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GinaFocus

Help and advice please - buying my first Ford Focus

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Hi everyone,

 

Hoping for some help and advice please.

I'm viewing a 2008 Ford Focus Style (100) 1.6 petrol automatic tomorrow.

Fully adhering to social distancing etc. Car is in my village within walking distance and neither of us are in a high risk category.

I've never owned a Ford Focus before. Looks a good family car. I'm a family of 4.

My car broke down last week (the work required to fix it isn't worth the repair, I have a 25 year old mk 1 Renault Clio).

I need a car for work, I'm the only one who drives in the household so we currently have no car.

The car I'm going to look at has got just over 32k miles on the clock and has full service history. The last 4 years it's done about 450 miles a year. MOT is due in July. Has only ever failed once and this was due to a headlamp being out.  The last advisories were the brake discs. 

Is there anything I should be looking for in particular when looking at it? Faults etc? Any reviews on the engine, what do people think of it?

I owned my Clio for 10 years and did 60k miles in that time. It's only got 117k miles on the clock. (Water pump has gone and therefore needs new cam belt change too). So would be looking for longevity as much as possible out of this.

Also, genuinely what would you think is a good price for it? It's black, looks well looked after. I'd buy a full hpi check etc before purchasing to make 100% sure there weren't any nasty surprises.

Thanks in advance for anyone who replies with helpful hints and tips.

G

 

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Have you put the details into We Buy Any Car and Autotrader to see what kind of valuation comes up?

I found a 2008 1.6 auto zetec with 39000miles on the clock for sale. It's a dealer that's selling and they are asking for £4,195.00 and probably hoping for £4k.

Private sale you're probably looking at £3,500.00 tops. That's just my guess, I could be wrong though. How much is it up for?

As far as common issues on the 2008 models, I'm not sure sorry. I know that you normally change the timing belt and water pump on a mileage covered basis, but it could also be timed as well. And as the car is already 12 it may need done at 15yrs or so.

Is it the MK2 facelift? The facelift got different headlight design, new bonnet and the most noticeable change was the larger front grill. It was more of a trapezoidal shape and carries on through the ford 'family' to date.

You said it was a 1.6 but is it diesel or petrol?

Check any sunroof or window seals before you buy. Also look for damp carpet inside, because it could have become mouldy if left untreated.

Known problems with their power steering. Some of the hoses fitted were not to the required specification. The hoses could degrade and allow hydraulic fluid to seep out, which could either cause the power steering to fail or, in more extreme cases, cause fire when the fluid became hot.

If you haven't already then you should read this https://www.whatcar.com/ford/focus/hatchback/used-review/n203/advice

Good luck with the viewing, and let us know how you get on. Remember though, if you are happy with the car and the deal then don't worry about the price you pay - as long as you're happy that's all that matters.

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Thank you for the response. 

It's a private sale and they've got it up for £2,700.

It's a petrol and I'm hoping to check the service history to see if the timing belt has been changed, and if so, when.

This is a stock image of the car I'm looking at, to show whether it's the facelift model, which I think it is.

Thank you for the guidance of what to look for.

36 minutes ago, Jonro2009 said:

Have you put the details into We Buy Any Car and Autotrader to see what kind of valuation comes up?

I found a 2008 1.6 auto zetec with 39000miles on the clock for sale. It's a dealer that's selling and they are asking for £4,195.00 and probably hoping for £4k.

Private sale you're probably looking at £3,500.00 tops. That's just my guess, I could be wrong though. How much is it up for?

As far as common issues on the 2008 models, I'm not sure sorry. I know that you normally change the timing belt and water pump on a mileage covered basis, but it could also be timed as well. And as the car is already 12 it may need done at 15yrs or so.

Is it the MK2 facelift? The facelift got different headlight design, new bonnet and the most noticeable change was the larger front grill. It was more of a trapezoidal shape and carries on through the ford 'family' to date.

You said it was a 1.6 but is it diesel or petrol?

Check any sunroof or window seals before you buy. Also look for damp carpet inside, because it could have become mouldy if left untreated.

