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.

9.6

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,570.00
Average Mileage:
109,998 miles
Total Complaints:
58 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. had to replace the engine (25 reports)
  2. not sure (18 reports)
  3. rebuilt engine (7 reports)
  4. sell it to a junkyard (3 reports)
  5. donate to a high school vica club to repair and auction (2 reports)
  6. replace engine (2 reports)
2002 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Jul 022011

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,173 miles

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

I bought my 2002 ford focus in December 2001 brand new. My first engine piston #4 blew when it had 104,364 miles on it. I changed my motor, it cost me over 4,000 dollars.My mechanic put me a new one a ford engine.The 2nd time my engine went out was in 4-8-2010 with 151,140. The piston #2 blew so my mechanic changed it an put me another ford engine brand new. And I only had 3 month's of warranty left and the ford place would not extend my warranty because my mechanic changed it not the ford dealership. And here we are again - July 2nd 2011 my 3rd engine blew but we are not having this piece of trash fixed again unless they have a recall or fix it for us. They did not want to warranty the last engine in 2010 because I didn't bring it to the ford dealership. If they do fix it I will sell this SOB or trade it in to a junk yard. My family and friend's will never buy a ford vehicle FORD IS A PIECE OF SH*T I DON'T RECOMMEND A FORD TO THE DEVIL HIMSELF!!!!!!!!!!

- , Kaplan, LA, USA

problem #37

Feb 252011

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

So, I got this car it had no problems. Beautiful car, and we used it as a family vehicle regularly. At 130,000 miles, we had to replace the wires and plugs, and still have trouble with the #2 to the transmission. At 170,000 miles, today the engine went out completely. My husband drove it to the store, and was unable to restart it when he was leaving. We have had no prior engine noise or difficulty before it just went out today. Though it has higher miles, they are highway miles, and there were no warning signs. We have kept up with regular maintenance, and even had it checked for any possible upcoming problems about a year ago! I am super disappointed! This was a wonderful family vehicle, but now it is sitting in the garage with a tarp covering it, because it will cost over 2,000 dollars for a new engine! Do not buy this vehicle! We may have gotten a lot of use out of it, but the upkeep will not prolong the life if this vehicle, and there are were no warning signs of a serious problem! Too much money put into it, and it is cheaper to purchase a foreign vehicle that will last longer!! :(

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #36

Nov 132009

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,957 miles

Diary of a tormented Ford Focus Owner.

They say that having a dog or cat adds a few years to your expected lifespan. I warn you that owning a Ford Focus will shave those years right back off.   One morning in April 2009 I started my 2002 Ford Focus and all hell broke loose. It sounded like a war was going on under the hood with stomach-churning exploding shrapnel sounds. I turned off the motor and called a tow. But when I turned the key to back out of the garage, the war was over. I drove to the nearest Ford dealer's service department and described what I had heard. The next day I reviewed the $560.00 bill at the cashier's window:   Date April 30, 2009/Mileage 79539. "VEHICLE RUNNING ROUGH - JERKS AND BUCKS. PERFORM EEC TEST, SYSTEM PASS, NO CODES, ACCESS MODE 6 DATA, FOUND #3 CYLINDER HAS 20.1% MISFIRE RATE, PERFORM POWER BALANCE, #2 DROPPED OUT ONCE, PERFORM PID MONITOR, ALL PIDS NORMAL, RECOMMEND PLUGS AND WIRES." "REPLACE WITH PLATINUM SPARK PLUGS AND WIRE SET."   So they had replaced the spark plugs and wires. They also found and replaced a broken EGR tube. For $560.00 I had peace of mind, and - Wow! - They had installed PLATINUM spark plugs!   Date September 1, 2009/Mileage 82956. A day came when the war was on again under the hood - then it was gone. I reviewed the Ford service department $86.65 bill at the cashier's window: "ENGINE RUNS ROUGH SEE HISTORY. ENGINE RUNNING OK AT THIS TIME, PERFORM EEC TEST, NO CODES, SYSTEM PASS, PERFORM PID MONITOR, OK, DID FIND PCV HOSE ELBOW DETERIORATED AT INTAKE CONNECTION AND LEEKING VACUUM, R/R HOSE, ROAD TEST, OK."   It did not make sense to me that all that shrapnel noise was caused by a hose. But then, what do I know about cars/engines?   November 17, 2009/Mileage 84925. I stopped at a light one night and the car died when I tried to go again. I had it towed to the Ford dealer's service department. It was a very cold night and the tow driver was nice enough to drive me and my passenger to a bus stop so we could get home. The bill was $95.00 for the diagnosis:   "DIED WHILE DRIVING, TOWED IN. TESTED VEHICLE VERIFIED CONCERN ENGINE MAKING KNOCKING NOISE AND LOSE OF POWER HOOKED UP IDS RECEIVED CODES FOR CYL 2 AND 3 MISSFIRE. PERFORMED RELATIVE COMPRESSION TEST FOUND CYL #2 AND 3 TO HAVE LOW COMPRESSION. SUSPECT MECHANICAL FAILURE OF CYL. HEAD CUSTOMER DECLINED REPAIR AT THIS TIME."   Declined repair? Why? The service representative had called me to advise that I had catastrophic engine failure. The valve seat had come apart and the extent of the damage could not be determined until they got further into the engine. It would cost at least $3,275 to work on the cylinder head, and they might find more damage lower down after they went in there. Or, they could replace the engine for $4,650. I did not trust that Ford dealer any more. Why had they not found the problem back in April? Or in September? Before the engine blew up? This car was paid for. It only had 85k miles on it. Now I had to pay thousands of dollars of repairs or buy a new car. The local used auto parts yard told me that in the past 30 days 33 people besides me had called them to ask if they had a Focus engine. A web search took me to sites where I found this type of failure was not uncommon for Focus engines. The Ford dealer's service department had to have known that. Ford Motor Company knew that.   85,000 MILES!!!   I take care of my cars! I drove my old Dodge over 120,000 miles without serious problems like this. I expected the same from my Focus. What a disappointment!

