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Ford Focus Sedan



  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    your love hate relationship......who you do the loving, make sure you love it the car each time like it was your last car and they were gonna take the keys from you.
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    Anyone know how I can accelerate the rust so it will perforate and I can make Ford pay?
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    What model Focus do you have???

    My son's 2001 SE 4 door has been a champ for the past 2+ years and 45,000 miles.
  • A few weeks ago, I took my 2001 Focus SE (ZTEC engine – 47,000 miles) to the dealer to replace the fuel pump, expecting to pay a huge amount of $$$. I have one of those ‘problem’ Focus that has had numerous problems such as:

    1) Brakes squealed like a worn out garbage truck when the car was brand new
    2) Engine was replaced at 10,000 miles due to a ‘bad cam’
    3) The alternator would drain the battery dead whenever the car sat for 2 days, (17,000 miles) – needed 4 trips to the dealer to fix this.
    4) Check engine light sending unit need to be replaced (24,000 miles)
    5) The passenger footwell leaked rain water. (cause: cowl was bad – 32,000 miles).
    6) Now, a fuel pump!!!

    Anyway, to my surprise, because I’ve been taking the car into the dealer every few months to have a problem fixed, the dealer put me on one of Fords extended warranty programs (5 years/75,000 miles) for free without me even knowing about it. I thought that was pretty cool. Anybody else that has had numerous problems with the car should at least try to see if their dealer will do the same, assuming you go to the same dealer on a regular basis.

    Also, for those people that hate Ford because of the Focus problems, I also own a 1996 Taurus Wagon (the wife’s car) with 130,000 miles that is still running strong. It has had far fewer problems them my 1994 Toyota Corolla with same mileage (the car I had before the Focus). My car prior to that one was a 1987 T-Bird w/125,000 miles before a New York City taxicab totaled it. I’d have no hesitation about buying a 2004 Focus.
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    I own a 2001 ZX3. I just dropped it off this morning for the dead a/c. 67,500 miles.

    Nyfocus: The Taurus only had major glitches way back when the first model was introduced. Since then, they've been rated about "average." The Focus, up until now, has been a risky buy.

    The Focus was a big headache for Ford. If you do a search, you'll see they had huge quality issues before production started and they didn't want to delay the launch. They actually had engineers from Germany to help get the plant going (since it was already being manufactured there a whole year prior), but there were still issues with the first cars off the line. Since time is money, they just let the cars go until they could come up with a solution.

    Now, I'd be curious to know if the cars that came out of Michigan were statistically more reliable than those that came from Mexico. Anecdotal evidence shows there to be no difference.

    The old computer theory of GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT is what applies here. Ford has recogized they needed to control the design of the parts going into the cars, rather than let the part suppliers design it for them, and they have made this change.

    Obviously, not all the cars can be lemons. However, the percentage of people with problems on 2000 to 2002 series vehicles is unacceptably high and we, as paying customers, should not be asked to endure this kind of abuse because Ford wanted to make their launch times. It especially pisses me off that I'm treated as a second class citizen because I didn't buy a monster SUV. This is not an "economy" car for me. This is a small coupe that's fun to drive with a very well laid out interior. It has all the elements of a successful vehicle. I make $80k a year and have no debt, I can afford a Mercedes, I chose to buy a Focus.

    In the end, the good that can come from the Focus is that it will eventually raise the bar for cars in the segment. I'm hoping the Mazda3 will have the same driving characteristics as the Focus (since it's on the euro focus platform). The Focus proved you don't have to spend big bucks to get sophisticated handling and ride with a non-cookie cutter design.

    Adding insult to injury is that the dealers are mostly out to screw you. It's not enough that my car is broken, but now I have to battle the dealer to get the repair done. I might feel differently about my car if the dealer didn't treat me like it was my fault, or tried to tell me there is no problem. I've tried four different dealers in search of a decent one.

    I have a friend that has worked for Chrysler for the past 7 years. I could tell you stories that would make you furious. The manufacturer knows and orders the dealers not EVER let the customer know if they've seen a problem before. Even if the company is well aware of repeated issues, they cannot say "we've seen this before." Furthermore, the regional manager will tell the dealer (for example), "you've got too many warranty claims for catalytic converters. If you don't get that down we may have to audit your dealer." This actually happened last week! They ended up telling the customer with 40k miles on his PT Cruiser that his Catylitic converter wasn't under warranty anymore. Can you imagine?? I'd be irate.

