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Ford Focus Wagon



  • Nine times in the last 16 months, my 2003 Focus ZTW (71,000 miles now) has left me stranded. The same thing happens each time. The weather is warm (or hot) and I drive 30 minutes or so, then stop at the store. When I come out 10 or 15 minutes later, the engine turns over but stalls, and won't start up again for about 45 minutes. At that point, it starts without incident.

    My Ford dealer has no idea what the problem is, but they are the same people who needed four appointments with my car to realize it did have a serious transmission problem ( which they rebuilt at 34000 miles.

    The car is perfect for me except that I can't trust it to start . . . any ideas?
  • etmom7358etmom7358 Posts: 1
    Are you running the air conditioner on these warm/hot days?
    If so, is the air conditioner factory installed or installed by the

    My Ford Bronco II (1987) had a similar problem. The air
    conditioner was installed by the dealer and the dealer did
    not upgrade the radiator per spec, instructions and price.
    I had another mechanic install the correct radiator for me
    and all was well.

    Of course, your mileage may vary.
  • I am an "open window" kind of person, and only use the AC when I have to be really presentable. My AC is factory, and hasn't been on any time my car has failed me.

    Thanks for the input.
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    Wow, seems there are too many flakey Ford service departments. Seems any dealer or good mechanic could take a stab at this 'cuz it is not that uncommon of a problem. I have had cars in the past which exhibited the same thing to a lesser degree but I don't know anything Focus-specific. I think a probable cause is "Vapor-lock".

  • "Flakey" is a kind way to describe my Ford service department. It took four visits for them to agree that there was a problem with my transmission (which would suddenly throw me forward as I would drive down the road). They finally rebuilt it under warranty. It took them two hours to determine that the reason my brake lights didn't work was the wires at the back gate had broken. My girlfriend who is a church organist diagnosed the problem the minute I told her about it. It happened with her Volvo.

    From what I have read, it is very unusual for a fuel-injected car to have vapor lock . . .the Focus is fuel-injected, isn't it?
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    Yes, all Focus are FI to the best of my knowledge. My Sciorocco was FI and that was the one I had the most problem with. I'm not sure vapor lock is the right term or diagnosis but the symptoms were like yours. I wonder if yours is 2.3 PZEV. That has a lot more plumbing and pollution control.

  • awang44awang44 Posts: 3
    I have an 01 wagon. I had to replace both of my rear wheel bearings coz they are complete shut. I guess i'm a bit lucky since it was about 100k when i had to replace them. BUT they are making noise bad just after 10k and 13 months, which could be another 600 dollars out of my already slim pocket.
  • My 2002 Focus Wagon is in the shop right now with the same problem. I have to buy a new wiring harness and get it installed, gonna cost a minimum of $600, and the dealer did not provide a loaner car. This really sounds like a design flaw to me. That hatch should be designed to open & close a billion times without damaging the wire bundle. I think Ford should pay for this and correct the problem. Thank goodness I have a Chevy to drive while the Focus is down!
  • Have a 2000 Focus wagon SE with ZTech engine. There seems to be confusion as to which Motorcraft oil filter is right for the car. I have called different dealers and ask. Some say the FL400S if it is not the SVT engine and some say it is the FL2005 if it is ZTech. The last time the iol was changed at the dealer, they used the FL400S. The Motorcraft website says FL2005 for 16 valve dohc and FL400S for the SOHC engine.
    Anyway, I'm totally confused as to the absolute correct filter to use. If anyone could enlighten me , I would appreciate it.
  • I had the same issue (one of many) with my 2003 Focus ZTW. The guys who change my oil noticed that the brake lights at the top of the hatch door weren't working. They changed bulbs, but still no lights. At that time, my regular brake lights and turn signals still worked.

    When I went to the Ford dealer for my state inspection (and recall for the rear latch), it seemed that I had no brake lights at all. They worked on it for two hours ($$$$)before discovering the problem was the wiring at the top of the rear door. As the service manager told me "it is from slamming the door". I said, "Oh, you mean from opening and closing the back gate? Shouldn't that be considered normal use?" Duh.

    They suggested a whole new electrical harness, but we opted for repairing the wires. I still ended up costing me a fortune, but they did it while I waited.