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #35

Feb 132011

Focus 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 115,000 miles

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

Defective manufacturing, dropped valve seat into piston. Motor destroyed. C'mon Ford, make this right if you want any repeat customers. People are loyal to companies that they can count on to be fair and honest.

- , Osceola, MO, USA

problem #34

Dec 182010

Focus LX 2.0L Sohc

  • Manual transmission
  • 96,000 miles

My Fiancee left work and stopped at the store. She got out of the store started the car and it made a horrible knocking noise. I left the house with the help of my soon to be brother in law and checked the car. It was hard to start and when it did it made a really bad knocking noise. Borrowed a truck and towed the thing home having to go through the center of town. Did some checking online read about the dropped valve seat problem. Checked the car pulled the spark plugs and number 4 was really bad. After seeing this I went online and found a head with upper end gasket set on EBAY for 425 dollars paid an extra 60 dollars to ship it fast. Pulled the head off of the car and saw that number 4 had indeed dropped the valve seat. Noticed the top of #4 piston was really chewed up. Luckily no damage to the cylinder wall. Also noticed that #2 was a little beat up. Went Back on EBAY found a full rebuild kit that cost 363 dollars This kit included all 4 pistons, piston Pins, Oil pump (which is a pain to get lined up perfectly), Rod and main bearings, Piston rings, head bolts, Timing Belt, Timing Belt tensioner, and another full gasket set. When I pulled the oil pan off of the engine found that #4 piston skirt was broken off except right around one side of the piston pin. Found that The Connecting rod was bent. Ordered replacement rod for 36 dollars because a family member works for the parts store. The Head I got has the valve seat dropping problem. Now I have been without the car for over a MONTH and I still have to find someone that can press the old pins out of the remaining three rods and press the new ones in without damaging the rods. The money for this project is used up. The rest of that 1000 dollars that I have put into this thing entails fluids and a thermostat. AT THIS POINT I WANT TO TAKE THIS MOTOR AND SHOVE IT UP THE CEO OF FORD MOTOR COMPANIES BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So if anyone else has a problem and plans on rebuilding I can give you the item numbers on ebay or contact info for the people i got parts for. So far I have been really satisfied with the people that I have dealt with to get this done. They even gave me some very helpful hints. So will let everyone know how things go when the car is back together hopefully soon so I can return my mother in law's focus before this same thing happens to it. On another note I had no problems with this car for the 6 years that I owned it until this problem.

- , Billings, MT, USA

problem #33

Nov 072010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

same ol crap no recall on 2.0 sohc in the focus at this time just called ford motor company.you need to call them let em know about this so we all can get a recall on this motor this is bad defect in the head on these cars here is the #1-800-392-3673. call let them know. thanks ab for letting me b a memer .

