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Ford Focus Sedan

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    bob_in_brbob_in_br Member Posts: 1
    I have a new 2007 SES. I like it:). Question though, any tricks or gotcha's on mounting the front license plate? I see the marks for the fasteners, but what kind of fastener should I use. I did not get anything with the car.

    Thanks in advance.....
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    bdymentbdyment Member Posts: 573
    Your dealer should have provided you with a front mounting bracket and fasteners. Have them install the bracket.
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    dj2bigdj2big Member Posts: 9
    look in your glove box the screws should be in there.

    I got the 2007 SES with weather package and moon roof!

    I am going to replace the factory radio, speakers, i will also add 2 amps and 1 sub woofer.

    I plan on keeping this car for the next 5 years so i do not mind upgrading the tunes.
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    basiliskstbasiliskst Member Posts: 55
    My 2005 Focus ST with the 2.3 liter and 5-speed manual transmission is still running flawlessly at 47,000 miles.

    Observations? It is still a joy to drive with perfect on-center feel and tracking (lacking in so much of the competition). The Focus goes where it is pointed with a sense of purpose and control. It exits a curve with wonderful torque and power. There is a lot of road noise, addressed by the new 2008's attention to NVH but at the sacrifice of the lovely 2.3 liter engine as the '08 Focus only offers the 2.0 liter. Fuel economy for the sport model is just over 30 mpg all-in for the last 30,000 miles, with probably 70% Interstate (65-75 mph) and the rest mixed city. The manual is well located and both the shift throws and clutch feel work well for me. It could use another and higher sixth gear (beyond the 5 now available) to reduce cruising RPMs at 70 mph, but the ratios at lower speeds are sweet in cut and thrust driving. I've performed regular maintenance and used synthetic oil. The only unscheduled maintenance was replacement of a remote trunk release under warranty. (It relocked before you could open the trunk.) Very minor gripe is the wear on the radio buttons as it is the only thing that betrays it is not brand new.

    For the price, the economy, reliability and fun factor are hard to beat. Dressed in all black inside and out with a leather accented interior featuring red stitching my Focus looks purposeful and sporting. Based on my sterling experience, I heartily recommend the Focus as a well-sorted, reliable car.
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    My '05 ST's power remote trunk release was so oversensitive it popped open the trunk whenever there's water (heavy rain or car wash). The dealer initially failed to admit it b/c I didn't point out that it's water related. When I brought the car in again, they blamed on my recent removal of the rear spoiler w/ the holes plugged but not sealed with plastic plugs.

    This problem seemed to improve over time, but not the toxic nauseating interior smell (mine was an early production purchased in late '04). Ford refused to cover this smell problem saying that there's no standard finding it as a defect. I later found newer Focus' not having this sickening smell. Also, the '06 suspension was improved for comfort, as Consumer Reports (June '06) praised its ride in the "HIGHS", which is an expeption (along w/ the BMW 3-series) for a sporty-handling car. So I decided to chip in another $8k to trade it in (my '05 had only about 10,000 miles was worth only $7800) back in May for a nearly-stripped factory-ordered '07 ST, which was sold at dealer's invoice plus the $3000 rebate, which is nothing compare to the $8000 off MSRP my cousin bargained down on a $30,000 premium Focus-II (Volvo V50).

    Since the sound quality of my '05's factory Sony/subwoofer system sucked & sucked out too much trunk space, I skipped any stereo upgrade this time & plan to do aftermarket.

    I even skipped the heated seats & side airbags on the (checkered-like red/blk) cloth seats this time, as I plan to replace them w/ a pair of sport seats (blue cloth/blk vinyl with an "S" in red on the "Focus S" stitching) from the '05-07 Taiwan-spec Focus II Sport hatch. That'll look pretty rad w/ the checkered-like red/blk cloth on the front door panels.

    I don't envy the 5-cyl Focus II ST's factory Recaro seats, as Recaro seats have thin cushion that can't absorb road shocks like these factory seats, which got very thick (but still firm) cushion. & they're huge & have very supportive shape like Volvo seats:
    http://tw.page.bid.yahoo.com/tw/auction/1149010119

    The only option on my '07 ST is the traction control, which used to be standard feature back in '05.

    Consumer Reports mistakenly found the ST's sport-exhaust noise as the 2.3's loud engine noise, as they didn't complain about the noise from SES's 2.0. Some exhaust shops should be able to modify the noise to a comfortable level that doesn't interfere w/ human conversation.
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "Observations? It is still a joy to drive with perfect on-center feel and tracking (lacking in so much of the competition). The Focus goes where it is pointed with a sense of purpose and control. It exits a curve with wonderful torque and power."

    The Focus may not have the comfy long springs found in luxury cars like VW, Accord & Mercedes, but the sport suspension of the U.S. Focus ST keeps the normal ride height while other sport packages found in Mercedes, VW/Audi & BMW all have their mighty long springs chopped short! So this makes a perfect comparison b/t the Focus ST & those big guys w/ sport package.

