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.

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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
117,754 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. dish out more money to my mechanic (4 reports)
2003 Ford Focus cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 192011

Focus WXL 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


I purchased this 2003 Ford Focus as a gas mileage car. In less then a year the thermostat housing has cracked twice. The first time cost me a few hundred dollars. Luckily my mechanic is aware of the chronic problem with the Ford Focus thermostat housings. He ordered a part that came with a warranty so the second time did not cost me. He says he will go to a different maker of the part the next time. He also said auto companies do this kind of thing purposely to make money.

- , Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #3

Dec 032009

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

click to see larger images

cracked thermostat housing

Just fixed one for a customer. Once the battery is out you have full access to the housing. You can pick this housing up from most parts stores since Dorman now makes them. The picture shows the failure area.

- , jville, NC, USA

problem #2

Sep 262009

Focus S 2.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 101,018 miles

The junior engineer that designed that plastic thermostat housing should be banned from any further engineering assignments AND the senior engineer that approved the PLASTIC housing should also be fired.

This should be a recall item on the tab of Ford Motor Company. My mechanic said this is the 10th CRACKED PLASTIC THERMOSTAT HOUSING he has seen.

How do we leverage against Ford to get a recall. This is a manufacturing flaw

- , Cary, NC, USA

problem #1

May 232009

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Two years ago the thermostat housing cracked on my 2003 Ford Focus. Fortunately my extended warranty covered this. Recently we discovered it has happened again. At this time the warranty has expired. My mechanic claims that Ford really screwed up by using plastic for the housing instead of aluminum as heat will undoubtedly wear plastic down with time. My local Ford dealer in Flagstaff claims they don't see this problem often but my mechanic is aware of it and says that Ford should issue a recall and fix the problem. I agree with my mechanic. After this repair I have 3 years left to pay the car off and it seems I am looking at dishing out yet another $400 before it is paid as this problem seems to happen every two years (I purchased the car used in 2006). I have always loved Fords but am definitely looking into new territory for my next vehicle.

- , Flagstaffq, AZ, USA

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