Planning to buy a Ford Focus.

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HNY y'all,
I have plans on buying a Ford Focus 1.8 16v 5-Door with A/C E/C Cat 1 Alarm/Immolizer and other essential optional extras, I can't think atm
Just after advice of any pitfalls, bad areas in the focus to look out for when buying in the 2nd market etc.
I know the Focus is a reliable and strong car to go for in the hatch back market, so not much wrong there.
Thinking of a Focus that's a year old or 2.
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Just don't buy the first model year, 2000 - too many problems. jor "Leon" <ap76_at_email.com> wrote in message

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Hi, I have a 2001 example of what you're planning to buy. Apart from the gear shift spring going, fixed under warranty, nothing else to report other than extreme joy when driving. I've driven plenty of claimed sports card which can't stick on the road and produce as much driver enjoyment as a Focus. Get a Zetec with the harder springs and 15" alloys. Martin.

for
back
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Thx guys for the input.
Jor, I thought the Focus model was introduced in the 90's, your not getting mixed up the the Fiesta Zetec are you?
Martin, thats exactly the car I had in mind the Focus Zetec got a budget of around 8000 to buy one. Hopefully I can get one for around that prices thats no more than 2 years old. By the way what did you get with yours, in terms of optional extras. Just wondering coz not sure if I'll be able to fit my own ICE system into the focus and instead be stuck with a dull bog-standard stereo.
Thx once again

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1998 in Europe. It may have been later in the US and Canada.
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Paul Giverin
British Jet Engine Website http://www.britjet.co.uk
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I'm in the US with 2000 being the first model year. I bought mine because a magazine in which I have confidence (Auromobile Magazine) named it the Car of the Year. It IS fun to drive but mine has had lots of problems and from what I've read here and elsewhere, that is a common experience with the 2000 model year. I'm getting rid of mine and going back to the Japanese cars. jor "Leon" <ap76_at_email.com> wrote in message

1
atm
out
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Well it's your money but even Consumer Reports is now forced to admit that a new Focus is every bit as good as Japanese cars, so wouldn't it be rational to at least consider buying a new Focus?
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Yea, I suppose so but I have another motive. I miss the roomier, more comfortable larger cars (Camry, Accord or maybe an Avalon). I think I'll get one of these that's a couple of years old. jor

wrote

a
rational
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Seems to me you might want to consider a Buick Regal GS. It's more comfortable and roomy than any of those you mention. It's just as or more reliable and less expensve too.
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Trouble is the door panels move when you operate the electric windows. Seems standard on budget US rental cars I've driven (-:

I'll
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Seems
I haven't tried an Avalon but the door panels move on newer Camrys and Accords when the electric windows are operated. Same with Civics.
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"Leon" <ap76_at_email.com> wrote in message

Buy a 01 on (if you can) 1.8 Zetec 5 door with climate pack. Must be metallic. Plenty to choose from at around 8k.
Problems- rust on the hatch around the number plate surround and in the dip where the Ford badge sits, if it has steel sills (later cars) rust behind front wheels and in front of rear wheels- mudflaps prevent this happening.
Earlier plastic sill covered cars fine.
Service history ideally, but the 12,500 mile service interval is ridiculous- change oil and filter every 5-6k miles if you're planning to keep the car.
Problems with the fuel guage and fuel starvation caused by faulty pump when the tank gets below (in worst cases) 1/2 full.
If you hear any clonking from front suspension going over bumps its most likely the anti roll bar drop links (30,000miles onwards) but are easy and cheap to replace.
Ive done 53k in my 01 Zetec 1.8 with no serious problems other than the fuel gauge/pump fault and currently a dead drivers door locking motor, but i think thats a one off. Its still as taut as ever, a hoot and easy to drive quickly whilst still giving 34-40mpg, and will show up several supposedly "hot hatches".
Tim..
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Thx Tim on the heads up.