- , Charlestown, IN, USA

problem #32

Aug 132010

Focus SD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

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

i bought this car used, fortunately I bought the overpriced extended warranty and a week before the warranty was done....the valve stuck on the #4 cylinder causing irreparable damage to the engine. So, the engine was replaced, cost me about $150 and the warranty covered everything else....and i got an engine with 30,000 less miles on it. It came with a 60 day warranty. 6 months later I have the same problem...i now get to replace the engine again . first spitting and sputtering when i started it up that would eventually go away after a few minutes and the check engine light was coming on. after a few days of driving it i turned it on one day to the delightful sound of pop rocks in my engine. mechanic says the engine is shot and needs replaced again. i currently owe $3300 on the car so junking it is not a great option, fixing it at the price of $2500 or more is also a crap option. I called ford to let them know their car has essentially ruined my life.... they said that if everyone who has this problem calls and tells them about the problem, that should increase the chance of an eventual recall. Any recall would most likely cover past expenses for this problem so save your receipts. I STRONGLY URGE EVERYONE WITH THIS PROBLEM TO TAKE THE 10 MINUTES TO CALL FORD SO THEY CAN DOCUMENT THE PROBLEM AND MAYBE WE WILL EVENTUALLY GET HELP ON THIS PROBLEM.

FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE: 1800 392 3673

- , Dubois, PA, USA

problem #31

Oct 082010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,011 miles

IM ALSO AN OWNER OF A 2002 FOCUS SE. I SOLD MY 1995 HONDA CIVIC BECAUSE I WAS HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THIEVES BREAKING IN AND TAKING STUFF FROM MY CAR NOW MIND YOU THE CIVIC HAS 228,000 MILES ON IT AND NEVER AND I MEAN NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH THIS CAR, IT WAS WELL MAINTAINED BY ME, SO MY IN LAWS SELL ME THERE 2002 FOCUS AND I REGISTERED THE CAR ON MONDAY OCTOBER 4TH 2010 AND NOT EVEN 4 DAYS WITH THIS P.O.S. THE CAR WONT START! I TURNED AND TURNED THE KEY TO TRY TO START IT AND NOTHING! SO I EVENTUALLY STARTED IT AND THE IDLE WAS REALLY LOW SO I HAD TO REALLY FORCE THE CAR TO DRIVE WASNT EASY, THE CAR MAKES THIS NOISE AS IF THERE WERE A S@%# LOAD OF ROCKS IN THE ENGINE I MEAN LOUD THE EXHAUST IS SMOKING OUT THE PIPE I MEAN NASTY!!!!!

SO READING EVERYONES STORY NOW I HAVE AN IDEA WHATS WRONG WITH MY CAR. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE THE PROBLEM OCCURED ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 8TH 2010 AND THE NEXT DAY I SPENT 60 BUCKS ON SPARK PLUGS AND A WIRE SET FOR IT IM SO F&%@#* PISSED. ONLY OWNED THE CAR FOR 4 DAM DAYS AND THIS HAPPENS, F&%$#$# FORD THATS WHY PPL SAY FORD STANDS FOR FIX OR REPAIR DAILY AND MY ALL TIME FAVORITE FOUND ON ROAD DEAD! TERRIBLE! NOW I HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER CAR TO GET BACK AND FORTH TO WORK AND SELL THE FOCUS FOR A HELL OF ALOT LESS THEN WHAT I PUT INTO THE CAR! IM SO APPAULED.

- , Riverdale, NY, USA

problem #30

Aug 182010

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

Loved this car until...with no warning the car was hard to start... I drove to my next destination ...no problem....then car would not start and engine banged badly when it finally started.. towed it to mechanic who said the piston shot through sonmething or other..we would need a new engine....It would be cheaper to buy another used car...

has anyone hear a response from Ford as this seems to be a chronic problem. with is year and model...I will never buy another Ford product if they can not respond Where can one turn???

- , Rosseau, Ontario, Canada

problem #29

Sep 022010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,415 miles

FORD, you have been exposed as the negligent car manufacturer as your name states; FIX OR REPAIR DAILY!

Our recent experience with a 2002 Ford Focus SE has turned into a financial nightmare. It was a nice car for our daughter to drive to work and college, we hoped would last a few good years. But after only ONE year our daughter parked her car at work then came back out to start it again and all hell broke loose in the engine. Knocks, bangs, cling, clang and no way to start the engine again. Our daughter was stranded. After further investigation, a towing bill, diagnostic testing that's where the financial nightmare begins.

