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Ford admits Focus RS engine issue

By Scott Newman, 15 Dec 2017 News

2017 Ford Focus RS track banner

Coolant leak rare but can lead to serious engine issues

The Ford Focus RS is a benchmark hot hatch but some customers have found the ownership experience less positive due to engine issues.

Ford Europe confirmed the existence of the issues to Autocar, early-build cars had been affected and that some engines had been replaced under warranty with new-specification units.

2017 Ford Focus RS engine
In a statement provided to MOTOR, Ford Australia said: “Ford is aware that some 2016-17 Focus RS customers have experienced concerns with their engines, which may initially show white exhaust smoke and/or coolant consumption.

“We are aware of one case in Australia and we are working globally on a repair for all customers. In the meantime, if a vehicle shows these symptoms, of its any RS customer has a concern, we encourage them to call 13 FORD to organise an inspection or repair under warranty.”

Ford Focus RS Badge
Internet forums have been rife with suggestions of head gasket failure, however, while Ford hasn’t confirmed the source of the problem, it’s believed that block distortion is preventing the head gasket from sealing properly, leading to coolant leaking into the cylinders when cold.

The latest 2018-build Focus RS models are believed to be unaffected due to an updated block design. Ford Australia encouraged customers to contact it directly through 13 FORD rather than through dealers as it allows them to track the complaint more effectively.

2017 Ford Focus RS rear track
While the Mustang Ecoboost uses a similar 2.3-litre turbo four, it’s also believed to be unaffected as the Focus RS uses a different cylinder head design to support its higher output.