really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
113,850 miles
Total Complaints:
49 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (24 reports)
  2. take it to the junk yard (12 reports)
  3. not sure (7 reports)
  4. rebuild engine (5 reports)
  5. spark plugs can help fix it all (1 reports)
2000 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2000 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #49

Dec 032012

Focus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,102 miles


So, I got this car and it only had 76,000 miles on it. Within a year, I found out that something had blown that bent something else and blew the engine. I looked it up online because I couldn't figure out why my car was running just fine the day before, then wouldn't start the next day, and sure enough, complaint all over the internet of the same exact thing happening to the same make model and year vehicle! At this time, I was living in my focus & was stranded where it broke down at until I had someone pay for a new engine to be rebuilt. I contacted Ford and even though there was hundreds of complaints about the same exact thing happening between 90,000 and 110,000 miles, there is no recall put in for it! This is not okay!

- Caitlin G., Reno, NV, US

problem #48

Aug 142014

Focus SE 2.0L Sohc

  • Manual transmission
  • 177,000 miles

click to see larger images

blown engine

Bought mine in 2005 with 63,000 miles on it. Guess I'm the lucky one as I made it to 177,000 before it dropped part of a valve seat (yes, PART of one-it cracked and broke) into the #4 cylinder. Many problems before as you may have guessed but none quite like this one. Stopped for fuel and upon restarting the engine it immediately made the noise many have described...like 12 guys beating on the valve cover with ball peen hammers. I stopped the engine because I knew something had fallen into one of the cylinders. After towing it home and disassembling the head, I was amazed at the sub-par construction in the heart of the motor. Ford should indeed be ashamed of themselves. After a week of part searching (shout out to Green Sales of Cincinnati!!!) I was able to track down the valve seats and completely rebuild the head. New valves, seats, seals, head gasket, intake gasket, milling of the damaged piston and co-insiding spot on the head....Has a little less horse power and a slight oil leak, but it runs. 2 days of missed work, $300 and a lot of elbow grease-all caused by a $7 part! Thanks and screw you Ford!!!!!

- jessekentucky, Ludlow, KY, US

problem #47

Dec 202013

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Bought this car from someone we knew, a year and a half later replaced transmission 02/13. Then in 12/13 drove to work, drove down the street to meet a friend for lunch, came out, went to start car, made a horrible noise, would not start, left it there & had my friend drive me back to work. Called my husband, who is a mechanic, he looked at it & told me I blew up the engine. Here it sits 8 months later.

- jury, Acworth, GA, US

problem #46

Jul 012012

Focus SE 2.0L Spi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles


click to see larger images

blown engine blown engine blown engine

I had to replace the head and pistons in an engine that I had replaced at 123,000. I got the engine from a wrecking yard. It had 62,000 on the engine at the time, so by 190,000, the engine has 129,000 miles. It blew the valve seat in cylinder 4, like other people here. Little pieces of valve flew around the intake and pitted the pistons and head in the other cylinders. The block seemed okay, so I did a partial rebuild with a Rebuilt Head, and new pistons/rings. I had the block resurfaced and honed. So that means I got 123K from the first engine (post #38), and 129K from the second engine before needing a rebuild.

After the rebuild, it ran well for another 46,000 miles. It's June 2014, has 236,000 miles, and the engine has a ticking sound from the block. That may be another post soon. Should I really have driven a Ford Focus for 236K?

- Brian S., Bothell, WA, US

problem #45

Aug 142013

Focus LX Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Adan Jonas, an analyst for New York-based Morgan Stanley, wrote in his report: "The U.S. auto cyclical recovery may be harder to maintain in the months ahead" There is a good chance that the Ford Motor Company will declare bankruptcy next year,do not buy any Ford vehicles.

- Leonardo C., Ossining, NY, US

problem #44

Aug 152013

Focus LX Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

The Ford Motor Company is going to declare BANKRUPSY next year, and the goverment is not going to bail them out this time. Adan Jonas,an analyst for New York-based Morgan Stanly,wrote in the report: "The U.S. auto cyclical recovery may be harder to maintain in the months ahead". "We are watching out for the impact that rising rates" may have and "fear this story has a lot of room to get WORSE. This rumor is hard to believe, but a rumor and word of mouth can destroy the reputation of any company.PASS IT ON and make it possible.

