By 2002 most of the gothcha's were fixed. The most likely one is the
ignition lock switch may seize, in which case you have no choice but to have
it towed to the dealer for a $250 repair. But that's by no means certain.
The factory front brake disks have a fairly short life, but aftermarket
replacements are much better. You have purchased the finest small car in the
Congratulations on your new Focus. I can give you one good practical tip,
valuable to any Focus wagon owner...
When you close the rear hatch, always put your hand on the license plate,
not the handle. The handle, itself seems fairly strong and won't bend, but
the area where that handle meets the sheet metal isn't strong and will
quickly take on a permanent distortion. I see it on almost every Focus
wagon. If your car doesn't have this problem yet, you can avoid it by
heeding my advice.
Good luck with your car, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
"Erin Peterson" wrote ...
If you have 2 good keys now andd have a bad habit of losing them - get a spare
one from the dealer (or some would say Ebay) as you can program them yourself
and save much $$$. I had to pay $80 (US) to get a second key and get it
programmed since I lost the first one....live and learn. Linda
Thanks so much for all of your hints and tips. I've been driving the Focus
for a week now and I have to say that it is one of the few cars that I have
actually enjoyed driving. Fun yet practical. I do have one question
though. My Focus is an automatic with overdrive. Is there any rule of
thumb as to when / when not to have the overdrive engaged from a fuel
economy point of view?
Thanks again. I look forward to participating in the group.
Always disengage OD while Towing and sometimes when Carrying a "heavy" load.
Keeping the OD enabled could cause an excessive amount of strain on the
engine during heavy loading conditions.
Also, if you are in stop and go traffic for any length of time it is a good
idea to put your tranny in D1 or D2. (Keeps the tranny from needlessly
shifting) Just remember to shift to D as you increase to traffic flow speed
2003 ZX5 2.0L 24k miles
"Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" - George Santyana
From a fuel economy point of view leaving it in overdrive will allow
the powertrain computer to keep the car in the proper gear for best
mileage - not always for best performance though, but best mielagwe
and best performance don't usually go together. Of course at over 45
mph or whenever the auto shifts into 4th, having overdrive selected
(lower RPM's) will always win for mpg.
I can imagine leaving overdrive off (or going to 2) when you want more
engine braking for a long hill/slippery conditions or want to reduce
amount of 3rd to 4th shifts some in traffic.
If you're doing a lot of city driving or stop and go under 40mph I turn off my
overdrive. It does help mileage as city mileage is poorer than highway - of
course. However in the snow I found better handling with the overdrive turned
off - didn't help economy but I felt better - good trade off...even with my
snow tires. Have fun with your new toy.
I don't have any of the extras like ABS and those other handling packages and I
love my (second) Focus just fine. First a 2000 wagon - now a 2003 ZX5...
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