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The Focus manages to be both logical in its design as well as fun to drive. This European-developed car offers ride comfort and agility on par with respectable sport sedans. Access, rear seat room and trunk space belie the fact that this is a small sedan. Interior quality and pronounced road noise mar this otherwise capable package though.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2003 Ford Focus has been recalled 7 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
00*
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12*
13
14
15
16
17
18
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Ford Focus owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“No AC last summer. Have not gotten an estimate or looked at yet”

Anonymous, OH (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“the A/C stopped working...it was a $700 repair that I elected to have done”

Anonymous, BC (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I guess I can expect the A/C to fail after 13 years”

Anonymous, MN (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“leaks”

Bert R., WI (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I have taken this car into the dealership twice and the problem wasn't fixed permanently. Each year for the last 3 years the air conditioning would not work. Last year I just lived with it and this year I am donating the car. Overall, I really got my money back with this car in spite of this problem. It has handled well and gets 30 miles to the gallon on the freeway”

Darla W., OR (2003 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

“Throttle regulator sensor originally installed at manufacture for automatic engine, not manual. Discovered after Idle Contr Motor fixed. Increased engine revs when A/C on (after leak fixed). Replacement did not solve. Still looking for problem”

Deborah B., FL (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

“blower motor goes on and off by itself”

Armand G., NY (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“One day the fan blower stopped working in any but 'high' setting”

Anonymous, NH (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“leaked freon”

A W., FL (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“When heater's on for longer than 20-minutes, there's an acrid smell of something burning. After shutting heater off for 10-minutes it can be turned on again”

Lucia W., CT (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

“AC has had repeated leaks of refrigerant”

Guy W., MA (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“No heat in winter unless vehicle in motion. Top off antifreeze which must leak out (never saw on ground) lasted a month and effective. Minor issue at this point. Suspect cooling AC/ system in general needs replaced. No AC previous summer”

Anonymous, OH (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Refrigerant leaks have occured for the last 3 years. Cooling is corrected by refilling freon”

James F., MO (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“A/C gradually lost effectiveness, I assumed it was related to refrigerant leakage but never had it repaired”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Ford Focus SVT 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“unit got ow and would not cool”

Anonymous, KS (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“when i have the air recharged. it last about 2 years before it has to be done agian”

Stephen F., PA (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“tie end ball joint interfered with the steering”

Steve L., ON (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“Power steering pump was leaking”

Brian H., NE (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“struts had to be replaced due to wear at the top of the mount allowing lateral movement in the strut”

Anonymous, BC (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“With this vehicle it seems like I'm spending a fair amount of struts, joints and suspension linkages . . and it's not as if it's banking over country roads every day . . it's a small town city car with maybe 10,000 highway km. per year. It seems lik”

Darryl P., AB (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“had the front struts replaced with aftermarket units. One failed after a year. The noise from the strut makes me wonder if the "broken" engine mounts that were replaced were really broken or misidentified (maybe really the strut failing). left wondering what else might go bad and cost big bucks to fix”

Anonymous, KY (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Not exactly sure why driver front shock "went". Could be related to a stabilizer bar mechanic installed 2 months ago in my opinion. Unfortunately the resulting damage makes turning right problematic. "crunching" sounds like things are about to fall apart. At 215K miles, it's time to retire this vehicle”

Anonymous, OH (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Springs or torsion bars

“Torsion bars just needed replacement for sake of safe steering”

Anonymous, WI (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“broken springs which interfered with the steering”

Steve L., ON (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Hit a pothole last spring bleu a tire and broke a spring”

Anonymous, IL (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The stabilizer bar link broke”

Charles P., MI (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

“They just wore out after 10 years”

Anonymous, WI (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Tie rods became loose at 100,000 miles. Replaced tie rods”

James F., MO (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“rear wheel bearing failed”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Basically they were worn our. In getting this car ready for a grandson getting ready for college, we spent $1,800 repairing items that were worn out”

