2000 Ford Focus Wobble

I have a 2000 Focus Wagon that has started to wobble (like a mild fishtail) intermittently on curves at a speed of about 40-50mph. I’ve had the car realigned and the suspension checked front and back. I’ve jacked up the car and tried to wobble the wheels vertically and horizontally. Any ideas?

Try swapping the rear tires with the front tires. If this wobbling sensation moves to the front, it means one or both of the tires has a belt seperation.


I tried swapping the tires without success. It’s not so much a wobble as a mild fishtail. It happens predictably about 40mph on a gentle curve, especially to the left. I don’t notice it on sharper curves, probably because I can’t get up enough speed.

I would take a good look at your rear anti-sway equipment - check the bar and all of its parts and links for looseness or breaks. You can probably see well enough w// car on ground, though you may need ramps or jack and jack stands.

So it turns out the camber on the rear tires is supposed to be -.9, but is actually -2.2. The guy at the tire shop thinks that is probably the problem, but says there is no adjustment for camberon this car. Now what?

Generally if there is no way to adjust a setting it means that you have to replace parts. This kind of thing isn’t all that uncommon.

Was part replacement mentioned at the tire shop? If the “tire shop” is just a place that sells tires, you need to go to a shop that specializes in alignment. I.e. they probably don’t know what they are doing.

2.2 positive, or negative,and they make shim kits for the rear. and both at the same 2,2? right and left sides? not likley. but possible.
and I dont know what camberon is. new man at work maybe?

According to the printout from the shop, both right and left rear are neg 2.2 and supposed to be neg .9. Looks like it’s shim kit time.

raygray, i have a similar minor fishtail with my 2002 focus wagon… did fixing the camber issue fix your problem? I think there’s a recall or a TSB on the rear control arm for early foci to fix camber issues resulting in uneven tire wear

I finally got a mechanic from a body shop to ride with me to demonstrate the wobble since it only occurred on the road. Turns out the bushings on the rear trailing arm were shot. No one was able to identify this problem visually with the car up on the rack as enough torque could not be produced without the car moving on the road. A mechanic friend of mine suggested the body shop because they are used to dealing with severly dmaged cars and might have a better feel for the problems that could exist. This one also does their own in-house front and rear alignments. I’m very pleased with the result and have no more fishtail!