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Discussion Starter #1
This weekend I'm going to look at a 2003 ZTW wagon. It's an automatic and has about 70k miles on it. This will be my first Focus, so I'm not real familiar with them. What are some other common problems or potential issues I should look out for on this particular model? I did some searching on here and it seems that timing belts and dropped valve seats are 2 of the big issues. Anymore I should check for this weekend before buying? Thank you
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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If it is a 2003, you should check to see if it is the 2.0L DOHC or the 2.3L. A 2.3L Duratec would be pretty sweet, and they found their way into a bunch of wagons.

If it is the 2.0L DOHC (Zetec) look at the timing belt, the thermostat housing, the front suspension, valve cover, the alternator, the ignition coil and make sure the cooling fans work on their own. Take it for a test drive and pay close attention to the shift into overdrive @ about 55MPH. If there is any slip or shudder it could be a sign the shift solenoids are going bad.
 

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PARTS HUNTER
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If its a splitport (sohc) I would say walk away.
 

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If it is a 2003, you should check to see if it is the 2.0L DOHC or the 2.3L. A 2.3L Duratec would be pretty sweet, and they found their way into a bunch of wagons.

If it is the 2.0L DOHC (Zetec) look at the timing belt, the thermostat housing, the front suspension, valve cover, the alternator, the ignition coil and make sure the cooling fans work on their own. Take it for a test drive and pay close attention to the shift into overdrive @ about 55MPH. If there is any slip or shudder it could be a sign the shift solenoids are going bad.
All the problems mentioned by benkap are true but the cost to fix them are cheap, especially if you look on this site for part outs. I have done all these repairs, which are general maintenance, but the most difficult is the alternator and most expensive (you find them on ebay rebuilt for a fraction of what a parts store wants). The only thing I haven't changed is the shift solenoids but if you do regular intervals of tranny flushing you should get close to 300k before something happens, at least that's what happened to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I ended up buying it and so far, I'm pretty happy with it. It's a 16v Zetec engine that runs cool and smooth and the auto tranny shifts nice and quick. It's pretty clean in and out and has new tires. I plan on doing some basic maintenance to it (oil change, air filter, fuel filter, etc.) this week for peace of mind and cleaning it up a little more if I get the time. One thing I noticed is- if I shut the wipers off they stay at where ever point I shut them off at. For example, if I shut them of and they're in the vertical position, they'll stay that way. I have time it just right to get them shut off at the bottom position. Is that normal? They work just fine. Thanks for all your help guys
 

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Taciturn. Your turn.
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... if I shut the wipers off they stay at where ever point I shut them off at. For example, if I shut them of and they're in the vertical position, they'll stay that way. I have time it just right to get them shut off at the bottom position. Is that normal? They work just fine. Thanks for all your help guys
There's a relay behind or next to the fuse panel under the dash for the wiper park function. It's common for them to go bad.
 
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