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Ford Focus Sedan



  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Most reserves ARE 2 - 3 gallons.
  • class3class3 Posts: 14
    Well... Here I am again, with more info on the car. I was called on Friday by the Service Manager at the Dealer that was repairing my 2 Front wheel bearings. Well. as I told you I'd update you on the outcome.. here it is..
    The REAR bearings were gone.. so much for the "qualified techs" at this place. I was originally told that the FRONT bearing were being replaced. not the rears!
    I made an appointment with the owner for Monday morning. to talk about him taking this vehicle back.
    The argument is:
    1. I have complained of the noise since 7K miles and they did nothing for me. and we now have 24k on it
    2. every time I brought the car in, they ignored the problem and told me it was my tires, instead of finding the problem and fixing it
    3. the tires were replaced at 22k and still the problem existed, without any explanation from the service department when we confronted them on this.
    4 I was handled in a rude manner by one of the "Customer care" Reps.As in "So what would you like Ford to do about this?.was the final much for the concern they had.
    5 Finally I'm off to the news medis on this one. I guess I'll have to rely on the Arbitration Board also.
    Oh yes.One other note of interest.
    The Service Manager seems to be "having a problem" finding my Wife's service file.. good thing I'm a pack rat and keep all my papers and yes.we're up to 8 recalls so far since 11/99
  • tallguy2tallguy2 Posts: 3
    stevem327: My TS fuel gauge shows the same. About three gallons left when empty. hats about 25 percent, or another hundred miles of driving. I think it should show empty with about one gallon left.

    With 10,000 miles on the car, it's still a great ride. I'm amazed at the quality of just about everything. The fuel gauge and my elbow bumping the armrest in the up position are my only complaints.

    I just noticed that in the last quarter, Honda Civic and Ford Focus were selling just about at the same rate. Which means that in one year every parking lot will have three Foci in it. One of which will be the same color as yours. Oh well, my ego can take it. I could pay another five grand on a car of similar quality. That would solve the parking lot problem. But there is something in my genes that prevents me from doing that. God I love a good deal.
  • stevem327stevem327 Posts: 98
    Thanks for the responses...that was good news. I had my mileage calculations all wrong in thinking that I had used up 12 gallons when I got to the "E" line.

    I'm actually getting a little over 25 mpg combined highway/city driving...not bad.

    Thanks again...
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    I don't understand your bashing of Ford quality. You own a Mazda. Isn't Mazda owned by Ford? Two, there wil be more bitching about Ford problems since they sell a ton more cars than Mazda.

    Furthermore, Mazda could disappear in this country. I'm sure you have the facts, but enlighten me on how many units Mazda is selling in this country. My guess is they're not moving a lot of product.

    As far as trade-in value; You payed more for a comparabily equipped Mazda, more to insure it ( I'm guessing) and you'll pay more to repair and fix it. As far as Japanese superior build and quality; that died about 10 years ago. These companies are global now. So it doesn't matter where it is designed and built!

    Just my opinion! But if you're going to bash a company please be specific. You love your Protege. Good for you.Don't flame an entire company for whatever reason without specifics.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Let me ask you Focus owners a question.

    Does any one of you go to any of the Toyota, Honda, Mazda, etc discussion groups and bad mouth the cars those folks own? Doesn't it seem that the folks at those boards have too much time on their hands and that those boards must be too dull and thus they must come over here and bad mouth our cars?

    There are a lot of happy Focus owners out there and honestly I am very happy that you are happy with your Honda or whatever. Enjoy the ride and may your car work wonderfully till you no longer want to drive it. But please don't come over here and tell us how smart you are and how dumb we are. There is nothing respectful about telling us that after we spent 12-16 thousand we screwed up. Not meaning to offend anyone, but I personally am offended when you tell me how smart you are and how dumb I am.


  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    In a recent Detroit News article, it says that since Toyota is pushing heavy discounts on Camry's, it's ballyhooed resale value has dropped. It is also due to this being it's 5th year on the market in the same body style and that the 2002 will be all new.

    The main point is that if a car has a rebate or huge discount, expect the same drop in resale. I am sure that all the Mazda 626's in rental fleets won't have the "import premium price" either.

