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Ford Focus ZX3



  • maynardmaynard Posts: 1
    I've only found a couple of posts on the board about this problem, but nobody mentioned a fix.

    When my 2000 ZX3 was about a year old, I noticed that the passenger-side C pillar (the plastic cover that covers up the pillar that runs vertically next to the hatchback door) would rattle sometimes. Also, I noticed that there were about 3 or 4 pale spots that appeared on the pillar near the ceiling. At first I thought those spots were reflections of light bouncing onto the C pillar. I'm afraid that those spots are actually where the screws hold the C pillar to the structure of the car. It's not happening on the driver side at all. Has anybody else had this problem & what was done to stop the buzzing? I don't want to pull off the cover without hearing from others first (don't want to open a can of worms).
  • carglowcarglow Posts: 91
    Does anyone have specifics on the 05 ZX3 changes?

    I heard something about the Focus sharing base engines with the Mazda 3. Is that an improvement from the 04 base engine?
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    I read that the PZEV Focus is also the best Focus in terms of Horspower and Torque, no surprise given its larger displacement (2.3L vs 2.0L). But I have been told it is only sold in California and a few other western states? That sucks. My little sister is looking for a few affordable compact car. I think this car has it all. But we live on the east coast ( North Carolina) and the dealer told us that the 2.3L engine isn't available on the east coast. Is that true?
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Ford has changed the whole pricing strategy.
    The 2.3 PZEV were available in every state for a short while and were a great bargain.
    Now you'll have to "pay" for that option that is available in a "premium" trim only (ST).
  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    Hi all. My 2001 only has 24,000 miles, most of which have been very enjoyable and with the exception of the recalls and 2 of those PCEV (or whatever you call them) sensors that had to be replaced, has been reliable so far.

    The other day the Ford dealer did an oil change for me and told me that the front brakes need replacing. I did not go ahead with this as I have never, ever, had to replace brakes this soon. I drive quite conservatively and have always gotten the max from my brakes. I am somewhat suspicious (before this Ford dealer I have avoided bringing in any car for service at the dealership, but just can't find a qualified local mechanic at this time and location).

    So, how many miles have you all put on the first set before they were shot?

    Also, if I need to replace them, what do you recommend that would be a step up from the factory pads?

  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    The early Focuses are infamous for their prematurly wearing pads and rotors due to cheap materials.
    They stop the car fine, just don't last.
    The best deal I'm aware of can be located at very reputable on page 5.
    They sale the Euro quality sets of Mintex pads with the rotors for just $109.00
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    that kit from bat-inc is great. Been running it on my wife's car for 2 years. Good stopping power and feel. And it is nice not having the rotors wearing down like they were made of triscuits like the stock ones did!
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    I traded my 4wd pickup with a V8 and haven't had any trouble adjusting to this 4 cyl... Size wise is a different story...
  • carglowcarglow Posts: 91
    How's the visibility in the ZX3? Does the unique shape create "blind spots"?
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    I drive a ZX5 5-door hatch and there is a blind spot. It isn't bad as I use my mirrors and check when moving lanes, but there is a bit of a blind spot. Of course you'll often have that on cars with "stylized" C-pillars.

    You'll just have to drive it and see if it is an issue for you.
  • richardmayorichardmayo Posts: 26
    I bought a 2004 ZX3 with the Premium package two weeks ago.

    I'm really impressed with 2.3 PZEV engine. Thanks to everyone in this forum for their insight. I've always been leery of American cars, and so far the ZX3 has topped my expectations.
  • vvha313vvha313 Posts: 1
    I'm disappointed that the 2.3L engine isn't available in 2005 Focus hatches. Apparently for 05 the 2.0L Zetec has seen some minor upgrades. Has anybody driven an 05? I'm curious about opinions on the new model.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    The dinosaur Zetec is gone.
    The 2.0 L in the new model is a variation of the 2.3 L Duratec.
    These are two versions of the same Mazda designed engine.
  • no one ever posts here.

    Well, after 3.5 years and 31k miles I have sold my Focus ZX3. Even though I had a few recalls and had the trans replaced and the radio, I still really enjoyed my Focus. I will miss it and would highly recommend this car to anyone looking for an economical and fun to drive car.
    By the way, I leased a GTO on a two year lease - what a blast.
  • mautomauto Posts: 75
    Well you're impressed by the part of the car that's Mazda designed. That shouldn't be too worrying. It's the Ford contributions that always seem to be the letdown: brakes, electrical, etc.

    Still, I think the ZX3 design still looks fresh, unlike the Civic coupe, which looked dated even when the new gen. came out in 2001.
  • it's got the same blind spots as any other cars, i personally like it better, because it is shorter, it is easier to see.
  • snaptabsnaptab Posts: 21
    Not much action on this board in a looong time!

