Ford Focus Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • lizzy07lizzy07 Member Posts: 2
    I became the owner of a 2001 ZX3 focus last november, my boyfriend bought it for me, we both pay for it, but i didnt drive until a day or so after we bought it. Lately I have noticed a few problems. It isnt a stock focus, a ground effect kit was installed, an alarm system was installed turning the locks from manual to automatic-problem is the driver side door doesnt lock. The alarm system was faulty so, my boyfriend disabled the alarm, my key pad goes off to let me know if something is setting it off. Now, when i go to unlock my door, it shows on my keypad that the driver side door is open(which it isnt) and when i'm driving, the door sensor goes off letting me know that the driver side door is open(which once again it isnt). The car was owned by a 19 year old kid when we bought it(first mistake). I'm so fed up with it. I had a 2002 ZX3 before this one and i'm really regretting selling it. Does anyone know anything about the car??? Please help. If i have to put a bunch of money into it, i'll trade it to a dealership and get another ford(i'm loyal to ford, what can i say), but i'm so irritated with my car right now.

  • lizzy07lizzy07 Member Posts: 2
    I had a 2002 ZX3 and my car wouldnt start once in a while, it would turn over and the dash and radio would come on but no noise from the engine, im not sure what it is, my 2001 is starting to do it too, i think these cars were made poorly. I'm not sure though. Good luck with whatever it is. I'm getting ready to get rid of my car.
  • jdantoniojdantonio Member Posts: 1
    hello all, first time posting here, i have a 2002 ford focus wagon se (wagon), havent had it all too long, maybe about 20-25,000km (110,000km total, bought it used).

    got the car in what seemed to be good shape, until one day the electric side mirrors stopped functioning along with the interior lights (front and back sets).

    i consider myself pretty handy so i decided to take a look into this myself, turns out both items are on the same fuse (the only thing on that fuse, fyi), when i checked the fuse it looked fine, i put a continuity tester on it and i was right (the fuse wasn't blown), changed it anyway and nothing still.

    so i got the haynes manual for this car and checked out the print for the car and all that, i checked the relay it went through and even swapped it out with the one for the horn to check the relay, nothing still. checked for voltage on the actual socket for the fuse and the relay and thats 12volts. i then went to the light itself and there was no voltage there or on the mirror switch.

    from there i left it for lack of time and build up of aggravation. then a few days later the darndest thing happened, the door open light (on the instrument panel) stayed on when all doors were closed, then it went out after slamming them all shut a few times, now it wont go out at all.

    then i realized that the fuse had blown for the rear wiper about 3-4 times randomly over the previous 2 weeks or so.

    so in reading a post here i saw that someone mentioned that they had the entire wire harness to the wagon back door replaced by ford for about $600 bucks

    to avoid going to the repair shop i tried to figure it out still and realized that all of the problems in some way were related to (or so i currently think) the back door wiring harness. i took the interior rear door panel off and found the rear liscence plate bulb terminals (and wires) had corroded, i cut and taped them individually and then ran out of time today.

    thats where i am. oh and i replaced the fuse for the rear wiper and used it for a while today and it worked fine so far.

    my next step would be to trace the wires back manually. any tips or ideas? sorry for the long winded rant, im just a bit frustrated currently and trying best to convey exactly whats going on.

    thanks in advance for any help
  • sue31sue31 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 ZX3 with about 60,000 miles on it. About a month ago the power locks, including the trunk, stopped working. It is not the inside fuse and I haven't had the other fuse checked yet. Tonight when I tried to turn the lights on, the trunk popped open. Even if I turned the lights on first, the trunk would not latch. Any ideas before I spend a fortune at the dealership? Thanks!
  • spicy1spicy1 Member Posts: 1
    Hey my name is Ryan I have a 2002 ford focus se sport. I have had this problem with my lights and guages going all crazy on me, I had the problem before and then it stoped and worked fine know problems. One month later its back now Im not sure what to do any advice for me on where to look?...thank you Ryan.
  • pigloverpiglover Member Posts: 25
    Hi Sue,
    Sorry that this reply is so late but I only searched this message board on May 18. Please look at my posts 226,229 under Ford Focus maintenance and repair. Whenever I pressed the brake pedal the trunk would unlock. It turned out to be a short. I suspect that you might have the same problem.

