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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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,379 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Sep 242011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 140,200 miles

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

Cylinder head valve seat failure. Approx 1/2 of the valve seat fell into combustion chamer (between piston and head).. this caused piston to break and rod to go through cylinder wall but not through block outer wall and causing coolant to get into oil. Being a Ford tech, I have seen damage caused by valve seats in cylinders 1,2, &4. it's always a intake valve seat. Also always and only on SOHC motor. Have seen this happen and as early as 60K miles.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #34

Nov 252011

Focus

  • 160,000 miles
While idling, my car is turning off. It also does so when attempting to accelerate after shifting the car from P to D. initially the gas cap light on the dashboard signaled. I replaced the cap, and the check engine light was illuminated afterwards. Now, the car is turning off completely while idling and only the check engine light is lit.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #33

Nov 082011

Focus

  • 130,000 miles
Without warning the engine blew! I service my auto like I'm suppose to and this happens. By looking online I see I'm not the only one. Try finding a engine for this car is so expensive that it's ridiculous! that let me know I'm not alone! I can't believe the going rate for this car's engine is $1700! so now I'm stuck with a piece of junk costing me $3500 to get it fixed only to wait until the next shoe falls!!

- Broadview, IL, USA

problem #32

Oct 162011

Focus

  • 110,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. While attempting to accelerate from a complete stop, the vehicle suddenly lost all power without warning. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who diagnosed the vehicle with a failed timing belt. The contact was awaiting repairs. The dealer advised the contact to notify the manufacturer of the failure. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance since there were no recalls for the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 110,000.

- Cromwell, CT, USA

problem #31

Aug 032011

Focus

  • miles
Vehicle failed to start after completing a 30 minute drive and being turned off for about 5 minutes. Clicking noises like starter failing to engage or low battery ensued. When hood was lifted and battery cover removed and cables and connections were inspected, it was observed that the positive cable off the back of the positive battery harness was exposed, the insulation being almost completely melted. The exposed wires showed signs of fraying and burning. After attempting to jump start the vehicle about 3 times and waiting about 20 minutes, the vehicle started. The vehicle was driven about 20 miles to a service station and inspected by their mechanics. It was decided for safety reasons(fire hazard) to leave vehicle. In 45 years I have never known a battery cable to melt even though I have had bad connections, corroded terminals and harness to the battery and even bad starters. All of the above reasons were the only solutions offered to me.

- Paris, KY, USA

problem #30

Jul 142011

Focus

  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph the engine dropped down onto the drive shaft. The vehicle was pulled over and towed home. An independent mechanic inspected the vehicle and the contact was informed that the bolts for the engine mount fractured due to corrosion. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Hubart, IN, USA

problem #29

Aug 152010

Focus

  • 98,200 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. When the vehicle stopped it began to shake. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle stopped. Approximately one month later a check engine light began illuminating on the dashboard. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop where the contact was told that the engine was misfiring. The contact was later told that the failure was within the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 98,200 and the current mileage was 101,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #28

Jul 282010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Focus. The contact stated she was unable to start the vehicle and it was towed to a local repair facility. The mechanic found that the valve seat had fractured and caused the piston skirt to fracture along with the connecting rod. In addition, the failure caused cylinder scoring. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The current and failure mileages were approximately 87,000. Updated 11/23/10

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #27

Jul 222010

Focus

  • 139,638 miles
The check engine light came on suddenly on my 2002 Ford Focus. Immediately, I took it to the Ford dealership. The technician couldn't find a problem, the check engine light wouldn't come on. Therefore, nothing could be done. They didn't understand why. Within in week, the engine light came back on. This time there was a miss in the engine and it was running rough. Now, the Ford dealership mechanic told me my Focus SE had a dropped valve and in the #4 cylinder. Inorder to fix the problem, the head of the engine had to be removed to see if the dropping of the valve had caused serious damage to the engine. Because the scheduled required maintenance, I.e oil changes, according to Ford instructions for my Ford Focus, I thought the engine would last. After this event, I became curious about Ford Focus' engines. Was this an isolated mechanical flaw" or was it an engine defect? from my research, this type engine failure appears to be from a defect in the design of the 2.0 liter EFI spi type of engines. For years, I thought the Ford Focus was a great product to have because of its reliability, if you complied with scheduled maintenance of the vehicle. It appears that I was wrong. The cost of repair for a well-maintain Focus engine $6000. There is a pattern to these engine failures. Should the 2002 Focus be recalled for engine defects" all I know is that quality well-maintain engines shouldn't have dropped valves for no apparent reason. So, it must be some type of engines design defect.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #26

Apr 202010

(reported on)

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Ford Focus SE station wagon. Consumer states problem with automatic transmission. Engine has strong noise. The consumer stated it took three times to fix the transmission. The window regulators were replaced four times, the thermostat housing failed twice which caused coolant leak. Also, there was a problem with the air bag system and the cover on the passenger side.