The service writer at Ford informed me that the oil pump failed causing catastrophe damage to the engine. No oil light ever came on and there was plenty of oil in the crank case. But after hearing all the metal rattling in the engine I found it hard to believe that it was an oil pump failure. I beg to differ with the diagnostics with 30 years experince in the automotive and trucking industries myself.

The engine replacement would set us back $5,000 for a car valued at $3,000! The other alternative of a "salvage/junk yard engine" at $3,000 would still keep us at risk for engine failure once again. "You would be taking a gamble", stated the service writer. "The way it sits the car is junk and has no value".

What is a customer to do? I did my own research and found several complaints of this same nature with this engine. I presented the information to the service writer who denied any knowlege of this and refused to assist us further to resolve this problem.

Desparately seeking a solution we went to Sales and were only offered to be put into a new Ford at a great price!! (HA-HA) Not a winner for our family situation either way and no further help offered. So, we must tow our worthless car home and figure out what to do, beside the fact: NEVER TO BUY ANOTHER FORD AGAIN!!

- , Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #28

Aug 112010

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 194,000 miles

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

Bought an 02 ford focus and about a month after buying it my daughter heard a noise under the hood and she immediately shut the motor off....i had it towed it to my brothers shop and he told me it dropped a valve in the number 2 cylinder...he said the valve seat broke causing the valve to break. Was fortunate that it only hurt the head....bought a new head and they installed it....car ran good and then the A/C went out.....about this time i was thinking i should have bought an import car for my daughters first. Before the A/C parts could arrive at my brothers shop my daughter called me and said the check engine light came on. I had it towed again.....this time it had thrown a rod. I WILL NEVER WASTE MY MONEY ON ANOTHER FORD AGAIN

- , Rosharon, TX, USA

problem #27

Aug 132010

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My 2002 Focus has been pampered and very well taken care of the past 120,000 miles. We've had a few small problems along the way that were taken care of - i.e. key getting stuck in the ignition, turn signal cancel cam broken, rattles and such...all of which we noticed other people experienced too, but there was one issue alot of others reported having that we were grateful not to have experienced until last week...engine failure...One of the valves dropped into the piston causing complete engine failure. I've been told it can be replaced at a cost of approx. $2,900. The car ran fine earlier in the day and ironically we just bought new tires for it and had the inspection renewed the same morning! After parking it and going inside for a couple hours my wife went to start it and heard what can best be described as large rocks being crushed under the hood. I'm not sure where to go from here. It looks as though Ford is ignoring the issue up to now. I'd like to believe that if I hang onto the car Ford will come through and issue a recall but there appears to be no indication of that right now that I can find online. Ford has had other major problems such as the faulty intake manifolds on the 4.6 litre motors that they've coughed up alot of money to have replaced. I was included in that recall on another Ford that I own and was extremely happy about the way they handled it without asking for any money out of pocket. The difference here is that the engine has already failed and will require more work to make right where as my other Ford was taken care of before it caused major damage. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Update from Sep 7, 2010: Ford has not been of assistance as of yet...Unfortunately I think it will take someone starting a class action suit to get them going. I have since taken my car to an independent mechanic. He is attempting to rebuild the motor and replace the head at a cost of $2,000 + tax. I'll post more when he gets into the specifics of what he found and let yall know if I think it was worth it to rebuild and keep it or if I should have just scrapped it. I chose not to get a used motor from salvage figuring it would be highly likely to break down in the same manner, this way I will have all new parts / gaskets and they can go ahead and throw in a new oil and water pump while the motor is out. Cross your fingers! If anyone has heard anything different from Ford, please shoot me a message.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #26

Jul 082010

Focus SE 2.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

I love my 2002 Ford Focus. I had it now for about two years. This car is great on gas, and I haven't had any prblems out of this vehicle. But all of sudden I start noticing problems when i try to start up my engine. By the second crank my car would start up fine. So I over looked the problem and drove on to the grocery store one day. Soon as I got back in my car to start it up the car made an awful noise under the hood. It sounded like i was grinding rocks under my hood. I had to come out my pocket 80 bucks to get my car towed to a mechanic. The mechanic told me that my car dropped a valve. He told me that it was the #4 valve. So he told me he had to take the head off the engine to see if dropping the valve caused anymore serious damage. Soon as my mechanic took the head off the engine. He showed me when the pistons and the motor head couldnt be replaced so dropping a valve did do serious damage especially to my pockets.