  • sandrahansensandrahansen Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2000 focus sedan and I love the car. It is auto. A few months back the transmission light started coming on for short periods so I got the auto serviced. Much smoother changes but a few months later I have serious problems with the gauges. For no apparent reason and always at low speed the ABS, hand break engaged, and transmission service lights will come on, radio goes off or fades, transmission light comes on and there is sometimes a rough gear change. All earth connections have been redone, all fuses cleaned and or replaced. The car has been gone over from top to bottom by 2 auto electricians as well as the ford dealer but it still has this annoying intermittent fault. Still runs well but loses power while "performing". Any ideas would be greatfully received.
  • cynickcynick Member Posts: 2
    I've got a 2001 Focus Zetec engine,
    When the AC has been on for like 20 minutes, the 20A fuse is blown.

    I'm looking at the diagram, and there are 3 relays connected to that fuse.
    It's something like that:

    HOT AT ALL TIMES --> -- fuse 20AMP --->---- (goes through a power hold relay, which is turned on when the ignition is on) -----------> splits into 3:

    1---> Engine Cooling Fan Relay -----> PCM ground
    2---> High Speed Engine Cooling Fan Relay ----> PCM ground
    3---> A/C Wide open Throttle (WOT) relay ---> PCM ground

    So, I guess, when the PCM decides to activate one of those 3 relays, the fuse blows.

    The fuse has never blown so far when the AC wasn't on (although it hasn't been too hot outside yet, like more than 25C)

    I suspect the High Speed engine cooling Fan relay, what do you think?

    I went to the dealer, and they, playing stupid, said that the fuse was connected to a few places, so they didn't know which one it was.. They charged me $200 to clean up the grounds and temporarily install a circuit breaker.. This didn't help though..

    So, do you think it's a connection problem or a faulty relay?


    Should I just try to remove that High Speed Engine Cooling Fan Relay? :)
  • cynickcynick Member Posts: 2
    It turned out.. that the m*** f*** "High Speed Engine Cooling Fan Relay" was not original Ford, but a Bosch one.. And it actually had different specs.. not just different specs, but completely different wiring..hahah

    i.e. the 20amp fuse wire was supposed to just control the relay (on/off), but instead, the relay fed it into driving the FAN..

    The fan was supposed to be driven by wire with 50 AMP fuse.., but instead this wire was the one driving the relay......

    gee, I wonder why a mechanic would put the wrong relay, without even looking whether the diagram on the relay matches on what's expected..
    it was all on the relay, written very clearly, which wire does what... and the relay he/she put in was obvious some old one since it was all dirty and oily..

    then I wonder.. for 2 hours, the ford mechanics couldn't figure this out? All they know is - connect to the computer, see if any codes and that's all.. no thinking at all..

    cross your finger I'm right.. we'll see on Monday if this works out...

