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Proactive National Car Care Month Plan Could Lead To More Business

As gas prices continue to drop, ­consumers will have a few more dollars in their pockets to spend on essentials, like vehicle repair and service. Getting customers to spend some of those dollars in your shop should be one of your goals this spring. With...

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Do Training, Technology And Parts Sourcing Issues Keep You Up At Night?

We often hear that the things that keep shop owners awake at night pertain to profitability, productivity, training, keeping up with technology, shop operations/expenses and parts quality/availability. This month, we hear directly from one of your...

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Top 10 Automotive Repair Shop Pet Peeves

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Engine Coolant Temperature Diagnostics

While old-school cooling system service often ­focused on coolant leaks and overheating engines, let’s begin thinking “new-school” by looking at modern cooling systems through the eyes of the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor. Coolant temperature...

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Volkswagen: Parking Indicator Sounds Off with No Obstacle

Customer complains that the parking assistance issues warning sounds for both the front and/or rear of vehicle with no obstacle in range. Water intrusion into sensor holders is causing corroded plug contacts and sensor electrical pins, which results in...

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Volkswagen: Unnecessary Electric Coolant Fan Replacements

Model: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan Customer concerns of “electric coolant fans continue to run after the ignition is switched off” are resulting in unnecessary coolant fan replacements. It is considered normal operation for the electric coolant...

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Bartec Updates Tool Software

Bartec USA released its next tool software update for its range of TPMS tools. This latest tool software release integrates TIA’s TPMS Relearn Chart into Bartec’s TMPS software. “The TIA Chart is a must-have for any back shop whether general...

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Educating Drivers, Technicians and Service Advisers with Dill’s New TPMS Videos

Dill Air Controls has launched its new TPMS training and educational videos, supporting three audiences — consumers, technicians and service advisers. The consumer videos are available in shortened versions, and are positioned for the customer waiting...

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Top 5 Tools: Kenny Younkins, Ken’s Auto Service Center

Kenny Younkins, owner Ken’s Auto Service Center Akron, OH While Ken first said his favorite tool is his fishing rod, he said in the shop he prefers these five:   Snap-on 3/8” Drive Impact Wrench Mastercool Brake Flaring Kit Mitchell...

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Ford: Smoke From Vehicle When Starting

Vehicle: 2005 Ford Taurus SE, 3.0L Complaint: The customer says smoke comes from vehicle when starting. Cause: Confirmed the customer’s complaint and found smoke coming from the vehicle when the engine was started. Inspected the vehicle and found...

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R-1234yf Safety Procedure Checklist

Remember that R-1234yf is only mildly flammable. To become flammable, the mixture of air and refrigerant in a closed area like a vehicle cabin would need to be between 6.5% and 12.3% of the chemical vapor. This mixture must then experience a significant...

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Refrigerant Revolution: What R-1234yf Means for Service, Equipment, Safety

The new R-1234yf refrigerant is more than just a new jumble of numbers and letters on a label. For your shop, R-1234yf means several new procedures, a certification and new equipment in order to properly handle these new systems. Why the difference...

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Home Alignment Spec Alignment & Suspension Specs: Ford Focus

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Front Suspension
The front suspension has no major problems or design flaws. 2000-2001 models were recalled for the a problem with the ball joint stud pinch bolt. Also, Ford issued two TSBs on inspecting the front suspension and re-torquing of the components. It has been reported  that the bushings in the control arms are starting to degrade to the point where they are causing alignment and noise problems.

Also check the SAI and other diagnostic angles. It has been reported that the steering arm on the knuckle can bend causing  shuddering and excessive tire squeal at parking speeds.

In 2000, the Focus set the aftermarket buzzing with the lack of factory adjustment built-in to the front suspension (see chart). Some adjustment kits work better than others depending on the amount in increment of camber or caster required. If you are replacing the front struts, it might be the right time to recommend a set of upper strut mounts that can adjust camber and caster.
But, also keep in mind that the front cradle can be shifted to alter and optimize camber and caster.

Rear Suspension
The rear independent multi-link rear suspension, marketed as Control Blade suspension, combines the packaging of a trailing arm, with the geometry of a double wishbone suspension at considerably lower cost. Control Blade uses a wide pressed steel trailing arm with hub carrier that takes the place of two longitudinal locating rods. The long rear lateral arm controls toe, a pair of shorter front lateral arms, vertically above each other, control the camber, and the Control Blade reacts to brake and traction loads.

Ford advises that final torquing of the rear suspension components should be carried out with the suspension loaded.  This eliminates an expensive cast knuckle while lowering production costs. But, one of the first recalls was for the bolts that secure the wheel bearing hub unit to the control arm.

TSB 07-4-2: Pull Drift Corrected with Cradle Shift
Models: 2000-2007 Focus

Some Focus vehicles may exhibit a light drift/pull concern due to front subframe misalignment. Previous vehicle repairs that required front subframe removal may require the subframe to be realigned to correct light vehicle drift/pull conditions. Aligning the front subframe to correct misalignment can optimize camber and caster alignment angles.

TSB03-13-5
Suspension- Rear Inner Edge Wear
Models: 2000-2004

Some vehicles may exhibit rear tire inner edge wear. If a vehicle exhibits rear inner edge tire wear, and the rear camber reading is beyond the negative end of the specification (max. -2.2 Wagon, -2.3 Sedan & ZX3/5), then install revised +1.0 degree rear upper control arms. Editor Note: Aftermarket adjustable upper control arms, cam bolts and shims will work just as well as the revised upper control arms.

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Andrew Markel

Andrew Markel is an ASE Certified Technician and former service writer, and he brings this practical knowledge to the Brake & Front End team as editor.

Latest posts by Andrew Markel (see all)

  • chris

    I need the alignment specs for a 2002 ford focus ztw. Can someone please help? I cant find anything on the net.

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