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Ford Focus Wagon



  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    The 2003 backseat bottom is still one piece. I looked at a wagon years ago and apparently the sales person didn't know the bottom flipped forward, I was left with the impression the bottom was fixed. Looking now at the wagon with a measuring tape I was very surprised that the narrowest width of the cargo bay is 45" and the height is ~36" at it's highest. We compared it to the bigger, 10" longer Subaru Outback and The Subie was several inches less on each of these dimensions not to mention the price diiference. The Jetta is less then 40" width. Thanks for all your inputs. I wonder if anyone else has front seat issues. The lack of traction control on all California Focus' and some concern over the front seats are the last stumbling blocks. We have decided we will not factory order one and will take a long drive in the vehicle we buy if/when we get one.
  • spidermonkeyspidermonkey Member Posts: 30
    FWIW, I find the front seat comfortable. I haven't taken any long trips yet, but I'm not expecting any problems. Having a telescoping steering wheel helps, especially since I'm 6' tall while my wife is barely 5'3".
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    I have no problems with the fromt seats eather. But mine are sport seats. The 2001 Street Edition Package came with sport seats. And I really like them. Only the leg room could be better. I am 6'5".
    And I never had any problems with the traction. O.k we barely have snow in Texas. Almost unknown down here. But last time we got snow I had to take it out. Worked great with the traction control responding very fast.

  • lnauss1lnauss1 Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know the true fuel reserve on a vtec 2000 Focus SE wagon?

    Also, what is the total Kilometres per tank. We are getting 580 kilometres on a 2000 wagon. We did a lease buyout and the car, at the time of purchase, had 38500 km.

    Car is in mint shape. We purchased an extended warranty. All recalls were taken care of during lease agreement.


  • flasvtflasvt Member Posts: 64
    I had a 2002 ZTW. Gray leather interior with liquid gray exterior. I had it for 11 month and gave me 13,000 trouble free miles. It always was sweet and reliable ride.
    What happened? Well, got curious and went to test drive the SVT Focus. Halfway to the test drive it was clear that the regular ZTEC wouldn't do it for me anymore.
    I wish that Ford offered an SVT Focus wagon, like thjey do in Europe where it is refered to as the ST170. I would buy one in a minute.
    Check out Ford UK's website. Look at the clime control knobs and metal interior door handles. This car has so much more content in Europe.
    Whoever as the need for a very practical economy car will be hard pressed to find a better option. Feel free to ask me any question. At least that will make my 11 months of ownership worth something to somebody.
    As for the SVT...hmmmmmm.
  • rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    Glad your ZTW is running good. I'll be returning to the USA in 53 days and will be picking up a loaded '03 ZTW I ordered. Wished I could have got the Duratech, but I guess the Ztech will have to do. I rented a Focus with the low grade engine in Honolulu last week and it was a dog. Hope the Ztech has more juice!
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    Yep, cars in Britain have much more content. But, they cost a lot more, too. The British (and nearly everyone else in the world) do NOT equate small with cheap. Ford tried to sell Contours upmarket. It couldn't compete with the Taurus and the other companies small cars at lesser prices at the same time.
  • dominickc1dominickc1 Member Posts: 22
    Has anybody had troubles with their Focus Wagon SE of not having Lumbar support in the driver side. I have a 02 Focus Wagon that I dearly love and now having troubles with my back, because I can't sit to long in my Focus wagon. I'm seriously thinking of trading it in for a ZTW wagon that has a Lumbar support on it. It only has 9,000 miles on and it is very good with the gas mileage. We are going to LasVegas next month with it and now I'm serious thinking of not going or trading it in before that. What I'm thinking of is that I'm going to get hit with a higher car payment. But I get a discount through my job with the X plan. If anybody out their can give me some advice I'll appreciate it. I'm disable and won't be able to fly, because I'll need my medical scooter.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    Have you considered having an upholstery shop or auto trim place install a seat with lumbar support, perhaps even from a ZTW??? It CAN be done, and would be far cheaper than trading...
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 67
    I have a 2003 ZTW with the lumbar seat. I have to use a 1" foam kitchen chair seat cushion (placed upright against the back), or I will get a back ache within 2 miles of driving. There was a post a couple months ago where he had extra foam put in the seats and is happy with the results.

    My lumbar adjustment is set for the least "support" and it still causes trouble.

