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Old 02-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #1
Farmall noobies
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2012 Ford Focus S Shortcomings

I bought a 2012 Focus S in May 2012, and I like so much about the car. It gets decent gas mileage. It's peppy (not quite fast, but definitely not slow). The price was right, and it had a manual transmission.

However, there are very specific things that irritate me very much about it. Mostly because they could have been fixed or improved if the engineers at Ford had some foresight about how customers actually use the car on a daily basis.

1. The radio controls are not easy to use. To tune up or down by one click instead of seek, I have to click menu->OK->OK, then tune up and down using the seek buttons. When in this mode, I can't see what time it is or adjust anything or it kicks me out of the single-click mode. I may have to do this 4-5 times in a car ride and that is very annoying. There are enough buttons to not need to do this -- there are the seek buttons, and there are the right and left arrow buttons. Any engineer worth his salt could write new code for this in an hour and greatly improve the customer experience, with no cost up at all for any component parts.

2. There is no way to turn off the traction control on the S model, rendering me a sitting duck on any ice, gravel, or steep hill with non-ideal traction conditions. This has put me in very dangerous situations, and I can't believe that it's even legal to manufacture cars without the ability to turn it off.

3. If I have a dead battery, there's no way to unlock the car to pop the hood in order to jump the battery. They removed all mechanical linkage to the door locks. It is an electrical switch that then goes back to a controller or relay that then unlocks the electrical lock. Something that should take five minutes to jump start the car now took two hours and a warranty claim to have someone break in to my car. Very inconvenient, and ended up costing Ford more money than if they just put the $3 linkage into the door.

4. At 55mph I get about 44mpg. At 70mph, I get about 34. I understand that a slight hit is expected, but a 6th speed could help this. Europe got a 6 speed manual -- why can't we in the US?

5. Cruise control. I understand not providing cruise control on the base model, but the cruise control that comes in the higher trim focuses should be compatible with the S. It is not compatible, so Ford should offer one that is. I had to put an aftermarket cruise on; this at the very least robs me of perceived performance and quality.

6. The capless gas tank is a terrible idea. Dust from driving on gravel roads accumulates on the "cap" that opens when you put a nozzel in the tank. When I fill up the car, that dust and dirt has nowhere to go but into the gas tank. This can't possibly be good. I will probably end up blowing up my engine because of it. Also, filling up with a gas can becomes a real headache. The car comes with a small funnel thingy in the trunk to allow the "cap" to open up, and if you've ever tried to fill this car up with a gas can, you'll agree that it's almost impossible, especially if you have one of those new gas cans with the special non-spill nozzels. I ended up spilling more gas on the ground than I got into the car. So much for being environmentally conscious.

Every car at some point needs to be jump-started, or filled up with a gas can, or occasionally drives on gravel or snow uphill. The radio and not providing a 6-speed are somewhat understandable. Has anybody else noticed these issues? Does Ford have any plan to improve these shortcomings on later models?

I didn't even think of some of these things when test driving the car. Now that I've driven it for a while, these are the sorts of annoyances that start popping up when you get more familiar with it, you know?


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Old 02-17-2013, 09:02 PM   #2
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2) I have traction control always on 1.5 year tires and I go through snow effortlessly. Just can't give it too much gas.

3) Can't you turn the key in the key hole?
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
3. If I have a dead battery, there's no way to unlock the car to pop the hood in order to jump the battery. They removed all mechanical linkage to the door locks. It is an electrical switch that then goes back to a controller or relay that then unlocks the electrical lock. Something that should take five minutes to jump start the car now took two hours and a warranty claim to have someone break in to my car. Very inconvenient, and ended up costing Ford more money than if they just put the $3 linkage into the door.
I've seen this in other vehicles, it's really annoying.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamdv5 View Post
2) I have traction control always on 1.5 year tires and I go through snow effortlessly. Just can't give it too much gas.

3) Can't you turn the key in the key hole?
If I turn the key in the key hole, nothing happens, because it is an electronic switch that then goes back to a controller or relay, which then requires battery power in order to unlock the door.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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Oh, my bad. That is dangerous then.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Farmall noobies;4593476]I bought a 2012 Focus S in May 2012, and I like so much about the car. It gets decent gas mileage. It's peppy (not quite fast, but definitely not slow). The price was right, and it had a manual transmission.

However, there are very specific things that irritate me very much about it. Mostly because they could have been fixed or improved if the engineers at Ford had some foresight about how customers actually use the car on a daily basis.

Quote:
1. The radio controls are not easy to use. To tune up or down by one click instead of seek, I have to click menu->OK->OK, then tune up and down using the seek buttons.
On the 2013 at least, once you have your favorites set, you can use the forward/backward track button to skip between your favorites.

Quote:
3. If I have a dead battery, there's no way to unlock the car to pop the hood in order to jump the battery. They removed all mechanical linkage to the door locks. It is an electrical switch that then goes back to a controller or relay that then unlocks the electrical lock. Something that should take five minutes to jump start the car now took two hours and a warranty claim to have someone break in to my car.
Really? I had asked the dealer this question specifically when I bought the car and they said the key can definitely unlock the car.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmall noobies View Post
If I turn the key in the key hole, nothing happens, because it is an electronic switch that then goes back to a controller or relay, which then requires battery power in order to unlock the door.
Hi, that's strange because I had a flat battery and the key unlocked the drivers door just fine, and I have keyless entry...
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmall noobies View Post
If I turn the key in the key hole, nothing happens, because it is an electronic switch that then goes back to a controller or relay, which then requires battery power in order to unlock the door.
Did you turn the key in the correct direction?
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmall noobies View Post
3. If I have a dead battery, there's no way to unlock the car to pop the hood in order to jump the battery. They removed all mechanical linkage to the door locks. It is an electrical switch that then goes back to a controller or relay that then unlocks the electrical lock. Something that should take five minutes to jump start the car now took two hours and a warranty claim to have someone break in to my car. Very inconvenient, and ended up costing Ford more money than if they just put the $3 linkage into the door.
I will be installing an amp in my car. I will test this battery key door thing and respond back. It won't happen till this weekend though. I will keep my tail gate open just in case. ;)
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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The key thing is interesting...why even include it on the door handle then?

The Titanium's even include a spare key blade which I assumed would be used in a situation just like you described
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