Tech Spec (then): 2008 Ford Focus

Introduced as a 2008 model, the new Ford Focus represents a stylistic, if not exactly mechanical, upgrade to Ford’s entry-level lineup. (Unlike the European Focus, which rides on an all-new platform, the domestic Focus rides on an updated version of the previous platform, a corporate choice that leaves it behind competitors from Japan, Europe and even the U.S. in terms of refinement and driving dynamics.)

Available in both coupe and sedan body styles, all Focus models are powered by Ford’s 2.0L 16-valve Duratec four-cylinder engine, which makes 140 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. (Note that engines rated for California emissions generate only 130 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque.) Focus models come standard with a five-speed manual transmission; a four-speed automatic is an $815 option. Fuel mileage for all models is 24 miles per gallon city and 35 highway when coupled with the manual transmission.

Both coupe and sedan models are available in three trim levels: S, SE and SES. Base S models ride on 15-inch steel wheels, but do feature single-disc CD players with MP3 playback capability and plug-in jack. Focus S coupe models sticker for $14,300, while sedan models sticker for $14,660.

SE models (both coupe and sedan) ride on 15-inch alloy wheels wearing P195/60R15 tires. SE models feature power door locks, windows and mirrors, plus other amenities.

The top-of-the-line SES models feature 16-inch alloy wheels wearing P205/50R16 tires, leather steering surfaces and Ford’s SYNC system, a voice-activated computer that controls MP3 playback and cell-phone calls. Available options on SES models include leather seating surfaces, six-disc CD changer, anti-lock brakes, moonroof, heated seats, Sirius satellite radio and a remote start-up system. Fully loaded, a Focus SES sedan will set buyers back some $22,295 (including destination fee).

Servicing the Focus

Ford recommends two separate maintenance schedules: “Normal” and “Special Operating Conditions.” Special operating conditions are defined as towing a trailer or carrying heavy loads; extensive idling and/or driving at low speeds for long distances; driving in dusty conditions; off-road operation; use of E85 ethanol fuel 50 percent of the time or more.

Normal Maintenance Schedule

Every 7,500 miles:

  • Change engine oil and replace oil filter.
  • Rotate tires and inspect for wear.
  • Inspect wheels for endplay and noise.

Every 15,000 miles:

  • Replace cabin air filter (if equipped).
  • Inspect steering linkage and suspension.
  • Inspect engine cooling system and hoses.
  • Inspect brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums, brake lines and hoses, and parking brake system.
  • Inspect half shaft boots.
  • Inspect exhaust system and heat shields.
  • Inspect automatic transmission fluid level.

Every 30,000 miles:

  • Replace engine air filter (except California-emission Focus models).
  • Replace fuel filter.

Every 60,000 miles:

  • Replace automatic transmission fluid on vehicles equipped with 4F27E transaxle.

Every 90,000 miles:

  • Inspect drive belt.
  • Replace spark plugs.

Every 105,000 miles:

  • Change coolant (and every 50,000 miles afterward).
  • Replace PCV valve.

Every 150,000 miles:

  • Replace automatic transmission fluid filter.
  • Replace drive belt.

Special Operating Conditions:

TRAILER-TOWING/CAR-TOP CARRIER

Every 5,000 miles:

  • Change engine oil and replace oil filter.
  • Rotate tires and inspect for wear.
  • Inspect wheel ends for endplay and noise.

Every 30,000 miles:

  • Change automatic transmission fluid.
  • Replace wheel bearing grease and grease seals.

As required:

  • Change manual transmission fluid.

IDLING/LOW-SPEED DRIVING

Every 5,000 miles:

  • Change engine oil and replace oil filter (or every six months/200 hours of engine operation).
  • Rotate tires and inspect for wear.
  • Inspect wheel ends for endplay and noise.
  • Lubricate control arm and steering ball joints (if equipped with zerk fittings).

Every 15,000 miles:

  • Replace fuel filter.

Every 30,000 miles:

  • Change automatic transmission fluid.
  • Replace wheel bearing grease and grease seals.

Every 60,000 miles:

  • Replace spark plugs.

As required:

  • Replace cabin air filter.

DUSTY CONDITIONS/OFF-ROAD OPERATION

Every 5,000 miles:

  • Change engine oil and replace oil filter (or every six months).
  • Rotate tires and inspect for wear.
  • Inspect wheel ends for endplay and noise.

Every 15,000 miles:

  • Replace fuel filter.

Every 30,000 miles:

  • Change automatic transmission fluid.
  • Replace wheel bearing grease and grease seals.

As required:

  • Replace cabin air filter.
  • Replace engine air filter.
  • Lubricate control arm and steering ball joints (if equipped with zerk fittings).

E85 FUEL USE

Every 5,000 miles:

  • Change engine oil and replace oil filter (or every six months).
  • Rotate tires and inspect for wear.
  • Inspect wheel ends for endplay and noise.

Fluids and Capacities

Motor oil — SAE 5W-20 motor oil. (Note that factory fill is 5W-20 synthetic blend motor oil, but that synthetic blend is not required.) Capacity is 4.5 quarts (4.3 liters).
Automatic transaxle fluid — Motorcraft Mercon LV ATF. Capacity (dry fill) is 6.9 quarts (6.6 liters).
Manual transaxle fluid — Motorcraft full synthetic manual transmission fluid or equivalent. Capacity (dry fill) is 2.0 quarts (1.9 liters).
Coolant — Motorcraft Premium Gold engine coolant or equivalent. Capacity is 6.1 quarts (5.75 liters). (Note: Ford recommends use of Motorcraft Cooling System Stop Leak Pellets or equivalent.)
Power steering fluid — Motorcraft Mercon V ATF.