Frederick H., NY (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

“Intermittent problem with gas gauge and speedometer sometimes not working at all”

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Erratic instrument cluster. Goes dead or "sticks" sometimes”

Anonymous, NC (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Gauges (and warning lights) all went kerblooey - the whole driver's dashboard assembly unit had to be replaced”

John D., MA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

“Headlights are not factory original, but should be reputable (Hella HID). Passenger side ballast/module failed after only about 13000 miles. Needed to take to specialty shop to diagnose. Part is relatively expensive though easy to replace”

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Ford Focus SVT 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“My headlights were not bright enough for safe night driving so I purchased new ones with maximum lumens for my 14 year old vehicle. Better but still not good enough. At my age, I will need a car that allows Halogen or other illumination. My vision is corrected”

Donna M., OR (2003 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Wiring harness fault at tailgate pivot point. Blown fuses, no brake lights and unable to put vehicle in gear”

Richard M., NY (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Somewhere under the headliner a group of wires rubbed through ans shorted out. This caused problems with the rear interior light, signal and brake lights”

Darryl P., AB (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Drivers seat heater shorted out causing extreme heat that slightly melted the seat”

Anonymous, MD (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

“Same as for gauges”

John D., MA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“engine warning light comes on from time to time, yet dealer can find nothing wrong with vehicle (false indication of problem)”

Ron M., ON (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

“Wipers will not automatically return to the off position at the bottom of the windshield”

Anonymous, MD (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“washer pump stoped working”

Colis L., ON (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“paint is peeling off the passenger door and panel below”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“White paint peeling on lower body and back for last 5 years”

Anonymous, BC (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“paint flaking off doors down to primer”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

“severe rust on rocker panels was hidden at time of purchase within a year of MN snow and rain the paint has peeled off and rust has left gaping holes in rocker panels”

Anonymous, MN (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The car has only 27k mileage. The underside is EXTREMELY rotted from rust!!!!”

Duane Z., NH (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“FAILED INSPECTION IN 2014 DUE TO RUSTED OUT ROCKER PANELS, ABOUT $300.00 TO REPAIR”

Brian C., NB (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Bad rust at rocker panels and bottom of doors”

Colis L., ON (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Can't figure why they can't make rocker panesl and wheel-wells that don't rust out. This car otherwise looks, drives, and performs like new”

Anonymous, MN (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“We have had work done on three separate occasions to repair rust damage”

Anonymous, NH (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“rocker panels rusted out”

Catherine L., MA (2003 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The car is highly rust resistant, but a factory replacement door rusted prematurely (7) years. Was a known defect but would not replace”

James R., NY (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

“The latching mechanisms are very finicky and prone to getting stuck. Most valet attendants cannot seem to figure them out. The handle requires equal amounts finesse and force. I had to replace driver side handle as the outside one broke entirely”

Sebastian R., TX (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Locks and latches

“ELECTRONIC REMOTE TRUNK RELEASE HAS FAILED, KEY REQUIRED TO OPEN TRUNK”

Brian C., NB (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Auto trunk release on dash defective. Allows trunk to open but will not allow closure without manipulating the trunk mechanism”

Anonymous, BC (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Electrical hatch lock does not work. Only opens with a key”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Seat controls - movement

“Drivers seat back adjustment frozen upright”

J W., AZ (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The trunk does not release and has to be forced up while simultaneously unlocked. Ruins the convenience of a remote trunk release”

Sebastian R., TX (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

“driver window will not operate”

Anonymous, KY (2003 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“electric window control on driver's side only works for driver's window, and is sporadic with other windows. the "door open" light went on a few months and there are no doors open. i have not had it looked at”

Anonymous, MN (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Electrical right rear window motor needed to be replace”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“nobody could find the exact problem, after three different shops looked at it I took it to a ford dealership which cost me in excess of $300”

