18th Nov 2008, 14:59

I have been having problems with my 2000 Focus SE since the day I drove it off the lot. I was in a head on car accident. So, I only was able to drive to and from doctor a few times a week. 30 miles round trip.

Well, in 3 months my car had 12,000 miles on it. I was told by Ford my kids were taking my car at night for joy rides.

I have had everything possible happen to my car that everyone else has had. I have had a ticking in my engine since I bought the car and was told that was weather related or that they could not hear it. Finally when my warranty was 5 days within running out, Ford told me I had the best insurance out there and it was only 50.00 co-pay and everything in the car was covered. Why did they not tell me this when I first started having problems, and when I told them I couldn't afford the monies to have the problem analysed.

Anyway, they didn't fix my car entirely like they were suppose to and the warranty ran out. I still had the ticking. Brake problems, underbody problems. Lots of clunking.

And just lately the ignition went and I can't take the key out, or I won't get the car started as well, as all my door locks stopped.

And now, it flat out blew up.

I have complained to Ford locally and the corporate office several times, and they just don't want to step up to the plate. I feel violated by Ford. My car was truly a lemon and they did nothing to help me. And now they want to charge me $100.00 or more and hour to determine if a timing belt was put in properly or not. Does this just not take the cake.

My biggest wish is that Ford would apologize to me for all that they have put me through. If they would have done the right thing back in 2000, I would not be in this spot today.

Does anyone have lawsuits or anything that I can be in on? They really do take advantage of women.

I was also told that my car may have blown up by driving high speed. Going up a hill less than 40 mile an hour. Any advice would be of big help. Thanks sjwymore1@yahoo.com

20th Apr 2011, 02:01

I bought a 2000 Focus with 115k miles for 100 bucks. The owners were told it had a blown engine, but after replacing the timing belt and top motor mount, it ran like a dream. Dark blue 4 door stick shift. Nice looking car.

After new tires, brake rotors and plug wires, it ran like a dream. Very reliable. But at 155k it dropped a valve seat (at home, thank goodness) and put a hole through the side of the block. Plenty of oil and was never over revved. Handles great, but the SOHC engines are impossible to find! Finally found one with only 50,250 miles in Indiana when I was doing work near Ann Arbor Michigan. Brought the engine home to California, put a new clutch in and it drives like new. But seriously, why Ford can't make an engine that lasts more than 150k?? Everyone seems to be able to do so.

I knew the automatic transmissions don't last more than 125k at the most, hence the std trans. About the key problem that is such a hassle to so many people; I have replaced friends key mechanism (it's a very simple 20 minute job), but this one hasn't failed yet. The only problem other than the POS engine valve seat related failure, has been the failure of the Bosch made trunk mechanism. What a joke! No way to get into the trunk to fix it without breaking the rear deck and reaching into the trunk to break the darned thing. It took Ford 4 - seriously four! redesigns to get a decent trunk latch made.

Heck of a car other than these problems, but now I live in the mountains of California (600 inches of snow this year... I'm serious), so now I have an excuse to sell the Focus and drive my old Forester. Totally reliable, and even with the obligatory head gasket job, I feel safe knowing it will easily hit 300k; it's already got 190k and the Subaru still drives great and never even comes close to getting stuck in deep snow. I'd like to keep driving Ford's (my V8 Explorer is awfully reliable too, but it's only got 115k). Always liked the way the Focus drives, but an engine that blows for NO reason at 155k makes me drift over to a more reliable car. Hey, the Legacy and Outback are American made with 85% American parts. Heck; the Ford pickup is down to 65% American parts... Engines made in Mexico and etc tend to lower the American parts %. I tried to own American... I really tried... maybe I'll stick with the American made Subarus. I only buy used... and the Subarus we have now all have over 150k each and they never get stuck, and they actually hold together and are cheap to fix when they do break down.

The Focus could have been such a good car; sure wish the bean counters would be fired at Ford, and let the cars be made the way the engineers designed them.

Darned thing still looks nice. It really does. In our opinion, the 2000 Focus has better lines than the new Focus. Too bad the engine had such built in obsolescence. It's a shame.

10th May 2011, 11:52

Fix or repair daily?

10th May 2011, 13:49

You got this car with more than 100K and not running because it needed a timing belt. You really don't know if the previous owner damaged the engine to some degree and shortened its life. Obviously the previous owner doesn't know much about cars.

I don't think you can conclude from that experience that these engines don't hold up. The 4cyl Contour engine is basically the same, and they do hold up with proper maintenance. Unfortunately, often they don't get that maintenance.

10th May 2011, 15:56

Every manufacturers makes their share of lemons and problem cars... some manufacturers more and some manufacturers less... buying a used car nowadays can be a very expensive decision if you don't do your research and various tests on the vehicle... My advice to anyone who is buying a car/truck/SUV would be to read Consumers Report Annual Auto Guide that comes out once a year in April... they have a section for the best new cars with good reliability, and good used cars to fit your budget...

10th May 2011, 18:42

I'm the guy with the 2000 Focus I got for 100 bucks: to tell the truth, it never really was a "fix or repair daily" car... until the very end anyway... heck, it was a very reliable car its whole life until the very end we trusted it... MANY TIMES I let my daughter drive to Las Vegas (9hr drive from Reno where she goes to College) and to San Francisco (4 hr drive) and to LA (a 10 hr drive) all the time in the Focus without a worry. I honestly thought the stick shift would isolate us from breakdowns, knowing the automatic is a 125k POS...

Thankfully the only major breakdown was indeed in her driveway at home... but it was one heck of a breakdown... I mean really: an engine that puts a hole in the block because of a bad assembly procedure at the factory... I mean really: Ford makes heads that let the valve seat DROP OUT of it? I swear I've never seen an engine fail abruptly unless it was run without oil... but then I see the EXACT same failure on the Internet all over the place...

I'm trying to bolster the faith I had in the Focus, and justify all the long drives I let a young female take in it... but the more I think about it, the more I wish Bill Ford's daughter was forced to drive a Focus into the 150k range... and then when it failed (and it will), then we maybe would see proper decisions being made at a high corporate level... (The Focus still drove and looked GREAT, and it still had GREAT smog numbers until the day it failed). Didn't Rolls Royce made its reputation by running engines until they broke... and then figuring out how to make them last even longer... but the Bill Fords of this earth just buy their kid another new car, and never even think about putting their best engineers onto the task of improving otherwise well engineered engines... I mean really: an engine that can't exceed 150k???

Their competition can AND DOES make engines that commonly exceed 250-300k... and Ford can't?!!! It's still hard for me to believe... Such a good car... such a needless and common engine failure...