    I hope to be trading it in this weekend - but not for another Ford.
  • My focus wagon was at a dealership for a fluid leak-they replace a gasket. As I drove home when AC was on the car overheated. I returned car next day, they replace an air conditioner fan and a fuse. I retrieved the car today.This evening after a trip to the car wash water poured in through the front passenger side. I looked at the cabin filter seal when I got home. It is all loose. I am furious as this means for the fourth day in a row I have to return this car to the dealer. I have always loved my focus and I am very suspicious of shoddy service at the dealership.I have the extended warranty but each time they are picking away at my $100 deductible. I am glad to read other posts about this problem and I will take it up with them tomorrow. Unfortunately I am a woman in a man's dealership and they think here comes another sucker!! I will post the outcome. My focus has 61K and i was great until this week.
  • Hi, new here but have been reading about many problems with the Focus. I will be replacing my leased 04 Corolla this month and am trying to decide between a Focus Wagon SES, a VW Rabbit, and a Pontiac Vibe.
    I very much would like to get an American made and American company car, but I feel like I'm giving up much to do so such as safety and reliability. I looked at the Focus at a dealer and was shocked to see no rear headrests!!! it's 2007, a $9,999 Chevy Aveo has them!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No side curtain airbags available???!!!
    I did drive the Focus SES sedan A/T and must admit in ride and handling it was superior to my Corolla, let me say quite a bit superior.
    My last American car was a 1995 Saturn SW2 which was a very good car.
    I really want to buy a Ford, especially now (I know, I'm a day late and a dollar short - but better late than never, right?)
    All you satisfied Focus Wagon owners out there, please tell me it's a decent car.

  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 569
    I have had a 2006 SES wagon since April 06. So far it has been a great car. Only ongoing concern is noisy rear brakes. Seems to be a problem for most Focus cars. Brakes work great however. We absolutely love the way it rides and handles. Absolutely top notch in this area.
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    I wonder if you can get a better deal on an '06? I doubt the 07 has any significant changes although I heard they are going to restyle the grill front end again, and it seems it gets uglier every time IMO. Focus wagon is a great car. It does seem to have some issues, but I think no more then other cars and no particular problem on my 04. It is however a 9 year old car counting from when it was released in Europe. It was a brilliant design at the time (designed mostly in Germany) winning probably more small call awards than any other, but Europe has now totally replaced it with a new Focus and we are still on the old design. The new European Focus is mechanically a Mazda3. My summary, it's amazing how much cargo room considering it has about the length and width of the old Honda Civic and I think even smaller then the new civic, but it has about as much cargo space as a Honda CRV and small SUV's and it rides much better and better MPG. The rear suspension was compromised a little to get the relatively big cargo bay (slightly less suspension travel than the hatch) and the rear suspension was cleverly fitted completely under the rear floor. The rack and pinion steering unit is world-class. The Mazda designed Duratec engines are pretty darned good IMO. I'm not sure if the wagons are still made in USA. Check the door jamb. Are they MExico now? My 04 was made in USA, the japanese-designed engine was made in Mexico and the transmission was made in Germany.

    The real beauty of the wagon is when you can get a killer deal on one.

  • Well, I also have a ZX2 which takes an FL2005. while my 03 focus takes a FL400S. The only difference between these filters is the FL2005 has an anti reversionary valve built into it and the 400S does not. Personally, I prefere the 2005.It wont drain itself when the car isnt running. Thats good from a cold start lubrication standpoint. I run synthetic oil as well. I have learned that good clean oil is important if you want long life for the vct sensor on the ZX2. I have had NO problems with either of these cars. I am a gearhead and I just maintain them and do pay attention to ALL fluid changes. Fresh coolant every fall. flush the power steering system once a year at the same time I bleed the brakes and top with fresh brake fluid. I know that may sound extreme but, It is the same as BMW and mercedes have recomended for many years.I keep all my cars for the long term.the cost of this has not exceeded three hundred bucks a year and my repair costs have been ZERO $. Good luck.SHB
  • Thoughtful post, mikus. Here's my thoughts from driving my 03 ZTW:
    "The aerodynamics is not perfect."
    -shudda bought a Mercedes :blush:
    "Rear seatback splits 60/40, but the cushion is one piece, this is plain stupid."
    -agreed, but it is an economy car...
    "The steering wheel is ok."
    -the leather wheel is pretty nice :P
    "Cost-cutting is everywhere. The car is ok for the money I payed for it, but I would not consider buying a new Focus for 15-18 grands"
    -I bought my 03 ZTW w/ALL options except sunroof for $16k in the summer of 03. Much less money than the VW & Subies I was looking at. So far, (except for wheels going out of balance real fast) I've had ZERO issues and have gotten my money's worth. People still think I have a Volvo wagon :blush:
    Is it perfect? No. Did I make a good decision purchasing it? HECK YES. YMMV.
  • I have an 03 ZTW . No problems yet. Just the squeaky brakes.
    my wife does like to hit all the potholes she can and hard.
    But nothing broken yet . it's probably only a matter of time though.
  • After waffling between a Focus Wagon, VW Rabbit, and a Pontiac Vibe I've decided to get a Focus.

    I'm going to try to buy the rear seat from a Canadian Dealer so I can have head restraints.

