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Old 10-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #1
pablo94sc
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New owner - wondering if any of these issues are common/worth taking to my local dealer

So I got my '12 Focus SE HB (manual, 203, sport, winter, moonroof) this past Saturday. I have a few issues I noticed and wondered if they were common and if I should even bother taking the car to my local dealer to check out (bought it from a dealer 300 miles away). Car has 20k miles on it, built 2/9/11.

Here are my issues (nothing too major, but annoying) -

1. Headliner rattles occasionally behind the moonroof. Pushing up on it stops the rattle, so I suspect adhesive wearing out.
2. Rearview mirror adjustment is terrible - can't see out the whole rear window unless it's to look at the road. Needs a longer stalk or more rotation in the mirror's swivel ball/socket.
3. Car has a weird new car/cleaning solution smell to it. Wondering if it's off-gassing plastics, the dealer used some super strong cleaning solution, or a combination of the two. It hasn't faded yet even after 300+ miles of driving with the windows down. If I leave the windows up all day at work or at night, the smell gags/chokes me when I open the door.
4. Idle is a little rough occasionally, like if the idle was set 50-100RPM too low. (remember, manual trans)
5. Radio LCD doesn't dim along with instrument cluster lights.
6. Headlights are aimed a little too far left for me, but no horizontal adjustment is available according to the owner's manual.

Other than those off the top of my head, I really enjoy the car and am having a lot of fun learning its limits. Figure a short throw and rear sway bar are in order, but otherwise can't think of anything it needs to make the driving experience better except more seat time (though a change holder would have been nice). LOL

Disclaimer - I searched for a bit for answers to these, but given the length of some of the threads (137 pages of DCT complaints) and the endless trolling (haters)/responses I've sifted through, I gave up and decided to start my own thread. If you don't like it, sorry, but please save us all the time and keep your complaints to yourself.


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Old 10-03-2012, 07:48 AM   #2
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1. Headliner rattles occasionally behind the moonroof. Pushing up on it stops the rattle, so I suspect adhesive wearing out.

Common: take to dealer for fix.

2. Rearview mirror adjustment is terrible - can't see out the whole rear window unless it's to look at the road. Needs a longer stalk or more rotation in the mirror's swivel ball/socket.

Never heard of that complaint, although some rear-view mirrors droop down after time and must be readjusted.

3. Car has a weird new car/cleaning solution smell to it. Wondering if it's off-gassing plastics, the dealer used some super strong cleaning solution, or a combination of the two. It hasn't faded yet even after 300+ miles of driving with the windows down. If I leave the windows up all day at work or at night, the smell gags/chokes me when I open the door.

Never heard of that complaint, although I have leather, so my car smelled like leather for a while.

4. Idle is a little rough occasionally, like if the idle was set 50-100RPM too low. (remember, manual trans)

I've seen posts about that, and mine stumbles occasionally. I'm not concerned, but you could search for the other posts.

5. Radio LCD doesn't dim along with instrument cluster lights.

No it doesn't. It's seems bright at first, but you'll get used to it.

6. Headlights are aimed a little too far left for me, but no horizontal adjustment is available according to the owner's manual.

Mine are dead straight, so there must be a way to adjust them.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo94sc View Post
...Here are my issues (nothing too major, but annoying) -

1. Headliner rattles occasionally behind the moonroof. Pushing up on it stops the rattle, so I suspect adhesive wearing out.
2. Rearview mirror adjustment is terrible - can't see out the whole rear window unless it's to look at the road. Needs a longer stalk or more rotation in the mirror's swivel ball/socket.
3. Car has a weird new car/cleaning solution smell to it. Wondering if it's off-gassing plastics, the dealer used some super strong cleaning solution, or a combination of the two. It hasn't faded yet even after 300+ miles of driving with the windows down. If I leave the windows up all day at work or at night, the smell gags/chokes me when I open the door.
4. Idle is a little rough occasionally, like if the idle was set 50-100RPM too low. (remember, manual trans)
5. Radio LCD doesn't dim along with instrument cluster lights.
6. Headlights are aimed a little too far left for me, but no horizontal adjustment is available according to the owner's manual....
Hi pablo94sc!

First of all, congrats on the new Focus! I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying it. Onto your concerns: make an appointment at your dealership so they can take a look. Additionally, I'd like to escalate your case to your regional Customer Service Manager so they can ensure everything is resolved. Send me a PM with your VIN, preferred servicing dealer, and daytime phone number. I'll handle the rest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rememo View Post
1. Headliner rattles occasionally behind the moonroof. Pushing up on it stops the rattle, so I suspect adhesive wearing out.

Common: take to dealer for fix.

2. Rearview mirror adjustment is terrible - can't see out the whole rear window unless it's to look at the road. Needs a longer stalk or more rotation in the mirror's swivel ball/socket.

Never heard of that complaint, although some rear-view mirrors droop down after time and must be readjusted.

3. Car has a weird new car/cleaning solution smell to it. Wondering if it's off-gassing plastics, the dealer used some super strong cleaning solution, or a combination of the two. It hasn't faded yet even after 300+ miles of driving with the windows down. If I leave the windows up all day at work or at night, the smell gags/chokes me when I open the door.

Never heard of that complaint, although I have leather, so my car smelled like leather for a while.

4. Idle is a little rough occasionally, like if the idle was set 50-100RPM too low. (remember, manual trans)

I've seen posts about that, and mine stumbles occasionally. I'm not concerned, but you could search for the other posts.

5. Radio LCD doesn't dim along with instrument cluster lights.

No it doesn't. It's seems bright at first, but you'll get used to it.

6. Headlights are aimed a little too far left for me, but no horizontal adjustment is available according to the owner's manual.

