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Ford Focus: Problems & Solutions



  • gradgrad Posts: 5
    I had same problem with 85,000 miles (5/05) on my 01 Focus SE sedan. A nightmare-caught in a parking lot-had to be towed at 10PM. Cost 235.00. Ford was aware of the problem I found out, in a shop bulletin in Feb.05. Question: Why didn't they inform its customers? Ans: They are irresponsible. I would join a class action suit against them if one starts.
    New York
  • gradgrad Posts: 5
    I had similar problem at 75,000 miles on my 01 Focus SE sedan. It was the steering rack. Cost me $250.00 to replace. "hidden warranty-I'm looking into it. Same for my ignition lock problem that cost me $235.00. It was a nightmare-caught in a parking lot at 10PM and had to be towed. Ford knew of this problem and never told us. I'll join any class action group and contribute to it if there's a lawyer our there.Ford is irresponsible.

    New York
  • gradgrad Posts: 5
    I had it twice on my o1 SE sedan. First time it was a link and they replaced it. The second time it was the steering rack (at about 75,000 miles and I paid for it) I just saw a notice in Forums that there is a "hidden warranty" for the steering rack-I'm checking it out.The sound and feel in both events was very subtle-not loud.Ocurred
    when entering a small curb cut.
  • I can't find anywhere to ask this. I keep seeing other models of the Focus..

    How would a 2005 Focus ZX4/Sedan compare to a Honda Civic for reliability? (not the si)

    I want a Civic. But I've been offered a 2005 Focus for less than 10,000 depending on the model I want because I know the dealer..

    But I keep hearing that the 2003 and 2004s are :lemon: s and not worth it at all.. I can't find much info anywhere on the ZX4, Not even a forum on Edmunds for it. Just consumer reviews where it gets a 9.. I don't really trust it though...
  • Are 2005 Focus owners generally pleased with the performance of their A/C units?

    I picked up a 2005 ZX5 a couple of weeks back and am somewhat disappointed. Even after 10 minutes on the highway in moderate 23C / 73F weather, the A/C never gets anywhere near icy cold. On hot days, it barely cools the cabin down to a tolerable temperature.

    Dealer said system had no leaks, refrigerant level fine, etc. I checked the temp. in the vents with a portable digital sensor and the air was blowing at about 7.5C / 45 F.

    Someone told me these A/C systems aren't as powerful as others in the automotive world so as to minimize the mileage/performance penalty when the system is running. Any truth to this?
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    I don't think the 03 and 04 Focus are lemons, I have just shy of 37k on my 10 month old 04 ZX3 with hardly any problems. I've changed the oil and put gas in it that's about it other than an alignment and a PCV valve. I drive this car 820 miles/week and its been extremely reliable, even at 56 below zero. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Focus.
  • cstronscstrons Posts: 1
    Has anyone else had this problem? I live in hilly LA but this seems ridiculous to me...the car has about 7,000 miles on it and still gets 16-17 MPG combined city/highway. Pure highway is fine, around 30mpg. Any ideas? Thanks!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,781
    aka... don't see you posting much anymore. glad you still like 'zippy' (right?). still haven't come up with a good nickname for ours. right now 'baked alaska' seems right. color is light tundra, but it's 90+ degrees outside. :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    aka... don't see you posting much anymore. glad you still like 'zippy' (right?). still haven't come up with a good nickname for ours. right now 'baked alaska' seems right. color is light tundra, but it's 90+ degrees outside

    Been too busy with work, driving, and a little camping. I still read the forums when I get a chance, but haven't posted much lately. Yes, the little Focus has been named Zippy.........since she was about 3 days old. Will turn 37k this week, no problems to speak of, just a great little car that's still a blast to drive.

    BTW, we hit 80+ today. I was grumbling big time about no A/C in Zippy, had to be 120 in that car.........darn black interior!
  • yimmeryimmer Posts: 2
    I just got the same car a week ago and the same problem occured . It played CD's fine until I put in a MP3 disk and it spit it out bad disk from there on in all CD's spit out bad disk. I went to the dealer and exsplained they took it out to order me a new one (they needed the serial number) put it back in and off I went. They said they would call me when the new one comes in , tried a nornal disk and it works fine again but I dont want to put in a MP3 thinking it will screw it up again .
    going tomorrow to change my radio and I will try the MP3 at the dealership to see what it does.

    Will be updating the outcome real soon
  • hojosihojosi Posts: 1
    i am thinking about buying this car from a friend of a friend, it has been sitting in driveway for 6 months or so, it has 55k miles, apparently worked fine when last drove, now , i replaced battery, it turns over but wont start, half tank gas and after trying to start without pumping gas, then with pumping, smelled fuel from flooding, leaves me to believe that it is not a fuel problem, probably electrical, i am still and old school at home wannabe mechanic, used to non computerized engines, not sure what my next step would be? do i check for spark in distributor? the price is quite low at $1800 for car so it seems well worth the trouble, any help would be appreciated
  • Hello,

    I own a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3. I recently tried to replace my turn signal bulbs. I have read the manual and removed both screws as described above, yet the housing does not want to come off. I have applied some force to the point where now I'm afraid I'm going to break the plastic on the housing. Am I missing something here?