    even if I'm right, I wonder why the relay had to be replaced in the first place? Any ideas?
  • ouradmanouradman Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 ZX3 that sometimes won't start immediately. Every 1 or 2 days it will act as though the battery is dead, but then after a couple trys or sometimes after a couple of minutes the engine turns over, as if nothing was wrong. When I try to start the car no sound whatsoever comes from the engine. The battery is new and I've replaced the $5 starter relay that's under the dash. Could the problem be a neutral safety switch and if so is that difficult to change?
  • hotx3hotx3 Member Posts: 71
    I just had the clutch replaced on my 2000 LX and had driven aboout 10 miles when my car did the same thing. Turns out the technician had misrouted a wiring harness and some moving part had shorted the battery positive cable (per the dealer). Based on the number of posts, this is a common problem. The dealer replaced it at their cost. If this isn't enough info for your service people, let me know and I'll provide you with the local Ford dealer's contact info.
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    Ok here goes one you will absolutely love. I have a 2002 focus se wagon & love the car, but it has been a major pain in the rear for the last year. Saturday I will be having the 7th alternator put in. While on my way to church Sunday my speedometer went whacky & battery light & check engine light came on. I knew what it was. It charged so bad that my battery lids came off. Ok, my fiance took the battery back & luckily we had warranty & got our 4th battery free. I also had to pay before this about 300.00 to repair things mechanic broke while fixing it. My oil dipstick & my thermostat housing are just 2 things. Well, i guess the Ford Focus is not all it is cracked up to be. we all should talk to Ford. Oh, don't get alternators from advance because I went through 5 of those in less than 6 months.
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    Ok here goes one you will absolutely love. I have a 2002 focus se wagon & love the car, but it has been a major pain in the rear for the last year. Saturday I will be having the 7th alternator put in. While on my way to church Sunday my speedometer went whacky & battery light & check engine light came on. I knew what it was. It charged so bad that my battery lids came off. Ok, my fiance took the battery back & luckily we had warranty & got our 4th battery free. I also had to pay before this about 300.00 to repair things mechanic broke while fixing it. My oil dipstick & my thermostat housing are just 2 things. Well, I guess the Ford Focus is not all it is cracked up to be. We all should talk to Ford. Oh, don't get alternators from Advance because I went through 5 of those in less than 6 months. NAPA has the best other than Ford, but mine has lifetime warranty.
  • steelsuprjsteelsuprj Member Posts: 3
    Hi, I've been having problems with my SVT. I'll go out in the mornings and it won't start. It cranks and cranks but won't fire. Then later in the day, or the next day, it'll start and run fine. I've had it at 2 different dealerships and they can't find anything wrong. It starts everytime for them. One dealership replaced the fuel pump just as a guess. Still had the same problem 3 days later. They've given up and I'm frustrated. Read a post about a possible solenoid problem?? Can anyone advise me? Thanks!
  • twaxtwax Member Posts: 1
    you may want to try replacing the battery cables...
  • kartdevilkartdevil Member Posts: 9
    Well I'm sorry to see you are having this frustrating problem also, I am now on my 8th alternator and no sign of the problem being corrected. Now since the new alternator has been installed the car is idling extremely rough, I'm sure the new alternator will go out in a short while so I will be on #9. This is absolutely ridiculous. I feel Ford should without a doubt do something to aid me with this problem other than keep installing alternators. This has cost them over $4000 in actual cost and labor. I do not see an end to it either.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioMember Posts: 130
    I cleaned top of battery with baking soda/water solution, dried it, used the colored felt circles on the battery post, and tightened battery cable. problem solved. My main problem was a loose battery cable. I'm sure the cleaning did not hurt. Focus battery seems to corode on top at a fast rate.
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    Hey thanks for reply & yes I feel Ford should do something for all of us. my mechanic finally found a relay bad & changed that so here's a hope & prayer. Have your mechanic check it out.
  • kartdevilkartdevil Member Posts: 9
    Could you tell me what relay it is? These guys here have no clue.

  • fordnut4fordnut4 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3
    When I put in the key and turn to on --- no gauges reads or when I start it.
    Then I take the key out and try again and they read.
    This happens all the time now. Read and then no read.
    Did clean the battery terminals and tighten.
    Checked the alt wiring and they are ok.
    Any thoughts on this problem !!! please help...
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    It is in black box on drivers side next to windshield under hood,not sure what it was called. Car did something real weird today. It jerked & lights came on & cut off a little bit later. So hopefully just a gliche & nothing else will happen to this junker, lol.
  • kartdevilkartdevil Member Posts: 9
    Thanks for the reply, but I took the car into Ford again because after they replaced the Alternator 2 weeks ago, it started idling real rough and the odometer display looked as if it were burning out. So, while I was waiting I went ahead and traded it in on a new ZX3 with an extended warranty. After I purchased the new one, I went back to the service lane to check on it , and they told me the engine mounts were bad and the instrument cluster was going out. Now it's their problem! I was not going to get another Focus but I really wanted Ford to suck that car up, so I decided to trade it for a new one. Best of luck to you. I know one time when my Alt was going it would jerk on and off.
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    Mine has done same jerk mess. Ford needs to take another look at these cars. I am glad you got another car. I would if I could. Good Luck, I don't know if I ever want a Ford again.
  • monkeybrainsmonkeybrains Member Posts: 6
    While the car is sitting, not running, it will go through months-long stages of this. It will go through daily stages of not responding to keyless entry as well. And different indicator lights on the instrument cluster will do weird things whenever they want--usually when starting.

