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Ford Focus Care & Maintenance



  • lostlost Posts: 64
    I purchesed 2 ( yes two vehicles) 2005 ZX4 SES In Janurary. Both have 6,000 miles on them and both have been problem free.
  • pigloverpiglover Posts: 25
    I just want to say that my 2001 Focus that I bought new and broke in gently is performing well so far. I had it brought to the dealer for 2 recalls; one recall was, I believe, for a rear bearing problem and the other about the lock on the rear door. The Goodyear Eagle tires are holding up well after 31000 miles. But I wonder if a Focus would ride better with a different brand of tire; any suggestions?
  • I purchased a 2000 Ford Focus wagon Saturday. I was hesistant on buying a Ford because in the back of my mind I had the nagging doubt whether "Quality Was Job One" at Ford in reality. But this vehicle had only 26,000 miles on it and and thought heck that is like just break in almost on a 6 year old car! So understanding I was still buying a used vehicle, I took the plunge anyway.

    My fears were soon confirmed the second I drove it off the lot. I test drove this car and found no noticeable problems. I soon discovered the the directional signal return decided to stop working, immediately. So I now have to manually turn off every signal turn. I am almost positive they worked in the test drive.

    I took it right back to the dealer and they shook their head. They said probably the air bag and column would have to be pulled out to see what is wrong. They didn't say they would not fix it but they have not said they would fix it either. I am to call them back Monday.

    Does anyone know what could have caused this, and what if any rights I have under required safety equipment that they might be responsible for, if it even applies? Thanks :surprise:
  • I really hope someone can shed some light on the problem I'm having. Recently the transmission started slipping (75000 miles). It usually happens when accelerating (slips out of gear, engine revs go up, then it catches again), or when the transmission downshifts when doing about 45 mph (engine revs go up, then it catches). The dealer has looked at it & said they could not reproduce the problem. No error codes either. They charged me $42 & basically told me nothing is wrong. Next I went to my local Cottman center. I've done alot of business there over the past 20 years (same owner), and I trust him to give me an accurate assessment of the problem.

    He test drove the car & experienced the problem. Then put the car on the lift, dropped the pan & found metal filings. His suggestion was to rebuild the transmission. One problem that he said was known issue is the "Valve Body", it can leak & cause the type of problems I'm having. $2,400 later, I get the car back. It's still slipping as bad as it was before. The Cottman guy concurs w/this and is at a loss as to the cause of the problem. He also says he has checked all the electrical systems & there are no problems there.

    He has a brother-in-law that owns a local Ford dealer & I'm told the brother-in-law has never heard of this problem either.

    Now I'm out $2,400, and still have the same problem. The "experts" have no idea what is causing the problem. Help!
  • The Cottman guys have replaced something called the "Accumulator pistons" in the tranny. They said these control the hydraulic pressure. Did not help, still slipping.
  • I'm posting a comment/question today about my hub caps. I wonder if we are hearing the same noise. Look for my post "2004 Focus Sedan SE wheel noise"
  • I purchased this '04 Focus three weeks ago. Since purchase, I have been hearing a creaking noise at low speeds, mostly pulling in and out of driveway, or slowly passing walls/buildings/cars where I can hear the noise echoing back at me. Creak, creak (pause), creak, creak (pause). I took it to the dealer, and they said it's the hub caps -- they claim this is normal. I have owned 5 vehicles in my life, have NEVER heard the hub caps creak! They say that the pressure on the wheels causes the hub caps to move (I guess they are plastic), which makes the creaking noise. They say they removed all the hub caps, cleaned around there, etc., and that when they drove the car without hub caps, the car was quiet. Is anyone else hearing this? It sounds like my car is an old piece of junk!

    Thanks. :confuse:
  • Hello! I now own a 2001 Focus ZX3 and it's my first car. I bought it used a month ago at a Carmax (please no comments regarding them good or bad) at 40K miles. It hasn't given me any problems yet aside from the driver side mirror.

    When I first bought it I thought it looked loose, but it wasn't until I made the trip to school that I became really concerned. On the highway and at high speeds it would shake so badly I couldn't make use of it. When I got out I nudged it gently away from the car and towards it. It moved much more than the passenger side mirror which is pretty firmly attached. It has an opening on the side that faces the driver window where I can kinda see in. At the moment I use tape to keep it down and that's helped.

    My questions are these; Is this a common problem with the Focus (poor quality?) or more likely the result of a previous handler's mistake? Do I need to take the car in to get fixed or can I do it myself? Several of my friends have suggested just gluing it back in place, but I would like some informed opinions before I do something rash.

