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Advice On Buying A ~2004 1.8 Tdci Focus

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Hi all

My girlfriend is just about to buy a new (old) car and has decided on a 1.8 TDCi Focus. She is looking to spend about £3k and a quick check on autotrader suggests that translates into a 2003/04 model with about £70k. My questions are:

At that age/mileage are there likely to be any big bills coming along soon on the normal service schedule: e.g. belt/tensioner/pump changes etc. Anything we need to check has already been done?

Are there any known issues with the engine? Am I correct in thinking that it does not have the DPF?

There seem to be a large number of variants/trim levels like Ghia, Zetec, Edge etc. Is one especially better than another? Are there any 'toys' that are particularly worth having?

Any particular things to look for when checking one over?

Many thanks in advance



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Defo no DPF on that one (or indeed any 1.8 TDCI). If its not had the belt/tensioner changed then that'll need doing soon. Not sure about the trim levels as mine is a 2008 and I believe a lot has changed since 2004!

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Hi ,

1- I would look out for the clutch pedal going high up before the clutch bites because new clutch is somewhere in region of £450-£700 depending on which clutch/ flywheel it as .

2- check front springs mine broke at 60-70k with it being diesel they take a lot of strain.

3- same with shockers

4- try to get one that has been regularly serviced because my 13 year old 1.8 tdi has never let me down and it's on 139000 miles with a regular service.

5- when you go to look at the car ask the owner not to run it before you get there so you can see how it starts from cold.with mine it starts on the second/third turn no problems even when temp was -10 .

6- I was advised to change my cam belt at 50k so just check its been done as mentioned by jg321.

Good luck they are a very nice reliable car if they have been looked after

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The 1.8TDCI is a great choice, I hate the clutch on them but it's only a pain in stop go traffic. You'll stall it a few times until you get used to it! On mine the clutch peddle was getting hard, after the brake fluid was changed (every 2 years) it was soft again.

GHIA is the best option, cruise control is a great option, rear electric windows and seeing as we are getting a lot more cold weather the heated front windscreen is a must have too, it's not standard on the Zetecs so if you do get a Zetec find one with a heated front windscreen.

Has to be serviced on time, as said before they are a great car. I will be sad to move to a 1.6TDCI when I eventually have to change mine but seeing as it has no DPF I plan on running it for a long as possible.

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