6th Sep 2015, 20:14

You mentioned the battery - I have a 2001 BMW 316ti, whose original battery failed in 2013. You're right - in my other cars, a failing battery gives some warnings, like cranking the starter longer before it starts for a few days. My one started exactly the same, day in, day out, until the evening I got home. Then the next morning, absolutely no juice - not even enough to make the instrument lights whimper with a very faint glow. Nothing. Like the battery just got stolen. The Auto Association battery fellow came over, saw the battery still had the BMW badge, and told me, "We... don't have access to these types of battery anymore." He said most batteries now last a maximum of 5 years.

7th Sep 2015, 11:11

Buy a battery maintainer, not a charger. Plug it in every time you pull in the drive. I routed the quick disconnect cable through the grille on one car. And on my Corvette I routed it up by the windshield and tucked it under the rise in the hood. I have gotten 6 1/2 years out of a battery. Changed it while still good at that point. Pretty amazing with continual battery draw for the computer and alarm. Battery Tender is one brand. Sears sells the maintainer, again not a charger, for around 30. I have them on my boat, motorcycle, and even a riding tractor. Keeps batteries at 100% winter or summer. A lot of batteries are small due to under hood space.

6th Oct 2015, 13:05


** This is a follow-up to my comment on September 6, 2015, one month ago.

Today is October 6, 2015, which means I have owned my Focus for 4 years and 4 months. The Focus has 61923 miles on it now, which means I have driven 1605 miles in the last month.

I had the 60000 mile service done and the Focus passed with flying colors. The dealer couldn't identify the squeaks (they heard the squeaks, though) and they said the suspension is fine. Time will tell if the mechanic was right, but for now I'll live with a squeak coming from the rear wheel area.

The brakes still squeak, too, but not as loudly nor as persistently before. The mechanic took an air hose and blew some dust out from around the brakes. They really only seem to squeak when wet or cold.

I don't expect perfection, and being Ford's compact car in 2011, I'm still pleased with the service it has given me. I'd still buy this car over again. I drove about average mileage this month (over the Focus's lifetime); at this rate I'm looking to cross 200,000 in about 7 years. I'll be 28 years old then; not bad for being the first car I got when I was 17! See you in December!

6th Nov 2015, 04:48


This will serve as my last update on the Focus. I was rear-ended tonight by a 2009 Silverado 4WD doing about 40 MPH. The Focus did its job - I walked away alive without injury. My neck hurt a little bit, and my legs ache like no tomorrow. The air bags didn't go off, and the seat recline mechanism broke in the impact. The rear deck behind the back seat was entirely crumpled, the deck lid is crumpled like aluminum foil, the back bumper fell off, the rear windshield shattered to smithereens, a tail light caved in, and both back fenders crinkled.

At 62193 miles, on 10/13/15, the Off button for cruise control quit working. The cruise still worked fine, but to disengage it, you had to tap the brake.

At 63149 miles, on Halloween, the Focus wouldn't start when I tried to leave Boy Scout camp. You could see the gauges move, and the lights and radio worked, too. A friend got in, bumped the gear shift, and noted that it didn't click all the way into park. Then it fired right up and ran perfectly.

I did end up repairing the rust by sanding it and spraying Rustoleum on it yesterday (63316 miles). Unfortunately, I'll never know if this was successful.

This Focus was an awesome investment! I ended at 63331 miles (to the best of my calculations). I still feel like the car could have made it to 200,000 based on what happened during my ownership. It was always very fuel-efficient, predictable, and the driver's seat was comfortable whether I weighed 220# or 251#.

The Focus took me through nearly 5 years of college, serving as the student body president, more jobs and orientations than I care to count (from being a detailer, to selling knives, to being a database architect), countless dates, and countless songs I heard for the first time. The Focus kept me safe, and even if it had been a crappy car all those years, the fact alone that I walked away unscathed tonight made me proud to say, "I own a Ford Focus."

Ford will be getting my business again. An exceptional car!