    As more and more imports are sold, simple supply and demand will erase their "premium". Case in point, in the 70's American 2 doors like Monte Carlos had high resale values. So again, it isn't the fact that a car is an import that gives it high resale.
  • dave651dave651 Posts: 7
    My wife has a 2000 ZX3. I keep seeing all the whines about recalls and yes they were an annoyance. However I can't remember a recall that was for anything important or real-world dangerous. A pillar liners, seatback brackets ? Who cares ? Get them done and no problem.

    The actual working of the car has been perfect. It drives very well indeed for a $13K car. Care to mention another that would do equally well ? Its competition is really Neon, the Hyundais, Daewoos, Kias etc, Cavalier and maybe Protege when they are dealing. The Mazda is a nice car but the upfront price was more than a little higher, the power less, and the resale not much different at all after a few years. Sure if you want to sell after 24 mos that might be an issue but you'll take a bath on anything that new. None of the others come close in driving pleasure or enjoyable performance.

    We have had zero problems with the Ford so far at 15k miles, including an 800 mile trip I took. I'm a large chap and the seats were much more comfortable than the other small cars - mpore shoulder room too. I would not have been willing to take any of the other 13K cars on such a trip - including the worthy Protege.

    So far we're very happy. I've had a few Fords before and all have been pretty reliable with no huge repairs needed.

    Has anyone worked out how much resale value the $2K price difference invested in 7% CDs for five years would make up ?
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352

    As a 2001 Focus owner its good to hear a positive report
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    I have a '00 Focus and have a lot of problems.
    Does it make me A WHINER?
    The negative reporsts mostly are not about the recalls but the real PROBLEMS!!!!
    The '00 model is very troublesome (RECALLS EXCLUDED).
    BTW I'm still glad to hear that your car is perfect.
  • dave651dave651 Posts: 7
    There are thousands and thousands of Focuses on the road. It's no surprise at all that yours and many others have had defects. MBs, Lexus etc all have defects too. I've seen numerous posts bewailing numerous Toyota and Honda products too to name less prestigious but very well-reputed brands and saying never again. Does that mean these companies all make unreliable and low quality cars ?

    There are so many thousands of parts in a modern vehicle that some are bound to fail or to be assembled poorly. It's the nature of manufacturing variability and no-one is immune. Least of all cars from ANY manufacturer which are sold at low price and profit points where less expense can be absorbed for overkill in QA or material selection.

    However the Focus overall seems to be doing quite well in terms of real world reliability overall and very few people have complaints about how they stack up against similarly priced competitors when they assume a trouble-free example in both cases.

    So yes you got a problem car. Yes that's a shame and I feel for you. I've been there with other cars including an Acura of all things. But that doesn't mean there are global problems with the Focus or with Ford. I don't know which posts I read are yours from memory and I made no reference to you personally, but the posts which extrapolate Ford unreliabilty or poor Focus quality from a single or handful of instances ARE whining and unrealistic to boot, just like it would be if I said my wife's problem-free Focus meant they exceeded LS430s in overall quality and had no problems at all.

