The Ford Focus is a popular choice for new drivers who want a sporty yet affordable hatchback for their first vehicle. Although it sold more than 13 million units in 2019, the Focus also has its common problems. Stick around to read through and find out common Ford Focus faults .
Certain problems crop up more frequently and some models from certain years have proven to be more problematic than others. The Ford Focus is a great family car, popular for good reason. You shouldn’t have too many problems with one. If you have them, it’s such a common brand that there are many second-hand shops and parts, so fixing them is easy.
How good is the Ford Focus?
Ford has a reputation for building strong, reliable vehicles . The Ford Focus is an excellent choice for new drivers looking for an affordable sports hatchback for their first car.
The Focus range typically has excellent fuel economy (diesel is better with the larger engines, starting at 1.8-litres, some of which can exceed 70 mpg). In addition, it is very pleasant to drive and very spacious. The general consensus is that you won’t be disappointed and repairs should be minimal.
Common faults in the Ford Focus
The Ford Focus is a very popular mid-size family car. Although its ubiquity may put some people off, the good news is that there are a lot of Fords out there, and therefore a lot of used parts. This makes maintenance problems much easier to solve at a lower cost.
Common faults in the Ford Focus are the following:
1- Engine RPM fluctuation
The Ford Focus 2018 enjoys one of the best levels of reliability of the model. An analysis by indicated that the worst of the problems with the 2011-2015 PowerShift transmission have been resolved. Only a few instances of improper shifting appear in the 2018 Focus’s history with its transmission.
Despite its good reputation, the 2018 Ford Focus continues to have engine issues . Some users have reported that the engine RPM may jump after shifting into park. The RPM can also go up despite depressing the clutch pedal.
2- The engine shuts down
The 2000 Ford Focus was the first model year to develop numerous problems. There are plenty of individual complaints against this model year, including the same ignition key issues that plagued the 2003 Focus.
In addition, the 2000 Ford Focus developed numerous engine problems. The most common problem was the motor shutting down during operation. The second most likely problem was more serious: drivers reported blown engines, requiring extensive repair or total replacement.
3- Transmission failures
This is another of the common faults in the Ford Focus. Many complaints about problems on the Ford Focus have to do with the powertrain . The problem started in 2011 when Ford updated the Focus with the ” PowerShift ” automatic transmission. Dual clutches and dry clutches were troublesome enough on their own, but PowerShift made matters worse by combining the two features.
The 2011-2016 model years of the Ford Focus suffered from transmission problems. Countless problems with the PowerShift transmission propelled the 2014 Focus to a good spot on the worst cars list.
4- Problems with the exhaust and fuel system
More than one million units of the 2012-2018 Ford Focus model years were recalled due to a bad purge valve in the exhaust system that could indirectly damage the car’s fuel tank.
Known issues included loss of power, malfunctioning fuel gauges, and inability to restart the engine after a stall. The recall required the reprogramming of the vehicles and the replacement of the affected parts.
A follow-up article reported that Ford issued a related recall for the 2012-2014 and 2017 Ford Focus. The company explained that these vehicles did not receive a full software update and required additional reprogramming.
5- Pre-ignition at low speed
If the 2014 Ford Focus is the black sheep of the family, the Ford Focus ST is its opposite. Although the sporty compact also shares the same faulty exhaust valve as the Focus and Fiesta, Focus ST units with a manual transmission enjoy decent reliability.
Its EcoBoost engine is a small, boosted engine that offers the same power as a larger engine, but consumes less fuel and generates lower levels of emissions. The Focus ST also features turbochargers to increase the engine’s operating pressure. Although it has its advantages, this type of engine has its own share of problems that can trigger other common Ford Focus failures .
Both downsized and turbocharged engines are prone to low rev preignition . In this case, the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder ignites before the ignition system fires the spark plug. Low speed preignition can damage pistons and other internal parts. To avoid this, drivers should avoid accelerating the Ford Focus ST when in high gear at low revolutions per minute (RPM).
6- Problems with the ignition key
While problems with the PowerShift automatic transmission made the Ford Focus famous, they did not occur nearly as often as ignition key-related failures . The problem most commonly reported by Focus owners was a problem with the key not turning in the ignition.
This problem appeared most often on the 2003 Ford Focus and effectively rendered the vehicle undriveable. Cases of keys caught in the ignition were also reported.
7- Damage to the measuring rod
The dipstick can break on some Ford Focus, although this is a minor issue it is also annoying. Once again, you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a replacement at a used car parts dealer or online.
8- Problems with rubber gaskets
The rubber gaskets around the windows and trunk may leak. You need to check for moisture inside the car and replace the gaskets with new ones (or second-hand parts) if necessary.
9- Uncomfortable front seats
Some people have found the front seats uncomfortable . This is a slightly more difficult problem to solve. You can find replacement seats at a used parts store or online. But you may be substituting a bad seat for a bad one. In part, this comes down to personal preference.
10- Problems with the rear wheel arches
The rear wheel arches are prone to rust . Although it is not a big deal, it became one of the common faults in the Ford Focus. Ford added a plastic strip on later models to prevent this, something you can do yourself.