    I had the instrument cluster replaced. There were no problems, the first few days, except for the Over Drive Off indicator not functioning.

    My mechanic says we need to find a new instrument cluster because they are different for each year. What do you think? --I have a rebuilt 2003 Focus ZX5.
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    I think any1 that can get out of these cars need to do so. I think Ford should get us out of these cars or let us keep them & finance us something else. I also think Ford should be held accountable, but they tell me they have no trouble out of the Focus. They say that we are a small portion compared to satisfied customers. I haven't met 1 satisfied here in NC. I think Ford should take another look. I think Ford has made me not believe in Ford products. I think Ford will do anything to make it look like us & not a bad car.
  • monkeybrainsmonkeybrains Member Posts: 6
    I mean, what do you think could be done about this specific problem?

    I guess each year of the focus has a different I. Cluster, and if you get a used one, it has to be "programmed to your car." What do you think this means? Is there a trusted online junkyard storefront anyone knows about?
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    I have no clue on this one, but my piece of junk started doing something new. Now I am sitting at a light & it starts trying to jerk & cuts off on me. A friend told me to idle it up higher & showed me how. This car gets on my last nerve. Another friend told me that we may have to take cars back because they are catching on fire. I didn't see it, but he says 98 - 2005 I think.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioMember Posts: 130
    Is your Focus old enough for the 10 year fuel pump warranty Ford gave. The stalling problem was a symptom of early Foci. I don't recall the particulars, but I have a 2000, since new and can find the letter if you want the info.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
  • tcsnelltcsnell Member Posts: 1
    Here's the website for this info:

    Make/Models: FORD / FOCUS Model/Build Years: 2000-2001
    Recall Number: 03V482000

    You may need to be very diligent in this issue. If they tell you the problem has to be 'replicated', this recall mentions NOTHING about that issue...just if the customer complains about the issue. Good luck! tcs
  • dreamfollowerdreamfollower Member Posts: 1
    I am in process of trading in my 2000 focus for a new one... my fuel pump was recalled - i had already replaced it so i got my deductible back. since i started with a different mechanic (because i moved) every time he touches one thing another goes out - so i am towing it to ford and starting over - probably i will pay the extra with this one when warranty is up and stick with ford mechanics cause atleast they know the car... does anyone have opinions on the 2007s.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Its only 2 months away.

    Synch will be standard on the SES and part of the SE upgrade packge.

  • jawaldrojawaldro Member Posts: 2
    Ok so I've got a 2001 focus SE, and I had just got it all working fine. Then one day while I was leaving work me and my friend got in and started to drive home. Everything seemed fine until I tried to put down the windows, and they didnt go down. I decided I would turn the car off and start it again and see if that made any difference. Well, when I turned the car off and turned it back on, it started fine only now I couldnt shift it into gear! After a while of pondering what to do, I found (by random chance) that if the key was turned off, the windows mysteriously worked again and the car shifted, and the air worked as well. This was really weird, and obviously everytime I left my ca somewere I needed to unhook my battery so it didnt drain it. Then suddenly the car wouldnt even shift when the key was off, and when I attached the battery again the guages all started to flip back and forth and I got an annoying beeping sound I had never heard before. I have no idea what could have happened, the only thing that happened while I was at work was that it rained, but I also checked my fuses and none were burnt. My breaklights work but my taillights do not, my headlights still work, my radio still works. I am at a loss of what to do, now when I need to use my car I have to manually change gears before I start the car and after reattachingthe battery which is very annoying. Can anybody help ME???
  • jawaldrojawaldro Member Posts: 2
    I figured it out, in case anyone has similar problems. After a 2 day search of wires and connections I found the problem was just a simple corroded ignition relay. FIGURES.
  • focuspocusfocuspocus Member Posts: 2
    i own an '02 focus se wagon w/ 2.0 zetec.