James W., CA (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Was told by mechanic the emissions system was not working”

Anonymous, NV (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel cap

“See previous..repair estimated at $500”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel gauge/sender

“Gauge is still not totally correct and it will have to go back into shop. First fill got 27 mpg. second one 21 mpg”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel injection system

“Was told by mechanic the fuel injection system was bad”

Anonymous, NV (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

“My car could hardly get up a hill, the first garage said it may be my transmission. Transmission shop said it was fuel pump. First pump did not work as well as original so a second one had to be installed. Car out of commission for 10 days”

Anonymous, PA (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The fuel pump on Fords have a life span of around 100000 miles. If it isn't out, it soon will be. Again Ford is aware of the problem, but refuses to do anything about it”

Anonymous, MO (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The first new pump was faulty so they had to put in a different one. I was hospitalized and when I got it back it was driven for me. When I was finally able to drive it was out of warranty and the mpg had gone from 28-32 mpg down to 20-22 mpg. I cannot afford to get it checked again”

Alice H., PA (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light/fuel cap check light Needed new part”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

“On my third set of engine mounts”

Jeff F., CA (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“the mounts have been deteriorating for some time. The motor caused a lot of vibration and some noise when driving”

Robert R., CA (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Oil pan leak. Unsure of reason”

Darrell P., WI (2003 Ford Focus SVT 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced valve covers”

Anonymous, MI (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“It is leaking oil and would be costly to fix, so we haven't”

Anonymous, MO (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“oil leak around head gasket”

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Chronic leaky gasket caused radiator hose to fail”

Edwin E., NY (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“the camshaft position sensor leaked, as did the front engine mount”

Charles H., WI (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

“Patched up a hole on exhaust cost around $100”

Andrew N., MA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to have the EGR tube replaced for the third time”

Anonymous, AK (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Loose/rattling heat shield

“The rattle is loud and comes and goes. Had it "fixed" twice and it comes back”

Anonymous, OH (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The heat shield simply fell down so far as to scrape the road. I was going to have it replaced but was told it was an unnecessary piece of equipment to begin with and just paid to have it removed”

Anonymous, IN (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Muffler

“Muffler is shot”

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“needed new one”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Original factory stainless steal exhaust failed after 13 years of New York winters”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“needed new one”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“Rear wheel antilock sensor”

William B., IN (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Calipers

“caliper retaining clips weak and flimsy. can easily slip off and cause premature and uneven wear on brake pads”

Anonymous, IN (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Frozen calipers”

Anonymous, MI (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“When we turn off the parking brake (put the lever down), the indicator light will occasionally light up later, and we smell hot brakes. In other words, it doesn't stay off when we turn it off”

Debra H., CO (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The rotors,pads and a calaper had to be replaced and I had a complete brake over hall done one year before and only 5k put on the car in that year”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Regular brake failure

“Brake line rusted through near the gas tank causing brake failure”

Francis G., NJ (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“See my previous comment”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I went to the dealer as the front brakes were making a grinding noise when they were not being applied. The dealer found out that the aftermarket rotors and brake pads previously not installed by the dealer were incorrect causing the caliber to rub a”

Stephen M., QC (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

“While driving at 30mph, radio shut off. Parked car for 5-minutes. Restarted car. Drove for a mile. While stopped at a light, engine and all electrics shut off and would not restart. Towed to dealer, which assessed it for 4-days because problem d”

Lucia W., CT (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The 'engine' light kept coming on and off, and finally stayed on. AAA towed the car from my home to my auto mechanic and they installed a new alternator. Both AAA and my mechanic checked for faulty engine light first”

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“If the car is not driven every day or on a regular basis, it will drain the battery in 3 weeks or less”

Kenneth G., MO (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Distributor or rotor failure

“The distributer electronics failed”

Steven M., NC (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Electronic ignition

“Replaced spark plugs, spark plug wires & ignition packs”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Ignition switch

