Cleaning the Engine Bay
When you are at a car show, the last thing you want to show off is a bunch of grime. Unfortunately, the engine bay can be the coolest, yet most disgusting part of your car. Here's some tips for shining it up!
Removing wax residue from trim pieces
After waxing, the textured black trim will often retain some dried wax. This gives the trim a white, powdery appearance that is far from desireable. We discuss how to remove this residue.
Clean and dress wheel wells
One of the few overlooked areas of a car when doing a detail or exterior car cleaning is the wheel well section. Before you do any of your brightwork, consider taking care of this first. Who knows, it may be the difference between getting first prize, or an honorable mention at the next car show.
Washing your car: Hose and Bucket style
If you have access to a garden hose, you can easily get your car squeaky clean without going to the car wash. Matter of fact, this method usually results in the cleanest car wash you can get!
Using Microfiber Cloths
In the last few years microfiber has burst onto the auto-detailing scene. Almost overnight microfiber has changed the way people look at car care. However, with any instantly popular product there are a lot of myths, half truths, and flat out lies. In this guide, Pzev (from the forums) will answer a few basic questions about Microfiber, and explain its proper uses.
Washing: Two-bucket Method & Proper Drying
Did you know that almost all of the visible swirl marks on a carís painted surface are from improperly washing and drying your vehicle? That is indeed the truth; the main culprit of those unsightly swirl marks and light scratches is routine washings. The best way to stop developing new swirls (or avoid them altogether) is to adopt a safer washing regime. This guide, put together by Pzev (from the forums) will describe washing your vehicle using the two-bucket method. This method has been proven to reduce the amount of swirls left on your vehicles finish after each wash.
Make your own tint-safe window cleaner solution
You know the routine, go to the parts store, look for window cleaner that is safe on tinted windows, but what do you purchase? There are tons of brands out there, but which one works the best?

Truth: All of them.

Why spend $4 - $6 for some window cleaning solution when you can make your own from readily available supplies around the house? Dentless Dave (zetecgt on Focaljet) shows us how!

Instrument Cluster Test Mode
The Instrument cluster of all US-Spec Foci have a built in test-mode complete with digital speedometer, tachometer and diagnostic readings... Wanna access it? :)
Installing a Performance Chip
Installing a performance chip can work miracles by re-calibrating the way your car's computer handles engine management.
Airbox Resonator Removal
It's debatable whether this Hack does much for performance, but it adds a nice sound to the engine under load.
Large Debris Deflector Removal.
Make your intake take in a little more.
Installing Aftermarket Spark Plug Wires
Installing Spark Plug Wires with a larger core can give you a smoother running engine, better throttle response, and a more complete fuel burn. Plus, they just look good!
Finding your PCM Code
To order a performance chip, you need to tell the retailer what PCM Code you have. This indicates the version of Ford's engine management software you are running on the computer inside your car. This is very important, because performance chips are much like a software upgrade for your car's Powertrain Control Module. If the software upgrade is not compatable with the software you're currently running, your on-board computer will not work properly.
Replacing Fuel Injectors
Whether you're looking for more fuel flow, or just replacing a bad fuel injector, this will walk you though the process.
SVT Snorkel Install
The new airbox snorkel found on the Focus SVT has a much larger, smoother cross-section than the base stock Zetec snorkel. The following instructions will allow you to cleanly install this snorkel on your Focus, and your engine will breathe better as the result.
The Infamous Fog Light Mod
Allows the fog lights to turn on with only the park lamps
Body Kit Installation
Installing a Body Kit is a way to set your ride off from the rest. These instructions were written after a Wings West Avenger Install (Front/Rear Bumpers and Side Skirts) on a ZX3, but should be similar for most body kits on all Foci.
Aftermarket Hood Installation
An aftermarket hood can offer superior weight reduction and/or cooler air temperatures in your engine compartment, as well as giving you that "custom" look if you want it. You can have one installed in minutes! Optional instructions: Hood Pins and Re-Installing OEM Wiper Nozzles.
Spark Plug Wire Cover Installation
This is a Zetec-Only Under-hood aesthetic hack, but it really adds to the fit-and-finish appearance.
Replacing front corner turn signal lenses
This will help you replace the front corner turn signals (not the ones in the upper grill)
Do-It-Yourself SVT-Style Headlights
MMI-ZX3 (From Focaljet) Explains Step-By-Step how to take apart your headlights and give them a new look! He uses black, but you could essentially paint the inside any color (for instance, to match your car's paint color)
Shortening the stock Antenna
Shorty antennas are all the rage. With a small sacrifice to radio reception, you can shorten your antenna on the cheap without the hassle or price of a custom aftermarket antenna.