    This is what happened when these Euro hatchbacks -- BMW 3-series(E46), Mercedes C-class , Audi A3(MkII) & Alfa 147 -- are equipped with sport package:
    "Individually none is bad, but the general (in)competence level has shocked me because even the best car here doesn't come close to the basic dynamic standards set by the four-and-a-half-year-old Ford Focus. And for the money being asked that's criminal." -- British magazine AUTOCAR(pp46-51, 11 June 2003)

    So let's take a look at the best driver's sedan from BMW -- the E36 ('92-99 3-series). It's more involving & has more steering feel than the newer models but still rides much comfier than those old ones w/o multi-link rear suspension. & I went collect a mint '99 328is.

    To my surprise, besides having RWD so adding LSD can play power rear slide, this car has no advantage over the lighter-weight 2.3 Focus ST! I like heavy steering, so I would change the voltage signal in the Focus pwr-steering wire to keep it hefty. But this BMW's steering is still too heavy for me! & despite the slow ratio, it still can't track straight at high speed if the the road isn't perfectly smooth or leveled, so constant correction is needed whole day long! While the quick-&-light steering from the Focus requires only one finger to track straight steadily & effortlessly! Everything in this BMW requires so much effort (especially when Focus's clutch is so light) while very little was achieved. I wonder what all the fuss was all about. RWD set up means the engine doesn't have to sit ahead of the front axle. But w/ so much curb weight, a heavy 6-cyl is needed & an agile front end doesn't seem to be there. What's worse, the car plows straight forward badly at low speed if the steering wheel is turned after stepping on the throttle hard. & the sport packege's lowered springs made the ride comfort rather nightmare-ish over deeper bumps such as speed bumps.

    "There is a lot of road noises"

    As far as the road noise goes, you might have to sound insulate your inexpensive Focus w/ Dynamat or something.

    Another advise from me -- Invest a Quaife LSD from Focus Sport. Turn off the traction control & toss your ST around w/ the 2.3 throttle :P This is the best FWD toy you can get.
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    basiliskstbasiliskst Member Posts: 55
    Creakid1 advised that the 2005-2007 Focus ST with a Quaife limited slip differential "is the best FWD toy you can get." I'd agree with that wholeheartedly, even without the after market limited slip differential. For the money, the Focus ST is unbelievable.

    It's not that I couldn't afford a more expensive car. It's that the ST wowed me by contrast with more expensive cars. Why spend more when the best driving experience was also the lowest cost. That's what I call value.

    If I could, I'd find an after market trunk lid liner and do a few more refinements to address road noise, but the 2.3 liter engine really sings and I don't want to cover up that perfect burble.

    Most cars fade into the background of daily life. Reliability is all that is asked by most consumers. My Focus has been bulletproof reliable, but it gives more than that. Every day I still think, "Gee, this is a great car to drive." I have fun driving it. That new toy feeling hasn't worn off and I've put 25,000 miles on in a little over a year. I'm not bored yet.

    I've driven bigger, more powerful performance cars but none have had the same lasting effect on me as the Focus ST.

    Thanks for the lead to Focus Sport and some possible upgrades like the Quaife differential.
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    bmejob07bmejob07 Member Posts: 3
    The muffler of my 2002 SE has started leak because of rust. If I replace whole exhaust system it will cost me more than $400. Is there anyone know how to fix it instead of replaceing it? Thanks! :cry:
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    Here's a RWD rival w/ closer curb weight from BMW...

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/firstdrives/211321/bmw_1series_coup.html-

    "To cope with the performance, the flagship Coupé gets M Sport suspension as standard. This sees the car low­ered by 15mm, and so it serves up sharp steering and bags of grip. But while body roll is limited, the ride can become crashy over bumpy surfaces, and the electro-mechanical steering doesn’t provide consistent weight and feel."

    If you can afford to buy the best driver's car, then why bother ruining the fun w/ electro steering?

    The Focus 2.3 ST should fear no rival, 'cause there is none. :P
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    Please, there is no such thing as high-tech Control Blade multi-link rear suspension all wrapped up in a tall narrow compact exterior the way the original Focus is. Not the newer Mazda3/S40/Focus-II w/ bulky exterior width.

    Here's a new challenger from Europe compact enough to match, but trying to get away w/ low-tech rear suspension, plus electric steering?
    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/firstdrives/211788/vauxhall_corsa.html

    "To provide poise in the corners, the suspension has been lowered by 18mm at the front, and 15mm at the rear. The electrically assisted steering has also been reprogrammed, and is claimed to give greater weighting and more feedback. Sadly, the SRi fails to live up to its promise. Turn into a bend and you’ll discover an artificial feel to the steering and a chassis that’s too easily upset by mid-corner bumps and the torque of the turbo powerplant.

    The stiff suspension set-up also means that the Corsa crashes and thumps over even the smoothest surfaces, making motorway journeys a pain. A springy action to the six-speed gearbox and a jerky throttle compound the dynamic deficiencies."

    Does the new line of "fun" compact Saturns coming up from Europe have any future?
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    Oh no, we need to be competitive in the fuel-economy area, especially when most Focus buyers here are bunch of cheapskates. So instead of having efficient engines like Honda's, let's just pull out the belt-driven hydraulic power-steering pump.

