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Ford Fiesta very rough on Road


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Hi everyone.  Thanks for a great forum. 

I have bought a Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 2013.  I believe it's the MK7 or MK7.5 model and looks exactly like the 1st photo below. 

The problem I have is that the vehicle is very rough to drive on road and extremly sensitive over the bumps or potholes.  I took it to garage to check the usual, i.e bushes, suspensions, wishbone etc.  However the garage has said none of these seem to be the culprit.

The mechanic has said that he believes the culprit is the 17" alloy wheels and tyres (shown in the 2nd photo). 

If this is the case, is it worth downgrading to 15" alloys and tyres, and would something like the one shown in the 3rd photo fit my vehicle?  FYI, They're size is 190/50R15

 

2013 Ford Fiesta (Mk7.5)

Ford Fiesta MK7.5 Zetec S / ST-Line Front Splitter | triplercomposites

No photo description available.

 

Thanks for helping me.

 

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When my son bought a Mk7.5 ST-Line last year we immediately changed the 17” wheels for 16”.  Not only a much better ride but the low profile rubber on the 17” rims meant the wheels were like kerb magnets and were all badly scuffed, the higher profile rubber on the 16” rims means they are less prone to getting kerbed.

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If you change to 15" wheels the ride will be much softer and easier on the quality British roads we all have to endure.

I note you say it's a 2013 plate, so if your not already aware it will be due the Wet Belt change in less than 12 months.

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I have 14inch wheels on my mk7.5  ,  bigger wheels with lower profile tyres can look good but the downside outweighs that in my view .  I appreciate other people put more emphasis on the looks and are happy to put up with the harsher ride and more vulnerability to damage rims on kerbs and bent wheels from potholes

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Not exactly clear what version you have (if your car looks exactly like photo 1 it won't have 17" wheels? ).

But yes, can only endorse others comments. 17" wheels/ low profile tyres (particularly on a Zetec S with lower suspension) will make for a harsher ride, possible "tramlining" and susceptibility to rim damage. 

I have 17s on my Mk 8 and the irony is that, on a decent road surface such as was once the norm in this country, the ride/handling balance is excellent. 

So yes, 15 or 16" rims and appropriate tyres will improve the ride at the expense of some handling precision but how much that matters to you is down to individual preference.

 Got to admit though that blue car in picture 2 does look good!

Ps I second @unofix's point on the wet belt and suggest (if you haven't done so already) checking out the cost before committing to further expenditure on new wheels/tyres. Lots of threads on that subject on here.

 

 

 

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Also if you haven't already, make sure that your tyre pressures on all 4 wheels are the same as the stated 1-3 person occupancy pressures on the placard on the passenger door jam

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Hello and Welcome to the Forum

The easiest thing to start is with tyre pressures, Make sure they are set at Ford recommend. If too high they will give a harsher ride.  If after a cambelt change (unless already done) you still want to improve the car, then look at changing tyres. What make of tyres do you have at the moment? Are they all 4 the same?  Even If you don't to change the wheels then filling good quality premium or mid-range ones may improve things. Tyres such as Uniroyal Rainsports are a good mid-range tyre are not only quite cheap, give great performance in the wet (as name suggest) but are said to have quite soft sidewalls which should improve the ride.

So, if you do choose to fit smaller wheels, choose your tyres carefully. Cheap ones may have stiff sidewalls. 

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It occurs to me 

21 hours ago, fordfiesta2013mk7 said:

I have bought a Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 2013.  I believe it's the MK7 or MK7.5 model

It occurred to me that we don't know what you were used to driving before - presumably from your comments this may be your first Fiesta?

The USP of the Fiesta in recent generations versus other superminis has been the way it drives. So whatever version tends to be towards the "sporty" end of the spectrum.

 

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Hey guys, thanks for so much for the many replies and excellent advise.  If it's okay with you rather than replying to each individual, I'll give a generic reply for all things that you've mentioned.

Firstly what is a wet belt?  Is it the same as a timing belt? If so, is it THIS ONE?  Is there any other part I'll need to replace at same time? Approx. how much would labour cost from a local garage?

I have driven many small/large vehicles including ones with 17" wheels, but they've not been as uncomfortable as this one.

I agree that 17" are kerb magnets and I prefer to change from 17" to 15" for a smoother - But 14" would be a bit too much IMHO.  Although I feel I've wasted money buying this car as I went for it for it's looks and didn't think at the time of the comfort.

