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Ford Focus Care & Maintenance

silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
I'm sure some others have the service CD-ROM, but if you have a question about a particular service operation, or need technical data, let me know and I will be happy to research your question. If required, I can print the procedure and fax it to you if you feel the need (ex: replacing your brake pads or removing door panels to replace stereo speakers).


  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    is there any mention on that cd -rom of the
    stereo and speaker mfg. ive been a lifelong audio buff and was just curious of the origins.
    i am quite impressed with the set-up for a stock system. thanks!
  • I'm not sure who manufactures the speakers (maybe someone here who's pulled theirs can tell us?), but the head unit is made by Visteon. Visteon used to be part of Ford, but was spun off as a separate company a little while ago. I agree - the size of the buttons and layout of the control panel are terrific.
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    thanks for the info. they should have kept visteon for their quality is
    job1 bragging.
  • Has anyone with a 2001 ZX3 noticed that the fuel gauge never registers "full" after a fill-up?

  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Are the '01 models still having the infamous gauge problem?
  • When my tank is filled, my car's fuel gauge reads slightly over "F". Automotive gas gauges are pretty inaccurate devices - think of them as something designed to give you a general idea of how much fuel is in the tank. The only way to accurately calculate your fuel economy is to fill your tank to a recognized fill point (say the first pump "click"), reset your trip odometer, and drive. As the gauge approaches "E", return to the same station and refill using the same pump if possible, to the same "click". Divide the miles recorded by your trip odometer by the number of gallons added. Smile or frown, as the case may be.
  • eyefieyefi Posts: 5
    The stock head unit in the Focus is the best one I've seen of any of the new cars. Some of the upgrades offered by other manufactures can't compete in overall quality and sound. Since this was a European designed car we got 5X8 in the doors and rear. I thought of upgrading, but why? Instead I have a single Audiobahn 12" Sub and a Orion HCCA amp, it rocks! One of my tech's has a Honda SI, [he has Foci envy] with a typical import head unit. The more I drive this car the more I love it.... except for the 20mpg.
  • Have noticed that if I have attendant fill my tank while I sit in car that the fuel gauge does not register the fill-up. If I fill it my self and go inside to pay, with key in pocket, that it does register. I think it has something to do with the proximity of the key chip to the vehicle. The marvels of the computer age!
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    i am also very fond of the stock system. i agree, no need to upgrade.
    actually, i never expected it to sound as good as it does. after owning
    this car for one year, i rate the cd player/ speakers as one of its stellar
    attributes. im an old retro tube amp fan and i find the sound in the zx3
    stock unit very enjoyable. to my ears, it is quite natural sounding and
    non-fatiguing. a big plus in my overall rating of the car.
  • Silver bullet, can the dealer supply the service manual on CD-ROM? How much is it? Is it also available in paper copy?
  • I doubt that Ford will sell you this CD, but I suppose it is possible. It is updated each month, so the older copies tend to find their way into the marketplace - like the one I got on eBay. Helm Publishing makes service manuals available in paper form and on CD ROM, but they are quite expensive (well over $100).
  • cgsangelcgsangel Posts: 79

    This topic has probably been addressed somewhere among many of the messages previously posted in Edmund's Town Hall, but I will address it here, since the Focus Care and Maintenance topic hasn't been around that long.

    I've gotten some scratches in my back bumper on the top surface where the hatch swings open. I was wondering if anyone has had the same problem (I'm sure it's happened alot if someone uses the hatch alot). I want to touch up the white appearing scratches because they really stand out against the autumn orange paint. I was thinking of applying some touch up paint and rubbing it into the scratch rather than just leave a ridge of paint along the scratch. Then I could let the paint set up good and then apply a good wax to the bumper surface.

    Is there some kind of black plastic plate or something like I've seen on the back of some station wagons and vans that will act as a protection for the bumper surface that could be used for our cars? I'll bet some aftermarket company has one out there somewhere. I once got scuff plates for my van that were perfect (for the door sills). This would work in the same way, and make it look decent too. The black color would go along with the black trim that is already part of the zx3.

    Mine happened from a build up of ice and salt and sand along the back this winter, and when I cleared it off I didn't realize the sand would cause the scratches that easily in the plastic.

    I figure any cars with a paint color in great contrast to the undercoat or base color of the bumper will really stand out and look bad. Mine has a white base color so the dark paint stands out. I imagine anyone with black or a dark color is having or will have the same problem someday.

  • cgsangelcgsangel Posts: 79
    I had ordered the rubber front floor mats from Ford and they fit and look great! But one problem I have is the attachment for the driver's side mat. The hole in the new mat is far too small to fit the hold down pin in the carpet. It is obvious when they made the mat they didn't make it for the hold down. I was thinking of drilling out the hole in the grommet in the mat to a larger size to accomodate the hold down pin.

