I bought a used Focus, 2001, in early January. Three days after I
purchased it, it started to die due to electrical problems.
Initially, I noticed just a split-second flicker of gauges going
haywire -- the speedometer and temp gauge would max out, the fuel gauge
would bottom out -- but it had no effect on engine performance. Then, a
few seconds later, the gauges would go nuts again, ALL the warning
lights on the dash went on, the digital odometer read all 8s, and the
engine began to stall. Depending on how fast I was going, sometimes
things would kick back in and I could continue driving before the
engine completely stalled out. Most times, though, I was on residential
roads and the engine completely stalled and had to be restarted.
I took it to the shop for electrical diagnosis, and they found nothing.
They told me nothing was wrong with my car. He said he would take it
for a spin and see if he could recreate the problem. Not surprisingly,
he called back and said that there was definitely a problem, but he
didn't know what it was. After "some more fiddling" he found that the
battery was "crap," and thought that replacing it would fix the
problem. He replaced the battery and took it for another drive to see
if that fixed things, and it seemed to.
I was less than convinced, but took it back anyway. I've only driven it
about 50-75mi since then, and it's started having the same problems
again. I took it back to the mechanic to have them test the battery,
thinking maybe there was a problem that was CAUSING a drain on the
battery.. but the battery is fine.
Now they're saying it's the alternator. Meanwhile, at the beginning of
this mess I suggested the alternator, but they said that wasn't
possible due to the fact that my system "kicked back in". They said
that when an alternator goes, it's gone, and that's that. Now the guy I
talked to yesterday is saying he's "seen them come and go."
I've pretty much had it with this car. I worked nights and summers
through college to save up and I paid in cash, and I've already had to
dump $250 into the thing, and I'm still on the first tank of gas!
Has anyone had this problem, or have any idea what it might be??
I think I'm taking it back to the dealer tomorrow to see if he's
willing to do a trade-in...