    Thank you for your time and help!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,892
    take off the hub caps and see if the noise goes away. sounds more like suspension bushings.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • Mechanic took off all hub caps, drove the car, and there was no noise. cleaned the wheels, put the caps back on, noise immediately reappears.

    It's driving me crazy!! I have started looking at every Focus I see, and NOBODY has these plastic hub caps but me!! Everyone else has wheels, no hub caps. What gives? Is this the only Focus made with plastic hub caps??

    I guess I'll have to spend money on new hub caps (metal!) if I want the noise to go away!
  • I also have the creaking sound on my 03 Focus. It is not the hubcaps. Whoever told you that must be wannabe mechanics. I notice my creaking sound when I start moving from a complete stop, and when I am accelerating. I think it has something to do with the body construction. Not the hubcaps. LOL.

    04 Focus, is this the new design Focus? I am amazed. I thought Ford has finally gotten their act together regarding the new Focus with the new one.

    We really should return all our Foci to Ford and let the President, CEO, and all top officials of Ford drive the Ford Focus. Let's see if they don't start complaining too.

    A Ford Focus rebellion !!!! What a good laugh we will get out of this... :lemon:
  • At this time, the wipers were diagnosed as a bad wiper motor, replaced under warranty. The cruise control was diagnosed (after a second try) as a loose electrical connection on the control module. The most I can say is "intermittent open on pin 7". That was fixed. While they were at it they also discovered that my horn was not working, so they fixed that too.

    One service advisor who rode in my Focus with me explained that the noise from the wheels was low quality factory-installed wheels. I'll try to specify "quiet" the next time I buy tires. Otherwise, I'll attribute the road noise to a lack of insulation.

    Right now, all systems are working nominally on my Ford Focus. For the price, I'm satisfied. :)

    The next time I rotate the tires, I'll pay attention to the brakes, the calipers, and check the wheel bearings. I'd be very surprised if the wheel bearing was already deteriorated. I have had worn-out wheel bearings on another vehicle, and the sound they make is quite recognizable, but not coming from my Focus.
  • I must start by saying I'm a complete car idiot. Exhibit A: Ask me to change an air filter? Change a what? Therefore, any help in non-techie terms would be helpful, since now with my still under warranty 03 focus se wagon, I've got to depend on the dealer's gibberish for all my answers.

    My car has had an idling problem, which I've seen written about on Focus discussion pages by other owners. Stopped at red lights, sometimes the steering wheel vibrates as if a seismic tremor were coming from inside the car. More recently, I'd noticed a surge problem (something I've also seen written about). Sometimes when I give gas it just seems like the car is about to die instead of go, and other times it surges ahead. When in Cruise, sometimes the shifting up a hill takes forever, the car will stay in gear shifting mode way past the point where the car has gone over the hill. And most recently, the car would die if you did not keep your foot full throttle on accelator. Dealer said that was an air valve which needed to be replaced, which was done and for a few weeks the car worked fine other than ongoing idle and surge/hesitation. But the other day while driving around 55, there was a huge knock from the engine, the whole car shuddered, and the indicator light for transmission/engine coolant system came on (an exclamation point). It went off just as quickly and the car kept running, but I had it towned into the dealer anyway as it is under warranty. They still don't know what's wrong with it and say no codes come up in computer. Are any or all of these things related. I read some stuff online about how Focus keyless gears can be really sensitive and a slight screw up in assembly can cause lots of problems. Could it be something like that? My car did not have cruise control when it was bought but the dealer installed it later as an IOU enticement to buy car. Could they have screwed up something with the cams when installing cruise control? The idle problem has been forever on the car, but with two recent tow truck trips to the dealership, I guess it makes me think now that it indicates something really wrong. The dealer just says, well, you've got some kind of shifting problem, but we don't know what. Anyone out there who can help to make me car literate? I sure would appreciate it. I'll even learn how to change an air filter.
  • I'm trying to change my air filter on a 2002 ZX5 and am having a hard time getting the top of the airbox removed. I got 2 out of the 4 8mm bolts out but can't get the other 2 out.
    They appear to be stripped or something as I when I turn the bolt; it just keeps spinning. A big problem is that it really isn't a nut attached to the other side but rather a crazy fastener thing that is perfectly round; hence I can't get a grip on it to try and break it free.
    I've tried the LiquidWrench/WD40/PBLaster route and still no luck.

    Anyone else have this trouble and how did you correct it.
    I've got an idea but it's really my last resort.

  • I just purchased a new 2005 Focus Wagon SES. Now that winter is coming, I'd like to put snow tires on the car, but never having had a FWD car before, I'm not sure if I need them just on the front, or all around. Comments?

    Also, what brand of snow tires do you suggest?


