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Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - iFocus

Hi All,

In July 2017 I replaced my trusty Kia Cee'd with a 2011 Focus 1.6 Petrol (Mk3), the Cee'd had done 130,000 miles and was getting to the age where wear and tear meant it was costing a lot but it was still infinitely reliable.

So on to the Focus, for the first 6 months the Focus was reliable but then in February 2018 I noticed it was loosing coolant, which is when the problems started. The water pump and timing belt were replaced (by an Indy) and since then the car hasn't run properly; it runs lumpy from cold etc.

Fast forward to January 2019 and I set the car in to the dealers for a service (I used a Ford Authorised Repairer), 2 weeks after the service the EML came on and it turned out to be the EGR which cost over £500 to replace!

Then at the end of February, the car refused to start at work, it was jump started and sent in for investigation, where it was found everything was working 'normally' as to quote the mechanic these cars have a smart charging alternator.

Then last night the car failed to start again with the same symptoms at the end of February. It's currently showing 2 error codes probably related to each other being the Active Shutter Grille and generator control module!

As above, it seems to be having issue after issue and it has a plethora of 'interesting' foibles! Such as electric windows refusing to open sometimes and the stereo has a mind of it own on occasions.

I usually don't mind repairing cars where it is wear and tear, but I'm loathed to spend money like nobody's business on random faults!

So question is, should i keep and repair? Likely costs are to be a new actuator for the shutter grille (£102) plus labour, new alternator (£400) and wait for the next thing to go wrong or I do I trade it in/sell it? I don't have a huge amount of cash and i could probably sell this via WBAC etc for £3000 and put £5-600 in myself, getting a Cee'd or a Civic as a replacement.

My wife seems to think this is a silly idea but I'm all for getting rid! I do 16,000 miles a year by the way and the Focus has done 87,000!

Cheers,

Craig

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - JONATHAN_11_80

I think your main problem is the garage you are using. It sounds like whoever did your timing belt didn't set the timing correctly I suspect it's tooth or two out. These engines need special timing tools to set the timing. Sounds like your mechanic may not have used these. Also these cars are sensitive to low battery voltage which can set ecu codes. So I would get your battery checked. I had this with my focus it was the battery.

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - iFocus

I think your main problem is the garage you are using. It sounds like whoever did your timing belt didn't set the timing correctly I suspect it's tooth or two out. These engines need special timing tools to set the timing. Sounds like your mechanic may not have used these. Also these cars are sensitive to low battery voltage which can set ecu codes. So I would get your battery checked. I had this with my focus it was the battery.

I no longer use the independent garage who did the timing belt and it's been checked by the Ford repairer here in Manchester and all seems okay, other than them actually checking the timing which involves according to them virtually stripping everything down again to check it will cost as much as replacing the timing belt again less the costs of the belt of course...

Also, the had the battery checked and all is fine with it, showing the right cold cranking and its a healthy 12.4v when checked. The alternator is charging between 13.1 to 13.7v too...

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - Car

do I trade it in/sell it? I don't have a huge amount of cash and i could probably sell this via WBAC etc for £3000 and put £5-600 in myself, getting a Cee'd

If it was me I would see for my budget how much newer and less miles car I could get, If less than 3 years newer I would keep current car as replacement car could also have issues.

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - corax

It's hard to say how much of this is a 'lemon' car and faults being repaired badly. That is quite a list on a simple petrol car that is recommended quite often on these forums. I have a 2005 car that I use for work and it's costing me far less than that in terms of repairs, stories like this make me pensive about changing!

I would say get rid, as even if it's finally sorted, I think it's left a bad taste in your mouth and you're probably sick of the sight of it. Yes, you could have problems with the replacement, but it's just the risk you have to take - just try to lessen it by buying from approved main dealer with warranty.

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - SLO76
While you have been quite unlucky here you have to remember that it’s an 8yr old car with the best part of 100,000 miles up. Of course there will be problems and none have been catastrophic.

