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Ford Focus: Problems & Solutions



  • dupes01dupes01 Posts: 13

    I own a 2003 ZX3 with 5-speed manual and 44,000 miles on odometer. Recently I noticed that the steering is smooth at speeds lower than 80 mph. Once I hit 80 and beyond there is avery noticible vibration felt through the steering wheel. It seems to get worse as you accelerate beyond 80. Can anybody provide some insight on this?

    I am still running the original stock 15inch goodyear eagle RS-A tires. And no brake work has been done. This is annoying and I am worried that a dealer diagnosis will be expensive and they will find nothing.
  • Can anyone tell me where to get an ALUMINUM thermostat housing for a 2001 ford focus zetec?
  • Most likely the tires need balancing. When you have them balanced also rotate them (and check for any damaged rims) That may take care of the problem.
  • jochenjochen Posts: 1
    I purchased a 01 Focus 2 weeks ago. Since then it was broken down 3 times.

    First time they couldn't find any problem other than a clogged up fuel filter which they replaced.

    Second time we took it into the Ford Dealership and they replaced the fuel pump. They said there was a recall on it.

    Now I thought we finally have a dependable car. WRONG!

    Yesterday all of a sudden the key wouldn't turn anymore and the steering wheel was locked up as well. We had to tow it to the nearest dealership. They replaced the ignition. Cost just around $300. I just can't believe there hasn't been a recall after reading all these complaints.
  • lenmlenm Posts: 1
    My 2000 Ford Focus ZTS has had three ignition locks replaced, all at my expense (around $350 each time).

    If you search the Web, you'll find that this is a very common problem that Ford has not yet acknowledged with a Tech Service Bulletin. If your Focus is still under warranty they will repair it at no charge but once it's out of warranty you'll have to pay.

    Expect it to fail every 18 months or so.

    The way to handle it is to have the lock replaced but have the mechanic leave out the tumblers. That solves the usual failure mode. Though it won't function as a physical lock any more, you'll still be able to lock your doors and because of the transponder, the car won't start without the correct key in place.

    See the history of my Focus at:

    Len Moskowitz
    Teaneck NJ
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Your situation is highly unusual. More than likely you received un-updated locks. For most owners, the new Ford ignition fixes the preoblems permanently. No, owners will not have to replace their ignitions every year and a half just because it happened to you.
  • I have a Ford Focus 2000. I have had the ignition cylinder replaced at my cost due to problems with the tumblers. At the time it was repaired, the sales person mentioned that Ford was having problems with the tumblers on the Focus.Two years later I am needing to replace the ignition cylinder again due to the same problem on the replaced ignition. Ford is not willing to offer any support and does not seem to accept any responsibility for faulty manufacture. In fact the customer service center will not refer to anyone above them to seek support. Does anyone have any suggestion, or know of a problem with The Tumblers of the Ford Focus ignitions?
  • Our ignition just locked up on us, and instead of taking it to the dealer (which would have cost $400+) we called a locksmith and they replaced the ignition for $150.00. It is worth calling a lock smith or two to see if they can do the work for you versus paying inflated dealership prices.
  • I just bought my car in Sept 04' and the buttons on my radio/cd player are starting to chip. I have not been harsh on the buttons and I have not had anything near them that could scratch them. It's so bad that at night the scratches light up in green "glow". Has anyone else had this happen and would it be covered under warranty?
  • jpk937jpk937 Posts: 1
    What did you do about the ignition cylinder? I am experiencing this problem for the first time today.
  • douguildouguil Posts: 3
    I had the same problem with the OEM tires (Firestone). Once replaced with excellent BFG Traction T/A, it was gone.
  • douguildouguil Posts: 3
    I had the same thing, the dealer replaced some parts between the wheel and suspention, I can't remember which one, but it was under warranty. They fixed it.
  • djmardendjmarden Posts: 1
    My clucth has no resistance. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem on a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3. My car has 65,000 miles and the other day the clutch just stopped working. How can I replace this part and how much will it cost? Please Help.
  • ccarr1ccarr1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Focus SE with 43,000 miles, When i try to accelerate, putting the gas pedal to the floor the car begins to jerk back and forth and the speedometer doesn't move from its current speed. I am thinking it might be the fuel filter, maybe its clogged up with deposits from the bottom of the gas tank. I tried to put fuel system cleaner and fuel injector cleaner in but no luck. Any others suggestions or opinions... :sick:
  • ukbbukbb Posts: 11
    I just bought a 2003 Focus ZX3 and noticed when I used the wipers that the passenger blade is longer than the drivers side blade. This leaves an area of water from the passenger blade that the drivers side blade doesn't clear. This uncleared water drips down and requires repeated activation of the wipers to clear. Do you think the previous owner installed replacement blades wrong?