    This original Euro classic now doesn't just look domestic. It's as boring to steer as well!

    http://www.carpages.ca/go/roadtest/2008_ford_focus_coupe_road_test.aspx

    "Moving to the new design, some of the ingredients have changed, such as the conversion to electrical power steering...
    Though much is the same, the new Focus has a different character than the old one, a more sober, mature character. The steering maintains the effortless, light feeling of the old car, but it's less hyperactive. While still precise it feels slightly dulled when going straight ahead, something I'd chalk up to the setup of the electrical power steering to require less inputs when driven at high speeds on the highway and fewer kickbacks from the wheel. The conversion to an electric rack also leaves the wheel mostly devoid of feedback, an area which the old Focus was very strong. The Focus' handling has also been tweaked fairly substantially to increase its stability. The new model now reacts neutrally to input, safely understeering its way out of problem situations, which is in sharp contrast to the current car's desire to oversteer upon throttle lift-off or when trail braking. Our Sport Package equipped Coupe tester featured a rear stabilizer bar for a slightly flatter ride, but there's still a fair deal of body roll."

    So you don't get to play oversteer w/ this high-tech Control Blade rear suspension anymore? Our fun playful puppy has died :cry:
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    mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Please refrain from making comments based on biased fiction instead of Facts.

    The 2.0L in the Focus has a combined EPA of 28 mpg. The 1.8L in the Civic has a combined EPA of 29 mpg. Hardly much of a difference when you consider that the Focus has a 4 speed auto vs the 5 speed auto in the Civic. Focus has a bigger engine (more torque) and has 2 cubic feet more in the passanger compartment and in the truck.

    www.fueleconomy.gov

    :P

    Mark
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    More low-end torque should meant even higher mpg. As shown in other manufacturers' results, such as the 2.8 BMW gets better mpg than the 2.5 BMW if they are both tuned to have the same high-end hp.

    Consumer Reports' real-world testing has been consistently complaining about Focus' low mpg, even after switching to Mazda-ized engines. While these Mazda-ized engines used in the Focus are tuned to have stronger low-end torque & weaker high-end hp than the ones used in the Mazda3, CR's real-world testing praised the 2.0 Mazda3 for having the best mpg!

    My torquiest Focus engine -- the ST 2.3 -- feels weaker than my '98 Corolla 1.8 at low rpm. I get 40mpg cruising my 5-sp Corolla LE on the fwy, while my 5-sp Focus ST can't even come close.

    Despite all that, I still hated my Corolla due to the poor steering, handling, ride & driving position. That's why I got rid of it & bought the Focus ST. How many people in (the "badge snob") S. California do that? ;)
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    mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    I really wish Ford would dump 4 speed autos. It doesn't hurt so much in the Focus as in other vehicles.

    The new 08 Escape actually gets lower MPG than the bigger Edge!

    I know Ford is retooling a plant in Mich to make more 6F trans and they already have excess 3.5L capacity so that is coming to the Escape. But by then the competition will have moved on also.

    FORD LETS GET THE STUFF TO MARKET!

    Mark
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "A first for Ford is the firm’s new PowerShift gearbox, which is similar to VW’s DSG semi-automatic transmission. Using twin clutches, it pre-selects the next gear, allowing faster changes. The six-speed ‘box can be used as a full automatic, or with steering wheel-mounted paddles. It goes on sale in spring, costing around £950."

    http://newsletter.autoexpress.co.uk/c/11YilAnl46M46Jh

    Ford thinks that Focus buyers in America are bunch of cheapskates that don't deserve the best transmission. So only people overseas get it.

    But heck, I don't care 'cause I drive stick.

    "Following in the footsteps of the hatchback range, this is the first picture of the new Focus saloon (below left). Getting the same Mondeo-style looks as the three and five-door cars, the booted car features a revised tail with a fresh bumper and LED lights. Unlike the hatches, it will only be available with 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0-litre diesel engines, as well as 1.6 and 2.0 petrols."

    http://newsletter.autoexpress.co.uk/c/11YilAnl46M46Jh
    Click the lower right picture to see the sedan.

    I still think my 2.3 "classic" Focus ST rules, in terms of looks, normally aspirated power & handling fun!
    http://www.gulfcoastnews.com/RT2005FordFocus.htm

    Having the old Mondeo nose
    http://www.wheels24.co.za/Wheels24/Galleries/w24_GalleriesModelPicDisplay/0,,675- - - - -13649,00.html
    looks more cool than having the new Mondeo nose, IMO.
    http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2007/02/geneva-preview-2008-ford-mondeo-full.html
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    jacksoncatjacksoncat Member Posts: 1
    The Firestone mechanic who tried to correct premature rear tire wear said that he can not adjust the rear camber because Ford didn't create a way. I like this car otherwise, but the ride is killing me. Are there any reasonable solutions?
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    mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    It continues to surprise me how many people never learned to rotate their tires.