    Where's all the ZX3 folks?

 's a quick update on my 2001 ZX3. Just turned 50,000 miles. Still runs like a top, 4 years and still no problems or concerns. 5 speed shifts great, everything except tires still original. Yeah, even the much maligned original factory brake pads and shoes are still very functional! MPG remains consistent around 30 mpg no matter how or where I drive. No squeaks or rattles and no interior/exterior parts have fallen off. Hey,I still think the ZX3 is the best hatchback in the marketplace. Adios
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    Glad to see someone else happy with their ZX3. Mine is a 2004, bought it new in July, have just over 18k on it now. No problems or issues, best car I've ever owned.
  • I'm a very satisfied owner of a 2000 ZX3 in red. It has 36,000 and has been consistently fun to drive and reliable.


    The only problem that I had was the key stuck in ignition problem. I really wish Ford would step up to the plate and address this problem. As I understand it, I could get bitten anytime because the tumbler is still the same design.


    I'll shop for another car in the next 12 months. I'll look at the Mazda3 5 door, the Scion tC, and the Focus. This time if I get a Focus I will get the 5 door and will get all the trimmings. The only problem with this option is that the Duratec sold in California is only rated at 130 horsepower. I'm not a power freak, but I would like a bit more. Can we say ZX5 ST in 2006?
  • My 2000 zx3 hit 100,000 miles about a month ago. Repairs outside of regular maintenance: front disc brakes at 80,000 miles; throttle mechanism replaced about the same time; tires at same time too.

    Rear brakes have squeaked when wet (another complaint by alot of owners) for the whole 5 years I've owned it but otherwise have given me no trouble.

    MPG: 32-35 city/highway
    Oil changes every 5,000 miles, no oil usage between changes
    Autumn orange built December 1999; purchased February 2000

    My brother traded his 2000 zx3 at 98,000 miles - transmission failed, broken seat back, driver's side. He also had the broken ignition lock, the a/c leaks, brake problems. If I'd had his problems, I probably would have traded it too. I've been lucky with mine (knock on wood) but with the problems the first zx3's have had, I wonder if it's ready to trade. It's not worth much per KBB so I've been planning to keep it as long as it's reliable (which it has been so far...knock on wood, again:)

    My wife wants a Mini Cooper so we may trade my Focus toward that and I'll drive her Chrysler Sebring (very low mileage). We also own a Dodge Minivan which will probably stay with us as long as it runs. (We like to haul stuff from Home Depot or Wal-Mart).
  • jtexjtex Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a '05 ZX3 S. So far I really like the car. I went from one extreme to another, I was going to buy a '04 MSM Miata but at double the price(only uses premium fuel also). I needed a car that would hold more(cargo/people) and I already have a '91 Miata in good shape.
    The car came with 5 speed, a/c, CD stereo. I paid $11.2 OTD. I sure wish it had a cruise control though. This car drives great on the highway. Only thing disapointing is the mileage I get, my best estimate about 25 in town maybe 30 on highway. The 2.0 Duratec engine performed great on the hwy., it wanted to 80 very easily with lots of pedal left. I've been a Mazda owner my last 5 new cars. So I decided to try this car due to it's mix of the best engineering features and after 5 year in production all the bugs should have been worked out. Guess I'll see!
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    I am seriously considering a ZX5 for my next run-about car (replacing a 92 Civic Si).
    From what I can read, the 2.0 is a just adequate for this car & the 2.3 far better. Unfortunately it looks like the 2.3 is only available in 04 Zxs.
    So I would love to hear comments from owners with ZX5s that have both 2.0 & 2.3 with AT & manual tranny.

    2.0 owners, do you often wish from more power?

    What real world mileage are people getting with either engine?
  • I am a Ford Focus owner also and these problems sound all too familiar. I own a 2001 ZX3 with 120,000 miles. (yes I drive ALOT) I am truly dissatisfied with the build quality of this car, the amount of recalls, the amount of problems that SHOULD be recalls, and the lack of foresight in developement of the car concerning ease of access to commonly replaced parts. I also have horror stories that stem from poor "Quality Ford" mechanics that have cost me thousands of dollars.
    1)dpfe sensors (2)
    2)improper brake wear due to a misthreaded caliper screw that is KNOWN to strip easily (hmmm)
    3)skipping cd player when wheel turns to the right, check that, all the time now
    4)fuel pump (recall) replaced with faulty fuel pump that gives incorrect fuel reading
    5)thermostat housing leaks, another KNOWN issue with the zetec motor (with such a great following it's a wonder why they went to the duratec)
    6)plastic shifter housing broken in two pieces leading to cracked center console leading to loose fitment of shiftboot
    7)melted headlight clips that cause frequent burn out of headlight bulbs
    8)seatbelt height adjuster broken, (if you know what I am talking about, I mean really, did they think that was gonna work?)which now restricts the recoil
    9)average fuel consumption 22.5mpg for a 2.0 four cylinder with Variable intake and exhaust timing. !WOW!
    10)license plate light lens broken (I couldn't figure out how to change the burned out bulb, so I took it to a dealer to help me, and...well, they replaced the bulb. Now when I have to replace it from condensation and water some how finding its way into the fixture, I have no problem pulling out the lens with only one fastening tab)

