Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - N3wb1e

Hi - looking for some advice from more informed people than myself please. I have seen a Ford Focus 1.6 petrol, 52,000 on an 05 plate from an independent garage / dealer. Test drives nicely, 2 former owners, service history, has just been mot'd and serviced etc.

Checked the MOT history, and found this:

2011 @34,000 miles failed MOT - Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content at idle excessive (7.3.D.5)
Retested and passed on same day (Orginal Owner)


2012 @40,600 miles failed MOT - Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content at idle excessive (7.3.D.5)
Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content after 2nd fast idle excessive (7.3.D.4)
Retested and passed on same day (different garage as 2011 - 2nd Owner)

2013 @47,750 miles failed MOT - Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content after 2nd fast idle excessive (7.3.D.4)
Retested and passed on the same day (same garage as 2012 - 2nd Owner)

2014 (last week) @52,00 milees failed MOT - Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content after 2nd fast idle excessive (7.3.D.4)
Retested 4 days later and passed

The last MOT was done by the current independent dealer.

I called the garage and queried the last MOT result and retest and he said he has replaced the CAT converter, but I have no way of knowing (picking car up on Saturday) bar receipts? Would I be able to see this under the car without putting it on a ramp etc?

My question is considering its failed on the same thing for the last 4 MOTs would you leave this car well alone, or am I being paranoid??

Thank you for your advice in advance!

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - skidpan

Buying a 9 year old car is a lottery but if the dealer can show you that the cat has been replaced it should be one less thing to worry about.

But just remember that are plenty of 9 year old Focus's out there. If you are unsure walk away.

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - N3wb1e

Buying a 9 year old car is a lottery but if the dealer can show you that the cat has been replaced it should be one less thing to worry about.

But just remember that are plenty of 9 year old Focus's out there. If you are unsure walk away.

Thats a very good point - I guess at the age of 7/8/9 year old cars there are no g'tees - educated guess at best. Thanks!!

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - elekie&a/c doctor

Unfortunately "exhaust emissions excessive" does not mean a lot without the actual values of the test.It could be 0.01 % out and still fail the test,which is a miniscule variation.A hard drive around the block may be enough to remedy the difference.Focus 1.6 petrol models are pretty durable and rarely give major problems.hth

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - nestoncyc

Given that history, I would be pretty suspicious that there was an underlying issue with the engine causing premature cat failure. If a car fails its mot on emmissions, the owner will often be told "it's the cat mate" - and then get it replaced. Trouble is, if there is an underlying problem it'll just be good enough for a couple of days or weeks to get it through the mot. Next year comes and cat has been rendered useless again by whatever caused it originally.

Your call - it might just be lots of short journeys and a good blast puts everything right again or it might be a bit more serious and you need to think about having to buy a new cat every year come mot time or spend an unknown amout on getting to the cause of the problem.

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - oldroverboy.

keep away! buy one without problems.

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - mss1tw

Probably just a faulty lamda or coolant sensor?

Depends if you have the inclination and time to haggle a price that reflects any investgative and remedial work needed.

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - bathtub tom

I wonder what was the solution to the previous three fails?

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - Ronneh

Personally, I'd give it a miss. Purely because it looks suspicious and the failures are consistent suggesting it has a serious underlying issue. An issue that may come to a head in your care, who knows? As previous poster mentioned, it is a lottery - sometimes you may actually win! :)

Ford Focus 1.6 2005 reg - Would you buy this car?? - N3wb1e

Thank you for all of your meesages - as a novice car buyer I appreciate your feedback. Update from my side:

Decided to not buy the car.

A decision made by head over heart.

The issue with the 4 failed emissions 2011 - 2014 raised my concerns a little - although I was still prepared to take a punt (I didn't think the CAT would be the issue, as it first failed in 2011 at 34,000 miles, I assumed if the CAT was broken it would have not taken until Jan 2014 52,000 miles to make owner aware it needed fixing) and also based on the feedback above I was happy to go with the theory it had not been driven 'hard' enough to clear the carbon build up.

The recent £700 drop in price also made me a little nervous (why such a big drop?), and when questioned about most recent MOT failed emissions - I was then told a new exhaust system and CAT to the tune of £250 had been fitted last week (but I wasn't told this when I saw the car / took the car out for a drive - maybe seller didn't want to scare me by saying something had to be fixed? But could have been pitched as a selling point e.g - "I've just had a new exhaust and CAT done - so you don't need to worry about that"). Could be something could be nothing, but again made me a little nervous.

I then found out the 2005 plate Focus has a known issue with water getting into the spark plug plug ports from the washers on the bonnet, leading to all kinds of trouble with, misfires, EML, rusty / broken spark plugs etc.

That final 'discovery' tipped me to walk away so to speak. Happy to lose a deposit, than buy a car that may cause me considerably more in repairs etc. As it would also be our only car which I use to drive to work, I really cant afford to be without a car (or expensive repairs).

Gutted as I really liked the drive, how it looked inside and out etc.

Am now looking at newer than 2005 Focus'.

Thanks again for everyone's advice and input - bit sorry this tale doesn't end on a happier note of me getting the car, but hopefully I will get a good one in the end.

 

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