Last post on Nov 29, 2011 at 9:58 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
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Ford Focus, Wagon
#501 of 637 Focus wagon 2003 won't start when hot
Jul 27, 2006 (5:40 pm)
Nine times in the last 16 months, my 2003 Focus ZTW (71,000 miles now) has left me stranded. The same thing happens each time. The weather is warm (or hot) and I drive 30 minutes or so, then stop at the store. When I come out 10 or 15 minutes later, the engine turns over but stalls, and won't start up again for about 45 minutes. At that point, it starts without incident.
My Ford dealer has no idea what the problem is, but they are the same people who needed four appointments with my car to realize it did have a serious transmission problem ( which they rebuilt at 34000 miles.
The car is perfect for me except that I can't trust it to start . . . any ideas?
#502 of 637 Re: Focus wagon 2003 won't start when hot [beccaorend]
Jul 30, 2006 (2:21 pm)
Are you running the air conditioner on these warm/hot days?
If so, is the air conditioner factory installed or installed by the
My Ford Bronco II (1987) had a similar problem. The air
conditioner was installed by the dealer and the dealer did
not upgrade the radiator per spec, instructions and price.
I had another mechanic install the correct radiator for me
and all was well.
Of course, your mileage may vary.
#503 of 637 Re: Focus wagon 2003 won't start when hot [etmom7358]
Jul 31, 2006 (2:34 pm)
I am an "open window" kind of person, and only use the AC when I have to be really presentable. My AC is factory, and hasn't been on any time my car has failed me.
Thanks for the input.
#504 of 637 Re: Focus wagon 2003 won't start when hot [beccaorend]
Aug 01, 2006 (10:33 am)
Wow, seems there are too many flakey Ford service departments. Seems any dealer or good mechanic could take a stab at this 'cuz it is not that uncommon of a problem. I have had cars in the past which exhibited the same thing to a lesser degree but I don't know anything Focus-specific. I think a probable cause is "Vapor-lock".
#505 of 637 Re: Focus wagon 2003 won't start when hot [jazvan]
Aug 01, 2006 (3:59 pm)
"Flakey" is a kind way to describe my Ford service department. It took four visits for them to agree that there was a problem with my transmission (which would suddenly throw me forward as I would drive down the road). They finally rebuilt it under warranty. It took them two hours to determine that the reason my brake lights didn't work was the wires at the back gate had broken. My girlfriend who is a church organist diagnosed the problem the minute I told her about it. It happened with her Volvo.
From what I have read, it is very unusual for a fuel-injected car to have vapor lock . . .the Focus is fuel-injected, isn't it?
#506 of 637 Re: Focus wagon 2003 won't start when hot [beccaorend]
Aug 04, 2006 (12:05 pm)
Yes, all Focus are FI to the best of my knowledge. My Sciorocco was FI and that was the one I had the most problem with. I'm not sure vapor lock is the right term or diagnosis but the symptoms were like yours. I wonder if yours is 2.3 PZEV. That has a lot more plumbing and pollution control.
#507 of 637 Re: Rear wheel noise on 2003 ZTW wagon [jdudzienski]
Aug 14, 2006 (9:06 pm)
I have an 01 wagon. I had to replace both of my rear wheel bearings coz they are complete shut. I guess i'm a bit lucky since it was about 100k when i had to replace them. BUT they are making noise bad just after 10k and 13 months, which could be another 600 dollars out of my already slim pocket.
#508 of 637 Re: rear lights/electrical [robinc2]
Sep 14, 2006 (3:48 am)
My 2002 Focus Wagon is in the shop right now with the same problem. I have to buy a new wiring harness and get it installed, gonna cost a minimum of $600, and the dealer did not provide a loaner car. This really sounds like a design flaw to me. That hatch should be designed to open & close a billion times without damaging the wire bundle. I think Ford should pay for this and correct the problem. Thank goodness I have a Chevy to drive while the Focus is down!
#509 of 637 Which oil filter??????
Sep 14, 2006 (10:27 am)
Have a 2000 Focus wagon SE with ZTech engine. There seems to be confusion as to which Motorcraft oil filter is right for the car. I have called different dealers and ask. Some say the FL400S if it is not the SVT engine and some say it is the FL2005 if it is ZTech. The last time the iol was changed at the dealer, they used the FL400S. The Motorcraft website says FL2005 for 16 valve dohc and FL400S for the SOHC engine.
Anyway, I'm totally confused as to the absolute correct filter to use. If anyone could enlighten me , I would appreciate it.
#510 of 637 Re: rear lights/electrical [skinnyturtle]
Sep 15, 2006 (3:25 pm)
I had the same issue (one of many) with my 2003 Focus ZTW. The guys who change my oil noticed that the brake lights at the top of the hatch door weren't working. They changed bulbs, but still no lights. At that time, my regular brake lights and turn signals still worked.
When I went to the Ford dealer for my state inspection (and recall for the rear latch), it seemed that I had no brake lights at all. They worked on it for two hours ($$$$)before discovering the problem was the wiring at the top of the rear door. As the service manager told me "it is from slamming the door". I said, "Oh, you mean from opening and closing the back gate? Shouldn't that be considered normal use?" Duh.
They suggested a whole new electrical harness, but we opted for repairing the wires. I still ended up costing me a fortune, but they did it while I waited.
I hope to be trading it in this weekend - but not for another Ford.