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Old 02-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #1
cr2012
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New '07 owner, bug fixing time!

So as my 'own' first car (I have been driving my brother's the past couple years and the two of us it has been mostly 50/50) I came into a red '07 Focus (not sure of the trim yet) yesterday. 2.0, Auto. Got 130K on the odometer but my experience has been pretty much all modern cars can hit that and beyond easily with just regular maintenance kept up. My main use is pretty much to commute at this point. 20 miles round trip a day, 75/25 highway/city driving. I tend to drive conservatively, no hotdogging or overkill where unnecessary.

So far put about 40 miles on it myself and am very pleased. Mechanically it feels solid and runs great. There are a few bugs I need to work out that I have been trying to do some research on:

1: On initial startup there is some heavy vibration. Not a 'rough idle' vibration but just a general vibration that transfers through the body. It lessens some as the idle drops but is still there. It also seems to lessen a bit at higher rpm's like highway passing and 1st gear starts. I've been reading about debris in the rear motor mount which I think I will take a look at next time the weather is clear and I have time to use the driveway. If not, possibly motor mounts need replaced. Anything I am missing?
2. I don't know if it is normal, but hoping it is not: I am getting a constant whine that sounds like power steering but doesn't seem to be affected by steering use or reversely affect it. It seems to be tied to engine RPM's and seemingly gets mildly louder under load. Any idea what I am looking at here?
3. Parking brake is almost nil ineffective. Normal braking is great. Hoping it is just the cable needs adjusting?
4. No speedometer. Although the dealer I got it from is supposed to fix this, I am preferring to do what I can DIY especially if they are going to 'guess' and I can get a solid fix. Actual speed sensor is fine. Cruise control works and my OBD scanner (Bluetooth OBD adapter and Torque on Android) reads accurate speeds from the computer. Needle is actually hanging off-center over the odo display like it may be stuck behind the dash? Rest of the dash works fine. Only thing I noticed was there was some intermittent airbag light action last night which may attribute to a dirty PCB? So far for the missing speedo though I have been using Torque and a dash mount for my phone. Though since I have found out how to display speed on the odometer I will start using that.

Some side notes to mention:
> At some point I am definitely wanting to do the cabin filter mod. Probably summer when it warms up.
> Simply going by the dash gauge, is it normal for the temp gauge to sit a little above center and also warm up really quickly from a cold start? Other cars I have dealt with all usually have the temp normally sitting AT center or slightly below. Haven't yet had a chance to look up on Torque what it is reading. May do that on the way into work tonight and have it log and graph for me.
> Not a MAJOR concern but more of a 'is it normal' situation: When coming to a stop, even a gradual one, at the point it is to shift to 1st it almost feels like it is ready to stall. Not stumbling or anything, but the RPM's feel abnormally low for even an in-gear braked idle.

Thanks for any help/advice guys! I am hoping to keep this car well maintained and last as long as possible. Intending to try and DIY what I can where dealer labor costs are major. Probably do the wear and tear stuff like oil/trans/filters/coolant at the dealer. May even take it in for a multi-point inspection in the next few weeks when I have time.


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Old 02-14-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
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Your idle issue maybe from a sticky IACV ( Idle air control valve) as far as the other issues like needle hanging up it could be that someone changed out the cluster and didn't get the needle positioned correctly.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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1. Vibrations from the engine normally means one or more mounts have gone bad. The most common culprit seems to be the passenger mount with the cure being to replace it with an OEM mount (non-oems have the reputation of failing quickly.) Some of us prefer replacing the lower/dog bone mount with a poly one; it will firm up shifts and stop the engine from moving some much under heavy load. This will increase vibrations at idle though, imo not much but too much for others.

2. I am not sure

3. The tension on the hand brake can be adjusted at the base of the handle, you have to remove the center console and the shift knob/boot to access it. Whether that will be the cure, not sure. If the handle doesnt get firm/tight when you pull up on it, then this may help.

4. I'd agree with FocusSlayer, sounds like a fair guess. At least someone probably messed with the needle at some point. Haven't heard of them to stop working otherwise.


By cabin filter mod, you mean adding a filter? Our gen cars did not come with one at all. Its not an easy process and probably not worth the hassle. Dont let that stop you if you want to add one and value your air filtered
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:30 AM   #4
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Ok. Sorry for the late replies guys. Work has been keeping me busy and I wanted to get a little better feel for the car before I came back and added more.

First off I did finally notice the other day I happened to pick up an SES. How I missed it, I don't know. lol. So now I am on the lookout for what extra options came standard on this trim level.

Vibration I have a pretty good handle on and hope to tackle at some point. Going to first see if I can convince the dealership I got it from to do it, given the procedure is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. Otherwise just means I order the part from tousley, hit up the local harbor freight for the few tools I need (I know they are far from 'quality' but for what is probably a one time deal...) and tackle it myself. It really seems like one of the more easier fixes on this car.