The vehicle I have is the Titanium X and I can assure you it definitely has 17" MITCHELLIN (205/40R17) tyres. I have already had it checked by the garage who confirmed the tire pressure is correct.

If I went for 15" tyres, there are many variations in sizes that I've seen - for example 195/60R15, 195/55R15, 195/50R15 etc.  So what size wheels and tyres can I fit on my vehicle?  Or does it not matter?

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Yes, "wet belt" is the timing belt. Several detailed threads on here on the topic, eg:

https://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/topic/125127-10-ecoboost-timing-belt-replacement-worth-it-or-new-car/#:~:text=Replacing the wetbelts on a 1.0 ECOboost engine,tools that are required to perform this job.

It's a very labour intensive operation and not really a job for a local garage due to the special tools involved and a Ford dealer would probably charge £1000 or more.

Sounds as if you have the optional 17s on your car. Standard would have been 16s with 195/50 tyres.

Versions with 15s as standard at that time came with 195/55 tyres, and the odd one with 14s, 175/65.

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32 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

Yes, "wet belt" is the timing belt. Several detailed threads on here on the topic, eg:

https://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/topic/125127-10-ecoboost-timing-belt-replacement-worth-it-or-new-car/#:~:text=Replacing the wetbelts on a 1.0 ECOboost engine,tools that are required to perform this job.

It's a very labour intensive operation and not really a job for a local garage due to the special tools involved and a Ford dealer would probably charge £1000 or more.

Sounds as if you have the optional 17s on your car. Standard would have been 16s with 195/60 tyres.

Versions with 15s as standard at that time came with 195/55 tyres, and the odd one with 14s, 175/65.

OMG! NO WAY!  I'm already struggling to pay my bills and I can't afford that! I appreciate the car is almost 10yrs old, but it has only done 67k miles yet.  I'm now really anxious at what could happen.

The wheels don't seem to be much of a problem right now as I have found used 4 x 15 inch alloys with tyres (in good condition) for approx. £100-£120.

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All rubber belts can degrade over time as well as mileage. Ford normally recommends it changing every 10 years or up to 100k or 150k miles, (whichever comes first). I have read Ford claim the new "wetbelt" (belt run in oil) is fitted for the life of the car, but I don't believe that. If it snaps, you will need a new engine as valves will hit pistons!

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19 minutes ago, Jim H said:

All rubber belts can degrade over time as well as mileage. Ford normally recommends it changing every 10 years or up to 100k or 150k miles, (whichever comes first). I have read Ford claim the new "wetbelt" (belt run in oil) is fitted for the life of the car, but I don't believe that. If it snaps, you will need a new engine as valves will hit pistons!

Don't get me wrong John.  I agree with what you're saying, but I simply haven't got that sort of money to pay for a new belt.  At least not right now.

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19 minutes ago, fordfiesta2013mk7 said:

Don't get me wrong John.  I agree with what you're saying, but I simply haven't got that sort of money to pay for a new belt.  At least not right now.

Hi Billy, you won't be the first of last person to be caught out with the need to replace the wet belt. The price of 2013 models is dropping as the value of a car that is going to need £1200 to £1500 (current Ford main dealer prices) in the next 12 months becomes more realised by potential buyers.

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I've tended to think about this on the basis of comparing the total belt replacement costs over, say, a 10-12 year lifetime, so overall the ecoboost wet belt doesn't seem so bad in comparison to other cars with "normal" belts which would need several changes over that period. That's assuming a "normal" belt replacement costs, say, £450-£550.

However, it seems timing belt replacement costs have been creeping up elsewhere. Checking out costs for "normal" belts on VWs, found that franchise dealers were quoting £850-£1100! Though in that case independent specialists can charge a lot less.

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13 hours ago, unofix said:

Hi Billy, you won't be the first of last person to be caught out with the need to replace the wet belt. The price of 2013 models is dropping as the value of a car that is going to need £1200 to £1500 (current Ford main dealer prices) in the next 12 months becomes more realised by potential buyers.

Yes, I'm one of those idiots who have been caught out as I wasn't aware that it needed doing.  I've been ripped off.

 

16 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

I've tended to think about this on the basis of comparing the total belt replacement costs over, say, a 10-12 year lifetime, so overall the ecoboost wet belt doesn't seem so bad in comparison to other cars with "normal" belts which would need several changes over that period. That's assuming a "normal" belt replacement costs, say, £450-£550.

