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Old 08-02-2011, 01:31 PM   #1
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Can I get input on some issues I'm having with my 2003 Focus ZX3?

Hello, I'm new to all this but I really need some input from out there! I bought a used 2003 Focus ZX3 and am in Love with it, but I have only had it for 5 months and have had to have 5 repairs done to it, some minor and some major. Here is what I have had done and my issue todate:[*][
  • Tention Pully for the Sepentine Belt replaced
  • Water Pump Replaced
  • A/C Compressor
  • Valve Cover Gasket Replaces
  • Spark Plug Boots Replaced
  • PVC Breather Hose Replaced
  • Some weird hard plastic tube to the radiator replaced
  • And now I have to have the Coolant fan replaced.
My issue is that when I took the car in last time to find out why it was running rough and why there was oil on the ends of my plugs, they found out the PVC breather tube had collapsed and the valve cover gasket needed to be replaced, I noticed the engine was giving off a lot of heat when I opened the hood and I mentioned that but it was blown off as it being a small car and how hot it has been outside, then the weirdest things started to happen; when I would turn the vent blower on to get some air on my face I noticed it was alot warmer than the sir outside even when I was going 70 mph then it would be so warm in the car too like the heater was on. When I would turn the fan dial to defrost...the A/C would kick on but the light to the A/C was not on so I would put it back on just fan and it would get hot.

The car would stall out when I had the A/C on and was just sitting, the thermostat never went past 50 % unjtil the other day when I was sitting with the car running.

I took it in for the appointment I made on the fan issues mentioned the thermosat climbing to 3/4 and then I was told later I needed a new blower motor but they never checked the other issues out...could they all be related?

I'm no mechanic and I'm not sure I can really believe all I'm told. I have a limited warranty on it but it seems that everything that needs to be replaced is not covered by the warranty...accept fot the valve cover gasket..it was covered, but now they want me to fork out 4 to 5 hundred on this cooling fan plus labor.

I know it's a used car and I expect to have SOME issues but...phew...this is a lot in just 5 short months!

I'm not sure what to believe...does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks!!!!!


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Old 08-02-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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The valve cover gasket happens to everyone, one of the joys of owning a Zetec.

That leak generally makes your thermostat housing, which is made of plastic, crack because there is a rubber seal that swells when it comes into contact with oil. That would be a good thing to look at if you are having a leak.

If your fans have crapped out on you, it generally isn't the fan themselves, but the fan resistor. This is another known point of failure. You can check that by turning on your car, letting it get up to temperature and then turning on your A/C. Both fans should kick on. If they do not, then you know what you are looking at.

If the car is stalling when you turn on the A/C it sounds like you may have an issue with the voltage regulator on your alternaotr, yet another known point of failure. To test that theory, put your car into diagnostic mode. This is done by holding down the trip reset button and then turning on the car. It will give you reading off a bunch of the sensors. Scroll through until you hit the battery and check the readings with and without A/C. It should never drop below 13. If it does, do not get another alternator put on. Have yours rebuilt by someone local, because the remans you get at the store are crap.

Luckily, all of this stuff is easy to fix in the driveway with basic tools and a little gumption.

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Old 08-02-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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Well you have pretty much experienced every common Zetec problem all at once! Nothing like getting it all out the way first. Sometimes I have to look at the bright side.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Another question for you!!!!

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it! It was overwhelming that everything was hitting me in just 5 short months so I hope this is close to the end on some of the big stuff!

I was wondering though if this "Fan Resistor" is why my A/C cycles on by itself and runs when the fan speed is set to defrost or defrost & floor combo, but when the fan speed is set on just floor or upper body it blow warm air?

I thought it may have been some crossed wires after they replaced the PVC breather and the valve gasket?

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:54 PM   #5
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That one is new to me.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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LOL...Story of my life...JUST GOTTA BE DIFFERENT!!! Thanks for the thoughts and your time, you've been great!

Dawn
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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No problem. Gotta keep these FoFos on the road.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:04 PM   #8
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On defrost the A/C compessor runs to dehumidify the air thus making it easier to defrost the windows so that is completely normal.
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