Bye bye Focus

In 1999 I bought a Focus 1.6 Zetec 5 door. It came with a list of problems. My local dealer had it in repeatedly and even managed to fix some of them.
Finally I almost managed to stop the tailgate rattling. Never did sort out what the whistling was between 800 and 1200 rpm on cold mornings. I reckon air intake but Dovercourt thought pulleys and replaced them to no effect. Drop links and discs lasted 3 years.
Lovely car to drive but couldn't face replacing it with another Ford and having to deal with Ford dealers again.
We need 2 cars so had bought a Mazda MX5 30 months ago. No faults (except the usual 2002 clutch modification to cure the slight judder) and excellent service from John Pease Mazda.
On 1 September we took delivery of a Mazda 3 Sport hatch to replace the Focus. Been all over it and haven't found a single fault or blemish anywhere - so far. A lot of car for the money.
So after 5 years its bye bye Focus and bye bye this newsgroup.
Hugh (Don't reply to my return email address)
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"Hugh" <x-directory> wrote in message

Hi Hugh, Please don't leave the newsgroup yet, it would be of great interest to see the difference between the Mazda 3 and the Focus plus the difference between the Ford dealer and the Mazda dealer. Interesting particularly as Ford now "owns" Mazda and the Mazda 3 floorpan is shared by the new Focus and the C Max. All of interest to this group particularly the UK readers.
Did you buy it new and what were the main problems you had (other than the familiar tailgate rattle).

Still got my originals at 4 years plus (Jan 2000 1.8 Zetec) 48K miles approx - How many miles did you clock up?

Know what you mean, I have a good family Ford dealer Watson Ford in Marske (near where I used to live but are now 45 minutes away - well worth the drive there - they normally give me a FREE courtesy car if they can't do things while I wait) - they have been excellent, I have tried the more local Ford dealers and not only were they more expensive they were very unreliable and left the car in a filthy state with the trim not re-fitted correctly last time I got them to do something. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt and to give them a chance to redeem themselves, wish I hadn't bothered - they were terrible..

Which engine do you have? Did you put the Focus in partex and what did they give you for it?

Hope you are still there Hugh to answer my queries, I have had 3 Mazdas in the past and they were all excellent. I haven't considered them in my "new car plans" since Ford took them over but perhaps Mazda dealers are not like main Ford dealers?
Best of luck with the new car, does it drive anything like the Focus and what do you think now that you have had it a couple of days?,
Justin
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"Hugh" <x-directory> wrote in message

Cold idle should be 1000-1200rpm.

Drop links known problem- the modded part lasts longer.
Discs should last around 40,000miles. Are a recognised wearing part now due to non asbestos pads.

dreadful lot- no matter where you go in the country!

Good luck! Whilst very reliable there have been electrical / software / engine ancillary problems wiht them.
Tim..
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"Hugh" <x-directory> wrote in

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Hi All
Yes, I do know that Mazda is controlled by Ford and they go over to Japan from time to time. Going by the absence of faults build quality in Japan still seems to be a lot better than Ford in the rest of the world. I understand that at least one Mazda model is now built in Europe (Valencia?) but not the 3.
My Focus was a Zetec 1.6 and the Mazda 3 is a Sport (which only comes as a 2 litre) so the power and toys do not exactly compare. Without thrashing it in the first few days it does seem to go quite well. Zoom zoom but not quite the luxury and smooth ride some might prefer. Climate control is brilliant.
I have pasted in below the list of problems I gave to the dealer the first time I took the Focus in. Apologies for getting wrong in my earlier post the rpm at which the whine occurred.
Engine is noisy under light/moderate acceleration particularly above 2,500 rpm. When the engine is really hot it sounds like a bottom end knock.
High pitched whining noise when really cold around 1,800rpm. Not sure whether mechanical or air intake/leak. This is fairly new.
Engine sometimes falters particularly at around 3200, 4000, 4500rpm.
Seems to lack power at higher revs.
When ignition is turned on there is a banging in the heating system for anything from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Was not present when new.
Nearside rear door is difficult/impossible to open. Appears the locking mechanism needs adjusting. Been like it since almost new.
Hatchback lock fouls on opening - since new.
Noise from rear of car over bumps. Sounds like hatch not shut but it is. Started recently.
The central double locking used to work properly. It now often takes several attempts to double lock remotely. Occasionally I have to resort to unlocking it and starting again.
I cannot remember when exactly the dealer decided the discs were below thickness spec. Probably about 45k miles. I got the pads replaced at the same time but they were only abut 75% worn.
The list price for the Mazda is 15,800. I paid 11,300 plus the Focus (99 T reg 1.6 Zetec 5 door with climate pack, 6 CD changer and 70,000 miles). We never did exactly break down the figures between trade in and discounts but given the fact that the Focus had a disintegrating exhaust, weeping rear brake cylinder, coolant leak, mechanical noise from under the bonnet and bent bodywork it seemed like a good deal.
The Mazda dealer that services my wife's MX5 gets things right first time. Nothing is too much trouble.
The dealer that used to service the Focus had people on reception who didn't know one end of a car from the other and had to refer to someone repeatedly before they would believe what the correct service should be. Misinformation came as standard and the last service bill was 100 too high and took a complaint to their holding company to sort out.
Hugh
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"Hugh" <x-directory> wrote in message