Known problems with their power steering. Some of the hoses fitted were not to the required specification. The hoses could degrade and allow hydraulic fluid to seep out, which could either cause the power steering to fail or, in more extreme cases, cause fire when the fluid became hot.

If you haven't already then you should read this https://www.whatcar.com/ford/focus/hatchback/used-review/n203/advice

Good luck with the viewing, and let us know how you get on. Remember though, if you are happy with the car and the deal then don't worry about the price you pay - as long as you're happy that's all that matters.

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Looks like a nice car, and doesn't seem to be overpriced from what I've seen about.

It is definitely a facelift model, so after Feb 2008. It has the larger trapezoidal grill at the lower part of the bumper, and no plastic strips across the doors. The facelift also got softer more tactile plastics inside. 

The petrol auto boxes are, in my opinion better than the powershift boxes they started putting into the diesels in 2008. The auto box in the petrol is a torque converter and a sealed unit so required very little specific maintenance. The powershift in the diesel needs servicing every 3yrs or 36000 miles. 

The black is a nice colour, a bugger to keep clean though lol. A nice tint on the back windows would change the look of the car 😉

Check the oil filler cap, you don't want to see any gunge on it.

Check the tyres for uneven wear - if it's worn in the middle of the tyre then it's most likely down to incorrect tyre pressures, if it's on the inner or outer edges then the tracking or balance is off.

Check the suspension by pushing the corner of the car down, it should bounce once when you release it and then settle, if it yo-yos about then there is a problem. 

 Look for any smoke when starting the engine, and listen to it starting. It should fire up straight away and not turn over a few times first. Be cautious if the car is already up to temperature when you view it (unless they have driven it to meet you). It could be the owner trying to hide a problem with a cold start.

It's a 12yr old car so will have some signs of age, bit that's normal. I can't believe the mileage is so low, check the steering wheel for excessive wear and the drivers seat too. A worn wheel and\or seat can indicate if there is a problem with the mileage reading. Look for rust, especially on the front of the bonnet (stone chips), the wheel arches and under the sills. Ford don't have the best rep when it comes to their paint. Have you run the reg through a free online car checker to get the MOT history, or did the owner give it to you?

If you like the car and it feels right then make them an offer, I'm cheeky and would go in at £2400, they will either say yes or counter you with £2600 to which you can suggest you meet in the middle at £2500 😁 - use things like condition of tyres or anything you can see that needs done to justify your lower offer. If the car is excellent for it's age and your happy then don't low ball them as they may get offended lol. 

I've had a couple of focus, MK3 and MK3.5s and I loved them all, they are a good all rounder and you will feel the difference in space inside compared to the Clio. 

 

Good luck tomorrow.

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One last thing, check that the spare tyre is there and the tools required to change it should you need to. Open all doors Inc boot and bonnet. Check there are 2 keys and the V5C and service book are in the owners possession. 

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+1 for checking the spare tyre and tools, whilst your in there check for moisture, my Mk2.5 boot lid leaked and I would have to sponge out the wheel well every few weeks. 

 

Other than that I think it will be a solid car, I had loads of DPF problems with mine but that was a diesel, everything else never skipped a beat apart from the leaky boot. 

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Additional information here Parkers  ...any specs that you want to see, make sure you select 1.6 Style 5d Auto (08) for the facelifted version.

As Jon has mentioned, check there are two keys (not cheap to get a second if there's only one, I believe), check the V5 and chassis numbers match on this and the MOT, use the MOT checker website Here, check when the timing belt was done (should be 8 years or 100,000 miles whichever is sooner, 8 years in this case), if there's evidence of it being changed then factor that in to the negotiations on the price.

I think the price is slightly high for a private sale so haggle and use faults you find to help bring it down, but if it's in tip top condition, evidence of regular services, timing belt done, brakes changed from last MOT advisory, tyres with plenty of tread, then it sounds good, but still try to get the price down. 😉

Note on the MOT running out in July, the government have allowed for a six month extension, have a read HERE 

As a comparison, I found a private sale in Bristol on Autotrader, same model, 58 plate, silver, 38,000 miles, new MOT and they are asking for £2995.

Good luck 👍

 

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@Frembrit I will need to remember the timing belt schedule, I honestly thought it was every 10y or XX miles.

