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Old 02-12-2007, 07:30 PM   #1
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Angry FOCUS on the problems

I have had nothing but problems with my focus ever since I bought it in 03. It is a 2000 SE (zetec) Sony Edition with less than 50,000 miles. I have had constant starting problems, alternator, cooling system, steering, and suspension issues over the last 2 yrs. I bought the car with 29,000 miles on it. The warranty comp has put over $6000.00 in repairs and I have had to put about $1000.00 during the same time. I spent $7500.00 on the car!! I would like to know what people think about this and if you have heard any other owners with problems like mine.


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Old 02-12-2007, 07:37 PM   #2
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I don't hear too many stories like this but occasionally I will hear people talking about how much trouble they've had. I've had two "major" problems with mine over 5 years and 63,000 miles of service: the alternator went out at 40K and the shift solenoid A in my tranny malfunctioned just a week ago. One minor issue was the OEM brakes sucked, warped, and were pretty much destroyed. I replaced that all for $110 for new pads and rotors, but the pads were long overdue in the first place. In total, that's like $650 in serious repair parts, so not too bad for a cheap little car. I know a guy personally who had a Focus that went through alternators more often than he did gas tanks though.

Sounds to me like you just got a lemon.
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:59 PM   #3
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i had a 2000 zx3 and honestly, now that i look back it wasnt that bad of a car. the only major issues i ever really had were related to recalls and were eventually fixed by my local dealership(not ford, they refused) for free(yes, i had one of my rear wheels try to separate itself from the car). i owned the car for roughly five years and parted ways with it when it had well over 100000 miles on the clock. i would buy another early hatchback if the price was right.
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:25 PM   #4
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My ZX3 ... has been a source of great joy and great frustration. That being said, the car had its first transaxle rebuild (syncros on the mtx75) at 20k miles before I bought it (bought it on 2/29/04 with 23k on the odometer), the second rebuild at 30k, and the third rebuild at 58k. Now, the car was pretty solid with the exception of maintenance items (brake pads and rotors at 30k, tires, oil, etc.) until it hit 60k. That's when things went mad in the car.

At 60k, the steering rack went. At 61k, the ignition lock cylinder failed. At 62k, the doors started having problems opening (ended up rebuilding the doors with help from $8 worth of ebay purchase - entire mechanical latch assemblies and such for the doors), and then the front end started acting weird - a knocking rattling noise. There was something else that happened, but I can't remember it off the top of my head.

I remember being pretty irritated by all this (it all happened in a four week period). One year later, with some newfound perspective, the focus wasn't so bad of a car. In september, we had an accident in the car (the front suspension was toasted - steering rack too). I ended up buying a volvo as a beater to tide me over while the focus was being brought back to roadworthiness.

The Volvo, at close to 200k, has proven to be nothing if not the pinnacle of a durable reliable car. Sure it has faults, but it gets me where I need to go safely and comfortably with no complaints.

My wife's car, however is where the newfound perspective came from. It's a 2004 Chevy Malibu with the 2.2 litre ecotec engine and an automatic. It's not the sexiest thing out there, but it's a comfortable car for a road trip, and reasonably competent, provided you don't expect any intentional excitement from driving it. We've been having issues with stalling and stumbling w/ unintended acceleration (6 visits for this so far), mysterious coolant loss, three steering racks and columns, electrical shorts in the car causing bulbs to burn out, heater issues, intermittent starting (with or without using the factory remote start). On top of this, the seat fabric receives stains from so much as contact with water (water on your clothes from rain outside, snow falling in when you open the door during winter, spilled bottled water, etc.) - the dealers and GM both blame acid rain for this. Not "light color fabrics stain" or "we didn't feel the need to use scotchguard on fabrics from the factory anymore so the dealer can overcharge you for that", but friggin "acid rain". Methinks that GM has hired Milli Vanilli to handle customer complaints. Blame it on the rain, yeah yeah.

Now, my focus has 72k on the odometer, the Malibu - 33k. With this being said, is the focus so bad - it at least waited until it was well out of the 3/36 to start having major issues. If my focus were less problematic, it'd perfect. In the grand scheme of things, there are probably Hondas and Toyotas with the same things happening as my focus did. At least the focus is cheaper to fix than a honda or toyota.

With the rebuilding process, I've been finding myself enjoying working on the car and appreciating it more as I work to fix it and get it how I like it. A little bit of elbow grease can make things better. As for your 2000 focus sony edition, there was a higer bad focus/good focus ratio between 2000 and 2002. Now, it seems like they're all pretty good, but back then it was luck of the draw. Also bear in mind that spirited driving (i.e. how I drive) tends to wear weird things out faster than you'd expect unless you're driving some old european iron* (and even then).

*By old european iron, I am referring to rear wheel drive four cylinder volvos (turbo and NA) , bmws with the m30 engine, and any mercedes designed before 1989.
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:24 PM   #5
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Sounds like you have issues with that one. It can happen with any car. Mine, I must say, has been very good to me the 80,000 miles we have had it. We had a drunk driver smash the crap out of it, but the insurance paid to fix that.
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Old 02-13-2007, 12:13 AM   #6
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My 2003 ZX3 with 53,000 has had the following replaced:

6 disc CD player
Water pump
Wiper relay
Reverse light switch

Little tiny problems too but my car has been torn apart and put back together so many times with aftermarket modifications I don't count those It's usually the 00-01 owners that seem to have the most problems.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:35 AM   #7
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My 2001 went to a ton of problems just before I sold it, all happenned around 62-65k miles. I had a $2500 bill in one month and another $500-$600 the month after so I sold it......... mostly stupid little problems, nothing to major but still a good hit to the wallet.
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:52 AM   #8
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I've had small issues with mine. The ignition locked up once, there is a mold smell that came that way from the factory and hasn't let up since. I bought the car new in 2003 with 21 miles on it. Since I bought it in April of 2003, it was probably sitting there for many months. My doors right now are very hard to open and will fix them by the summer time. I also had the heater core go with a few other things that were connected to it. All in all though, it's been pretty good to me. For being 4 years old and 60k+ miles on it, it's been a trooper.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatemyfocus View Post
I have had nothing but problems with my focus ever since I bought it in 03. It is a 2000 SE (zetec) Sony Edition with less than 50,000 miles. I have had constant starting problems, alternator, cooling system, steering, and suspension issues over the last 2 yrs. I bought the car with 29,000 miles on it. The warranty comp has put over $6000.00 in repairs and I have had to put about $1000.00 during the same time. I spent $7500.00 on the car!! I would like to know what people think about this and if you have heard any other owners with problems like mine.
Thats kinda wierd, my best friend has those same kinda of problems too. In fact he probably paid the exact amount that you did over the years. What a Coinsidence. He calls his focus a F&^%kus!!

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:26 PM   #10
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Sounds like you might have a lemon. Don't assume all Focus' are like that. Any car will have the exceptions, it's unfortunate but true. The only major problem I've had is my trans going out. Other than that just routine maintence. Good luck and don't hate on here to much.
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