Radio removal
Ever wanted to yank that stock puppy out and put something better in? Here is how..
Improving your chassis ground (Big 3)
The stock focus battery grounds, engine grounds, and alternator cable are sufficient for a stock car, but when you start putting more draw on the system, its weaknesses show. Upgrading your chassis ground will help your car's electrical system perform it's best. Pretty much anything in your Focus that relies on electricity can benefit from it. That includes the car's own PCM and any ICE/Audio equipment you might have installed.
Make your own MP3 Harness
The Blaupunkt MP3 player came in quite a few Foci in 2002-2004. It requires a different harness, which can be made from readily available parts for under $40.
Reset a power cycling Blaupunkt MP3 head unit
Sometimes, when adding a radio preset channel, the Ford Blaupunkt MP3 stereo CD/mp3 player will lock up, then start turning itself on and off. It's possible to fix it with a factory reset, but it's tricky. Here's how.
Instrument Cluster Swap
Ever wanted to add a tachometer to your Focus that doesn't have one? This mod will tell you how to swap out for a instrument cluster
Indiglo Gauges
Ever wanted to replace the stock look of your instrument cluster? This how-to tells you what you need and how to go about doing it.
Removal of vent pieces
This how-to tells you how to properly remove the side and main vent pieces, you can finally get that lost change outta there!
Removing the Glove Compartment
Most usefull when retrieving lost or dropped wallets, unless you prefer the open space you will gain.
Adding Variable Intermittent Wiper Functionality
Simply put: Intermittent Wipers ROCK! And my trusty ZX3 did not come with this feature. For the price of a replacement wiper switch, do it yourself!
LED illumination for HVAC vents
Adding LED illumination to your car's HVAC vents adds a unique flare at night. You can accent your existing color theme, or just add a custom look to the interior when the sun goes down. Majikal from the forums shows us how it's done!
Removing Manual Window Crank
This is usually only done if you want to install aftermarket power windows or if you are taking your door apart for servicing or replacing speakers, yet it's still the hardest part of taking apart the door!
IndiGLO odometer hack
So you have IndiGLO Gauges... And you think the incandescent light through a green plastic piece makes your odometer look out of place? Here's a way to make it REALLY IndiGLO like the rest of your cluster!
Instrument cluster light bulb replacement
As some foci get older, lights in the instrument cluster may start to burn out. The odometer bulb is the most obvious, but other bulb burning out will appear as darker areas on the gauge face as well.
MkIII Dome Light disable
The new Focus' dome light isn't controlled by a physical switch. Looking in the manual, there's no apparent way to disable it. There's a sneaky trick to it.
MkIII Focus Steering Wheel Trim problem
The MkIII Steering wheel trim has been known to crack and peel, leaving behind a sharp-feeling and sometimes-visible artefact behind.
Replacing Spare Tire Jack
Anyone who's had to use their spare tire jack knows how much of a pain in the butt it is to get everything to fit correctly again. Here's some help!
Replacing front disc brake rotors and pads
Changing your brakes is not only necessary as part of your car's regular maintenance, but it's also easier than most people think. We'll cover changing the pads and the rotors on the front of the car.
Oil Change
Changing your own oil is cheaper and often times faster than taking it in to a shop to have it done. Here's how to do it!
Rear Brake Squeal Fix (Lubricating Rear Brakes)
The Focus' rear drum brakes have a nasty habit of squealing. This isn't a problem with just the Focus, but many vehicles. Noresull has the answer to help you fix the squeaky brakes yourself!
Adjusting Shifter Linkage without the special tool
Sometimes, the 5-speed shifter linkage cables get misaligned or come loose. There's a special alignment tool to help you fix it, but we don't believe in special tools. thanks to Noresull, we have a way to fix it!
Cooling System Drain, Refill, and Bleeding
Instructions for draining, refilling and bleeding your cooling system (Radiator, Resevoir, coolant hoses)
Replacing the thermostat and/or thermostat housing
The thermostat housing (also called the water outlet) has a nasty habit of cracking internally and letting water flow past the gasket. The thermostat is also a commonly replaced part. Here's how to replace them.
Testing your thermostat
How to test the temperature at which your thermostat will open and close. This can determine if your thermostat is bad or not.
PCV Valve replacement (Zetec engine, maybe others)
Replacing the PCV Valve is part of the regular maintenance of the car, like rotating tires or changing the oil. It's cheap, and not too difficult once you know how to do it. I recommend doing it every 10,000 - 20,000 miles.