I really loved my car...I just had put 20 inch rims and a 125 dollar tint job on it to be disappointed...Please dont buy this model year...I had to spend 3,500 just to get my car back on the road.....

- , Bainbridge, GA, USA

problem #25

Aug 152009

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I bought the car with 80,000 miles on it. Drove it for 1 year. Engine was fine when I drove home and parked it. Next morning when I started it , the engine made a Clunking noise, and then sounded like rocks banging in the engine. I immediately turned it off, and called tow truck. The motor cant even be rebuilt. Mechanic said most of these engines have the same problem, and it has to be a manufacturing defect. I had to pay off the 3,500 balance left on my loan. Car is still in my driveway, hoping maybe ford will do a recall.

- , Walkertown, NC, USA

problem #24

Jun 222010

Focus SE 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,500 miles

I thought I was the one unlucky person who had a Focus dead so early. How surprised to find so many other people here who had the same problem?!? Similar story: followed Ford's suggested maintenance for 8 years at an authorized Ford dealership; never had another serious problem, except this chugging of the engine when starting, that would go away after a few seconds; last week the engine made a clunking noise and died. The local Ford dealership service guy said it was "probably a defective engine to start with". How do they dare telling me that??? Only fix: replace the engine. A new one would cost more than the vehicle's price between parts and labor. I'm now getting it fixed with an old engine. The annoying part is having maintained the car so well all these years, just to have it fail so miserably, and then being told by Ford that THEIR frickin' engine was defective! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Ford NO MORE!

- , Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #23

May 062010

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Same story , Car is very well maintained oil,ex. Drove car uptown went in too see doctor came out started car it made a loud grinding noise motor stalled. Called tow truck he towed it too the shop. Shure enough #3 valve fell into piston destroying the engine. Cost of repair 2,800 for new motor not worth it.I think that ford should have a recall on this eng. If u know of any recalls please let us know. Thanks

- , Long Beach, MS, USA

problem #22

Apr 162010

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,100 miles

Purchased car on January 24th 2010. 53500 miles. Heard good things about ford cars. At 60000 miles car started runiing horrible. Had similar symtoms with my other car. It was the distributor. Took car into mechanic and they said it blew a piston or rod. #4 to be exact.

No choice but to rebuild the engine. Called the Ford custumer service and they gave me the runaround. Not covered by any warranty so it was customers responsability. Ill never buy a ford again. The mechanic that fixed my car said he had seen a lot of the same thing happen to other 2002s, #4 piston.

- , Aurora, CO, USA

problem #21

Feb 022010

Focus SE 2.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Shrapnelled cylinder head (and pistons) due to #4 cyl valve slippin the valve seat into the piston....some of it got sucked via intake to the #2 cylinder as well. Just paid it off in Nov 09, not worth $2,500+ to replace engine.....have only put 45k miles on this car ... will NEVER buy a PoS Ford again!!

- , Crestview, FL, USA

problem #20

Sep 232009

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Drove to dinner, car started fine. Drove to store, left car running. noticed light ticking noise. Decided to take to mechanic the next day to check. I started to drive home, stopped for 2 minutes to drop of paperwork. When I tried to start the car, it sounded like rocks in a garbage disposal. Had car towed to shop the next day. Mechanic said that the engine threw a rod. Car was in great shape otherwise, very well maintained. Engine would need to be replaced. Unfotunately, the car only blue booked for $3000. It would be at least $3500 for a used engine. Mechanic said he has seen the same problem in 3 other Focus engines. We have owed several other Fords. The trucks are great, the cars suck. I will not buy another car from Ford. If there are this many complaints on the engine, why isn't Ford doing something.Not a way to keep customers.

- , Westminster, CO, USA

problem #19

May 142009

Focus LX 2.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,025 miles

I had Just got off the freeway after driving 2 hours, terrible loud engine noise like diesel engine, pull over to the side, called the tow truck, took to a mechanic, and the diagnosis was a broken piston (#3 i believe). I had owned this car for 5 years, never abuse, all oil changes and preventive maintenance, never had a problem before. I am still debating, waiting for a good deal on line for used engine, I don;t know, is frustrating.

- , Bakersfield, CA, USA

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