focus hell - focusguy
My new focus (Jan 03)was having trouble starting in the mornings which the local ford dealership checked (by trying to start it once!) and said there was nothing wrong. Three days later the car lost power on the motorway and then overheated once i had pulled over. Inspection by the RAC revealed coolant water in and around the spark plugs and also inside the engine - fifteen minutes of blowing steam was testament to this! The garage repaired the car and clamed the fault was due to a "temperature reader/sender" fault which was then replaced.I enquired whether it might instead have been a cylinder head failure or something similar and they said they had done a pressure test so it couldnt be and i was wasting their time. Three weeks later and the spark plugs are again surrounded by coolant and now the garage are saying that the head plugs are leaking. Does this sound credible or has anyone else had a similar focus problem? I dont think my garage have a clue but i'm kind of stumped too. Their quote yesterday was"well its still working at teh moment so hold on to it till it breaks down?we have time to look at it".
focus hell - DavidHM
Take it to another dealer.

My father's Focus had a new alternator under warranty even though the only manifestation of the fault was a flickering ignition warning light. When things go wrong, at least in my experience, Ford do go the extra mile to solve the problem. The first (local) garage was friendly and helpful and spent a lot of time looking at the problem, but couldn't solve it, so he took it back to the supplying dealer (about the 4th nearest) who did the work with no difficulty.

Although your contract is with the dealer, the contract guarantees the quality of the car if it is fixed by ANY Ford dealer. The dealers don't mind this as Ford pays them for warranty work and it's an opportunity to make themselves look good in anticipation of the next time you buy a new car.

It does sound like some kind of cylinder head problem (and even if it is only a temperature sensor, the problem is serious enough to warrant investigation long before it goes pop). Good luck anyway.
focus hell - volvoman
This dealer's attitude stinks ! Go to another but also write to Ford HQ and let them know what their dealer said. "Wait for it to break down !" Oh really !!!
focus hell - focusguy
thanks for that, i've just about had enough of them anyway. The latest diagnosis is that the problem is the head bolts allowing coolant to pass. Apparantly teh focus doesnt use a seal on the bolts but relies on an interferance fir between the bolts and the head - the garage think that the bolts are expanding at temp at a diff rate to the head hence the leak. I've to keep an eye on it and bring it back in a week at which time they will need to contact ford cause they dont know what to do. As this will be the 4th time in the garage with the same problem can i just hand back my three month old new car and ask for a refund or replacement - anyone know?
focus hell - Andrew-T
fg - if this differential-expansion explanation is correct, wouldn't you expect nearly every Focus on the road to suffer from it?
focus hell - focusguy
My thoughts exactly! I called the ford customer helpline to see if they thought it was a credible fault but they said i'd need to call their technical support line which is a premium line and costs a quid a minute!Shocking!
focus hell - volvoman
Premium rate eh ! pity they don't appear to match it with a premimum product and premium service ! Forget the tech line and get onto Trading Standards ASAP.
focus hell - DavidHM
Cars are very difficult to reject. I accept that it's not of satisfactory quality, etc., but the case law says that, if a repair can be carried out to resolve the problem, you have no right to expect more than that.

Also, as your current dealer sounds about as useful as a drunken sheep at diagnosing and solving the problem, I wouldn't get too pessimistic as another dealer should do a much better job.
focus hell - jc
Letter to :-
The Managing Director
Ford Motor Co.Ltd.
Eagle Way
Brentwood Essex.
My daughter's car had been in and out of dealers with an alarm problem.The day after she sent a letter to Warley,her nearest dealer contacted her,asked her to come in and collect a loan car,and they would keep her car till it was fixed and it was.
focus hell - focusguy
i am writing the letter now, many thanks.
focus hell - Pete F
Core plugs leaking on the cylinder head is a known issue on this engine (assuming it is the 1.6 Sigma). The dealer should repair it. It sounds like yours are leaking a lot so the coolant level may be dropping dangerously low.

Phone up customer services at Brentwood.
focus hell - kurnal
If your car has been a real lemon- and it looks very much like it has- then Ford Committments have a set of criteria by which to judge whether they should replace it or not. I believe that two breakdowns with the same fault is one of the criteria. You should ask customer services to put you in touch with the committments team- but writing letters will be a major pastime for a couple of months! I took delivery of a mondeo tdci in May last year that was a real pig - off the road 60 days in the first 4 months. I asked them to replace it and (with great support from my leasing company) they took it back at the end of November with 8000 miles on the clock and gave me a brand new car - but we had to pay £800 for the mileage covered. I think there is no charge for up to 5000 miles and then a sliding scale is applied. I think this is fair enough- I have a 52 plate car instead of an 02 plate car.
Good luck!

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