Eeyore's Ford Focus Frowns

Into each life a little rain must fall, and even the best cars have things that make you frown. Sometimes it's just the price tag. Sometimes it's a design flaw. Below is a list of thing about my Focus that make me frown. So far, none of them is serious, but all of them are little black marks on the record.

Windshield Wipers =^(

The right-hand windshield wiper ends its swipe on a vertical, leaving a line of water that collects into a drop and dribbles down the windshield. This isn't such a big problem on the highway, since the air flow will push the drop backwards, but in city driving, if you clean your windshield with the sprayers, you have to give the wipers a few extra tries to get rid of that drop.

Stereo Volume =^(

The volume levels for the stereo are way too granular. I've seen some people say that 1 is way too soft, and 2 is too loud. I happen to think that 1 is too loud for background music; it interferes with conversation. The numbers go all the way up to 30, but I can't conceive of every needing them to go much past 11, the way they are set up.

Stereo Faceplate =^(

Speaking of the stereo, why did they even bother with the detachable faceplate? Is there a big black market in the stock Ford stereo? It just seems to cause more problems for owners than anything else. In the cold and damp, I frequently have problems with the stereo cutting out due to a poor connection between the faceplate and the stereo.

I've also gotten email from people who don't even know the plate is removable. They want to know why the stereo goes off unless they hold in a number button sometimes. Often it turns out they loosened the faceplate trying out the mysterious little lever, and never clicked it back into place.

Trunk Lid =^(

There's a little finger grip above the license plate for opening the trunk, but there's no place inside the lid to grab when you're ready to close the lid. Sure, you can just grab the edge of the lid, but if the lid is coated with road dust or salt, you'll put little finger-shaped scratches in the clear coat.

Check the trunk lid on a Subaru wagon some time, and you'll see a nice big hand-hold on the edge of the hatch lid. That's the kind of thing I wish the Focus had.

Door Locks =^(

In the cold, the driver's door power door lock does not work reliably. It makes clunky noises and doesn't always fully unlock. You can't tell me that the people in Scandinavia put up with this.

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