    I suspect though that you might have something else going on. Usually its the front tires that take the beating, especially on a front drive car.

    Incidently, the Focus and the Civic have a 4 wheel independant suspension.
    the Corolla and the Sentra/Versa do not have independant rear suspension.

    You want a better ride, you need to get a car with a longer wheel base.

    Mark.
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    waynebengstonwaynebengston Member Posts: 29
    Has you car been lowered? There is no reason you should be having either a poor ride or rear camber wear, unless the car has been improperly lowered or the struts are shot. The solution is putting the correct springs in or replacing the worn struts.

    Proper tire rotation is essential as well, but that will not effect the ride.

    Also, you can buy a camber kit so as to be able to adjust the rear camber, but that will not effect ride either.

    One of the reason I love the Focus is the supple ride combined with great handling.
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    tkfitztkfitz Member Posts: 95
    Just bought a 2007 SE. Great deal with all the rebates. So far about 400 miles on the car. It is not quite what I am used to, but a fun car to drive. I hope it lasts like my last Ford.
    2007 Focus Sedan
    SE package
    Safety package
    Moon roof
    cruise tilt etc...
    Already at 34 MPG.....only first tank of gas....
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    rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    Granted, usually it is the front tires that get ate up on FWD cars, but my Focus ZTW wagon (and I suspect other Foci) have such light rear ends that they cup tires in short order. This causes the whump, whump, whump, so many folks complain about and there just aint a damn thing you can do about it, other than carry sand bags in the trunk. I rotate my tires every 5k and after about 10-12k (for the whichever two are in the back) they are shot. Minor issue for me, the car handles like a bat out of hell, so no worries. :shades:
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    waynebengstonwaynebengston Member Posts: 29
    There is something wrong with your alignment if you are cupping tires. Having a light rear end has nothing to do with it. I've got 15,000 miles on my tires and neglected the rotation until 14,000. The backs looked like new, no cupping at all.

    Keep in mind that factory alignments are pretty rough, and even the "factory specs" are fairly loose. I always find a good shop who is willing to get them tightly in the middle.
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    tkfitztkfitz Member Posts: 95
    You might have more luck with tires more suited to your style of driving. My Focus came with Hankook tires that seem to have a lot of room for improvement. I will certainly look for a better tire when I replace these.
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    markus5markus5 Member Posts: 102
    :) On the Focus ZX3 Forum some months back "Tire Recommendations", I related that some of the issues with replacement tires for my car. Original equipment Pirellis all-season were just marginal and were off the car at probably less than 20k ( all-season tires are not very good winter tires at that point). Ordering 4 Dunlop Graspic winter tires with the 195-60/15 wheels from Tire-Rack, has been the best accessory I ever purchased. On the other hand, The Koumo "Exta" summer high performance Tires was not a very good choice. Fortunately only 2 of those were purchased, and placed on the rear. After one season they were cupped pretty badly. Moving them to the front for the next season they were extremely noisy. They were replaced last April by 4 BFG "G-Sport" . they are a superior Summer tire and seem to be wearing well.
    Perhaps the reason that so many Focus drivers claim their cars "handle well" is directly attributable to the rear suspension architecture, which the engineers claim is "passive 4-wheel steering", using the tires more effectively to maintain driver control.
    Fun for the driver. But if you want to play, you will have to pay (a little for it in this case). Having a fun car to drive is important. :)
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    rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    "Perhaps the reason that so many Focus drivers claim their cars "handle well" is directly attributable to the rear suspension architecture, which the engineers claim is "passive 4-wheel steering", using the tires more effectively to maintain driver control.
    Fun for the driver. But if you want to play, you will have to pay (a little for it in this case). Having a fun car to drive is important."

    Agreed. And, even though another reader disagrees, putting some more weight in the rear. Passed a Focus sedan on the way to Orlando on Christmas Eve with the LR tire just bouncing along happy as can be. That's what causes cupping. I had the same issues with an old GTI back in the 80s. Cars with light rear ends suffer the malady. However, most of those cars handle like bats out of hell, and tires cupping is a small price to pay for a great handling car, at least from my perspective... :shades:
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    robflarobfla Member Posts: 4
    Last car was a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. Sold it and bought this car new. Paid 13,300 with a 5-spd trans. The focus drives like a sports car, no doubt about it. At 500 miles a large amount of oil began leaking from the engine into my driveway. The dealer diagnosed a inccorectly machined "engine rivet" from the factory. He called it a "rivet and showed it to me on the block, but it has a different technical term. The dealer kept the car for a few days to repair. No leaks since.But was a bad sign, nonetheless. The front tires were out of balance from the start. Dealer re-balanced them. Their is a chronic creak-squeak from the rear springs/axle area. Of course, the dealer cannot seem to find the problem.Its embarassing sometimes to put the groceries in the back seat and the car grunts.Its going back to the dealer soon for this. I purchased the 5 year extended warranty and 4 year premium maintanance plan. Thinking this would cover just about everything.The dealer shop rep exhausted himself telling me i would have to pay hundreds of dollars extra in the future for dealer recomended items. I know better and debated him on this.He backed down, but was a waste of time and showed a lack of professionalism on his part. I was their to have my car fixed under warranty, not have him try to score a bonus for ripping me off with sleezy sales tactics.I realy like this car so far, only 3000 miles and plan to keep it for many years.OH, by the way, This car is getting 22-23 city driving and 28mpg on the highway. Far below what ford claims. I cant believe the post from people getting 30mpg.
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    rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    Sorry 2 hear about your car issues. My loaded 03 ZTW just passed 36K and has had ZERO problems, other than a battery (which leaked after 4 years, corroding the cable, which needed to be replaced). Batteries only last 2 years in FL, and I had this one for 1 1/2 years in ND + 2 1/2 in FL, so 4 years was awesome (corroding the cable sucked, though...) I went to Autozone and sprayed some of that red gunk on the positive terminal and will now check it every 1k for corrosion--that ain't happening again!
    Re: MPG, I pump my tires up to 35 and will get 35 on the highway easy. Normal around town is 26 (only a little bit of stop and go in my commute). Not bad for an automatic tranny wagon with fat tires.
    Rick
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    ericmayericmay Member Posts: 4
    Darn it! I replaced the valve cover gasket last week, and when I pulled the spark plug wires to allow me to remove the valve cover, I found heavy rust in the spark plug wells again! :confuse: (didn't actually see any water this time!). I had to repeat the process of cleaning the spark plugs and boots, and coating same with silicone.