  • tdi guytdi guy Posts: 17
    I suggest you put snow tires on all four wheels. My last purchase were Bridgestone Blizzaks. I used them for three winters in Green Bay, Wisconsin on a Ford Probe GT. I was very happy with them. Got them at Tirerack,com, although you can get them at many tire stores.
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    I'm thinkin of buying a new 4 door Focus with 5 speed manual
    tranny, but haven't decided whether to get the base engine
    or the bigger one.
    I've read that the Focus is noisy while cruising at freeway speed.
    Do any of you Focus owners agree?

    How comfortable do you find the seats after driving a few hours?
  • tdi guytdi guy Posts: 17
    I'm six feet tall and weigh 240 pounds. I have no difficulty taking long trips in my Focus. My ST is louder at highway speed than other models because of the performance exhaust, yet isn't too loud for my tastes. When I first had a chance to drive a Focus, it was in 2003 when my son bought a ZX3. I helped him drive it cross country - a 2,000 mile trip, expecting it to be a tough drive. I was very pleasantly surprised at the comfort and drivability considering its size and cost. Based on that experience, I purchased a Focus of my own in August. I'm glad I did.
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    Hi tdiguy,

    Thanks for the info. This is helpful.
    Is your Focus ST the one with the higher
    horsepower engine?
  • I wish I had another focus that has standard shift. The car is fantastic. My car makes an unusual hum when it cruises but when I experimented with the tires and changed the bearings, it is now almost silent when cruising. The only nagging problem I have up to now is that the steering wheel vibrates and wiggles when running at about 70 mph. My focus is the base SPi model with 14 inch tires.
  • tdi guytdi guy Posts: 17
    Yes, the ST has the higher horsepower engine. I once considered the SVT Focus, but found it not quite practical as a daily driver, although they are fun to drive. For my recent purchase, I started looking at the ZX3 as I'm fine with a two door and they have alot of room. However, when I learned about the ST, I decided to give it a try. It has more horsepower than the ZX3/5, although less than the SVT. However, unlike the SVT, it takes regular unleaded - not premium. At the same time, it uses many of the suspension parts from the SVT and handles very well. And, yes, it is a little louder due to the performance exhaust. Loud enough the satisfy an aging baby boomer like me, but no loud enough to annoy my wife. Only drawback - with the premium stereo subwoofer in the trunk, it has less storage room the the ZX/5.
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    Thanks for the info. Very helpful.
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    Interesting. What brand and size tires did you get and which bearings
    did you replace which resulted in almost silent cruising?
    Were the bearing Ford stock or aftermarket?

    Your steering wheel vibration and wiggles at 70 mph, could be related
    to improper air pressure in your tires; wheels are out of balance or
    you need a wheel alignment.
  • kevmkevm Posts: 5
    Would like to replace cd changer with new after market unit having trouble finding wiring harness adapters that fit mach system
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    If the creak noise related to the hub caps is the only problem you are
    having with your 04 Focus, there is hope. You could of had all kinds
    of worse problems with the car. If the Ford dealer doesn't resolve the
    problem, you have rights, and suggest you keep good records and keep
    complaining to Ford until they resolve it.
    By the way, is the car noisy when cruising at freeway speed?
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    You mentioned you have the premium stereo subwoofer. Our you happy
    with your Focus's stereo system - I assume you got the upgraded one?
  • i have a base focus... size 14. the tire brand is SEGURA and the bearings I just bought at O'Reilly autoparts. I had ALL bearings replaced. the wiggle is felt and i have tried almost everything to fix it: balance, alignment, pressure.

    i am thinking of changing from 14 to 15, or even 16, if i find a good deal at ebay for rims. anyone know of a good deal for 15 or 16 rims? lemme know... thanks

    btw, earlier i complained about cupping on my tires and I saw a similar focus with the same tire condition. this could be a structural problem for the 2003. i wonder...
  • Hi,
    I bought my Focus SE new and now it's four years old and has a little over 50K miles. I had to replace my power window motor in the back last year and thought it was a fluke but now the other window in the back is having the same problem! Those windows don't ever get used!

    Is anyone else having a similar problem? :confuse:
  • just wanted to say hello and post a message. I own a 2002 Ford Focus ZTS. Bought it brand new. This car has been EXCELLENT! I have had zero problems except for the 6 disk CD player. I didnt even replace the battery until 65,000 miles. The car is terriffic, Only issue now is the car doesnt hold any value when trying to trade in or sell...
  • Anyone know of a good book that tells when to schedule all the maintenance that needs to be done? I used to have a car repair for dummys book that was good, but is there something specific for the 2004 Ford Focus?
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