    ok, I'll stop for now, I can't think of anything else, but there is more. It may seem like little things, But when little mistakes lead to larger problems and I end up shelling out the time and money, It gets frustrating. I now do most of the work myself.
    My question is, when is Ford going to declare everyone of their foci lemons, and refund all the poor people who invested in what was hailed as a "great world car?"
    Also, can anyone point me towards a replacement thermostat housing/water outlet that is not PLASTIC? Does an aluminum housing exist for the 2001 ford focus zetec?
  • dgsdgs Posts: 20
    "My question is, when is Ford going to declare everyone of their foci lemons, and refund all the poor people who invested in what was hailed as a great world car?"

    Well even though you've had your fair share of problems, there are plenty of people (right on this thread even) who purchased a Focus and are very happy with it. Plenty with lots of miles on the odemeter too. Clearly not every Focus is a lemon, and clearly 2000 and 2001 were the WORST years you could buy the car. Reliability has gotten much better and it's been a Consumer Best buy car for four years in a row.

    I just picked up my special order (it took 3 months to get it) 2005 ZX5 with every option but an automatic transmission and the Audiophile. The car had an MSRP of $20,245 but the dealership knocked $1,200 off that price and then there was an additional $2,500 in rebates I took advantage of. My out the door price with everything $17,700 and I put no money down. 5.9% financing through Ford credit for five years. I love this car! The 2.0L has plenty of zip with the manual transmission. I never have any problems getting up to speed on the freeway, it's more than adequate for 2600 pound car. I'm a little over 1,000 miles and gas milage has been average, mostly city driving and I'm consistently getting 25 MPG. The car drives and handles like any European car should, and what other car can you buy for $16,500 that has heated leather seats, traction control, ABS, side airbags, 6 disc MP3/CD player, steering wheel audio controls, perimeter alarm system, and a moonroof? This car was the best purchase I've ever made, and one of the smartest. Ford packed a lot of goodness into this little car. I'm hoping to get five years or more out of it.

    And finally Ford fixed some of the things you've been complaining about in the 2005 model. The brake pads are of a much higher quality, they hardly produce an brake dust, the front rotors are bigger and of better quality, the new engine should prove to be much more reliable than the Zetec because it's made by Mazda, the suspension has been tweaked for all models so it rides even better than before, they are using a new head unit so no more skipping or jammed cd's, and I'm sure there is much more to list but it's late, and I'm going to bed!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    Not every Focus is a lemon. I've had my 04 ZX3 for 8 months and have packed 26,000 miles on her with no problems other than the PCV valve (it froze) and a seatbelt retractor.

    This little car will cold start at 30 below zero (not plugged in) and is more than willing to go at 56 below zero. I've never owned a more reliable car. Its a blast to drive and has gotten me through a rough winter commuting 165 miles/day. Paid $11,000 OTD and was the best money I ever spent on a car!
  • dupes01dupes01 Posts: 13
    I have had my 2003 ZX3 for 44000 miles with the 2.0 Zetec and the 5-speed. Runs pretty decent, have added a K&N filter. I drive to work on a busy highway at 75 to 90 mph with frequent slowdowns and 5 to 4th gear downshifts to pass fast lane cloggers and I average 29 mpg overall.

    What other car has so much get up and go at 80mph and still gets 30mpg overall? Bet nowone could name one as cheap as the focus.

    I have one problem, the steering is smooth until 80mph, once past 80mph the steering wheel starts vibrating and it seems to get worse from 80 and on. Still running stock 15inch Goodyear Eagle RS-As and have had no brake work. Anybody have any insight into this issue?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    go to the hunter dot com website and look up this balancing system. It's worked for me on several cars.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    I am interested in a used Ford Focus ZX5 with all options (e.g. traction control...). I have no idea how many of these were made or how difficult it will be to find one. I am wondering if there is a site that I could go to that would list production numbers and installation rates of various options for the 2003 & 2004 Ford Focus.

  • does anyone know where I can find an aluminum thermostat housing for a ford focus zetec motor?
  • hawks1hawks1 Posts: 57
    Looking through a lot I found a 5-speed '05 ZX4(S)with air marked down to $10,500. However, it doesn't have cruise control. Is this something the dealer could install or is it strictly a factory install?
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