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Ford Focus 2 - “diseases” that are kept silent

Ford Focus 2 - “diseases” that are kept silent
The Ford Focus, released in 1998, was a real breakthrough for the automaker in its time. In 2010, this model became the best-selling foreign car in the Russian Federation.

The second generation Focuses were offered in almost all body styles - sedan, three- and five-door hatchback, station wagon, convertible. The car received a more modern design compared to its predecessor, an improved interior and a new line of engines. Focus 2 was produced from 2004 to 2011, after which it was replaced by the third generation of the model. What is hidden behind the attractive façade of the second Focus?

Engines and their disadvantages

The second generation Focus was equipped with 1,4-2,0 liter petrol and diesel engines. Let's look at the shortcomings and weaknesses of the most common internal combustion engines.


Piston ring sticking is a common problem that leads to increased oil consumption. This may be caused by the use of low-quality motor fluid, its untimely replacement, or engine contamination. Symptoms: blue smoke from the exhaust pipe, increased lubricant consumption, decreased compression.

The flaps in the AODA intake manifold can become stuck due to carbon deposits or dirt. This leads to disruption of the air supply to the motor, which negatively affects its functioning. Signs include a drop in power and jerking during acceleration. The dampers will need to be cleaned or replaced.


1,8-litre petrol engine fitted to various Ford models including Mondeo and C-Max. Floating idle speed is a common QQDB problem. This may be caused by air leaks, dirty throttle valve or faulty sensors. The engine is unstable at idle and there are jerks when driving. The problem can be solved by reflashing the ECU, cleaning or replacing the throttle valve and sensors.

Ford Focus 2 — «болезни», о которых умалчиваютUnder the hood of the Ford Focus II generation. Photo: YouTube.com

The timing chain on QQDB is not reliable and can wear out by 200-250 thousand kilometers, and sometimes even earlier. When it stretches, a characteristic noise will appear under the hood and the power of the internal combustion engine will decrease. Bad fuel on QQDB quickly damages the fuel pump and spark plugs. Oil in the spark plug wells may be a sign of valve cover wear. This leads to loss of compression and increased lubricant consumption.


These engines are sensitive to fuel quality. Using cheap gasoline will cause spark plugs to malfunction, which sometimes last less than 10 thousand km. There is a loss of power, jerking when driving, and starting the engine becomes difficult. The fuel pump on SHDA also does not like bad gasoline. If it malfunctions, the dynamics of the car decrease, the fuel pressure in the system drops, and the engine may not start.

SHDA does not have hydraulic compensators, so valve clearances need to be adjusted periodically. If this is not done, the engine will become noisy, its power will decrease, and compression will drop. SHDA do not have a long service life. In some cases, major repairs are required already at 150-200 thousand kilometers.

Weaknesses and shortcomings

Shock absorbers, wheel bearings, and stabilizer struts on the Focus 2 are not particularly reliable and may require replacement by 100-150 thousand kilometers. Signs of wear include knocks, clunks, squeaks in the suspension, deterioration in handling, and body sway.

Inside the Ford Focus II generation. Photo: YouTube.com

The neutralizer on the Focus 2 lives less than the “hospital average.” This is usually due to low quality gasoline. The main symptoms are loss of power, increased fuel consumption, and the appearance of “Check Engine” on the dashboard. The solution is to install a new catalyst (original or analogue) or replace the device with a flame arrester.

Often the power steering on Focus 2 with 1.4 and 1.6 liter units is prone to condensation accumulation. At low air temperatures, the bypass valves fail, leading to leaks. As a result, a hum is heard when the power steering pump operates, and the steering wheel becomes “stiff.” To eliminate the malfunction, the pump or bypass valves are replaced.

The stove on the Focus 2 may not heat well over time. This is due to a clogged heater core or motor failure. Signs of a malfunction include cold air from the stove, weak airflow.

Transmissions and their “sores”

Motors with a capacity of 100 “horses” were equipped with an IB5 manual transmission. Its only drawback can be considered the second speed synchronizers. Models with 1.8 l and 2.0 l internal combustion engines were equipped with a 5-speed MTX75 gearbox. If the oil level in it is insufficient, wear of the shafts and gear crowns becomes inevitable. Both mechanical units are generally not prone to malfunctions and last a long time.

Control lever for manual transmission Ford Focus 2. Photo: YouTube.com

The same can be said about the 4F4E 27-speed automatic transmission. After 150 thousand km, it may require repair of the valve body and replacement of solenoids. Most problems with Ford automatic transmissions are associated with the rear cover of the box. Periodically check the transmission oil level, since a decrease in pressure in the system will lead to slippage and burnout of the clutches.

The most problematic is the MPS6 robotic gearbox on the Ford Focus 2. One of the “sores” is an unreliable clutch damper. Sagging springs lead to shocks when switching, and the destruction of plastic retainers contaminates the oil system. Clutch wear products clog the channels in the valve body and solenoids. To avoid this problem, frequent oil and filter changes will be required.

The weak point of the MPS6 can be called the fragile fork tips - they are made of plastic, do not withstand sudden starts and can break. If it breaks, the box may be blocked. On Focus 2 with high mileage, vibrations appear due to wear of the input shaft bearing and leakage along the gearbox cover seal. The service life of MPS6 is about 200 thousand km.

A little about the body

The body of the Focus 2 is well galvanized, but time, as they say, does not spare anyone. Standard areas are at risk - wheel arches and sills. After several years of owning a car, you can expect corrosion to appear on the fenders, which becomes an inherent problem for many cars.

Corrosion on the wheel arch of a Ford Focus 2. Photo: YouTube.com

Although the Ford Focus 2 is not as susceptible to corrosion as its competitors of the time, it is necessary to take into account not only the age of the car, but also the operating conditions. In cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, where reagents are used to sprinkle roads, bodies are exposed to corrosion more quickly. But the history of the car still plays a key role - damage to the body will inevitably be accompanied by decomposition of the metal, which no galvanizing can prevent.


Today, the cost of pre-restyling second Focuses is around 500-600 thousand rubles. “Older” options from 2005. can be found for 450 thousand rubles. Restyled version 2007-2011. will cost 750-900 thousand rubles.

Like any other car, the Ford Focus 2 is not without its drawbacks. Whether to buy or not is a personal choice, but if you decide to become the owner of a second Focus, you need to be prepared for potential problems specific to this car. Among the closest competitors of Focus 2 are VW Jetta and Bora, Opel Astra, Renault Megane, Toyota Corolla. Well, if you need a more affordable option, pay attention to the Chinese “classmates” - BYD F3, Haima 3, Chery Very.


Photos used: youtube.com

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