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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,761 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. replace rotors and pads (2 reports)
  3. replace wheel bearings (1 reports)
2003 Ford Focus brakes problems

brakes problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #8

Feb 012004

Focus SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles


The car began having the rear brake squeal shortly after buying it in 2004. The dealer cleaned the brake dust out of the drum several times only to squealing again shortly afterwards. I replaced the brake shoes with no change. I am hoping someone can find a remedy.

- , Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #7

Aug 092010

Focus ZX3 2.0L Dohc

  • Manual transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Well I got the car in 08 with 92k and it had the noise in the back slightly. I then upgraded the springs and shocks for better handling and the noise when braking got worse. I replaced the drums with AutoZ's 2 year warranty. This will be the 3rd set of drums that I am replacing. Luckily I do my own work and don't have to pay labor or I would be very upset. The wheel bearings are pressed into the drums on the rear brakes and for some reason they don't last very long. I don't know if it is the bearings from Autozone or the ford bearings too. Anyone have any ideas? I want to upgrade the brakes to rotors in the back. Anyone hear of a kit for that?

- , Hemet, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012009

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My 03 Ford Focus is such a pain in the ass. Now I have a problem with the rear brakes that is more than obvious to anyone within a mile radius! My rear brakes squeal so loudly, I'm surprised I haven't been ticketed for disturbing the peace! I have had them serviced and serviced and serviced. Finally, I took them to the shop because the kids I pick up from school were embarrassed to have to get into my obnoxious car and I couldn't take it anymore, and the tech looked up all the recalls for ford and you know there were a million of them. Come to find out the rear brake problem was a pretty much universal problem and some models of the focus had been recalled.....not mine. they said that many had been reported but not enough to recall. isn't that so freakin typical. not enough of our products are faulty. not enough of our faulty products have caused injury or death for us to take responsibility!! I HATE FORD! I'm going to walmart to buy one of those hats that i used to laugh at that says "i'd rather run down the road with a steering wheel in my hand than drive a ford," cuz that's what I have to do now because I was once dumb enough to buy one!

- , Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #5

Jan 012008

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


I bought the car in Jan. 2008 and the brakes have always made that noise. The dealership says its not covered under my ext.warranty and that it does it because the brakes are cold. This is so embarrassing because when you stop everyone is looking. I wish I would have never bought this car!!!

- , Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #4

Jul 022008

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

My brakes have been very noisy since I bought the car in 2006; I have taken it in multiple times to get the pads checked because they drive me crazy, and I have no way of hearing when they are actually worn out. Each time the mechanic either said my brakes were fine, OR replaced them to try and eliminate the noise.

I finally took my car into someone else on Monday and they reported that my rotors are worn out and had to be replaced in order to eliminate the noise.

- , Greeley, CO, USA

problem #3

Nov 162005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

this is on-going problem told be dealership that the focus F150 F350 and expedition all have this problem and thats that. 2weeks after purchasing vehicle brakes squeak loudly dealership claims break dust.On 3rd visit to dealership(now 1month3wks ownership) the brakes are cracked. be prepared this is going to happen often.

- , Corona, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 152007

Focus ZX3

  • Manual transmission
  • 104,086 miles

I have had my ford for 3 years and at least twice a year I have had to take my car to the mechanic. My back drums keep going out and grinding, it makes me really upset i can't take it any more.

- , Ontario, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 012007

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I don't know what the deal is with this car. The brakes squeal so bad it's embarrassing. The car now has 51,000 miles on it and it's still squealing like a pig. I have had the brakes checked 3 times and nothing, no reason for the squealing. It drives me crazy!!!!!!!!!!

- , Denver, CO, USA

Not what you are looking for?