Last post on Jan 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
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Ford Focus, Hatchback
#2715 of 2882 7000 Mile Update; New shocks, adding aircon
Apr 27, 2004 (2:28 pm)
My 2003 PZEV stick shift now has 7000 miles on it. I replaced the shocks with Monroe Sensatracs and it is well buttoned down now. The factory struts/shocks were a tad underdamped - fine for smooth road, but disappointing on undulating roads or when encountering pavement irregularites in curves - car would bobble and not feel glued to the road. The Sensatracs too care of the problem.
Pep Boys did the install of shocks I had ordered from shockwarehouse online. Installation was cheap and quick, but there is a rubbing noise from the right corner (only when I push the corner of the bumper up and down, no sound in the cabin while driving). More significantly, the back seat quarter panels had to be removed to access the rear shock bolts, and they reinstalled the driver side with a clip not attached (I can hear it rattle if I thump the panel) and with a plastic rivet near the headrest left out...so I have to take it back. I would recommend going to someone more upmarket if you have this work done, Pep Boys seems ok on the gross mechanical work but handled the trim issues poorly. I will report back if they make things right; quite frankly, finding a replacemtn plastic rivet is going to be a hassle, none of those little body parts are interchangeable and just finding the right part on the computer at a Ford parts counter will take the better part of a Saturday morning, if I do it.
I am having airconditioning installed by an aftermarket provider who does dealer work. Sadly, Ford dealers tell me there is no "official" aftermarket kit for the car (California PZEV models were produced in small numbers in 2003) so the subcontractor who supplies to Ford put together an "unofficial" kit with all Ford parts (wiring harness, pipes, compressor, condensor etc.) If ther was an official kit, I would have the remainder of the 3 year bumper to bumper warranty, but as an aftermarket I get 12 months, 12,000 miles. Also no savings by going to the after market shop...$2,000! (But the shop has installed 12 of these kits already, a bunch of other people bought the $8995 ad specials without air last year and now want aircon).
Total cost of the car to date: $8,995+ 2 oil changes at $27 + new shocks ($175 parts, $250 installation)(remember this was elective) + $2,000 aircon (elective) = $11,474, still much cheaper than an aircon Focus.
The list on a 2004 ZX3 is over $13,00 without aircon, and now comes with steel instead of alloy wheels, so I figure I am still way ahead of the game...but I am queasy about "non factory" air and will let you know how that works out.
I test drove a 2004 VW Golf GL this weekend - it "talks the talk" - side air bags, side curtain airbags (different), ABS, 4 wheel disc, power windows, locks, alarm, mirros...but it doesn't feel as solid, powerful, or big as the Focus. Question: why not? Why is VW lagging.
#2716 of 2882 Vibration/rattling from C pillar
May 04, 2004 (1:13 pm)
I've only found a couple of posts on the board about this problem, but nobody mentioned a fix.
When my 2000 ZX3 was about a year old, I noticed that the passenger-side C pillar (the plastic cover that covers up the pillar that runs vertically next to the hatchback door) would rattle sometimes. Also, I noticed that there were about 3 or 4 pale spots that appeared on the pillar near the ceiling. At first I thought those spots were reflections of light bouncing onto the C pillar. I'm afraid that those spots are actually where the screws hold the C pillar to the structure of the car. It's not happening on the driver side at all. Has anybody else had this problem & what was done to stop the buzzing? I don't want to pull off the cover without hearing from others first (don't want to open a can of worms).
#2717 of 2882 2005 ZX3 Changes
May 06, 2004 (7:55 pm)
Does anyone have specifics on the 05 ZX3 changes?
I heard something about the Focus sharing base engines with the Mazda 3. Is that an improvement from the 04 base engine?
#2718 of 2882 Has anyone driven a Focus with the 2.3 engine?
May 09, 2004 (8:07 am)
I read that the PZEV Focus is also the best Focus in terms of Horspower and Torque, no surprise given its larger displacement (2.3L vs 2.0L). But I have been told it is only sold in California and a few other western states? That sucks. My little sister is looking for a few affordable compact car. I think this car has it all. But we live on the east coast ( North Carolina) and the dealer told us that the 2.3L engine isn't available on the east coast. Is that true?
#2720 of 2882 It's not true anymore...
May 09, 2004 (9:58 am)
Ford has changed the whole pricing strategy.
The 2.3 PZEV were available in every state for a short while and were a great bargain.
Now you'll have to "pay" for that option that is available in a "premium" trim only (ST).
May 09, 2004 (10:42 am)
Hi all. My 2001 only has 24,000 miles, most of which have been very enjoyable and with the exception of the recalls and 2 of those PCEV (or whatever you call them) sensors that had to be replaced, has been reliable so far.
The other day the Ford dealer did an oil change for me and told me that the front brakes need replacing. I did not go ahead with this as I have never, ever, had to replace brakes this soon. I drive quite conservatively and have always gotten the max from my brakes. I am somewhat suspicious (before this Ford dealer I have avoided bringing in any car for service at the dealership, but just can't find a qualified local mechanic at this time and location).
So, how many miles have you all put on the first set before they were shot?
Also, if I need to replace them, what do you recommend that would be a step up from the factory pads?
#2722 of 2882 Brakes
May 09, 2004 (10:04 pm)
The early Focuses are infamous for their prematurly wearing pads and rotors due to cheap materials.
They stop the car fine, just don't last.
The best deal I'm aware of can be located at very reputable www.batinc.net on page 5.
They sale the Euro quality sets of Mintex pads with the rotors for just $109.00
May 10, 2004 (3:16 am)
that kit from bat-inc is great. Been running it on my wife's car for 2 years. Good stopping power and feel. And it is nice not having the rotors wearing down like they were made of triscuits like the stock ones did!
#2724 of 2882 I love my 2.3 ZX5
May 10, 2004 (9:26 am)
I traded my 4wd pickup with a V8 and haven't had any trouble adjusting to this 4 cyl... Size wise is a different story...