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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned Toyotas and Mitsubishis in the past and I'm not used to having any problems with a new car, or really any problems with it after many miles either. (170k on a 4Runner and never a single repair!, and 240k on a Montero) I bought an SVT Focus and it seems to be in the shop all the time. In another thread about rental cars a few posters made replies about the various times their SVT was in the shop and their rental car experience, and now I'm wondering just how much crap everyone has had to put up with after buying an SVT Focus. I drive 120 miles a day round trip to work, but in one year I've been in the shop 4 times, three for the same problem. I'd be curious to hear what everyone else has experienced.

I've had revving on its own during cold idle, very high cold idle, surging during constant speed driving, fuel gauge not reading correctly, hard to start when cold, and now a severe gasoline odor coming from the car and I can smell it inside while driving. Anyone have any advice? [?|]
 

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To address your first concern consider that SVT vehicles are low-volume, "specialty" vehicles. This differs from the norm of cookie cutter assembly. They are built on the same line, but you are asking the assembler to catch the odd job, and them perform his task correctly. This opens the door to problems that may not be detected due to such a small sample group. True, this shouldn't happen, but it does. Also, don't forget that the cars are assembled in Mexico.
If you search, you will see that the drivability problems have been addressed in other threads, and a new reflash seems to be the fix. I, myself am having some of the same problems.
As far as the gas gauge not reading correctly, are you shutting the car off during refueling?
 

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Yeah I think the cold start problems are a common issue. The gasoline smell that's normal[hihi]. Is it real bad to the point you got to open the window or is it very light. The fuel gauge not reading right, does it stay go all the way to E?

I thought Mistu's were the most un-reliable cars you could buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Shutting the car off while refueling? Of course.
The gasoline smell is Normal? Are you an idiot? The gas smell was because the dealer installed the sender wrong and damaged the gas line. The first replacement didn't fix the gauge because they damaged it when they installed it wrong. It's fine now. Little glitches sure I can understand in a limited production run, but folks on this forum and others have transmission failures and engine problems, there is no excuse for that. And they've now built these for 2 production years, and Just Now they finally get the engine computer programming right? Don't know where you got your opinion on Mitsu's, their rep has been second only to Toyota for decades. BTW, the new Flash seems to be the fix - so far so good.
 

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I was kidding about the smell being normal. Everybody is gonna post there problems, and nobody is gonna post that it's runing fine. Would you post here everyday saying the car is running good... no you wouldn't. People post here to get answers about problems, not answers about why they don't have problems.
 

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SMelling gasoline inside the vehicle cabin is not normal, in fact that sounds like a safety issue. Those fumes could lead to some serious issues. Sorry to hear you're having problems with your svts, if anything it'll get lemon'd out soon and you'll get a new svt =) it's a great car, wish i could afford to drive one.
 

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svt pwr 02 said:
The gasoline smell is Normal? Are you an idiot?
Are you? It was obviously a joke. If you are such a fan of Toyota and Mitsubishi, why did you buy a Ford? And what did you expect from a cheap car? Mercedes-Benz quality levels? Hell, even Mercedes has had a rise in the number of complaints about quality issues.

but folks on this forum and others have transmission failures and engine problems, there is no excuse for that
There's no excuse? This happens all the time, with all car manufacturers and from what I've heard, Mitsubishi is pretty guilty in this area.
 

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As far as Mistu's being second to Toyota... you're kidding right. They make the best big screen TV's but there car sucks. I see them everywhere on the road burning oil, hardly running.
 

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Mitsucks

Yeah, Mitsu's suck. They are singly responsible for 90% of the air pollution in any urban area. They are also responsible for chryslers bad reputation. I can't believe that after this many years of nearly new caravans and voyagers smokin down the road, Chrysler still buys engines from them. I chuckle and think of renting one and taking it figure 8 racing "Jackass" style.
 