    I have not sprayed down the engine since the last time this occurred, so I am completely baffled as to how water is getting in there!

    By the way, the valve cover gasket had become so brittle in the front (above the exhaust manifold), that it crumbled as I was trying to remove it. What a fine selection of a gasket material :mad:
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    spolowyspolowy Member Posts: 3
    We bought new, now with 44000. have had tires replaced (dry rot, sand, etc.) brake dust issues all the way around from the start. Just replaced the brakes, rotors all the way around, now intake manifold gaskets and tubes. also new timing belt tensioner. (they said it was a rare thing to break) Have kept up on oil changes and would like the car to keep going for a few more years. All Ford dealer serviced. Are these issues a sign of more to come or do you think we are okay? advice? Thanks in advance, love the site!
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    rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    "intake manifold gaskets and tubes. also new timing belt tensioner"

    I'd venture those items are pretty uncommon, even for a car with 88k on it, but sometimes that's just the way it is--I wouldn't get too concerned. My ZTW is coming up on 40K and, besides tires, had a battery leak & corrode, which took out the cable :cry: Other than that, car is a champ--so much so, spousal unit passed up a new Lincoln MKX (whew--real issues with those, I hear :sick: ) to let me buy a new car (got a Volvo C30 on order), so she can drive the Silver Bullet! :)

    Man, do I love that girl!

    PS--next oil change, I'm putting Mobile1 in--this city driving demands it!
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    spolowyspolowy Member Posts: 3
    Sounds good. thanks. since repaired it idles at in park worse :mad: . it has been probably the best car we ever owned, so i would hate to see it crap out. I am already regretting the day to spend 20-30k on something half as good which is why my research has now started. any input would be appreciated. :)
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    toonpainttoonpaint Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Ford Focus sedan 4 dr. 2.3 engine. I was overseas for 8 months and my father in law didnt bother to start the car even once for me. I came back and stuck the battery on the charger for a day or so. It reads charged and a good battery. When I put it back in the car..the radio will run, the buzzers and wipers work but It dont click or even crank for me. I am a single female with no men around to help me figure this out...I am at a loss. I want to travel home to see my family but without this car I am stuck in the boonies...What could the problem be?
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    sathyanssathyans Member Posts: 1
    Cruise control not working
    Car: 2007 Ford Focus SE

    I bought a used Focus (only powertrain warranty) which has the buttons for cruise control. I did not test cruise control during my test drive so don't know if it ever worked. Everything else works fine.
    When I turn on the cruise control I get no response - the speedcontrol light on the dash does not illuminate. If I press "set/acc" and take my foot off the gas, the car does not hold its speed.

    I've checked the following:
    -checked fuse #53 inside and #29 under hood - appear to be in good condition
    -all three brake lights work

    Is there anything else to check? Or do myself (with no specialized tools or skills)?

    How much could it cost to have the cruise control fixed?

    thanks,
    Sathyan
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    scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
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    creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    I'm an owner an '07 Focus ST, which already has the sport suspension. Lately I rode in a Civic LX coupe w/ std suspension & felt like being punished by the nervous stiff ride.

    Why don't you guys swap the cars for a few minutes & show the Civic owner how "limo-like" a compact Focus SE glides over bumps, although it is the Focus SES's suspension that has a more balanced set up w/ less body roll.

    & I doubt the Civic's steering feel can match the '07 Focus' European-design system.

