really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,956 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 #62

Sep 052012

Focus 4-cyl

  • miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact stated that the front driver's side floor mat became wet. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the condenser box to the air conditioning unit was cracked and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was unknown.

- Raynham, MA, USA

problem #61

Jul 272012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
On 7/27/2012, the car caught on fire while being driven. The smoke started coming into the interior through the vents. When attempting to pull over, there was no brake (my guess is that the brake line had melted.). my husband used the E brake and park to stop and someone yelled...get out of the car.my husband and son jumped out and the car became engulfed. There is nothing left. He told me that just before that it started hesitating some, like it was going to cut off, but didn't. for a more detailed statement please contact him. I am so thankful that they got out... thank you,

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #60

Nov 142011


  • 140,000 miles
Engine suddenly had no oil in it. In turn, the engine is now blown.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #59

Sep 042009

Focus 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles


My main complaints are the power windows, air conditioning, fuel system issue 3 of the 4 power window mechanism in my car have broken and two are wedged up, which wasn't a huge safety concern to me because I rarely have people in the rear seats. Now, I have to decide if I should fix my driver window or wedge it. It is a safety concern for me because if I get into an accident and cannot open my window then I might make it out alive. My A/C is broken as well so in the summer months, I need to choose to either fix my A/C or fix my power window so that I can have ventilation. Also, I have been trying to get an issue fixed with the fuel system as it sometimes lurches in the middle of driving. It hasn't stalled on me yet in the middle of an intersection like it has for some people, but I am worried it will happen soon. I am hopeful Ford will fix my window issues as this is a direct cause of cheap parts.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #58

Sep 082010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I've had numerous problems with my Ford Focus and despite regular maintenance I've been stranded on the side of a highway countless times.thus far I've replaced the engine twice. Twice I've had to replace the alternator. My throttle does not return to idle and has unexpected moments of acceleration and I've had to replace the engine throttle sensor. Both of my front coil springs have broken and were very close to puncturing my tires. After taking my vehicle to numerous mechanics none of them have been able to diagnose why my car shakes so badly. I have very poor visibility at night with the exterior lighting which is significantly less compared to other vehicles. My fan has had to be replaced since it was malfunctioning and my car was having problems overheating as well. During the course of all of these car malfunctions, I've been in dangerous situations on the side of the highway and in risky neighborhoods at night. This car has proven to be very unreliable and unsafe.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #57

Jan 142010


  • 70,000 miles
I have had a Ford Focus 2001 for two years and in those years I have had to replace the engine and engine mounts. I have found out that this I common place in almost all Ford Focus's. I fear that this car might leave me anywhere, now one week ago the ignition cylinder has broken. This is not wear and tear. I demand that these cars of 1998 threw 2003 be labeled as lemons and have Ford issue a recall or reimbursements on them.

- San Benito, TX, USA

problem #56

Mar 172010


  • 129,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 15 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact pulled over and when he restarted it, the vehicle functioned properly. The dealer, when contacted, stated that they were unaware of such a problem. The failure continued to occur intermittently. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in any recalls related to the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 129,000. The current mileage was 130,275.

- Winchester, MA, USA

problem #55

Apr 202010

Focus 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While driving at approximately 10 mph, the engine stalled. The contact tried to restart the vehicle after a minute it would not start up. The contact then noticed smoke emitting from the hood which soon became a fire. The fire department extinguished the fire and a fire report was filed. The vehicle was totaled. The current and failure mileages were approximately 93,000. Updated 6/21/10 updated 06/24/10.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #54

Feb 072009


  • miles
Ignition sticks and moves around, horn fell completely out from under the car and hit someone's car, the fan box and all fell completely off and down, backfiring stalling rattling vibrates front right side around tire area rattles horribly, check eng. Light stays on mass air flow sensor is bad transmission sensor is bad lighter stopped working car completely goes dead spits sputters, manifold pipe broke so now its loud. Its all day long non stop period we have replace several sensors and tubes and wires for it doesn't work not getting the gas mileage I should and I have had it 11 months but hardly dove it 3 total all together I cant afford any thing else to fix these problems 3 days after I bought it its been pure ?!@#$%.

- Grenada, MS, USA

problem #53

Jul 302009


  • 130,000 miles
The connecting rod broke in the engine. Our mechanic said that almost all 2001 Ford Focus has this problem. I know I have 130,000 miles on the vehicle but I kept up with all recalls and maintenance. Just lucky we made it home safe. If there is such a problem with most Focus why wasn't it fixed by Ford before a break down and lost of my vehicle.

- Sparta, WI, USA

problem #52

Jun 072009


  • 61,000 miles


Our daughters 2001 Ford Focus caught on fire from the engine, burned into the cabin. The car was off and parked in a lot. We purchased the car from a Ford dealership when it was 3 years old, and have never been told of this problem. The car has been totaled. We are so fortunate that our daughter was not injured, nor that anyone else or property was damaged. She had only been out of the car for about 4-6 minutes before it erupted in flames. Prior to that the car appeared to drive fine. No smells, no warning lights. Very scary. I felt that I need to tell someone, as the insurance company, appears to want to just settle the claim, with no investigation. How are we to make cars safer, if the insurance companies, the last line of defense, don't notify anyone?

