5th Feb 2007, 12:13

I purchased a 2003 Ford Focus SE 2 years ago. I have several complaints. The rear end is all over the road in the wind, rain, and horrible in the snow. The car simply won’t stay on the road in snow. This is a dangerous situation when other vehicles are passing you in a snow storm at 50 and you can only travel 25mph! The tires wear out quickly and there is a very annoying squeak in the left front break. I have had it in 3 times for the squeak and they insist there is nothing wrong. This winter the driver’s door latch stuck closed several times. WD40 worked. This car has the worst heater of any car I’ve ever owned. Getting rid of it this week (if I can).

20th Apr 2007, 09:54

I've noticed a couple of reviewers mentioning water leaks in the heating and cooling systems. My 2003 Focus was recalled for that very problem and was fixed at the dealership for free. Perhaps you should check with Ford about that.

15th Jun 2007, 10:12

I have a 2003 Focus and have had very few problems. Breaks were making noise the dealer replaced them. The car now has 56000 miles and the transmission is slipping, check engine light is coming on. I sure hope the power train coverage picks this up.

24th Jun 2007, 23:30

American made cars are only assembled in America, and the parts are not even made here.

23rd Jul 2009, 01:47

Seeing as how most of the problems I've seen have come in the first few thousand miles for most everyone, I have to say you are experiencing problems in the break in period. Pretty much all new cars have problems of some sorts, it's just like wearing in a pair of jeans. Unfortunately, the 2003 Focus seems to have more severe problems in the break in period, and a longer period than most cars.

As for premature wear on the tires, alignment isn't the only thing that can cause that.. camber, toe in/out, etc should also be considered. Remember, just because someone works at a repair shop, doesn't mean they are always right! Anyway, I bought my Focus with 90,000 miles on it, and I have not had any of those problems discussed, which is leading me to believe most are break in problems, since most all new Focus's seem to have them. As for the complaining with the latches for the trunk, horn, etc.. those are all quick, easy, and cheap fixes that you can do yourself in 5 minutes with a little mechanical know how...

Happy Driving!

21st Sep 2009, 20:15

Ford Focus SE 2003, purchased this vehicle used with 70,000 2 weeks into it, the dashboard controls stopped working, Not covered from place I bought it.. eventually replaced it, now have a problem with the front end while turning right, there is a banging sound and can be felt under foot... Any ideas as to what is causing this...

17th Oct 2009, 14:23

I just bought a 2003 ZX5 with 87,000 miles. & no warranty. "Check Engine" light came on after 30 days - thermostat - replaced it & motor mounts & 4 new tires. 30 more days and radiator sprung a leak - replaced it. On my way home noticed the temperature gauge was almost in the red. Took back to dealership - needed fan assembly and sensors replaced. Now the car just doesn't seem to run the same, sluggish on the FWY - possibly upcoming transmission problems. I had thought I got a good deal on the car initially, but has turned into a real cash cow!!!

17th Oct 2009, 19:24

It was a used vehicle. You took your chances. It sounds like it was HORRIBLY abused. And by the way, if you had your temperature gauge almost in the red zone, you probably seriously damaged your cylinder head, which could be causing your "sluggish" problem.

I owned a 2004 Ford Focus wagon myself. I put 143,000 miles on it in about 3 years. It never required a single major repair during that time. My only real complaint was that it required brake pads and rotors about every 20,000 miles (I service my vehicles myself, and IT DID need them that often.) I found it odd that it required those items so frequently, especially since I drive about 95% of the time on the highway, and didn't use my brakes really often unless there was traffic. The Honda Accord I owned before it needed brake pads every 100,000 or so, and it drove on essentially the same route the Focus did everyday.

I was happy with my Focus. Ford really fixed the problems that came with the Escort (I know about that vehicle firsthand as I owned one brand new in '93. I drove it for a whopping 10 miles off the dealership lot when it broke down in front of a Honda dealership. The dealership was very nice and offered to give me a free tow back to the Ford dealership where I bought it. But I simply told them that if it only lasted this long, I didn't want it. So I traded it in on a used Civic that lasted me 180,000 miles. Go figure.)

But I'd say you got a Focus that was abused.

9th Jun 2011, 14:00

I have a 2006 Ford Focus. I bought it brand new from a dealer in Chile. This model is built mostly in Argentina. It drives and handles pretty well with a lot of zest for a 1.6lt engine.

Problems I have encountered:

1.- Headlights burn out quite frequently (about one bulb every 6 months) and they are a real pain to change. You need the ability of a neurosurgeon to access the bulb.

2.- A more aggravating problem, which I attribute to a design flaw, is the windshield wiper mechanism. I had never owned a car in which the wiper mechanism failed, and I have owned my share of used cars. It rains quite a bit in the south of Chile, so this is a serious and dangerous issue. The problem is that the arm that transmits the movement from the motor to the wipers is latched on from underneath, held by a rubber grommet. So after just 5 years of use, gravity has caused the transmission arm to drop from the grommet. They should have designed the arm resting on top, so that gravity would work in its favor.