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Buds - Both Ford and Mitsubishi have issues. I owned two (a '91 and "92) Galant VR-4's - turbo 2 liter, 200 HP, all wheel drive, 4-wheel steering, etc. The second one had NO oil in it when I got home from the dealer after purchase. The worked on it several times but it always consumed oil at an unacceptable rate. I sold it.
After I got my '02 SVTf, I wondered if I was in the same predicament, i.e. - the ridiculous engine surging and crazy idle issues that the dealer did not seem to be able to fix. RLA6 helped the idle and a second dealer replaced the 8 clamps on the intake manifold and the surging was much less. Now it seems that the new ECU program may fix the surging for good. I told the second dealer that if any one of the other Ford vehicles on his lot had an engine that behaved as mine did, it would not have been tolerated.
I love the car and hold out hopes that the new reflash will make it gripe free at last. I also think it is unimaginable that the SVT guys would have deemed a car ready for production with an engine that ran like mine does.
 

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Very eloquently said. I have traditionally been a VW guy, but I feel they have drifted away from the ideal they started with. Cheap & fun! Hence I bought the Focus SVT. I am very impressed with the handling and braking, but the engine management has issues. Seeing that there is a new TSB out there I will take my car to the dealer tomorrow. Let's see if we get any results this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Focus, sure I understand that people who post here are talking about problems, but we aren't talking about a production run in the hundreds of thousands either. We're talking about a car that should be better, not worse, than the standard car. I don't mean the engine computer fine tuning, I mean the engines and transmissions and mainfolds and wheel bearings and electrical failures and all that - there is no excuse.

SVT4ME - what did I expect from a cheap car? Well, folks, you can buy basic transportation from just about any mfgr and simply drive it for a few years with no worries, or you can buy the special SVT edition of the Focus and live at the dealer service dept. NO ONE expects that from ANY car. We have now had our 6th trip to the service dept, and today we have a new problem and an old one is back. To be fair, a couple of our problems (including the new one today) were caused by the service tech, and I wouldn't blame it on Ford. Still, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

By the way, I'm not some random nut, I'm the senior technical advisor for my company - customer service and lemon law and insurance subrogation defense are what I deal with every day. The SVT is far outside the norm in terms of number of units with problems.
 

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Brett said:
Buds - Both Ford and Mitsubishi have issues. I owned two (a '91 and "92) Galant VR-4's - turbo 2 liter, 200 HP, all wheel drive, 4-wheel steering, etc. The second one had NO oil in it when I got home from the dealer after purchase.
You're the man! Thats my dream car. Its the ultimate sleeper. I didn't know about them until I got my last car ('00 ES V6 Galant) and have been obsessed with them since.
I don't really mind having my car in the shop because Its clean when it comes out & I can get a loaner.
I have to take my car to the shop in about an hour to get the Audiophile 6 disk unit replaced. This is the only problem I've had so far. Since I have been experiencing high idle on cold starts & the battery light has been coming on I am going to ask about the most recent flashes.
 

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I've had the same issues as the SVTs in my ZX3. Is there a burn for it also? ya know, surging, dimming lights, stalling, no start when cold or start then immediately stall, etc.... the problems are pretty similar. Anyone know of a similar fix at the dealership for my car? (it's a 2000 model...you know, the one with more problems than any other car in history! but I still like my car [:D] )
...and I have the better intake manifold!!![rofl] haha....[confused]
 

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I don't really understand why people are complaining about the high idle at cold starts, hell, even my fuel injected motorcycle do this, it's just warming your engine up. And you shouldn't start driving away until it returns to a normal idle, if it doesn't return, then you have a problem.

Gas smell in the car, that definitely a bad thing. Could cause you to pass out if your in the car long enough.

Mitsubishi's reliable? I bought my SVT to get rid of my Eclipse GST. I'll never buy another bit's-of-sushi!

The surging at low rpm's is something I've been fighting on my fuel injected bike for 4 years, still haven't completely solved it. Although the Power Commander helped out, too bad they don't make those for cars, atleast that I'm aware of.