    My advice is for anyone contemplating buying any car drive it at least 50 miles before signing up. I had a problem with another brand and walked away.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    Well, GM currently allows up to 100 mile overnight test drives at participating dealers. GM cars only, of course.
  • rmsmallllrmsmallll Member Posts: 3
    The carpet on the front driver's side of my 2003 wagon (bought it two months ago) gets sopping wet when it rains. It's apparently leaking from somewhere underneath. The service rep where I bought it tells me that "unfortunately" (his exact word) some Focuses have a leaking problem but that it's fixable. So after owning this car for only two months it's already going to spend some time in the shop. Has anyone here heard of or experienced this leaking problem?
  • spidermonkeyspidermonkey Member Posts: 30
    I own a ZTW and have had no such problems. I haven't heard of such a thing either. That problem seems very odd for a new car.
  • rmsmallllrmsmallll Member Posts: 3
    I took my wagon back to the dealer to get the leak fixed and they said it was a problem in the cowl. Hopefully they got it water-tight now. I guess I'll find out the next time it rains. I have heard that rainwater leaks were fairly common in the first two model years of the Focus but were supposed to have been eliminated in '02 and '03. Some bad luck that I got the one in a thousand (or whatever) that had a leak. I hope it's not a bad sign. But if nothing else goes wrong (at least for a long time) I'll be happy because the ZTW is a nice little wagon. Lots of space and fun to drive.
  • nyfocusnyfocus Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2001 Focus sedan and after 2 years, it leaked water into the passenger footwell. As rmsamll said, it was a problem in the cowl and was fixed under warrenty. Otherwise, the dealer told me, it would've cost about $150-200 to fix. (I always ask how much these free repairs cost)
  • rmsmallllrmsmallll Member Posts: 3
    Last night was the acid test to determine if the dealership actually fixed the leak. It rained here (D.C. area) like gangbusters for more than twelve hours. Went out today and checked the carpets--no sign of any leaking. So hopefully that'll be that. No more unpleasant surprises and I'll be happy. The ZTW is a well designed and thought out little wagon and drives good too. All I want from here on in is just average (at least)reliability. No Fix Or Repair Daily, thank you.
  • djp2cdjp2c Member Posts: 39
    My wife has had the steering seize up when making a hard right turn while braking. This has happened to her 3 times.

    It has happened to me twice now and the last time was last nite.

    Early this year I asked the dealer to check this and they said there was nothing wrong.

    After last nite I am very much concerned about the safety of the car (2000 Wagon) and I think I had better trade it.

    Has anyone else had a similar problem??????

  • ferretwalrusferretwalrus Member Posts: 28
    Mine has the exact same problem! I'm so frustrated in dealing with dealer. Moreover, the second row has constantly water leaking, they still can not fix it till now. Constantly think about trade in.
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    I heard of a similar case in Germany. This guy had the same problem that the steering seized after a sharp turn. His was a 5 speed.
    There seems to be a problem with a switch or connector of the clutch pedal that is behind the clutch pedal.
    This switch can not be properly mounted because of a design flaw. And if this switch/connector falls off it may block the steering column, because it is right beside the steering column.
    I am not sure if this would also apply to cars with Auto trans. Maybe this switch is there but not used. You may want to check if there is something close to the steering column under the dash that may cause any blockage of the steering wheel.

    2.) The leakage problem is a well known problem in Europe as well.
    That means water leakage on the passenger side. The problem is caused by the black plastic cover around the windshield wipers and the sealing underneath it. (The cover just below the wind screen and the hood.)
    If this cover is not mounted correctly or the sealing underneath, water is running into the passenger foot compartment. I think it is running through the air duct system since the air inlet for the cabin air and filter box for the not existing cabin air filter is mounted underneath that plastic cover.
    But I have never heard about a problem with water leakage on the second row. Is it coming through the windows? Or is it coming through the door? If it is coming through the door you may want to check the draining holes in the door. There should be draining holes in the underside of the door. And they need to be free. Not clogged.
    There is always getting water in the door through the window sealing. And this water is supposed to run off the drainage in the bottom of the door. If this drainage is clogged the water may collect in the door and drain towards the inside of the car and not through the supposed drainage. But this is just a speculation.

  • driver49driver49 Member Posts: 4
    I bought my Focus wagon in 12/00. I loved how it looked and had high hopes....even after numerous recalls and a constant squeal in the rear brakes. Then at 28K I had to replace the front brake rotors. At 30K the passenger side of front seat started to leak when it rained. The dealer said it was a manufacure's defect and a recall and they replaced a part. It still leaked. Sooooo....as of 12/21/03 I am the proud owner of a 2004 Toyota Matrix XR. The Focus was my second and FINAL Ford. I really wanted this car to be the one I hoped it could be....no such luck.
  • abonillaabonilla Member Posts: 2
    My 2000 Focus Station Wagon stalled at 38000 miles and had to be towed to my Ford Dealer. I was told that their initial finding was that the head gasket has blown up and the computer misfired. Two days before stalling, smoke came out of the vents. I am still waiting for a new engine and Ford don't want to help with a loaner car. They actually asked the dealer to shoulder the cost but they refused since Ford can not supply the engine.
  • rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    Picked up in AZ end of Sep. Putted around town for a week then flamed up to Overguard with 4 adults + luggage in tow. Poor ZETEC was straining in the mountains with the AC on, but soldiered on. Back to Phoenix, then off to Flagstaff for a couple days, down to Sedona for a couple more and then over the "mountain" to Prescott and back to Phoenix. No probs, great ride, nice and sticky with the 16 inch tires.

