Last post on Dec 19, 2012 at 7:45 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
What is this discussion about?
Ford Focus SVT, Ford Focus, Lights, Electrical, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
#383 of 486 Predicting or detecting electrical problems in 2007 Ford Focus?
Feb 17, 2011 (4:24 pm)
I have a 1999 Ford Focus and LOVE it - bought it used. Great gas mileage, no problems, etc. Am thinking it's time to replace it and was looking at the 2007 Ford Focus -(four door sedan) a used one, but see that some of them have LOTS of problems with the alternator or other electrical problems. Is there anyway to determine or "test" a used car to see if it has/will have electrical problems? THANKS!
#384 of 486 Re: 2000 ford focus engine hesitation/radio shuts off [careed33]
Mar 12, 2011 (3:20 pm)
My roomates 2001 Focus (2.0) has been giving us trouble, and I've basically taken the same steps as you. I replaced a very expsensive alternator, and it's still acting up. Sitting at a redlight, the headlights and dash lights go on and off, the gauges bounce back and forth and it runs rough. It does the same thing if I'm driving, but then it seems to slip out of gear and and the engine winds up. The gauges sometimes continue to work and you can see it wind up to about 4000RPM then it catches and slams back into gear if you don't let off of the gas pedal. It's hard to diagnose since it's intermittent, but I think replacing the computer is a good idea after reading your post.
Everyone agree with that?
#385 of 486 Re: Predicting or detecting electrical problems in 2007 Ford Focus? [99_escort_se]
Mar 12, 2011 (3:37 pm)
Drive it around...ALOT...even if you have to stop and put gas in it. Take it on the highway, up hills, etc.. Let it sit with the hood closed, running while you talk to the people afer you get back so it builds up a lot of heat under the hood - that will kind of help identify any "heat soaking" issues with elecrical components that only fail when they get really hot.
People get pissed off at me sometimes when I buy a car and test drive it. I try to drive for 30-45 minutes at least. It gives the car plenty of time to warm up and [hopefully] let any intermittent problems the car might be having. I know the older Focuses have quite a few issues from what I've gathered by reading in the forums - maybe electrical issues...but I would LIKE to think that Ford only improved on that and any later model would be much more dependable.
In the end, elecrical issues suck and are sometimes impossible to track down - especially if they are intermittent and only happen occasionally...those are the worst because it has to be failing before you can really diagnose it in most cases. I'm in no way an ace mechanic, but you'd be surprised at how many times I've saved myself from being ripped off by just driving the car a few extra miles and spending a little more time with it.
I had one guy leave only a tiny bit of gas in the car I was thinking about buying and said "just go around the block..." I told him I'd put gas in it, that I'd prefer he go with me and drive around for a few minutes - he refused and said another buyer was coming and he didn't want to miss him. The best part is that about 2 weeks later, I saw the car on the side of the road and a teenager was standing next to it. I stopped to see if he needed help and he explained that he bought the car and (LOL) immediately put gas in it and drove home. Poor kid said he didn't get 2 miles and it started overheating. It turned out to have a blown head gasket, and the jackass he bought it from had just changed the oil and water to hide it and let it limp by through the test drives. As long as it didn't get up to operating temp the head gasket was all but undetectable. I suggested he go drive it through the sellers front door. "Around the block", indeed. =)
#386 of 486 Re: 2000 ford focus engine hesitation/radio shuts off [corbryant]
Mar 13, 2011 (5:37 pm)
? why did you replace alt. assy. What is your battery voltage with eng shut off ? now start and run eng at 1000 rpm and check voltage at battery,
it should rise up to 14.2 to 14.6 but not much higher.
If voltage is not within spec. check ALL battery cables from battery to starter and battery to ground ( BOTH ENDS ) must be tight CLEAN & TIGHT
Let me know
#387 of 486 Re: 2001 Ford Focus - Gauges Erratic, Shift Issues, Flikering Lights
Mar 14, 2011 (7:46 pm)
It's not a voltage issue. The alternator was replaced becuase it was not charging (11.5v). The alternator that is on it now is working fine. I've already checked the voltage, which was over 14v under full load with the A/C on high and the high beams lit. I replaced the terminal ends today becuase I did find a .5 volt drop from the terminal end to mid way down the starter cable.. The headlights/dash lights still flicker badly and the gauges still sweep back and forth occasionally along with the shifting issue where it seems to fall out of gear when the lights flicker and all of that. I'm just going to replace the computer and pray that does the trick. I can't think of anything else that would cause this variety of issues - and I did find one instance where someones dash gauges were sweeping back and forth and replacing the ECU fixed it.
#388 of 486 Re: Ford Focus....lemon...??? [matsukes]
Mar 14, 2011 (9:31 pm)
The car catching on fire was a blessing. I wish ours would catch fire.. =)
Mar 15, 2011 (10:58 am)
I've seen the insturment cluster cause a bunch of goofy problems and need replacement.
Also, I think you have an acc. modual (mounted under dash, about mid way) that controls all
acc. radio, gauges, door locks,wipers, heater, but I'm not sure about the the headlights. that
may be a diff.problem. I would not be in a hurry to replace the main computer.
Keep me posted,
#390 of 486 Re: gauges [oldfordmech]
Mar 15, 2011 (12:56 pm)
Okay, so you're not the first one to say that, apparently. My roomate already has a new gauge cluster sititng in the garage. I think she had read that someplace else and ordered it but never had it put in because the shop she used in the past told her that wasn't it. I'll throw that thing in tonight or tomorrow and let you know. Thanks!
#391 of 486 Re: gauges [oldfordmech]
Mar 15, 2011 (3:31 pm)
Okay, so I just swapped the insturment cluster out with a fairly new unit. It only has 30k miles on it. I started the car and the gauges aren't acting up, and I'll be damned if the headlights and dash lights aren't flickering anymore. I haven't driven it yet, but I'd be willing to bet that the shifting problem is gone too - since it all seemed to always happen at the same time. I think it's fixed! I really appreciate the advice - I was ready to replace the computer - I would never have thought an insturment cluster could cause so many issues. Thanks!!
#392 of 486 Ford electrical problems
Mar 16, 2011 (7:16 am)
My husband has a Ford Focus and my son has a Ford Escort. My son has had to give up on his Escort and I don't know if any of this is related or not. From the time he bought it, he had a headlight that he had to replace several times. Then it reached a point that it didn't work so he changed the fuse and that seemed to be the problem. Then it started all kinds of electrical problems. The fuse buned out, the headlight went out again as did some other lights. He replaced the alternator, battery cables from the ground and the car would not start. It was towed and they simply did some tweaking on the battery and cables. Sometimes the lights, inside and outside, would just go off and then come back on and then go off again. This went on all the way to work one day. He also discovered that he had no tail lights so he drove with his flashers on. He stopped the car at work one day and it wouldn't start again. They had to tow it in for the second time. This time they replaced the alternator and more fuses. The next morning he had the Christmas tree car again as he called it, with lights flashing on and off. The garage did more checking and told him to not spend another penny on the car. His fuses were burning out but everytime he replaced them, it was doing damage to the alternator and battery. It seems that whoever owned the car before had electrical problems and they could not find the real reason so they had installed several ground wires, which you never do to a car and thus it was ruined. The fuses had to just be removed in order for him to drive it home. Now he has a car that runs find in the daytime but he has no lights, no interior lights and the only electrical thing that works is the radio. The garage said it would cost way more than the car was worth to fix the damage the previous owner had done as it would have to be completely re-wired from the front to the back. They said that was probably what was needed in the first place as this seems to be a common problem with these Fords.