really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
114,131 miles
Total Complaints:
64 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (17 reports)
  2. junk it (11 reports)
  3. not sure (11 reports)
  4. put in a used motor (10 reports)
  5. rebuild motor (10 reports)
  6. new motor, new factory motor mount (2 reports)
2001 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Ford Focus:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Oct 172010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


See from this site this must be a bad motor and so now don't know what to do. Only paid $2700 for the car now to get a rebuilt motor could be that much and how long will that last? I am a Ford fan but this is bad!

- , West Chester, OH, USA

problem #23

Sep 272010

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

There really needs to be a recall on these engines.... What happened was my piston exploded because the head blew out. When we called Ford they said yeah that happens all the time. We use cheap medal in our pistons.... what is that??? Shouldnt there be laws about that? And I am at $1400 now and still have not gotten the car back because the head is in high demand everywhere. I even had to pay an extra $120.00 just to get one in a week... :( I have had this car for 5 years now, my very first. The repair place will warranty my engine for 100,000 miles more... Who do we even talk to about getting recalls up?

- , La Porte, IN, US

problem #22

Oct 012010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Same issue as everyone else. Valve seat dropped, piston busted it into tiny pieces, ate up head and piston, then busted piston out around the pin. Fortunately the piston blew while at idle and the piston only came apart around one side of the pin. Cylinder walls didn't get hit, so they where saved. Rebuilt motor 2600 + labor, new motor 3400 + labor, me in drive way, remanned head 300, still looking for piston, rod, and rings. While in there am replacing timing belt, water pump, and tensioner. Am looking to have less then 950 in parts, and charging about 400 labor. I know cheap, but it is extended family.

- , Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #21

Mar 102010

Focus SE 2.0sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


they should have to pay everyone at least half of cost since they know it was a problem dating all way back to the ford escorts with the 1.9lt engine so that should have made them design a different vale seat

- , Henderson, NC, USA

problem #20

May 282010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Having driven a 2007 Focus and needing another car for a daily route, I was delighted to find a 2001 Focus (96K on odo) from a local dealer. They gave me a 3 month 3,000 mile drivetrain warranty and at about 5,000 miles the engine was destroyed by what I've learned is a "grenade" when a valve drops into the cylinder - apparently a common problem with this SOHC engine.

After considering the alternatives, I chose to get a quality reman engine with a 100K warranty on parts and labor (installed cost: about $4,750). I figure I'm paying for a car with essentially 0 miles AND a significant warranty. Since the route is about 40K miles a year, I'm covered for 2-1/2 years.

For the next person I would recommend: STAY AWAY from the Vin-P SOHC 2.0L Ford engine, it's just not worth the gamble.

- , Eureka, CA, USA

problem #19

Jun 092010

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,500 miles

I am not the first person to report these symptoms. Engine vibration especially when first starting up. Gradually becoming an excessive vibration at idle, which eased off slightly by putting transmission into neutral when stopped at traffic lights. Had car checked out twice by independent mechanics, problem with engine mounts, rectified. Problem with cylinder 4, not rectified, thought problem was caused by engine mounts. Had engine mounts replaced by a Ford dealer. Engine ran sweetly, for 4 days. Then died at a major traffic intersection. Highly dangerous. This was my wife's car. Imagine the phone call. Then discovered that this is a common problem, yet no recall, and there are known design faults which Ford knows about, yet...no recall. Technical Service Bulletins have been written for Ford mechanics on this problem. Parts of the valve, or connecting rod, can become loose and fall into the cylinder. Usually it is the number 3 or 4 cylinder. Was quoted $4750 for a replacement, rebuilt engine (!!!). Scrapped the car. No more Fords for me. Bought my wife a trustworthy car (NOT a Ford). Are Ford actively seeking Class Action Lawsuits? How dangerous is it to have a car engine die at a major traffice intersection? Good job Ford! You have been making engines for how long now?

- , Lakeside, CA, USA

problem #18

Jan 292010

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles



- , San Benito, TX, USA

problem #17

Mar 132010

Focus 2.0L Sohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Unbelievable how much it cost to replace the engine this little car. Apparently something mechanical broke and ended up in the #4 cylinder. Bent the spark plug prong, punched a hole in the #4 cylinder causing major engine failure.

Mechanic recommended replacing the engine. Very little difference in price from a repair to replacement. He did say the replacement would come with a 3 yr / 100K mile warranty.

problem I only paid $2300 for the car itself.

- , Trophy Club, TX, USA

problem #16

Feb 172010

Focus 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The valve seat came out of the head of the motor, broke into pieces cause major damage to pistons and ruined the cylinder head of the motor. The motor is ruined. My mechanic says it is not worth replacing. Not sure what I am going to do yet.

