Last post on Jan 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
What is this discussion about?
Ford Focus, Hatchback
#2628 of 2882 Don't Write off the Current ZX3
Jan 29, 2004 (9:26 am)
I had a very lousy 2000, a semi lousy 2001, and now have an excellent 2003. It's true that Ford has gotten the bugs out and now its one of the best built small cars out there.
Ford's idiocy in not properly trouble shooting the car before mass producing it (in America, the Europeans were more sensible and it has always been toprated over there) is, at this point, our gain, since the current car is made like a Honda, runs Hondas into the ground, has more room, and costs a lot less.
Have the last laugh. Trade in the 2000 on a new 2005 (make the dealer give you a good trade in, and if they won't because of its notorious bugs, call Ford customer service and ask for, and get, a customer appreciation certificate for from 1,000 to 2,000 to use on another Focus, to make up for your suffering). The new 2005 is due in April, and comes with DOHC engines on ALL models, larger disc brakes, and some other serious "running changes" that make the car very, very appealing. Oddly enough, since you like the Mazda3, you should know that the motors in the 3 and the Focus are "shared" albeit in different states of tune (variable valve timing, or not, etc).
Admittedly the Mazda3 is made in Japan, and may therefore have "some" of that Japanese quality, but keepin in mind that it is the first model year on a totally new platform, shared with the European Focus and with the Volvo S40. Ford made a deliberate choice NOT to upgrade to this platform in America in order to avoid "reintroduction bugs" based on a new model. Right now, I would bet on the 2005 Focus to be more "stable" as a "build" than the 2004 Mazda3.
Also, crunch the numbers real carefully first. Mazda3's are going for list price right now, Ford is offering $3,000 rebates plus dealers will knock off anything from $600-$1500 additional. Now the numbers look good for a long term "hold." The powertrain warranty is extended on the Ford, too.
As for bad Ford service, I have had nothing but great Ford service here...but I had to switch dealers to get it. There are a lot of Ford dealers, some are much better than others. If you get the regular maintenance from a regular favorite dealer, they'll look out for you much more than the selling dealer with a bad service department.
BTW, watch out for overpaying for service. I have to constantly tell them I don't want 5,000 or 7,500 minor and intermediate services, all I want is the oil change until the 30,000 mile when I'll get the full service - because that's all the manual requires (true, there are tire rotations before 30,000 but I don't like tire rotations). And read what the manual requires - don't let a dealer replace 100,000 mile spark plugs at 15,000 or 30,000 service; maybe at 50,000, but not before.
If you get a PZEV, even the air filter is extended change - I usually replace the filter myself every 10,000 miles, it is so easy to do, but this is not required on the PZEV.
The only thing to do MORE than the manual, is oil changes at 3,000 miles (severe service) instead of 5,000 miles; brake fluid changes between 24-36 months depending on your level of concern about moisture contamination; and transmission and radiator fluid changes much earlier than recommended, say every 30,000 miles.
Most of what they charge you for on 30,000 mile services is "just looking" anyway. Might as well keep the fluids fresh while the car is in the bay. The cars run on plugs, filters (air, oil, fuel - except non-serviceable fuel tank units - and cabin), and fluids...the rest is "solid" and "no maintenance required".
Oh, I have heard some people say that O2 sensors are also a weak link, more prone to contamination than the manufactures want to admit, often they don't outright "fail" but reduce performance, much like worn plugs, so if you are performance oriented, an earlier than strictly required change might be helpful.
No car is perfect. The 2000 Focus was a throwback to '70's quality control. But the current Focus is worth a second look. It has always been great handling and peppy, now it is reliable too.
#2629 of 2882 Soliciting fuel pump replacment experiences....
Jan 29, 2004 (12:56 pm)
I'm curious to know how many people have tried and been turned away with the fuel pump service campaign. I'm taking my car in on Monday to the same dealer that told me last year they would not be able to reproduce the hesitating I'm getting going around cloverleafs because there aren't any close by. They told me that will be able to get a code from the computer to see if the pump is indeed the problem.
I find this hard to believe because even in Ford's own memo it mentions nothing about trouble codes.
Anyway, they like to keep you on edge at the dealer so they use phrases like "*IF* your car shows the problem.... then we'll replace it." From the letter I read (the memo sent to the dealer, not to me), the burden of proof is pretty much on the dealer to prove to you that your problem is attributable to something other than the fuel pump. If they cannot prove it, then they're supposed to replace it.
The service advisor told me they have yet to see a car with this problem. Not encouraging
Jan 29, 2004 (3:22 pm)
I can't believe the service guy was able to keep a straight face while telling you he had never seen a car with the fuel pump/fuel starvation problem. I'm sorry, but this is exactly the kind of stonewalling that will keep me away from Ford forever. Jeez, that guy must have been trained by Honda
Feb 03, 2004 (6:32 am)
Well, had my fuel pump replaced yesterday. Not too happy about going in with 3/4 of a tank of gas and getting it back with less than 1/4, but it was well worth it. It's like driving a new car.
Feb 03, 2004 (6:39 am)
Your not serious, are you?
Feb 03, 2004 (6:49 am)
I'm serious, why? Not only do I no longer have to worry about dying on the highway again, but the stuttering, hesitation and surging that I had since the end of year 1 of ownership, have gone away.
I checked to make sure it was the new design pump, not the old one. I can only take their word for it.
Don't get met wrong, I'm sure I have yet undiscovered bugs and glitches to encounter, but for now, all is well.
Had they only admitted to this flaw two years ago, I would have been spared a lot of aggravation. It also warms my heart to know that ford had to shell out $$$ on my behalf to the tune of 200 - 300 bucks.
Feb 04, 2004 (6:08 am)
I mean about the gas!
Feb 04, 2004 (9:43 am)
Yeah, serious about that too They drained the gas and left it at 1/4 a tank. I didn't even bother to question it... more trouble than it's worth.
Feb 09, 2004 (1:34 pm)
My 02 ZX3 headlights only work when the engine is on. Not a big deal, but I suspect it may be a symptom of a bigger problem. Dealer checked it out and found all was OK. Service tech said this is a feature on some models...which I'm sure is total BS. Anybody else with this "feature"?