    My electrical problems kicked in about 3 weeks ago.
    When i accelerate from a stand still or punch the gas when i'm traveling at a slow speed, i hear 4 or 5 steady clicks from the fuse box under the dash, the lights dim along with the clicks, and on some occasion the battery light comes on and/or the gauges peg, then die, then come on again normally !! All this with the car running smooth as butter !

    took it to a garage 3 days ago the mechanic changed the coil (which had several rusty cracks in it), telling me that his focus had a cracked coil which caused the gauge spiking. Well, $368.00
    and 3 minutes after leaving the garage with an empty,click,click,click........but NO spiking !

    i took it back right away, the mechanic got under the dash and checked the was hot and the other cool.
    Seeing as both were identical he switched them around. the cool one was for the horn and the one running hot was the "voltage anti-discharge" relay....(direct translation from my French owner's manual)
    It seemed to have worked but next day it was back to clicking and dimming. I'm going back monday to see what they can do.

    I've read all of kartdevil's posts....he had the exact same problem
    he went thru 9 alternators !!! before trading in for a new Focus.

    i haven't check the battery terminals. Mechanic said the alt is charging fine.

    Seems like more than a few people have this irritating problem.

    If anyone has any light to shed here or has actually fixed the problem (permanently) PLEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAASE post :cry:
  • ttaittai Member Posts: 114
    lol, you have the dreaded battery cable problem.
    It will cost $800 to replace the faulty cables and
    whatever else Ford wants to replace. Just limp the
    car to your dealer. He'll know exactly what to do with it.
    In about 2 years, you'll have to replace them again.
    Sell your car now while you still can. More repairs will
    come soon.
  • focuspocusfocuspocus Member Posts: 2
    thanx for the help ttai. you've saved me a few trips. to the's well appreciated. :)
    At least i know exactly what to tell the mechanic to look at.....hopefully it doesn't come with an $800 price tag.

    i just got the car in April !! i'm gonna tough it out a little bit longer (hope it's the right decision)

    how long did this problem take to find on your focus?
    did you put in unnecessary parts (like i probably did) ??
  • johnkuxjohnkux Member Posts: 4
    I am unfortunate enough to have a 2000 ford focus. After driving home from work the car sat for 20 minutes then would not start. No clicking noise, just a humming noise. Later that day I noticed that the power door locks also won't work. When I hit the fob to lock the doors I get the same humming noise as when I try to start the car. Is it a relay, fuse or high power fuse? All I want to do is to get it running so I can trade it on a Toyota, which is what I should have bought to begin with.
  • ttaittai Member Posts: 114
    This problem was a technical service bulletin. It happened to me the first month I had the car. Then it happened 3 times more. The symptoms were the same. The speedo goes wild and pegs at top speed. Ford refused to pay for the repair after the second time. SELL THE CAR!!!
  • ttaittai Member Posts: 114
    I know I had to replace the starter after 70k miles.
    I can't tell for sure what the problem on your car is since
    it sounds bizzare. I did hear the relay on mine.
  • focus2000focus2000 Member Posts: 1
    SAME EXACT problem I'm having. Haven't gone to the dealer yet. My focus is a 2000.....warranty is LONG gone. Wonder if this is a recall if so many new owners are experiencing it...

    My car drives perfectly during and after the crazy dials and lights flicker and peg. Used to be triggered after I hit the O/D off button on the gear. Now it's happening anytime.

    ANyone no what I should tell the dealer when I take it in?
  • jdlhjdlh Member Posts: 2
    Hi, Can anyone help?

    I've recently bought a focus zetec. Seemed ok for a few months in summer, but since change in temperature, I've noticed some odd things.
    1) When I press the brake pedal, the dash lights and main beam all dim slightly, and occasionally flicker, but only slightly.
    2)Twice now, my drivers window has not worked (foot on brake pedal at times, not sure if relevant). After a few seconds, hey presto, it works again.
    3)when I press down on wiper lever, the single sweep stops part way over and needs the lever to be constantly pressed in order to get it back into position. I tried pushing the lever in towards the steering column as there appears a small gap (couple of milimeters) between the top part of the level and the steering column connection.