    It looks like I will have to use at least a five-eighths inch drill to do this. Too bad I just can't push out the grommet and replace it with the one from my stock mat. I don't want to attempt removing the plastic insert and damaging the mat in the process.

    Anyway, I was wondering anyone who ordered mats got some with the right size hole? Or have they all been made for another hold down pin? It is a very small issue since the weight of the rubber mat is heavier than the carpeted ones, and they do stay in place better than the carpets. Although occassionally I have to reach down and pull it back about an inch or so because there is some forward movement after some use. Just an aggravation, since there is a pin on the floor that would work if the hole was larger. For now I don't need to go to the trouble of buying a drill and drilling it out, or risking damage to a good looking floormat.

  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    Hi. I got the same mats and broke out the plactic insert with a hammer and striker type device. The plastic instert broke out and the rubber mat was not damaged, and the hole in the rubber is the right size to fit on the hook on the foor. I was a bit hesitant to do this, but it did work out fine in the end.
  • cgsangelcgsangel Posts: 79

    Thanks for the tip! I'll give it a try tomorrow.

    It's odd how the box with the mats came with instructions for mats for a Ford truck. Which made no sense at all. Maybe they figure no one reads instructions anyway. Or maybe it was just a mistake. Installing mats shouldn't need any instructions.

    At least they fit good... in fact they cover a little more area than the carpeted mats, and they're easy to clean right at the car wash.

  • cgsangelcgsangel Posts: 79

    Thanks, rwgreenberg! I removed the plastic insert like you said, and it fits perfectly! The rubber in the mat is thick and strong enough to hold up to use without the insert.

    All it took was the peen end of the ball peen hammer and about 3 taps and it came right out. It broke all to pieces. But the mat fits in the car nice, just like it should and holds in place. I didn't realize the plastic would come out that easily. Had I tried to drill a larger hole in the plastic insert, it probably would have cracked and broke out anyway.

    So a lot of work saved by your suggestion. Anyone else with these mats should do the same and they will fit fine. Thanks again! :)

  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    Great. I guess we improved upon their product with the tap of a hammer.
  • cgsangelcgsangel Posts: 79

    I've got a problem with some kind of critter (I think it's a squirrel, less likely a cat) that brings food and junk up into the engine compartment.

    I was checking the oil this morning and saw muddy footprints, but couldn't tell what they were from. I guess the squirrel because whatever was in there apparently moved alot and the mud was on top of the engine...and a cat is usually clean. I removed junk that was brought in there from around the spark plug wires.

    On a Pinto I had years ago (critters must prefer Fords for some reason) I had problems with red squirrels chewing up the rubber parts of the emissions hoses around the canister. To stop them, I smeared on some anti-squirrel sticky stuff and it worked.

    I figured that the squirrel may have been looking for a place to nest and gave up (I use the car every day so it had to have been just overnight). My uncle used to have problems with cats climbing into the engine compartment (still another Ford)with a still warm engine in order to warm up in winter. Needless to say, it wasn't very healthy for the cats.

    Anyway... just wondering if anyone has had problems with critter invasions in their cars. It sounds dumb, but they do it alot. I am not making any of this up.

  • maikimaiki Posts: 27
    I received my special ordered 2001 ZX3 last Thursday. In general I love it. Today I found something about it I do not love.

    I was backing out of my narrow carport this morning, and the passenger side mirror scraped against the post of the carport. (My previous car didn't have a passenger side mirror.) Most side mirrors would bend if that happened. Instead, mine fell off, dangling from a wire.

    I was not driving fast. It was not a strong impact, just a bare touch. Those plastic mirror housings seem very flimsy, not connected very sturdily to the car, and don't bend. So, the slightest touch breaks them off!

    While I was driving it started banging on the car. I got off the freeway, and pushed it back into place. On the freeway it fell off again, dangling, banging more against the car. All the banging left a lot of black marks (from the black plastic mirror) on the white car.

    I thought it might be covered by the warranty. It seemed defective, to fall off so easily. I brought the car to the Ford dealer service dept. in the afternoon. The service guy said that's not covered by the warranty. He said he has had to replace a lot of those, although the Focus was new in the States last year. He said the whole mirror housing would need to be replaced, and would cost me around $275. (and mine is not powered.) That wouldn't cover the damage of the black marks on the body, which I have to bring it to a body shop for.

    Anyone else had problems with those mirrors? Any recalls? Class action suits? Such defective mirror housings should be covered by the warranty.

    What a pain! Less than a week after I got the car!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Excuse me? This sounds more like a problem with the driver. Why would you expect Ford to pay for a part you broke due to your inability to back out of your own carport? Your post certainly gave me my "laugh for the day"!
  • maikimaiki Posts: 27
    Why am I unhappy with Ford about the broken mirror?