“Ignition switch would not turn. Steering locked, no electrical, no start - could not start, turn, or tow car. Local garage drilled and replaced ignition cylinder - could not program key. towed car to dealer 40 miles away to program new key”

J W., AZ (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The original spark plugs lasted until approximately 150K miles. When I had a check engine light that I couldn't get to clear until we changed spark plugs. We also had to change out the ignition coils and replaced plug wires to be prudent”

Robert R., CA (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“We have some difficulty moving the gear lever into the gear we want--it pops back out. The clutch petal cover fell off, and the metal clutch petal is oily”

Debra H., CO (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

“Car would not gear up. Problem was due to low mileage and age of car and was fixed”

Anne-Marie A., GA (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“It slips in high gear only”

Anonymous, IA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

“The transmission seals at the output to the driveshaft started leaking. The repair too two days to complete due to the driveshaft being stuck in the transmission. I was happy with the results as the dealer even though they spent a total of 12 hours o”

Stephen M., QC (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“transmission position sensor failed”

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder)

“Clutch master cylinder leaking”

Anonymous, UT (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“certain combinations of power-off and reverse drive will leave the backup sensor locked "on" during the subsequent trip, from start-up to completion. Only way to solve the issue is to turn off and restart the car on that trip”

John N., CA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“Sync system is known incompatible with iPhone and iPod storage, Apple devices cannot be controlled through the so-called "smart" interface of Sync. It has been a major disappointment”

John N., CA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

“Radio freezes on occasion needs to be shut off and turned back on”

Andrew N., MA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Radio died. Both radios output soft to loud static depending upon throttle position. Volume control jumps around. CD player died as well”

Jeff F., CA (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

“didgital readout not fully filled letters/figures missing”

Bert R., WI (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

“The display screen I refer to is the clock face on the radio. The clock no longer appears when the engine is off. Also, multiple times the speedometer, gas gauge and all the other indicators on the dashboard simply stop working and start again days or weeks later only to stop working again later”

Anonymous, IN (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“Bottom windshield seal leaks badly. I fill with gel-glue periodically”

Guy W., MA (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“water entering at the top of the windshield where it meets roof”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Coolant leaks out of thermostat housing at hose connection”

Darrell P., WI (2003 Ford Focus SVT 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed to replace all motor mounts. Dealer replaced with faulty mounts and had to repeat with properly working mounts after complaints”

Marvin P., MB (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The mounting tabs for two interior trim panels broke there are no replacement parts available”

Charles H., WI (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

“Fan relay failure”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Two different thermostat failures”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Focus ZX5 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced thermostat twice in 3 years. Both times a major melt down of plastic module”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“It seems that Ford Focus 2.0 SOHC engines will drop the valve seat from #4 piston at around 110000-120000 and destroy the engine. Ford is aware of this problem, but, refuses to do anything about it! All Ford SOHC engines have the same problem, I ha”

Anonymous, MO (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Cylinder head

“Ford is aware of this problem, yet refuses to do anything about it. The SOHC 4 cyl. drops the valve seat on #4 cyl. into the engine at around 100k to 120k. This instantly trashes the motor”

Kenneth G., MO (2003 Ford Focus LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

“The car only has 31k miles on it”

Anonymous, OH (2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Ground wire broke”

