Notes: The 2002 Ford Focus 2.0L SOHC engine has a defect where the intake valve seat fails. The valve then falls into the cylinder, destroying the engine & most owner relationships with Ford in the process.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
53,246 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. replace cowl for cabin air filter (2 reports)
  3. old tray and plub removed, fitted with correct one (1 reports)
  4. reapply butyl tape to rh side cowl and fabricated a rain hat (1 reports)
  5. replacement of defective car (1 reports)
2002 Ford Focus body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #9

Mar 042010

Focus SSE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,100 miles


Noticed mildew growing under the front passenger floor mat and had to remove the mat. The fan occasionally sounded like a bird twittering or like it was working under water. Later I found water pooling in the footwell again.

When I took the car in to get the leak fixed they noted that the cabin air filter housing was not sealing. This is the second time this part has failed. On the previous repair the service adviser mentioned that the leak should not return. hey, didn't think that was a truthful statement. I think the seal failure is related to replacing the cabin air filter and the mechanic closing the housing roughly.

The repair slip mentioned that the water leak was related to a resistor failure on the AC fan.

- , East Greenwich, RI, USA

problem #8

Jul 152006

Focus SSE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,700 miles

During a hard rain I noticed water pooling in the footwell on the passengers side. A closer look revealed the water to be coming from under the dash board near the center console.

I was not pleased to see the water, due to various problems that water can cause to metal surfaces and carpeting. I was less pleased when the service adviser at the dealership said it was a "common" problem due to seal shrinkage on the cowl to the cabin air filter.

The cowl was replaced, at which point the adviser said that the problem should not recur.

This did not seem like a truthful or likely statement.

- , East Greenwich, RI, USA

problem #7

Nov 142004

(reported on)


  • 9,000 miles

Below is a detailed history of a problem I have been dealing with for 2 years in regards to my car....

Purchased a 2002 Ford Focus from Jack Madden Ford on October, 28, 2001. Paid $18.509 for the new car.

December 1, 2002, brought car to Bonnell Ford in Winchester to have water leak checked out. Water was pooling in the back passenger side floor-boards There was 9,243 miles on the vehicle. They replaced the Grille Cowl Side Ventilation to correct this issue. The car was at the dealership Dec 2nd to Dec 10th.

January 13, 2003, brought car to Bonnell Ford to have water leak checked again. Bonnell Ford had a �Water Dr� contracted for these specific issues. He determined there was no leak and the water was from the previous leak which had not dried. There was 10,171 miles on the car. The car was at the dealership Jan 13th to Jan 14th.

Between January and March, brought car to Bonnell Ford to have water leak checked. Bonnell Ford left car outside and standing water froze. They were unable to look at the leak at this time. I had car there over night. There is no receipt because no work was done.

On April 14, 2003, brought car to Bonnell Ford to have water leaked checked again. New rugs were ordered and a scheduled appointment was made for Water Dr. to look at leak issue. There was 12,267 miles on the car. The car was at the dealership April 14th to April 15th.

On April, 22, 2003, brought car into Bonnell Ford for scheduled appointment with Water Dr. They installed new rugs and again replaced the Grille Cowl Side Ventilation. It states on the receipt the water dr. checked for leaks and none were found. There was 12,478 miles on the car. The car was at the dealership April 22nd to April 24th.

I moved to Western Ma, to start a graduate program August 1st of 2003 and started taking my car to Northampton Ford for regular service.

On April 24, 2004, brought the car to Northampton Ford when I found water pooling again in the back passenger side floor-board. Northampton Ford found damage to the car and felt I needed to take it back to Bonnel Ford to get these issues corrected. They documented this damage so I could show Bonnell Ford. They found the following issues; One trim panel cracked, and insulation ripped apart in dash area. These findings are documented on the first receipt from Northampton Ford

I worked in Boston the Summer of 2004 and was able to contact Bonnell Ford to correct these issues.

On July 19, 2004, brought car to Bonnell Ford. They checked for water leak coming from the windshield, sunroof and side door. The stated no water leaks were found. They also ordered plastic kick plate. There was 33,409 miles on the car.

On August 9, 2004, brought car to Bonnell Ford. Replaced Cowl, but there is nowhere on the receipt they replaced the insulation.

On October 6, 2004 brought car to Northampton Ford because water was coming into the car. Northampton Ford took out dash and resealed air-conditioning unit thought to be cause of water coming into the car. They dried the rugs. The service manager told me they took out the padding under the rugs because of water damage. They dried the rugs and placed wet padding in a platic bag and put it in my truck. He did not think Ford would replace the rugs again because the original work was done at another Ford Dealership.

On Saturday, October 16th, I was pulling out of my driveway and noticed water coming into the front of my car. I called Northampton Ford immediately and told them I needed to bring the car in again. I was told to come in anytime.

On Monday, October 18th went to Northampton Ford to discuss this issue. Spoke with Jim in the service department and was told the service manager would be back on Wednesday to come in and meet with him.

