Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2002 Ford Focus 2.0L SOHC engine has a defect where the intake valve seat fails. The valve then falls into the cylinder, destroying the engine & most owner relationships with Ford in the process.

1.3

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
133,848 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #15

Sep 092015

Focus

  • 160,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While at a traffic light, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to restart after two attempts. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Newbury , MA, USA

problem #14

Jul 172015

Focus

  • 327,000 miles
I am writing this for two incidents happened within a two week time frame. 1. the engine had to be replaced since one piston pin had broken due to which the whole piston had broken inside the engine. The whole engine had to be replaced as per mechanics suggestion. I have the invoice from the mechanic shop and the mechanic would gladly provide more details if needed. 2. this was scary ! while driving at 70 miles an hour on cruise, the car would not come out of cruise control and constantly accelerated even after trying to use brakes. (ideally when you first touch the brakes, the car should come out of cruise) once the car reached at a speed of 80 miles and I could not do anything. When the car was shut down abnormally, and restarted the issue continued and even when it was in neutral, it constantly raved up. I see other people have recently filed complains for this and expect the NHTSA to do something about it urgently as in my opinion it is a huge safety issue. The mechanic mentioned that the cruise control cable was stuck in the housing. Currently the cruise control has been disconnected by my mechanic and I have bought a new cruise control cable from the dealer and hope to get it fixed soon, however expect the company to take care of both of the above issues.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #13

Apr 292015

Focus

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While driving 10 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #12

Jun 012013

Focus

  • 125,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 65 mph, an abnormal noise was heard and the vehicle seized without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the rod bearing detached from the engine. As a result, the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 125,000.

- Wachica, MN, USA

problem #11

Dec 052013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 189,000 miles
Car when warmed up and during intercity driving will randomly cut out when the accelerator is not depressed. Car shuts off and becomes hard to steer and control. Have almost been hit and no one can figure out what's wrong. It does this intermittently. Also the car has the updated thermostat housing and the thermostat still tends to overheat. Have contacted Ford and call center employee did not seem too enthusiastic to help. Offered to find me a Ford dealer but not someone from their safety office. Also, car had old style ignition cylinder which locked back in February. This seems to be a common problem... aftermarket have the same design.

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #10

Feb 102012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
Even today, I never know when I can get a startup. The key does not catch right away.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #9

Aug 292013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The car vibrates; shakes. I was told by two auto repairman before I was aware of just what the problem was. It is now a little worse. I need to get it repaired soon and I will. I was hoping there is a recall on the mounts. I was told there was by adams street muffler in tallahassee. Tallahassee Ford says they have no recall.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #8

Nov 172013

Focus

  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the engine ignited in flames without warning. The contact was able to exit the vehicle without injury. The fire department and the police department were called and both a police and fire report was filed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The vehicle was ruled as destroyed and was towed to the contact's insurance Agency for further investigation of the failure. The contact also mentioned that upon further research, he discovered that the cruise control wiring remained hot at all times and could have possibly been the cause of the fire. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 136,000.

- South Egremont, MA, USA

problem #7

Oct 282013

Focus

  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the low oil warning indicator illuminated continuously on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where a small amount of oil was added to the reservoir. Later as the contact was driving an unknown speed, smoke emitted inside of the vehicle cabin. The vehicle then stalled and failed to be restarted. The vehicle was inspected by a certified mechanic, who informed the contact that the engine would needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 71,000.

- Morrisville, VT, USA

problem #6

Sep 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 118,184 miles
When starting my car from my carport in the morning, the engine made a rattling, grinding noise. I had the vehicle towed to the Ford dealership. They determined that the valve seat had dropped, damaging the cylinder head and two of the pistons.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #5

Sep 262012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While waiting at a construction site the engine died and would not start (the engine indicator lit). The brake lights, power windows, and rear hatch release also failed to function. The vehicle was towed and the personal mechanic reported the electrical harness to the rear hatch had failed where is passed between the body and the hatch door. The harness electrical insulation was cracked on the entire bundle of wires and shedding fragments causing some wires to short, the 15 amp fuse for the brake lights had evidence of heating, but did not blow, rather, wires leading to the brake pedal sensor, the 15 amp fuse, and along the harness back to the short in the rear wiring harness near the center brake light had discolored and were melted in some segments. Ford customer service said to consult a Ford service center to determine if there was a manufacturing defect. The Ford service representative said he had seen this before and said it was not a manufacturing defect, rather it was a design defect that occurs after 10 years or more.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #4

Jan 012013

Focus

  • 100,000 miles
The motor on the sun roof and all of my windows went out the handle on door for the front passenger fell off the, rear door on the passenger side on the inside just fell apart sometimes you can't open the door from the inside or the outside its like they freeze up and a day later they open (this is a huge safety issue ) sometimes my car just dies out and all of the panel goes blank like it just shuts down.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #3

May 152013

Focus

  • 187,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle made a rattling noise and the contact noticed that the steel valve seat had become separated from the vehicle and dropped into the combustion chamber. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 187,000.

- Lititz, PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 312012

Focus

  • 94,312 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was shifted into park and the contact attempted to restart the vehicle but to no avail. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the engine would have to be replaced due to oil leaking into the engine. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 94,312 and the current mileage was 94,312.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #1

Oct 122012

Focus

  • 45,226 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Focus ZX3 with a very low mileage of 45226. On October 12th Friday, I drove my car to the university, (~2 miles from my home) and parked for a few minutes. Then I started driving toward the commuter parking lot. However, 30 seconds later, a huge "continuous knocking" sound came out from the engine followed by white smoke. Then I saw a very large amount of engine oil spill, down the road. Since I could no longer drive the car, I had to get it towed to the nearest garage. The mechanic concluded that one of the piston rods have been broken and spiked the engine oil sump. He was clueless about seeing such a mechanical failure from a low mileage, well-maintained car. Most surprisingly, there were three other Ford Focus cars with similar engine failures/defects. For a small university town, four cars with similar defects is not a normal issue. The main reason for this complaint because I had to go through a life threatening situation. The continuous knocking and wobbling that occurred for a speed of 18mph, I could only imagine what would have happened if I had been on the highway, 55+ mph. There has to be a defect or else this would have not happened to a well maintained car with regular oil changes, wheel alignments...etc.

- Oxford, MS, USA

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