2nd Dec 2005, 03:25

I've had a ZX4 ST for almost a year and it is one of the most efficient, well designed cars I have ever owned. I have the five speed and the drive train is so well designed and machined that I am able to shift, without grinding, clutch free into all five gears. Down shifting is a little more tricky and is more speed dependent. The car is comfortable, quiet, fun to drive and economical. I have had no mechanical issues in 23,323 miles. One voluntary recall for the rear door hinges, but I would recommend the Focus to any of my closest friends. I am confident that they would still be my friends after buying the car, too!

11th Dec 2005, 20:21

I bought a 2005 Ford Focus SE ZX-4 in August. This vehicle runs well and is great on gas. There are a couple of things I don't like about it though. I tried sitting in the passenger seat while my friend drove and there isn't much room over there and I'm 6' and 230. Yes you do feel somewhat a draft in the weather seals. Besides that not much to complain about. It's not to good in snow or rain, but I also have the low profile tires on it maybe it will be better when I change to better all weather tires.

28th Dec 2005, 22:04

Back to the original posting, I fully understand why this would be a complaint. To have nagging little problems on a brand new car is ridiculous. I have a new focus and have had some similar problems (ST model). The people saying you have nothing to complain about obviously don't make their own payments. This site is here for this reason and I like to know all complaints before I buy a new car. If you want to read only the positive things, read the review links from the Ford website.

29th Dec 2005, 10:04

I have an "05 zx4-SES. I purchased it with 15000 miles on it in JUly and it now has 42000. It has been a trouble free car and the Mazda engine and Transmission are excellent. I have the same squeaking with the brakes and I've had them checked and dealer said it was normal for this car. I use the brake cleaner mentioned earlier and it does quiet them down. Other than that I've had no problems with this car and would recommend it.

The car handles good and is fuel efficient. I wish it had some of the Mazda features in the body though. I don't like the parts that Ford built, but the Mazda design 2.0 is a great engine that has been used in the Protege for years and is very reliable.

27th Jan 2006, 23:54

Partial quote of comment above:

"To have nagging little problems on a brand new car is ridiculous."

On the contrary! From my experience, the "nagging little problems" are MOST LIKELY to appear within the first weeks and months of ownership! Every new car I have bought, regardless of make, has had little problems crop up right away - some of which have been frustrating. But that is what warranties are for!

A little patience, a few trips to the dealership, being respectful, but firm, clear in articulating what the problems were and what I expected, and those "teething problems" eventually got solved - one by one. After that, I received years of perfectly good service from the vehicles I have purchased.

People commonly make the mistake of thinking that a car should be perfect as it leaves the factory. This is always the aim, of course, but the challenges of getting the literally hundreds of thousands of parts in a modern car to fit and work together simply preclude real-world perfection. Indeed, a car may be nearly perfect as it leaves the factory, but after travelling thousands of miles - or even halfway around the world - vibration can knock things loose, etc. while the vehicle is in transit.

New ships and aircraft get "shakedowns" to find and fix small problems before they are put into regular service. Cars are smaller, but they are nearly as complex, so a similar "shakedown" period is to be expected. I consider it a wonder of modern technology that cars work as well as they do.

28th Jan 2006, 00:20

Squealing brakes is NOT a malfunction. Not usually anyway. Disc brakes dust up, the dust is squeegeed by the pad as the disc rotates, and at certain speeds might cause the metal brake disc to resonate, hence the squealing. This is - at least with my car - most likely to occur in wet or damp weather, when the brake dust can get wet and become a clay-like consistency.

Brake pads are made of different formulations, too. Some pads will squeal more than others. I find that European cars (Ford Focus is essentially a German car made in the USA, powered by a Japanese engine) seem more prone to brake squeal than others. But European cars tend to have better brakes, too! They have to! They drive really, really fast over there! Speed limits are high or even in some places, non-existent. When you routinely drive over 100 mph, you take your ability to stop quickly very seriously. You can get quieter pads, but they usually don't stop or resist fading as well, nor do they last as long. The proper brake pad compound involves a lot of engineering trade-offs. Europeans usually opt for stopping power over quietness. And so should YOU!

Most people don't know this, but the brake pads drag on the rotors a tiny bit even when the brakes are not being applied. This is necessary in order to avoid excessive pedal travel. So squealing can occur at any time, causing people to worry that something is wrong with the brakes or wheel bearings. This is VERY RARELY the case!

Sometimes the squealing is a symptom of a problem, but usually, in that case the squealing will be accompanied by a metallic grinding sound, a sharp tug to one side on the steering wheel, a pulsing or vibration through the brake pedal, or a combination of the above.

The whole world is going to hell on a hand truck all around us, and you are worrying about a little brake squealing. It must be nice.

21st May 2006, 20:54

I have a 2005 Ford Focus ST.

Well first off, after driving this car 2800 miles. About 20 miles per day with no noticeable problems.

No oil lights overheating or engine noise to warn me at all. Well, anyway I was getting on the highway and started to accelerate when I heard a loud tapping sound and sudden power loss. I pulled over, checked my oil, and it was almost empty??? I have a 2002 Ford Exploder I bought new that does not consume any oil at all, always right on the line.

As far as the brakes on the Focus are concerned, I never hear them at all, they work good.

Well after Ford swaps engine assembly's, I will check the oil every time I fuel up the lemon.

18th Jul 2007, 20:35

I have had a 2005 ford focus st for almost three years now. I have not had any problems what so ever. Fun, inexpensive and very safe driving.

23rd Aug 2007, 15:41

My 2005 Ford Focus Transmission fluid, Mercon V stinks to high heaven and smelled burnt so I had it flushed with 16 Quarts. Not sure if that was the issue because when you smell Mercon V fresh from the can it smells burnt also. So don't change it just because it smelles burnt. Not like most other trans. fluids, it is a Synthetic. This should save you some money.

15th Oct 2007, 14:23

I have had my ford focus for almost 7 months. The transmission sucks. It was replaced before I bought it and now it needs to be replaced again. But it's a great car beside the transmission. Anyone else have a problem with a 05 ford focus zx4 SE ?

12th May 2008, 23:34

I have had a Ford Focus for 42,500 miles. Something happened with the fuel lines and gas tank. Haven't found out the deal yet, but it was leaking badly by the motor and by the gas tank. Anyone heard of this?? This is not a bash on the car - so far it has been a great car. I may not have that same opinion when I get the bill for the repairs. Lost almost a full tank in a 15 minute drive to work. It only leaks when the car is running.

31st Jul 2009, 19:41

The transmissions aren't known for being good, a company around here (Nova Scotia, Canada) has Focus wagons as company cars; every 100 000 kms or so they bring one in and it needs a tranny. They brought an 03 in with 103000 and it needed one, and an 04 needed one after 150 000. Common I guess.