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Hi all,

I drive a '99 Focus 1.4 petrol, 105k miles. I have owned it for the past 5 years and things are starting to fail in it. Brought it to the Ford garage yesterday (gasket gone somehow and oil being chucked out through the top of the engine). There is a recurring problem where at high revs the engine loses power sometimes (judders on and off). Last time it happened a mechanic fixed it and said that the leads to the spark plugs were not connected properly but this time the mechanic (a different one) cant see any problem.

Anyway, diagnostic checks show a few things need fixing, among other things I need to get a new clutch (800), gasket (300), something to do with fixing a bad knock in front right wheel 400 (excuse my ignorance for all things mechanical!), and the driver door lock doesn't work (250).

In last 10k miles I have replaced timing belt and fuel pump and a few other bits and pieces and got regular services (for what it is worth). I really like the car and would do the work if I thought that it would keep the show on teh road for another three years or so. Am I dreaming? Is it time to say goodbye? The value of the car is around 1,800 I reckon (that is, if it was fixed!). I don't want to get a new car for a while (moneywise and I like my focus).

I have told the garage to replace gasket and give me time to think abotu the rest. Just wondering has my car come to the end of its natural life? Any thoughts or opinions or obituaries appreciated!

Hmmm, job to know but i'd chuck another engine in there if it keeps giving you problems
All those price's added together add up to more than you say the car will be worth if you do them all, if your going to spend that much , trade it in against another model if i was you.
personally, i dont see the point in taking an older car to the dealer for repairs. If i were you i would find an independent garage and ask them for a quote. 400 for a damaged wheel? seems quite excessive to me.
All those repairs add up, and are close to the overall value of the car. Unless I really liked the car for sentimental reasons or whatever I would give the go ahead for the garage to do the work. It seems the logical thing to do here would be to sell and look for another similar or better. There's no point throwing money at her in case there are more underlining problems yet to show. It will just be a money pit.
Sounds like this car has had a hard life at only 105,000 it shouldn't be giving all these what else is going to go wrong....the prices you quote for repairs are staggeringly high..either get rid or try an independent garage ..good luck
Right, first off:

Those prices, they are taking the pi@@, but lets go with them for the moment.

Right you say car with all those things sorted out, it will be worth 1,800 Euro. Well I run it through [url=""]Wisebuyers Guides[/url]and it says the car will be worth 875 which is 998 Euro Part Exchange.

So for the sake of the argument, on those two sets of figures...cost of repairs set against the net worth of the car to you [what a dealer will give you for it after all that work is done] ..............well it's a no brainer, unless you think spending 1,750 Euro to attain a car with a value of 998 Euro is fiscal prudence..........

Ah talking of prudence, where's old "Crash Gordon" now ? That's the guy who back in 1997 in his Budget Speech in his capacity as Chancellor of the Exchequer said..... "I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the future" of course your talking heads your side of the water played an even sicker joke on the Irish electorate.

Seeing as I've gone off topic ..........I'll say no more

Thanks for all the posts here. What a great forum! I guess it is time to face up to the cold hard fact that it is time to get a new (old) car. The annoying thing is that for years I was doing a fair bit of driving but given a change in situation I'll be doing very little for next few years.

Any suggestions for a reliable 2nd hand car model and year? Something that will last a long time of 0-5000 miles pa? Diesel pref. Would the newer focus last longer than the older one? Say, a 08 focus with 50k on clock - would that last longer than the 11 years that the 99 lasted (ie keep driving until beyond 2020)? I think my 99 was the first generation of focus so maybe the newer ones are better? I spent 6k on my focus in Jan 2007 (52k on clock) and got around 4 years relatively trouble free. 1500pa. Not bad but would like to do better....

Forgot to say welcome to the forum steve,

I had a Mk1 Focus 1.8 Zetec petrol on a T plate [99] bought it March 2005 with 57.5k on the clock. I paid £3,495 from a one man band dealer.

And all I spent on it apart from a couple of oil services was a set of tyres, then £50 for a rear wheel bearing replaced. Then mid December 2008 the clutch started slipping at circa 80K, so I had it replaced, along with front disks and pads. Total cost £400 [in pound notes] I thought right I'm set for another 5 years of cheap motoring with maybe a £250 cam belt replacement to look forward to.

Then ten days later some Prat wanted the wife's side of the road, and wrote it off in a head on collision. We got paid out £2,200 by the insurance, which was the book price, immaterial that we had just spent £400 on it. But I reckon it was a fair pay out, considering what I had paid for it.

I'm back in a Foci because I reckon Fords are plentiful second hand, reasonably reliable, and not expensive as a rule [compared to some others] to repair. And the Focus is an all round car, can seat five, and can with the rear seats down be a load lugger, and a dream to drive to boot. So I'd say stick with the Focus [but I'm obviously biased] :rolleyes:

The turbo diesel sounds good on paper, good mpg, plenty of torque for overtaking, but beware the DPF fitted variants. There are added maintenance cost associated with the DPF, like being quoted £1000 + to replace it at Main Dealers. Then some diesels are known to have problems with failing DMF's [dual mass flywheels]which can be another expensive job. See my signature for a link that explains the Diesel Particulate Filter.

Now I've done a spreadsheet that works out savings on diesel to petrol Foci. So lets take the Mk2 1.6 TDCi Focus, set against the Mk2 1.6 petrol.

At an annual mileage of 5k and using UK Road Tax, and fuel costs at current prices. You would save £449 per annum in Road Tax and Fuel costs. But those savings could be wiped out if your stuffed with a DPF replacement a couple of years down the road, and heavens forbid if your DMF went walk about.

Of course at 15k miles per annum, the savings in the UK would be £1076 per annum, so makes a lot more sense. But with your mileage and considering your going to be buying second hand, going the TDCi route is going to be a gamble.

As Clint would say “You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?” :D

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