Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - y2k+4
Am i stupid to be considering these things, selling the Focus and replacing with:

a) 98S Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 TS, 90,000 miles. £1,500.
b) 99S Rover 420 GSDi, 88,000 miles. £950.

Here's the thing, I love my Focus, but a car is just a car (possibly the worst place to say this)...and the value of the Focus (offered £2,500 by a local as a car for his wife whose just learnt to drive...) could be put to better use (like possible deposit on mortgage). The Alfa is really only there cause it's SO gorgeous, and I was shocked at the cheapness. I know for me, running costs would be too much and it'd breakdown 15 times a year...right? (can you tell I want to be talked into the Alfa?) Another option is the fully loaded 400. Mum had one identical, but a shade older back in the day - leather, a/c cd changer, fast, economical, never missed a trick. Not a thrilling drive, but adequate she said, and I really can't imagine insurance being a problem on a diesel Rover...

Based on the fact I want a change, and that that £££ could be used better, do either of these make sense. Both seem really tempting, and that 400 is a lot of cash for the money - provided it doesn't require any maintenance (would that be expensive on a Rover?)
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - ssray
I have a 1998 rover 420td,i like it but it dosent handel very well but if you look here you can tune them and still get 45mpg www.45zs.info/ and forum here www.forums.mg-rover.org/ .
The parts are cheap on the rover to and s/h almost a give away.
Car mechanics last month had a what goes wrong and how much dose it cost article and this they have a 600 that has been given to them.
What about a 600? heard good things about them.
Good luck Ray


Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - oldtoffee
Not so much mad, just an odd screw or two that could do with tightening!

Both could hit you with a big repair bill, the Alfa potentially more painful than the Rover so I suppose the Rover makes more sense (you ask which of the two does). Enough of this sensible stuff, forget the mortgage, everyone should own an Alfa Romeo at some time in their lives, enjoy it and put the £1,000 on deposit just in case.

Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - L'escargot
I think a good maxim here could be ........... rather the devil you know than the devil you don't. The two alternatives could eat up more cash than the amount you would release by buying something cheaper. I would stick with the Focus.
--
L\'escargot.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - local yokel
Keep the Focus if it's been good to you. The only reasons to sell a car of that age/value are total loss of reliability, impending big bills or impending big family! £1k is going to make knack all difference on a mortgage deposit unless you are buying a goatherd's shack in Somalia.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - madf
If wheels are just wheels, keep what you have. Anything at £1,500 could be sold becuase the next bill is another £1,500 and the seller want shot asap.

Buying someone else's problems cos you want a change of car is typically human and typically 100% irrational.
madf
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Baskerville
If you want a change buy some Leopard-print furry seat covers for the Focus. Much more sensible than either of the other options and think of the admiring glances you'll get.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - bell boy
are you stupid?
the only answer then is yes
a 100,000 mile italian job
or a car that helped bust the company

or keep a car that is eminently saleable even at 150,000 miles
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - mike hannon
We only regret the things we don't do...
Go for the Alfa - it will probably only breakdown (significantly) once a year or less and driving it will put a permanent grin on your face. Plus, even if you never own another (and you'll want to) you will always remember the good times.
Have you ever seen anyone grinning while driving a Ford?

Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - DP
Have you ever seen anyone grinning while driving a Ford?


Errr... yes. The mk1 Focus is quite capable of sticking a grin on your face in the lanes, even in humble 1.6 form. Come to think of it, even the diesel can. Balance, steering and feel is just essentially "right". If you enjoy driving, it's an impossible car not to like.

Of course, an Alfa is an Alfa, and that badge will always tug at the heartstrings of any petrolhead, but don't knock the Focus - it's a fabulous drivers car.

Cheers
DP
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - The Honourable

My Mondeo ST220 kept a permanent smile on my face, except at petrol stations. Keep the Focus.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Gromit {P}
I'd suggest you keep the Focus. Its a known quantity and, as far as we know, not about to leave you at the roadside any time soon.

Alfas always get a long sideways glance from me, but the concensus from those who know and love them is to buy as late-model a 156 as you can. Keep to the softer set-up Touring spec too.

