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Second-rate parts mean second-rate results

When it comes to diagnosing a problem, one of the biggest mistakes is thinking that the problem is gone after you’ve installed a new part. I’ve had vehicles brought in countless times with the same old story attached to them. The customer will say:...

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GearWrench Launches Street Team, a New Mobile Driver Program

GearWrench, a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group, has announced Street Team, a new program that gives independent mobile distributors the support of an established tool brand without the restrictions of a franchise. "Response to the program...

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AUTO 7 Named Approved Vendor For Automotive Parts Associates

Steven Kruss, president of Auto 7, which supplies Korean-made, OEM-quality automotive parts to distributors across North America, announced that Auto 7 has been named an approved vendor of Automotive Parts Associates (APA), one of the nation’s...

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Internal Engine Oil Consumption Diagnostics

Due to the variables in engine design and ­operating conditions, internal engine oil ­consumption complaints are often the most difficult to solve. In some cases, oil consumption might be more severe under low-speed operation, in other cases, high-speed...

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Hyundai Fuel System, Emissions Diagnostics

Hyundai has done a good job of improving its ­offerings over the years from both an aesthetic and mechanical viewpoint. Complemented by a strong warranty and good value, the carmaker has been able to increase its market share year over year. If you aren’t...

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Curing Volvo Manual Transmission Rattle

In an effort to increase fuel efficiency, today’s engines produce more torque so they can be ­driven at extremely low rpm. ­Reduced viscosity engine and gearbox oils, less vehicle weight and improved aerodynamics also contribute to better fuel economy....

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Talk To All Available Modules With Autel's MaxiDiag Elite MD802

Derived from Autel’s Professional Series tool, the MaxiDAS DS708, the MaxiDiag Elite MD802 enables the user to not only get into the OE enhanced OBD II system with mode 6 access and live data graphing, but it also allows a technician to scan the...

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Reflashing & Reprogramming Tools

In the first half of 2014, NHTSA has issued more than 15 recalls where the fix was to reflash a module on a vehicle. In the same time frame, more than 100 TSBs have also been issued where the solution is to reflash a module. These recalls and TSBs...

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Pulling Codes: An Advanced Misfire Story The Story of P0301

This article will document code P0301 — Misfire Activity on Cylinder No. 1 — a code many of you have run into, but sometimes we have case studies that are worthy of mention. Our subject vehicle is a 2007 Mercury Mountaineer. The vehicle has...

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The Why, Where, When of TPMS Sensors

To understand any TPMS relearn procedure, you have to understand this: Sensors only transmit, they do not receive. No vehicle asks a sensor for information on how it is doing. I know you’re thinking a sensor does receive signals when the vehicle...

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Most Common Causes of Misfire Codes

A flashing check engine light and a P0301 to P0312 diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is a surefire indication that one or more cylinders are misfiring. Occasional misfires may pass unnoticed, but a steady misfire is hard to miss. The engine usually feels...

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Pattern Failures of MAF and MAP Sensors

Pattern failures are those failures that happen over and over again — and the same applies to how customers describe these failures. Customers might unknowingly give you the answer to their problem without needing to open the hood. In this article,...

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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.
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