However, it seems timing belt replacement costs have been creeping up elsewhere. Checking out costs for "normal" belts on VWs, found that franchise dealers were quoting £850-£1100! Though in that case independent specialists can charge a lot less.

Right now though I already owe a few thousand on credit cards, have a mortgage to pay and the energy bills have shot through the roof.  If I could find an independent garage that could do the wet belt for a lot less, I'd certainly beg/borrow/steal to get it done. 

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You’ve not been ripped off.

what milage is the the car? Any history with it that might say it’s already been done? 
 

This lot have just got you stressed about it, phone around for prices and have it done when as soon as you can afford it.

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1 hour ago, fordfiesta2013mk7 said:

  I've been ripped off.

 

I agree with Mark - you haven't, it's a normal service item, not a fault which has been dishonestly concealed from you.

Although always doing my homework before buying a car, I must admit I didn't spot the implications of the 1.0 ecoboost timing belt until threads on various issues cropped up on here.

My Mrs's car has the equivalent 1.0 3 cyl VW Group engine, though in non-turbo form, and that has a normal dry belt. The water pump drive is at the opposite end of the engine so you don't even need to change that as a precaution as part of the cambelt replacement. Belt change last year by the local garage was therefore £300-ish. 

There don't yet seem to be prices being quoted for the job, though, possibly because the very first 1.0 ecoboosts are only just coming up to the 10 year point. I asked my local garage out of interest and they'd never done one.

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2 hours ago, MarksST said:

You’ve not been ripped off.

what milage is the the car? Any history with it that might say it’s already been done? 
 

This lot have just got you stressed about it, phone around for prices and have it done when as soon as you can afford it.

Thanks Mark.  I paid £6k for vehicle - Mileage is £67k.  I've checked through the history and this is not one of the jobs that's been done yet.  Yeah I'm not going to lie as I do feel stressed out because I don't have that sort of money.  I'll try calling around tomorrow if possible.

 

4 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

I agree with Mark - you haven't, it's a normal service item, not a fault which has been dishonestly concealed from you.

Although always doing my homework before buying a car, I must admit I didn't spot the implications of the 1.0 ecoboost timing belt until threads on various issues cropped up on here.

My Mrs's car has the equivalent 1.0 3 cyl VW Group engine, though in non-turbo form, and that has a normal dry belt. The water pump drive is at the opposite end of the engine so you don't even need to change that as a precaution as part of the cambelt replacement. Belt change last year by the local garage was therefore £300-ish. 

There don't yet seem to be prices being quoted for the job, though, possibly because the very first 1.0 ecoboosts are only just coming up to the 10 year point. I asked my local garage out of interest and they'd never done one.

Thanks Eric.  There's a world of difference between £300 and approx £1000.  I appreciate that it doesn't need to be done as often, but the whole point of paying for this vehicle was to save money on road tax and insurance.  Instead I'm now going to pay through the nose to keep it running.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, fordfiesta2013mk7 said:

There's a world of difference between £300 and approx £1000.  

There is indeed, though I made the point in my earlier post that dealership prices for belt changes in other engines are getting near the 1.0 ecoboost, and these are normally 4/5 year intervals. 

Lower prices are available at independent garages, but that market does not seem to have developed for the 1.0 ecoboost as yet, possibly because so few have needed replacement so far.

The complexity of the job could also be a factor though. I found this short video clip of the operation (it's from Oz, but seems to be the right way up). 

It almost seems as if it was never intended to be changed and I have an idea at the back of my mind that when the 1.0 ecoboost was first revealed it was described as more or less unserviceable (apart from oil, plugs, etc) and the belt was intended to last for the life of the vehicle. Only subsequently was the 10 year change  mentioned. 

Anyone else remember that, or is my old memory playing tricks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Eric Bloodaxe
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12 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

It almost seems as if it was never intended to be changed and I have an idea at the back of my mind that when the 1.0 ecoboost was first revealed it was described as more or less unserviceable (apart from oil, plugs, etc) and the belt was intended to last for the life of the vehicle. Only subsequently was the 10 year change  mentioned.

Yes like you I remember the sales hype of the engine would last a life time, only needing plugs, oil, and filters.