    End of October, road trip to North Dakota. Phoenix to Albuquerque: great cruise, but couldn't get into hotel, due to tanker crash out front. Holiday Inn Express set me up, though. Albq to Colorado Springs: first taste of kinda cold weather, in enemy territory with all the evil bronco fans. CS to Ogalla NB: leaving bronco territory and getting into a nice, clean state like Nebraska was cool. Go big red. Not much for scenery, but weather was pretty nice. Horrid, greasy food in Ogalla (did I mention greasy?) Ogalla to Sioux City: more Nebraska, then rain and cold. Wind picked up the next day driving up to Grand Forks. VERY WINDY and cool.

    Anyway, a couple months later and the "Silver Bullet" (e-gad, that sounds SOOO Coorsish--"I can't taste my light beer!"...) runs like a top, has a new ski rack for my XC skis and a new cargo net on the way. Installing the block heater was a goat rope, but glad I got that done (I believe it is 1 outside right now...) The 16 inch P6s handle fabulous in the ice/snow (BIG SURPRISE), so no need for snow tires. The heated seats are, well, the heat. Got a couple rattles I need to isolate and fix, but so far, so good (5k miles). I'm out.
  • jayguyjayguy Member Posts: 6
    Have a 2002 SE Wagon with 40k on it, and so far it has been trouble free, and we really enjoy it! Has been a great wagon for my wife and 2 kids. Just found an issue with the License Plate lights below the rear door handle and thought I'd give others a heads-up on it and see if anyone else has the same issue.
    A friend noticed that both of these lights weren't working a few days ago, and since in Mass. they are required to pass inspection, I checked them out. To pull them out, you slide the units to the left by sticking a screwdriver, or something flat into the right side between the light unit and the molding and pry/push to the left. You then pull them down and out. What I discovered is that BOTH light units were severely corroded, the copper parts covered in green ash and the metal ends on the light bulbs pretty much rusted off. Although there is a rubber gasket around the light unit, apparently water does still get in here somehow. The rubber looks like it isn't thick enough to make an adequate seal. Anyway, to fix this without having to buy new light assemblys, I had to mold replacement pieces from aluminum flashing I had, and then buy new bulbs. I also had to splice new wire connectors to the original wiring as the original connectors were corroded as well. I liberally greased all exposed metal with bulb grease, which I highly recommend to prevent this if it hasn't happened already. I also had to replace the license plate light fuse (#62 on the panel) since it had apparently shorted out at some point during the corrosion process. Anyone who lives in a state where the license plate lights are required to pass inspection may want to check on the condition of yours
  • rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    OK, slightly off topic, but loaded up my new XC skis on my factory ski rack (a Yakima) and found a nice patch of fresh powder and skied for a good hour in -4 degree sunny (-20 degree wind chill) NoDak weather today. Deep snow while laying tracks going out, and while most were covered on the way back by the wind, was GRRREAT tracking on the way back.

    Still have to work to get the ZTW to break loose on the frozen stuff with the Advance Trac & the P6s.

    Block heater plugged in for tomorrow's adventure--supposed to be a little colder.
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    North Dakota- no description for that wind....

    23 yrs resident including FGO and GRFRX.....
  • summerprojectsummerproject Member Posts: 20
    I am sure most focus owners got this letter through the mail from ford stating that the 2000 and 2001 focus' are subject to stalling,hesitation,loss of power etc due to a Ford defect.
    I had this problem and my car stalled out of the freeway, but did start again after a few minutes of hell with cars coming up from behind and all around.I was happy to get the letter from for concerning "Program 03N01" until I talked to my ford dealership and they said to find out if I had this defect I would have to pay $83 to have them do a diagnostic of my engine. If it was the "Program 03N01" problem they would take care of the bill, if not then I would be responsible for the charge. I told him I was experiencing the problems described in "Program 03N01" but this made no difference, the owner still must pay to see if they have the defect.I also called two different Ford Customer service numbers and was given the same run around. As they keep telling me this is not a recall it is a Program or something of that nature.
  • summerprojectsummerproject Member Posts: 20
    Hey djp2c,
    The letter concerning "Program 03N01" has your symptoms exactly listed.