Besides the slow rev'ing, my only real complaint has been the clutch. I don't know if this is adjustable, but I will talk to the dealer when I take it in for my next service. Sometimes it seems like the clutch doesn't fully disengage. Sometimes it'll clunk coming out of gear when downshifting, especially 5th. And occasionally it clunks going into 1st when I'm sitting in nuetral at a light. Also, sometimes when leaving the light it engages way to quick!

And I have a slight valve tap (or ping). I'm thinking the recommended 5w 30 oil might be too thin if it is valve tap. Or worse, the valve were not adjusted properly from the factory. I don't believe it's pinging, I use only good premium gas. And I tried putting some octane boost in, it didn't help.

Besides that I love the car. Besides getting a little more hp, I want to make it rev quicker. And maybe a few years down the road, drop a Jackson Racing super charger in it. I'd like to use the warranty for as long as possible. Speaking of which, does anybody know off hand what mods won't kill the warranty? Stuff like fly wheel, under drive pulleys, air filter, and 65mm trhottle body!
 

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I had the stall issue occur three times on the second day I was driving my new SVT, but I think the car's computer "learned" something over the next few days after that, because I haven't had it happen since.

The 1st & 2nd gear surging between 1000-2000 RPMs still happens in the mornings when I head to work, but only for a couple hundred yards, and I'm not really bothered by it.

The strange "burnt antifreeze" smell I was getting from the car, and yes, in the cabin, seems to be very faint now. Either whatever was burning off is nearly done with itself, or I've gotten used to it. heh.

Other than these three "issues", the car has been just fine. I'm paying attention for any of the other weird things people have described to pop up, at which time, if they're serious, I'll take it to the shop.

Personally, I've bought nothing but Fords, so I'm used to them requiring frequent maintenance--it goes with the domestic territory, in my opinion. 2 '86 Escorts, a '90 Tempo GL, a '98 Escort SE, a '01 Mustang GT, an '01 F-150 Supercrew, an '87 Mustang LX to race, and now an '03 SVT Focus. They all saw their fair share of shop time, but generally, they were good vehicles that did their job, with the truck being the most reliable out of all of 'em so far, including the SVT Focus--which had a blown tire on day ONE.

Overall, I'm still very satisfied with my SVT Focus. Of course, after reading some horror stories around here, I'm crossing my fingers, hoping that won't change!

Beetle
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry to hear that Mitsu's have fallen down on quality. A good friend of mine is an engineer for Mitsu based in Socal, I'll have to call him up and give him hell. We put 240k miles on a Montero and I drove a 92 3000 GT (not a VR4) for 99k miles, both had one or 2 minor issues when new then went all those miles absolutely trouble free. I put 172k on a Toyota 4runner and never had One Single Problem, aside from regular maintenance. Maybe those days are gone, but the problems we've had with the SVT worry me. We're now out of warranty.... She had a ZX3 S2 before the SVT and it was perfect, but the SVT is sure more fun to drive!
 

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My Dad had a '80 Dodge RAM50 truck with a Mitsubishi engine and the family drove the wheels of that thing--several coast to coast trips, too. Alternator was the only problem we had with it--twice.

My neighbor has 2 3000 GT VR-4s, 1 Dodge Stealth R/T, and another Stealth. Yes, 4 of basically the same Mitsubishi car. He swears by 'em and has only had minor problems, and one replaced clutch thanks to his wife's "learning experience" with driving a stick.

So at one time, Mitsubishi was doing SOMEthing right, I guess. Haven't heard any horror stories about the Evo... yet.
 

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Well, my two Galant VR-4's didn't have any service issues. Unless you count the fact that one of them had about one quart oil in it when I drove it home after purchase. Both cars ran great all the time. I always worried about the eleven u-joints in the driveline though.
On the other hand, my wife's '86 Maserati BiTurbo Spyder would break down or refuse to start about one in ten times it was used (or attempted to use). Now a car like that will make any Ford or Mitsubishi issues seem laughable. If you wanted to change the oil on that Maserati, you needed to remove the radiator. Not user friendly.
We should all be grateful the SVT was not designed in Italy. Although thier motorcycles are truly great.
 
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