebate so I think I got a great deal on the car itself. I just have a question about the maintenence plan I purchased for $920 (4 year 45,000 mile). Has that plan been worth it for everyone who purchased it? I also have the option of purchasing a 7 year 100,000 mile extended warranty for around $700 from my credit union. that I haven't made my mind up either. Thanks for reading this!

  • Hello i have to say that my zx3 has been doing very good and i'm happy about that .I have a 2001 zx3 with all the toys on it and auto trans, with 25,000 miles on it now .The more miles i put on it the better it runs .
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I thought some of you might find this interesting: Ford Focus Gets Primo Warranty.



    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards

  • Regarding brake wear, as I stated, the service manager of my dealership stated the mileage on the pad replacement was about average for the foci's they see.
    My previous vehicle was a Toyota pickup 1989, and my first pad replacement was at 75k mi.
    I have a mileage Question though maybe someone can answer. Why does the city mi. jump 4 mpg from 22 city to 26 city on the later models?
    My 2000 usually averages the 22, for a 2 liter 4cyl./auto . My guess is they changed the chips in the engine cpu. or changed the shift points in the tranny.
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    I, too, would be interested in knowing if ford has changed chips in the cpu or t/mission shift points. IYO, would the change of chip benefit older foci?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I had a 2000 and 2001, put about 7,000 miles on each, but sold each due to problems. Ford, by the way, is nice at the dealers, but doesn't really do much to fix problems, unlike Japanese dealers who think your complaints are legitimate and promptly fix them.

    Anyway, twice bitten, you'd think I'd learn, but maybe Ford is getting the bugs out, and the ZX3 was one of the best cars I'd ever driven - ride, handling, comfort, noise, acceleration, and spaciousness.

    So, talk me out of it or into it. A 2003, yeah or nay. I have time - I'd wait until the rebates are juicy again. $500 right now on 2003's doesn't cut it, but Ford has tons of 2002 they are still trying to clear out.

    FYI, the "warranty" is now significantly better, and supposedly the car is quiete, with either better mounts or more sound insulation. Opinions from anybody who has driven a 2003 would help, too.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    "Ford, by the way, is nice at the dealers, but doesn't really do much to fix problems, unlike Japanese dealers who think your complaints are legitimate and promptly fix them."

    Were that the case, perhaps I'd still own a Toyota! I've been back in the Ford fold since 1987 and have found the exact opposite to be true.

    Think its very shaky to make blanket statements about any kind of dealer. I've had some good luck with Ford dealers and bad with Toyota...
  • I know what you mean about wanting to sell/keep your ZX3.
    I also find it to be fun and practical/ nerve racking and frustrating.
    But after replacing my windshield, auto tranny,rotors and pads and now my ignition switch, plus all the recalls, it is time to move on....Also, whenever I hit a moderate bump in the road my right front end thumps all the way down. It is a bad sign when you are on a first name basis with your repair man.
    How can you consider buying another ZX3 when you know the jury is still out for engine fires, air bags problems etc.
    When does it cease to be a bargin.

    I test drove lots of '03s and will change pretty soon. Looking very hard at a Forester. That extra 35 HP really makes a difference.
    The new Hyundai GT is very nicewith a 140 HP engine. All leather seats standard! Power everything. You could do worse. $14,000.

    On the other hand, I have had a great experience with one Ford dealer (Holman)and a horrible experience with another(Pacifico)in my area, Philadelphia.
    Depends on the dealer, not the company.
    Except for the rotors and drum, Ford replaced everything under warranty and did not blink an eye. I give them credit.
    Good luck.
  • Hi all,
    I haven't posted in awhile. I have been enjoying my 2001 focus. had a couple of recalls, one which they still cannot fix. Fixed the wheel bearings, Tried to fix the door unlocking and locking while driving (this is still happening)
    other than that the car has been fine. Today however as I pulled into my parking spot at home I tried to take the key out of the guys want to guess what happen next......the key is still there I am going to have to tow it to the dealer to get them to take it out. I know this is a problem with some Focuses and I was waiting to see when it would happen to me :) My wife and I are going to be buying a SUV next year. We thought about the Explorer but after my experience with the Focus and Hers with a Contour...NEVER NEVER NEVER again will i buy a ford. I love the focus and i will drive it till it wont go anymore, but Ford will never see a dime of my money again...
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    does anyone know if 2001 foci have "smart" air bags?
    Or, do they just have the regular kind. Thanks
  • rmsabcrmsabc Posts: 17
    i have a 2000 focus
    the am radio has to be replaced for second time
    key interlock has to be replaced, you can pull key out and alarm still goes off

    new problem is car does not take bumps well
    dealer drove on smooth pavement and says is ok

    when you drive on bumps you have to hold onto steering wheel,, car use to take bumps really well now it feels like a cougar does any one have this problem

    what should i do

    i have 6 year extended warranty that kicks in 60 days any thoughts
  • I have had the problems with the ignition and the suspension that you have. My car is out of warranty now. Every time I drive my car, I am afraid of it but can't really afford to get rid of it.
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    My 2001 w/ 10,000 miles on it has been trouble free and very solid. However, lately when driving over irregular surfaces the hatch seems to "jiggle". It's the only way i can describe it.
    Does anyone else have problems w/ loose hatches?
  • rmsabcrmsabc Posts: 17
    saw your posting on same problem

    on the suspension problem, what does the dealer say it it, i have 2 months on warranty then extended warranty.
  • The dealer told me that it was a bent alloy. Well I replaced the alloy out of my own pocket and it still acts up.
  • Just turned 10 grand on my black 2002 3. No problems to report.

    The good news is that my last 5 tanks of gas in city driving has averaged around 30 mpg. Highway seems to fluctuate between 32 - 36, with 32 occurring when I'm bucking a strong wind.

    Also, I haven't noticed any squeaking or anything with my brakes, so I'm not sure what all the fuss with the brakes is. Maybe I won't notice it until after 20,000?

    No squeaks, rattles or the like, either. I'd have to say that so far, it seems to be a phenomenal car for the money. I always find myself in amazement when I'm zipping around with the tunes blasting that this car only cost me 12 grand!
  • I am interested in either the golf or focus. After hearing all the horror stories and am leaning more towards the golf. Has the 2003 focus addressed the problems that has plagues the previous models.
  • But I've been very happy so far with my 2002. Most of the problems seem to have been taken care of from the earlier model years.

  • and I think it is a fantastic car for the money. I have a ZX3 with the S2 package. I think it rides and handles great and have had no fit and finish problems. One recall, but who cares, it took a half hour of my time to have it fixed. The only thing I wish is that it was a little faster. In spring I am thinking about getting something a little bigger and faster. Or I nay keep the ZX3 and turbo it. That would be fun. Anybody have any good info on putting a turbo on a focus? To bad we don't get the turbo Focus RS like in Europe - that would be fun! just my thoughts.
  • Look at the next all new Cavalier. Hatchbacks might reach the US a year later.
  • Hi, I'm interested in replacing my '88 escort gt
    with a zx3 w/ auto trans.Any owners out there with
    this setup?
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