    With powerplant developed by Mazda, there's no doubt that your Focus will last long enough to see his high-resale Civic worth "only" $2000. Even if your Focus will worth almost nothing by then, he will still never get his $2600 back :D
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    mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Yeah and don't forget that you WON"T have to pay for a timing belt anytime either.
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    kingcobra2kingcobra2 Member Posts: 1
    Have the dealer install a rear shim kit. I went through 3 sets of tires by 45000, had the kit installed no more trouble. Currently have 73500 mi on car with the tires I put on at 45000 with lots of life left on the tires. Good Luck. Worked for me.
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    scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    has been a great car. Very overlooked on purpose in my opinion by the media. Civic has an image advantage over the Focus. When people are educated and actually drive a Focus they can see they get a great little car for a very fair price. They don't have to pay the extra $$ for image. Took my daughters Focus on a 300mile trip and at speeds of 70mph we averaged 38MPG! with the AC on at that! ;)
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    rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    "Have the dealer install a rear shim kit. I went through 3 sets of tires by 45000, had the kit installed no more trouble. Currently have 73500 mi on car with the tires I put on at 45000 with lots of life left on the tires. Good Luck. Worked for me. "

    Greetings. What kind of Focus do you have?
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    walterqwalterq Member Posts: 16
    So one of my front coil springs snapped a few weeks ago and I had both replaced under Ford extended warranty program for these.

    THEN, next day, Rear LH coil spring snaps.

    Has anyone had this problem; assume Ford will not cover since their letter pretty specific to front.

    Just seems like quite the coincidence?
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    andersonncandersonnc Member Posts: 2
    Will two car seats fit well in the backseat of the ZX4?

    Currently I am driving a Chevy Malibu, so Im a bit concerned about transitioning from mid-sized to compact.

    Thanks
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    I just got a new Focus and a forward facing infant seat fits fine. Two will fit fine, since forward facing car seats don't extend much beyond the seat cushion, if at all. It's a different story with REAR facing newborn seats, which are REAL space hogs.

    I'm pretty sure a rear facing infant seat won't work well in the ZX4, I know it didn't work for us with a Neon unless we pushed my wife's seat too far forward for comfort and made it max upright (I couldn't drive with the seat behind me or in the middle). We traded in the Neon on the much roomier, in the back seat, PT Cruiser, and later a Dodge Caliber and Nissan Versa also worked, but now that both kids are in forward facing seats, I got a Focus and it works fine too.

    The Focus definitely doesn't have a much "behind front seat" room as the Caliber, PT Cruiser, and Versa, but those three are the exceptions to the "not much rear seat room in small cars" rule. All the small cars are ok for kids up to 10 or 11, but adults aren't very happy back there, at least American size adults.
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    PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    http://www.freep.com/article/20081123/BUSINESS01/811230406/1014/BUSINESS01
    For much of the year, the Ford Focus compact car, which averages 27 miles per gallon and comes with optional cutting-edge Sync telecommunications and entertainment technology, climbed the sales charts. So far this year, the vehicle built in Wayne is up 20.5%.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    Sometimes a lot of small changes can accumulate to make what drives like a whole new vehicle.

    I have owned 5-6 (I'm too lazy to rummage through my folders to count) Focii since 2000, and the 2009 is definitely the best yet. Some reviewers complain about Ford's decision not to use the same "platform" for this car in both Europe and the US, but I think Ford's decision to focus on incremental improvements instead of introducing a completely new design with "bugs" was a wise one. They have squashed all the bugs from that first year while making year after year of subtle and not so subtle changes.

    First, the quiet, ride, and handling are what you'd expect from Honda, if they built this car, which is a little larger than the Civic but a lot smaller than the Accord. It is an order of magnitude quieter than the 2009 Cobalt I bought two months ago (and that is a quiet car, in absolute terms) and a LOT quieter than either the 2008 Honda Fit or 2008 Nissan Versa that were my trades.

    The engine isn't as strong as in the Cobalt, but it is VERY smooth (part of the NVH - noise vibration harshness upgrades) and rev's very willingly. Driven at lighter throttles, it is actually more pleasant to drive than the slightly gruffer Cobalt. At almost full throttles, the Cobalt really moves out, the Focus is strong but not as dramatic.

    Handling and ride are MUCH better than on the Cobalt - which in turn was MUCH better than the Fit or Versa. In a nut shell, I'd say the Focus handles like a driver's car, rides like a riders car. The Cobalt is more of a riders car, but very competent when pushed.

    The Focus feels 1 size larger than the Cobalt. I know on paper many measurements are similar, but the Focus feels closer to midsize (except for rear seat legroom, which is sacrificed in trade for an enormous trunk). The Cobalt feels closer to compact. The Versa had the most spacious feeling cabin, and both the Versa and Fit had much more usable rear seat space for adults. The Versa "floated" like a French car (bobbled a bit) but gripped the road well. The Fit handled like a go-kart, but felt vulnerably tiny.

    For enthusiasts, I highly recommend the Focus or Fit - both drive well. The Focus is more comfortable and much quieter than the Fit. The Fit has "mini-station wagon" abilities. Overall I'm happier to be in the Focus that the Fit, which felt a little squirrely and was a little too noisy for very long interstate drives (I did drive it from SF to LA once).