    Stalling or loss of power is more likely to happen

    "when the driver is attempting to accelerate while making a right turn maneuver"
  • summerprojectsummerproject Member Posts: 20
    Sorry for the excessive posting, but just found a copy of the letter on the web.

    Focus Extended Coverage Program 03N01
    All U.S. Ford and Lincoln Mercury Dealers

     Extended Coverage Program 03N01 - Certain 2000 and 2001 Model Year Focus Vehicles Fuel Delivery Module


    This program extends the coverage of the fuel delivery module (FDM) to 10 years from the original warranty start date of the vehicle, with no limit on the number of miles that the vehicle has been driven. This program provides replacement coverage, and is automatically transferred to subsequent owners.


    Certain 2000 and 2001 model year Focus vehicles built at the Wayne and Hermosillo Assembly Plants from Job #1,1999 through June 13, 2001. Affected vehicles are identified in OASIS.


    Some of the affected vehicles may experience engine hesitation, loss of power, surging, and other similar symptoms as a result of contamination of the fuel pump filters. Because the contamination of the filters is progressive, they may ultimately become sufficiently blocked to cause the engine to stall completely. Although the symptoms noted above can occur under a variety of driving conditions, they are most likely to occur when there is less than one-quarter tank of fuel and/or when the driver is attempting to accelerate while making a right turn maneuver (such as entering a highway through a cloverleaf) or while driving uphill.


    If the customer's vehicle exhibits the symptoms described above, dealers should replace the fuel pump unless there is clear evidence that the symptoms are solely caused by some other component. To assist in determining the cause of the symptoms, you should interview the customer. In addition, diagnosis time is provided to road test the vehicle. See Attachment IV for customer interview flow chart.

    If it is determined that the symptoms are caused by some other component and the FDM is operating properly, the customer should be notified that the repair is not covered under this program. This program does not cover parts or procedures other than replacement of the fuel delivery module. The fuel delivery module replacement will be performed at no charge to the customer.


    With increased service capacity, use the resulting service traffic to acquire new retail service customers, or become re-acquainted with current ones. Take this opportunity to make a lifetime customer by demonstrating:

    Care by using the Quality Care Report Card every time to identify additional service needs that may require attention.

    Convenience by offering convenient payment terms, by scheduling service appointments, and by providing convenient hours and days of operation.

    Competitive Pricing by promoting national, regional, and your individual dealer service specials.

    Attachment I: Administrative Information
    Attachment II: Labor Allowances and Parts Ordering Information
    Attachment III: Technical Information
    Attachment IV: Customer Interview Flow Chart
    Customer Notification Letter


    Claims Information:.....................................................- ............................1-800-423-8851
    Special Service Support Center (Dealer only) Questions:............................1-800-325-5621
  • fdthirdfdthird Member Posts: 352
    Sorry, but I don't see your problem. Seems to me that what Ford is saying is that IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE PROBLEM you need to pay for the diagnostic. How many of those letters did they send out? They're probably just trying to stop the vast majority of folks who don't have a problem from descending on the service depts and eating up the replacement parts.
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    You should be getting an email on why the post was removed - it contained copyright information from another site. Re-posting with the link to the article does not violate the copyright, thank you for sharing.
  • summerprojectsummerproject Member Posts: 20
    **Thank you Sylvia for clearing that up. My bad.**

    fdthird wrote:
    <<Seems to me that what Ford is saying is that IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE PROBLEM you need to pay for the diagnostic>>

    Yes that IS what the peolple at Ford are saying.

    fdthird wrote:
    <<How many of those letters did they send out? They're probably just trying to stop the vast majority of folks who don't have a problem from descending on the service depts and eating up the replacement parts>>

    And what an unexpected windfall they could get from all the folks that will pay $60- $80 to have a diagnostic done to see if they have the "Program 03N01" problem. Good thing they sent out all those letters!

    This is the third recall on the fuel filter assembly for Ford Focus' produced 2000 through 13 June 2001.
    Ford knows they should be doing a recall on this defect, but to avoid having to pay for a recall they call it an "extended warranty".

    Ford isn't doing this "extended warranty" offer to be nice, they are doing it because there has been a proven history of a defect in this specific area. 3,475+ consumer complaints about this issue moved Ford to action not anything else.

    Since I did have the symptoms described in the letter concerning "Program 03N01" and the letter said if owners experienced any of these problems to "take the vehicle to your dealer". It would be only logical to assume that Ford would not charge me to plug my car into their computer to see if they could tell me if I had Ford's "Program 03N01" defect.
    Having them do a diagnostic may not be the answer either.Who knows if the diagnostic can even tell if the fuel pump fuel filter assembly is defective. Maybe the diagnostic will only give "Program 03N01" status if it determines the fuel pump is completely gone and you are broke down on the side of the road.

