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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my '13 SE in July 2013. My first Ford.

Had the first oil change done at 6,600 miles (it was a freebie from the dealer for purchasing the car there).

The sticker they put in the window said the next oil change was due at 16,660 miles. Scratched my head at that but remembered the conversation with my service rep the day before - that Ford said every 10k for oil changes with the new synthetic stuff.

Took it in for the second oil change last month (around 16,500 miles). Immediately noticed it was louder in the cabin than before and figured it was related to the tires being rotated and that it would work itself out over a few hundred miles.

She now has 18,000 miles and the noise is louder and more irritating. Thought perhaps it was a bearing or something so took her in on Monday.

My service rep said that it was tire cupping caused by not being rotated. That they didn't do it on the first oil change ("Sorry, I missed that") and that my second oil change should have been done at 12k-ish miles not at 16,600 ("I don't know how or why they put +10k on the sticker instead of +6k!") He then asked me when/where I got the tires and was surprised when I said that they came with the car that I purchased brand new from his dealership.

He said that by the time I get my next oil change/tire rotation (in 6k to 7.5k miles!) that the sound should be better and work itself out. But didn't offer any other options.

So now I'm left with cupped tires, loud cabin noise and worried about possible future long term damage to the car. I've also noticed what I'd consider a significant change in my MPG recently.

Very not happy with Ford right now and concerned about my safety.

Hoping for some input and advice about how serious this could be and if I have any recourse with the dealer. Also wondering if it really is a bearing issue. I looked at the tires and couldn't see any obvious cupping. The dealership notes indicate "tires chopped".

Thank you.
 

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WHEEL BEARING known issue. I just received my car back last night. My roaring jet engine sound is gone. Never the tires.
 

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He said that by the time I get my next oil change/tire rotation (in 6k to 7.5k miles!) that the sound should be better and work itself out. But didn't offer any other options.

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Your service advisor blew smoke up your a**. Tire cupping does not "work itself out" It will get worse. The only way to repair a cupped tire is to "shave" it back into round but that is almost never practical if the tire has significant wear because it would take off tread all the way down to the tread wear indicator. It generally makes more sense to buy a new tire.

Cupped tires will send a lot of noise into the cabin.

http://www.tireshaving.com/tire_shaving/tire_shaving_info.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The sound is more of a woo woo woo woo like helicopter blades or a jet engine.

It will really tick me off if my service rep is being shady. I've been disappointed with this car from the very beginning - DCT issues were noticed at 800 miles and it took me until 8,000 miles to get the dealer to agree and replace the clutch (which has started exhibiting the same problems again)

I'll make an appointment with a different dealer in the area and see what they think.
 

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The dealership was actually correct the first time. The oil doesn't need to be changed for up to 10k miles if you fall under the "Normal Use" category. This comes straight from the owner's manual and it was the same when I had my '12 Mustang.

7500-10000
Normal commuting with highway driving
– No, or moderate, load/towing
– Flat to moderately hilly roads
– No extended idling

5000-7499
Severe
– Moderate to heavy load/towing
– Mountainous or off-road conditions
– Extended idling
– Extended hot or cold operation

3000-4999
Extreme
– Maximum load/towing
– Extreme hot or cold operation​

As far as the tires being rotated did you ask specifically for that to be done or was it documented somewhere that they would be doing this? I know some dealerships have their "works" packages which includes an oil change, tire rotation, undercarriage inspection, yadda, yadda but unless you asked for that they may not do anything other than change the oil if that's what you ask to be done.

As far as the tires go is there any way you could get your hands on another set of tires already mounted on wheels that you could try? Perhaps a friend that owns a Focus? That would confirm whether it's actually a wheel bearing or the tires.
 

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The dealership was actually correct the first time. The oil doesn't need to be changed for up to 10k miles if you fall under the "Normal Use" category. This comes straight from the owner's manual and it was the same when I had my '12 Mustang.

7500-10000
Normal commuting with highway driving
– No, or moderate, load/towing
– Flat to moderately hilly roads
– No extended idling

5000-7499
Severe
– Moderate to heavy load/towing
– Mountainous or off-road conditions
– Extended idling
– Extended hot or cold operation

3000-4999
Extreme
– Maximum load/towing
– Extreme hot or cold operation​

As far as the tires being rotated did you ask specifically for that to be done or was it documented somewhere that they would be doing this? I know some dealerships have their "works" packages which includes an oil change, tire rotation, undercarriage inspection, yadda, yadda but unless you asked for that they may not do anything other than change the oil if that's what you ask to be done.