metallic. Plenty to choose from at around 8k.
Just read on the ford site that the Focus Zetez built after January 2003 includes as standard: Anti lock brakes, 60:40 split/folding rear seats, power steering, driver's seat manual height adjustment, high-mounted rear brake light, rake and reach adjustable steering column, body-coloured door mirror housings and central locking.
Sounds good to me, just need to hunt down a car thats a year old and for the right price.
Some1 on another thread mentions:
"Try the 1.6. I have heard that the extra weight of the 1.8 means it is no faster, and that the 1.6 engine is more refined"
Any truth to this?
That 1 positive bonus, as it also going tomean i'll pay less on insurance and fuel on a 1.6
Tim (Remove NOSPAM. Registry corupted, reformated HD and lost alot of stuff

for
back
dip
ridiculous-
when
fuel
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Yeah just ignore that Tim geezer and go for a 1.6 as they are much better than the 1.8 :)
Seriously though, Tim and I are always ribbing each other over the merits of both engines. There isn't too much between the engines in terms of performance but the 1.6 is more economical. The 1.8 offers more torque but isn't quite as smooth as the 1.6
The bottom line is to drive them both back to back and see what suits you best.
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British Jet Engine Website http://www.britjet.co.uk
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"Leon" <ap76_at_email.com> wrote in message

I thought the ABS was still an option as part of the reflex pack??

the
1.6 is alittle more refined and quieter when you work it hard- which is a good thing because you do have to work it hard due to the absurdly high gearing. The 1.8 is quicker all around, more so in the in gear 30-50, 50-70 due to its better torque. The 1.8 engine is alittle heavier but it doesnt upset the handling, if anything it makes it more neutral over the 1.6 at the edge of the handling envelope. The diesel is abit too heavy and makes the car understeer alittle and upsets the fantastic balance of the Focus,- if you are going to nit-pick...
If you drop a gear in the 1.6 it will keep up with the 1.8, but at the expense of mpg. Simply put, the 1.8 is much more forgiving of being too lazy to change down, although its quite happy to spin to 5500rpm when needed- like the 1.6 3rd gear is good for alittle over 90mph.

Hehehe- Paul do you want to do this one? ;-)
If you test a 1.6 you'll find it perfectly adequate. however if you try a 1.8 back to back you'll go for the larger engine.
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Registry corupted, reformated HD and lost alot of stuff :("

Beat you to it mate ;)
--
Paul Giverin
British Jet Engine Website http://www.britjet.co.uk
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"Leon" <ap76_at_email.com> wrote in message

The 1.6 and the 1.8 drive differently. The 1.6 is a more modern design (from Yamaha originally) with an alloy block. Its lighter by about 70kg and you get ~ 40 mpg instead of ~ 37 mpg. It revs cleanly and is very smooth. However, it doesn't have a lot of torque at low speeds. If you want to overtake then you _have_ to drop down a gear or two but if you do then it is quick enough (the rev limiter in 3rd gear cuts in about 95-100mph).
The 1.8 engine has an iron block. The graph of its power output against engine speed has a dip in the middle at about 3000 rpm, where it has the same power as the 1.6. It has more power than the 1.6 at lower and higher revs than this. It doesn't rev as freely as the 1.6, although it is quicker and more powerful. In 2000, the 1.6 and the 1.8 had the same list prices in the UK. However, when I imported my Focus from Belgium, the 1.8 would have been about 300 more expensive. I suspect you would have got a bigger discount on a 1.6 from a UK dealer.
Other than this, I would absolutely definitely try to get a car with the heated windscreen. I think this has been fitted as standard recently, but it was only in an option pack when I bought my LX in 2000. I think then it was standard on a Ghia. It is really great to be able to have a completely clear windscreen on a frosty morning after a minute or two of listening to the radio.
--
Andrew Henry
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Oh you're bad..... very bad ;)
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Thx y'all for your responses
Some sound advice that I'll take on-board, certainly test driving both engine size cars will show how they handle and what their performance is like.
As with the extras of 'heated windcreen' that's something we all hope to have, scrapping a frosted windcreen every mornings is something I like NOT. Just finding the right package that sells it among other things.
Thx again =]
writes

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"Leon" <ap76_at_email.com> wrote in message

NOT.
The climate pack (i.e. air con, heated mirrors etc) comes with the heated front screen. It is without a doubt the best accessory you can have on a car (if you dont have a garage)
Tim..
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