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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Update 09/12: I got the diagnosis from the dealer. Bad head gaskets, probably due to "bad install at the factory." I also got a new service advisor who is much better at communication than the first one. Car has about 34,500 miles and has never overheated, so they don't believe there is anything related to usage of the car that has caused this to happen - just inevitable failure do to the original installation. I got it in quickly after noticing the problem, and as a result, when they took apart the engine they found no significant damage. So I get new gaskets/bolts/etc and I should have it back end of next week. Phew! Now I'm going to push my luck and drive it to the middle of nowhere, in South Dakota, in less than a month :) Wish me luck...

Original post: Got my 2012 Titanium Hatchback the year they came out, and love my (somewhat imperfect) little car. But I'm missing it right now as it is in the Ford dealer's garage, where apparently they found coolant leaking into the pistons. Aaaargh. Fortunately, I"m still barely under warranty.

This model is a bit rough - the software was a disaster up until a pretty good update last year, and the automatic transmission often feels like a 15 year old is having his first driving lesson. But despite that, the mileage has been great, the handling is totally fun, and it's a fantastic road trip car.

I added Thule airblade racks and a Thule roofbox (roofbox is black, car is pearl white, looks really nice) and with that it's got plenty of room for a long road trip with a traveling partner and two dogs, and still gets like 35mpg hwy even with the box on.

But right now I'm sadly missing it. I'm driving the dealer loaner, which is a cute 2013 blue focus SE sedan. But it's not my baby [mecry]

Anyone else out there had coolant leaks into the engine with this model?

Update: forgot to add this additional (and exciting) detail:
I figured out something was wrong initially because of something bizarre that the car was doing. I had parked the car in the driveway while I was having a garage sale, so I was sitting next to it for a while after it had been turned off. Suddenly, the car started making a rumbling/seizing sound, and was visibly shaking slightly. This went on for over a minute! As if it were possessed. After it was done, I popped the hood and saw the coolant level well below minimum.
 

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Mornin', and Welcome to FF

Moved your post right to the MkIII section where you'll get the quickest response from current owners. I could have suggested posting there as well, but I wanted to get you there faster.

I've got one bud here who had a major engine problem, but it was oil consumption related not coolant into a cyl.. Seen maybe a couple others with major engine issues, not remembering one that matched yours off hand. An odd one with an oil leak comes to mind, doesn't match either.

Luck getting it back as soon as possible, usually takes some time for a major like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks - I'm such a newbie I didn't realize the 3rd gen focuses were also referred to as MKIII :) Had to wikipedia that one...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like a classic head gasket failure. Has she overheated at any point?
madmole- No overheating, but it's been a cool summer here in Minnesota and of course being the midwest, roads are pretty much flat. I also took it in immediately after the rumbling incident, perhaps avoiding that situation. So I'm hoping that I avoided wider damage, though I'm not getting my hopes up.
 

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Well if rad water is in the pistons then it can only be head gasket or cylinder sleeve failure. Zetec engines are VERY prone to this (I've blown a lot in the past on my old track car)

Or you had the common water flood over the spark plugs and they were sloppy taking them out and letting water in

Either way, if the engine is run with water in there then its incompressible and something has to give. Normally the head gasket blows completely and instantly and the thing hydraulics and locks

The sound you heard was the pressurised coolant water escaping into the block through the blown gasket and air from the block releasing into the expansion tank. Heard that one before on the old mondeo and its pretty diagnostic I'm sorry to say

Still if its under warranty they should sort it as its a non serviceable part. Just make sure they skim the head and don't just stick a new gasket in, and use new stud bolts
 

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Ah i heard so much bad stuff about the automatic transmission (Powershift or whatever they call it). Never have been driving any automatic, they are pretty uncommon in Germany ("Race cars don't have automatic transmission, son!")... But I am quite happy with my 6 speed manual transmission. How strange that your problem occured when it was parked. I hope they fix everything, not sure about the trasmission though, I have heard so many people complaining about the automatic transmission already... But always worth complaining since you still got warranty on it.
 