- Hartland, WI, USA

problem #51

Sep 072008


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While driving approximately 35 mph on normal road conditions, the engine began to idle excessively high. On a separate occasion, the vehicle stalled without warning and lost power steering. The driver experienced extreme difficulty steering the vehicle and had to use excessive force to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failures occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they wanted to charge the contact for a diagnostic; however, the contact refused due to the cost. The technician refused to repair the vehicle unless the aftermarket parts were replaced by the manufacturer. The parts consisted of the PCV valve and fuel filter. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer conducted a campaign (03V-482) to address the stalling in the vehicles. The contact experienced the identical failures mentioned in the campaign, but the VIN was excluded. The failure mileage was 118,000 and current mileage was 119,000.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #50

Oct 082008


  • 107,000 miles
The engine snaped and now the car is no longer working. However prior to that it would idle acting as if it was stalling out and making noises.

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #49

Nov 052008


  • 127,923 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. While purchasing the vehicle, the contact was informed that the motor mounts, which hold the engine in place, needed to be replaced. She was instructed to bring the vehicle to the dealer the following day for repair. When she arrived at the dealer, she was informed to leave the vehicle. When the contact arrived to retrieve the vehicle two days later, the dealer refused to provide paperwork stating that the vehicle was repaired. One week later, the check engine warning indicator illuminated and a loud rattling sound was heard coming from the engine. She called the dealer to return the vehicle for repair, but they refused to take her calls. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop and a mechanic stated that the motor mounts were never replaced and would cost $3,000. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 127,923 and current mileage was 128,000.

- Harker Hieghts, TX, USA

problem #48

Sep 032008


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
On hot days after the car has been brought up to operating temperature and is restarted it goes into a mode where it consistently stalls at idle and low RPM. It has a manual transmission. This is an intermittent problem and only occurs some of the time. Nether Ford or independent mechanics have been able to diagnose and fix the problem. Intermittent and unexpected stalling is a significant safety problem.

- Pompton Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #47

Jul 082008


  • 85,700 miles
Thermostat housing has started leaking coolant. This is reportedly a common failure on Focus with 2.0L DOHC engine (zetec). The thermostat housing failure may or may not be a connection to the valve cover leaking oil onto the thermostat housing and hot exhaust manifold which produces a faintly noticeable burning smell when driving.

- Plymouth, MI, USA

problem #46

Sep 102004


  • 49,000 miles
Was driving home and engine began knocking and got louder and when I returned home had my husband look at it and found 3 motor mounts were rusted off. Dealership replaced motor mounts a week later at my cost and didn't give me a rental car.

- Sebago, ME, USA

problem #45

May 262008

Focus 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The valve cover gasket leaks prematurely, which causes oil to drip onto the exhaust manifold. The burning oil creates fumes. The poorly designed seals around intake air box allow fumes from the engine compartment to enter the passenger compartment. These two design failures combine with each other to expose passengers to burning oil fumes. Now, I have to replace the valve cover gasket to avoid exposing myself to burning oil fumes.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #44

May 012008


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Focus. The contact started the ignition and the vehicle made a strange noise. The engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle could not be driven. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for a diagnostic. The current and failure mileages were 125,000.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #43

Mar 182008

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles
I bought this car in jul07. In dec07 started having problems with car surging/jolting while driving on highway (55-65 mph) then car would just stall, completely die. Engine light would come on, no power steering no lights. I would manage to get it over to the side of the road narrowly avoiding accident and car would not start. After sat for about 10 mins it would start. It would drive ok for about 10-20 miles and then surge and die. It happens periodically and in between the car may drive fine for weeks. Service center can't find anything wrong with it. It just happened again 3-18-08 while I was driving on interstate at 65mph, jolted twice and completely died. I was nearly killed as a semi was behind me and another beside me. I had to fight the car to get it off the side of the road and narrowly missed the semi running up over the top of me. After sitting for 10 min it started again but would not reach full power. I could only get it up to about 50 mph, then started jolting and died again after about 6 miles this continued for 30 miles. Engine light was on. I had that read by adv auto later and it was two codes one for mass airflow sensor. It has been in service garage since then. They can't find anything wrong with it. I did notice that this seems to only be happening when it rains. They sprayed water today on the front of the car while it was running and it died in their shop. They still have no idea what is wrong with it. It also has a loud vibration/noise in front end. Motor mounts have been changed, new alternator, new battery, new belt replaced Dec 27,07. The vehicle died again Feb 5, 2008 6 times. It dies at all speeds and sometimes stalls at stop lights/signs. I am extremely frustrated with it and need a reliable car to get to work and am making car payments on a car that has been in the shop 36 days in the last 90. Also very concerned about causing an accident or killing myself, my kids or someone else.

- Saint Marys, OH, USA

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