Update from Oct 30, 2013: Correction:Bankruptcy

- Leonardo C., Ossining, NY, US

problem #43

Sep 052013

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,041 miles


Car wouldn't start . Checked oil and it was creamy, blown head gasket.

Tow driver briefly started and there was lots of noise. Tow driver said it was head gasket and serious damage inside motor, most likely piston and rod . I may try Pick and Pull to see if they have one for $200 plus it will cost about $600 to take out of wreck and then take out of car and install into car. Do not buy a 2002 motor as they are the worse!! .

This was my step daughter's car that her uncle gave to her for free. I still might buy her a 1999 Toyota Corolla as they are problem free and great mileage. I had a Ford 35 years ago and it was crap with a faulty transmission. Things just don't change. When you are buying a car, do input into year of car, make and the problems BEFORE you buy. Be a smart consumer!! Also don't let Ford do it to you again!

The old saying FORD - Fix or Repair Daily. LOL

- Gary W., West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

problem #42

Aug 282012

Focus LX, SE 2.0L Sohc Spi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

from 2000 through 2003 the base model engine in the for focus lx and se was the SOHC engine (spi) (single overhead cam) this engine has one problem, between 100,000 miles and 175,000 miles, the VALVE SEAT in either piston 2 or 4 will come loose and fall into the cylinder, causing the connecting rod to bend, piston to crack and head to be damaged, the problem can be prevented by taking the head to a machine shop and having the seats replaced, but they must do it in such a way that the problem will not happen. symptoms of a valve seat drop are the engine will instantly with no warning make extremely loud noises, instantly shut off and do not to re start the engine. i have repaired 2 of these engines successfully my self. about $800 in parts, make sure who ever repairs it cleans all of the valve set material out of the air INTAKE MANIFOLD and the EGR tube. or else it will happen again.

- lmcd314, Portsmouth, NH, US

problem #41

Feb 222013

Focus SE

  • Manual transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Car ran great until the moment it failed. It ran very rough as one of the cylinders was not firing. Took it to the local Firestone and they advised it was a failed cylinder - probably a valve or ring issue. The car is not worth the $1500 we were advised the repair would cost. Good car, but we were counting on 200k+ miles as it was very well maintained with oil changes.

- rtennessee, Nashville, TN, US

problem #40

Jan 142013

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,500 miles

As I have mentioned with this car before... blown transmission at 105,000 and blown engine at 117,500 - Don't ever put any money into a Ford Focus anywhere near the early 2000 models - the common sense advice "it's cheaper to fix than to buy a new car" does not apply with these cars, they simply will not last long enough to make several thousand dollars in repairs worth your while.

- Greg P., Boise, ID, US

problem #39

Aug 152012

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 145,266 miles


click to see larger images

blown engine blown engine blown engine

Well my son purchase a 2000 ford focus with the 2.0 L-this is the split port single over-head cam engine. The car had 145 thousand miles on engine. At first the car ran great, I drove it for about 2 months with no problems. no oil, no smoke..etc. it really ran good. Then the day came without any warning, no signs of trouble stopped at the store. Then upon leaving all hell broke loose in the engine, it sounded like ww2 with banging and knocking very loudly. Come to find out the valve on the number 4 cylinder fell apart, down on the piston. Also damaged number 1 and 2 pistons and cylinder head was damaged.

That's junkie fords for you.

- granger2121, Ringgold, GA, US

problem #38

Jul 052008

Focus SE 2.0L Spi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

The car had been running fine. Then one night, after shopping downtown, we went to start the car. It started and instantly made the loudest crunching sound and seized up. It wouldn't even turn over again. It wasn't obvious what had broken, but there was a river of oil flowing down the gutter when I got out. That's the first bad sign. We towed it home.

Feeling around, my fingers fell into a large, fist sized hole on the back of Cylinder #4. A piston arm was sticking out, and the other parts of the piston and engine block were sitting on the cross members and transmission. It needed an engine.

I found a junkyard engine for $1,500 and installed it myself. The replacement engine had 62K on it, and was very clean with good maintenance records. I'd never replaced an engine. It took me a month. While I had the opportunity, I replaced the timing belt, serpentine belt, sparks, wires, filters all around, general tune up stuff.