 

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I only got £2,700 for a 2008 Titanium (X pack) diesel back in 2018...  That's way too much for a private basic 1.6 petrol now, the mileage doesn't increase the value that much and I'd be very surprised if the cambelt had been changed, people often don't bother on low mileage vehicles.  I'd be bidding them £2k or walk away in all honesty.  There's plenty of cheap Focus' about but I appreciate you're restricted by the lockdown right now.

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I thought it would have been 10 years too, but I looked it up on ETIS for the car I found on Autotrader.

Coolant change is 10 years though, so see if that has been done too.

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I only got £2,700 for a 2008 Titanium (X pack) diesel back in 2018...  That's way too much for a private basic 1.6 petrol now, the mileage doesn't increase the value that much and I'd be very surprised if the cambelt had been changed, people often don't bother on low mileage vehicles.  I'd be bidding them £2k or walk away in all honesty.  There's plenty of cheap Focus' about but I appreciate you're restricted by the lockdown right now.
I had a search online for prices and also put a few that I found through WBAC and I thought it was probably worth £2500 on a private sale, I'd expect to see this on the forecourt for £3100-3250, and sold for £3k

I'm certainly no expert though.

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14 minutes ago, Jonro2009 said:

I had a search online for prices and also put a few that I found through WBAC and I thought it was probably worth £2500 on a private sale, I'd expect to see this on the forecourt for £3100-3250, and sold for £3k

I'm certainly no expert though.

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Fair enough, cars are worth someone will pay at the end of the day.  I just don't see how a 12 year old poverty spec Focus can still be anywhere near £3k...  Maybe £2.5 at a push I suppose but I wouldn't pay that for it.

Mileage makes very little difference by this age if thats the only redeeming feature.  Suspension, steering, exhaust, battery, belts, bearings etc all wear over time regardless of mileage, not to mention bodywork rust.  Low mileage usually means trouble in my experience, I wouldn't pay a premium for it any longer myself.

 

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I agree with you @TomsFocus. If I were the OP I’d aim for at least a Zetec at that price, plenty about and could even try and find a Titanium (though might be looking at a pre-facelift there).

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Just had a look on Autotrader (though I appreciate it might be difficult to go and look at ones further away) and there’s plenty of better specced Zetec’s and Titanium’s for similar prices and mileages. I’d avoid the Style as it’s very basic, and also avoid the 1.6 Auto unless you have to have an Auto, as it’ll be very slow and expensive on tax as Tom says. Check for a misfire on the 1.6, as water likes to get into the spark plug wells and corrode them.

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OP here

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Saw the car today. Very good condition. Full Ford Service History, everything that has been needed to be done on the car has been throughout its lifetime. Last owner had it for 10 years, bought it second hand from Ford and purchased a service plan with it.

Brakes have not been done. It's an advisory due to pitting/scoring on the disc. Car has only been driven 400 miles a year so barely done any further wear.

Checks I completed:

Tyres - 4 relatively new budget tyres, no uneven tread or issues/bulges etc. Spare is a brand new Michellin and comes with all tools to change it. Frankly, it looks like it has never been touched.

Boot - slight rust on the bottom edge of the boot lid, the bit which touches the bottom bumper, but very slight. No damp carpet or water in with the spare, I pulled it all out.

Doors and windows - all open and close fully, no rust or issues with seals.

All wheel arches have a protective lining in and no rust that I could see. Nothing under the sills either.

Interior - spotless throughout, back seats looked like they'd never been sat in! Footwells completely clean, no evidence of leaks, water of any kind.

Bodywork - a couple of minor scratches, but only when you get really close to inspect the car within an inch or two. No dents, everything looks true.

Bonnet - all works and looks fine. All fluid levels spot on. Oil level spot on and clean on the dipstick. Gearbox fluid light and pink. No gunge around the oil filler cap. Engine bay looked very clean.

Radio works fully as do all electronics including air con and heaters.

Steering wheel looked immaculate as did the seats. All dials worked correctly and the onboard computer.