- Camuy, PR, USA

problem #25

Mar 122009

Focus

  • 62,500 miles

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

On 3/12/09, while driving my 2002 Ford Focus SE wagon on main street (ri-3) in ashaway, Rhode Island, at about 35 mph, hit a small bump with the right front wheel. A loud scraping noise immediately ensued. Was able to stop within a few feet. Inspection revealed that both mounting studs on the passenger side engine mount for the transversely mounted engine had broken off allowing the engine to drop down onto the passenger side drive axle. The car was flatbed towed 5 miles to my mechanic. His inspection showed that one of the studs had been broken for some time, while the second showed a fresh break. There was no evidence of corrosion, or that the studs had ever been removed and replaced. I don't know how often this failure occurs, but the tow operator and both mechanics at the shop had never seen this happen before. The consequences are that the car becomes inoperable without causing severe damage. The result at highway speed could have been disastrous. The failure was corrected by replacing the broken studs with new factory parts. I have the two broken studs in my possession.

- Westerly, RI, USA

problem #24

Jun 062008

Focus

  • 67,000 miles
I had to replace the motor mounts twice in approximately a 4 month period due to cracking and complete breaking, a partial break in one and general overall weakening. My mechanic only charged me the first time for the mounts and installation (the second time was a free replacement--as the mounts failed, and as it came only a few months after the first replacement). My mechanic said that there is a problem with the Ford Focus vehicles due to the lack of stability in the motor mount area. Basically, he said that there isn't much structural support for the engine and the motor mounts get stressed as a result of the vibrations and constant tension on them. He told me that they would probably need to be replaced again at some point. I was trying to figure out some type of jury rig device to reinforce the stability of the area. Do you have any suggestions?

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 222007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,900 miles
Ford Focus 2002, 69,000 miles. On 8/22/07 driving on the freeway my car stall it was towed away. Ford called me and told me it could be my engine that's ruined due to the time chain.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 102007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles
2002 Ford Focus SE 4 cylinder shutting down while driving. Dash board goes out and then the engine shuts down. Battery was replaced and it is still doing it. Sometimes it starts back up if I let it sit for awhile, but sometimes I have to get it jumped. Very unsafe and scary when it shuts down while driving on the road.

- Mount Dora, FL, USA

problem #21

Jan 092007

Focus

  • miles
My Ford Focus 2002 stalls, sometimes it stops completely. It stalled out on a bridge which interfered with traffic. I took it to tipton Ford twice for repairs and the problem still exist.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #20

Dec 182006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,580 miles
- on December 18th of 2006 while coming out a drive-thru, contact states that the engine thermostat went above normal. The gauge temperature reached the top of the register. The contact stated in order for her engine not to over heat she had to drive at a speed of 45mph. The contact currently has the vehicle at the dealership and they stated that the problem with the vehicle is that the resistor that controls the cooling had burned out and part of the harness had melted. The contact states that she has been on the NHTSA website and there are 24 similar complaints. If the invoice for repair is needed contact can provide a copy of the invoice.

- Morrisville, NC, USA

problem #19

Jul 312006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The first week of me purchasing my car at garnet Ford in chaddsford, pa, I noticed I was having problems with my car not starting. This has only continued to happen more. Also, my car seems to want to stall at times upon slowing down or when I'm stopped. The car will start riding rough and shaking indicating the car is going to stall. I brought this to the dealers attention on many occasions and they told me that because the problem was intermittent and they could not re-create the problem there was nothing they could do to correct it. These are problems that started during the first week of me owning the car. The car was given to me this way and garnet Ford is saying the problem is with my iac and throttle body sticking but those two things are age related problems and I advised them that this problem has been happening since day one. They have refused to look into this problem further and they are not taking responsibility for what is happening to my car. I'm very upset with garnet Ford for giving me a car with these problems and I expect them to look into what is causing the problem and fix it on their dime not mine. If this does not happen, I will seek other ways at getting their attention.

- Aston, PA, USA

problem #18

Jul 312006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am having problems with my car not starting on occasion. Also, the car seems to want to stall at times upon slowing down or when I'm stopped.

- Aston, PA, USA

problem #17

Jul 312006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am having problems with my car not starting on occasion. Also, the car seems to want to stall at times upon slowing down or when I'm stopped.

- Aston, PA, USA

problem #16

Apr 182005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
While driving at 30 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealership. The battery cable melted and the alternator was bad and needed replacement. A week prior, the check engine light came on and smoke had come from the engine compartment. The fourth gear went out because it's wire connection melted. The consumer felt the failures were due to the engine misplaced cable problem as stated in recall 02V288000.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

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