pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
31,207 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. Replace rotors and pads (5 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. resurface the rotors as a short term fix (1 reports)
2003 Ford Focus brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 222006

(reported on)

Focus ES 3.1 V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles


Braking the car you could hear squeaks and took it to the dealership. They said it was dirt. I had to take the tires off and by looking at it I could tell the rotors were bad. I had to buy new rotors and brake pad. I had another Garage install for me. The clerk at the dealership, said all focus rotors are bad. Ford knows something is wrong. Now at 19k my engine light is on. Paid 18 thousand for this Wagon.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #9

Mar 062009

Focus ZX5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I purchased my 03 focus new in dec 03. within 1 year i'm fixing everything in the front end most not under warranty. by 60,000 miles (year 2) i'm replacing pads/rotors. I was told I'm hard on my brakes. Well, since then, I've replaced pads & rotors 3 TIMES A YEAR! NOT KIDDING!. Thankfully my mechanic recognized right away that this is a FORD problem not my problem. The replaced rotors and pads have been covered under factory 6 month warranty (because they wear out every 3-4 months) I've been paying a small fee of $50 to mechanic for the labor each time. It could be worse. Now I've been told probably need to replace calibers and pads and rotors but my mechanic suggests going to ford dealership for original ford parts instead of rebuilts because I might get 12 months out of them and he cant afford the 1/2 off labor costs anymore. FORD SUCKS. also, trunk latch never locks down so constant rattle. Wiper delay broke $350 repair that I'm not going to fix. Back window is a catch all for every bit of dust/dirt on the road thanks to their aerodynamic design...... NEVER BUY A FOCUS --- CAR SUCKS IN EVERY WAY IMAGINABLE.

- , Caro, MI, USA

problem #8

Apr 032006

Focus SE 2.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles

I bought my 2003 focus in 2005 with only 5001 miles on it. 11 months later, with 17,000 miles on it, I had to have the brakes replaced. The dealer told me it was not covered under warranty and I had no option but to replace the pads AND the rotors. Needless to say, if this is going to be an ongoing problem, I will have the work done somewhere less expensive than the dealer!!!!

- , Chesapeake, VA, US

problem #7

Nov 142004

(reported on)


  • 18,000 miles


This is the second Focus that I have owned. First was replaced under Lemon Law. So this one (2003) had squeaky brakes and awful grind noise coming from the front end. It was towed to the shop, I was told that it needed front pads and rotors. Now I really thought that they were, perhaps, smoking crack. Pads and rotors? I had a second opinion done at a dealership and the service adviser said" I haven't seen such wear since I worked at Volkswagen." I have since sent Ford a letter saying that either they can replace them at no charge OR I will see them in court. Ford knows there is a problem, after all, they have service bullitens, but its maintenance. I now have an anti ford license plate holder.

- , University Place, WA, USA

problem #6

Dec 152007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Unbelievable!!!! The dealership told me the rotors are designed to wear out when the brake pads do. They tried to explain it as it an European brake design. Leary of their explanation i had to have brakes so i went a head and replaced pads and rotors which cost approximately $250. I was complaining to someone in my office and his brother is an auto mechanic and owns a 2005 ford focus. He said that its a design flaw that was corrected in the 2005 models. The dealership and friend's brother both agreed getting 60,000 miles on the pads/roters were really good, that usually they don't last that long.

- , Columbia, MO, USA

problem #5

Oct 012007

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Why? Why did I buy this car? Nothing but problems. I have spent more on this vehicle in repairs that I have ever spent on any of the cars I have owned, and that includes the "lemon" dodge omni that I had. My advice--if you have a focus

get rid of it ASAP, or it'll cost you a fortune. I cannot believe that I am stuck with this piece of sh--. Next time--Toyota.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #4

Jul 312006

(reported on)

Focus LX

  • 18,070 miles


I bought this car used with just under 17k miles on it. I heard a grinding noise from the front left wheel as I was slowing down just before stopping completely. I figured that it would be covered under warranty for that low of mileage. The dealer said that if the calipers stuck or something similar, than it would be covered. Long story shortened, the brake pads on the inside were very worn, one to the metal, one to paper thin. The outside pads had hardly any wear on them. Plus, I was told that the rotors were too bad to resurface. I was told that they were not covered because it was normal wear and tear on the pads. I didn't really buy this line so I stopped at another dealership across town and asked questions. They were more willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and told me to hang on to the receipt and stop in for a brake inspection in 8000-9000 miles.

- , Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #3

Sep 222006

(reported on)

Focus LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Bought the car brand new and was told the brakes were good for 50,000-60,000 miles. They only made it 32,000 before needing to be replaced.

- , Williston, VT, USA

problem #2

Mar 202006

(reported on)


  • 21,000 miles

I had taken my car to 2 different mechanics and the dealership and they all told me different things. One even had me replace all my tires because he said that was the problem. Until I went to get my car inspected and was told that my brakes and rotors were shot. I was shocked because the car didn't have that many miles on it. I pitched a fit on the phone to Ford and at the dealership until they fixed it under my warranty. Unfortunately my car is making the same noise only this time I cannot afford to fix it and they won't cover it again.

- , Barnhart, MO, USA

problem #1

Aug 242005

(reported on)


  • 29,000 miles

Had brakes and rotors replaced @ 19,000 miles and paid 500.00. Now at 29,000 miles they are telling me my rotors are bad and need to be replaced to pass inspection. What is going on at Ford.

- , Brookhaven, PA, USA

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