    As I said before, Ford is trying to prevent a full fledged recall and this is the fix they are currently offering.
    That problem is very easy to see.
    Don't be surprised if "Program 03N01" evolves into a complete recall and then Ford won't have to bother with any diagnostics and just throw a new fuel pump and filter assembly in all the vehicles in question.

    **********more info below
  • fdthirdfdthird Member Posts: 352
    Your opinion...mine is that they are standing behind the product and doing the right thing.

    It was not always like this and I am one of millions of consumers that have paid to have manufacturing errors corrected.

    I am happy that should I have a problem with the fuel pump on my 2001 Focus (and at 45,000 its running fine) it will not be my problem.

    Sorry but my glass is half full!
  • summerprojectsummerproject Member Posts: 20
    No need to apologize for having a glass that is half full, unless of coarse you paid for the full glass and they just gave you half. I think you should be entitled to a "repour". But then again that's just my opinion. LOL!
  • sleddawgsleddawg Member Posts: 2
    I have an incredible Focus problem story, and I think I have a case for some restitution from Ford. Any advice appreciated... To wit:

    I have a 2000 Focus wagon. Bought new after seeing them on a European trip. It was, according to the dealer, the first one in the state of NJ. It's had its share of troubles, including all the recalls - brakes, fuel filter, etc. But, all in all it's a great car to drive, as many agree.

    A couple weeks ago I returned from work, drove into the garage and shut off the car. The next morning I went out and the key wouldn't go into the ignition. Not frozen, just wouldn't go in. Of course, the car is facing into the garage, with the steering and transmission locked. I tried the spare key, which was virtually unused, thinking maybe the key is worn &#150; no luck.
    Luckily the car was straight into the garage, straight up the driveway, so that when the AAA guy came and succeeded in unlocking the transmission, he was able to just pull the car straight back onto the flatbed and take it down to my mechanic.
    Diagnosis: a new lock cylinder. So, a new lock cylinder doesn&#146;t seem too complicated, right? Well, think again.
    After 3 new tumbler assemblies the mechanic and the dealer have finally determined that the lock on my car is unlike any other installed in a Focus. In fact, the lock assembly does not match the combination of tumblers that is supposed to be in the car according to Ford&#146;s own VIN computer records! The Focus lock is supposed to have 8 notches/tumblers &#150; the one in my car has only 6! The dealer is completely stumped by this. So, despite all my (excellent) mechanic&#146;s attempts to install the proper Ford replacement part, supplied by the local Ford dealer, IT WILL NEVER WORK! Now, he is forced to replace ALL the locks in the car, doors and ignition, in order to make the car usable.
    How can this happen? Is it because this car was one of the first off the line? Why would it not match Ford&#146;s own computer record? I have been driving a rental for over a week now &#150; I feel like I should be able to get some restitution for this, since this is surely a major manufacturing defect. Not to mention the fact that the car is ONLY 4 YEARS OLD, so why is the lock worn out in the first place? There&#146;s one other key on the key ring with it, so the old wive's tal about too much weight wouldn't apply anyway. Why would it wear out so fast when my wife&#146;s Escort is 10 years old with almost 100K and no problems?

    So, what do you all think of this? Any suggestions? I&#146;m at my wit&#146;s end…
    Thanks in advance!
  • dave989dave989 Member Posts: 21
    I know some people who work at the Dearborn Ford Test Facility who work on the Focus's ill ask them if they know how to solve the problem. Most likely its some problem with the Computer software. Thats fairly easy to change if you have the right equipment i wouldnt expect a dealer to have it.
  • birdsmouthbirdsmouth Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Focus wagon. I have been having problems with the engine stalling at sudden stops and surging at normal driving speeds. Ford dealer has been telling me for some time that the problem was in my head, not in the car. When I received notice of the extended warranty coverage for the fuel pump, I immediately called the Ford service manager and said I wanted a new fuel pump. He said I could bring the car in and if they could determine that I had a fuel pump problem in the shop, they would replace it. But, I said, the problem doesn't occur all the time, or even most of the time; just occasionally. How long do you think I can afford to have my car sit in your shop until it proves it has a problem, I asked? Well, that's the only way we will replace the fuel pump for free, he said.

    Now, the problem with this is that the notice from Ford says something else. It says that if I say I have the problem, and if Ford cannot determine that the problem has some other cause, then they will do a free replacement.

    Also, in a Feb. 13, 2004 letter to the Center for Auto Safety, which you can find via the following link, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote: "Owners will be able to obtain the free remedy whenever they experience any stalling symptoms, without any need for dealer confirmation of a problem with the FDM (i.e. fuel delivery module; aka fuel pump)." In other words, Ford is promising the NHTSA one thing, and telling us suckers who bought an early Focus another.

