hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,267 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.

2003 Ford Focus cooling system problems

cooling system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Focus:

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

2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #3

Apr 012011

Focus 4-cyl

  • 107,800 miles


I have a 2003 Ford Focus and the thermostat housing unit is cracked. When it cracked, and started to leak, it caused a lot of smoke, and when it started to leak, due to the temperature of the coolant inside, it burned through other hoses attached and almost started a fire. The part is made out of plastic (should be made of some type of metal such as aluminum due to the high temperatures involved consistently), and 4 certified auto technicians that I talked to said that they replace dozens of them on Ford Focus every year. They say that "it is a known problem with Ford's various Focus years, and should have been recalled a long time ago." Even the Ford dealership said the following "yeah, Ford knows it's a problem; that's why we always keep that particular part in stock." Literally, there are tens-of-thousands of online complaints regarding this part, and how it has caused serious harm and damage. The problem starts by some coolant leaking slowly, and within a week (even after continuously adding coolant), the leak becomes larger and larger, causing the damage listed above, and causing the heater to not work. Why is this a very well-known problem to Ford; a problem that can cause serious safety issues, yet they do nothing for the tens-of-thousands of people that have encountered this problem? the part is $75 from Ford and then you have to pay labor too, which is about $150-$200. The Ford replacement part# for the defective part is RH157. I have the old part available for inspection if needed.

- Northfield, VT, USA

problem #2

Jan 252007


  • 70,000 miles
I have replaced the transmission, the water pump, the thermostat, and all radiator hoses. The car overheats daily still. The stereo cuts on and off and can't be turned off by the power button. The rear left seatbelt is stuck where it can't be used. The driver window fell into the door, when the panel was removed it showed that the whole wire system had snapped. The driver door also can only be opened from the inside.

- West Columbia, SC, USA

problem #1

Jun 202006

Focus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Focus. After driving the vehicle between 10-30 minutes, the vehicle will not restart after it has been turned off. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they replaced the entire coolant system. Two weeks later, the failure recurred three different times. He took the vehicle back to the same dealer and they stated that due to the mileage, the contact would have to pay for the same repair again. The vehicle has not been repaired again. The failure mileage was 72,000 and current mileage was 73,371.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

Not what you are looking for?