Anonymous, IN (2003 Ford Focus ZTW 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Compare 2003 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
EQUIPMENT
Feb 24 2012
IF THE ASSEMBLY SEPARATES DURING INSTALLATION, IT COULD RESULT IN INJURY TO THE INSTALLER. IF THE ASSEMBLY SEPARATES WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION, IT COULD RESULT IN SECONDARY DAMAGE TO THE VEHICLE AND POSSIBLY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
RIDE CONTROL, LLC (RIDE CONTROL) IS RECALLING CERTAIN READYMOUNT ASSEMBLIES, P/N 746641MT AND 746646MT, WITH CORRESPONDING AFTERMARKET CUSTOMER PART NUMBERS: GABRIEL G56944 AND GABRIEL G56945, AND PRIVATELY BRANDED PARTSMASTER WITH PART NUMBERS G68944 AND G68945. THE READYMOUNT ASSEMBLIES WERE SOLD AS AFTERMARKET SERVICE EQUIPMENT FOR USE ON CERTAIN 2000 THROUGH 2005 FORD FOCUS VEHICLES. THESE ASSEMBLIES WERE ASSEMBLED WITH A NUT WITHOUT THE NECESSARY WASHER. THE ABSENCE OF THE WASHER CAN ALLOW THE READYMOUNT ASSEMBLY TO PULL APART THE TOP MOUNT.
What should you do:
RIDE CONTROL WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND WILL SET UP PROCEDURES TO INSPECT, REPAIR, AND/OR REPLACE THE AFFECTED PARTS WITHOUT CHARGE TO THE OWNER. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MARCH 30, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT RIDE CONTROL AT 1-800-999-3903.
For more information:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12E007000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 10006
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:HEADLIGHTS
May 11 2009
DECREASED LIGHTING VISIBILITY MAY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
DOPE, INC. IS RECALLING 42,540 COMBINATION CORNER AND BUMPER LAMP ASSEMBLIES OF VARIOUS PART NUMBERS SOLD FOR USE AS AFTERMARKET EQUIPMENT FOR VARIOUS PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE HEADLAMPS FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, "LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT." THESE LAMPS DO NOT CONTAIN THE REQUIRED AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS.
What should you do:
DOPE, INC. WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER A FULL REFUND FOR THE NONCOMPLIANT COMBINATION LAMPS. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 28, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DOPE, INC. AT 1-626-272-1798.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES PRODUCED BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF YOUR AFTERMARKET LAMP ASSEMBLY IS AFFECTED BY THIS NONCOMPLIANCE, PLEASE REVIEW THE LIST OF MODEL NUMBERS PROVIDED TO US BY DOPE, INC.THE LIST CAN BE FOUND UNDER "DOCUMENT SEARCH" LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SCREEN. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09E025000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 42540
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Apr 07 2009
DECREASED LIGHTING VISIBILITY MAY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
SABERSPORT IS RECALLING 16,270 COMBINATION CORNER AND BUMPER LAMP ASSEMBLIES OF VARIOUS PART NUMBERS SOLD FOR USE AS AFTERMARKET EQUIPMENT FOR VARIOUS PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE HEADLAMPS FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, "LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT." THESE LAMPS DO NOT CONTAIN THE REQUIRED AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS.
What should you do:
SABERSPORT WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER A FULL REFUND FOR THE NONCOMPLIANT COMBINATION LAMPS. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MAY 11, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT SABERSPORT AT 1-909-598-7589.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES PRODUCED BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF YOUR AFTERMARKET LAMP ASSEMBLY IS AFFECTED BY THIS NONCOMPLIANCE, PLEASE REVIEW THE LIST OF MODEL NUMBERS PROVIDED TO US BY SABERSPORT.THE LIST CAN BE FOUND UNDER "DOCUMENT SEARCH" LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SCREEN.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09E012000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 16270
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:HEADLIGHTS
Aug 11 2008
WITHOUT THE AMBER SIDE REFLEX REFLECTORS, THE LIGHTING VISIBILITY MAY BE AFFECTED, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