    I've heard that Focus' have a lot of electrical problems, and I'm beginning to wonder what I've let myself in for!!

    Any ideas???

  • moparman52moparman52 Member Posts: 1
    Try starting the car within 15 seconds after you unlock the driver's door with the key fob remote. My girlfriend has a 2000 Focus & it is in the shop right now getting an alternator b/c her battery light keeps coming on. I put a new battery in it this past weekend & the light still comes on. We are driving close to 800 miles in 2 days this coming weekend & we don't want to get stuck on the mountains of WVa, so we are getting the car serviced now. Try the key fob trick, that is what we have to do to start her car.
  • vegas8vegas8 Member Posts: 3
    im having trouble with my 2001 ford focus HELP !!!! just last week this problem started my sister was using my car when she drop of my brother to school it literally turn off on her. She got jumper cables and and the car was fine.. the car started working fine but until next day i went to work everything was fine got home then i was going to use my car again and it didn't turn on my brother gave me jumper cable's i ran the car and it was fine AGAIN !!! then the next day i went out and the car light's started to dim well i pull over and thankfully i got to a parking space and the car turn off..... my brother AGAIN gave me jumper cables i would drive stop and the car will turn off then again and again until i got home.... My brother says is the battery but others say is the alternator CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME !!!! my car has been sitting for a couple of days now.
  • johnkuxjohnkux Member Posts: 4
    I just had the "power control module" replaced on my 2000 ford focus. My car would not start and couldn't be jumped. The repair guy said it was the power control module and when replaced the car seems to run fine, at least as fine as a 2000 ford focus can run. Hope this helps.
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    After 8 alternators on my 2002 acting the same way as yours is. the kicker is mine is acting crazy again. I am going down road & battery light comes on & then when at light it starts trying to cut off i would say alternator & battery is your problem because i have had 5 batteries with my alternator. the alternator kills the batteries.
  • pidelpidel Member Posts: 2
    My Husband bought me a 2006 Ford focus ZX3! I used to love my car, but it has been in the shop 5 times sense September of 2006, and started after the 2nd day He bought it
    Water bottle was leaking into Floorboard
    Steering belt
    Electrical With lights,rear hatch back latch
    Idle pully
    All due to faulty parts the dealer said!
    I just put it back in today due Vibration on right turns. they said it looks like the CV joint on the transmission end.
    I have a whole stack of work orders on the car! I will be trading it in as soon as warranty is up!!!!
  • 1dufflebag1dufflebag Member Posts: 6
    I have had the unique experience in the last two days to have my 2003 ford focus almost need a tow due to no start, then see a ford focus being worked on where I rented a car that was experiencing this clicking relay noise.

    I remembered a mechanic had showed me that disconnecting the positive lead will reset the computer and turn off warning I recommended to the guy working on the clicking noise to try disconnecting the positive lead. He did that and when reconnected the relay reset itself and NO PROBLEM anymore. I go back to my car to call the tow truck for my no start issue and before the guy tows my car away I ask him to disconnect the lead so my computer is reset before going into service. (why is a longer story). Anyhow boom. He disconnects the positive lead, resets the computer...and the car starts repeatedly without a problem.

    Sounds wierd...but try it.
  • 1dufflebag1dufflebag Member Posts: 6
    Yes, speaking of frustration..a guy in consumer reports said it best. THe focus is one of the most fun, repsonsive car you can drive in its class...if you have the time to get it repaired. I am on my second focus and seen the repair shop many times. But I did buy a second one. Probably the last.
  • sky336sky336 Member Posts: 9
    Mine is going to shop again today. Ford should do something for all of us trapped into these junk cars. I am so pissed. I just pray because Ford says these are wonderful cars & they have not had alot of trouble & complaints from customers. I am the 1st one that they have heard this junk from. This mess has caused many probs in my home. Ford needs to be held accountable for all the pain & stress we all have gone thru over these piece of craps. Totally fed up with Ford here. What can we do as a group?
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