    If I had my latest round of purchases to do over...I wouldn't change my choices. I think the Cobalt is a better choice for an automatic - the extra horsepower in the Cobalt makes up for the slush box. For a stick shift I'm glad I went to the Focus instead of buying another Cobalt - yes the Cobalt with a stick shift would have been an acceleration monster, but I like the better steering feel from the conventional hydraulic power steering on the Focus, and the better handling feel from the fully independent rear suspension.

    BTW, for enthusiasts, the Focus coupe has 3 extra horsepower (possibly with increased noise due to a less restrictive muffler setup), 1" or 2" larger wheels and wider tires, and a slightly stiffer suspension. Of course you lose the practicality of four doors. If you want slightly better handling in the 4 door than I am getting in the SE edition, if you pop the luxo bucks and get the SES you get a rear sway bar - although Ford has tuned the '09 without a rear sway bar to handle as well as my old ZX3's with a rear sway bar. Also Steeda offers a rear sway bar kit with all the parts you need to mount it for a nominal $160 or so.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    and handles and rides better than the 2009 Cobalt (1,500 miles on it), 2008 Honda Fit (7,700 miles at trade), 2008 Nissan Versa (7,000 miles at trade).
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    scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    the European Focus. go to google and type in Ford of europe. Then navigate to the cars and to the Focus. This is a nice car! If Ford can bring this to the U.S. the Civic is done. In Europe the Focus actually bests the Civic. Rumor is the 2010 Focus is supposed to be of European design.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    The American Focus is actually much improved. I give Ford credit for making gradual, incremental improvements over the years since its introduction in 1999 as a 2000 model. When Ford Europe went to the "second generation" platform and we didn't, I initially felt we were being cheated, but when I drove the Mazda3 which DID get the upgraded platform, I wasn't impressed - the car had gotten smaller and shorter, it didn't have the "high seating" position which makes the Focus feel like a larger car. I did some research and found out that the Europena platform had been changed mainly to allow all-wheel drive so it could be used for small Volvos etc.

    I have no doubt that the European Focus is - well - more European than our Focus. Which generally means a little noisy, a little harder ride, better handling, slightly better driving dynamics. But my '09 American Focus is definitely a nice ride compared to the other cars I've driven lately - other American compacts and some Japanese compacts and subcompacts. It's really quite a nice car now, and as a result of making incremental improvements rather than starting all over, it's had an enviable reliability record the past 6 years.

    Supposedly Ford is going to "rationalize" its domestic and international manufacturing so that more design and parts are in common. I doubt that will happen. The American Focus platform is so solid and reliable and such a known factor now (and so "tweaked" with the latest generation improvements to body solidity) that it would probably cost more than it's worth to start over with the next generation (3rd) Euro platform. For what, anyway? We don't do AWD here, at least not on compact cars. It would probably take Ford 3 years to get the bugs out of a major platform change, and even if Europe and Amerca started out in synch they would begin to diverge anyway - European subcontractors and American subcontractors make different subassemblies for different tastes etc.

    Finally, the Chevy Astra, a hot competitor to the Ford Focus in Europe, came over here virtually unchanged (it is built in Belgum I believe) as the Saturn Astra and opened to so so reviews and little interest. Likewise the Focus SVT, a fine, fine auto, languished over here.

    There isn't much of a market for upscale, hot, small cars. Such market as there is, is owned by Mazda with its 3 Series. The Focus is a car for the masses, and those of us who actually like to "drive" cars, are lucky that Ford has been willing to keep the "European feel" of this fine little car as much as they have. Most single moms, starving students, and cheap seniors don't care, all they want is reliable, cheap transportation.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    First, the '09 Focus Sedan stick shift was awesome for the drive to LA. I had to drive bumper to bumper the first 26 miles (which took 2 hours), then slow and go for 225 miles, to my overnight stop. The car was quiet and smooth throughout. It was solid and quiet a 75 mph, comparable to my old '06 Impala. What a relief to have a quiet car at last, and not to have to "upsize" to Odyssey or Impala size to get rid of the noise!

    Anyway here is my report on mileage:

    Tank #1 (my first refill)

    181.7 miles, 5.387 gallons, 33.73 mpg

    Tank #2

    175.2 miles, 4.953 gallons, 35.38 mpg

    Tank #3

    226.7 miles, 6.21 gallons, 36.51 mpg

    Tank #4

    271.9 miles, 7.907 gallons, 34.39 mpg

    Overall 34.98 mpg, incredible from a car this size.

    The MPG indicator in the "computer" message center built into the car (SE's and above) was wildly optimistic, initially showing 39-40 mpg. It seems to be "settling down" to more realistic numbers (it is currently telling me I am getting 37 mpg) although I thought it counted fuel injector pulses and should be quite accurate. The Ford calculator makes the Chevy calculator, which is only ever 1 or 2 mpg optimistic, look like a model of accuracy. If you have a Focus, you should print out gas receipts and note your miles on that tank (using the trip mileage calculator) for a more accurate indicator of milealge.

    The only oddity I noted in this series was that I seemed to get better mileage in the slow and go (after the initial bumper to bumper) than in constant high speed cruising.

