I bought a focus 1.6 zetec about 2 months ago from a private seller.
When I test drove the car there were no problems although I only drove
at city speeds ( <50mph). However after I handed over the money and
got the car on the motorway the entire car started to vibrate very
badly. It starts at around 55mph and at around 80mph it gets to a
point where you don't feel safe driving the car. When it gets very
very bad at 80mph, it gets UNBEARABLE if I try to change lanes at the
same speed (i.e. turn the steering wheel). I mean, the wheels shake,
the steering wheel shakes, the door panels start to shudder and the
entire dashboard also shudders v.badly. Basically it feels as if the
wheels are gonna come off and the car will fall apart! I took the car
to three garages who all swore that it was a problem with wheel
balancing and they all balanced the wheels. Then I decided to take it
to Rapid Fit, hoping that ford would know best about their own car.
They adviced the same thing (plus that one of the alloys where
slightly bent, which they said should go away once the wheels were
balanced), so they balanced my wheels again but the problem still
didn't go away. Finally I booked the car in for a road test, went with
guy on the road test and his advice was that the SLIGHTLY bent/damaged
alloy was causing all this violent vibration and shaking and that it
should be changed.
I took their advice, paid £110, and got a new alloy (the standard
Zetec type - which no one else sells, I THINK! ). And, guess what?
The problem didn't go away. This was two days ago. Today I booked the
car in AGAIN for a road test and I just collected the car. Apprantly
the problem is NOT with alloys, or wheels or balancing, now according
to them the gearbox needs to be changed and it's gonna cost me £860
(plus of course the £64 they charged for the road test and check). I
tried to get back the money I paid for the new alloy which I bought
because of their useless advice, but the guy was very rude and
dismissive - they adviced me to change the allow because it was
damaged, therefore I can't have my money + old alloy back.
few questions, I would really appreciate some advice!
1) Can anyone tell me if they have had similar problems with their car
and if £860 is the right price to pay?
2)Is it possible that a bush or a similar part is causing this
3)Is it a complicated repair that should only be done by ford or can
any mechanic carry it out?
4)Assuming that Rapid Fit is correct, and I need a new gear box, is it
OK to continue using the car for city driving? Will it lead to more
damage to other parts of the drivetrain? (no vibrations at all below
5)What usually causes this kind of damage (should it have been picked
up on an MOT, bearing in mind the car is only 3 years old)?
I'm at a loss as what next to do. Definitely not going back to Rapid
Fit, Saville St., Sheffield!!! Thank you for your help.