The wet belts were most definitely promoted as lasting the life time of the engine (which is very true, but not probably in the way it was meant at the time). The idea was suggested that they would out live the useful life of the car exceeding 150,000 miles. Of course as it is well understood now that is like reaching for the stars, and at some point words were muttered of the need to replace the wet belts on or before 10 years of age or 150,000 miles which ever came first. However it now seems that 100,000 miles or 10 years is becoming the accepted change point.

I'm not sure how many miles or indeed how old people in general expect any regular car to last. My own thoughts is for most cars if they reach 18 years of age and or 150,000 miles then they would have met my expectations. Perhaps people expect cars to last much longer, but at some point all vehicles will eventually go to that great scrap heap in the sky !!

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37 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

There is indeed, though I made the point in my earlier post that dealership prices for belt changes in other engines are getting near the 1.0 ecoboost, and these are normally 4/5 year intervals. 

Lower prices are available at independent garages, but that market does not seem to have developed for the 1.0 ecoboost as yet, possibly because so few have needed replacement so far.

The complexity of the job could also be a factor though. I found this short video clip of the operation (it's from Oz, but seems to be the right way up). 

It almost seems as if it was never intended to be changed and I have an idea at the back of my mind that when the 1.0 ecoboost was first revealed it was described as more or less unserviceable (apart from oil, plugs, etc) and the belt was intended to last for the life of the vehicle. Only subsequently was the 10 year change  mentioned. 

Anyone else remember that, or is my old memory playing tricks?

18 minutes ago, unofix said:

Yes like you I remember the sales hype of the engine would last a life time, only needing plugs, oil, and filters.

The wet belts were most definitely promoted as lasting the life time of the engine (which is very true, but not probably in the way it was meant at the time). The idea was suggested that they would out live the useful life of the car exceeding 150,000 miles. Of course as it is well understood now that is like reaching for the stars, and at some point words were muttered of the need to replace the wet belts on or before 10 years of age or 150,000 miles which ever came first. However it now seems that 100,000 miles or 10 years is becoming the accepted change point.

I'm not sure how many miles or indeed how old people in general expect any regular car to last. My own thoughts is for most cars if they reach 18 years of age and or 150,000 miles then they would have met my expectations. Perhaps people expect cars to last much longer, but at some point all vehicles will eventually go to that great scrap heap in the sky !!

 

Thanks for the video link + info Eric & unofix.  Yes from the video it does look like a complex job.  I've been having a look on Autotrader & eBay at the many fords with 1.0 Ecoboost on sale - many haven't had any belt change and have done mileage in excess of 130k miles with their 10yr approaching.  I contacted one trader and he said that there are numerous garages, especially ones that regularly deal with Ford vehicles, who actually do have the specialist equipment required and can do a timing belt change for between £250 to £400 labour.  Don't forget it's Sunday so many garages are closed, so I'm going to call some more garages tomorrow to see what prices I can get.

Due to it's low mileage of 67k, I'll try to go easy on the engine by not gassing it so much and bide my time until I can afford it.   If you do know of any mechanic that can do it for cheap, then please do let me know.  Thanks.

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6 hours ago, fordfiesta2013mk7 said:

 

Thanks for the video link + info Eric & unofix.  Yes from the video it does look like a complex job.  I've been having a look on Autotrader & eBay at the many fords with 1.0 Ecoboost on sale - many haven't had any belt change and have done mileage in excess of 130k miles with their 10yr approaching.  I contacted one trader and he said that there are numerous garages, especially ones that regularly deal with Ford vehicles, who actually do have the specialist equipment required and can do a timing belt change for between £250 to £400 labour.  Don't forget it's Sunday so many garages are closed, so I'm going to call some more garages tomorrow to see what prices I can get.

Due to it's low mileage of 67k, I'll try to go easy on the engine by not gassing it so much and bide my time until I can afford it.   If you do know of any mechanic that can do it for cheap, then please do let me know.  Thanks.

The low mileage will help, however the age oft he belt will mean it will start degrading and as bits come off,t by will clog the oil pickup and starve the engine of oil, one of the biggest killers of this engine

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16 hours ago, fordfiesta2013mk7 said:

numerous garages, especially ones that regularly deal with Ford vehicles, who actually do have the specialist equipment required and can do a timing belt change for between £250 to £400 labour.

Please do let us know how you get on with this. That sort of figure seems very low for the amount of work involved, and is more the sort of figure we're seeing now for a major service at a franchise dealer.

If any specialists have worked out how to properly do the job for that kind of figure (plus parts), there'll be many members on here who would be very interested.

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