Last post on Nov 29, 2011 at 8:58 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
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Ford Focus, Wagon
#195 of 637 Ford 03N01 fuel pump run-around
Mar 01, 2004 (5:31 am)
I have a 2002 Focus wagon. I have been having problems with the engine stalling at sudden stops and surging at normal driving speeds. Ford dealer has been telling me for some time that the problem was in my head, not in the car. When I received notice of the extended warranty coverage for the fuel pump, I immediately called the Ford service manager and said I wanted a new fuel pump. He said I could bring the car in and if they could determine that I had a fuel pump problem in the shop, they would replace it. But, I said, the problem doesn't occur all the time, or even most of the time; just occasionally. How long do you think I can afford to have my car sit in your shop until it proves it has a problem, I asked? Well, that's the only way we will replace the fuel pump for free, he said.
Now, the problem with this is that the notice from Ford says something else. It says that if I say I have the problem, and if Ford cannot determine that the problem has some other cause, then they will do a free replacement.
Also, in a Feb. 13, 2004 letter to the Center for Auto Safety, which you can find via the following link, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote: "Owners will be able to obtain the free remedy whenever they experience any stalling symptoms, without any need for dealer confirmation of a problem with the FDM (i.e. fuel delivery module; aka fuel pump)." In other words, Ford is promising the NHTSA one thing, and telling us suckers who bought an early Focus another.
Mar 01, 2004 (12:01 pm)
In my experience the way to deal with this is to write a letter. It's amazing how they suddenly take it a lot more seriously when it is in writing. I'd write the dealer and CC Ford. It's a hassle but in the end you may have to do it anyway.
#197 of 637 Fuel pump
Mar 03, 2004 (6:52 pm)
Mine is being replaced right now, at the second dealer I took it to. The first wanted to charge $2200 to replace the head because of a carbon buildup on the exhaust valves TSB 020901. The second dealer tells me there is no buildup, but he did drop the tank and found stuff in the pump inlet, qualifying me for warranty replacement.
Bottom line - there are so many problems with these cars you have to find a dealer you can trust and get whatever needs to be done while you're still under warranty. This may mean putting up the money for diagnosis. It's aggravating, but it's not worth saving money now to be left paying big $$ or arguing for customer goodwill later. You know your car and the service people know how to find the problems. Work with them.
Time will tell if I made the right decision, but sometimes you have to do something.
#198 of 637 abonilla - head gasket @ 38K
Mar 04, 2004 (9:24 pm)
if smoke came out the vents 2 daays before, it means your heater core failed, then you kept driving the car, the coolant all leaked out the heater core, and you blew the motor. I'm surprised Ford is offering any assistance at all. The steam coming from the vents was the indication to get the car to the dealer immediately. Heater cores fail for a number of reasons. For some reason, on Fords, they fail dur to corrosion from of all things, static electricity. The way to keep this from happening is to make sure all cooling system components are properly grounded. I'm not joking. Put grounding straps on the heater core, on the radiator, and any metal lines in between. It will prevent this from happening again.
#199 of 637 TRACTION CONTROL
Mar 14, 2004 (5:56 am)
An earlier post asked about traction control. I believe that Ford has discontinued it as an option for the Focus despite it allegedly being one of the best systems on the market. Too few ordered it and the cost drove the MSRP too high when all the other options were added. This may be more appropriately referred to as a vehicle stability system.
#200 of 637 ZTW Wagon questions
Apr 04, 2004 (11:07 am)
Hello everyone, first time poster here to this board. I am thinking about buying a 2004 ZTW Wagon, Sport Group w/leather & heated seats. I have read previous posts re how uncomfortable the lumbar support is on the driver's seat, so I hope to be able to take a long test drive to check this out before buying. Also, does anyone have the leather seats, and how durable are they? How about the heated seats? How well do they work? Do they have 2 settings, for low and high heat?
Also, the side air bags... do they protect just the torso area, or the head and torso? Thanks.