Replacing Accessory Belt (Zetec)
Accessory belts wear out, but they're inexpensive and easy to replace.
Cleaning the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAFS)
The MAF Sensor can get fouled with atomized oil from the breather tube, and other particles that are small enough to get through the air filter. It can often be cleaned instead of replaced, if you do it carefully. Here's how!
Zetec Valve Cover Gasket Replacement
As our Zetec engines get up there in miles and age, the valve cover gasket loses its elasicity and turns into a harder, brittle plastic type compound. Particularly when used with thinner oils and syntetics, a worn valve cover gasket can cause pretty alarming oil leaks. Fortunately, it's an easy fix that we can show you here!
Air Conditioner re-fill and service
It's going to be summer soon, and in many parts of the world, things are going to be heating up. Make sure your A/C is running at its best. If the AC isn't quite as cool as it used to be, the solution might be as simple as recharging the system. You can do it without even getting under the car or popping the hood!
Accessory belt replacement
When your accessory (serpentine) belt wears out, you'll need to replace it. This is a standard maintenance item that requires periodic replacement. Frayed spots on the flat side as well as cracks, missing chunks or slick shiny parts on the grooved side are signs that it's probably time for a new belt.
Replacing rear drum brake shoes
If your parking brake is no longer working too well, or you notice your car is no longer stopping as fast as it used to, your rear brakes could be shot without you even knowing it. Here's how to fix them!
Headlight bulb replacement
Replacing the headlight bulbs on a 1st generation Ford Focus is one of the more confusing regular maintenance tasks. This video will help you!
Auto-Lock disable / enable keyless while running
This hack lets you de-activate automatic locking doors, and allows you to use your keyless entry to lock and unlock your car while it's warming up and running on cold winter days...or anytime, for that matter
Programming new keyless remotes
This is how you add more keyless entry remotes to your focus!
Inner Tie Rod Replacement
Tie rod bent? You can do it yourself without taking apart the whole front end of the car like the shop manual instructs you to do!
Make your keyless entry remote unlock all doors wi
This will allow you to make the keyless entry unlock all the doors with one press of the unlock button. If your focus already does this, it will also allow you to force it back to 1 Press unlocking the driver's door only, with the second press unlocking the other doors.
Replacing Air Filter
Replacing the air filter regularly is a necessary part of your car's maintenance. Replacing the air filter with an aftermarket replacement, such as an ITG Foam Filter, or K&N Oiled Gauze filter, can also yield minor performance and efficiency gains.
Instrument Cluster Test and Diagnostic Mode
The Ford Focus instrument cluster can be put into a test mode, displaying diagnostic information.
Seat Belt Minder Disable
Tired of the seat belt chime activating while you're sitting in the car waiting for someone? The ford owners manual tells all. Here's how to disable it.
Front Wheel Lug Stud Replacement
Breaking off wheel lug studs seems to be a common problem on the Focus. The fronts seem more prone to breaking, and they're easy to replace. Here's how!
Removing / Replacing Alternator (Zetec)
Removal of the alternator may be done when you need to upgrade to a higher output alternator, or to install an underdrive pulley such as the AEM or Focus Central Kit, which requires replacement of the alternator pulley.
Rear Seat Trick: Cargo Mode
This hack turns everything behind the front seats into a cavernous cargo area. It works for all Foci, but to a lesser extent on the sedans. It is great for the ZX3, ZX5, SVT, and Wagons though!
DPFE Sensor and EGR Information
DPFE sensor failure is a fairly common problem on the Focus, and as more and more older foci get more and more miles, the failures are becoming a lot more common. The symptoms are a "stumble" and what feels like an erratic loss of power when cruising around at partial throttle. This article addresses DPFE and EGR concerns, and is a compilation of information that has been posted on the forums on the subject.
Tie rod replacement
This is a highly unofficial way to change out a bent or damaged tie rod, but cheaper and easier way than recommended by Ford.
Checking and re-wiring the coil pack harness wires
On many Focuses, the heat under the hood makes the coilpack harness brittle. This leads to cracking insulation and eventually corroded, frayed, and broken wiring. This can cause the car to run very rough, and might even cause a small electrical fire!
Jacking: Raising and supporting your Focus
It's often necessary to get your car off the ground so that you can work under it. Here's how!
Identifying your engine
Some Focus owners are having trouble identifying their engines. When troubleshooting problems and shopping for aftermarket parts, you must know what engine you have under the hood. Here are some ways to tell which engine you have.
Handbrake adjustment
The emergency brake, e-brake, hand brake, or whatever you wish to call it, sometimes gets to feeling loose, where it will no longer hold the car steady in your driveway or provide any semblance of "emergency" stopping power. It's easy to tighten, though. Here's how.