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Cars get hotter after they are turned off, The engine block holds a lot of heat, and then you turn of the water pump and cooling 8-(

On my landrover I had an engine block thermometer. it would sit lovely at 83C all day long driving but I have seen up to 150 after it was turned off. The Zetec is an ally block and prone to warping when hot

That's why always good to let engine run for a min or so at idle before you turn off. Allows the turbo to spin down while still lubricated with pressurised oil and the block temp to come down a tadge
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Question about long-term impact of blown head gasket

Hi folks,
Thanks for all the great (though depressing :)) replies...

While I"m waiting for the heavy line mechanic to get to my car, I'm wondering what impact everyone here thinks a problem like this will have on trade in or resale value. If they do repair the damage, is this the sort of problem that will reduce the value of the car? If so, how much? trade-in Blue book on my car right now is in the high 13k.
 

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We're guessing a bit ahead of knowing the actual problem/repair right now, but a warranty repair won't affect trade in value in the future.

Should you get a replacement engine (as seems very possible) the value when sold yourself may rise. Don't know the current miles on your car, but when selling privately a new engine at a mileage you can prove with ppwk. is often a selling point over the original one with full mileage on it - particularly so for a factory replacement.

IE - hey, the car might have 80,000 on it but the engine was replaced by Ford at 40,000 so it's still a low mile engine in there.
 

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Hi folks,
Thanks for all the great (though depressing :)) replies...

While I"m waiting for the heavy line mechanic to get to my car, I'm wondering what impact everyone here thinks a problem like this will have on trade in or resale value. If they do repair the damage, is this the sort of problem that will reduce the value of the car? If so, how much? trade-in Blue book on my car right now is in the high 13k.
A competent repair on the engine should result in NO loss of value for a trade in. accident damage to the body usually cannot be made perfect. A problem like your engine CAN be made perfect.

I recently checked my cars value (2012 Se 12K miles, sport package, manual tranny $22800 list) in Kelly and NADA and they both say my car is worth $13,300. my dealer would offer only 12,200 after i walked out at $11,500. offer.
Most dealers will only offer a few thousand UNDER what you can find in a 'blue book. They use a black book with lower values.
Plus the fact some dealers are not wanting ANY automatic transmission MK3 Focus in trade. (this may or may not be true.. Just a rumor.)
 

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Yeah, if you trade in your car at a professional dealer they HAVE to pay you a few thousand under ist value. SImply because they live from that and in some states they may be required to give a warranty on a used car.

I sold my old Mitsubishi myself, to a private Person. Young guy who was happy to get it cheaper than at the dealer and i was happy to get more Money than from a dealer. Kinda win-win Situation...
 

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Hi folks,
Thanks for all the great (though depressing :)) replies...

While I"m waiting for the heavy line mechanic to get to my car, I'm wondering what impact everyone here thinks a problem like this will have on trade in or resale value. If they do repair the damage, is this the sort of problem that will reduce the value of the car? If so, how much? trade-in Blue book on my car right now is in the high 13k.
Has your concern been repaired since this post? Please let me know, along with your mileage.

Meagan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Meagan,
Not yet. The dealership appears to be a bit oversubscribed (they have a huge repair shop, 100+ mechanics, but the manager told me they need to expand it by over a third to keep up). So nothing has moved forward yet. I'll update this post when I have more info.

Mileage is about 34,500, car is 2.5 years old.

Susan (aka cruzy)
 

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Hi Meagan,
Not yet. The dealership appears to be a bit oversubscribed (they have a huge repair shop, 100+ mechanics, but the manager told me they need to expand it by over a third to keep up). So nothing has moved forward yet. I'll update this post when I have more info.

Mileage is about 34,500, car is 2.5 years old.

Susan (aka cruzy)
Thanks for letting me know. Go ahead and send me a PM with your VIN, best daytime phone number, full name, and dealer name/location.

Meagan
 
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