    Thanks for the advice, I hope more people choose Ford in the coming year.
  • Ford will stop taking orders for the Focus wagon on November 20th, 2006, and production of the 2007 Focus wagon will stop by the end of December 2006. There will be no 2008 Focus wagon, only sedans & hatchbacks. I had been hearing this for a while, and now it is true, straight off the Ford website. Better order or buy one soon. Ford dropped them because the wagons are only 8% of the Focus sales, and not worth the trouble for Ford. A terrible loss, and the last American wagon produced. Sorry to have to drop such bad news. I ordered a Focus wagon SES last March, and was driving it 5 weeks later. It is a great wagon. The gas mileage has been much better than expected (35 or more on the highway). Mine has all the options except the sunroof (hate them), even leather, heated seats & mirrors, and traction control. I hit 5000 miles last week, and the car has been flawless. It is definitely the best small wagon available. I highly recommend it.
  • Do you have the Automatic or the 5-speed?

    wow, I'm going to order mine tomorrow after work.
  • Have 2001 SE Wagon which I bought new. Have only had a few problems with the car, most have been mentioned here already.
    The car has 32,300 miles on it. Have not made any mods to it. Looking forward to reading alll the info here.
  • I have the automatic. I averaged between 35 & 36 mpg on one tankful of mostly highway driving, which is quite good. City driving is around 25 to 26 for me because I live in an urban, congested area. The Mazda motor is great; quiet, smooth, refined, lots of get-up & go. And like all Focuses, fun to drive.
  • Thanks! I'm going to order mine today.
  • and I've had zero problems with it. I bought an extended warranty (Warranty Direct) so that about guarantees I won't have any problems with it! :P
  • Has anyone been able to get rear head restraints installed? Is this possible? I'm in no rush since the kids are still in car seats, but it would be a nice option in the future.
  • juppjupp Posts: 7
    I also have about 5000 miles now on my 2007 Focus Wagon. I was torn between the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and the Focus. I knew that this is the last year for the present Corolla and didnt want an obsolete car that fast. Plus side air bags were impossible to find in my area. The Honda was a good bit nicer than the Focus to me. But the dealer wouldnt budge very much, and lowballed me on my Sport Trac trade in. Plus the Honda, equally equipped was a couple of thou more than the Focus (give or take). I'm happy with the Fosus in SOME areas and unhappy in others.. Mileage, handling and acceleration are great for what the car is. I can carry as much stuff in my little wagon as I could in the big ole Sport Trac! BUT, I told my wife on DAY ONE that the first thing that would break on the Focus would be the chinsy little armrest and its already in pieces! And the biggy that I didnt notice during the test drive is that left cupholder starts gnawing into my right leg after driving more than an hour. After 2 hours I'm in real pain and must turn over the wheel to wifey. I can buy an extra 30 minutes by taking the rubber cup insert out at the beginning of the trip. I'm ready to take a sawzall to the darned thing! All in all, especially when I factor in resale value, I wish I'd sprung for the Civic. I might just dump the Focus by next summer and probably take a 6 or 7 thousand dollar bloodbath. Maybe the sawzall idea would be cheaper.
  • dan5678dan5678 Posts: 28
    Too bad Ford.
    Guess someone else will get my money when my Outback gasps its last breath.
    Focus was on my short list based on mpg and cargo space.
    Chasing away 8% of sales. Another bold move.
  • juppjupp Posts: 7
    I'd be more than happy to sell you mine!
  • Even though I complained about the lack of rear headrests and side curtain airbags, I got a 2007 Focus Wagon SES auto.
    It's only got 380 miles on it so far so gas mileage is unknown.
    I have driven only small 4cyl cars since 1987, mostly Volkswagens except a '95 Saturn SW2 and a '04 Corolla, and this Focus has a better ride/handling compromise than any of them. I am a longtime VW fan, having owned 6 of them, and our other car is a 2003 VW Jetta wagon made in Germany.
    The Focus has better steering, and VW has always had great FWD steering! The ride in the Jetta is slightly better, but it's much more cramped with seats that feel like twill fabric wrapped over granite.
    The Focus drives much better than the Corolla in almost every type of driving, although the Corolla never claimed to be sporty and it was queiter than the Focus on the highway.
    If Ford had brought the Gen. II Focus here 2 years ago they would be in a much better position. If I was the CEO at Ford right now, I'd say to management; "Find a way to bring the Euro Focus here in 6 months or look for another job"
    Americans won't drive small cars? When was the last time you were driving to work and didn't see a Civic??!!
  • Hello, fellow Focus owners. I just purchased a 2005 Focus SE wagon, still under the manufacturer warranty (at least for another year or so). The purchase was made after MUCH research and deliberation over a wagon vs an Escape Hybrid vs Toyota Matrix. Quite the range of options, I suppose, but we were looking for something with carrying capacity, good mileage, and that would be easy on the budget. It's a nice looking car, and has most of the features I would have expected to pay more for in other cars (telescopic steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls, tonneau cover, ABS). Look forward to joining the conversation more!
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