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. Notes: Ford changed a lot of things for its 3rd generation, just none of them were a good idea.

The transmission tends to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. The new electronically-driven power steering can fail suddenly and without warning. Even Ford's SYNC can be a headache. Actually, scratch that last one --- it's always been a headache.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,273 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.

2013 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 6 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Apr 022014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,267 miles


I was driving on an interstate at highway speeds in a completely flat section of the road and had been approximately 20 minutes in my journey when I noticed my car started slightly shuddering. When slowing down for a merging vehicle, my vehicle went to over 5000 RPM (automatic transmission by the way) and my speed dropped, dangerously dropping my speed in a passing lane to 20 under the speed limit. While making multiple attempts on the gas to accelerate the speed, my RPM's kept going up and my acceleration kept declining with cars swerving until I could get into the righthand lane. I have never had an accident or any difficulty with my vehicle as I purchased it new. Further, I have noticed that even though I have an automatic transmission, when stopped at intersections or lights, if I let up off of the gas at all, my car rolls backwards much like a manual transmission would do, which now that I know the transmission does this, I am aware, however on uphill stops I find it difficult to not roll backwards in switching between the brake and acceleration if a car is closely behind me, stopped. I have taken my car to a Ford dealership for it to be looked at, and the customer service rep at my local dealership (where I didn't buy the car) states that the transmission issues are common in Ford focuses of this model year -- and Ford is aware/the dealership is aware -- yet they "can't find anything actually wrong by guidelines" for the car. It's a safety hazard and needs to be dealt with immediately! I expect a new car with no accidents to run smoothly!

- Crozet, VA, USA

problem #43

Jun 072013

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles
When I drive it sounds like something is grinding and/or a rattling in the front of the car. It does not always make this noise however when it does it sounds like my transmission is gonna fall out in the middle of the road while I am driving. I can also feel a vibration in my foot peddle. On June 07 2017 they reprogrammed my transmission hoping that would resolve the problem. On another visit December 27th 2013 they lubed some part of the front of my vehicle. Then on March 19th 2014 they did another reprogram advising me this time its more specific for my vehicle. They also gave me a print out on why my car made this noise and advised me it was normal. They have heard the noise all 3 of these times, there were a few other visits where they were unable to hear the noise so they were not sure on how to approach the problem. With the last reprogramming they did so far has helped the noise it is not as often occurring however now my car is jerking, almost like the transmission is slipping. They did advise me I would need to drive 500 miles to ensure the reprogramming has been fixed and I am not at my 500 miles yet.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #42

Mar 292014


  • miles
Vehicle just stopped running while driving down the road.

- Bloomsburg, PA, USA

problem #41

Jun 042013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles


Vehicle stalls when clutch is depressed when coming to a stop. Sometimes idle is erratic if the vehicle stays running. It hunts to idle properly.

- Bonneau , SC, USA

problem #40

Oct 012013


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while she drove at 70 mph, the place transmission in park warning light illuminated then the vehicle stalled. The failure was experienced several times. The contact stated that she was able to coast to the shoulder to restart the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times but the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 10,000.

- Royal Oak , MI, USA

problem #39

Jan 122014


  • 8,700 miles
While traveling on the freeway the car just died. Engine shut off, how ever all the electrical in the car were still working. Once pulling off the free way, the car started after several attempts but then died shortly after. The car then would not work. After getting the car towed to quirk Ford in quincy they had to keep it as a code they do not know what it means came up, so they do not know how to fix the car. The car is still in the shop to this day and they wont give me a rental.