    I know Chrysler is not alone in this, and these practices have to stop. Domestic marks will continue to lose market share until it does.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Yes, that's what I was wondering too...are the Mexico cars more prone to problems or is it the other way around or across the board. My son's SE was made in the Wayne plant and I would be interesting to see if the figures skew one way or another.

    "Adding insult to injury is that the dealers are mostly out to screw you. It's not enough that my car is broken, but now I have to battle the dealer to get the repair done."

    Now, I think those two sentences sum up what the real problem is and that in my opinion is how the dealer handles the situation. Nyfocus' story above about the dealer putting his 2001 in for the Ford extended warranty without his even asking tells me that he is dealing with a good dealer. My Ford dealer (we bought one 2000 and two 2001 Fords from them in a one year period) is great and I have a wonderful relationship with the Service Manager. He has done everything possible to make the ownership of our Fords as pleasant as possible and when we have had a problem or two he has gone the extra miles to make sure it was handled as easily as possible (even providing loaners for as long as they need to have our cars).

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...the car companies MUST work in partnership with the local dealers and they MUST encourage the dealers to be the best that they can be, because the only relationship most car owners have with the car company is that dealer. The local dealers will either make or break the car company. A problem car is a lot better with a great dealer but a problem car with a rotten dealer is the kiss of death for the manufacturer!
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    I am beginning to recognize the fact that Ford is tough on the dealers. They set times for warranty repairs that are unreasonable and they only pay a fixed amount for the problem (not unlike and HMO).

    I don't have a dealership so I can't say if it's possible to be profitable under those circumstances.

    I just want for the service manager NOT to tell me "it's the wind" when my car is hesitating, or "this is normal" when I hear noises from the suspension. That's just slap in the face.

    There's no reason why people who by Fords can't get the same treatment as people who buy Lexus.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Don't forget to express your appreciation to your dealer for that extended warranty. Sounds like they went to bat for you.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    "There's no reason why people who by Fords can't get the same treatment as people who buy Lexus."

    Actually, there is a pretty good reason: There is a lot more profit in a Lexus sale than a Focus.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352

    I know what you mean about getting lame excuses for the way a car acts...It always seems that the standard operating procedure is that there is something wrong with the driver, not the car!

    Its not only Ford dealers thou that play that game. A couple of years ago I had my Mom's Volvo 850 for a couple of months while she was out of town (getting away from the winter weather!). One day my wife calls me from school and tells me she can't get the key out of the ignition. Well, when I come home I play with it and son of a gun, she's right. No matter how hard I jam the shifter into Park, I can't fully turn the key to the off position. I sit in my driveway and diagnose the problem as an alignment issue with the gear selector, so I call the Volvo dealer (all their license plate frames call it the largest Volvo dealer in the world). The first question, "is the car in park?" (dahhh) Second question "are you sure the car's in park??"

    Well, I take the car over there and drop it off (they have valet parking at the service department)and they keep it for 2 days. Final disposition, a misalignment with the floor selector. The car was in Park but the selector was off so the mechanism "thought" the car was not in park!

    Its like the computer guys asking you if the computer is plugged in??? Come on folks...we're not all bozos!
  • After reading the CR report on Focus reliability, it seems to me that only the SVT was on the recomended list. Does anyone know if that recomendation applies to the rest of the Focus line? Particularly the new PZEV cars? Also, does anyone know the 0 to 60 time and top speed of the PZEV ZX3? I would really appreciate the answers to my questions as my ordered car is to be delivered in 3 days, and I would like to know what I am buying. My car will have an automatic trans, so my question on time to 60 and top speed would be for the auto car. Many thanks in advance. All comments appreciated.
  • hi, no offense snakerbill,but didn't you read all the negative comments on the focus.with tons of other new models out there why would you buy a ford? you'll have more to worry about then a 0-60 time.the reviews are still not good yet,wait another year.i know i know the style and handling drew me in too and boy i should of read up on it more.too late for me.bye
  • My guess...


    The service writer didn't personally come and break your car. The dealership is a separate entity from Ford, is contractually obligated to fix your car, yet is under many constraints from FoMoCo on how to go about fixing the car.

    Understand that, treat people with respect, and good things come of it.

