pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
81,505 miles
Total Complaints:
13 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace coil spring (5 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. replace engine mounts (2 reports)
  4. replace sway bar links (1 reports)
  5. replaced springs-micro-cracks 1st coil, lower support cup (1 reports)
2003 Ford Focus suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #13

Aug 012017

Focus SE 2.0L Zetec

  • Manual transmission
  • 134,000 miles


Drove car in the driveway the night before and it was perfect. Drove out the next morning and it was making a loud clunking from front suspension and turning the wheel made it much worse. Seemed like it was a strut mount failure but upon further inspection the lowest part of the spring had broken (maybe in conjunction with a bad mount bearing?). Complete front struts are available online for less than $100. Nonetheless, if it had broken and gone into the tire it could have been very serious (as it has happened on other Ford's).

- , Northville, MI, USA

problem #12

Sep 102012

Focus ZTS 2.0L Dohc

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,571 miles

Had a clunking noise coming from the front of my 2003 focus...so I replaced both springs and all four shocks (found front Left Spring snapped at the bottom) still wasn't solving the problem...replaced the tie-rod ends,still not the problem...replaced the driver and passenger CV joints, still wasn't the problem...replaced all four tires and a 4 wheel alignment, still not the problem...checked the front sway bar, still not the problem...just bought the front right motor mount because I'm convinced THIS is the actual problem..if it is, I will post!!

- , Enfield, CT, USA

problem #11

Feb 062012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Second time I've had this problem and I think it's broken again a month later. I'm about to get it checked out.

- , Kenmore, NY, USA

problem #10

May 192010

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 103,000 miles


The noise started a few days ago and it sounded like my wheel was going to fall off when I turned at slow speeds. Took it to a reputable mechanic and he said the front coil spring was broken, and he sees this all the time on this all the time on this make / model. He recommended replacing both of the springs along with the shocks and struts for $675.00 .... ouch. I needed new tires, shocks, struts, and a windshield and was just thinking of trading it in for a new car.

- , Morrison, CO, USA

problem #9

Jan 012009

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I had noticed the loud vibrating noise coming from the front of the car. My dad always liked to take care of my cars and he always said it was nothing. One day, I had the battery replaced at SEARS and the tech told me if sounded like the engine mount. I took it to my dad's mechanic and sure enough. He place belts on the engine and lifted the engine and the noise was gone. He then proceeded to check the engine mounts and the right hand side was broken. The noise got really annoying right when the extended warranty was expired . I called FORD dealership and they wanted about $100 for each mount. He replaced the right hand side and and the noise was gone. He bought the parts aftermarket and charged me $100 parts and labor...not too bad.

A year later, the noise is back. I took it again and now the left hand side mount is broken and it was replaced as well as the right one(again) because it was wore down already. My dad says it's because I hit potholes and speedbumps fast. The Car is front heavy and the suspension sucks and the impact is all on the mounts. But anyway, this is what i did to solve. My dad's mechanic suggested i no longer buy FORD....i wont.

- , Anthony, NM, USA

problem #8

Jan 062009

Focus SVT 2.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I first noticed the clunking noise around last January '09. At times the noise can be so loud everyone can notice it. First I 'figured' that it was the struts. So I bought the struts online. Saved money on sales tax and got free shipping. My mechanic charged me around $170 (with tax) to install them. I got my car off their shop and hit the road only to find out the noise was still there as if I had done nothing about it! I guess the struts weren't in such bad shape after all.

Someone suggested to check the ball joints and to lubricate them. Well, the ball joints on a Ford Focus were not designed to get greased on a periodic basis. There is no grease insert on them so you have to use a grease gun with a needle. You put in excess grease and it will just come right back out. It took me about 2 hours to get the job done properly and I was so disappointed that the clunking noise was still there!

The control arms look fine except for, maybe, the bushings. But I'm not going to mess with that. I am almost convinced that the coil springs are the reason for the nightmare. I will be saving my money and buy them from the same online merchant as before since they have great customer service.

What a pain this has been. The ride sucks. Sometimes I'd rather just walk to work but I can't--it's about 10 miles. There is no public transportation where I live so I am screwed.

- , Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #7

Jan 032008


  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles


My car has been making this noise for over a year and I took it to a dealer who said it was nothing. Then I took it to Midas who said it was the link arm. They fixed both sides but the noise was still there. Had my dad look at it (who rebuilds cars for a living) and he said it is the coil springs and struts, so today we will be fixing them.

All 2000/2001 have been recalled due to this problem but not the 2003. I guess they want me to keep blowing out tires and end up killing myself before they recall my 2003. The government needs to look into all of this and make them do something before more people are killed over simple things that could be fixed in just a hour.

- , Akron, OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 102009

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

Car jumps when trying to get on the gas to downshift into a better passing gear,almost feels like all power lost and engine turning over under hood. I've been hearing a lot of creaking and stuff like that from the front end, like something's ready to fall off lately. Especially while turning and at low speeds in and around parking lots. What to do?

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #5

Dec 192008

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

What a headache, the front end of the car sounded so bad with every little bump in the road, i had the front end looked at & replace the small stablier arms for both sides, then came to find out that it was the front coils, & struts. Looking at a cost of $650- $800 for replacement. I had an honest mech. look at the year of the car & checked the vin. number to find out that it was covered by Ford thru a rare owner correction problem...no recall or TSB on it, it was a hush item that Ford knew was bad but wasn't willing to step up & correct unless we complained enough about it. Found on road die....it's hard to go back & buy crap like this again...

- , Perry, OH, USA

problem #4

Sep 012008

Focus ZX3 Power Premium 2.0L Zetec

  • Manual transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I have discovered a clunking sound coming from the front of my car. It's an annoying rattle that occurs over every crack in the road, over every curb, over rail road crossings, over the transition from the pavement into the garage. Pretty much ever road imperfection sets off a clunk/rattle from the front suspension. I have pressed up and down on the front of the car on either side and decided it's coming from the driver's side. I don't know what it is yet, but have read that Ford has installed fault strut coil springs on certain models in certain years that break. Not sure if this is it. It may be anything. Steering feels tight yet, suspension action seems the same, and nothing else per handling seems to have changed. I'm going to have to have it checked out soon. Ridiculous. I can't believe all the stuff that I have experience with my car at only 65K miles. Poorly constructed, poorly build, unrefined, and can't imagine it lasting more than 120K without some serious issues and expensive maintenance. Another thing I've heard is that the Focus is notorious for suspension not staying in alignment, and with this fancy "control blade" setup, you have to have 4-wheel alignments that usually run up to $90 or you wear out tires prematurely and reduce fuel economy. Oh, and the tire size on the focus is a notch lower than the most common size for compact cars, meaning that they COST MORE. Didn't Ford build the suspension beefy enough, or does it change geometry after running over a spider? Sorely disappointed. I should have bought a Corolla back in 2003 or waited until '06 for the new Civic.

- , Rockford, MN, USA

problem #3

Jul 272008

Focus SE Wagon

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,700 miles


Apparently coils spring are 'weak' on some Ford models. I brought my car to my regular garage guy who had to fix my heat shield (whic had rusted and was dangling around) and was well-enough informed to let me in on the fact that Ford covered coils springs on my car for free. Turns out it's not on warranty, and it's not a call back. They explained that it's just a courtesy coverage offered by Ford since they realized a weakness in the coils springs used on certain models in certain years. I had been there for other problems and they failed to mention that small bit of info to me at those times. hmm. Interesting. I have an appt tomorrow morning.. The questions is: will they replace both coil springs or will I be making another trip to Ford soon??

- , Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada

problem #2

Apr 162008

Focus LX 2.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,292 miles

rear coil springs - torsion break at lower support cup. microcrack and mechanical failure.

- , Johnstown, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 012007

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

This car now has 51,000 miles on it and still makes this horrible clunking noise in the rear (under the car). I have had at least 3 different shops look into this. They don't know what it is. It gets worse as time goes by. I just had another mechanic look at it last week, still no reason for it.

- , Denver, CO, USA

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