- Allston, MA, USA

problem #38

Dec 312013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,552 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle jerked violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 12,552. Updated 02/11/2014 the consumer believed there may be a problem with the transmission and the tie rod. Updated 02/20/14

- Hawthorne, FL, USA

problem #37

Dec 232013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 12,377 miles
I was on my way to work on 12/23/2013 and on the dashboard of my car said engine fault check system now light came on and the car immediately shut down on me on the expressway I tried several times cranking my car but it wouldn't start so I call idot to help me they came and towed me to the nearest exit after an hour and a half my car started up but the engine symbol remain on the dashboard I was able to drive it back home I waited for joe rizzo Ford to open and then I took my car to them they ended up keeping my car and I had to rent me a car until the problem was fix joe rizzo Ford said they will call me when the problem is fix--> the car they gave me was another Ford Focus 2013 and what do you know the freaking engine light came on in the rental car I had my personal car for a year now there is no way that I should be having engine problems or anything else wrong with this car Ford really needs to get these problems fix before an accident happen to someone.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #36

Dec 032013


  • 2,045 miles
Two weeks prior to this incident I went and took it for a maintenance oil appointment, on December 3 as I started the vehicle, it would not start, it kept marking check engine, it left me stranded on the middle of my street boylston street, boston, after several attempts it would start but not get too far. I then had it towed to quirk in quincy.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #35

Aug 152013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while having the vehicle serviced, it was found that there was an oil leak. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was confirmed that the main seal, clutch pack and front seals had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #34

Nov 112013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 5,562 miles


Driving home from school with my grandson and the car started to jerk as we crept in the line of traffic. Almost sounded as if it was ready to stall! this car has just over 5000 miles on it and I enjoy driving it but this problem has persisted and is a safety issue as jerking makes it difficult to judge how close to get to the car in front of you ( because the "slipping " in and out of gear surges forward ) and could cause an accident. Even at speeds up to 35-45 mph the hesitation makes me feel as if it is going to stall. So today I researched the problem and am shocked to find this is a major issue and needs to be addressed asap by Ford. Also the door locks don't work properly when using as the manual states. I plan to be at my dealership first thing in the morning.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #33

Nov 242013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 301 miles
I have only had to car for a day. The car makes an awful rattling noise and hesitates when going in and out of traffic. To make matters worse, today I was in a parking lot and when I was in drive I pushed the gas to go forward and the car went in reverse! please recall this car. It's so unsafe and someone is going to get killed. Luckily no one was behind me when this happened. Awful transmission. A danger!

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #32

Sep 052013


  • 1,500 miles
While driving the car at any point in time the car starts to sound like its going to die almost like I'm driving a standard but I'm not. I mostly notice it when driving in town. Yet I have noticed it when going faster as well. I purchased this vehicle brand new. I was never informed of this being "normal". I have taken the vehicle in. The person working on my vehicle said they drove it and noticed the issue. Stated that resetting the computer system would resolve this problem. Yet after having this redone. Not even an hour later I notice the issue has not be resolved and is still happening. I am afraid that I will get into a wreck, not to mention I have wasted my money on this vehicle. I feel as if I am throwing my money away completely. When talking to my sales man after having this issue not resolved. He tells me that this is an issue that everyone complains about though Ford states this is normal. I have had many vehicles in my life and this is by far not normal. If this vehicle did this while I was test driving the car. I would not have purchased this car ever. Something needs to be done about this issue. Do we need to wait until someone is seriously injured from the defect before something will be done. Ford... fix this!!

- Lyons, NY, USA

problem #31

Oct 152013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Car jerks alot! always jerking at low speeds and usually through gears 1-4. very unreliable in city driving and feels very unsafe. I totally regret purchasing this vehicle. Taken it several times to the Ford camelback in phx AZ and they just say its the way the manufacture built the car and how the car is able to save gas. Ford needs to recognize this problem and give Ford owners a break.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #30

Oct 102013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
Was driving up my driveway which is fairly steep, the engine slipped out of gear (it's an automatic transmission) and started to roll backwards down the hill, the engine was revving/redlining as if it were in neutral. I quickly applied the brakes, and stepped on the gas. The car was still not in gear and continued to roll back, I applied the brakes again, and then the gas at which point the car shot forward, lucky that I was far enough away from the garage or any objects and remained in gear when I pulled into the garage. This same thing happened to me on flat ground in a parking lot one day. The lurch was less, but the car still shot forward faster than it should have, another instance where I was lucky that there were no pedestrians/cars/objects to run into. This car is dangerous and a liability.

