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:
93,375 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. had to replace the engine (2 reports)
  3. replaced the fuel pump and filter. (1 reports)
2002 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #12

Jul 012012

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


My engine light came on for the third time and I brought it in to Ford (for the third time in 2mo with the same complaint). Two days later I got a call from them stating that my engine had died on the test drive and it would cost me $4000 to replace or I could junk it. Throughout this ordeal I never got the feeling from them that there was an engine issue what so ever. After this ordeal when faced with the prospect of having no car (and losing a car I had for 10 years and took very good care of) there was no help or sympathy. They couldn't even tell me what was really wrong with the engine, just that they would need to put in a new one. I took it to another place for a second opinion and they helped me understand what the issue was and that it should have been caught the 2nd time I came in to Ford by performing a simple compression test. Had the techs and service managers at Ford used a little thought during my situation ... and maybe listened to me ... this would have possibly been prevented. To make matters worse they deny that they didn't fix the problems that I came in for since they got the check engine light to go off "the problem must have been resolved" ! No integrity or talent in the workers here. Never buy a Ford!

- , Muncie, IN, USA

problem #11

Apr 152012

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

I brought it in 3 times for the same problem... my car would occasionally shake and run rough on start and would stall when coming to a stop. The first time they had my car for 3 days and could not duplicate the issue, charged me to replace a hose that they thought had a hole in it and hoped that would help. The technicians and service staff AT FORD had no idea what it could be and eventually cost me an engine. Horrible experience ... I will never buy a Ford again!

- , Muncie, IN, USA

problem #10

May 152008

Focus Ztec

  • Manual transmission
  • 113,711 miles

Engine 'stumbles' at up to 2,000 rpm. Not too bad when cold but is a safety issue in local traffic when turning left across traffic, and engine stalls. Infrequently lose idle and engine quits. Reluctant to restart. Engine does not overheat. Had fuel injector rails 'cleaned', only a slight improvement. Maybe fuel injector 'mapping' problem. Who knows ? !!!!!

- , Beamsville, Ontario, Canada

problem #9

Oct 272008

Focus ZTW 2.0L Zetec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


Several weeks ago the engine began sputtering upon starting. I had recently started parking the vehicle outdoors overnight and the night have been getting colder so I attributed it to some water condensing in the gas tank. This past Monday (10/27/08) it became so bad that when I pushed the accelerator nothing happened. I took it in Tues. and mechanic said there was no spark in one of the cylinders so he replaced the ignition coil (approx. $200; in total he did $520 of work including oil change, tune up/change filters/plugs/spark plug wire set). When I went to pick it up - same problem - still sputtered upon starting. They keep the car and are continuing to try to find the problem.

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #8

Sep 082008

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Ok, i just bought a 2002 focus SE about 2 weeks ago, when i drove it off the lot it ran really good. But once I got it home and had to run on an errand I started to notice something funny. When I would stop at a light it would rumble and shake abit. There was a funny odor too. So i took it to autozone to diagnose. They said cylinder 3 and 4 were misfiring, and I should replace the spark plugs and wires. I did that and the car started to run alittle bit better and does rumble no more, but it does rumble alittle bit when you try to take it past 60 miles an hour on the highway. I thought it might be the old tires so I got new ones. Still the problem is there. It doesn't bother me too much now but i'm sure something big will soon, so i hope to get it fixed. Also there is a funky burning like, smell of ..I don't know..exhaust or something if I have my vents open or try to use the ac, its almost like smelling dirt or something, its kinda nasty. I don't know whats wrong with that. And lastly, I think there's something wrong with the water/antifreeze tank, I have filled it with antifreeze and on the highway one of the tubes exploded. I had it replaced for about $12, but whats weird is that I fill it up and it goes into the engine I guess and the tank stays empty. I have checked serve times and I'm not leaking at anytime. So where is it going?

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #7

Aug 132008

Focus ZXW 2.0L Zetech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,788 miles

We just bought an 02 focus wagon with 93000kms on it and the engine light came on. we had it checked out and they told us that the transmission was pretty much shot. we then had it rebuilt at mr. transmission for $3000 and proceeded to take it on vacation where we were left stranded over 300 kms from home because it broke down. we were on the highway in traffic and when everyone else accelerated i tried to but it just seemed to keep on slipping and jerking, eventually the temp guage started to go up so i pulled over. we brought it back to the same shop we had the work done at (mr. transmission and they claimed that this was pure coincidence and it was an engine problem so i brought it to another shop who diagnosed it as the thermostat wasn't functioning properly and replaced it for over $200. i took the car out today and was on the highway for no more than 30 min, when, yes you guessed it, the same thing happened and i turned around and limped the car home. i think that the problem in in the tranny but i'm not 100% sure about it. needless to say i'm less than satisfied with this car and a ford will not likely see my driveway again.

- , St.Thomas, ON, Canada

problem #6

Jul 122008

Focus 16 valve Ztech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles


My daughter has had good service with the car until about 1 year ago and then it began to lose power and act as if it was breaking down under a load. It has a great power loss going up hill. She has had it completely tuned up and checked on the computer. New wires, injectors cleaned, filters changed, fuel filter changed. No trouble lights are showing and the computer says it is ok but it is not. Is there an inherent problem that can be resolved

- , Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #5

Mar 072007

Focus ES 2.O

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Stupid car very slow to accelerate. Hard to get past 50. Very dangerous Anyone have a solution ? Thanks

- , Saratoga, NY, USA

problem #4

Sep 042007

(reported on)

Focus LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

Beware Focus LX buyers or existing drivers experiencing this problem. Problem began as an intermittent issue immediately upon starting the engine. It would act "chuggy" like the idle was really low or like the engine wasn't getting enough fuel and was on the brink of stalling. Then after 30-60 seconds the problem would go away and the engine would run fine. Giving the engine gas while this was taking place would only make matters worse. Ultimately my engine completely died at a stop light a few weeks after the problem began. No cause for the engine failure could be ascertained by two different professional private mechanics. $700 later to take the engine apart, it was determined that a piston and cylinder were destroyed and the engine was unrepairable.

I am still debating what to do. I am a poor student. I cannot afford a new engine. Not likely Ford will help, but I will try to contact them. There is no excuse for an engine well cared for with 57,000 miles should have a failure of this type. All fluid levels were normal with no leaks at any point in time with regular oil changes.

My mother also has a 2002 Ford Focus ZTX and she began having maintenance issues as well around 60,000 miles.

- , Salt Lake City, UT, US

problem #3

May 222006

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • 60,000 miles

About a year ago the car started to putt whenever we accelerated then one evening when my husband was getting ready to go to work and the car just wouldn't start. so we took it in, had to borrow the money to "fix" it and it has been in the shop twice since then. We still hqaven't fixed the problem! If I could exchange of trade this car in I would in a heartbeat because it has been nothing but headache since we got it.

- , Peoria, IL, USA

problem #2

Sep 092006

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • 80,000 miles

We've never had problems with our fords in the past, but this 02 focus is really making us lose faith in our fords. while accelerating in first or second gear the car chokes, and even sometimes in 3rd 4th or 5th. i dont know what to think. everyone is thinking fuel injection, but i'm thinking more along the lines of trans, or clutch. all i know it that there is something wrong, VERY wrong. i dont know what to think really. all i know is that its becoming a Pain in my ass. I'll be getting a new car soon but itd be nice to feel safe in this car for now.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #1

Feb 142006

(reported on)

Focus LX

  • 55,000 miles

missing fire when accelerating

- , Luton, Beds, UK

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