2001 Ford Focus 2.0 SOHC
Recently a customer brought me a 2001 Ford Focus 2.0 SOHC (single over head Cam) that she was given by her younger son. With 106,000 miles on it, the engine began to make a knocking noise. Thinking that she must have done something to cause this noise, she immediately brought it to my shop for a once over. I must say as she was driving up to the shop, it sounded more like a diesel engine than a gasoline one. The noise was almost deafening. If she wanted to arrive unnoticed, it would have been wiser to walk. Needless to say my customer was rather embarressed.
I began to investigate the noise. To me it sounded internal. After a few minutes of listening to the noise and using my stethoscope, I narrowed it down to the valves and pistons. Since my curiosity was high, I began to search the Internet for a Ford Focus forum. Once I typed in the make, model and year, I found the information I was looking for. It appears that with this SOHC (Single Overhead Cam) engine 2.0 has a very strong history of engine failure between 89,000 – 115,000 miles. What I discovered is the metal used to make the pistons and valves was not of the highest standards causing the engine to fail. We are finding other countries that produce parts for United States manufactures may not be up to previous standards. How many times have you read about certain makes and models being recalled due to faulty parts. This of course has angered many customers and beloved Ford Owners. But after learning the fate of their automobile, many have decided to try other manufactures. You see, the problem will not go away unless you completely rebuild the engine or in the worst case, junk the car.
As for my customer, since she was limited in funds, I was able to rebuild the engine for her using higher grade metal pistons and valves. The cost was high but compared to a new car, it was relatively cheaper. Not everyone has this option. Trying to obtain a lower mileage used engine might not be the wisest choice either, since the problem will not go away, but only to come back. After checking with many Salvage Yards, they informed me that they have a large inventory of Ford Focus with engine failure. When I checked on the resale value of this vehicle, I was surprised to see the Kelly Blue Book value on this model even with a blown engine was quite high.
If this customer had not taken well car of this vehicle, I would have advised to give it a proper burial, but the paint was pristine as was the interior, so the choice was easy on replacing the engine. Not to mention the car was paid for.
When it comes to costly car repairs, it pays to weight the options.