Ford Focus Battery

20 Feb 2008
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United Kingdom
Just changed a battery on the 2008 diesel Ford Focus.

I wish I had been able to listen in on the design meeting when Ford was planning the battery location for the Ford Focus (2008). I imagine it would have gone something like this:

Designer 1: So we want to fit the battery in the engine compartment, just like every car in history. Our older cars, and other manufacturers have until now made them reasonably easy to get out. Let’s keep it that spirit and make the whole process an intuitive as possible, as they are often changed by the owners.

Designer 2: You’re new here aren’t you. This is the 21st century, people have smart phones, internet, and mp3s…. we need to give them a taste of how hard life was back in the old days.

Designer 1: But surely cars have always had batteries were reasonably easy to access in the old days? We need to improve cars, not make them harder to maintain? Making them harder to change a battery would be pointless.

Designer 2: Look, you’re a junior designer, you may have been taught in college that design should be to benefit the end user, but that’s just not how we roll around here.

Designer 3: That’s right number 1, hey, why don’t we put it partially under the body work, so the neutral connection is difficult to disconnect and really difficult to re-connect?

Designer 2: Are you listening to this number 1? Are you learning yet?

Designer 3: But what about the bracket that holds it in place? Hey, why don’t we have one side that is only accessible with a decent socket set?

Designer 1: What?! Why can’t we just have both nuts accessible with a spanner? What if a socket set can’t accommodate the long bolt it’s on? Then they will have no chance of getting it off!

Designer 3: You have much to learn. So, even if they can get the connections off, and the bracket off with a decent socket set, it’s still too easy.

Designer 2: Oh I know – Let’s house the battery in a plastic box so they can only get it out from under the body work by unclipping the front of the box.

Designer 1: But that is hardly obvious is it.

Designer 3: Exactly.

Designer 1: Erm.

Designer 2: But it’s still too easy. What we need is something a bit more special. How about if we design the box so the clips easily re-connect themselves before they want to remove the battery, but when they actually want to put the box back together, it will be really hard, and will probably break one side.

Designer 3: I like it, but that sounds incredibly difficult to achieve. I’ll set my best team on it. It could take millions to design such a system, but it will be so worth it.

Designer 2: I just think this will be all in vein if YouTube ruins it with some useful instruction. We need something else. How about having the live cable being impossible to move out of the way unless you disconnect it from some other cable first. And have that for a particular model?

Designer 1: But the Focus is sold in the millions, how can you sneak obscure features into it?

Designer 2: You’ll be surprised what can be achieved with the correct level of evil. We might make better Focuses in the UK than the US, but that’s just a front for us to have some fun. You Brits have it too easy, with your mild weather, lack of earthquakes.

Designer 3: Stick with us number 1 and you’ll go far. All we need now is to make sure that the final heave to get the battery out is as difficult as possible, so obviously, any handles must be useless for the angle you need to get it out at. It will be nice and slippery, with little to get hold of.

Designer 1: Have you two recently had babies or something?

Designer 3: Yes, but that’s besides the point. The child birth experience should be shared to as many as possible. This is our way of sharing that challenge.

Designer 1: But lead acid batteries are really heavy. Babies weigh a few pounds. And you don’t end up loving a used lead acid battery. And, you don’t put a baby back in….. You didn’t did you?

Designer 2: That reminds me – we need to make sure that the Ford battery is a bit smaller than a replacement that they get from a standard motor spares shop. That will make the bracket a real pain to re-fit. And just to confirm, that neutral connection will be almost impossible to re-fit properly under the body work. That should do it, now it’s time to kill some puppies

Designer1: Are you guys with the Sith?

Designer 3: [waves hand] No, we’re not.

Designer 1: No…. you’re not.
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Minis had the battery in the boot - in the days when they needed topping up - on your knees.;)
Audi put some of theirs under the rear seat, making jump lead use a challenge.
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Same underseat with a M8's old beemer - but apparently there are "terminals" under the bonnet:unsure: