10th Sep 2007, 15:13
I am wishing you good luck on getting new tires. (check the Tire Rack for reviews). I had similar experiences with tire balancing as the reviewer had. I have the feeling that most shops have balancing machines that don't spin the wheels fast enough. I never had this issue in Germany and I remember that they spun the tires at much higher speeds. Here in the USA the perfectionist may need to go to a racing shop to get his everyday wheels properly balanced.
25th Oct 2007, 11:47
The Focus is definitely a very exceptional car. We had a 2001 ZX-3 with the large alloys and wide tires and we never had a problem at all with vibration from them (or anything else on the car). I'd opt for better tires even if you have to pay for them.
The Focus is only very slightly behind Consumer Reports top-rated Civic (which costs THOUSANDS more) and is several notches above the Corolla in quality and dependability.
Congrats on a very fine, reliable economy car with excellent handling and performance.
21st Dec 2007, 06:49
As for Goodyear Tires, most are nothing but chewing gum except for the Comfortreds I have on my car. They stay balanced, are unbelievably absent of squirm, make my Corolla more stable in wind and have cut the road noise by 50%. If you have Goodyear tires now, go to their factory Gemini store and they will usually work you a deal on the upgrade tires. Don't expect a lot though, cus the OEM stuff is cheap to begin with.
10th Apr 2008, 10:36
Re: Tires. Go to a pro shop. Also, do all 4 tires. It is possible that you have a bad rim. I know this from experience, and how aggravating it can be to have unbalanced tires. Just pay the extra bucks yourself. For new tires I highly recommend www.TireRack.com. Read the reviews. Often a local shop will almost match the cost from TireRack, and give you free rotation and balance.
18th Apr 2008, 15:16
I hope your Focus is still doing great. I just noticed that Ford has increased production of the Focus by 30% to handle the increased demand (sales were up 23% last quarter).
As for the tires, I just put a set of Khumo all weather AA traction-rated tires on my GM compact and I have NEVER seen such an amazing improvement in handling and braking!! It handles better than it ever has, no longer spins on fast take-offs, and stops in about 2/3 of the previous distance. I upgraded to a 2:15/60 size.
I knew nothing about Khumo except that they are included in many high-performance wheel packages for Mustangs (I own one of those also). They cost just over HALF of what a set of Michelins (which our other GM car has) does.
Don't let poor tires discourage your enjoyment of your Focus. Our 2001 ZX-3 was a really awesome little car and never required a single repair. It was so much better than our old Civic, there is no comparison.
12th Jan 2015, 03:36
Original poster again...
Had the dealer change the ATF at 60k, a couple years ago. The Ford dealer used aftermarket BG brand fluid. AT shifted funny after that. Going to switch back to Motorcraft AFT at 120k miles (about 9 months away).
Still on OE brakes, front & rear.
The PS pump started leaking, about 5k before the warranty expired. Dealer changed out and all is fine to this day.
OE battery died at 5 years... no big surprise
OE serpentine belt, tensioner, and rollers were replaced right around 100k miles, after one of the rollers started making a noise.
OE motor mounts were shot by 70k miles. They were causing the typical Ford Focus/Mazda3 engine noise problem, and by 100k, the noise and vibrations were unbearable. I changed the mounts, DIY, with OE mounts for about $200 and 2 hours on a Saturday afternoon.
Overall, and so-far, the Focus has held up pretty well. Frankly, better than I expected.
Based on this experience with Ford, I'd buy a new Focus, tomorrow, if it weren't for that blasted PowerShift DCT (...and my wife's inability to drive a manual)!
10th Mar 2017, 02:34
Original poster again...
Since the last update, I am now at 137,000 miles.
Front brake pads needed to be changed around 115k miles. I slipped-in some mid-line pads from AutoZone. Rear brakes are still OE.
The alternator let go around 120k, and at the same time the left front wheel bearing just gave up! Within 30 miles the WB had so much play that the brake rotor started rubbing the caliper! I never saw anything like it. I also switched to Mobil 1 ATF and the AT shifts much better than with the BG ATF.
The replacement (OE) Ford motor mounts installed in fall of 2015 are already on their way out... well the hydraulic one, at least, will maybe last another 6-12 months.
I'm getting a whine under acceleration when cold, I think it's the power steering pump/bearings. The PS pump was already replaced under factory warranty (bad machining on OE part from Ford/Visteon's now closed English Ave. plant in Indianapolis, IN).
Fuel rail pressure sensor/regulator throws a CEL occasionally... not consistent enough to replace the $80 part.
Overall the car has been fairly reliable, but due to their 'disposable' motor mount design, I will NEVER buy another Ford or Mazda car with a similar design. By comparison, I had a Prizm/Corolla for 240k+ miles which never needed a motor mount replaced!
26th Dec 2019, 16:49
Original Poster, again.
178k miles, now.
Just replaced the motor mounts again. Used Ford OEM, and vibrations are gone. Too bad I noticed torn ball joint boots while doing the motor mounts. Ford has a 10 year/150k mile life expectancy for the suspension components, so they have well served their lifespan, and then some. Local shop says $650 for MevoTech Supreme control arms... I'll probably DIY with Motorcraft control arms, after I figure out the extent of the air conditioning system leak. Oh yeah... 4 days after I replace the motor amounts, the A/C compressor started leaking oil (and Freon) out the hose connections. If this is more than just new o-rings, I will be dumping this car... it's not worth a $1500 A/C rebuild.
Those AutoZone Gold brake pads have been impressive and dust free. It's about time to do the pads, rotors and service the caliper pins... if I keep this car much longer.
Other things that have given trouble:
The rubber seal on the HVAC flap that directs air to the various vents has softened into a sticky goo that make the car smell like a horse barn when left in the sun, and prevents you from selecting different vent positions. Some folks (after they strip-out the selector gears) tear out the HVAC to remove this rubber goo. I just doused the flap with silicone spray and long tube. Works OK for now.
The cold morning whine, I believe is the emissions air pump... screaming a little on cold mornings. It hasn't gotten worse over the past few years. This thing only runs during warm-up which explains the cold-only noise.
Had a bad vacuum leak, causing the car to stall at idle. Local shop had to smoke the system to find the leak.
Cruise control quit working. First it started to disengage... then no function at all. I did the on-board system check, which gave no faults. I changed the brake light switch and and cruise disconnect switch... but this didn't fix the problem. System check runs the throttle motor, so this might be bad cruise control switches on the steering wheel. Going to hold off on further diagnosis until I decide if the A/C repairs will get done.
Front swaybar links got replaced again, but this was due to low quality AutoZone parts. Good they have a lifetime warranty.
Armrest hinge broke. Ford wanted $400 for a new assembly. Dorman sells a new hinge pin for $10. I replaced the hinge pin and all is good.
Driver's door handle (inner and outer) broke. Again... replaced with Dorman parts. The driver's door lock actuator quite actuating. Again, a $150 Dorman part was used. I am now an expert on how to R&R the innards of a 2017 Focus door.
Overall, this has not been a bad car, but like Scotty Kilmer says, Ford Focuses tend to fall apart as they age and accumulate miles. My last Toyota Corolla went 240k miles... and never replaced a motor mount, never replaced a ball joint, never had to service the A/C. Since Ford has given up building cars, and their new line of small SUVs are complex, troublesome piles of plastic, when this Focus goes to the giant car crusher in the sky... it will most likely get replaced with a Corolla.