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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,268 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.

2002 Ford Focus cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #5

Sep 052008


  • 96,340 miles


On my 2002 Ford Focus, the thermostat housing began leaking coolant when the thermostat housing gasket against the engine block failed. This is a common problem on various years of the Focus as verified by the comments of the Ford Motor Co. Parts sales people in saying that they sell many of the thermostat housings, and also by blogs on internet chat lines. The rubber gasket swells when it comes in contact with oil and breaks off the inner gasket-support ring, allowing the leak to happen. It is a poor design that can lead to major problems such as environmental pollution and engine failure. I would be glad to mail the affected part to you for your examination. It is amazing how completely the support ring failed, and the condition of the gasket that is not compatible with oil which leaks from the valve cover above. The part could easily be redesigned to use a standard O-ring for the seal, which is resistant to oil, and seals better. The current gasket is more like a rubber band that is held in place by the inside rim which breaks off.

- Round Mountain, NV, USA

problem #4

Aug 012008


  • 40,000 miles
In the last 5 years I have replaced a air conditioning hose 3 times ! my mechanic claims it to be a bad design and he sees it often with this model and year Ford Focus 2002.

- N. Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #3

Jun 202004

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving on the on-ramp of the pa turnpike when scalding water from up under the dash poured out onto my right foot. I was barely able to drive the car to a safe stop. I sustained second and third degree burns to my right foot. The wrecker took the car to a Ford dealer in emmaus, pa for repairs. The service department originally told me that the evaporator line was plugged, but when I picked up my car, the narrative on the service form said that the line was not plugged. They replaced the evaporator which I understand entailed removing the entire dash. I do not know if the old part is available.

- Wellsboro, PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 102002


  • miles
Pulley bolts on water pump loosened, two fell out. Belt pulley twisted, belt frayed and water pump froze. Dealer replaced water pump housing, pulley, bolts, belt and anti / fz.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 252002


  • miles
Water pump went out and loosened which caused fan to hit it continuously. Noise in brake pedal, reported 3 times, dealer has no idea what it is. It has gotten louder. They hear it but don't know what it

- Allyn, WA, USA

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