August 5, 2005

2000 Ford Focus

When I first purchased my 2000 Ford Focus, my friend Taco jokingly called it a "Fuckus". And I suppose he was right.. the car has found a way to fuck me, and probably fuck us all as a nation of owners in general. Yesterday, I brought my car in after a couple of trips to Baton Rouge for work, where the engine light was flashing and it was pulsating running like shit. Now this car has been problem since day one.. recalls, brakes, engine problems.. and countless visits to the Ford Dealership in between... possibly 20 visits in all (I'm not keeping count!) This time, I had some coil go out (not sure the details, didn't read into it) and about 500 dollars worth of maintenance and deposit removal... as it runs very great now, the engine light came back on yesterday, and so I will have to bring it in tomorrow and make sure they don't try charging me a 50 dollar deductible to diagnose a problem that I paid 50 bucks for them to diagnose yesterday. Next week I will be working a gig that will give me 500 extra dollars, which will help pay for my newly found car-repair debt. (not really debt, as I paid in full). I was hoping to have extra money to save or spend on myself, but alas, the 2000 Ford Focus strikes again! How does a company that's been around about a century build (and mass produce) such a piece of garbage is beyond me. I'm sure they've worked out all the kinks since the initial 2000 model year, but that doesn't help me. I remember vividly when I had about 10,000 miles on the car, and my brakes were worn out and the rotors were warped... and they (Ford representatives at the dealership) had the brass to tell me that it was considered "NORMAL WEAR". I should have seen the sign right then and there that this was going to be a long marriage or pain and misery between me and my Focus. I could create a whole website with scanned documents of the various and numerous repairs done to that vehicle alone (not to mention all of the recalls that I got in the mail on a fairly regular basis for a couple of years). Luckily, the 2000 Ford Focus wastes little time in letting it's owner know that it's a bucket of troubled bolts by breaking and falling apart not too long after it's driven from the lot... this, of course, prompted me to make one of the smartest moves I've made by puchasing a Ford extended warranty! In slight fairness to Ford, the 1983 Crown Victoria (former police cruiser probably saw some serious road action (and backseat hookers!) before I got a hold of it, and it held up damn well!), 1978 Mercury Marquis (original A/C blew ice cold and cruise control worked flawlessly!), and 1990 Ford Taurus were used cars that I've owned and were worthy and fun to drive. Maybe they just don't make 'em like they used to, right? Who knows. At $13,500, the 2000 Ford Focus has fallen way short of even a modest expectation of problem-free ownership...and to think it was the first brand new car that I bought with the intent to not have problems that come with owning a used car anymore. I also bought it, because I wanted to be somewhat patriotic and choose American, however that reasoning seems much less logical nowadays. Sorry about the rant on the Focus... but damn! It would piss anyone off, and I did try to notify them of my dismay....It's just a shame that the Ford Motor Company was too busy counting the money they got from me (and other suckers) to even respond to a complaint letter that I wrote them. I thought Quality was job #1, right fellas? Oh well, fuck Ford! Thanks for teaching me a lesson, though.

***UPDATE 8-15-2005***
Long story made short.. I bring the car in for the Engine Light trouble.. they replace an oxygen sensor... on the way back home.. light comes back on. Maybe they will diagnose it as a faulty light next time.... who knows! (and so the drama continues...)

***UPDATE 8-24-2005***
Today, I brought my Focus in for the same Engine Light trouble, on top of weird noises and a brake inspection. The Engine light was apparently due (this time) from a faulty PCV Valve. Before, they misdiagnosed it to be an oxygen sensor. The weird noise was also responsible for dimming lights while the electric fan kicks on occasionally... that's right, the alternator was bad. After replacing that, they checked the brakes... they seem fine. Problem was, when I went to pick the car up, they didn't put all the lugnuts on the rear-left tire, and so it sounded like I was dragging an orange cone when I drove 10 feet from the lot. They put the tire on correctly and I drove home.. problem free and feeling good.... for now! (key eerie music to the tune of the Ford jingle!)

WAHOO! They sure are fun to drive! Maybe I should submit mine for one last "test", if you know what I mean!

Posted by Reese at August 5, 2005 8:14 AM