- Clayton , NC, USA

problem #29

Sep 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 14,664 miles
For a few months prior I had noticed a shuttering stuttering type feeling when coasting or at at stop, almost like the car was going to stall. On 9/13 I was in stop and go traffic going up a hill into a dodger game when all the sudden a warning popped up on the screen informing me that the transmission had overheated and I needed to pull over, stop the car and wait for 8 minutes. When I attempted to drive the car to pull over the engine would rev but the car didn't move, then it started doing large lurches forward. It was impossible to get out of the traffic and move the car to safety without further endangering myself, my passengers, and the other vehicles around me. The smell was so bad I actually got out of the car at one point thinking it might explode. This went on for about half an hour as I tried to get to safety. I took the car in for repairs the next morning and it was in the shop for a week. I got it back and could tell there was still something wrong because the shaking was now so bad I would get motion sick anytime the car was at a stop. 5 days after picking it up I took it back to the shop. Again, they had the car for a week. After picking it up, three days later I was again pulling into dodger stadium and the same thing happened. Transmission over heated, lurching as I try to pull over to safety and a terrible smell coming from the car. The car is back in the shop again, but I feel that my safety is threatened and I do not want this car back. In 23 days, the car has had to go into the shop 3 times, for a total of 15 days so far.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #28

Aug 132013


  • 6,000 miles
When driving on residential roads, I often feel my 2013 Ford Focus stall or jerk. Often times there are glitches in the electrical wiring of locks and also in the radio. The door will stay locked after hitting the unlock button on the inside multiple times. The radio will not turn on, unless I turn off and re-turn on the car. As for the stalling, it often stalls when going anywhere from 30-65 mph.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #27

Jun 132013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
This car needs to be recalled. Took to dealer with problem about 1,000 miles. They acknowledged it has a problem and said they needed to keep it overnight. Then I find out all they did is reset the computer. That did not work and now at 7,000 miles the problem is getting worse. Engine hesitates and slips when starting accelerate and is worse around 30 mph when the engine shutters, rattles and jumps like I am riding on a horse. How can Ford sell a car that has a major flaw like this" I see hundreds of complaints similar problems. When is the government going to do something? I just wasted my money. I expect to get a good car with no problems but I get a new piece of trash. How can I get the car fixed or my money back"

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #26

Jun 032013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 164 miles
When shifting the car from first to second, a very loud banging sound was heard. Checked online for similar problems and found that Ford had issued a tsb for this problem on June 10, 2013. Went back to the dealer and informed them of my problem and the tsb. Was told that they would have to experience the problem before they would order parts. Had to make an appointment for them to drive the car and leave it an entire day. Went back July 18, 2013. Dealer had a tech drive the car, and yes, there was a problem. Parts ordered. After waiting weeks, was told that there is a nationwide backorder on parts. After hitting 3000 miles, started to have severe steering issues. When shifting into second or third under acceleration, the would almost make a right turn. And then when accelerating in second and third, the steering wheel would vibrate so bad I had to hang on for dear life. Back to the dealer. They made a call to Ford engineering who said that new mounts would fix the steering issues. In August, I started calling heather at Ford customer service. Explained about the backorder and my steering issues. Told her I was afraid to drive the car. She said she would try to expedite the parts. After weeks of no results, talked to her about me buying aftermarket mounts that are available. She said Ford would not authorize anything but Ford parts. I said that would be acceptable if Ford would come up with the parts. I am now being told that parts might be here in October. Word on the web is that delivery will most likely be November or next year. Finally broke down and bought my own mounts at a cost of $369. My safety is worth that much. I will try to get my money back from Ford, waited 9000 miles for them to fix it.

- Monee, IL, USA

problem #25

May 222013


  • 210 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the entire vehicle started shaking and jerking without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and to a mechanic, who both stated that the computer needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 210. The current mileage was 3,600.

- Washington Park, MD, USA

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