This is my 2001 Focus that has developed a rattle when you let off the throttle from high rpm's revving it or kicking it down on the highway. I checked all the pulleys, the internal area of the cat, heat shields,clamps etc and it's all tight enough that it's not coming from any of them.. I put my hand on the oil pan and it's a definite internal problem..It's losing power and gas mileage .Every once in a while it would shudder and just about die while driving down the road, then it would be fine for months... It's got 165k on it. No lights on except the ABS light due to improper wheel bearing install.It had a CEL light on but it was a cylinder 4 misfire. I really don't want to buy another car but I don't think this is worth repairing. I bought it three years ago for 2 grand so I think I got my money out of it and I know there are bigger cars that get better mileage out there..24 city and 32 highway..I towed my trailer with it once and it only got 21 highway...lol

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2001 FORD FOCUS 2.0 SPI Rattle Part 2
Started it up at work today and it was smoking bad, so I knew toady really wasn't gonna be good..lol I went to my buddy's house and punched the cat out and took off all the shields that were hanging down. Noise is still there, and is now getting worse. I believe it may be the dreaded SPI cam issue, or the crank has issues.. I don't think the video shows it well but the harmonic balancer is jumping a lot more then it has before. Just the fact that it does it all the time now and has chewed up almost a 1/4 tank of fuel in 20 miles tells me she's hurt.. 3 years on a 2 grand investment aint bad..

Replacing a 2001 ford focus ignition coil
via YouTube Capture

Buying A Used Ford Focus: Warning
Warning to anyone thinking of buying a Ford Focus car. The single cam split port 2.0 liter Ford Focus engine has a design defect in the valve seats. They eventually come loose and drop into the cylinders and destroy the engine. This is called a dropped valve seat. You can see what happened to my piston in this video. If you are thinking of buying a Ford Focus, or if you have one that's starting to run rough, your valve seats may be starting to go bad. My car ran rough for a while before it finally died. In this case it was possible to have the head rebuilt and install a new piston and connecting rod, and the engine runs great now.

1997 Ford Escort 2.0 SOHC Engine
For sale