Thanks for that Hugh, it seems like you got a good deal and I would have changed immediately as you did. It is funny with reliability, I drove for the past year without any problems and was very pleased with the car, Ford and myself. Then I had a problem, not too big but needed a new rear offside doorcatch ( the door wasn't locking either with the remote control or the key - not sure how long this hadn't been locking?) I took off the trim thinking that it might be a simple poor connection or perhaps a bit of WD40 - couldn't really decide which bit was faulty so I decided to bite the bullet and go to my local Ford dealer rather than the one I normally use (as I said, about 45 minutes away). Net result - a bill for 99 which I thought was reasonable ( I left the trim and panels off for them) but it took from the Thursday when I took it in until the next Tuesday lunchtime to fit a new doorlatch. When I went to collect it, guess what, it wasn't ready (I already knew that, I had seen a scruffy yoof in the workshop sitting on the rear seat with a pile of trim on the floor..........) Anyway, I told them I would be back at 3.30 (I had an appointment at 1pm- I walked there and back) and thought that perhaps they would give the car a quick valet (as family firm Watson Ford of Marske have always done)= particularly that they had let me down with getting it fixed. This was on the Tuesday afternoon (I took it in on Monday but they then rung me on Monday lunchtime saying they couldn't get the part until Tuesday. I left the car with them, no point in going in to collect it - so they had it all Monday and most of Tuesday to do a half hour job). The door and seat and trim was filthy, the door handle inside wasn't fitted properly and there were grease marks and grease all over the inside and outside = needless to say they didn't do any cleaning on it (didn't check this till I got home otherwise would have gone berserk with them but there was little point in going back to complain). What I am trying to say is that it is sad that one "little" incident sours my view of Ford and also the Focus. I have dealt with 3 different Ford dealers with this car and all 3 are the same - unreliable, don't care, didn't even want to sell me a new C Max or bother to tell me when the car had arrived for a previously arranged test drive, another was going to ring me to have a test drive of an auto Focus, he didn't bother ringing back. Don't understand it really but I am pretty certain that I will not be dealing with any of the 3 dealers, that is if I decide to change shortly, love the car incidentally, it has been great to drive and had to replaced my previous car, an 1989 E30 BMW 320 auto (cost me total of 700 for 7 years servicing including 2 cambelt changes. My son is still running it, has no rattles or loose trim and the main BMW dealers treated me as if I had bought their latest model, always a cup of coffee, the time of day and a free valet and courtesy car or pickup - Watson Ford, a family firm can do it, why not the others?
Enough ranting, thanks for that info Hugh, best of luck and happy motoring in your new Mazda, Cheers for now, Justin
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"Hugh" <x-directory> wrote in message

Which should be borne in mind by those Europhiles who keep saying that European Foci didn't have quality problems in the first two years of production.
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Aren't the Foci built in Germany of higher quality than the Foci built in Spain?
Mojo

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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 NotDashEscaped: You need GnuPG to verify this message

