Notes: Even though the first model year of a major redesign should typically be avoided, Ford did a good job & the 2008 Ford Focus doesn't appear to have any major defects.

That said, the following model years of this 2nd generation Focus (2009-2011) do appear to be slightly better.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,355 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.

2008 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 152016


  • 83,000 miles


The mileage on the vehicle was at 83,000 miles, at the time the issues began. When the car attempted to accelerate from a stopped position, the 1-2 gears started slipping, check engine and wrench light appeared. Took it to a mechanic, diagnostics test stated that it was a "shift solenoid D closed" had my mechanic replace it, it still did not work. I spent 400 bucks to replace the D solenoid, and the car is still in the same condition! I have seen countless complaints on this issue online, why hasn't there been a recall?! had I known the 2008 Ford Focus sucked this bad, I never would have bought it!

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #9

Nov 012016


  • 200,000 miles
The spark plugs keep blowing out of the engine head. So far, 3 out of 4 have come out. Some more than once after repairing with a helicoil.

- Granby, CT, USA

problem #8

Sep 112014


  • miles
2008 Ford Focus SE automatic transmission began hard downshifting at about 30,000 miles. Dealership stated it needed"flashing". left it one day picked it up shifted fine. Had new battery installed approximately 2 years ago, bad shifting started again. Dealership maintains out of warranty. Car now has 58,000 miles on it and bad transmission. Engine flogs at slow speeds ever since purchased. No relief in sight. Warmer it gets outside, worse transmission behaves. These things happen all over town, the car is not choosey!!

- Liberty, MO, USA

problem #7

May 122016


  • 108,000 miles


2008 Ford Focus does not accelerate properly or stalls randomly. On multiple occasions I was in traffic on both city streets and highways and nearly got hit more than once. I had the PCM replaced by a certified Ford mechanic in 11/14, it had a two year warranty. In 1/16 it began doing the same thing. It had to be replaced in 4/16. After replacing the PCM at a Ford dealership the second time my car stalled out on me the next day. The PCM code was the same at each location (code P00607). Both PCM's were purchased from Ford brand new. I am now being told by the Ford dealership that the following code (P0320) was obtained. They indicated the following work needs to be done in the amount of $575: The cost of the repairs include: Tune up is $260 this includes spark plugs, spark plug boots, and 2 ignition coils and the labor to install them. The cost to replaced the valve cover gasket that is leaking oil into the spark plug valleys is $315 this includes the parts and labor. (spark plug valleys #3 and #4 have oil in them.) my concern is that this was never a PCM issue; however, it is something else feeding misinformation to the PCM to send inaccurate codes to the entire system. The probability of three PCM's being faulty in 1 year is not likely. This vehicle has stalled in traffic on more than one occasion and is a risk to others and myself on the roads. I have grave concerns regarding the reliability and safety of the 2008 Ford Focus SE. Ford needs to investigate and correct this safety issue.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #6

Jul 012015


  • 122,056 miles
While driving on the beltway the car stalls and shuts off and will not restart. This has happened several times and once a truck just missed me trying to coast to the emergency lane. It has been to two shops that say nothing is wrong. Today I had it towed to the dealership and I found the other complaint here on this site while looking for recalls. This is an extremely dangerous failure and these ignitions missing a screw should be recalled before someone is injured or killed.

- Cheverly, MD, USA

problem #5

Oct 212013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 99,794 miles
The vehicle does not exceed 50 mph. The car would stall and jump under the hood. The car does not accelerate up hill. The car also shakes continuously and roars loudly when 40-50 mph is reached. The wrench light comes on when driving but the wrench light also goes away when you restart the car. I took the car to mechanics who stated they could not service when wrench light is off. When I did take it to the mechanic when the wrench light was on the mechanic plugged up a system and informed me that it must just be a sensor. I avoid highways because the car does not accelerate after 40-50mph. I am concerned for my safety when operating the vehicle. I do not feel safe. I rely on my vehicle and am disappointed, afraid and uncertain what to do.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #4

Oct 232014


  • 68,500 miles


I purchased my Ford back in may of 2014, it had 60,000 mile at the time of purchase. The car passed all inspections. I did purchased an extended warranty. For the past week I noticed the car felt as if it was idling high and not accelerating properly, on and off. On October 23, 2014, while driving at 20-25 miles per hour, the car began to shake and it felt as if it was going to be loosing power, the car never shut off, it reduced in speed and would not accelerate, soon after the wrench sign appeared. I turned off the car and restarted it, the wrench sign was gone and the car drove as it had prior to the light appearing. I took the Ford into my local Ford dealership and they diagnosed the issue as being the throttle body and needs to be replaced. I was told that my warranty does not cover the throttle body and was quoted $840 for parts and labor.

- Melrose Park, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 042012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The ignition switch, when I turn the key to the on position it sometimes sticks in this position and sticks it does this every other time when I turn on the vehicle it feels the key is going to get stuck in the starting position it don't spring back the way it should.

- Addison, IL, USA

problem #2

May 272014


  • 54,203 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, there was a sudden loss on engine power without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was unable to be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 54,203 and current mileage was 54,400.

- Cedarburg, WI, USA

problem #1

Jan 252012


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph the vehicle stalled without any warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 68,000 and the current mileage was 74,000.

- San Tan Valley , AZ, USA

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