  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    How many miles do you have on your vehicle? I just recently purchased a Focus myself. I purchased mine in November. Mine is a 2005 ZX4 SES. As far as your radio, it could be from excessive use. Mine has not begin to do that but i have 6,000 miles on it. The new vehicle limited warranty is three years 36,000 miles. If you dont have many miles on it, its most likely not normal. Go on and get the number of Ford. Call them up and see what they can do. The buttons finish shouldn't be corroding like that. When you call them be sure to make it clear that you are not happy with this. Tell them if this is the quality of their vehicles then this will be the last Ford you buy. That will make them almost surely want to help you with your problem.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    The wiper blades might have been replaced and sides might be mixed up. It is very simple to fix. Just push in on the little plastic tab on the wiper blade clips. Then slide the clip off from the wiper arm. Then you slide the clip on to the arm until they click once you have them both off. Always remember the Driver's side wiper is always bigger. If this doesn't help, go to your local auto parts store and have them look up what size wiper blades your Focus takes. It will even say it in your owner's manual.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    Have you tried In the search box type in Ford Focus. It will list tons of things for the Focus. Just look at them it might be in there.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    I agree. It could be the tires or rims. Have them checked and you sould rotate them every second oil change or 6,000-8,000 miles. If your car has been in an accident this would not be uncomon, especially if you car has had engine work done. If you are not sure about any maintence or things like this there might be a solution in your owners manual if you have one.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    If you have problems with this or if anyone else does they need to call ford and make a record of these problems otherwise a recall cannot be established. Then this will cause other owners problems to be fixed. Also if you have the problem again you will not have to pay. You can get the number to contact ford in your owners manual or by going on
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    There is a recall on your Focus most likely. This is one of the recalls for this year of Focus. Get the number to call Ford in your owner's manual or on Be sure to have your VIN Number ready which is located in by the door jam on the driver's side. This is so they can see if there is any recalls.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    The clutch might be gone. This is common on manual transmissions. The mileage on this car is getting up there so it is not uncommon. You will have to check out and type in the search Ford Focus. See how much it will cost for these parts.
  • ukbbukbb Posts: 11
    Thanks nickps, I just pulled off the passenger side blade and it is smaller than the driver side blade by a good 3 inches. Guess this is another of the "quirky" features of the Focus.
  • They still might have been switched. They might not be the right size for the make and model. I have a 2005 Focus SES. It doesn't do that. Neither does my cousins 2003 SVT Focus.
  • ukbbukbb Posts: 11
    Okay, I'll swing by the dealership Monday evening and have them take a look at it.
  • gregzx5gregzx5 Posts: 3
    Hey folks --- I've got a brand spankin new ZX5 that so far has been a joy to drive. I've owned the car only a few days, and as usual with me I like to "listen" to the car and learn all of its quirks and idiosyncrosies. I like to know what sounds happen when, and under what conditions, so I know whether to worry about them or not.

    The one sound that's got me a tad worried off the bat is a high-pitched whining sound upon deceleration (this is an automatic tranny). The sound goes away upon acceleration, but EVERY time I decelerate to take a turn or stop at a light, or even just slowing down on the highway (i.e. not using the brakes), the sound is there. So far I haven't noticed any effect on the car's performance, but the sound is noticeable enough that even friends have asked about it while riding in my new rod.

    Any ideas? Think it's anything to worry about?

    I will say that I've put only about 100 miles on this thing so far (had only 15 when I drove it off the lot), and it seems that it may be getting quieter - but hard to tell.

  • lostlost Posts: 64
    Both of my 05 zx4 ses automatics have the whining sound. I have had other FWD vehicles in the past do the same thing with no problems over the life of the vehicle.
  • crystalmcrystalm Posts: 1
    I had exactly the same problem with my 2001 focus SE. AT first I just thought that it was because it did not have that much hoarse power and I needed to be patient, but then it begin to happen at least once a week to me.
    My problem was my transmission. But I had 150, 000 kilometers on it.
    I am not sure exactly why that would be happening to you.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    The noise could be because the car is not broken in yet. If it seems like its getting better hang in there and be patient. The car is not broken in yet until 3,000 miles.
  • kjenniekjennie Posts: 1
    My car (2000 ZX3) was fine yesterday, but when I went to get in this morning, it will not turn on. It isn't even "chuga chugging," but the radio and lights still work. I have had my fuel pump replaced once (after the recall). Does anyone know what the problem might be?
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