On Wednesday, October 20 went to Northampton Ford to meet with Charlie, the service manager. I told him I felt this now had become a Ford issue and would like assistance in getting car replaced. He said he would forward all of my information to his sales rep. Ms. Shatanica McGill to see what she can do to help me. I felt at this point there was no way this issue was going to be fixed and since water had been corroding the car for two years there is no re-sale value on the car if I ever decided to sell it. Charlie agreed but asked if I would allow him to look at it one more time to figure out where the water is coming from. They offered me a loaner car. This is the first time a Ford Employee has offered to give me a loaner car while my car was being fixed.

On Tuesday, October 26th, brought my car to Northampton Ford and was given a loaner car. As of November 12, my car is still at Northampton Ford. They feel they finally found the source of the leak, one of the hoses was kinked and draining water into the car. My assumption is that this problem existed from the time I bought the car and now 3 years of water damage has eroded my car. I think this is definite grounds for replacement. They are currently trying to replace the rugs for the 2nd time.

On November 9th, I spoke to Shatanica McGill. She stated that Ford Motor Co. does not help with trade in assistance. She also stated my car does not qualify for replacement because there is 35,000 miles on the car. She said that Northampton Ford was confident they finally fixed the problem and offered me a �goodwill� extended warranty. I told her I felt this was unsatisfactory and was going to contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center.

On November 12, 2004 I spoke to Ford Customer Relationship representative about my situation. She said that the regional Ford Representatives have the final say because they are independent enitites and not under jurastiction of Ford Motor Company. Ford will back Ms. McGill�s decision that my car does not qualify for replacement. She indicated that I aready went above her head by going to the regional representative first. Their website clearly states the following:

Your satisfaction is our #1 goal. If you have questions or concerns about your vehicle, we suggest you follow these steps: 1. Contact your Sales Representative or Service Advisor at your selling/servicing dealership. 2. If the inquiry or concern remains unresolved, contact the Sales Manager or Service Manager at the dealership. 3. If the inquiry or concern cannot be resolved at the dealership level, please contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center.

I have done all of these steps stated above in that order and I am still not getting the service I feel I deserve. Not only has this been a 2 year process which has taken up my precious time and effort, but my car is irrevocably damaged by water. I will not be able to sell this car based on the repair history. This car has been defective from the time I bought it and feel it should be replaced.

- , Amherst, MA, USA

problem #6

May 082007

(reported on)

Focus SE 2.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,418 miles


I bought this used 2002 ford focus from the dealer. Shortly after that I found water leaking into the passenger side floor. I went to see the dealer, the service apartment fixed it and charged me $440. The solution is: Removed a-piller trim panel, glove box, rh kick panel, wiper arms, and cowl. Leak testing shows water leaking in through air box. Reapplied butyl tape to rh side cowl, and airbox.

- , Burnaby, BC, Canada

problem #5

Feb 052007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

One day after a rain I noticed splashing water on my passenger side floor. When I lifted the mat, there was standing water. I sopped it up as best I could and kind of put it out of my mind. The car was only two years old. It happened a couple more times and I took it to dealer who said neither warranty covered this problem. I then took it to my regular mechanic-Dealers soak you on repairs- who fixed the problem. Water was coming in through the grate under the wipers. He told me to write to Ford to see if they would take responsibility since the part it was fitted with was not the part for the Focus. Ford sent me a form letter that made no reference to my problem. (Deaf, Dumb and Blind to the cause.) This was a fault with the Focus and Ford took no responsibility for it. I can see why they are having big problems.

- , Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 182007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Hi there. I have a 2002 Focus Wagon that I bought new from our local dealer here in Victoria BC. I have had water pouring in through the pollen filter and cowl. My local Ford garage told me that the cowl was warped. However the car also has 5-6 body seams leaking as well. They said that they have never seen this before, I am not so sure. It is going to cost about $1000 to fix!!! It is just caulking but it involves gutting the inside of the car to get at it all. This is a major PIA for us and we will be taking it up with Ford, both here in Victoria and Ford Canada. If anyone has a recommended course of action I would like to hear it. Please also let me know if you have a similar problem.

- , Victoria, BC, Canada

problem #3

Jan 092007

(reported on)

Focus LX Wagon 2.2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


Large amounts of water getting into the car when it rains. Most of it accumulates on the floor in the rear passenger side.

It took the local Ford dealer most of the day to find the problem. Three different things are being done: resealing grommet around wiring through firewall; resealing windshield; sealing a leaking seam in the cowling in the floor (this is the most likely source). It will cost me about $1000 to correct the problem.

This must be a serious design defect in the model. I noticed two other owners with exactly the same problem on this website. What can I do?

- , RR3 Orillia, Ontario, Canada

problem #2

Dec 062006

(reported on)

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

I took it to the dealership that I bought it from. They claimed that they couldn't find anything wrong with it. It was under about 4" of water and had spilled over into the back floor board. Then it was under warranty. Now it's not. What to do

- , Belmont, NC, USA

problem #1

Aug 242006

(reported on)

Focus LX

  • 59,000 miles

Unknown water leakage into the rear passenger and driver side of our right hand drive car. No obvious defects noted to window seals.

- , Leeds, West Yorks, England

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