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Ford Fiesta - How long does a car last? - graham3232

How much longer can I expect my 2003 1.4 zetec fiesta to last?

It has 140K; new brakes and cambelt at 90K and clutch at 130k. Its worth just under 2k and i ideally don't want to spend much more than £500 on any repairs. All is running fine for now as i do my own basic servicing (oil, filters, plugs etc), but i don't want to be stuck with a massive repair bill. I'm just after any advice from others of potential problems and costs i may encounter in the near future so i can budget for them or a replacement car.



Ford Fiesta - How long does a car last? - Gregory II

As mileages increase, more problems are usually likely. I have heard Ford's have a certain 'life' to them, but there are so many variables to consider.

Have a look at previous threads here, the car by car comparison on this site, Ebay and a site I quite like: carsurvey.org. This will give you a certain gauge and enable you to look a little into the future!

Ford Fiesta - How long does a car last? - DP


It's a bit of a "piece of string" question. The answer really is the time you decide that the upkeep cost is uneconomical. My dad ran an early mk1 Mondeo 2.0 petrol to just shy of 200k, and it was fabulously reliable. There were one or two trivial problems, none of which cost more than £50 or so to put right, with DIY labour. You've already got the clutch out the way, and the timing belt's done, so both should be good until around the 200k mark.

My experience of Fords is that they are generally pretty long lived if looked after. Rot is generally the downfall of older small ones, but they'd got a lot better by 2003, and you really shouldn't have to worry about that for a good few years yet.

The drivetrain of this car has been around for almost 15 years now, and is pretty well proven. These engines, run on good quality 5W/30 oil changed at the manufacturer's recommended intervals are generally good, and the gearboxes are tough. The SE engine is not prone to premature cambelt problems, and the water pump is driven off the auxiliary belt meaning a leak or a failure can't damage the timing belt, as it can on a lot of other engines.

Fords at high mileages tend to need frequent suspension bush replacement, but this is neither expensive or difficult. The only other thing to watch at this mileage is the catalytic converter, but again, these can do 200,000 miles if the ignition system is kept in good order, and decent quality fuel is used. Ignition coils can be a weak point on Fords, and this is one area where genuine parts are unquestionably better than pattern ones. Again, this is a simple diagnosis, an easy job, and won't break the bank. Otherwise, it's the usual high mileage stuff - things like alternators, water pumps, gear linkages - nothing bank breaking, but worth sticking a bit in the kitty in preparation for. In my experience running cars at this mileage (I currently have a Golf 1.8T GTI with similar mileage, and my previous Volvo and Mondeo were both 150,000 milers when sold), they are reliable as long as you keep on top of the little bits as they come up. If you start letting things slide, a nice car becomes a banger very quickly.

If you can do mechanical work yourself, and are happy to source parts from breakers, you should be able to keep this car running very cheaply for a good 50,000 more miles. The worst thing to happen would be some kind of engine management / control unit fault which would need professional (Ford dealer or engine management specialist) labour to correct. Fords are no more prone to this than any other make, but it's an ever present danger when trying to run any modern car on a budget. On the flip side, the repair cost is unlikely to even get close to the first month's depreciation on a brand new car. Just keep that in mind! :-)

Edited by DP on 04/04/2010 at 00:43

Ford Fiesta - How long does a car last? - rtj70

I had a Mondeo III on a 53 plate (new in October 2003) and the first of the Euro IV engines so I know it was not sat in a field. Fast forward a couple of years and the rear doors had started to rust on the bottom edges. Some cars of the time also rusted on the boot/hatch and bonnet.

Since it did not have the optional body checks for rust - warranty void. Mine was a lease car so not my problem but buyer beware rust on Fords without the stamps in the service book for body checks!

Ford Fiesta - How long does a car last? - Tom Yeoman

Hi Graham!

I've got an 05 Fiesta Zetec, with the 1.4 Duratec motor! Mum had the car from new and I took it at 83,000 , now hit 192,000 in it! Been a very reliable car up until now, had to do a coil pack and leads replacment - 175,000 (Really cheap and easy to fit) along with a radiator - 182,000 (Bit more of a pain if you have the air conditioning condeser in there too, but not too much work to do yourself, radiator was £42!) Standard pads and other bits and bobs of course. A few comfort issues came about from 120-170 ish, things like window motors, and the fuses for the blower motor. Again, easily replacable and can be bought from a breaker. BUT, today, had a major issue, Still havent fully resolved the issue but in short, the car died at 192,000! Took it engine apart and looks like the Crankshaft sprocket gave in, rather than the timing belt, waiting on a compression test to asses the potential damage to the internals, but could be the end of the car! Personally for me, I love the car and its been very reliable up until now, been a bit brutal with it really and its taken everything Ive thrown at it, so Id be happy to repair it (Dependant on costs) and run it further. But thought you might like this info from someone who's potentialy run it to the end!



Ford Fiesta - How long does a car last? - Railroad.
There's no simple definitive answer to this. Years ago a car became scrap when structural corrosion was so bad it could no longer be successfully repaired, usually when it failed the MOT for the ultimate time. These days cars don't rust like they used to, and so assuming the car hasn't suffered accident damage, the time for it to go to the graveyard in the sky will be when it's systems start failing or routine maintenance and repairs cost more than the car's value, and at a point when the owner no longer wants to keep throwing money at it trying to keep it going.
Ford Fiesta - How long does a car last? - madf

If you can dit and buy good s/h parts then an old car can be run cheaply for decades.

BUT if you have to buy new parts or they MUST be dealer coded to work (VX diesel engines fuel pumps or Subaru diesel parts ££££s) then you are stuffed.

Moral: old cars built in volume are better than ones with hi tec built in low volumes. Was always thus when I started as a student with £30 bangers.. A new starting Carb on a Jaguar XJ6 of 1970s vintage was £80 when the car was worth £200..

(multiply by 5 to 10 to get today's prices)

Edit we run a 2003 Toyota Yaris which is in perfect mechanical condition.

Edited by madf on 30/08/2016 at 18:26


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