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Discussion Starter #1
Any help identifying what is causing this squeak would be greatly appreciated. I posted an audio recording of the noise here: https://soundcloud.com/walter-james-duke/focus-squeak

I bought a new 2014 Titanium Hatchback about two months ago. I love the car, and I loved driving it for about the first 1,500 miles - then the squeaking started.

At first it was only occasionally, at any speed - a rhythmic squeak from the rear passenger wheel area, seemingly from behind the felt trim, quite loud at times - very distracting and entirely infuriating on a brand new car. [facepalm]

Within another 1,000 miles it began consistently squeaking at speeds over 70 - and my daily commute is down a 40 mile stretch of 70mph interstate. [mad]

Now it squeaks consistently and constantly at speeds over 55 mph. Occasionally I will drive it in the early morning or late night squeak-free for 20 miles or so, but then it starts again. This only seems to happen if it has been parked for more than a few hours.

I have checked everything that I have access to. At first I thought it was coming from the interior, but behind the trim/felt lining, I’ve checked that area as well as I can without ripping out the trim - at this point, I think it’s more likely something connected directly to the body in that area, but not on the interior - I’m not 100% sure about that point, though. It is definitely coming from the wheel well area - when the felt access hole panel is removed, the sound is noticeably louder.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated! It's extremely frustrating and annoying to listen to this every day on my commute. I plan to take it to the dealer but I am 150+miles from them, so if there's an easier solution, I'd love to know what it is.

Thanks!
 

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Doesnt sound like a mechanical issue but more like either interior trim piece, possibly the hatch, something back there is wiggling from road vibration.... I would just go back there & start grabbing trim pieces, rear passenger door, the hatch etc and wiggle them by hand & see if there is any play or if you can produce the sound that way, or maybe have someone sit back there while your driving and have them try to pinpoint exactally where its coming from... its not mechanical, like a wheel bearing or brakes, its deffinitely a trim piece or slight play in a door or hatch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ha, you've described everything I've tried! If it is interior, it must be in a very inaccessible space behind the felt/carpet.
 

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Next thing I'd try is to go over eveything that you can find that has a screw holding it down and gently tighten it...

On my '14 there was a slight plastic sounding rattle in the trim around the gear selector in the center console. while driving I gently pushed on it and the squeak was gone so I just squirted a small amount of clear silicone adhesive back there & now its gone.... lol...

do you think its inside or coming from outside, underneath?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It seems to me that it must be outside under the wheel well, and the squeak is transmitting through the solid metal contact through to the interior.

I've already removed and re-tightened the two torx screws that hold the plastic trim in place, but there aren't any other visible screws to tighten. [:(]

It's possible that it is very low along the edge of the door frame, underneath the carpet/felt, but the sound seems too distinct and sharp to simply be something related to trim. I'm not ruling anything out though.
 

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Loose rear bumper cover (bottom mounting) is an odd squeak I've seen mentioned before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I have not looked at the bumper before because it seemed too far back to be the source, but I will definitely look into it today!

I've attached a pic showing the area where the noise seems to be originating (red highlighted area). The pic is not of my Focus, as I also have the subwoofer mounted in that area, but the sound seems to be coming from the area forward of the woofer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Took it to dealer :(

Took it to dealer, waited 9-5 while they had it, went to pick it up after being told squeak was fixed - drove away from dealer, and squeak was apparent immediately after leaving the lot.

Returned that day and and returned to college in a loaner. Four days later, they called and and told me they'd fixed the squeak. They did not - squeak was evident immediately after driving off of lot - now it is actually worse and louder than it was when I dropped it off.

Dealer is 360-mile round trip from my University, two trips so far.

My enthusiasm for my brand new 2014 Titanium Focus has gone from a level 100 on the day I got it, to a level 60 when the squeak first started at 1500 miles, to about a level 2 at 10k miles, and all this trouble with no improvement - problem is actually worse now than before dealer was involved. WTF.

They seemed to have no ideas of what to look for. I relayed info that I'd seen online, but was really surprised that they didn't have access to that (public) info or more helpful internal company info.

If I had it to do over again, at this point, I would question buying this car, after 7+ cars bought from the same dealer over my lifetime.

I'd love to love my Focus, but it's hard when 80% of my drivetime is infuriatingly annoying.
 

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If it was me I'd be kinda ticked off and I'd start going to a process of elimination

Step 1. start by walking out the door right now and grab hold of the right rear bumper & bounce the hell out of that thing to see if that reproduces the squeak. Rock it from side to side too. Try to imitate doing some off roading, the idea is not to try to be funny, but to replicate a motion in the suspension that might be the cause.

step 2. Start grabbing exterior & interior trim pieces & wiggle them around by hand, push in/pull out. Use manpower if you have too, If anything breaks, its under warranty. (maybe if you're real lucky that was the source of the squeak)

step 3. with car in park, turn up the radio, put on some heavy epic dub step & see if maybe, just maybe its a speaker thats squeaking.

step 4. With car in park & rear hatch closed, push/pull on the hatch.

step. 5 get under the car & wiggle/push/pull (with slight manpower) on the exhaust, If it breaks, its under warranty.

step 6. jack the right wheel off the ground, push & pull outward on the wheel. Grab the tire at the 12 & 6 o' clock position & push in one hand & pull out with the other, do that from top/bottom & side to side. the idea here is the check for any play in the wheel bearing or rear control arm. Listen for ANY thing that remotely sounds like a squeak.

step 7. check spare tire & jack in trunk & make sure they're secured...

step 8. rinse wash & repeat or take back to dealer if none of the above helps...

