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Discussion Starter #1
When I pulled into work today, there was a distinct noise of friction coming from the engine. It wasn't a loud grinding but it was noticeable and scaled with engine revs (while in neutral, it's a manual). It was only for the last minute or so of my commute.

Coming out of work, the noise was still there. I was away from home so, okay, I decided to make it back home. There wasn't any noticeable loss of power, so I figured it wasn't an immediate thread. Long story short, I made it back through rush hour stop and go and off the highway. While in traffic lights, the car wasn't overheating from the temperature gauge reading but it began to smell like tell-tale scorching metal and smoking from the engine bay.

I parked on the side of the road and looked in the engine bay, seemed to be coming from the lower rear of the engine. Flywheel perhaps?

I called roadside and got it towed to a nearby dealership. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

The car has 3k miles on it and is about 4 months old. Sad. I'm not super pissed at Ford, but this is definitely feeling like par for the course for early production Focuses. Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come for long term ownership.
 

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That stinks. I hope your dealer takes good care of your car and gets it back up and running quickly.
x2, sorry to hear of your problems. [thumbd]

Maybe we can look back on this as a learning experience. Hope my car doesn't suffer the same issue.
 

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I would bet money it is just the starter motor.
The smell IMO is the wiring. Maybe the started failed to properly disengage?
Got heated up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Soooo, dealership just called me.

The A/C compressor seized and burned up the belt. They're calling today to expedite a replacement. I'll hold out hope they can get one quickly, but we'll see what estimate they give on Monday.
 

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wow that is crazy. that sounds like a new problem to me..
 

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Hi, probably a 'one off', compressors are generic and not built by Ford anyway.
Chris
 

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Soooo, dealership just called me.

The A/C compressor seized and burned up the belt. They're calling today to expedite a replacement. I'll hold out hope they can get one quickly, but we'll see what estimate they give on Monday.
Estimate? what estimate thats under warranty?

Honestly If something went wrong with my car under warranty It wouldnt bother me one bit. considering I have never owned a car with warranty and have dished out the cash to fix them everytime I ran the crap out of them or if something dumb just failed.
 

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I think he meant "time estimate"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Indeed, I'm expecting a week, but from what I heard about people getting parts like an alternator for these things, it could be much worse.
 

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I would bet money it is just the starter motor.
The smell IMO is the wiring. Maybe the started failed to properly disengage?
Got heated up.
a starter would burn up and probably catch the car on fire if it was still running after 30 seconds, the insulation would melt right off the #1awg or whatever size wire is running from it to the battery and chances are it would ground out on metal somewhere, then the full current from the battery would make that wire glow orange, sparks would be flying everywhere and it would create more than enough heat to catch the plastic stuff on fire.

I've seen 3 cars and 1 commercial truck burn up that way, all were from locked starters

Electrical arcing is 10 times the surface temperature of the sun
 

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Wow that's unfortunate. Make sure they put in a brand new one and not a re-manufactured one. The re-fab's never seem to last long and you'll be back at square one again.

Just a note; while this sucks that it happened it doesn't seem to be a widespread issue. Let's not immediately jump on the hate wagon and say the new Focus sucks. Tired of all the hate responses on these kind of posts. [?|]
 

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It's unfortunate that it happens, but that is simply the case with moving parts. The more complex a production is, the more chances it has to deviate from what it is supposed to do. Good thing the warranty is in effect.
 

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then the full current from the battery would make that wire glow orange, sparks would be flying everywhere and it would create more than enough heat to catch the plastic stuff on fire.
That is unlikely considering that there is a fuse to protect the battery / electrical system against sustained high current.
 

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That is unlikely considering that there is a fuse to protect the battery / electrical system against sustained high current.
it's not a fuse, it's a fusible link and they are notorious for failing, actually let me rephrase that, the link DOES melt out but look at it for yourself it's just outside the first layer of the battery box, there's a LOT of material that has to be melted before current will stop flowing and the flash point of the insulation around the main jumper and the secondary jumper is somewhere around 400 degrees F depending on which thermoplastic they used, not sure what the amperage rating was on the battery but lets say theroetically that it's 450 amps which is probably low, it would take a little over 3 seconds to heat a 1awg to 400 degrees F.

I'm not saying it will happen in every case, and there are a LOT of variables that i didn't work in, this is just a very simple joule's formula without any factoring for heat rise from gap increase but it DOES happen in new vehicles.

Fortunately there isn't a lot of flammable material around or below those jumper wires, not sure about the underbody oil absorbent layer or where it's placement is in relation to the main jumpers but THAT could be worth looking into if in the future that layer is fairly saturated with oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Good news! They got the part expressed so it came on Monday morning and they had it ready to go Monday afternoon. Everybody agrees it was an odd thing to fail but thankfully Ford had some extras.

The failed part was defective from the start. From the day I got it, there was a slight knocking sound while at idle. I thought these engines just sounded that way, it wasn't loud enough to sound outright wrong. When it failed completely, it was obvious. Now that I have the car back, it's a night and day difference sound-wise. Much quieter!

I give props to Frontier Ford in San Jose for the quick and friendly turn-around. Their service department is WAY better than their sales department that gave me the runaround when I was shopping for this car.
 
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