    Having said that I had a 96 Intrepid for 2 yrs ( my one and only lease - never again ) without a problem and my wife's last car was a mechanically defect-free Neon. An ex-girlfriend had a 94 Excel with no problems, another had a Civic which was a total dog. None of those can be extrapolated to be indicators of overall quality- that's my point.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Our personal experiences have nothing to do with the overall picture.
    This is when statistics come in play.
    Just open the Consumer Reports auto issue (April). They praise the car's design but sadly can't recommend it because of the reliability record, even though their test car could be wonderful in that respect.
    Or even better, ask your local Ford mechanic what he thinks about the car's quality.
    And speaking of the low prices.
    The Hyundai Accent undercuts the Focus in price but rivals the Japanese in build quality (at least in the area of the body panel alignement). I mean the majority of the Accents have tighter and more uniform body gaps than the majority of the Foci I've seen to date (the ZX3 in particular)
    Yes, I had some extra time on my hands and visited 6 Ford dealerships and 3 Hyundai's just to take a look at the cars sheet metal. My findings just proved my suspecion that my particular car is far from being unique.
    Also I monitor a couple of the Foci boards and could clearly see what problems seem to be more frequent than others.
    Regarding your statement
    <<< the posts which extrapolate Ford unreliabilty or poor Focus quality from a single or handful of instances ARE whining and unrealistic to boot>>>
    Did it ever cross your mind that you're judging the Focus quality from a single instance too.
    Unfortunately the facts (CR chart, long recall list, number of problems reported by the owners on the boards like this) tend to support my point of view.
  • jlamb2jlamb2 Posts: 1
    Just purchased a 2001 Focus from dealer. Have about 500 miles on it already. Every so often when I have driven it for a while and I brake, I get a high pitched sound. Its not every time I brake but just once in a while. Is this anything to worry about and take in to the dealer or is this just what happens with new cars?
  • randyt2randyt2 Posts: 81
    One very CRUDE way to get an idea of the resale value would be to go to and under "Sell a Car", Used Car Pricing, go to the Kelly Blue Book value link for trade-in and choose the oldest Focus model year (2000) and plug-in how much miles you predict you will drive in 4 years, the condition, etc.
  • dave651dave651 Posts: 7
    Exactly where do I extrapolate on my one instance ? Do I not explicitly state that is not the case and would be equally silly ?

    What part of this was confusing to you "but the posts which extrapolate Ford unreliabilty or poor Focus quality from a single or handful of instances ARE whining and unrealistic to boot, just like it would be if I said my wife's problem-free Focus meant they exceeded LS430s in overall quality and had no problems at all."

    Ask ANY mechanic what they think of Hyundai quality. Find any REAL car magazine that doesn't like the Focus. CR is hardly well regarded for its automotive expertise. Read Car and Driver or Motor Trend to see what they say. What about Edmund's own long term test ? How do they rank the Focus ?

    "Various other nit picks aside, both Hellwig and Wardlaw concluded that the ZX3 is tops when it comes to cars costing around $15,000. Other than the exterior styling, the Focus provides a comfortable and roomy interior with a zippy engine and capable suspension that delivers an unexpectedly fun driving experience. Its substantial feel and high-quality materials won't make you feel like you're buying a subcompact -- a feat that can't be said about most cars in the class.

    Current Odometer: 13,610
    Best Fuel Economy: 29.2 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 23.0 mpg
    Mileage over the life of the car: 26.1 mpg
    Body Repair Costs: None
    Maintenance Costs: None
    Problems: None"

    Now where are the statistics you refer to ? Bear in mind if using JDPA type statistics that a complaint carries equal weight whether it is a radio knob or a transmission, and even then I think Ford does much better than Chevy Dodge and certainly Hyundai.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    I read C&D, R&T, Automobile, Motor Trend, The Car and Top Gear.
    Do those mags have anything to do with reliability or quality (long term, not just quality of the seat material)? Am I missing something?
    And speaking of Edmunds reviews:

    "So what kept the Focus out of the winner's circle? Those of you who said "build quality issues" are correct. The Focus was one of the favored cars going into this test, and the editors were fully prepared to crown it "King Economy Sedan." Then we got our test unit and gave it a good going-over...D'OH! The final tally nearly broke our hearts: loose driver's door window trim, misaligned hood and trunk, loose and misaligned interior driver's door panel, crooked rear fascia, misaligned headlight seals, and a driver's side interior A-pillar cover/power mirror pod that basically fell off. (Sigh) So where are the Civic's keys?
    This was an unfortunate aspect of our test unit because the build quality issue basically torpedoed an otherwise stellar vehicle. Had it not been for the many misaligned and dangling parts the car would have had a shot at the title. Earlier Focus test cars we've been around have not displayed this abhorrent level of build quality, so we're not ready to call it a definite problem...yet. But we'd suggest that potential customers give their cars a close inspection when picking them up at the dealership. As long as you get one that is properly screwed together, you'll end up with a great economy sedan."
  • dave651dave651 Posts: 7
    "As long as you end up with one screwed together properly "

    Now don't you think that's the majority ? Do you think the million Foci sold last year worldwide had over 500,000 complainants ? People come to these message boards to either praise or complain with very little in between. The very fact you think supports your claim of widespread quality problems - a half dozen or so serious complaints on these boards - to me shows the reverse - a very low chance of problems on a very high selling car indeed.