    Because mirrors shouldn't fall off so easy, at the slightest touch. It's a very flimsy and flimsily attached mirror housing. Unlike those on most cars, it doesn't bend at all, just falls off!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    I agree - it would be nice to have folding outside mirrors, but at this price point, you almost never find them. Go look at a Civic, or comparable car and you'll find non-folding side mirrors. I don't find the ZX3 mirrors to be "flimsy", or prone to falling off "at the slightest touch" as you say. I've bumped into mine rather firmly while washing the car, and they're still firmly attached. I don't think any outside mirror is designed to withstand being pried off from the rear by a carport column(!) We've all done dumb things - maybe you just need to take some personal responsibility for this little episode and move on...
  • During one of the recent snow storms I had my car parked out on the street perhaps a bit to far from the curb to the piles of snow, and someone knocked the mirror off (I have no idea how fast they were driving since I was not there) Sure I was upset with the phantom driver, but these things happen. The one thing I have to say to you is that the repair price of $275 for the mirror is way too high. The part should cost about 50, and labor can not possibly be that expensive. I suggest you talk to the dealer again.
  • maikimaiki Posts: 27
    In another forum, where I had also reported on this experience, someone wrote a very interesting post on the subject, concerning mirrors on the European version versus the U.S. version:

    ----quote of another person's post--

    One of the measures that Ford took to reduce the production cost of the Focus to make it competitive in the US market was to fit simpler (read: cheaper) side mirrors than those fitted to the European version.

    The European version of the Focus has side mirrors that fold inwards on impact. They can also (I believe) be folded inwards manually, should you so desire. Some of the models have electric heating elements in the mirrors too, which might be useful in cold climates.

    I remember somebody a while back reporting that the European side mirror units could be purchased and retro-fitted to the US-model Focus. Of course, you'll have to find a source for these parts and they are almost certainly going to be more expensive than obtaining the US-spec parts, but if you already have to purchase a replacement mirror, you might want to pursue this option. If you do choose to do this, please let us know how you get on.

    Hope this helps.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Yes, the Euro side mirrors do fold in, and have a part of the housing painted body color too - very spiffy. The upcoming SVT Focus is supposed to have these mirrors. Good luck trying to get them in this country before the SVT comes out - I've never found a Ford dealer willing or able to order non-U.S. spec parts. They all tell me it is not possible due to our liability laws. Funny, BMW dealers used to order Euro-spec parts for me all the time when I owned a gray market 635csi - go figure.
  • kebbatkebbat Posts: 41
    Hi All,

    I just got my ZX3 yesterday and I have a quick question ... what is the max speed I should drive during the break in period. The guy at the dealership told me to drive as per usual - but I usually drive kind of fast. Do I have to putter along on the highway at 55 mph until I hit 1000 miles?

  • njbongonjbongo Posts: 66
    If you read your owners manual, it doesn't tell you to stay under a certain speed. What it DOES tell you is to VARY your engine speed and NOT to come to any hard stops unless neccessary for the first 500 miles. I followed this with my z, so far 1200 miles and it runs great. My only complaint so far is excessive break dust on the front wheels after 300 miles, but i think that's becasue the breaks were new and the wheels have such wide openings between spokes. I mean, if the were any bigger, you could almost change the brake pads without removing the wheel. Not that I'm complaining, they are pretty for stock wheels....and since washing the car, the dust has not been to bad...hope it was just the breakin.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Good advice for break-in -- but don't count on the brake dust going away. Ford installs very soft metallic based pads that produce ungodly amounts of black dust. I ditched mine in favor of a set of aftermarket pads from EBC (their "Green Stuff" Kevlar street pads). Swapping pads is very easy, and the EBC pads produce virtually no dust and perform better than the stock pads - all for about $90 a set. I'd recommend them.
  • kebbatkebbat Posts: 41
    I "only" put 300 miles on it this weekend. Varied my speeds as much as possible and got it up to 75 mph on the highway, but saw lots of NH Troopers lurking about and didn't want to come away with a ticket already.

    I noticed the brake dust as well - I'm pretty fanatical about cleaning the car inside and out so I just used my wheel brush on it and it looks great again.

    Anyone here use Meguirs Cleaner/Wax ever? It was suggested by my step-dad - he raved about its ease of use and results ..... I'm just a bit nervous to try as I've never used it before.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    This is a nice product for a daily driven car - it is very easy to apply and remove, is economical, and provides a decent (but not the ultimate) level of protection for your finish. Short of going to a multi-step, premium priced product, this Meguires product is a good compromise. BEWARE - do not get this product, or any wax for that matter, on the black side mouldings. I'd keep it off the black door handles, mirror housings, and rear horizontal trim strip as well. The resulting wax stains will be very hard, if not impossible, to remove from the trim.
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