6th Jan 2005, 09:16
Comments about the wheel bearing are interesting to note. I've just acquired a 2001 Focus Turbo-diesel Estate with 70K on the clock and it drives very well. However, there is noise intrusion when speeds get above 35mph. My immediate reaction was 'tyre noise' - the car's fitted with Pirelli P6000s - but there's no escaping the din once the car gets going. Maybe it's because it's an estate. I'm going to get a sound-proofing kit to see if that improves things.
23rd Jan 2005, 05:39
I think the Focus is prone to road noise anyway, particularly the estate. However the bearing type noise does sound like exaggerated road roar, but it has a kind of "throbbing", droning quality to it. Mine's most noticeable at 40-50 mph and again at 70+, and is louder after a long motorway run, presumably where it has overheated. It also gets worse on right hand bends and roundabouts, so I assume it's the left hand side (as it takes the extra load on right handers). Doing a bit of hunting around online, wheel bearing failure on the Focus is not particularly rare which makes it even more odd that my dealer is pleading ignorance.
I've found another dealer in my area, so when the car goes in for it's 87,500 mile service next week I'm hoping they will check it out a bit more thoroughly. Will keep you posted.
15th Feb 2005, 01:18
87,500 mile service carried out and the car continues to be in fine fettle with the exception of this rear end drone. The dealer simply cannot find anything wrong with the rear wheel bearings or suspension. The technician acknowledged the rear end was noisy, but apparently, everything checks out fine. The only thing that did stand out was an out of shape rear tyre on the same side the noise is coming from, which apparently has worn down to 2mm on its inside edge, but has 8mm across the rest of the tyre. I will replace the tyre, but it's quite worrying that this has happened and nobody seems to know why.
I was much more impressed with this dealer's professionalism and attitude right up to the point where they lost my locking wheel-nut key and tried to say it wasn't in the car when I dropped it off. I eventually got a replacement, but it took half an hour on the phone and a trip back before they relented. Thankfully on the revisit, the service area was full of customers and I was clearly not in the mood to be fobbed off, so a new key was provided quickly and discreetly, without having to resort to customer-worrying raised voices. It's still annoying having to argue these matters though. My friend had a similar thing with a Mercedes dealer a couple of years ago, and they fitted a new set of nuts to the car and apologised profusely as soon as they worked out what had happened. I had to argue and explain that doing 1,000 miles a week most weeks, I don't drive the car around without the tools to be able to change a wheel. It worked, but what happened to "the customer is always right"?
The Focus is still a great car to drive, but the fact remains it has an ongoing problem that nobody seems to be able to fix. Unfortunately, this problem impacts severely on the refinement and comfort of the car, and the dealer frustrations I have had unfortunately mean I probably won't buy another Ford car. Or if I do, I won't have it serviced at main dealers. Best car in its class? Undoubtedly still up there. Good ownership experience? No!
18th Mar 2005, 11:17
Having changed one or two wheel bearings over the years, I wonder how the dealers have checked for wear. I have known of rear wheel bearings being damaged by curbing whilst going around a roundabout, with a little too much vigour - after about 1000 miles the bearings started to make the usual droning noise. Only when I replaced them and really carefully examined the ones taken off the car, could I see minute indentations in the outer race caused by the rollers being subjected to a sudden impact.
I guess that if you instruct the dealer to change the bearings on that side the problem will go away.
21st Mar 2005, 11:01
The lease company collected the car today. At 91,000 miles I was over the 90k lease limit, so it had to go back. I was sad to see it go which says a lot really, despite the ongoing fault. After spending about 2 hours cleaning and polishing, it came up almost as new, apart from a few stone chips on the bonnet and a moderately worn gear lever knob.
I have now as a temporary measure a 60,000 mile hatchback version of the same car which is identical except it's 6 months newer (52 plate). This car is so much quieter than the other one it is untrue, which confirms that I wasn't imagining the fault.
The example I've just picked up hasn't, according to the books, been serviced for 35,000 miles! Seems to drive OK though, and feels pretty lively, so it would seem these Endura DI's are tough old lumps even when thoroughly neglected.
I will be getting it in for a full service and checkover as soon as I can however. What impressed me though was that going from the 91,000 miler to the 60,000 miler presented such a small difference. A slightly tighter gearbox on the younger car, plus the quieter reat end. That's about it.