Personally I can't see any reason to buy a Rover 400, but then I could see no reason to buy then when they were new, either. It would have to be bought to run all the way to the scrapyard to make any sense.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - y2k+4
The Focus isn't as reliable as I was led to believe is the thing. I'm about to pay for a new radiator, fanbelt, rear brake drums and them working out where the leak into the passenger footwell is coming from (pollen filter replacement hasn't achieved anything). I've already paid for a new clutch, cambelt, front discs and pads, a/c (which doesn't work again for longer than 10 mins suggesting a leak?), front tyres all in the last 18 months. The guy reckons the gearbox is on the way out at 110k too - and that I believe, would be particularly costly - it's also eating a litre and a half of oil every 4,000 miles (is that normal?).

Don't get me wrong, I do like the car - but I just can't afford to keep paying to have it fixed all the time.

That said, having just been to confused.com, it seems to get either would eat into the savings made - the Rover is £500 more to insure than the Focus and the Alfa is £650!

Back to square one.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Xileno {P}
"The Focus isn't as reliable as I was led to believe is the thing. I'm about to pay for a new radiator, fanbelt, rear brake drums and them working out where the leak into the passenger footwell is coming from (pollen filter replacement hasn't achieved anything). I've already paid for a new clutch, cambelt, front discs and pads, a/c (which doesn't work again for longer than 10 mins suggesting a leak?), front tyres all in the last 18 months. The guy reckons the gearbox is on the way out at 110k too - and that I believe, would be particularly costly - it's also eating a litre and a half of oil every 4,000 miles (is that normal?).

With the exception of the gearbox and the radiator, these are all service items. OIl consumption of 1 litre per 1000 miles is considered within tolerance by some manufacturers. Might be nothing more than a leak.

I could be tempted by the Alfa but I would want to know of a good local independent specialist first. Under no circumstances would I buy the Rover, a dire car even when new. I might consider an old 600, although I've seen some very rusty rear wheel arches recently, a particularly bad '94 'M' reg only last week. Worst case of rust I've seen since some of the self destructing french rust buckets of the '70s.

I would keep the Focus and run it into the ground.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Gromit {P}
The Focus isn't as reliable as I was led to believe...
Don't get me wrong, I do like the car - but I just can't afford to keep paying to have it fixed all the time.


Then it does sound as if a replacement might be on the cards, but would you not be better off with something newer and lower mileage (within the limits of your budget and the type of driving you do) than swapping for another car of similar age which - as wisely pointed out earlier - may well bring much the same type of trouble?
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - y2k+4
Thanks to all for your (continuing) help! What you suggest Gromit is the alternative option...

However, I thought that if I spent banger-money then if it goes majorly wrong, effectively I could just write it off after a year or two.

Cause I do like my Focus so much as DP pointed out - it's a great driver's car (without ever feeking skittish, the way Pugs and Cit's can do which I don't actually like), even my 1.6 with it's issues - I didn't see what the point in spending the value of it on something else which I doubt I'd enjoy half as much, when I'd be running my money so tight - if something were to go wrong, I'd probably not be able to afford it and the space is really useful for lugging stuff to/from uni...a journey I have to do 6 times a year (in a smaller car, I'd probably have to make more trips). I had considered larger cars, such as the Honda Accord (VTEC powered petrol ought to be reliable and economical?) but again insurance then becomes an issue!
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - local yokel
If you are going to get rid of the Focus, which seems like a good-ish idea, I'd be looking at a Xsara 1.9DT, for example. One was for sale outside a house in a nearby village for £695, 97R I think, long ticket, nice condition. The Pug TDs are a solid engine that are well-understood. Mine's done 175k and still good.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - ForumNeedsModerating
I can see where you're coming from y2k 4 . It looks attractive hmmm. nice little alfa and reliable, if a bit stodgy, Rover. Thrill-per-buck aside, in terms of 'value' you're getting private-sale price on the Focus & paying retail on 2 cars, i.e. in market terms you're absorbing 2 retail profits & a private sale discount.
Both cars 7-8 years old with probable major fettling not too far away (esp. the Alfa) - maybe enough cost to junk them (both!)

In extremis, why not just buy the Alfa? at least you know your Focus is ok, and not then in double jeopardy with 2 unknowns.