The only mistake you’ve made is to allow a mechanic to try and fix an electric fault instead of seeking out a proper auto electrician to diagnose and fix it correctly. Your typical Joe mechanic knows nowt about electrical faults and will only guess then throw parts at any problem at your expense.

As for replacement I doubt WBAC would give you £3k for it and even if they did you don’t have any real cash available to really upgrade. I’d get it properly diagnosed and fixed at a good auto spark then keep it while you save more money. I wouldn’t sell one old car for another old car unless it suffers a major failure.
Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - iFocus
While you have been quite unlucky here you have to remember that it’s an 8yr old car with the best part of 100,000 miles up. Of course there will be problems and none have been catastrophic. The only mistake you’ve made is to allow a mechanic to try and fix an electric fault instead of seeking out a proper auto electrician to diagnose and fix it correctly. Your typical Joe mechanic knows nowt about electrical faults and will only guess then throw parts at any problem at your expense. As for replacement I doubt WBAC would give you £3k for it and even if they did you don’t have any real cash available to really upgrade. I’d get it properly diagnosed and fixed at a good auto spark then keep it while you save more money. I wouldn’t sell one old car for another old car unless it suffers a major failure.

Trouble is what is something else goes wrong after this time? It's only been 2-3 weeks since I spent £570 on the EGR, 3 weeks before that was a service with auxiliary belt and now this...

I'm still trying to decide what to do, because I really do love the way the car drives/handles etc. when it doesn't leave me stranded.

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - SLO76
“Trouble is what is something else goes wrong after this time? It's only been 2-3 weeks since I spent £570 on the EGR, 3 weeks before that was a service with auxiliary belt and now this...

I'm still trying to decide what to do, because I really do love the way the car drives/handles etc. when it doesn't leave me stranded.”

It could just as easily run perfectly for the next 2yrs while the new old car you bought to replace it could turn out to be an ongoing nightmare.

I’m assuming it’s a petrol 1600? If so then the EGR isn’t a common problem on these so you were unlucky. The current fault could turn out to be something simple and cheap to repair. The Yamaha designed petrol motor is generally very reliable.
Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - skidpan

other than them actually checking the timing which involves according to them virtually stripping everything down again to check it will cost as much as replacing the timing belt again less the costs of the belt of course

Your garage are liars.

To check the timing on a Ford petrol you need 2 tools and both are easy to make.

The first is a tool to set the crank at TDC. I made one from a piece of 10mm threaded bar and 2 nuts that are set at the correct distance from the end of the bar. Remove a bolt from the block (Haynes will show which one and with the spark plugs removed turn the engine over so it is just before TDC on cylinder no. 1. Screw the tool into the hole and then turn the engine over slowly using the front pulley bolt until it stops.

Then remove the cam cover. At the rear of the cams there is a slot and a 6mm bar will fit these slots if the timing is correct.

Takes max 1/2 hour I would suggest.

Here is a link to a suitable kit. Hardly worth making your own. www.amazon.co.uk/Mekanik-Timing-Mazda-Zetec-Engine...Y

Edited by skidpan on 09/03/2019 at 16:45

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - SLO76
If it’s not running right after a timing belt swap I’d definitely suspect the timing is out.
Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - iFocus

Yes this is the petrol 1600, it is a 125 Ti-VCT engine.

I purposely went for this car for its simplicity over later engines in the Ford range.

I suspect I've ended up with a lemon here, as it cut out on the test drive and I still stupidly bought it! The dealer who sold it to me did repair it and it didn't cut out again until February 2019.

It definitely is a question of either better the devil you know or replace and take a chance. If I was to replace I'd probably end up in a Honda/Kia/Hyundai.

Ford Focus - Replace or Repair - tahiniaakter55666

I want to buy an old Focus 2012 0r later, for my son. We can buy from a showroom, but he has already selected a car, maybe some of his friend's car. He wants to buy only that car. Now the question is that, is it worth spending that much money on that car. Or I should consider another car for my son. Also, I am worried about the previous record of that car, because the car may create problems for me regarding Encumbrance records, Written off or stolen. Is it worth checking these details at https://www.quickrevs.com.au

 

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