As far as the tires go is there any way you could get your hands on another set of tires already mounted on wheels that you could try? Perhaps a friend that owns a Focus? That would confirm whether it's actually a wheel bearing or the tires.
Ford's official recommendation is as follows:

How often should I change my oil?

Typical driving habits

In general, Ford Motor Company recommends the following oil change schedule:
2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 7,500 miles or every six months, whichever comes first
2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first


Less typical driving habits

Change your oil and filter more often if you have any of the following driving habits:
Towing or carrying heavy loads
Idling extensively or driving at low speeds for long distances
Driving in dusty conditions
Driving off-road frequently
Using E85 fuel more than 50% of the time

When you drive regularly on rugged terrain or in unfavorable conditions, Ford Motor Company recommends an alternate oil change schedule:
2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first
2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 3,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first

http://support.ford.com/maintenance/when-to-change-oil
 

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I double checked the MK3 Focus owners manual and yes the owners manual says minimum ONE YEAR for oil change
nothing says every six months.
I know as I put on few miles a year and change the oil once a year.

The 10,000 mi oil change would be 'regular' driving. that is few stop start sessions.
Any driving with a LOT of stop start local small trips would go to the far shorter oil change as noted in the owner's manual..
 

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The woo woo woo is a bearing. At least in my opinion. You really do not know how good it feels to hear my radio again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Unfortunately I don't know anyone with a Focus that I could swap tires with.

This is my first Ford (and first experience with this dealership.) My previous car was a Kia Soul (owned for 4 years) and the dealer always took care of everything properly including email reminders based on my previous mileage estimates for upcoming services. I "assumed" that Ford would offer the same level of service - but of course we all know what assume means right?

I do mostly freeway driving - cruise control at 70mph Indianapolis - Chicago once a week.

The sound started after the tire rotation at 16,600 miles. I've looked at the tires and didn't see anything obvious, but I also don't know really what I'm looking for.
 

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7500-10000
Normal commuting with highway driving
– No, or moderate, load/towing
– Flat to moderately hilly roads
– No extended idling

5000-7499
Severe
– Moderate to heavy load/towing
– Mountainous or off-road conditions
– Extended idling
– Extended hot or cold operation

3000-4999
Extreme
– Maximum load/towing
– Extreme hot or cold operation​


Ford's official recommendation is as follows:

How often should I change my oil?

Typical driving habits

In general, Ford Motor Company recommends the following oil change schedule:
2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 7,500 miles or every six months, whichever comes first
2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first


Less typical driving habits

Change your oil and filter more often if you have any of the following driving habits:
Towing or carrying heavy loads
Idling extensively or driving at low speeds for long distances
Driving in dusty conditions
Driving off-road frequently
Using E85 fuel more than 50% of the time

When you drive regularly on rugged terrain or in unfavorable conditions, Ford Motor Company recommends an alternate oil change schedule:
2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first
2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 3,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first

http://support.ford.com/maintenance/when-to-change-oil
What onlycodered posted is directly from the owner's manual.
 
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Ford's official recommendation is as follows:

How often should I change my oil?

Typical driving habits

In general, Ford Motor Company recommends the following oil change schedule:
2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 7,500 miles or every six months, whichever comes first
2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first


Less typical driving habits

Change your oil and filter more often if you have any of the following driving habits:
Towing or carrying heavy loads
Idling extensively or driving at low speeds for long distances
Driving in dusty conditions
Driving off-road frequently
Using E85 fuel more than 50% of the time

When you drive regularly on rugged terrain or in unfavorable conditions, Ford Motor Company recommends an alternate oil change schedule:
2008 and newer model-year vehicles: every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first
2007 and older model-year vehicles: every 3,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first

http://support.ford.com/maintenance/when-to-change-oil
You left out the part that is applicable to our vehicles.

Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor
IOLM is a feature found in your vehicle’s instrument cluster message center. IOLM notifies you at key oil change intervals by displaying alerts such as “Engine Oil Change Soon” or “Oil Change Required.” The system also alerts you when your fuel filters need maintenance or fuel pressure is low.
IOLM uses an algorithm to calculate your oil change intervals based on actual engine operating conditions. The system must be reset after each oil change. Not doing so will result in a premature “Oil Change Required” alert.
For specific IOLM applications, please refer to your Owner's Manual. IOLM is now available in the majority of 2011 and later model-year Ford vehicles.

Synthetic oil and the IOLM
Ford engines have been tested using Motorcraft® Synthetic Blended Oils. If you use synthetic oil, it must meet Ford specifications for motor oil and the specific oil weight as indicated in your Owner’s Guide. Ford still recommends using the oil change service intervals as indicated by the IOLM.
- See more at: http://support.ford.com/maintenance/when-to-change-oil#sthash.epehPiKf.dpuf
 

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could be bearing
could be tires. I recently went through this debate, and for me it was cupped tires due to an aggressive race alignment

jack up the wheel where the noise is and check for play.

if it is cupped tires, it might only be the front or the back (which ever had the bad alignment) so, if you swap tires front to back you might be able to get the noise to diminish.
 

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With normal driving the IOLM on my 2011 Escape always told me to "Change oil soon" at 9,750 miles after the last oil change. I always changed it then and didn't wait for the "Oil change required" message to come on. I assume the "Oil change required" message would come on close to 10,000 miles.
 

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could be bearing
could be tires. I recently went through this debate...
As did I. The dealer told me that it was the alignment (which was in-spec) and I said it was the wheel bearings. Some might disagree, but I think that the deep grooves in the rotors were a telltale sign that the bearings were failing. I ended up replacing both rear bearings myself (even though the car is still under warranty) rather than argue with the dealer and not have a ride to work for several separate days.

It's obviously the tires making the noise, but why they wore in such an irregular way is really what you need to get sorted out. If they're becoming choppy due to wear, either the alignment is way off or something is wrong with your suspension.

Worn bushings (possible, but not likely on a new car) or a poorly designed suspension could allow the control arm(s) to flex and cause irregular wear. However, if the alignment is spot-on and the bushings aren't toast, the suspension shouldn't flex laterally anyway.

I'm convinced that a slightly loose bearing combined with negative camber and toe-in can cause tires to wear irregularly on the inner edge. Your options are:
  • Get your toe as close to 0 as possible - and keep it there.
  • Swap out the rear camber arms to get the camber closer to -0.6 degrees.
  • Swap out the rear bearing.* *If it's bad.

Like I said, my rear bearings were clicking and WHY Ford still refused to replace them is a mystery to me. But I did it myself and what's done is done.

Here's my journey: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=319374&page=3

EDIT: In the meantime, if your tires aren't asymmetric, you could get the tires removed from the rims and swap them inside to outside so that the irregular wear is on the outside edge. That will make them quieter for the time being. But if you're going to spend $100 on tire mounting, you might just want to buy new tires.
 

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I'll toss in the info. that excessive toe in at the rear has been a wear problem since the first Focus models were introduced.

Setting toe at the rear to the minimum spec. suggested has been a consistent solution over time, with camber that's not out of spec not being a problem.

Close to Zero toe in at the rear is an aggressive setting outside of the recommended range, and I wouldn't recommend it for normal driving. OK for performance driving when precisely set, too much for average DD use with any variation from that making the rear end unstable.
 

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Unfortunately I don't know anyone with a Focus that I could swap tires with.

This is my first Ford (and first experience with this dealership.) My previous car was a Kia Soul (owned for 4 years) and the dealer always took care of everything properly including email reminders based on my previous mileage estimates for upcoming services. I "assumed" that Ford would offer the same level of service - but of course we all know what assume means right?

I do mostly freeway driving - cruise control at 70mph Indianapolis - Chicago once a week.

The sound started after the tire rotation at 16,600 miles. I've looked at the tires and didn't see anything obvious, but I also don't know really what I'm looking for.
My Ford dealer is sending me email at least every 2 weeks about promotions and deals I can get ... I sometime get discount # I can use for parts ... and they also send reminder for maintenance.
 

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I change my oil early and often. It is the easiest maintenance you can do to your car...why wait? Change it and keep it synthetic and you'll be fine. All these recommendation are for waiting to do it.... not sure why you would wait if running clean oil is better for your car.
 
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