: Would you buy a 02 ZX5?
02-10-2009, 11:17 AM
I am looking at buying a 2002 ZX5. I really like the car but after reading Lemon-Aid book on the Focus I am a little nervous about buying. Edmunston basically said the 00-04 Focus is a disaster with problems from poor engine and transmission to ignition switches, premature brake wear, bad ignition switches, power window failures, stalling... and I quote "having a bumper-to-bumper warranty, or a rich uncle, is a prerequisite to owning a 2000-03 Focus."
Please let me know - it can't be that bad can it?
02-10-2009, 11:25 AM
I heard some horror stories too, especially on the 2000-2001 models, but I guess the people with those year Foci are better to comment on the situation.
02-10-2009, 11:29 AM
I've never had any problems w/ mine other than ordinary maintenance. and i have 104k on mine. i don't know about the auto's though.
02-11-2009, 01:12 PM
Only problems I had with my '04 were a short in the radio and horn, and it felt REALLY unstable in poor road conditions. I think the instability was a combination of bad tires, and trying to drive too fast for conditions, though. HOWEVER, I did notice that other people were able to travel faster. A friend of mine has a '00, he's replaced the ignition switch twice, first time key wouldn't go in, second time key wouldn't turn. I *think* there's a recall on that, but he took it to a slimey dealer and they didn't bother to check.
There's a thread here somewhere about that recall, that shows actual text from the TSB, including the TSB number, I think. That recall was on '00 to '04. Also on '00 to '02 was a recall on the fuel pump.
02-11-2009, 01:15 PM
general consensus seems to be that by 2003, most of the bugs were worked out. i had a 2000 zx3 and did experience a few headaches. oh and after 2004, they just kept getting uglier and uglier(but i am still bitter about not getting the mk2 in 05).
02-11-2009, 02:05 PM
i have a 2000 zx3 and only have had to get the fuel pump recall done really.
02-11-2009, 02:06 PM
I never had any problems with my 02' focus that weren't self inflicted by myself...
Only things I ever had to do with the car repair/maintinence wise is a Alternator @ around 110k miles and a PCV hose...
I bought the car @ 67k miles 2 years ago and she gave her life for mine about 3 weeks ago @ 123k miles.
I loved that car... 02' ZX3 2.0L Zetec 5spd.
02-11-2009, 02:45 PM
I have mine 03' ZX3 5speed for two years and I already change the alternator twice... Nothing else.
02-11-2009, 04:27 PM
i have an 03 auto zx3. its been great (knock on wood) only thing ive had to replace was filters/brakes/tires/oil. seriously its the best car ive ever owned. (keeps knocking on wood). i do have some noises coming from my suspension and think i have a wheel bearing going bad tho. but thats not the cars fault its the crappy roads around here.
02-11-2009, 05:42 PM
Me and my sister had/have (I gave her my focus after I got a ranger) 3 issues altogether with our 2000 Focus LX. One I can't remember too well because it was a few years ago, but the engine died (at around 80k miles) and had to get it replaced. Two, the ignition cylinder wouldn't turn. And three, the motor mounts are loose and make a horrible racket when a cold start but we haven't fixed that yet.
Aside from that, it's been a wonderfully strong car IMO (now at 116k miles).
OOH! They are physically strong and well built. I was in a car accident once, a drunk driver passed a red light and I TBoned it at about 35-40mph. The car I hit was a honda civic, it was totally crumpled in on the side. The chick couldnt even open the doors. While the focus looked like I just lightly hit a wall or something. No real damage, the front bumper was slightly cracked and the paint somewhat scuffed up. I could take a pic, our foci still looks the same. :p
02-11-2009, 09:09 PM
i think you should be fine. get a friend to check it out just in case
02-12-2009, 09:40 AM
I have a 2002 ZTS, which would basically have the same drivetrain as a 2002 ZX5 (2.0L Zetec, auto). I've had it for 6 years now and am up to 95,000 miles. I'd say it's been relatively problem-free.
Basically, there are some normal maintenance things that need to be done when you get up in the miles. Here is the list:
Valve cover gasket replacement: 80,000 miles
Thermostat housing replacement: 80,000 miles
Front swaybar endlinks: 85,000 miles
Here are the normal wear and tear items:
Front brake pads/rotors: 45,000 miles and 90,000 miles
Here are the "wow, I don't think that's supposed to break" items:
Power window regulator: 78,000 miles
Ignition switch: mine hasn't failed yet, but it's a known issue and there is a new design. You can get a replacement made to fit the original key from Mike at Hilbish Ford on this site for around $100 IIRC.
As far as the comment above about instability in poor road conditions... I noticed that too on the factory tires (Firestone Firehawks). Once those were replaced, it drove like a totally different car in rain and snow (much better). For the record, I switched to Kuhmo Ecsta AST, which are relatively inexpensive (cheaper than the Firestones).
I've had no problems with the auto trans (aside from the fact that it's not as fun to drive as a manual... originally bought it for my wife, then she got the new Escape a few years ago... blah blah blah... I get the next new car... blah blah blah... marital compromise).
In all seriousness though, it's been a great car. My dad had a 2001 Street Edition (also Zetec auto) that he just parted with after 120,000 miles (problem free except for the fuel pump recall performed in 2004 and the thermostat housing failure at about 80,000 miles), and his wife drives a 2004 ZTS (also Zetec auto - problem free for 50,000 miles now).
The bottom line is, I think the review you read is a little unfair. The Focus had some initial problems when it first came out in 2000, but for the most part, the first gen is a great little car.
02-12-2009, 11:12 PM
Fuel pump is the most notorious problem for the early Focus. Oh yeah the ignition cylinder too, but it hasn't happened to my 2001 Focus (now at 110K miles).
02-12-2009, 11:44 PM
I bought my 2000 sedan used with around 60k miles on it. I've had it for about 2 or 3 years and around 89k miles and its been good. The only problem I've had was a broken water pump the dealer knew about but neglected to tell me about when he sold it to me. Fixed that and it's run great ever since. To be honest I wouldn't trade it for any of my buddies cars. I love my fo-fo ;)
02-12-2009, 11:52 PM
i had a 2001 zx3 and it was fine. only problem i really had with it was a broken swaybar endlink..
i will say this though, the transmissions are SHIT if its an auto. bought mine with 39k on it, traded it in with a little under 90k on it, and there were some days where the trans wouldnt shift worth a damn. slipped like a mother-[:)][:)][:)][:)]er. then, other days, it felt like it had a shift kit in it becuase it would shift so damn hard..
idk. mine was fine, minus one swaybar link and a goofy transmission.. keep in mind it was an auto.. if your getting a manual, the mtx-75 is a GREAT trans
02-18-2009, 03:00 PM
I bought a used '03 ZX5 with 75k miles on the odometer in Dec '8. I chose a '03 because the reviews implied that the prior model years cars had troubles that needed to be remedied by Ford. The '03 model year was considered the 1st year that the Focuses were deemed relatively trouble-free.
The odometer reads 79k now & the front suspension 'clinks' when the front wheels roll over pot holes. So there's trouble in the making, if it isn't present already!
As we have read on this thread... it's also the luck of the draw, where some folks have had few troubles with their pre-'03 Focuses.
02-18-2009, 03:02 PM
I havent had any problems with my 01 besides the typical maintenance issues like therm housing cracking and suspension end links wearing out.