- , Dawsonville, GA, USA

problem #15

Nov 102009

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have the same problem with my ford focus 2001, as described by Jon W.

Ledyard, CT, USA

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #14

Dec 022009

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


This car was bought new, and has been dealer serviced. Oil changed every 3000 miles. I went to start the car, while running errands, and the motor grenaded and dumped oil all over the parking lot. I just took the motor apart and found the #4 piston pulverized and in pieces in the oil pan. The wrist pin appeared to be worn and could possibly be the cause??? It's hard to say for sure, because it was in the oil pan along with the rod. After reading the other complaints, it sounds like the problem could be caused by the valve seats??? What ever the actual cause is, this motor is junk. It has to be a common problem because the cheapest used motor I can find is $1600 and who's to say that it wont do the same thing.

When I went to the local parts store to try and locate a new motor the guy behind the counter said he just bought a used 2000 2.0 SOHC and ask me to listen to it. It sounded just like mine did before it blew up. For the last 10,000 to 15,000 miles there was a strange sound that I initially thought was coming from the exhaust. It's hard to describe... kind of like a high pitched growl. You really couldn't hear it so well when you listened from outside the car with the hood up. But from inside the car it was really noticeable. The noise was the worst on cold start up or if the oil got a little low. I finally diagnosed the source of the noise about a month before it blew up. The noise was coming from the passenger side motor mount. The motor had a vibration that caused the motor mount to rattle. The guy from the parts store said that he just replaced the mount on his car which made it sound better, but it still sounded wrong. He plans on invoking the Lemon Law with his.

That's my story. I hope it helps somebody. Now I have to find a new motor. I'v heard that in order to switch to the DOHC motor you need to change all the wiring and the transmission. If you have any info on switching the SOHC motor to something else please e-mail me. Thanks.

Update from Jan 20, 2010: Just to let everyone know...I replaced the motor. I found a junkyard motor with 27,000 miles on it for $1600 after tax. I did it myself, and it was a pretty easy swap. The new motor fired right up and sounded great except that it had a serious vibration mostly noticeable while in the car. It vibrated in nuetral, drive, and reverse. On the highway it vibrated so bad that I couldn't see out of the rearview mirror. I knew that my passenger side motor mount was shot from the previous motor because I had put a jack on the oil pan and made the noise calm down a bit. Of course when I went to the Ford Stealership previously, they claimed that the mounts were fine. When I removed the passenger side mount I could see that it was seperated on the bottom. You can only see this by removing it, which is very simple. I replaced it with an after market mount from Autozone by DEA for ~$50. The car still had a vibration, maybe even worse. So I took the car to my friend who owns his own shop and he agreed that the engine sounded great and believed it might still be the mount. His computer listed it as a hydrolic mount, Autozone did not. So he ordered it through Carquest. It turned out to be the same exact mount by DEA, just a different box. I did some research on line and found that most people recomended getting a factory mount. I put in a Ford factory mount ($106) and it imediately fixed the problem. Car runs beautifully again and its so quiet. Hope this info helps someone. ~Jon

- , Ledyard, CT, USA

problem #13

Aug 182009

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,952 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure engine failure engine failure engine failure engine failure engine failure

The # 13 complaint - 2001 Ford Focus SE SOHC 93 000 – engine failed. Taken out and parting. I found that cause of this failure is form metal pieces (look like manufacturing broken tooling pieces) which I find in the Intake manifold and inside intake valves chambers. I do not know from where they are but they are magnetic so must be steel pieces and they are hard that are pressed into head and piston. Probably left over after manifold machining (there is no way to see if any pieces was let inside and is impossible to remove them from the channels) on the line. Left over pieces under the driving condition slowly moving with the air and buildup oil residue toward intake valve chamber and fall inside the cylinder where are pushing around by piston causing damage to the head and piston. I think each Focus with SOHC is a ticking bomb which will cause to engine failure.

Damage to the engine on my car – broken piston, twisted connecting rod, crack in the block and head damage. Reading about these failed engines I’m wonder why they have the same problem. I do not trust the dealership service – they do not return any damage pieces from my previous repairs so look like they cover up the FORD manufacturing and design mistakes. I do not know yet the cost to fix this car but this is a qualification for class action suit. They are so many cars like mine with engine failure (same problem description) but customer do not have chance to know the true picture. Time to finish this lay’s for FORD and brings them to justice. If you like to see my pictures taken from this engine let me know. I will be happy to show you this piece of crap, so you will never consider buying this junk again.