Parking brake: Got it. Saw that on FocusHacks and once again seems easy enough. Once I have time on my days off. Somewhat related in the brake department. I have been doing some reading on this myself but more of an all-makes thing. But is it particularly normal for the brakes to give off what is a metal-to-metal grinding sound but only when they are still cold (ie: Car has sat for a bit and just taking off) and at slow speeds like <10-15mph? I seem to be getting this. It goes away completely though after a couple stops.

Idle: I think this is just a perception thing probably exacerbated by the cabin vibration. When I am not paying attention to it, I don't really notice anything out of the ordinary as far as coming to a full in-gear stop.

The whine noise: I have been making every attempt to get a better fix on where this is coming from. I happened to run across a youtube video this morning which showcased the same exact noise I am hearing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AWyF5pBgfc So appears it IS a power steering thing. Which caught me off guard as I haven't noticed any added noise when turning the wheel. So looks like a check of the fluid, possible replacement, air bleed, and last resort being a pump replacement are all in order. I was initially afraid it may be the alternator given some other reports but it appears to be doing its job. According to Torque reading what voltage the computer sees, it is always ~14 around ~1500rpm and up even with low beams, fogs, and defrost on. ~13 in park or neutral under same circumstance. ~12.5 in gear idle under the same circumstance. If I turn all the above off, it will bump to ~13.5 in gear idle.

Speedometer: Yeah. If the dealership beats around the bush on this one I'll do the work myself. Seems easy enough to pull the cluster and unless the speedo motor is dead, equally easy to set the needles.

On the above related note it does seem like somebody has played with the needles at some point. My prior note about the coolant temp has been confirmed that the needle is off. I'm always seeing 175-180 from the computer while the needle is close to about 3/4 the way up. My guess is like other cars, that temp range should be about halfway. Likewise the fuel gauge right now is just a hair (literally) under 1/2 but the computer is seeing ~40% in the tank. Not FAR off but while I am in there I might as well fine tune it.

My airbag light issue has pretty much stayed. Started as intermittent a few days after I got the car but now is on all the time. Seems like if the air bag system hasn't been triggered it is usually either the clock spring or connection on the passenger seat occupancy sensor? Does it help narrow it down if the passenger airbag off light is always off (except for starting the car) even if the seat is empty? Or if the airbag module is faulting will it always behave like this? Either way, another set of relatively easy fixes I should have no problems tackling. Just wish it would get warmer already so I can do some of it.

Cabin filter mod: Yeah. I understand it didn't come with one but I figure it is worth taking a whack at and filtered air is always nice. But this is definitely going to be a summer side-project.

I do have to make another couple small observations:
1: This is the first automatic transmission I have personally driven that shifts the smoothest and seems to always know exactly what gear it wants to be in at a moments notice. I love it. The other cars in the house aren't as smooth or quick but all have the 'manu-matic' options so I usually choose to do my own shifting most of the time. Not an issue here!
2: With the stock keyfob it flashes the park lights on locking but not on unlocking. Is it possible to change this short of going aftermarket or am I stuck? Although in the somewhat distant future, depending on whether I am going to stick with the Focus for the long haul, I am going to take a ballsy approach to this.
3: Like other vehicles, does the HVAC automatically trigger the A/C compressor in defrost modes or is it a manual process on the focus? When I switch it over it feels like it is triggering something electronic in those two positions but I also feel zero drag on the engine. Obviously with the weather I have had no reason to manually trigger the A/C yet.

Thanks again guys! So far loving the car. Body is in immaculate shape aside from a very tiny nigh unnoticable dime sized dent in the hood. No rust. And aside from the issues mentioned here, it is mechanically sound and runs great. No CEL or hidden codes to speak of. With about 70/30 highway/city driving my average MPG is hovering around 30mpg. Roughly 200 miles on this tank so far and at 40-45% fuel left.

I think the last immediate concern I have is wanting to get the Aux input adapter for the radio if I can find it cheaply somewhere. Though so far the handy mp3 cd feature is working nicely. I rather like the stock look unless there is a dire feature requirement dictating replacing it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:57 AM   #5
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Here is a link to installing both an Aux input and an iPod interface in a 2007 Focus.

Installing AUX Input AND IPOD Interface
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s....php?p=4276037
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:18 AM   #6
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Link to installing an aux input most any radio.

Installing an AUX Input - Option 2
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s....php?p=4276102
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:32 AM   #7
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Hello, not sure about the other issues, but with the amount of miles on the car, I would for sure check the rear brake shoes. If they are worn down enough, your parking brake will not work properly. Especially if you hear some grinding noise. It is possible that you may even run run out of adjustment at the handle if you attempt that. If your rear shoes are in good shape with properly working self adjusters, you should have a nice feeling parking brake. Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
3: Like other vehicles, does the HVAC automatically trigger the A/C compressor in defrost modes or is it a manual process on the focus? When I switch it over it feels like it is triggering something electronic in those two positions but I also feel zero drag on the engine. Obviously with the weather I have had no reason to manually trigger the A/C yet.
Yes it does switch on with defrost
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