A little 'test' I give myself when pondering a motor is: Ok, assume it's mine, then see how you feel about the age/condtion & any imperfections of the vehicle, then ask yourself: Do I still want it?
Part of the thrill is always the 'new' & the thought 'Yeah, I can have that..' even when the car's several years old. Look underneath both, much rust? Shocks/bushes need replacing? Sub-frame look like an old rusty iron gate?

Also, can't see where the 'mortgage deposit' comes in: total cost of both takes care of Focus equity, no?


Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Sprice
If you really do want to change, forget the two sheds you,re considering, and get a nice Civic, which you will for your budget. Why anyone buys non-Japanese is beyond me! :)
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - quizman
>>>Why anyone buys non-Japanese is beyond me!


I could tell you why, but I might get into trouble with the mods.

Oh here goes.


My uncle spent some time working for the land of the rising sun, he was not treated at all well, this was between 1942 and 1945. But of course he was one of the few lucky ones, he came home.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - DavidHM
If you must go from a £2.5k car (a cheap car by all accounts) to a really cheap car, I'd go down to proper bangernomics money, like the Xsara TD suggested earlier.

I did something similar, selling my 406 HDi for £1,650 and getting a £500 306 DT saloon, because I needed cash fairly urgently for law school fees. The 306 is still worth what I paid for it, although it's cost me to get through the MoT, etc., and after doing the tyres and brakes when I got the car I ended up with about a grand in my back pocket. Overall though it hasn't cost me more than the 406 did to run and I don't regret having done it, due to the necessity at the time.

Having said that, unless there was a time element as well as a financial element to the car change (i.e., you need that £1k or whatever before a particular property disappears, rather than in general) I'm not sure I'd bother changing.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - y2k+4
Well I sat down with the rents today, and we agreed on a general solution. Since the mortgage contribution (was to be a shared one, and not necessary really for another 6 month when I'm done), I won't sell and get it. My Christmas present is basically them fixing the car's current probs, and we'll all sit tight until such a time as something hefty comes my way, which, hopefully shouldn't be for at least a year or so... The compelling part of this argument was that I've spent god-knows how much keeping it going to this point, and to sell it for a grand less than I bought it, plus that cost seems a big loss on an 18-month investment...

So, thank you all for your time and your contributions, they've all been much appreciated, and that Alfa really does still look tempting...can but dream, I suppose.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Pezzer
My Dad has never driven a Japanese car for the same reason !
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - nick
The people who did that are all dead or ancient. Dreadful stuff but time to move on.....
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - quizman
The people who did that are all dead or ancient. Dreadful
stuff but time to move on.....



You are probably right, we can forgive but must never forget.

By the way y2k+4, if I were you I would either keep the Focus or get a better one.

You must not buy a worn out Alfa or Rover, they will cost you a fortune in repairs.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Navara Van man
I would avoid the alfa as reliability is questionable and parts expensive. Never liked rover .


Keep or replace the focus, atleast fords are cheap when they go wrong.
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Happy Blue!
With respect to quizman and pezzer, I understand your senitments, but not only is it time to move on, think about the Jews and Israel vis-a-vis Germany, Almost all buses in Israel are Mercs,. many taxi's are also, the others generally being all forms of VAG group vehicles. Many people who are my personal friends suffered during the holocaust and drive Mercs and BMWs, becuase they understand that the world is a different place now.

We're not forcing y2k+4 to buy Japanese but to consider it.

Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - The Purifier
Keep the Focus mate!
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Birdman
One way out of big repair bills is to look for a really cheap trade-in at auction. The sort of faithful car that normally gets passed down the family, but instead was traded-in. Say you pay £500 for it, that caps your spend on repairs to almost nothing, probably scavanged from a scrapyard. When the time comes, you scrap it or sell it for parts and get another interesting trade-in. It makes motoring both cheaper and more exciting, so win-win!
Alternatively, stay with the devils you know. As you've decided to do.. :-)
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - P E
i went through a similar experience in the summer where I "needed" a landrover 110 pickup.

Keep the Focus!
Replacing a Focus, am I mad? - Navara Van man
Birdman, thats a great concept but with modern electronic engine managment even the most competent 'diy' mecanic is limited to the most basic repairs.
 

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