    Have a nice day guys.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Your post if 100% correct, but some dealers do not make it easy to treat them with respect when they don't treat you that way. True, the problem may be Ford's doing, but you just gave them $15-20,000 and would like something better than a brush off.
  • Maybe because I am a good customer? Three of my last 4 new cars have been Fords. I’ve leased a 1994 Taurus, purchased a 96 Taurus, & the 01 Focus from the same dealer. For the first few years of the cars life, I have all my service done by the dealer. Then as the cars get older, I bring them back for just the major service appointments (60,000, 75, 000, etc) – which usually are not cheap. So I guess I could be called a ‘regular’. Since I had nothing but positive experience with Fords (I also owned an 87 T-Bird), I realized that the problems with my Focus was not because Ford or the dealer sucks, but my car sucks. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had the extended warranty, I’d be car shopping right now. Chances are, once the warranty runs out, I will not keep the car much longer. I just do not feel very confident about the long term durability of my car.

    The dealer I bought the car from is a small town dealer that brags about how good its customer service is. I could have gone to one of those huge mega-Ford dealers where they have 500 of every Ford model stretching as far as you can see. Your know, the kind of place where they really hate to let you walk out the door without buying something (“What do I have to do to get you to buy this car today”). I probably could have gotten the car a few hundred dollars cheaper, but I’d just be one of a hundred people that walked thru the door that day. It’s usually with these kinds of places that people have horror stories.

    My wife remembers the salesman saying something about trying to get us put on an extended warranty. This was about a year ago when the alternator was draining the battery down. It was one of those ‘hard-to-find’ problems that required 4 trips to the dealer in a 2 month span. We kept running into the guy that sold us the car and I guess by the fourth visit, he told my wife he would see what he could do, and then we never heard about it again. My guess is the dealer ate the cost of the warranty. For the record, when I bought the car, they did try to sell me one of 3 different warranties, but I declined.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Your last post is a perfect synopsis of how I feel about car shoping..there are many other considerations beside price.

    I have a similar situation to current Ford dealer is a smaller Mom and Pop store on LI that is surrounded by mega dealers. There was a price problem when purchasing my first car from them, my 2000 Mustang convertible and the owner of the dealership ended up helping me and became my "salesman". When I had a problem easily in the ownership of that car, the service department helped me ASAP. In 2001 we bought a Taurus for my wife and a Focus for my son at the same store. Again dealt with the owner and was treated great.

    Over the years, I've developed a nice relationship with the service manager and I have been very happy with the way I've been treated when I bring any of the cars in with a problem.

    Our whole relationship is first rate and I have long suggested that more dealers would treat people this way if we stopped patronizing bad dealers.

    Sometimes saving that buck just isn't worth the price.
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    YIKES! Will all those Fords you've probably given them so much business that you've pretty much earned that warranty ... especially in service and repairs that you've forked out!
  • The new CR reliability rankings apply to all Focus models. I just checked their online 2004 Focus wagon review, and the review stated that the reliability has improved so that they can "finally" recommend it.

    Keep in mind that Consumer Reports ranks the Focus's reliability as average, but it's other attributes make it their top rated small car overall. J.D. Power has current Focus initial quality as a little above average. So a Focus is not as bullet proof as a Corolla, but I think it's more fun to drive.
  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    If I remember correctly, Ford has a "hidden" campaign to cover problem vehicles, specifically the Focus, with an extended warranty. Though, I had heard the warranty was 5yr / 100,000 miles.

    This is similiar to what Olds did with the first Intrigues...extended the warranty to 5/100 free. Wonder if you get a rebate if you already purchased the extended warranty? hehehe....NOT!
  • Late '02 and all of the '03's have the Ford Powertrain warranty included at no extra cost.
    My understanding is that it has boosted consumer confidence.

    Sorry to hear about the problems with the '00 and '01 Focus'. Bummer.

    Ford just had a two year run on this car without a single recall and it's been getting lot's of really good press.

    R.L.Polk gave it an award for loyalty, previous Focus owners returning to buy another. Must be something ok about the car...
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    Yes, it's been quiet on the recall front ... but the focus is due for a redesign :-) ... now they can take it from the top! This should be interesting...
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    "but the focus is due for a redesign :-) ... now they can take it from the top! This should be interesting..."

    Well, according to the latest press Ford is only going to reskin the current platform instead of using the new Euro Focus/Mazda3/S40 platform. I guess you could say they want to play it safe and build a better name for the model. They learned from their mistake and don't want to make it again.