I never figured out what caused the piston to seize. It may have been a blown valve that prevented the piston from full-stroke. It may have been blown rings, or a problem with oil getting into the valve mechanisms properly. I didn't take the old engine apart to diagnose the issue. But that's not something that should happen so early in an engine's life. Modern cars should last 200K at least. There is no excuse for this kind of issue. I couldn't have paid a shop to swap the engine. It would have cost twice what the car was worth by then. And not everybody has the skills or equipment to replace their own engine.

This was the first of two engine failures on this car. The second report is in this same list, when the car hit 199K, and the engine from the junkyard had 137K total on it.

- Brian S., Bothell, WA, US

problem #37

Nov 122011

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,284 miles

I bought this great looking little focus 2000 ran great looked graet then one day it ran rough when I started it.I turned it off started it again it was ok then a couple of wks,later I drove to work came home turned off the car and went to use it again about20 min. later & it wouldnt start I let it sit tried it again and O.M.G..it ran so bad then stalled It sounded like the fan blade was being shredded by something or that something was rattling anound&banging inside the motor.I took it in and they told me it was a interior problem in the motor either a bent rod or something to do wtih the pistons or both at any rate we were talking 2-3 thousand dollars with no gaurentee.The car cost me 5500.00plus taxes and I never drove it every day and had it a little over 2yrs. I dont have alot of moneyand I believe ford should recall those 2.0 engines. It sure screwed me up I now need a new car & cant afford one! Ford should have to reemburse something to the people who have had these cars that the motors just go in with fairly low kms. This is bull you are just out the money plus what the mechanic charged to tell you the motor is shot . Something should have to be done!!!

- lynnkuntzchwk, Chilliwack, British Columbia, canada

problem #36

Dec 222011

Focus 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 163,000 miles

After taking a look on-line to see about a replacement engine, I immediately found Auto Beef and started reading all the 2L Ford engine failures.

I first was alerted to these ill-designed FORD cylinder heads last summer when 2 of my fishing buddies had engines fail within weeks of each other & at about the same mileage (160,000). The first friend found an exact replacement car (Escort Wag) that just needed a few interior panels swapped & the price was right; so a weekend project had him back on the road for a few months till that engine failed. Friend #2 also had an Escort about a year newer & it failed the way they all seem to; upon starting they dropped #3 valve seat resulting in broken piston, bent rod, and fragments scattered throughout the motor. I was able to rebuild it so he could drive it awhile & get some use out of his new tires & hopefully his money back on a sale or trade in.

In discussions with my head rebuilder I learned that EVERY ONE of these engines will fail by 180,000 miles by dropping either #3 or #4 valve seat. So recently when a friend in CO. called & was telling me about a 2000 Focus she wanted to buy I said DON"T buy it, you are just asking for trouble you can't afFORD. Well you can't tell women anything (it's so cute) and now 2 weeks later UPON STARTING, wham bang rattle rattle stall. Shop wants about $2400 to replace the motor, about $300 more than she paid for the car.

I have not looked into the class action suite (if there is one), but I feel every damn one of these 2.0L motors that have blown should be crated and shipped to FORD HQ; that may make the evening news.

I have never liked FORD, drove GM since 65 & have never had an engine failure!

- wa.mech., Seattle, WA, US

problem #35

Nov 092011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I bought the car new, took good care of it. One day, it just started making awful noises. I had it towed to the garage -- it was totally ruined. Something had detached and ruined the pistons. I'll never get a Ford again.

- bizmaven, Santa Fe, NM, US

problem #34

Dec 012010

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I just sent my 2000 Ford Focus to the junkyard,collected a pittance in return and now want to inform other Focus owners of what may lie ahead. This was a decent vehicle,didn't nickle and dime me with repairs,plus it got 30-35 mpg. One morning my wife went outside to start the car to leave for work.I heard a racket in the driveway..."What the heck was that?".... "The car was running rough so I shut it off" Rough was an understatement.What ran though my mind as I opened the hood was the fan blade unbolted and was ramming into the radiator or some problem like that. But everything looked good and tight. I started the engine and it sounded like someone had dumped a bucket of bolts into the cylinders. No it can't be the engine! It ran fine yesterday! Its only got 103,000 mi! I searched the internet to help shed light on my engine troubles and happened upon this website. I read the similar experiences others had with their Ford Focus'. Why hasn't Ford recalled these faulty valve guides in this engine? But I wanted to keep this car and looked into what it would cost to get it running again. A call to a junkyard to find a replacement engine: $1800 with no guarantee. A trip to a mechanic for rebuild:"It's a throw away engine, not worth it" Lastly I thought about putting in a remanufactured engine:$3500; Wow. It took 8 months for me to accept getting this car fixed was a lost cause. So, my Focus without a tear in the interior, no rust on the body and with fairly new set of tires is off for scrap, AND the reason I was given a pittance was the junkyard already had 4 Focus's and all had the same problem.......bad engines.