  • Hello,

    I own a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3. I recently tried to replace my turn signal bulbs. I have read the manual and removed both screws as described (one that is visible when the hatch is open, and the plactic "wingnut" from inside the luggage compartment), yet the housing does not want to come off. I have applied some force to the point where now I'm afraid I'm going to break the plastic on the housing. Am I missing something here? Did you have any luck in changing them?

  • lotowiczlotowicz Posts: 1
    Add me to the list! This is my second problem with my ignition cylinder - tumblers. Not only have I had to pay my local mechanic (the dealer price is outrageous) but towing fees, too. Where do I report this? I know it is a manufacturer's defect. On all my other cars I have never had to have this part replaced ever.
  • lovesboblovesbob Posts: 1
    Just picked up my 2001 XZ3 from the dealership and am happy FINALLY! Have 55,000 miles and since 37,000 have had a "rubbing" noise in right front. After spending $ 303 for a hub bearing the noise is gone. I have experienced a lot of problems, usually the recalled items within 3 months of getting recall notices (battery cable, fuel pump, rear bearings, brakes @ 6500 and again at 48,000) but I love the car. Drives great and very comfortable on long distance drives, a/c works fine BUT cd changer acts up. With regard to the hub bearing, I was told that serious problems could arise (loss of steering, wheel fall off) if not taken care of promptly; I had it for 18,000 miles, go figure.
  • lleechlleech Posts: 1
    I have had similar problems and also don't know what to do! If anyone has ANY other ideas for me I would greatly appreciate it!! My 2005 FORD FOCUS has been in the shop 4 times since March! First I had the tires rotated & balanced by the dealer, and it kept going out of balance after that. They replaced the bearing assembly, and the vibration moved to the floor area rather than the steering wheel. Now they have rotated and balanced the tires again, checked EVERYTHING and said there is nothing wrong. But the vibration (felt mainly between 45 and 60 mph) is still present! The best explanation they could offer was that it is characteristic of the Focus!! Can someone help? Thanks!!
  • jfcjfc Posts: 1
    Greetings KickMan1 -
    3 weeks ago (6/3/05) I drove away with a new 2005 ZX5 SES. I had poor gas mileage from the start. The sales woman said she filled the tank the day before, but seeing the gas gae needle drop, I wasn't so sure. I began tracking the maileage with the next tank.

    The first 3 tanks went like this 25.68 mpg; 28.72; and then 17.56!! At this point I had 986 miles on the car. 37 miles later, the car overheats on a major Interstate and I'm towed into a nearby Ford dealer. The next day, when they look at the car, they discover that it has practically NO coolant. The technician tells me that he had to add 1-1/2 gal. of coolant! The Service Manager surmises that the Dealer did not do the Pre-Destination inspection (PDI) before giving me the car. I ask and they perform a complete PDI. I told the Service Manager about my lousy gas mileage and he says this could be related to improper cooling, running hot, etc.

    I've driven the car another 150 miles and refueled with the latest results of 25.93 mpg.
    I have a few concerns at this point: 1) Has the engine suffered permanent damage from driving it 1000 miles with very little coolant? 2) If the poor mileage is not "fixed" by having a proper coolant level, what's to be done? On this last point, I intend to make the point with Ford Motor Co. and the Dealer that this performance (and car) is not what I bought and paid for.

    I know my situation differs from yours, but your 12 years of litigation experience intrigued me. Any thoughts on the possible damage from no coolant or a tact to take with Ford?

    All constructive advice appreciated.

  • dupes01dupes01 Posts: 13
    i have a 2003 zx3. Your milage recording of 26 mpg is only slightly lower than normal. I track my milage regularly and average 29. Have had as high as 32 some times with lots of highway, but as low as 24 during periods of aggressive driving.