Both keys present, V5 showing owner has had it for 10 years. One MOT failure in its lifetime, this was due to a headlamp bulb being out. Full Ford Service History stamped at my local Ford Dealership.

Paint job looks really good. Car had recently been valeted and polished.

My only issue is that it's a base model automatic. I prefer manuals and the Zetec etc. I just like the history which comes with this one and low mileage, so technically should last a while.

Downsides - MOT and service due in July. I know there is an extension but they need to be kept up with anyway. Brakes will need doing at some point. 

Also seller doesn't want to budge on price, so it's still £2,700.

I'm ok the fence as to waiting for a manual with hopefully a similar background or to get this one knowing it's a good background car.

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Sounds like it’s been well cared for, but if you’re not sure it’s for you I’d wait and stick out for a manual Zetec or Titanium 😎

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An automatic is a really nice drive, and you would probably find that you loved it after you got used to it. Particularly if you do a lot of town driving with stop starting.

If you're not happy with the spec now then you aren't going to learn to love it I'm afraid. You kept your last car for a long time you said, if you intend to do the same with this car then get one you're going to be able to live with.

There will be plenty of other cars out there, it's just unfortunate that the lockdown is going to make some of them inaccessible to you at the moment.

If it were just the autobox you were undecided on then I'd say to give it a go, but it's the spec too. You have to ask yourself, how long do I spend behind the wheel? Do I just want to get from A to B or is the car a statement about you?

It sounds like you have all the information you need to make a decision, you just have to make it now

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Sounds a great car on the face of it ,when I had a Mk2 one thing I was stung on was a steering pump £400 and if it’s not had a new one I’d expect it to fail because my garage said they had done lots ! 

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You mentioned full service history but nothing about the cambelt?  Was that in the history?  If not, it's well overdue and would need to be factored into the price. 

I don't really see the point of spending all the extra in running costs for an auto if you don't need or want one.  You should easily find a manual Titanium with ~70k for under £3k if you're set on a Focus.  Just FYI, even the Titanium came without a couple of major spec options as standard, cruise control and climate control, so if you want those, you have to look for a car that had them fitted as optional extras originally.  Cruise can be retrofitted pretty easily (fitted it to mine within a fortnight of buying the car lol) but climate is pretty much impossible to retrofit.

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Was thinking this the other way round. If I had £2700 to blow on a car, I would probably go back to another Mercedes. Yes, the 'Focus' above does sound a really nice car, but you can also get the following for same money. Just sayin'... 😀

2008 B180

2079676489_mercedesb180.thumb.jpg.89f89242694213190e4352fbae087a08.jpg

 

2003 E500

1468934884_mercedese500.thumb.jpg.f06de914a0c2557dfe0f427c71730cc2.jpg

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I don't really see the point of spending all the extra in running costs for an auto if you don't need or want one.  .




What are the extra running costs on a 2008 auto box? I was under the impression that it was a sealed unit, the powershift came out a little later didn't it? That was the box with expensive maintenance costs.

That was my understanding anyway, I'm likely wrong tbh lol

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30 minutes ago, Jonro2009 said:

What are the extra running costs on a 2008 auto box? I was under the impression that it was a sealed unit, the powershift came out a little later didn't it? That was the box with expensive maintenance costs.


That was my understanding anyway, I'm likely wrong tbh lol

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They'd be wasting a tonne of fuel through the conventional autobox, which creates loads of CO2 meaning very high tax...  Autos are also generally more expensive to insure as well.  So fuel, tax and insurance all a lot higher than the manual equivalent...

You're thinking of servicing costs, not running costs.  Powershift reduces the running costs quite a bit, but can come with big bills for servicing and repair as you say! 

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They'd be wasting a tonne of fuel through the conventional autobox, which creates loads of CO2 meaning very high tax...  Autos are also generally more expensive to insure as well.  So fuel, tax and insurance all a lot higher than the manual equivalent...
You're thinking of servicing costs, not running costs.  Powershift reduces the running costs quite a bit, but can come with big bills for servicing and repair as you say! 
I wondered why the road tax was so high. No I know, thanks Tom i wrongly assumed you were talking about servicing costs, running costs didn't even enter my head, my bad sorry.

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