  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    In my experience the way to deal with this is to write a letter. It's amazing how they suddenly take it a lot more seriously when it is in writing. I'd write the dealer and CC Ford. It's a hassle but in the end you may have to do it anyway.
  • hotx3hotx3 Member Posts: 71
    Mine is being replaced right now, at the second dealer I took it to. The first wanted to charge $2200 to replace the head because of a carbon buildup on the exhaust valves TSB 020901. The second dealer tells me there is no buildup, but he did drop the tank and found stuff in the pump inlet, qualifying me for warranty replacement.
    Bottom line - there are so many problems with these cars you have to find a dealer you can trust and get whatever needs to be done while you're still under warranty. This may mean putting up the money for diagnosis. It's aggravating, but it's not worth saving money now to be left paying big $$ or arguing for customer goodwill later. You know your car and the service people know how to find the problems. Work with them.
    Time will tell if I made the right decision, but sometimes you have to do something.
  • occupant1occupant1 Member Posts: 412
    if smoke came out the vents 2 daays before, it means your heater core failed, then you kept driving the car, the coolant all leaked out the heater core, and you blew the motor. I'm surprised Ford is offering any assistance at all. The steam coming from the vents was the indication to get the car to the dealer immediately. Heater cores fail for a number of reasons. For some reason, on Fords, they fail dur to corrosion from of all things, static electricity. The way to keep this from happening is to make sure all cooling system components are properly grounded. I'm not joking. Put grounding straps on the heater core, on the radiator, and any metal lines in between. It will prevent this from happening again.
  • mpgmanmpgman Member Posts: 723
    An earlier post asked about traction control. I believe that Ford has discontinued it as an option for the Focus despite it allegedly being one of the best systems on the market. Too few ordered it and the cost drove the MSRP too high when all the other options were added. This may be more appropriately referred to as a vehicle stability system.
  • carguy04carguy04 Member Posts: 22
    Hello everyone, first time poster here to this board. I am thinking about buying a 2004 ZTW Wagon, Sport Group w/leather & heated seats. I have read previous posts re how uncomfortable the lumbar support is on the driver's seat, so I hope to be able to take a long test drive to check this out before buying. Also, does anyone have the leather seats, and how durable are they? How about the heated seats? How well do they work? Do they have 2 settings, for low and high heat?
    Also, the side air bags... do they protect just the torso area, or the head and torso? Thanks.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    I've been looking at the wagons too for some time and been on the verge of writing the check recently. I have road tested 04 wagons and rented an SE sedan for a long trip and found nothing remarkable about any of the seats and am not too worried about it. But I know the owners comments will carry more weight. There are some hard core Focus sites and it seems not an issue to most people. Worse possible case you can get some aftermarket seats with the money you save on this vehicle. The side air bag is not a curtain if that was the question. Not sure if it protects the head which I think is way more important then hip area. Here are some items that people do notice - inconsistent start times - they don't seem to always start right up and that is probably a function of PZEV emissions. In the unlikely event you are looking for a 5-speed (I actually found some) the 1st to 2nd gear change is a little clunky and surprisingly that tranny is made in Germany. Also the rear shocks in the wagon don't seem to be firm enough - some folks get new firmer ones even on a brand new car and are happy they did. Well, the prices are sensational and I still think it is an unheard of bargain especially with the warranty. Car and Driver just did a quick road test on a 2.3 wagon with a 5 speed and got 0-60 in 7.8. Not bad at all. If you've seen the 2005 which will be released early (soon) I think you may want to get the 04 while you can. The 05 has been really uglified IMHO and they will drop the 2.3 from most models and go back to a 2.0. Hope some of this might help.
  • carguy04carguy04 Member Posts: 22
    Just wanted to say thanks for your response to my posting. Lots of good info you provided. I hope to test drive a ZTW soon, as I have found one in a local dealer's inventory thru Ford's website with the options I want. I am looking for an auto, but I did happen to find one in my state with a 5 speed. I agree with you that the '04 does seem like quite a bargain, especially with the $2500 rebate. Also, I would prefer to have the 2.3. Is this the same 2.3 that Mazda has in its new 3 model? I noticed the 3 has a higher hp rating @160 compared to the Focus @ 145.
    I also did some further research re the side air bags, and they do cover both the head and torso areas.
    Since you have already test drove the '04 wagon, what is your opinion re ride, handling and noise level? Thanks.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    Thanks for the info on the SAB's,
    The 2.3 is the same basic engine and Mazda designed it. The difference is the Mazda has variable valves like a Honda VETEC so it kicks in extra hp on the high end. The engine feels the same to me except the Mazda spins up better to red line. It is exceptionally smooth like a V6 - they did a super job with the balance shafts. Also the Focus engine is made in Mexico and the Mazda in Japan. I'm not too worried about this because it is all new tooling and Ford has been pretty good with their new engines and it has that super warranty anyway. Note that the Focus wagon 0-60 is just .1 second slower then the SVT 170hp. The 2.3 PZEV guys on another site are having a good laugh over this one! I personally would not get a Focus without it. I think the suspension strong point is that it is about as quick and precise as a Civic (which I think is a benchmark in small cars) yet it is more compliant and feels like it has more travel. ON the other hand the Focus is a little higher so it rolls just a little more. The only caveat is the rear suspension which does not dampen rebound sufficiently. I would replace the rear shocks with KYB GR-2's and leave the front alone. Someone on another site replaced the