    Even if it's just a "reskin" (I'm sure other things will be changed too) the current Focus platform is still worlds ahead of most of its competition. ;)
  • You may not believe this, but I traded a 2004 Honda Civic for the Pzev Focus Auto. I can tell you that the much touted Honda was a POS. It had so many things wrong with it that the dealer and the tire mfg kept blameing each other for the horrible vibrations at 70MPH thru 90 or so. The wheels were balanced 5 times and it never got better. The bridgestone tires were the junkiest tires I have ever ridden on. The car leaked oil, and the trans lever ploped into D3 instead of stopping at D4 like it should. The trans shifted so hard on deceleration that it jerked the passengers forward. What crap. I can tell you that the Focus with only 700 miles on it is twice as good as the Civic. It is way faster, smoother, and quiet, and it has no rattles, unlike that Civic which seemed to be built by 7 year old children who were in a bad mood. Honda and the tire co. would not do a thing about all of this, as they blamed each other for the vibration, and I just got tired of the run-a-round from these people. So far the Focus has been perfect, and it has so many really nice features that put the Honda to shame. These are the reasons why I bought the Focus. I was never so glad to get rid of anything as badly as I wanted to lose that Civic. Beside that the Focus has a 100000 mile powertrain warranty and a dealer who has a super reputation in the community. Maybe the Focus will have problems later, but it will never be as bad as that Junk Civic.
  • hog6hog6 Posts: 3
    my girlfriend got a "good deal" on her 01 LX. so good that at 36,900 (900 miles after the warranty expired) she had to have the engine heads and valves replaced. cost? oh, hust $2100. that is after she had to have the brakes replaced at 15000 miles. and now that the car has matured with the help of her purse to 47000 miles she can't drive with the car in overdrive. anywhere. why? because the thing goes into nuetral whenever it feels like it. and the slamming back into gear surely won't help the piece of ____ last any longer. we tried to deal with ford through customer service since the dealer has no liability on a car they didn't make and we are passed lemon law time lines. that worked out well. i kid you not, we were hung up on. twice. the "supervisor" of the regional (Seattle) ford customer service office said there was no one above that we could speak with. i am appalled by the overall service she has been given. avoid the _______ car at all costs.
  • djp2cdjp2c Posts: 39
    My wife has had the steering seize up when making a hard right turn while braking. This has happened to her 3 times.

    It has happened to me twice now and the last time was last nite.

    Early this year I asked the dealer to check this and they said there was nothing wrong.

    After last nite I am very much concerned about the safety of the car (2000 Wagon) and I think I had better trade it.

    Has anyone else had a similar problem??????
  • Hi, I just returned from a rainy trip and discovered alot of water soaked the driver side carpet.Is this common and easy to fix? Where do I look to plug the leak? could it come from the AC?If it's a quick & easy caulking fix,I'd rather than go to the dealer for the painful fix! Thanks
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    There aren't any "common" leaks. If it's still under warranty, I would take it back to the dealer.
  • Took a trip of 500 miles. Got 29.1 MPG. The car has had no problems, and I now have l500 miles on it. My only concern is that I think that the ride is a little harsh. It has 50 series P6 H rated tires, and I am considering a change minus one to l95 60 l5 Goodyear RSA's for a better ride. The car handles good enough with the 60 series tires that I would lose very little in handling, but gain a whole lot in ride smoothness and comfort. I am not trying to make a Camry out of it, but I just hate a jittery ride. Any advice or opinions??? The 2.3 engine just transformed the Focus from a toy into a real car. By the way, the tire and wheel change would be free, courtesy of the Ford dealer.
  • Hi, I am looking for a car that is entry level, won't cost a fortune'and be dependable( I know that is a lot to ask). I am looking at a lot of different makes. I have driven a Kia Spectra, Hyundai Accent, Saturn Ion,and a ford focus. I also owned a Dodge Neon, but I liked the Focus the best, but I have read the boards and am wavering a bit. I may go try the Toyota Corolla, or the Honda Civic, but I can get a Focus for $11,000 new. Any suggestion on what to look for or what to ask about? Thanks
  • The Focus cars have improved their quality so much that CR now recommends them. My advice is to look at the new PZEV 2.3 engined car. It is head and shoulders above the 2.0 in performance and turns the Focus into a real car with very good performance. I know that the 04 cars will cost more, but believe me the engine is worth the difference. This engine is only available on the o4's but before you buy, drive a 2.3. Best of luck
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