If you seriously spend a afternoon out there with a buddy if you have too, You should, one would think, find the source of the squeak... Good luck!
 

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Dealer is 360-mile round trip from my University, two trips so far.

Oddly, they seemed to have no ideas of what to look for, and relied on me to guess what the cause of the squeak was. I relayed info that I'd seen online, but was really surprised that they didn't have access to that (public) info or more helpful internal company info. They seemed a little too eager to claim it fixed and get me out the door.

If I had it to do over again, at this point, I would not buy this car, and I am honestly questioning my family's relationship with Ford and our dealer, after 7+ cars bought from the same dealer over my lifetime.
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is there not a Ford dealer closer than 180miles from you?

do you go on a test drive with the tech to point out the exact squeak?

don't be so impulsive to dismiss an entire brand because of one niggling squeak. Thats like saying you swear off your favorite restaurant because once they sent you food that was only lukewarm.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
is there not a Ford dealer closer than 180miles from you?
There is. However, our family has used the same dealer for 30+ years and I would like for them to fix the problem with the car they sold me.

do you go on a test drive with the tech to point out the exact squeak?
Yes. Technician confirmed that he heard the squeak on the test drive. However, I believe that a different technician claimed it was fixed - could be mistaken.

don't be so impulsive to dismiss an entire brand because of one niggling squeak. Thats like saying you swear off your favorite restaurant because once they sent you food that was only lukewarm.
What if, after sending back the lukewarm food, the restaurant serves a "new" platter and tells me that it's hot - but it's the same food, even colder? There are limits.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If it was me I'd be kinda ticked off and I'd start going to a process of elimination
I am definitely kinda ticked off.

I've done this several times, during various temperature and weather conditions, with no luck.

step 2. Start grabbing exterior & interior trim pieces...
I have done this. I did find two interior trim pieces that were not correctly or fully installed, but neither were near the noise and correcting the mfg error did not fix squeak.

step 3. with car in park, turn up the radio, put on some heavy epic dub step & see if maybe, just maybe its a speaker thats squeaking.
Turn up the speakers?! Ha! The speakers in this premium sound system rattle at even the lowest volume, with bass fully turned down. I actually stuff moving blankets between the seats and the door to mitigate this, but reduction is about 50%. The rattling tweeter or w/e mounted 7" from my head in the passenger door is a brilliant design move...but I digress; that's another problem, I'm trying to deal with this car's issues in descending order of annoyance.

step 4. With car in park & rear hatch closed, push/pull on the hatch.
100% sure it is not the hatch, doors, or even windows.

step. 5 get under the car & wiggle/push/pull (with slight manpower) on the exhaust, If it breaks, its under warranty.
Have done, no luck.

step 6. jack the right wheel off the ground, push & pull outward on the wheel. Grab the tire at the 12 & 6 o' clock position & push in one hand & pull out with the other, do that from top/bottom & side to side. the idea here is the check for any play in the wheel bearing or rear control arm. Listen for ANY thing that remotely sounds like a squeak.
I agree this would be a good troubleshooting step, but I do not feel that I can do this safely with the equipment that I have available. I am planning to have a trusted local shop lift it for me to examine, whenever I have the chance as my weekdays are devoted to school. Of course, I really shouldn't need to do anything of the sort with a new car.

step 7. check spare tire & jack in trunk & make sure they're secured...
Done and done, multiple times, even removed everything I could and it was actually louder.

step 8. rinse wash & repeat or take back to dealer if none of the above helps...
[mecry]
 

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Limits?

The reaction I see is like swearing off restaurants because of one bad experience.

Squeaks can be difficult to find/diagnose, and it seems that limiting yourself to the selling Dealer when you are currently living far away at school is a good part of the frustration involved.

I've seen one example reported here when it took the assistance of a Ford engineer & diving deep into the problem to re-weld a body seam to solve what seemed like a simple squeak. For the other extreme, I had a mildly annoying rattle from the trunk area on bumpy roads or spirited driving that I couldn't find easily even with the trunk area emptied. Finally noticed with a bright light that there was black velcro on the black trunk lid to attach the emergency trunk release handle to prevent it swinging & tapping on occasion - just didn't SEE the "obvious" in the dark. Dismissed that as a possible cause since it SEEMED to hang low enough not to hit on anything....
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Limits?...
There are two really good reasons to stick with a brand:

1. They sell a great product - the buyer feels they got their money's worth and the product is as promised.

2. They resolve any problems - the seller enthusiastically and competently resolves issues, and the buyer feels they got their money's worth after the resolution.

Neither of these has happened so far.

But, still, I do want to be a happy Ford customer.

I really want to love this car.

I would love for this issue to be resolved competently.

I want to keep my good relationship with the dealership I grew up visiting with my parents' service appointments, and now my own.

I'd love to want to keep buying Ford cars. Up until now I've evangelized for them among car-buying friends, based on past experiences.

But I cannot abide this squeak.
 

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Dealer sales and dealer service are miles apart. You owe the service departments no loyalty based on where you purchased, only based on what they fix. Try another dealer, but whatever you do, dont go over 12k miles until they fix it. Thats the point where they write off any complaints like noise and tell you to go away. Been there several times with new Fords. Try another dealer and tell them the first one was unable to fix it, sometimes they go above and beyond to fix your issue in an effort to win you as a customer.
 
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