really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,165 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.

2001 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #73

Apr 012011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


This vehicle has suddenly died dozens of times since April of 2011. It dies when applying the brakes on the interstate, it dies when braking in a parking area. There is no specific speed when this occurs. The vehicle starts back up after two or three times while giving it gas. It happens when the gas tank is full or low and our very reputable mechanic can find no cause. This is extremely dangerous, especially in high traffic areas and I have seen where numerous complaints have been filed online and I hope reporting this will show a pattern with these vehicles.

- Pleasant View, TN, USA

problem #72

Nov 012009


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. She received a recall notice for the rear door handles which were repaired at the manufacturer's expense (see NHTSA campaign id 05V030000). The front passenger door came open due to a defective door handle while the contact was driving. The manufacturer was contacted and advised her to take the vehicle to the dealer where they would further investigate the defect. Repairs to the passenger door were scheduled with the dealer at the owner's expense. She also stated that the engine failed and was replaced per the extended warranty. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 97,000 and the current mileage was 124,000.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #71

Jun 112008


  • 109,000 miles
Engine failed at 109,000. It threw a rod and destroyed the engine with no warning.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #70

Oct 142007


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While attempting to accelerate at any speed, the vehicle hesitates for several seconds before eventually accelerating. The failure occurs everytime the vehicle is driven. The vehicle has not been in any crashes due to the failure and has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current mileage was 107,000 and failure mileage was 100,000

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #69

Apr 262008


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While driving at any speed, the vehicle would begin to stall and then shut off. The vehicle would also stall and then regain power. The vehicle was not diagnosed by the dealer. The failure mileage was 86,000.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #68

Feb 142008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
My daughter was driving around 30 to 40 mph and when she hit or tap the brake the car would vibrate and try to cut off. The car did cut off and would not start. I towed the car to a shop and found that the valve seat came loose and fell on the pinions, therefore, destroying the engine. The valve seat was totally gone and went through the exhaust. Ford mechanic recommended replacing with new motor and manifold plenum since they would not be able to get all the metal from the valve seat out of the plenum. I could get a used motor but found other on the internet that had the same problem, therefore the problem could happen again.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #67

Jul 212007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle began to make a loud rattling noise. There were no warning indicators or prior failures. The contact drove approximately 1/2 mile to her residence. The mechanic stated that the bottom piston failed in the engine. The current and failure mileages were 93,000.

- Witchita , TX, USA

problem #66

Feb 072007

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 136,000 miles
At seemingly random time my 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 stalls. So far the stall has only happened when at a stop, but sputtering and loss of power randomly at highway speeds has me worried about an eminent stall. I have had the fuel filter changed as well as the egr valve and egr pressure flow sensor and nothing has solved this problem.

- Somerset, MA, USA

problem #65

Dec 222005


  • miles
I was driving my 2001 Ford Focus I just bought from an independent dealer and 3 or 4 days later the engine started stalling out of the blue. I didn't think anything of it until my engine light came on while driving. I got it tested and it said cylinder 2 misfire. I got the spark plugs and wires changed and it didn't do it anymore. Then a week later it started doing it again. This time with my wife driving the kids to a doctor appt. Everything seems to be ok with the car except the stalling. When I turn the ac on the stalling seems worse. I have had the car for 4 months and have tried everything I can to get the problem fixed. But, no one can seem to figure it out. There have been a lot of close calls with accidents.

- Courtland, VA, USA

problem #64

Mar 202006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35 miles
2001 Ford Focus - 23,000 miles. Engine stalls without warning. I have taken the vehicle to 4 different mechanics and the problem is not located.

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #63

Mar 122006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving at any speed and without warning the vehicle stalls. After one hour the vehicle restarts. The dealer replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, cam, oxygen sensor, fuel sensor, fuel line, coil tech, and vacuum hose; however this did not remedy the problem.

- Carthage, MO, USA

problem #62

Jan 262006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Brakes had to be replaced at less than 24,000 miles; continues grinding and squeaking continue even following brake replacement and turning of rotors; at have replaced all four tires two times, with less than 20,000 miles on each set of tires; ignition switch malfunctioned - I could get the key into the ignition, but it would not rotate; now at only 41,000 miles, the engine attempts to stall in idle - the whole car shudders - and has stalled twice while I was stopped at traffic lights. This presents a dangerous situation, not only for myself, but for my two children and others on the roadway. In reviewing this site, I am obviously not the only one experiencing these same problems. Why doesn't the NHTSA issue recalls on Ford Focus for these and other problems? Ford should recall the whole line and issue refunds to customers or cancel their remaining loan payments. I am a single mother with two children, who cannot afford costly repairs. The attitude of the service personnel at the Ford dealership here is awful, and they have treated me badly every time I have gone in there, so that I don't even want to take the car in with this latest problem.