rears with Koni's (maybe overkill) and was very happy with the results. Noise level is pretty good. AT bout 75-80 I began noticing acceptable wind noise around mirrors but only because the car was otherwise quiet. I was expecting the rack to get noisy but it didn't. It didn't have cross bars installed. I'm not sure the cross bars are standard on the 04. Other possible problem I noticed was same I refered to before. The car had an initial long start of a few seconds, next start was still a little long. Not sure if this is some from sitting on lot too long but I think it is PZEV emission issue. I will check it again on my next test cuz the car still has not sold. Also I think the steering wheel placement on the SE is too far from driver - but on ZTW you can adjust with the tele/tilt wheel. I have to ask what state you are in, because I can't find a ZTW 5-speed wagon here in California. Pleae let me know your impressions of the car. With all the analysis of the thing I've done I don't know why I haven't bought it yet!
  • carguy04carguy04 Member Posts: 22
    Thanks again for your comments and analysis. You certainly are a wealth of information on this Focus ! I live in Colorado, and the one ZTW 5-speed I found here is in Rifle CO, which is on the western side of the state on I-70. This ZTW is white w/beige cloth interior. It has the weather package and sport group, but no ABS and no side air bags. It's MSRP is $18,155. That would be quite a drive for you from California !
    I didn't have time today to test drive the ZTW, but hope to next Saturday. I only found 2 or 3 ZTW's in local dealer inventories w/ the options I would like... Sport Group, auto trans, heated seats, side air bags and ABS. Most models in stock are the base SE models.
    This next week I am going to check w/my insurance agent for rates on the ZTW.
    I am also going to test drive the Mazda 3 hatchback for comparison. I know it has less than half the cargo capacity of the ZTW, but from all I have read about it it seems to be quite an appealing car.
    Have you shopped any other small wagons? I have also considered the VW Jetta, Subaru Forester and Outback, PT Cruiser, Toyota Matrix, and the new Mazda 6.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    Looks like we are thinking the same cars. I tested the Mazda3 hatch. It is a really good car and it shows that it is made in Japan. The interior is nicer than the Focus (if you like black) and it feels rock solid and the suspension is great. The electric power steering is super quick. Note that it is geared a little high - engine is spinning pretty fast at 70mph, but the engine is smooth. Maybe a consideration if you drive long highway runs at significant high speeds. What killed it for me is that I want a wagon with some cargo space for camping, etc and the Mazda3 is only 41" between the wheel wells whereas the Focus is 45" and the Focus wagon has an exceptional amount of useable space for a smallish vehicle. However, the Mazda3 is up to date, no doubt stiffer chasis and latest safety, so I'd have to say it is the superior vehicle in this category, bar none, but more $$ of course. If you are looking for Outback note the all-new outback is just months away with significant improvements. Well, happy car-shopping - Seems like I am making a hobby of it and may never buy anything because it will spoil the fun!
  • cjsbcjsb Member Posts: 71
    Make that three of us. I'm up here near Toronto looking at the same cars (as listed by carguy), drawing many of the same conclusions and raising the same questions.
    I've been on my search for a vehicle for nearly 6 months and am close to pulling the trigger on an '04 ZTW. Why haven't I yet? First, because I was hoping to get a look at the '05 before making my decision - though I agree with Jimjps that it looks like it may be "uglified" (only seen photos). The added variable for me is that the '04's here still use the 2.0 130hp engine...I believe the two of you may already have the 2.3 145hp (#'s correct?). I also have heard the concerns about the seating/lumbar support (as per carguy). Lastly, I want to see where the Mazda 6 wagon will fit in all on this.
    Ultimately however, this car seems a very good deal and offers a unique value equation (moderate cost, substantial cargo room, above average fuel economy, not a mini-van) not commonly seen in the current market. At least by my estimation. Other equally outfitted "competitors" are either pricier, smaller or both.
    My negotiations have resulted in a cash purchase of around $23 500 or a 60 month finance of about $445/mo with zero down. Figures are in Canadian dollars and include all tax/license.
    And like carguy, I'm not sure I want to give-up what has become a genuine hobby...maybe I'll also end up not buying anything just to keep the search alive.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    IN Canada you may actually get a better engine by waiting, because the 05 2.0 will be a "Duratec" and get just a few extra hp over the 130hp 2.0 Zetec. I think this is from improvement in head design. The 2.3 PZEV is a Duratec and already has the improved head design. Here in the states we will loose hp going from the 2.3 to 2.0. Here's my opinion on those other cars and they are just that, opinions: MAtrix - the 1.8 just doesn't cut it, the Ford/Mazda 2.3 is in another class. Matrix reviews are not great. PT cruiser - kind of a styling statement. The bulging fenders are just dumb - extra turbulence and less interior volume for the car exterior size - but it makes up some with the height. Jetta - quality of the NA car is not too good. Get it with a German engine like a TDI and now you've got something worthwhile. It has already been replaced by the next generation in Germany. Wait a year and get the next generation.
    Forrester - mechanically good. I really wish they styled it differently. Mazda6 wagon is now on dealer lots. For cargo volume it is not much bigger then ZTW. The 3.0 will be a lot lower on mpg and not a lot faster then a 2.3 ZTW. Oh, and the 4 cylinder version - well that's the same engine as the Focus and Mazda3 2.3! Good looking vehicle though and latest safety. It's made in US (as is the ZTW) and the MAzda3 will probably have the edge on build quality. Outback - the 05 will drop 200lbs while it is stronger, stiffer, safer chasis - mostly through extensive use of aluminum, so the car is stronger with the same engines. Think of it as being Audi-ized. I would wait for the new one and it is just a few months away. The Japanese-made new Outback has been out for a while. Ours will be the same car but made in US. It's a very good looking car indeed.

