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Focus MK3 TDCI Reliability


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I guess I am fishing for some comments here. I previously owned a Focus MK1.5 2.0 Ghia Automatic. I had that car for almost 11 years and in all that time I never really had any major, unexpected faults.

At the start of this year I had to change jobs and this meant driving 100+ miles a day. The current car was a bit thirsty and old for that kind of mileage so decided to reluctantly replace it.

Due to the mileage I would be doing I went for a diesel and because I had a good experience with the Focus I decided to go for another one. 

I was quite careful picking one and got a lowish mileage (47000 miles) 1.6 TDCI Titanium 2014. One lady owner, full Ford service history (private sale). 

Since getting it in January, I have had nothing but issues so just wondered what the reliability on these cars is supposed to be like. 

After 3 weeks, the plastic vacuum pipe snapped which was a pig to replace. A few weeks later started getting DPF related diagnostic codes that cleared after the car was switched off and on again. After about 300 miles the fault cleared on it's own and has never come back. Garage could not find any reason for it. 

Then last week driving back from work I get the ever so familiar Engine Malfunction message and once again car is without power. 

Had to get the RAC out to get it home. Garage have said the fuel injector in number 3 cylinder has failed. I am now looking at another few hundred pounds bill.

Are these pretty common things to happen on the MK3 diesel or have I just been unlucky so far?

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A) you went 1.6 diesel (very poor engine, unreliable and weak)

B) you went to new and low miles (on a higher mileage car, problems have been sorted and paid for by previous owners)

C) in for a penny, in for a pound. (Once you sort it, you know its done)

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From my experience of having a MK3 1.6tdci I'd say you are unlucky but ours was a Zetec Navigator not a Titanium.

We had ours from 6 months old ( 4k on the clock) and it covered 44k mainly around town driving with the odd trip to the coast. Had it serviced every year with an oil change at 6 monthly intervals.

It never missed a beat and tbh I would happily swap back from the mk4 if I could find it for sale.

The only reason we changed to the MK4 was due to the lack of lateral support in the seats ( for me) as I struggled with piriformis syndrome for around 18 months due to a running injury.

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I did do a bit of research before buying as it's the first diesel I have ever owned. 

Nothing stood out that the 1.6TDCI was a poor engine. 

I found a lot of issues reported with the 1.8TDCI on the MK2 but didn't find much about the 1.6TDCI on the MK3 so assumed no news meant good news. 

I certainly don't find it slow compared to some diesels I have had a go in. My son-in-law has a MK2 diesel and this is certainly more responsive than his. It's not as nippy as my old MK1.5 2.0 petrol but that's to be expected. 

On the plus side since owning, I have averaged around 60MPG if you can believe the trip computer. This seems to coincide with the amount of fuel I am putting in. Certainly on the motorway it doesn't struggle to 70MPH (when it's running that is).

 

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11 minutes ago, Wino said:

From my experience of having a MK3 1.6tdci I'd say you are unlucky but ours was a Zetec Navigator not a Titanium.

We had ours from 6 months old ( 4k on the clock) and it covered 44k mainly around town driving with the odd trip to the coast. Had it serviced every year with an oil change at 6 monthly intervals.

It never missed a beat and tbh I would happily swap back from the mk4 if I could find it for sale.

The only reason we changed to the MK4 was due to the lack of lateral support in the seats ( for me) as I struggled with piriformis syndrome for around 18 months due to a running injury.

Wouldn't it have been easier to change the seats from another model?

Mine came with cloth seats which felt a bit soft for me but managed to get a titanium x half leather interior online for £200. It was a straight swap and they were a bit firmer. I also got a bonus that with a set of switches bought from eBay, I now have heated seats as well. 

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16 minutes ago, Steevo25 said:

Wouldn't it have been easier to change the seats from another model?

Perhaps so but one thing I would suggest for the mk3 you have is to get it remapped..Totally transformed the car. Smoother acceleration and better mpg allround.

 

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I did look at remaps because a few posts I looked at said these engines do open themselves up to good remapping. 

The only reason I kind of ruled it out is that I didn't want to change it too much and certainly didn't want to start getting in to insurance arguments with engine modifications. 

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Yeah true. I will have the same scenario when the warranty is up next year.....remap or change to something else.

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Really and truly, the car is to get to work and back reliably. My days of performance mods are over now. Just getting a bit too old. Still love my gadgets in cars though. 

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The 8v 1.6 TDCI fitted to the Mk3 is generally pretty reliable.  It's not the same as the carbonising, turbo popping, 16v 1.6 TDCi fitted to the Mk2s.

The injectors are crap though, as with all modern piezo injectors you're lucky to get 50k from them.  That's the price we have to pay for the precision needed for modern diesel emissions regs though.

Vac pipes breaking isn't common, I wonder if it was knocked during servicing or rubbing against something maybe, you were unlucky there.

DPF's also not a common issue on these as they are the newer coated type (again, different to the Mk2s).  You've made exactly the same mistake I did though - I bought a Mk2 diesel on 42k miles, previous elderly owner, and the DPF was blocked because she hadn't been driving it hard enough!  It sounds like yours has cleared just through driving though.  I had to replace mine as it was beyond even forced regeneration.

Outside of the engine, the clutch and gearbox aren't all that strong on these, just something to be aware of if you do remap it.

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I suppose I had better start saving for the other 3 injectors then as my car is now on 50k. 

The injector was just under £200 and the garage are charging me for 1 hour diagnosis, fitting and coding. Does that sound about right?

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Yeah that sounds about right.  You can get used/unbranded/refurbished injectors cheaper than £200 but quality is a gamble then.

The injectors can work for years once they're worn so I wouldn't expect catastrophic failure of all of them just yet!

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Well I got the car back (again). Was a shade under £300 the time the taxman had added their beer fund. 

The garage told me that the injector that failed was not an original Siemens. Cylinders 1, 2 and 4 had original Siemens injectors in but cylinder 3 had an injector they had never heard of. I guess there had been problems with the injector in that cylinder before. 

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