    Love the car, love the mileage.
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    micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    I've owned 5 or 6 - or maybe more (you lose track when you trade in two cars twice a year) - Focuses since 2000. But I haven't owned one (up until two weeks ago) since I purchased an '05 ZX3. Why?

    Well, first and foremost I made a shift towards purchasing cars with side curtain airbags (the most important kind for survivability per the IIHS.org), and Ford was slow on adopting them. They DID offer a combination torso/head airbag, coming out of the seat, for the front occupants only, but I have kids now and wanted front and rear head coverage, plus the combo bags were hard to find. I was fortunate that my '05 ZX3 came with them, although otherwise lightly optioned (as I like my cars).

    Second, I didn't like the fact that for some reason Ford didn't offer rear seat headrests on any Focus until '09. I didn't feel right about offering to drive co-workers to lunch, in the rear seat of a car that didn't think whip-lash protection via head rests is important.

    Third, I had gotten used to lot quieter cars. Other economy cars got a lot quieter, but the Focus didn't, until 2008 when they added better sound proofing and a special, thicker windshield (an upgrade made to the Escape that year, too). I thought this was a minor difference, until I went driving earlier in the year in a left-over '07 ZX3 (yes, I loved the Hatchback Focus) and realized that while the engine and road noise were moderate, the wind rush was horrific. Thankfully, starting in 2008 Ford redesigned the Focus to be much quieter (but watch out for the Coupe which has a noisier muffler, which is actually deliberate on Ford's part), and my '09 Focus is comparable in sound levels to the two quietest vehicles I've owned, an '06 Impala and my wife's '07 Honda Odyssey. That's saying a lot.

    Fourth, the hatchback disappeared! I love hatchbacks, they are smaller than a sedan for easy city parking, but when you flop the rear seats down, they turn into really effective "haulers." I sure hope they bring the hatchback back!

    So those were the negatives, most of which got solved (Focii come with curtain air bags standard, they are quiet, they have rear headrests).

    So which was the tipping point for me?

    Well, if the Focus this year had still been stuck with those goofy fake air vents on the fenders, I wouldn't have even test drove this year's much improved, very satisfying model. I could probably have lived without rear headrests (my kids are short and co-workers can ride in their own cars!) but I definitely couldn't have lived with those cheesy fake vents.

    It doesn't hurt that the front air dam area got cleaned up.

    Although initially I thought the Focus interior was cheap looking compared to my recent Fit and Versa experiences, I have actually come around to liking it a lot. It is less "busy" than the Fit, which was way over designed, and I like Ford's use of pebbling, micropebbling, and "sticky" or "grippy" overlays (on the arm rest). Now that I have 1,000 miles on the car, I see the interior as cleverly minamalist, in that way I used to like VW's (until they started getting all Lexus'd out). A lot of thought when into surfaces, seat fabrics, lighting under switchgear, the center arm rest, the controls, the rubber lining in the console cupholders, etc. The only thing I miss are hand grabs, not because I use them to get in and out, but because I like to grab them while on interstate drives to stretch out a little.

    If you like your Focus, as I do, please share your thoughts with your friends, relatives, and coworkers. This is a very difficult time for the American manufacturers. I have watched them for the past 8 years, and they have been diligent about reducing so-called "legacy" costs while upgrading their products to reduce warranty costs and quality control issues. Ford, imho, has done the best job - the Focus is still in the hunt compared with Corollas and Sentras and maybe even Civics, if you give it points for its Euro-centric driving experience - the Fusion is a hit - the Taurus models may be boring, but they are rock solid derivatives of Volvos - the Edge is sweet, the Escape is sensibly (finally) upgraded with a great new engine, and the Flex is way too far out to come from an American company. They both need and deserve our support in these very difficult economic times.
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    markus5markus5 Member Posts: 102
    Interesting messages Mike. " Tipping points " I wonder what the "tipping points" are as Congress makes its decisions as to what is to become of U. S. sourced and owned automobile manufacturing.

    I have described in previous postings how I came to purchase my 04 ZTS Focus exactly 5 years ago which I still enjoy driving everyday and for 65,000 miles.

    the 04's were the last model year with the funcky dashboard. In my opinion the 05-07's were too generic for my taste in that area. This was imortant because I don't think most people realize that you live with the design of the car on the inside more than you do with the outside. The elimination of the telescoping feature on the steering wheel in the latest models, also eliminated some value. On the other hand, all reports say that there is a quieter more upscale quality to the interior. "Tipping Points " again, Ford evidently feels that it was necessary to do this, and they were correct, as sales of the model have been a high light in the dismal market otherwise.


    I have "talked up" the Focus over the years, I think that Ford has improved its image here in North America, Their image in Europe has always been better. Recently through their periodical to Ford owners here in America, european models coming here have been announced.

    During the last two years of elevated fuel prices, the 2.3 PZEV was capable of getting 30-35 mpg, and since it has a very wide torque range, one does not need to wind it or thrash it as with most 4 cylinder engines.
    Enjoy your new FOCUS.
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