Mine are dead straight, so there must be a way to adjust them.
Thanks for the great info, Rememo!

Have a great day,
Crystal
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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The smell is likely the carcinogens from the glues and plastics, etc. Air it out as much as you possibly can. It will take a while. If it's not going to rain leave your windows open. Seriously. The new car smell is horrible for you. I had to pull over to puke one night it got me so bad.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo94sc View Post
2. Rearview mirror adjustment is terrible - can't see out the whole rear window unless it's to look at the road. Needs a longer stalk or more rotation in the mirror's swivel ball/socket.
Try switching the dimmer switch on the rearview mirror (opposite the direction it's in now) and re-adjust the mirror. This could give you more range of motion in the direction you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo94sc View Post
4. Idle is a little rough occasionally, like if the idle was set 50-100RPM too low. (remember, manual trans)
This is normal, and there's been a lot of discussion about it already. When you're sitting idle at a stop, the car will go to "low" idle at approximately 650 rpm to save fuel. This is where it can get rough--especially if you have the A/C on. As you prepare to take off in 1st gear, the car will automatically bump idle up to 900 rpm, and it will smooth out.

I have found that my low idle has smoothed out considerably since the car has broken in (I'm at 9K miles), and I also noticed an improvement when I switched to synthetic oil.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

Tbone: I tried flipping the mirror's dimmer toggle and it helped, but IMO isn't a solution as much as a bandage. Low idle hasn't happened since that one day, so I'm putting that on the back burner until it's time for an oil change. Synthetic will go in for sure.

Beta: Smell still hasn't gone. Between work and night classes I haven't had time to reclean the interior, so hopefully that'll help. If not, dealer is definitely getting a visit. No one should have to gag or puke from the chemical off-gassing.

Crystal: PM will be coming your way shortly. I've noticed a couple other things while showing the car to friends that are definitely not normal. My hatch, for one, is off-center or warped (I'll try to get you pics), and the PS roof rail cover is warping near the rear clip.

Remomo: Only vertical adjustment of the headlights according to the owner's manual. I have great forward visibility, but I have almost no illumination of the right shoulder. Lot of deer here, so I'd rather have a right bias instead of a left bias. I also don't want to blind oncoming traffic.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo94sc View Post
Beta: Smell still hasn't gone. Between work and night classes I haven't had time to reclean the interior, so hopefully that'll help. If not, dealer is definitely getting a visit. No one should have to gag or puke from the chemical off-gassing.
Unfortunately that's what the new car smell is, chemical off-gassing. Always has been. Nobody can do anything about it other than you letting it air out as much as humanly possible. It took around a year (with smoking) for that smell to get out of my car.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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Unfortunately that's what the new car smell is, chemical off-gassing. Always has been. Nobody can do anything about it other than you letting it air out as much as humanly possible. It took around a year (with smoking) for that smell to get out of my car.
Car was built on Feb 2, 2011, so you'd think that by now the smell would have gone. I'm thinking some sort of cleaning agent was used that made this smell, so hoping a good shampoo and cleaning will get rid of whatever chemicals they used. It's obnoxious, to say the least.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo94sc View Post
Tbone: I tried flipping the mirror's dimmer toggle and it helped, but IMO isn't a solution as much as a bandage. Low idle hasn't happened since that one day, so I'm putting that on the back burner until it's time for an oil change. Synthetic will go in for sure.
How tall are you? I'm 5'9". I only ask because my mirror has good range of motion, and my seating position would have to be very far from what it is now for me to lose the ability to adjust to see the entire rear window. The post that the mirror is mounted on is adjusted basically in a fully "down" position, to position the mirror away from my headliner console. Would adjusting the post that mounts the mirror to the windshield help you here?

EDIT: Ah, I think I understand now. The reason you can't see the entire rear window in the mirror is because you're seated so far away from it.... What are you, sitting in the back seat?!
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo94sc View Post
So I got my '12 Focus SE HB (manual, 203, sport, winter, moonroof) this past Saturday. I have a few issues I noticed and wondered if they were common and if I should even bother taking the car to my local dealer to check out (bought it from a dealer 300 miles away). Car has 20k miles on it, built 2/9/11.

Here are my issues (nothing too major, but annoying) -

1. Headliner rattles occasionally behind the moonroof. Pushing up on it stops the rattle, so I suspect adhesive wearing out.
2. Rearview mirror adjustment is terrible - can't see out the whole rear window unless it's to look at the road. Needs a longer stalk or more rotation in the mirror's swivel ball/socket.
3. Car has a weird new car/cleaning solution smell to it. Wondering if it's off-gassing plastics, the dealer used some super strong cleaning solution, or a combination of the two. It hasn't faded yet even after 300+ miles of driving with the windows down. If I leave the windows up all day at work or at night, the smell gags/chokes me when I open the door.
4. Idle is a little rough occasionally, like if the idle was set 50-100RPM too low. (remember, manual trans)
5. Radio LCD doesn't dim along with instrument cluster lights.
6. Headlights are aimed a little too far left for me, but no horizontal adjustment is available according to the owner's manual.

Other than those off the top of my head, I really enjoy the car and am having a lot of fun learning its limits. Figure a short throw and rear sway bar are in order, but otherwise can't think of anything it needs to make the driving experience better except more seat time (though a change holder would have been nice). LOL

Disclaimer - I searched for a bit for answers to these, but given the length of some of the threads (137 pages of DCT complaints) and the endless trolling (haters)/responses I've sifted through, I gave up and decided to start my own thread. If you don't like it, sorry, but please save us all the time and keep your complaints to yourself.
Absolutely crazy question I'm sure, but did you did a thorough inspection of this used car BEFORE you bought it?

It doesn't sound like it..........
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