- , Saint Joseph, MI, USA

problem #12

Aug 032009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

This is the second time this car has had engine failure. Couple of years ago jumped time bent the valves etc. Cost over 900.00 to fix. Now it has done it again but this time it is done not having it fixed. Wouldn't recommend this piece of crap tp anyone. Been a pain since Ive had it. Motor mounts shot vibrates like a high speed racing car.


problem #11

Jul 202009

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,263 miles

Without warning the engine failed. I have taken good care of this car..getting oil changes, driving less than 8,000 miles in that last 3 years, garage parking. Had it taken to a dealer where I learned the head gasket blew contaminating the oil and causing the engine to seize. The real kicker is I have been unable to find an engine for less than $2,400.00 and no short blocks are available. Guess it's going to the junk yard.

- , Belleville, MI, USA

problem #10

May 222009

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I would never buy another focus ......I think this one is junk.....just this week there were two in the paper for sale needing engines at 60,000 and 80,000 miles. They wonder why the car companies are going under .here you go !!!!

- , Farwell, MI, USA

problem #9

Mar 172009

Focus SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Looks like I join the many Ford Focus owners that have taken good care of this car. (regular oil changes,full checks once a year,low mileage) And still got disappointed in the end. It was working just fine one day and than on St Patricks Day.......The engine made a horrible clicking noise and would NOT start again.(I guess its the luck of the IRISH) I just had it towed and got the bad news..that I will probably need a NEW engine, (if he can even find one.) I'm up to a class action suit... Is it even worth the fix? This is the LAST FORD I buy.................

- , Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #8

Apr 082009

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

My car was purchased in the summer of 2001 - shortly after brakes needed to be replace some issue with the make of their 2001 focus, of course they informed me that they since have fix the problem on later models, great for me. In the 7.5 years I have had the car on the road I have maintained the service every 3-4 months at the dealership. I purchased the car for approx 25,000 and have spent about 6,000 in various repairs over the years. Last week car dies on the road, towed to the dealer told it is the engine gone!!!! Can be replaced for 8,000 (cdn) or a used/rebuild for approx 4,000 (with about a 30-60 day warranty) but why did the engine fail on a 7.5year old car that has been maintained regularly, they do not know, oh they could take it apart but it would cost me to do that. I call Ford of Ontario today, could not do anything for me, would not provide me with a name of supervisor that I could speak with - sorry warranty does not cover engine nothing Ford can do for you. Nothing Ford can do for me, my car has only been on the road 7.5 years does Ford not stand behind its products longer than 7.5 years!!!! My suggestion to anyone who reads this complaint - DO NOT BUY A FORD PRODUCT!!! I came home so upset my son told me that Ford may be going out of business, my response if this is how they do business they do not deserve to be in business. I hope they go under because they deserve it!!!!!

- , Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

problem #7

Sep 012007

Focus LX 2.0L Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

We had our engine seize up on us in July 2007. The mechanic said we needed to replace the engine. He suggested a rebuilt Ford Engine, because it would carry a 75,000 mile warranty from when the engine is installed. We picked up the car in August 2007, The car seized again in October 2007 and we took the car to the Ford Dealer. They said our warranty was Voided because the engine was not replaced properly causing it to seize. The car was taken back to the mechanic and he put another engine in the car. The car was picked up and died on the way home. Car went back and we were then told the alternator was bad. We replaced it. Took the car home and again had another problem. This time we took the car to Ford and asked for them to look at it. Again the original mechanic did not replace the engine properly. He was supposed to replace the intake manifold , however due to a dispute between Ford and the vendor, they could not get one. He flushed the intake manifold, but didn't do that properly. The engine is required to be replaced again. Car finally say dormant in front of our home, and we moved it from time to time. In October 2008, It died. we took it back to the mechanic and the car has been sitting there since. The mechanic states there is nothing wrong with the car.

- , Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 152008

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

To start, this car has been taken care of. I drove it for 8 months, and now the motor is blown. A rebuilt motor costs around $1,700. My complaint is that I have heard of so many of these having the same problem. I would like to know if anyone else out there who has had the same problem, would like to get a class action law suit on Ford? LEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

contact me with your info......

- , Henderson, NC, USA

problem #5

Feb 162009

Focus LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 159,000 miles

The car was very well cared for, all the services done, ran on supreme gas only (chevron or shell), 75 % of the mileage was off-traffic freeway. Last night when I started the car there came a nasty rattling noise and the engine would not start. The guys from the auto shop said that this is the common problem with early Focuses- valve seats busted and ruined the pistons. I'm thinking if it's worth while to replace the engine.

- , Novato, CA, USA

Read the next 4 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?