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Ford Focus Common Problems and Solutions

Reading these common Ford Focus problems should help you find out what is wrong with your Ford Focus – or just what to look out for in the future. We’ll also give suggestions on what to do if your Ford Focus does have one of these issues.

Air-bag problems

Problem:

The Focus built in March 1999 had recurring problems with the restraint system and airbags. The front and side airbags were known to deploy incorrectly and the seatbelt pre-tensioners were ineffective due to a control module fault.

Solution:

This problem was also subject to a recall by Ford in 2000. This should no longer be an issue on this car.

Difficulty level

5

Brake hose problems

Problem:

The Focus RS, built in December 2002, was known to have issues where the brake hose rubbed against the inside of the rear wheel arch. This was Ford's responsibility to fix, so you are within your rights to ensure that they sort it out.

Solution:

As mentioned above, this was a manufacturing fault and was subject to a recall by Ford.

Difficulty level

5

Oil filler cap problemOil filler cap problem

Problem:

A lot of the Focuses built from March 1998 onwards had issues with the oil filler cap, which became loose and caused a leak of oil onto the exhaust heat shield.

Solution:

This was also subject to a recall by Ford in 2000.

Difficulty level

5

Door latch problem

Problem:

Some Focus models built between September and November 1998 could have door latch issues due to a small plastic piece being faulty, which resulted in the door not closing properly.

Solution:

This was subject to a recall by Ford and should already be fixed on your car.

Difficulty level

5

Part you need

Door Hinges

Alternator problem

Problem:

The Focus model built between 1998 and 1999 has been known to suffer from alternator troubles, relating to short circuiting or overheating. This was usually caused by a faulty harness which caused the cable to come loose.

Solution:

This was a manufacturer's fault which was then subject to a recall by Ford. If it is now too late for you to be a part of the recall, then you may need to replace the harness and get a new wire.

Difficulty level

5

Air-bag problems

Problem:

The Focus built in March 1999 had recurring problems with the restraint system and airbags. The front and side airbags were known to deploy incorrectly and the seatbelt pre-tensioners were ineffective due to a control module fault.

Solution:

This problem was also subject to a recall by Ford in 2000. This should no longer be an issue on this car.

Difficulty level

5

Brake hose problems

Problem:

The Focus RS, built in December 2002, was known to have issues where the brake hose rubbed against the inside of the rear wheel arch. This was Ford's responsibility to fix, so you are within your rights to ensure that they sort it out.

Solution:

As mentioned above, this was a manufacturing fault and was subject to a recall by Ford.

Difficulty level

5

Door latch problem

Problem:

Some Focus models built between September and November 1998 could have door latch issues due to a small plastic piece being faulty, which resulted in the door not closing properly.

Solution:

This was subject to a recall by Ford and should already be fixed on your car.

Difficulty level

5

Part you need

Door Hinges

Alternator problem

Problem:

The Focus model built between 1998 and 1999 has been known to suffer from alternator troubles, relating to short circuiting or overheating. This was usually caused by a faulty harness which caused the cable to come loose.

Solution:

This was a manufacturer's fault which was then subject to a recall by Ford. If it is now too late for you to be a part of the recall, then you may need to replace the harness and get a new wire.

Difficulty level

5

Water leaks

Problem:

Any second generation Focus has the potential to encounter water leaking into the cabin due to faulty seals on the windows or sunroofs. Check for wet patches inside and check the seals before buying.

Solution:

If this is a problem on your Focus then you need to replace the affected seal to resolve the issue.

Difficulty level

3

Fuel pipe leak

Problem:

Any Focus built from July 2004 to February 2005 could potentially have issues with leaks in the fuel return pipe. These pipes were built from degradable materials which would eventually allow fuel to leak out.

Solution:

Again, this was another manufacturing fault which was subject to a recall in 2005.

Difficulty level

5

Part you need

Fuel Pipe

Wiper motor problem

Problem:

Cars built between April 2003 and March 2005 had known issues with the wiper motors. Water was able to enter the motor through the wiper arm which could cause short-circuiting and overheating within the motor, and in some cases nearby trims may melt.

Solution:

This was a manufacturing fault and should have been recalled in 2005.

Difficulty level

5

Power steering problems

Problem:

Focus models built from April to May 2008 could have power steering faults. The hoses on the power steering system were not built to specified standards, which caused them to degrade over time. This meant that the power steering failed and resorted back to standard steering.

Solution:

To fix this fault you will have to fit the new revised hoses to your vehicle.

Difficulty level

4

Part you need

Power Steering Hoses

Water leaks

Problem:

Any second generation Focus has the potential to encounter water leaking into the cabin due to faulty seals on the windows or sunroofs. Check for wet patches inside and check the seals before buying.

Solution:

If this is a problem on your Focus then you need to replace the affected seal to resolve the issue.

Difficulty level

3

Wiper motor problem

Problem:

Cars built between April 2003 and March 2005 had known issues with the wiper motors. Water was able to enter the motor through the wiper arm which could cause short-circuiting and overheating within the motor, and in some cases nearby trims may melt.

Solution:

This was a manufacturing fault and should have been recalled in 2005.

Difficulty level

5