- rt550pa, Bellefonte, PA, US

problem #33

Mar 172011

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,775 miles

My 2000 Ford Focus was running great!! just replaced brakes & rotors, oil change. went in to the store to get dinner, come out and the car shrieks, wont turn over and starts smoking. I call my car guy, last car i had did this with the timing belt, he says perhaps valves?, dad thinks starter. once @ the shop, takes 4 hours to diagnose.it is the valve and more... when the valves went, it cracked the block, ripped belts and other things that made no sense to me. I wrote to Ford cause there are no engines here in MD, and they sent me a sucks to be you email and told me to take my car to ford dealerships in the future for work. I WILL NEVER BUY A FORD AGAIN!! they have no accountability.

- koberg, Accokeek, MD, US

problem #32

Jan 072011

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 163,000 miles


- Billy T., Walnut, MS, US

problem #31

Jul 182010

Focus LX Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

click to see larger images

blown engine blown engine blown engine blown engine blown engine

This is my girlfriends meticulously maintained "baby". She LOVES this car and relies on it with her life. While driving there was a sudden POW and a rattle and the motor just stopped. It started right back up and had a knock. It sat awhile because the determination was not good. I started the car and it sounded like a rod knock or collapsed lifter. Curiosity got to me and I took the cam cover off. At idle there was no valvetrain noise. I removed the spark plugs and noticed obvious damage to all four. 2 and 3 were the worst. I drained the oil and it had no metallic content. After removing the oil pan (assuming it MUST be a rod bearing) I saw chunks of aluminum in the bottom. With a light I could plainly see piston 3 was missing the skirt. The engine is torn down - the block is undamaged, the crank and rods are fine. Here we are May 1, 2011 and the rebuild kit is coming. The head is at a machine shop being fixed and the car has been sitting tagged and insured for just shy of a year. At the time of this report I have four Ford vehicles parked at my house. I am a diehard Ford fan but this is NOT an isolated incident. Shame on you Ford for stranding hard-working people who bust their butt to pay for their car. People work hard and rely on their vehicles. People freely CHOOSE to buy and drive Ford vehicles and as a responsible corporation - you should have made good on this obvious engineering failure. I am rebuilding this engine because the car is in great shape.

- badmerc, Fort Myers, FL, US

problem #30

Apr 082011

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,089 miles

I guess I feel better that I am not alone on this particular problem. I purchased the car about three years ago with 48k on it. Paid off the 3 year loan early this year feeling good! I also was able to get 36 miles to the gallon (nice) Ford got that right at least. I have taken good care of it, oil changes at 3000 miles, alignments, tires. A few months ago I put on a new timing belt, waterpump & top motor mount and coil pack. This month new rear tires and rear shocks also. Now the problem. I went to Aldi (thinking on my way I should be putting on new brakes soon) when I went to go it started and was making noise, rattling, rumbling sounds from the engine area. I raised the hood and it sounded loudest from the valve cover near the number 4 cylinder. I limped it home 4 miles taking it slow. I removed the valve cover and did not see any problem. I put it back together and started it again. The noise was still present and placing my ear on the oil pan it sounded like number 4 bearings were shot. By reading the other comments it sounds like if I opened up the engine I would find the problem to have started with the valve seals. The only sign of any problem was when the engine was warm and started up sometime it ran a little rough for a minute or two. I thought the coil pack was going out so I replaced it. Rather disappointed I have started a replacement car search. One dealer said he would give me $500 in trade on a VW 2004 Jetta ( my first foreign car). I have always owned Chevy, Ford, Mercury, Dodge or Plymouth. The Focus is till a nice looking car. Rather sad.

- Steve H., Dixon, IL, US

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