    Outbacks and Mazda 6 3.0 wagons will cost about 2x a Focus SE wagon and this is no exageration.

    #1 rule in cars - get what you really want.

  • carguy04carguy04 Member Posts: 22
    Hi Guys.. quite something the 3 of us are shopping the same cars, especially the ZTW. Like yourselves, this seems to have become a hobby of mine too.. researching various models and taking test drives. But, I tend to keep a car for several years, and want to make a good decision. Thanks again for all of your info and insights.
    Would you happen to know the ZTW's cargo capacity? One consumer book I have lists it at 73 cu ft. Is this correct? That's very close to the Taurus wagon at 81 cu ft.
    I hope to test drive the Mazda 3 Hatchback soon, even though the price I got from the dealer is $2000 more than I could buy a ZTW for.
    The Mazda 6 wagon is quite attractive but expensive. Seems like the majority of these wagons will be loaded versions from what I have viewed online from dealers inventories, with MSRPs $26000 and higher. Plus, I agree with you that its mpg isn't that great.
    A couple of things about the ZTW that concerns me is the reliability history along with its high depreciation rate. Although the current $2500 rebate does soften the depreciation blow a little.
    I have been spotting some ZTWs lately around town... bright red, medium green and black. I noticed on the black one it had a chrome molding above the rear license plate.
    Till next time...
  • cjsbcjsb Member Posts: 71
    Thanks for the input on the engine Jim. Have you seen the '05 in person (uglified?)?
    I agree about the Matrix...1.8 is weak, styling is not to my preference and usable cargo area is limited. PT not for me aesthetically. Jetta - I can get a good deal on as I have a relative at a dealership near here, but even still, overpriced, smaller rear seat and cargo area and sketchy reliability. As does carguy, I intend to keep each car for several years (10?) minimum, so Jetta is dicey (had an Audi and paid for it literally/figuratively as it aged). Forrester/Outback seem very good vehicles...though value (subjective) may be an issue based upon somewhat higher prices. Options seem to really add up to extra $$ on these two. Mazda 6...seems a great car but it will likely be a while until real negotiations/incentives can happen here. Mazda 3...impressive...but I need the extra cargo area the ZTW would offer. Not to mention the 3's still have not come down in price enough to be in this race.
    Carguy: ZTW's cargo cap. doesn't seem far off taurus...though i don't have #'s. Taurus seems antiquated when the two are driven back-to-back. As per reliability/recalls...stats suggest the 2003 models and beyond have overcome this issue. Lastly, I think you're dead on about the rapid depreciation. I've seriously considered a used '03 as a result. Price is $18500 as opposed to $23500. Do either of you think the $5k savings is worth considering this option. Or is new the way to go as I hope to keep this car many years?
    And yup...chrome molding above rear plate here too.
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