Ford Focus Bumps, Rattles & Squeaks

milbushmilbush Member Posts: 1
I am looking at a 2005 focus wagon with 133000 miles.Car seems to be in good condition but when it is started it is loud inside the car as if there is an exhaust leak. When standing outside the car there does not seem to be an exhaust leak. The noise is like a rumbling vibration sound. Any idea what the cause could be?


  • kristi_mkristi_m Member Posts: 8
    Hi all, I have a 2003 Focus w/ 188k miles. New motor at 105k miles.

    I took it in last week thinking I needed shocks and struts because it would bounce all over the place and sounded like something was getting hung up on another and clanking when I turned. Turned out I had a broken front coil spring. Almost $400 later, that was replaced. When I left it drove much smoother and nicer.

    But, when I came to a stop and started to go again, it sounded like the front passenger tire was rubbing on something. And when I start it in the morning, it vibrates a bit, and when I put it in reverse, it vibrates badly. Now, when driving, I can feel a shimmie that seems to be coming from the back and it's running ROUGH. It has to run a while, then gets better. But not great. I thought it was going to die on me when I stopped at a light this morning, it was idling rough.

    I drive 700 miles roundtrip every weekend and don't have much money right now for repairs. I'm trying to milk this poor car for everything I can since I don't want to buy a new one to put so many miles on it. Any help you guys can offer is appreciated.

    I was wondering if an alignment would help? Replacing the front coil spring, there was no mention on my receipt about an alignment and I'm being told they should have done one and rotated the tires.
  • fuzzy46fuzzy46 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2003, 4D, with about 120K miles, original engine and trans. Sometime ago I noticed a shimmy when turning toward the right, but only at about 60 MPH, nothing at lower speed. I've had it aligned, had a tire replaced because supposedly the belt within the tire had broken loose and was thought to causing some imbalance, had a wheel replaced because of a rim leak, and most recently, a motor mount replaced.
    The shimmy is still there and everyone I take it to can't seem to find anything wrong. The one dealer I brought it to said they would charge about $300 to look at it but couldn't guarantee they'd find anything.
    Does anyone here have any ideas?
  • markus5markus5 Member Posts: 102
    edited September 2010
    The problem concerns somthing going on during the weight shift at high speed. In this case you are turning to the right and therefore unloading the right side of the car. It could be wheel bearings front or back but they usually have a tell tale noise associated with that. If the motor mount did not fix it perhaps there are other motor or transmission mounts that are loose. You did not mention if they checked for a loose strut or linkages in the steering components
    Except for high speed wheel balance, ( wheel balance should not be ruled out here as well ), the dynamic aspects (quirks ) of the cars' behavior at speed on the road are difficult to evaluate while the car is sitting still.
    I understand your reluctance about committing $300 just to find out, especially with a car this age. I would just take a look at some of the obvious things I mentioned here first.
  • xscout1xscout1 Member Posts: 2
    The vibration in my daughter's Focus seems to have gotten worse as the car has aged. Has anyone had experience replacing the front engine mounts? It does not seem to be too bad of a job from what I have read. Going over rises in the road seems to stop the vibrations when there is less load on the front suspension.
  • youngbloke1youngbloke1 Member Posts: 14
    have an 01 focus with 85k miles.

    had all kinds of vibration issues at speed and brake pulse issues.

    went to a mechanic and he rebalanced the front 2 tires. vibration reduced but can still feel vibrations at the pants so asked him to balance the 2 rears as well. (even though the mechanic said it was unlikely to cause that). After rebalancing the vibrations are pretty much gone and brake pulse miraculously improved!

    i think what it is is that the focus has a pretty tight steering system (little wiggle room), and very wide tires for the car. So any imperfection on the wheel can be easily felt. find a trustworthy mechanic and try rebalance the tires.
  • hemmihemmi Member Posts: 4
    I have an 02 with 130K mi. that has developed this problem and I believe it is either the vibration isolators in which the bottom of the radiator sits although a mechanic thought it might be the motor mounts.
    I have pulled down on the bottom of the isolators on the radiator with a needle nose pliers and the vibration stops! For a while. These isolators are a dense foam rubber, about 2 inches diameter and two inches tall and look like a large grommet.
    On my 02, the noise is bad when it is below freezing but goes away after the car is fully warmed. It is a throbbing vibration that sounds like an exhaust leak or an input manifold leak.
    I am hoping it goes away as it warm, but if not think I will try replacing those isolators.
  • hemmihemmi Member Posts: 4
    I got brave this morning and removed the passenger side lower radiator isolator with a screw driver and needle nose pliers, by pulling it down. Put in a new one from the bottom using two screwdrivers and the blunt end of the needle nose pliers. Started wedging it in with the screwdrivers and pushed it up by hand and with the end of the pliers. Vibration is gone.
    Will need to see how long it lasts but I am optimistic that it might last.

    The old isolator did not look bad, but the car sure sounds good.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Cool... sometimes noises are darn near impossible to track down! Glad to hear you seem to have nailed it on the first try
  • srl3srl3 Member Posts: 1

    Did you find a solution to the shimmy while turning right at higher speeds? My daughter's Focus ZX5 does the same thing, and my mechanic can't find a problem.
  • fuzzy46fuzzy46 Member Posts: 3
    My daughter had one motor mount changed and she thought it made some improvement. I bought a new set of tires at WalMart, had them balanced, and that made the biggest improvement, she said (I haven't driven it). Although its apparenlty a lot better, it still isn't completely "right".

    Let me know if you find the/an answer.
  • needadvice8needadvice8 Member Posts: 1
    Something in/around my passenger door constantly rattles if my rpm is sittin tight at around 3rpm.. But when i shift up and it goes back down to w/e. 2rpm the rattle in the door stops.. Was wondering if anyone else had this happen..Also, would warranty cover such things? Dont think so myself. ;) Thank-You!!
  • xscout1xscout1 Member Posts: 2
    Replaced the top right engine mount on my daughter's 2001 Focus ZX3. All vibration is now gone. Would not have thought one engine mount could make such a difference!
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