- Tifton, GA, USA

problem #61

Nov 062005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Just driving to the bank and the car started to sputter as if it was losing power when I came to a stop at a red light. I have replaced the air filter and the fuel filter. I checked all fuses. When braking I have to have one foot on brake and other on gas to give it a little gas so it doesnt stall.

- Cathedral City, CA, USA

problem #60

Dec 182001

Focus 4-cyl

  • 8,001 miles
2001 Ford Focus experiencing problems with the front brakes, fuel pump, battery, sway bars and tires. The consumer replaced the front brakes five times, the radiator went out, the thermostat and sensors pertaining to the engine light ad gone out, the fuel pump and the battery went out and the mechanic could not find the problem. Currently the starter showed signs of going out and the vehicle needed sway bars and 4 tires.

- Verona, NJ, USA

problem #59

Sep 032005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
While driving vehicle stalled and operated at a reduced speed. Went back and forth eventually allowing the engine to die. This happened at all speeds. There was loss of power. The vehicle could not restart easily. It may take 20-30 minutes to restart the engine. The vehicle has not been to a dealer. No repairs were made. The consumer has no idea why this happened. The consumer believed this vehicle was included in NHTSA recall, NHTSA 03V482000 concerning the fuel system. The consumer contacted Ford, and Ford stated this vehicle was not included in the recall due to VIN.

- Altus, OK, USA

problem #58

May 082005

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,500 miles
Consumer states: Starting to have engine hesitation, loss of power, some surging. The check engine light has been on for a few days. The engine sounds rougher but there is no knocking.

- Canterbury, NH, USA

problem #57

Mar 232005

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The vehicle stalled. Consumer pull over, and had the vehicle towed. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. At the stop light the motor blew out which caused the vehicle to stall. The #4 valve set dislodged some how most parts stayed in #4 and #3, but got in every part of the head. The service quote need replaced engine with long block. Vehicle need engine assembly complete- remove and replace.

- Emporia, KS, USA

problem #56

Oct 012003


  • miles
Ford Focus 2001, excessive rocking of the engine, replaced motor mount. When the consumer went to the dealer the third time, new bushings were put on the front of the vehicle. When the consumer applied the brake at a very low speed, the wheel vibrated and the body of the vehicle appeared to stop at a slightly slower speed than the wheel and there was a jerking a reaction. The mechanic believed there was a problem with the rear center motor mount and the lack of an a frame brace, which was causing the problems with the wheels.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #55

Nov 212003

Focus 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles
While driving the consumer noticed that the instrument panel gauges were in operative. She could not tell how fast she was driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic informed the driver that the instrument panel needed to be replaced. On some occasions when the speedometer failed the odometer also stopped working and the vehicle idled erratically. At times when the clutch was pressed while stopping the engine would die which resulted in loss of power. The fuel gauge was also unstable and as a result the consumer is never sure how much fuel is in the vehicle.

- Edgewood, NM, USA

problem #54

Oct 102002

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles
I own a 2001 Ford Focus. Problems started one month after purchase. Window wiper motor blew but was under warrenty. Then after warrenty expired everything started to go wrong. Trunk hood would not latch closed, then door latches started to stick, then had to climb into passenger seat to open drivers side door because it would not unlock and door handle plays games and opens door when it wants to. Fuel pump had a recall, thank god because I kept stalling on highway. Then while driving home from work the back passenger side door flew open on highway, almost caused accident. Then engine blew with only 123,000 miles on it. I have all oil change records to prove engine oil was changed every 3,000 miles give or take 20. Engine had to be replaced and that left me without a car for a week. Paid $1900 for an engine from a totaled Focus. Called Ford Motor Company and they told me to hold my engine receipt so that when and if they get any complaints maybe in 2 years or so I'll get a refund. Total money that I have put in car is over $4,000 and it's still not paid off yet. Now I need a new front axle because that is going bad. Why can't Ford help me when I have questions and why is it when I go to a dealer and they can't help and then I call company itself they go and call dealer I went to and they go by what dealer mechanic says and not customer. I will never buy another Ford again. And now the dealer I bought it from went of of business.

- Hawley, PA, USA

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