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Old 09-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #11
SkyPilot
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im surprised no has mentioned years to avoid. the 00-01 model years has some issues mainly fuel pump and springs breaking, recalls were issued for those problems. If your looking at those years make sure the recalls have been performed, if not stay away.

and to ff.com
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyPilot View Post
im surprised no has mentioned years to avoid. the 00-01 model years has some issues mainly fuel pump and springs breaking, recalls were issued for those problems. If your looking at those years make sure the recalls have been performed, if not stay away.

and to ff.com
As i get more into the research, i might look further than the 2000-2004, and possibly look at 2005,2006, even though they are higher priced......thanx for the headsup on the 2000-2001 models.....
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyPilot View Post
im surprised no has mentioned years to avoid. the 00-01 model years has some issues mainly fuel pump and springs breaking, recalls were issued for those problems. If your looking at those years make sure the recalls have been performed, if not stay away.

and to ff.com
Ahh.. almost forgot about the fuel pump issue. Good call.

Should have known since I had to have mine TSB'd about a year after I bought it.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:33 PM   #14
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Also the ignition cylinder problems that plagued Focis up to 04 regardless of engine. There is a good chance that the lock cylinder was replaced, but you should know how to identify the good lock cylinder from the failure-prone cylinder. There is some metal around the key hole in the lock cylinder- let's call that the "coin". If the keyhole is in the center of the coin, then it's the good lock cylinder. If the key hole is off center, towards the floor of the car, then it is the faulty lock cylinder. It's not a deal breaker, but you should replace it immediately. This means purchasing the new design from a dealer, having that lock cylinder keyed to fit your car's key (very important), and then installing the new lock cylinder. Installing/removing Ford lock cylinders is very easy as long as the key still turns. If the key doesn't turn, like when the faulty cylinder locks up, then it's very difficult, and requires careful drilling.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:50 PM   #15
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oh geeze I never thought about that and Ive been the original owner of mine lol ^^
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:06 PM   #16
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Also, the wheel bearings on the rears tend to go bad, and the thermostat housings often crack around the O-ring and can leak where they mate up to the block.

My first focus had 200k miles on it. I've replaced three wheel bearings, an ignition cylinder, and two thermostat housings.

Also timing belts are scheduled to be replaced every 100k miles on the non-svt Zetec. They are non-interference motors so if one breaks the worse that will happen is you'll be stranded, but you should definitely make sure the timing belt has been done on any car with over 100k miles.

The cars are excellent. My mechanic couldn't believe how strong my engine was running on my '03. I only got rid of it because the rest of the car rusted apart due to our awesome Michigan winters. The engine was still going strong.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:34 PM   #17
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good information fellas. that post about the thermostat housing cracking and leaking got me to thinking about someone i know who has a focus that overheated and we could never find the problem. it got hot and shut off. maybe it WAS that housing???
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #18
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Wow, talk about good info!

I'm also looking a buying a Focus for daily driving. I didn't realize the car had certain issues. Another critical item was the engine, I guess the Ztec is the way to go.

Also, how difficult is it to work on the car? I can to tune up's and fluid changes, but are they easily accessible? Also what about other things (trimming belt, bearings, etc) could I do them with regular auto shop tools or would I need special tools.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:27 PM   #19
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All cars have certain specific issues.

Most maintenance items can be done with basic tools. Timing belt has specific tools you can buy from Ford.

Tune ups and fluid changes are very easy to do. Spark plugs are right on top and easily accessible.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:36 AM   #20
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I had an 03 SE sedan for 2 years and loved it before I sold (I got a 4dr Toyota Tacoma) it to my sister who drove it daily with minimal problems aside from the thermostat housing before she got another car. My husband got himself an 06 ZX3. When he got it, it had 62k miles on it, now it has 143k. He drives 100 miles 5-6 days a week for work. We have replaced the tires, radio, alternator twice, a radiator hose, brakes and regular oil changes with a full synthetic. I hope to get many more miles out of it as it is paid for and for the age and mileage, it is not a bad little car. With all the highway miles he gets pretty good gas mileage too. City not so much. Huge difference between the two. I got better city gas mileage out of my 99 Mustang GT than my 03 Focus. My husband is looking at the newer foci for when it is time to replace his 06.
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