K2 MOTOR IS RECALLING 1,921 AFTERMARKET HEADLAMPS OF VARIOUS MODELS SOLD FOR USE ON THE ABOVE LISTED VEHICLES. THESE HEADLAMPS ARE MISSING THE AMBER SIDE REFLEX REFLECTOR WHICH FAILS TO CONFORM WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, "LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT."
What should you do:
K2 MOTOR WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER A FULL REFUND. THE RECALL BEGAN ON DECEMEBER 17, 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT K2 MOTOR AT 1-909-839-2992.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES MANUFACTURED BY HONDA, FORD, OR CHRYSLER LLC. CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 08E050000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1921
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Jun 13 2006
FAILURE OF THIS CONNECTION COULD LEAD TO FUEL SPILLAGE AND, IN THE PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE, A FIRE COULD OCCUR.
Summary:
CERTAIN AFTERMARKET FUEL FILTERS SOLD UNDER THE PUROLATOR BRAND NAME, P/N F65277, SHIPPED FROM JANUARY 16 THROUGH JUNE 2, 2006, FOR USE ON THE ABOVE LISTED PASSENGER VEHICLES. DUE TO INCORRECT DESIGN, THE QUICK CONNECTORS MAY NOT FULLY SEAT WITH THE TUBE INTERFACE, EVEN THOUGH THE PERSON MAKING THE CONNECTION MAY BELIEVE THAT THE QUICK CONNECTOR IS FULLY ATTACHED.
What should you do:
UFI WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPLACE THE FILTERS FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON AUGUST 4, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT UFI FILTERS USA AT 800-230-5876.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO UFI FILTERS USA (PUROLATOR) AFTERMARKET FUEL FILTERS AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON THE LISTED PASSENGER VEHICLES.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 06E056000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 58640
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Mar 23 2006
WITHOUT THE AMBER REFLECTORS, THE VEHICLE WILL BE POORLY ILLUMINATED, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.
Summary:
CERTAIN PRO-A MOTORS CORNER LAMPS, TURN SIGNALS, AND HEADLIGHTS SOLD AS REPLACEMENT LAMPS FOR USE ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE. SOME COMBINATION LAMPS THAT ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS FAIL TO CONFORM TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT.
What should you do:
PRO-A MOTORS WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER TO REPURCHASE THE LAMPS. THE RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 3, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT PRO-A MOTORS AT 323-838-2988.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO PRO-A MOTORS AFTERMARKET LAMPS AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON THE LISTED PASSENGER VEHICLES.FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE LAMP MODEL NUMBERS, CLICK ON DOCUMENT SEARCH AND VIEW DOCUMENT TITLED "LAMP MODEL NUMBERS."CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 06E026000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 61944
LATCHES/LOCKS/LINKAGES:DOORS:LATCH
Feb 01 2005
IF NOT LATCHED PROPERLY, THE DOOR MAY OPEN WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION. IF AN OCCUPANT FELL OUT OF THE VEHICLE, PERSONAL INJURIES COULD OCCUR.
Summary:
CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES WITH FOUR OR FIVE DOORS AND ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, A BUILD-UP OF CORROSION AT THE PAWL PIVOT AREA OF THE REAR DOOR LATCH CAN CAUSE A BINDING CONDITION OF THE PAWL THAT MAY AFFECT PROPER ENGAGEMENT OF THE PAWL INTO THE CATCH. THE OCCUPANT MAY EXPERIENCE DIFFICULTY OPENING OR CLOSING A REAR DOOR, AND EVENTUALLY THE REAR DOOR MAY NOT LATCH PROPERLY.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL HAVE A LOWER ROCKER SEAL ADDED TO THE DOOR AND HAVE THE REAR DOOR LATCHES EVALUATED FREE OF CHARGE. A LATCH THAT PASSES THE EVALUATION WILL BE LUBRICATED TO PREVENT FUTURE CORROSION. A LATCH THAT DOES NOT PASS THE EVALUATION WILL BE REPLACED. IN ADDITION, A STICKER WILL BE AFFIXED TO THE REAR DOORS ADVISING THE OWNERS TO USE THE RECOMMENDED LUBRICANT. THE RECALL BEGAN ON MARCH 9, 2005. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FORD AT 1-800-392-3673.
For more information:
FORD RECALL NO. 05S27.CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V030000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 589932
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