    No the Focus is not going to be as sure a bet for stellar quality as a Lexus or our other daily car, the Acura RL ( no by the way I'm not a skinflint paying much less for the wife's car than mine - she insists on buying very low priced cars for her daily driver against my input )Neither do you pay the price premium those cars come with.

    However skip over to the Lexus boards and you'll see a number of people complaining about poor quality and decontenting too on their 3 to 5 times more expensive cars. The Focus sells more than any of them. How many complaints should it have do you think ?

    Meanwhile car magazines do care about your initial build concerns such as misaligned panels and I've never heard or seen it mentioned anywhere else - in fact Car and Driver's web feature story is in praise of the ZX3 and mentions its high quality materials - and also an Audi-like cruising noise level. Do they care if after thousands of miles it develops a squeak ? No that's true they don't. How many 13K cars are squak free ? Well our Focus is for one. I suspect many of the million others on the world's roads are too. Otherwise this board would be an awful lot busier like those for many other mass models. Edmunds has a wide enough visitor base to unearth many more disgruntled owners of such a popular car. You will find many more beefs on the boards of much more expensive and lesser selling cars.

    Perspective is important. You and thousands others got iffy Fords. I and hundreds of thousands of others got ones which are just fine. When car complaints AVERAGE 448 per 100 new vehicles ( Ford is just a tad better than this ) and there are hundreds of thousands of Foci on the road how many complaints would make the Focus much better than average ?
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    To quote Reginald Deny...

    "Can't we all just get along??"
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Doesn't this sound like the discussion we had over in the ZX5(hatchback) forum? ;-)

    Dave651: Is your Focus a sedan/wagon or a hatch. I'm just wondering what the difference in quality might be between the Mexico plant and the Wanye, MI plant. I'm a 2000 ZTS owner (approx the 34,000th off the line (pretty early production I guess) and we love our car. Really happy with it. It will be interesting to see in 3-4 years what the reliability ratings will look like for the 2000/2001 foci.

    Hey I've heard that Alfa Romeo's coming back to the states in a year or two. But unfortunatly, they're not going to bring over the 147 hatchback I love. Oh well, at least more and more hatches are coming back!
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Yes, it does.
    BTW, are you accusing me of something again? image
  • phowellphowell Posts: 8
    It seems that what some are saying is it's A Ford don't expect quality. It is a shame that we think that all of the problems people have with the Focus should be ignored just because some have a Focus with very little problems. I feel that the quality of a $14000 car should be the same a car of $40000. NO they cant be but they should be free of defects and bad workmanship. A person doesn't complain about a problem unless it is a problem, don't you think they want their Focus to be problem free?? If it's not Fords fault that all these cars have recalls and numerous problems and poor gas mileage then who's is it? Didn't Ford make the car and didn't they get the $ for selling it. It seems to get quality we must buy imports. For the record I have other Fords 2 expeditions and a Crown Vic and they are okay autos especially the Crown no problems with it. THe expeditions are another matter. I just feel it is wrong to have an attitude on here against people with complaints of their Focus, they are concerned. Would you not complain if your wheels came off, you got 20 mpg or had it in the shop 2 weeks out of the month waiting for parts and fixes as some of the early Focus owners did. I just feel it is a sorry state of affairs to take up for any car company that is so profit drive that customers and quality DO NOT MATTER.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Translating the "quality matters" to a quality product is something that is difficult to master. Some automakers still don't have a clue how to do that on a day in day out, unit for unit basis.

    I think if you look at Ford's recent releases, that its cost-cutting efforts went too far in the development cycle, resulting in new vehicles with lots of problems. Ford is not alone in that regard; it seems like most automakers are releasing cars with a lot of recalls lately.