Remove the door trim
For audio work or some other hacks, you must completely remove the inner door panel. Here's how!
Door latch fix
On some Foci, the door latch starts to act flaky. The outer handle will either become reluctant to snap back into place or will completely fail to open the door. Also, the door may not latch properly without slamming it several times. These are both caused by the same problem, and it's easy to fix yourself!
Tie Rod End Replacement
The bushings in the tie rod end go out after a while on almost any car. It's only a matter of time. Here's how to replace the tie rod end without paying for expensive installation labor
Accessory belt squeal fix
Several things can make the accessory belt squeal on the Focus. Here are some things you can do to find out what's wrong.
HVAC Selector / Temperature Knob Hack
The environmental control knobs for selecting the vent and temperature are connected to the HVAC core by thin steel cables (similar to bicycle brake and shifter cables). They eventually break. Try this clever trick to adjust your HVAC in a pinch.
Mk3 Instrument Cluster Test and Diagnostic Mode
The Ford Focus instrument cluster can be put into a test mode, displaying diagnostic information. This updated procedure works on North American Focus from model year 2011 onward (Mk3)
Troubleshooting relays
Relays allow a low amount of current (like a switch inside your car) to drive high-current applications, such as headlights, fuel pumps and air conditioner compressors. Here's how they work and how to test them.
Using tow straps
Tow straps are ropes or webbed straps with metal hooks on the end. They come in handy if you need help getting out of a bind (such as a ditch or a snow bank). Attaching them to the Focus can be tricky.
Jump starting
If you get stranded or happen across someone with a dead battery, a jump start is often enough to get the stalled car back on the road, even if temporarily.
Coolant tube replacement
The plastic coolant tube on top of the radiator of 1st generation Foci is prone to failure. Fortunately, it's easy to replace.
Acell Coil upgrade for the SPI motor.
Upgrading the coil pack on your SPI can give you better throttle response, more power, and maybe even better gas mileage (if you don't get lead-foot-syndrome from the benefits of it!) FlaFocus shows us how to do it!
SPI - Throttle Body Swap usng Modified Mustang TB
Installing a Mustang's TB on an SPI engine can increase airflow to the engine. For a kick in the pants, try this out!
Modifying a Mustang Throttle Body for SPI use
Unless you have a pre-modified mustang throttle body, you'll have to modify it before installing it on your SPI Engine with an adaptor plate. This is how to tweak it.
Installing LPE Rear Shock Mount Shims
These shims are designed to fill the air gap left in the factory Rear Shock Mounts, increasing the stiffness and effectiveness of your suspension.
Installing lowering springs
Get Slammed! Sick of the stock SUV-Esque Ride Height of the Focus? Get a set of lowering springs and go crazy in your garage!
Replacing front control arm
Not many of you will ever have to do this, but on January 2, 2002, my Focus slid into a curb, bending the control arm up pretty badly. A little leg work and some elbow grease and I had a new control arm in. Here's how
FocusSport Driver's Side Engine Mount
Replacing the Engine and Transmission mounts will reduce the amount of movement your engine and transmission will be allowed. This makes for a more direct feel when launching and shifting.
FocusSport Passenger Side Engine Mount
Replacing the Engine and Transmission mounts will reduce the amount of movement your engine and transmission will be allowed. This makes for a more direct feel when launching and shifting.
Underdrive Pulley Installation
The Underdrive Pulley, or UDP, uses high-school physics to reduce your accessories' drag on your engine, therefore allowing more power to the wheels.
Adjustable Cam Gears
Note: These instructions help with a Timing Belt installation. Installing a pair of manually adjustable cam gears will allow you to fine tune the valve timing. When used properly, the fuel economy, torque, and horsepower curves can be manipulated to the driver's needs. Note: Expensive Equipment (a Chassis or Hub Dyno) is needed for proper tuning of adjustable cam gears after installation.
Cat-Back Exhaust System Installation
I'm writing this Cat Back install up AFTER doing one myself and making quite a mess. This is not how I did it, but it's how I'm going to do the next ones!
Camshafts - Removal/Installation
Installing a set of aftermarket camshafts can improve your engine's performance by opening your engines valves farther, keeping them open longer.
Porting the stock Throttle Body
How to bore out your stock TB for imporved throttle response.
Zetec Stumble Fix
On a lot of Foci, the DPFE and EGR act sort of strange when cruising, and can give the feel of throttle "flutter" or like you're driving into gusty winds when you are not. Here's a highly unofficial Fix from!