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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my '06 ZX5 this summer, so I've never been in cold weather with the thing till recently. But lately it's been much cooler in the mornings especially. Here are two things I've noticed.....

Engine warm-up time......It takes about a mile of driving @ 30mph for the engine to reach operating temperature on the gauge. This is about the same as every other car I've owned at this outside temperature of about 28F. During the summer, the gauge reached operating temperature really fast....about a block or so. But I know the engine had not warmed up that fast. I wonder if this gauge operation is normal for a Focus?

New rattles.....the worst is from the steering column. Mine is the telescoping kind. When you tighten the adjustment lever there is an audible rattle sound from the steering wheel when in gear (automatic). The idle speed is around 700rpms at that time. When you put your hand on the driver air bag, you can stop the rattle. Maybe some foam around the upper edge of the bag would eliminate the problem? I'm going to work on that.....

Any other cold weather problems to anticipate? Do the doors freeze up. or the hatch?
 

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You could have experienced these problems with any car. For one thing, the engine temp is generally much higher at startup in the summer and because of the warmer air temps doesn't take as long to heat up. With the lower temps in the autumn/winter, the engine is "fighting" the cold air temps to warm itself up, which will take longer to reach operating temps.

As far as the rattles, remember shrinkage - this usually happens when anything gets cold and stay cold for a period of time (overnight).

The doors could freeze up along with the hatch if you get some freezing rain in your area.
 

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yea this will be my second winter with the focus...and all the rattles you hear in the summer are 2x worse in the winter....even my belt chime sounds like it wants to kill itself in the cold...and the engine warm up sounds normal...just as whitefox said
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I think the warm-up time is about right now in cold weather.....the gauge needle reaches the normal range about the time the heater starts getting warm. But in the summer, the needle reached normal well before the engine was warm. That doesn't seem normal....

And rattles are worse in the winter for sure.....but there shouldn't be any rattles at any time of the year. This steering wheel rattle is new in the cold weather. [:(!]
 

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The hatch will seem like it's not going to open all the way in really cold weather, for some reason the struts loose some oomph.
 

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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Focus temp gauge measures the temp of the engine block, not the water temp.
 

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I would have to check it, but I believe it measures fluid (antifreeze) temp. In the summer, the temp goes up fast because the outside temp is warm. In winter, the outside temp is colder with the engine starting at much colder temps to get warm and will take longer to get to operating temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I'm not talking about a normal summer warm-up.....my temperature needle is in the "normal" range in a minute or so. If you touch the block or the radiator, it's still relatively cool. This is the first car I've owned with an aluminum block. I wonder if that's part of the issue.

It seems like the needle reaches the normal range at about 100F....doesn't seem right.

Concerning the hatch shocks....I've had the same thing happen to other cars I've owned. Remove the cables that pull up the interior hatch cover. That usually fixes the hatch shock problem, unless the shocks are weak.

Now I'm waiting for some real winter temperatures, and new problems. [;)]
 

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Temperature gauge is controlled by the ECU so its kind of digital, input is the head temp sensor . i.e. the metal temperature, as far as I remember..., Gas lifters for the hatch I replace every 2-3 years, thats how long they are able to lift the tailgate at winter..
 
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