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Ford Focus - £1000 - £1200 to spend - which model? - Matt@

Looking to buy a cheap Focus for a family member. Needs cheap insurance and ok fuel economy whilst not being too sluggish on hills etc.

Any recommends for certain engine size to look for as there seems to be quite a few to choose from?!

and any other points to watch when buying an old Focus?

Ford Focus - £1000 - £1200 to spend - which model? - Ethan Edwards

Isn't there an issue with the instrument cluster on early Focus'?

Is your budget to include Insurance? Possibly for a new driver? More facts needed.

Ford Focus - £1000 - £1200 to spend - which model? - BenG

1.6 petrol was about the best petrol engine in the Mark 1 Focus. Is smooth, quiet, will average about 40mpg, maybe 45 on the motorway. Has reasonably high top gear (pulls 23mph/1000rpm) for relaxed cruising. Low insurance. Goes quite well when revved over 4k. Good handling/ride balance, etc. Also good underbonnet access with the 1.6 engine for easy home servicing etc...

Look for:

i) Pollen filter housing at base of windscreen not sealed properly against the 'screen - water can get in.

ii) Corrosion of suspension components - the springs on my Focus were very rusty at 3 years old. Also check spring pans on lower wishbones as these are a rust trap. Check dampers for oil seepage/leakage.

iii) Check all electrics work OK. Check AC works cold if fitted (best if not in this price category).

iv) Check for service history and if correct oil (5W/30) used, as tappets used to gum up if thicker oil used.

v) Check instruments all working and no erratic lights/needles if buying circa '03 model, as well-known issue with dry solder joints in instrument pack at this time - mine failed but was £100 subsidised repair by Ford (aware of issue).

vi) Check for tailgate corrosion around bottom of rear window (under wiper), and around chrome trim on Ghia models. Check rear wheelarch lips for rust.

vii) Check wear on brakes, esp. front discs. Brakes fitted to Focus aren't great and need working hard.

viii) Does remote control key work?

ix) Usual stuff for any car: Service history? timing belt / tensioner changed? alloys bubbling/peeled (if fitted)? condition and tread depth of tyres, blue smoke from engine on cold start (& how well it starts), also when revved when warmed up? check underbonnet for fluid leaks,is stereo code provided and does stereo work? Test all lights, etc...

My experience with my Focus was that a number of smallish things failed (rear tailgate struts, CD player, drivers door handle, cam sensor, but they were generally cheap to fix and there were lots of cheap parts available new and from breakers on eBay. An advantage of buying a Ford.

HTH,

Ben

Ford Focus - £1000 - £1200 to spend - which model? - Bobbin Threadbare

1.6 petrol was about the best petrol engine in the Mark 1 Focus. Is smooth, quiet, will average about 40mpg, maybe 45 on the motorway. Has reasonably high top gear (pulls 23mph/1000rpm) for relaxed cruising. Low insurance. Goes quite well when revved over 4k. Good handling/ride balance, etc. Also good underbonnet access with the 1.6 engine for easy home servicing etc...

My experience with my Focus was that a number of smallish things failed (rear tailgate struts, CD player, drivers door handle, cam sensor, but they were generally cheap to fix and there were lots of cheap parts available new and from breakers on eBay. An advantage of buying a Ford.

I had this car; 52-plate. Super. I also experienced smallish things; my fog light bulb never worked! I put a new clutch in too - previous owner must've beasted it. Not bad eh? Cheap insurance for a new driver as well. Fun handling, comfy seats. Ripped the standard radio out and put a DAB in - motorway bliss!

I echo the suspension check - mine went squeaky so I replaced a couple of bushes and then no probs.

Ford Focus - £1000 - £1200 to spend - which model? - Matt@
many thanks all, great info - looks like its the 1.6 then!
 

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