#201 of 637 Looking too
Apr 05, 2004 (4:42 pm)
I've been looking at the wagons too for some time and been on the verge of writing the check recently. I have road tested 04 wagons and rented an SE sedan for a long trip and found nothing remarkable about any of the seats and am not too worried about it. But I know the owners comments will carry more weight. There are some hard core Focus sites and it seems not an issue to most people. Worse possible case you can get some aftermarket seats with the money you save on this vehicle. The side air bag is not a curtain if that was the question. Not sure if it protects the head which I think is way more important then hip area. Here are some items that people do notice - inconsistent start times - they don't seem to always start right up and that is probably a function of PZEV emissions. In the unlikely event you are looking for a 5-speed (I actually found some) the 1st to 2nd gear change is a little clunky and surprisingly that tranny is made in Germany. Also the rear shocks in the wagon don't seem to be firm enough - some folks get new firmer ones even on a brand new car and are happy they did. Well, the prices are sensational and I still think it is an unheard of bargain especially with the warranty. Car and Driver just did a quick road test on a 2.3 wagon with a 5 speed and got 0-60 in 7.8. Not bad at all. If you've seen the 2005 which will be released early (soon) I think you may want to get the 04 while you can. The 05 has been really uglified IMHO and they will drop the 2.3 from most models and go back to a 2.0. Hope some of this might help.
#202 of 637 Thanks for the info, Jimjps
Apr 09, 2004 (7:52 pm)
Just wanted to say thanks for your response to my posting. Lots of good info you provided. I hope to test drive a ZTW soon, as I have found one in a local dealer's inventory thru Ford's website with the options I want. I am looking for an auto, but I did happen to find one in my state with a 5 speed. I agree with you that the '04 does seem like quite a bargain, especially with the $2500 rebate. Also, I would prefer to have the 2.3. Is this the same 2.3 that Mazda has in its new 3 model? I noticed the 3 has a higher hp rating 160 compared to the Focus 145.
I also did some further research re the side air bags, and they do cover both the head and torso areas.
Since you have already test drove the '04 wagon, what is your opinion re ride, handling and noise level? Thanks.
Apr 10, 2004 (11:44 am)
Thanks for the info on the SAB's,
The 2.3 is the same basic engine and Mazda designed it. The difference is the Mazda has variable valves like a Honda VETEC so it kicks in extra hp on the high end. The engine feels the same to me except the Mazda spins up better to red line. It is exceptionally smooth like a V6 - they did a super job with the balance shafts. Also the Focus engine is made in Mexico and the Mazda in Japan. I'm not too worried about this because it is all new tooling and Ford has been pretty good with their new engines and it has that super warranty anyway. Note that the Focus wagon 0-60 is just .1 second slower then the SVT 170hp. The 2.3 PZEV guys on another site are having a good laugh over this one! I personally would not get a Focus without it. I think the suspension strong point is that it is about as quick and precise as a Civic (which I think is a benchmark in small cars) yet it is more compliant and feels like it has more travel. ON the other hand the Focus is a little higher so it rolls just a little more. The only caveat is the rear suspension which does not dampen rebound sufficiently. I would replace the rear shocks with KYB GR-2's and leave the front alone. Someone on another site replaced the rears with Koni's (maybe overkill) and was very happy with the results. Noise level is pretty good. AT bout 75-80 I began noticing acceptable wind noise around mirrors but only because the car was otherwise quiet. I was expecting the rack to get noisy but it didn't. It didn't have cross bars installed. I'm not sure the cross bars are standard on the 04. Other possible problem I noticed was same I refered to before. The car had an initial long start of a few seconds, next start was still a little long. Not sure if this is some from sitting on lot too long but I think it is PZEV emission issue. I will check it again on my next test cuz the car still has not sold. Also I think the steering wheel placement on the SE is too far from driver - but on ZTW you can adjust with the tele/tilt wheel. I have to ask what state you are in, because I can't find a ZTW 5-speed wagon here in California. Pleae let me know your impressions of the car. With all the analysis of the thing I've done I don't know why I haven't bought it yet!
Apr 10, 2004 (5:03 pm)
Thanks again for your comments and analysis. You certainly are a wealth of information on this Focus ! I live in Colorado, and the one ZTW 5-speed I found here is in Rifle CO, which is on the western side of the state on I-70. This ZTW is white w/beige cloth interior. It has the weather package and sport group, but no ABS and no side air bags. It's MSRP is $18,155. That would be quite a drive for you from California !
I didn't have time today to test drive the ZTW, but hope to next Saturday. I only found 2 or 3 ZTW's in local dealer inventories w/ the options I would like... Sport Group, auto trans, heated seats, side air bags and ABS. Most models in stock are the base SE models.
This next week I am going to check w/my insurance agent for rates on the ZTW.
I am also going to test drive the Mazda 3 hatchback for comparison. I know it has less than half the cargo capacity of the ZTW, but from all I have read about it it seems to be quite an appealing car.
Have you shopped any other small wagons? I have also considered the VW Jetta, Subaru Forester and Outback, PT Cruiser, Toyota Matrix, and the new Mazda 6.