Hard to tell, as I can't compare, my (1999) Focus was built in Saarlouis (Germany) according to the FIN. There were some minor problems with those early Focus 1998/1999, mine had most fixed while it was produced in mid 1999, one (rust) single to the Ghia model (rear) was fixed by Ford (12 years rust warranty). The remaining glitches, annoying road noise at speed >120 km/h and alike would have been fixed if the prior owner would have mentioned them. But Ford didn't wanted to fix them for free times I got the car (2 years ago) as the 3 years warranty was just over.;(
Normal, if the warranty is over for only five minutes, manufacturer will give a shit about their products over here.
US companies, or it was just luck, seem to do much better, like Garmin (GPS receiver). Got two times a new receiver, even if the warranty was long exhausted.;)
However, during mounting extra parts, mentioned that the Focus is built much cheaper then my prior Ford Sierra wagon was.;(
Overall, it's running pretty reliable, not a single real problem so far. AC was pretty nice in the last few hot month, even if fuel consumption is of course raising about 1l/100km easily.
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I have found that to be the case certainly.
The new Foci (looks like a Seat Leon!! :( ) is also to be built in both spain and germany, so we'll see if the fit and finish issues still exist.
Tim..
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notion that German built ones are better is a myth.
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--
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I can't comment on that but sometimes in North America certain ...um...observers have said disparaging things about the ability of Mexican workers to make cars. However, the experience with both the Focus and PT Cruiser would suggest that the quality is every bit as good. Of course we wouldn't want to speculate about the real motives of these...um...observers.
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Very good point Dave...
To the OP, I say good luck with your new Mazda. A new Mazda dealership recently opened near my home, and that's helped propel their brand nearer to the top of my wish list. FWIW, the higher-end version of the new Mazda 3 is currently back ordered by several months in this part of the world. I'd say that can be taken as a good sign.
Rob
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drive of a sport was difficult. My four nearest dealers were selling them faster than they could turn them in to demonstrators. When I finally got a test drive that dealer didn't want to talk discounts on a car they couldn't get enough of.
Hugh
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I guess the European Ford dealers are not to good at what they do. I have had my wife's Focus SE wagon in for recall work and they not only did the work properly the first time, but found a few things that were bothering me but didn't tell them about. Maybe American dealers or at least the ones I've dealt with are better

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Hugh wrote:

You do realize that Mazda is majority-owned by Ford, correct?
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I'm sure he does - I think most of us do. But Mazda seems to be several steps closer to having it figured out (whatever "it" entails).
Rob
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"Isaiah Beard" wrote ...

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I am copying in below what I posted a couple of days ago in this group.
Hi All
Yes, I do know that Mazda is controlled by Ford and they go over to Japan from time to time. Going by the absence of faults build quality in Japan still seems to be a lot better than Ford in the rest of the world. I understand that at least one Mazda model is now built in Europe (Valencia?) but not the 3.
My Focus was a Zetec 1.6 and the Mazda 3 is a Sport (which only comes as a 2 litre) so the power and toys do not exactly compare. Without thrashing it in the first few days it does seem to go quite well. Zoom zoom but not quite the luxury and smooth ride some might prefer. Climate control is brilliant.
I have pasted in below the list of problems I gave to the dealer the first time I took the Focus in. Apologies for getting wrong in my earlier post the rpm at which the whine occurred.
Engine is noisy under light/moderate acceleration particularly above 2,500 rpm. When the engine is really hot it sounds like a bottom end knock.
High pitched whining noise when really cold around 1,800rpm. Not sure whether mechanical or air intake/leak. This is fairly new.
Engine sometimes falters particularly at around 3200, 4000, 4500rpm.
Seems to lack power at higher revs.
When ignition is turned on there is a banging in the heating system for anything from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Was not present when new.
Nearside rear door is difficult/impossible to open. Appears the locking mechanism needs adjusting. Been like it since almost new.
Hatchback lock fouls on opening - since new.
Noise from rear of car over bumps. Sounds like hatch not shut but it is. Started recently.
The central double locking used to work properly. It now often takes several attempts to double lock remotely. Occasionally I have to resort to unlocking it and starting again.
I cannot remember when exactly the dealer decided the discs were below thickness spec. Probably about 45k miles. I got the pads replaced at the same time but they were only abut 75% worn.
The list price for the Mazda is 15,800. I paid 11,300 plus the Focus (99 T reg 1.6 Zetec 5 door with climate pack, 6 CD changer and 70,000 miles). We never did exactly break down the figures between trade in and discounts but given the fact that the Focus had a disintegrating exhaust, weeping rear brake cylinder, coolant leak, mechanical noise from under the bonnet and bent bodywork it seemed like a good deal.
The Mazda dealer that services my wife's MX5 gets things right first time. Nothing is too much trouble.
The dealer that used to service the Focus had people on reception who didn't know one end of a car from the other and had to refer to someone repeatedly before they would believe what the correct service should be. Misinformation came as standard and the last service bill was 100 too high and took a complaint to their holding company to sort out.
Hugh
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mine went at about 45k miles. Cheap to buy but awkward to fit.

discovered that both the lock and latch pin are adjustable. I spent some time fiddling and finally got it right.

the hatch but from rear seat latch mechanism.

get off by this time though.
Good luck with the Mazda.
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