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Focus Advice - 1000 - 1500 Budget


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#1 redrabbit

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:35 PM

Hello everyone,

 

Situation is: I have a Renault Megane 2003 plate.  Bought for £2500 a year ago.  The car has been nothing but trouble since I got it. 

 

It passed its MOT last week somehow and I think this may be a good time to sell it.  The car has two warning lights on (air bag and toxic fume indicator light). 

 

I've sought advice about what to do and the consensus seems to be, sell and buy one for whatever I get for the car, especially as I have no money. 

 

So my question is:

 

1. Is a MK1 ford focus a good bet?  Something like a Y registration or similar - bear in mind my budget of a max of £1500

 

2. Reliability is the biggest issue - not sportyness or speed or whatever.  I just want one that works

 

3.  I'm sure you will recommend a Ford as this is the Ford forums.  I did consider a Corolla too as I know Toyota is good too

 

4. If I buy a focus, the milage is likely to be about 80'000 K plus.  Is there any issues with this, e.g. cam belts, long running issues that I should be aware of?

 

5. Going for a petrol I think as diesel generally costs more.  i use it every day to get to work and back which is a total of 26 miles (13 there and back) which is on back roads.

 

6. Anything else I should consider or know?

 

Thanks everyone for your help.

 

 



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#2 Stoney871

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:24 PM

For that budget you should be able to push up to an 02/03 (facelift) model if you shop around.
Look out for the usual things on any car- long Mot, no rust, smooth drive, good brakes and that all the electrics work (in particular the boot release/third brake light/rear wiper/working Speedo, as these can be common fault areas).
Other than that the Mk1/1.5 are good solid cars that handle well and fun to drive.
In my personal view a 1.8 is a good size to go for if you want one that has a bit of life in it without being overly 'sporty'.
Best ranges to go for are Zetec or Ghia.
Cam belts are recommended at 100k cut most get them done at about 80k to be on the safe side, a good car sales may well do the job if you make a deal with them.

#3 redrabbit

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:02 PM

For that budget you should be able to push up to an 02/03 (facelift) model if you shop around.
Look out for the usual things on any car- long Mot, no rust, smooth drive, good brakes and that all the electrics work (in particular the boot release/third brake light/rear wiper/working Speedo, as these can be common fault areas).
Other than that the Mk1/1.5 are good solid cars that handle well and fun to drive.
In my personal view a 1.8 is a good size to go for if you want one that has a bit of life in it without being overly 'sporty'.
Best ranges to go for are Zetec or Ghia.
Cam belts are recommended at 100k cut most get them done at about 80k to be on the safe side, a good car sales may well do the job if you make a deal with them.

 

Thanks for the reply - really useful.

 

I've had a good look through auto trader.  Many of the trade sales on there seem to be from back street garages - not the sort of place to change a cam belt.

 

If I did need to get it changed, am I right in believing it to be quite expensive - like about £400?

 

Will continue looking.

 

Additionally:

 

How much do you think I could get for my Renault Megane 1.6?  It's got 55'000 miles on the clock, colour is blue although does have 2 warning lights on - I know this will effect the price.  It's a 03 plate btw.



#4 MonkeyMattius

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:22 PM

That many problems at 55k? jesus. 

 

Focus' are a safe bet, mate of mine had a Y plate one with 122k on it and it was fine. Maybe he just got lucky, it did a lot of business miles though so all motorway I guess. 

 

I agree with Clive though, zetec or ghia will get you a decent pull from the engine without being too sporty. 

Try websites like pistonheads in the classifieds, there are some dealers on there which might be worth a shout. 

 

As for the megane I guess it would depend on what the warning lights are now it's an MOT failure for them, sisters rover 25 has got the srs light on at the minute and mechanic said it would have to be sorted before it has it. Might be cheaper to get them off before selling it?



#5 redrabbit

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:00 PM

UPDATE:

I bought a focus today - £1300. It's a Ghia, 1.8 petrol, is a Y reg and 77k on the clock - it had cam belt changed about 4 years ago.

It's got a full service history up to 2011 (so I guess it's not a full history then! Ha).

QUESTION:

Do you think it's worth me getting a quick service on it?

I've got absolutely no money, and have had to but car on credit. However, my dad and I both think it could be good getting a quick £50 service, change oil, etc...

Especially to potentially keep it runnin problem free.

Any thoughts?

#6 jeebowhite

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:06 PM

Always worth a service, its beneficial to make sure that you have the essentials changed! just changing the oil alone and the filters can save you developing a lot of problems down the line!



#7 Stoney871

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:58 PM

It looks like you got a good one there.
Definitely worth getting a service.
Hope you enjoy your new car. :)

#8 redrabbit

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:50 PM

Thanks everyone.

Couple of minor things:

1. The steering feels quite heavy - it says it has power assisted steering, but it doesn't feel like it. Maybe because its really old car and its not like modern ones?

2. When headlights are on, the dash board light doesn't illuminate to confirm it

#9 redrabbit

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:55 PM

Finally,

3. The key with open/shut buttons doesn't seem that responsive. It works but seems like it's dying - maybe it just needs a new battery?

Obviously minor issues - to be expected in a 12 year old car

#10 jeebowhite

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:45 PM

1 probably is age but check the fluid

2 probably the led has gone

3 battery replacement sounds most likely culprit.

#11 stef123

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:58 PM

To answer no.2

The mk1 focus doesn't have a light on the dash for the headlights, it's a green light on the switch (as does the fog light - red light). Only the full beam comes up on the dash.


Have you still got the Megane or have you sold that?

#12 redrabbit

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

Thanks to you both for your answers.

My megane - what a tale that is.

Yesterday, was working till 11pm and then drove home. Whilst driving message said "check injection" and all power started to decrease and increase erratically.

Seconds later all power gone and won't start now. Had to walk 4 miles home.

Calling AA tonight to recover and estimate cost. If easy fix (£150ish) I will do and sell. If not then I will have to sell as a non starter.

#13 Stoney871

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:32 PM

For the steering definitely change the fluid, it'll make the world of difference.
For the key buy a cr2032 battery and see how you go.
If it's still a bit ropey then we can talk you through re-synching the key to the car.

#14 artscot79

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:53 PM

the mk1 steering is tyre pressure sensitive so if the tyres are under 28 at the front it does feel heavy saying that it was always a bit heavier than more recent cars giving better feedback



#15 redrabbit

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:18 PM

Thanks again everyone.

My megane which died last night has been visited by AA man. He immediately diagnosed a snapped cam belt and confirmed it after checking the engine.

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