    Most people seem to get milage in the high 20s. Turn the a/c off, put it in 5th whenever possible, don't redline every gear, and you should see improvements.
  • Same deal with the tumbler... I have a 2003 Focus SE, with 38000 miles on it, and last week, key would not turn and the steering was jammed. Turned out to be the key ignition tumbler, which is NOT under warranty (even though I purchased the Extra Care Warranty for 6 years/75000 miles). My warranty covers only steering and the ignition switch, NOT the tumbler. So $273 dollars later, I can turn my car on again... but I'm still pissed that this would fail so early on in the car's life. I also had brake problems... but thankfully those were under warranty, and I just had to pay a $50 deductible. Phew. Sad to see others with the tumbler problem... :(
  • vwayne40vwayne40 Posts: 3
    I recently purchased a 2005 Zx3, and noted that lumbar support was lacking.
    There is a easy fix for this, and can be made in two ways, either of which will take < 15 minutes/ seat.
    The first and cheap fix is to get some foam and stuff the seat back. I would recommend a high grade carpet pad from Lowes or Home Depot. Tip the seat forward and use a small flat blade screw driver to open the plastic clip on the bottom of the seat back. This clip has a lip on each of the two sides that catches to hold secure. after this latch open, recline the seat, you can reach up inside the seat back to position the foam. There are 3 layers to the seat back, 1-cloth cover, 2-foam pad, 3-spring supports. I recommend placing your pad beneath the foam, on top of the springs, using zipties or tyewraps. Now tip seat forward again, pull edges together and latch plastic clip.
    The second method is performed the same way but gives an adjustable lumbar support. Purchase the manual pneumatic lumbar supports from Lyon's upholstery shop online. Cost was $76.00 for two units including shipping. They are quick to ship and easy to work with. Install as previously described, leading the hoses to the center console by the hand brake. I used two tyewrapps per lumbar support to hold in place.
    This fix will make a real difference for the older persons such as my self, on trips.
    Once the pneumatic supports are in place it looks like a factory install.
  • tww7364tww7364 Posts: 2
    Just yesterday the passenger side window stopped working. Since this is the second experience - driver side last fall - thought I'd check to see if others have had similar experience and do not find a lot of postings. Other responses?
  • dupes01dupes01 Posts: 13
    i had the ignition tumbler problem too at 50000 miles. If I took the key out and punched the steering column (real hard) in the ignition area, i could turn the key afterwards. I did this for about a week and then punching the steering column didn't help anymore.

    The fix cost me $300 canadian. Was thrilled to say the least.
  • dupes01dupes01 Posts: 13
    Has anybody had problems with their door handles? Mine require a swift tug on the handle to open. I always have to open the door from the inside for my friends. I have had this problem since the 2003 was new and it is getting worse now. Dealer says this is normal.

    My buddy has a 2001 wagon and said he just recieved a recall notice for this. Is this true. I have not received anything yet in the mail...
  • lost2lost2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 and it does that i have no idea what is wrong with it, if you know please tell me, not even the dealership can figure it out, i am so confused, they have taken apart my whole fuel system and replaced every sensor and still nothing......please help
  • Does the yellow charge light come on before your car stalls? If it does, either the battery is bad. (Most car part stores will check that for free) or the alternator could not be charging properly because of a bad alternator or a broken belt tensioner. I would check the latter first. (It is simple to replace and costs about $60.) If the belt tensioner is not keeping the belt tight, the belt will slip and not turn the alternator properly. You can tell that is happening when you have to rev the engine fairly high before the yellow charging light goes off. A rebuilt alternator cost about $160.( plus $35 core charge). Replacing either battery, alternator, belt or belt tensioner is not that difficult.(especially if you buy a Hayes repair manual) I needed a new alternator and the Ford dealer wanted $700 for the job. Needles to say I did it myself. Good luck.
  • slarkinslarkin Posts: 1
    I had this exact problem on my 03' ZX3 approx. 3-5 months ago, had it fixed and now, just today it's doing it again! VERY FRUSTRATING! Like you, last time I was able to hammer the ignition column and it would work. Now the darn thing won't even budge this time! However, last time they did replace it under warranty, It should still be covered. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. I plan to do a little more research to present to good old Ford Motor Company to get this problem resolved once and for all!
  • rafal2rafal2 Posts: 1
    I recently got a Ford Focus ZX3, 2002. Something must be wrong with the driver seat. I am getting back pain (in the upper part) after just a few miles of driving. The seat in general feels really uncomfortable. I&#146;ve tried all the adjustments and it seems to me that the whole seat is positioned too high vis-à-vis the floor. Lowering it does not help. I did not have that issue in any car that I previously owned. Does anybody have a similar experience?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Scroll back in this message thread a bit. Someone posted how to put extra padding in the seat. It is simple.
  • gnbubba12gnbubba12 Posts: 3
    My 2005 Focus ZX-3 was towed to the shop because the clutch pedal would not go all the way to the floor. I talked to a friend that works in a service department at a ford dealership while another dealership was looking at it, and he said it was probably the slave cylinder. When they called about my car, they said the clutch had "disintegrated and was destroyed" and that i waould need a new flywheel, pressure plate and clutch. These of course are not covered under warranty, plus they say that i "abused" the car. I never noticed any loss of clutch grip or gear grindings from loss of grip untill the moment it happened. Please help, anyone. I am getting it towed to a different dealership tommorrow. :mad:
  • vwayne40vwayne40 Posts: 3
    First question is what were you doing when the clutch went?
    I find it hard to believe anyone could destroy the clutch in 1100 miles unless it was defective to start with.
    Contact Ford customer relations and talk with them. It is up to Ford to prove that the clutch is not defective.
This discussion has been closed.