    Given that consumers are forcing automakers to hold the line on pricing, something has to give - and teething problems seem to be all too common on new models.
  • randyt2randyt2 Posts: 81
    Personally, I can't fault anyone who has some quality problem with a NEW(ER) car to post a complaint about being upset over some quality issues. Especially having to deal with 8 recalls, small or not. Also, I don't think that I can dismiss complaints as easy as you do Dave. The statistic of the majority of Focus owners not having substantial mechanical problems is the first 2 years of the model is not what I would be overjoyed about. Take for example any big screen TV that costs over one grand. Suppose 2% of the people were having problem with not being able to adjust the volume or people having to wait 10 minutes after you turn on the TV. Suppose also that the right side of the TV was shaped (not by design) ever so slightly different from the left side, small but nevertheless perceptible to a normal viewer. In that case the is nothing major wrong with the picture. But with the quality that you expect from a $1000 item, along with the quality of the the competitors would cause some of us not to buy the product, even if the cost was 15% below the competitor.

    Anyway, even if you say that the 8 recalls were minor, it still consumes time(=money). Personally, I would not categorize "doing quite well" on quality when speaking on a board of that car model.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Cost Cutting Vs Quality

    Welcome to the age of corporate profits driven to an unnatural level. How do you keep Wall Street happy after you make all the profit you can out of your product?? Why you squeeze the employees, suppliers, and the assembly process for every penny you can. A cut here a "saving" there... pennies all add up and have to come from some place.

    I'm sure that all of us have seen it in the industry we work in. Cut frills, cut benefits, cut time, and ultimately cut jobs. Does anyone think that their phone service is as good as it was 10-15 years ago?? Does your cell phone work every time, gas prices stay the same from fill up to fill up, or do you find the same friendly service you use to at most consumer businesses?? Ever wondered how companies continue to do their "job" after they have down sized (bought out, early retirement, etc)the work force?? Well the truth is that most don't... unless 50% of their work force was sitting on their backsides all day!

    Do we think that car companies are any different? When you cut and cut from companies eventually you get to the point where you've cut too much. I've bought 3 Fords for our family in the last year. I have no complaints about the cars in general but there are little things that just show how companies keep cutting.

    Little things like underhhood lights (not on our 2000 Mustang, 2001 Taurus, nor 2001 Focus), glove box lights (Mustang & Focus) and an owner's manual that makes sense (ever tried to read one of these lately??? Ford at least really believes in "one size fits all" even if the details do not actualy reflect the way that car is set up). The cost cutting measure that really gets me is the lack of a lock on the passenger side of my Mustang.

    As with so much in our life today, the consumer is the last stage in the research and development process. Like putting together the toy you buy the kids at Toys R Us, sometimes you have to be responsible for the final assembly on your automobile!
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    <<<I'm sure that all of us have seen it in the industry we work in. Cut frills, cut benefits, cut time, and ultimately cut jobs.>>>

    Ain't so in the car industry. (The former Big Three in particular.)
    The UAW has a pretty good grip on the automaker bosses. Everything and everybody can be squeezed in the process of cost cutting, but the Unions.
    If the UAW lost its status quo and was susceptible to labor cost reductions like everyone else, then the car companies would have more room to cut costs and not beat up their suppliers.
    And the funny thing is that with the industry's leading wages and benefit packages they (organized labor) are still building the worst quality vehicles.
  • terriannterriann Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Focus Sedan (that I love) and have not had many problems with it except for one... Whenever I have the oil changed, there is a burning oil smell that occurs after about 45 minutes of freeway driving when slowing down for driving in town. The aroma comes in through the vents ( air conditioning and heater)that finally dissipates after about 3 weeks. Consequently, the windows have to be rolled down to air it the bad fumes out.
    The dealer has tried all kinds of remedies from steam cleaning the engine after an oil change to cleaning the entire area with a detergent. The engine is free of any obvious spills.
    Has anyone else had this type of problem?
  • honneshonnes Posts: 1
    Hi, FocusLovers,

    I'm going to buy a ZTS in 3 months, if '02 Focus will come soon, I can wait for a while.

  • dex1dex1 Posts: 3
    I'm also considering waiting for the 2002. Does anyone remember when the 2001 showed up at dealers?

    As an alternative, I may take the year end rebate. Currently it is $500.00. If anyone is familiar with Ford's rebate policy, do you know if they typically will increase this rebate as we get closer to the summer?
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