OK, It's November of 2006 now. The Focus is still running good. The rear tires were getting pretty chopped up because of neglect on my part. I have not been rotating the tires. I finally did and it caused more road noise, but that's OK. They will wear round after a few thousand miles. My Radio I have not replaced yet. I figure AM radio is good enough and I'm too cheap at the moment to spend my money on that. Bills are more important at the moment. So far so good, it's at 70,000 thousand miles right now, and giving it an oil change this week. Since I switched to Synthetic motor oil, I will only be changing the oil every 10,000 miles.
September 11 2007. All is well with the Focus. It still handles like a charm.
Not a single problem other than having to replace the front brakes. I went with the Bosch Ceramics and I love them. No noise what so ever and no brake dust.
My radio as you know has had problems. It is now completely dead.
My gas cap tether is sticking a little bit, and I have to hold the tether each time I twist the cap closed.
I also had to re-torque my valve cover gasket because it was seeping oil on the exhaust manifold.
That's all for now, stay tuned for next year.
Thanks for the feed back, currently I'm considering on buying one and your posts have been very helpful. Thanks!
7/9/08 Focus is driving great. I'm at 93,000miles. Here are the general maintenance items I have performed in the last year.
- Front sway bar links started clicking/clunking over washboard (Michigan potholes) road surfaces. Replaced them $150-200 at a shops cost. $50 if you do them yourself.
- As other people complained, the thermostat housing (made of plastic) developed a hairline crack. Leaked coolant and had to be replaced along with the thermostat and coolant flush. Another $200-250 shop cost. $85 if you do it yourself.
- New Stereo, I bought a unit with a built in monitor that plays DVD's. Kind of cool, but I bought it cause I was going to Florida with some friends. Needed a radio at the very least. The factory radio I took a hammer to it. Man, those things don't come apart easy. :P $400 installed by Mr. Tunes.
- Replaced the tires last year, they were COMPLETELY bald. I could not drive over 40mph in the rain cause it was hydroplaning. I will never do that again. But I had no choice but to wait till they were bald, money was really tight. $450 Pells Tires.
- Replaced the fuel filter for maintenance reasons. Its supposed to be replaced every 30K-50K. I finally did it at 80K. Lack of fuel filter replacement is the number one reason for fuel pump failures. $60-100 at the shop. About $20 if you do it yourself.
That's it as far as maintenance. Now for other complaints.
The fuel cap tether is till sticking when I go to put the fuel cap on after filling my gas tank. I keep meaning to lube it, but since I fill up once a week, I forget to lube it when I get to the shop or at home. It's been 2 years and I'm too lazy (keep forgetting) to lube it. Man, what a careless mechanic.
My transmission (manual) makes a rattling (like marbles rolling down a rough table) noise at low rpm and high load in gears 1-3. This noise is actually caused by a large chain in the gear box. NO PROBLEM, just annoying if you're picky. It has been doing it since the day I bought it. All the Focus cars that I test drove at Ford (we had a large test fleet when I worked there) did this.
Lastly the AC (air conditioning) has to be recharged every year. I found the leak. Its at the condenser line connector. I know this because last time I charged the system I added dye. At the end of the summer the dye leaked out. It either needs new seals or new AC lines. Possibly even a condenser. It's cheap enough to charge the system in the spring, and it lasts me till the end of summer. Hey, whats $50 a year for AC recharge right!?!? 15 cents a day really.
Overall the Focus has treated me great. I will gladly buy the same thing again and don't regret the money I spent on repairs. In my opinion repair costs have been small. I expect next year to be about the same amount. About a $1000USD. It will include the major maintenance tuneup on it. Plugs, wires, timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt, PCV valve, fuel filter and oil changes. Little money now saves me a ton later.
3/29/10 My 2002 Focus is up to 110,000 miles. I plan on replacing the timing belt and the water pump this summer, because Ford recommends the timing belt be replaced at 120,000 miles. I have not had a single problem with the car this last report. I have just been keeping up on oil changes every 5,000 miles.
I am upgrading to a K&N air filter though. I want to prove to myself that I am right in my thinking. I don't believe that the K&N air filter will improve gas mileage. I am doing it as an experiment to see if I am wrong or not. I will let you know next year. At the moment I am still getting about 28 in the winter and about 32 in the summer.
Original writer here again to update you on my 2002 Focus ZX5.
I am still driving my Focus, and am at 147,900 miles on 2-27-2012.
The car is doing great.
The timing belt/tensioner have been replaced.
I replaced the radio yet again because the replacement broke.
Changed the engine oil every 5,000 miles with semi-blend, and it does not lose or leak oil. Actually it leaked from the valve cover, but I put a new gasket in when I replaced the timing belt.
The clutch pedal pin that pushes the master cylinder for the clutch broke. I had to replace the clutch master cylinder, new line to the slave cylinder and re-weld the pin on the clutch pedal (THE PART THAT BROKE EVERYTHING).
The hydraulic line got replaced due to rust. It snapped when replacing the master cylinder.
New shocks in the rear, struts in the front because the vehicle shifted and darted directions when hitting bumps on the road. It handles great with the new parts.
Changed my manual transmission oil at 145,000 miles.
I use my parking brake religiously, and it is starting to not hold when the lever is engaged. It is due to rusty cables. I purchased new cables, and they will be installed soon at a cost of $200 parts and labor.
The K&N filter added no gas savings as I suspected. But I would definitely buy it again. It pays itself off because it is reusable. I recommend a K&N filter to anyone who buys a car under 50,000 miles and plans on keeping it for 10+ years. Good, good product.
Overall I am very happy with my 2002 Focus ZX5. I have had my issues, but got them fixed right away. Always been that way with all my vehicles. And preventative maintenance is key.
HEY, I AM STILL ON MY ORIGINAL CLUTCH, AND THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO SIGNS OF SLIP.
My plans are to keep this car till it hits 200,000, then maybe buy a brand new vehicle next. I am making more money now than I have in the past. Thinking about a Taurus.
Final notes on the 2002 Ford Focus ZX5 with 165,000 miles from the original 2005 owner.
I have not had any issues with the car in the last 2 years. I changed nothing but the tires because they were low. I am selling the car after 8 years of ownership. My overall rating on this one is 8 / 10. I would definitely buy another vehicle like this one.
My next vehicle is a 2012 Ford Taurus. I hope have the same experience as I did with the Focus.