pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,875 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace alternator (4 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
  3. buy first new one, second under warranty (1 reports)
  4. R & R (1 reports)
2003 Ford Focus electrical problems

electrical 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 #8

Aug 172014

Focus ZTW 2.0L Zetec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,250 miles


This time the alternator only survived one month.

Why does these Fords eat alternators?

This is a PITA to replace because you have to remove the front engine mount bolts and use a 5-foot 2"x4" board to shift the engine forward by ~8" in order to get the alternator out.

Plus getting the serpentine belt back on can also be a PITA.

People have been replacing the main wire from the alternator to the battery and the pigtail off of the alternator. This is my wife's car and she is not driving it until I replace the wiring...even after that, I might just trade it in for a Dodge.

- , Stafford, VA, USA

problem #7

Jul 072014

Focus ZTW 2.0L Zetec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,750 miles

Well, this alternator lasted 3 years, this time I replaced the battery also.

This is a PITA to replace because you have to remove the front engine mount bolts and use a 5-foot 2"x4" board to shift the engine forward by ~8" in order to get the alternator out.

Plus getting the serpentine belt back on can also be a PITA.

- , Stafford, VA, USA

problem #6

Jul 102012

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

ac alternator breaks down -->battery light is always on or blinking.

- , Malden, MA, USA

problem #5

Apr 242011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


2003 ford focus zx3 alternator problems. In July of last year, car died on highway, turned out to be a dead alternator. Replaced that and the battery, and everything was fine until easter of this year. Battery light came on, so brought it to autozone and it was diagnosed as a bad alternator again. They replaced it free of charge, but the problem persisted. Brought it to Ford dealership to be looked at, and all they found was that the alternator was dead AGAIN. Took that out, brought it back to autozone, where they tested it and it passed. They gave me another one anyway, just put it in today, and the problem is still there. The battery terminals are only showing 11.9 volts DC. HELP?

- , Rehoboth, MA, USA

problem #4

Mar 112004

Focus ZTS 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

This car has been the worst car I have owned. The problems never end, brakes,tires, key not working, valve cover gasket, themorastor housing ,ect. and now the alternator is bad.

Update from Mar 19, 2010: What is with this car this is the 4th alternator 70,000 miles. I found that the main connection to the alternator was bad, poor connection from ford, hope that this solves the problem.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Jul 112009

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I bought the car used from a private dealer (May 09). The radio was messed up and the boot on the right drive shaft was busted. I was in desperate need of a car and he dropped the price and I bought it AS IS. Big Mistake!! About a month and half later (July 09) the battery lite came on and it stayed for a week until the car died on me in the middle of an intersection. The alternator went out. We got it to a shop the next day and put a brand new alternator in it ($600)! Then just over a month later (Aug 09), car's running great then BAM! Out of no where, no signs or anything, the car dies while I'm at the store. The alternator dies again. Luckily it was under warranty so I was covered.

Since then though, the car has been nothing but problem after problem... a pain in my ass and a drain to my bank account. Sept. 09; the computer in the car reset itself. Ford dealership tells me I need 2 keys with chips in them to program it ( of course my luck I have one, and they told me it was no good so they through it away). Solution: buy 2 new keys, $45 ea. and pay for the diagnostics test to program it.

Oct. 10, 2009; I'm sitting at a light and the car made a big WHOOSH! sound and smoke started flowing from under the hood. The radiator hose busted and anti-freeze went everywhere. Solution: Luckily it was a minor problem and no need for a shop or maintenance, but I'm curious what next month will bring. AARRGGHHH!!!!! Now I strongly believe what they say about FORD! Found On Road Dead!

- , Columbia, SC, USA

problem #2

Jun 162009

Focus ZTW 4 cyl.Zetec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

It seems a little obvious that this is an issue that Ford needs to look into. Alternators do not typically fail before 60,000 miles.

Since the car was new I have complained during the Warranty period that there was a phantom electrical issue. I received the typical reply " Cannot duplicate the problem". I will not purchase another Ford, because Ford is apathetic to these electrical complaints (eg. pick-up truck fires).

- , Ballwin, MO, US

problem #1

Nov 092007

(reported on)

Focus ZX3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I have had this car not quite 3 years and it seems there is a pattern! About ever 4-6 months I am having to put a new alternator in it! No one can tell me WHY! I have gotten a band new alternator, refurbished, different vendor, you name it and like clock work in several months the piece of crap goes out again! There has to be an underlying problem! I call this car a ford fucus! I hate it!

- , Roanoke, VA, USA

Not what you are looking for?