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1.8Tddi Zetec Diesel

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Just wanted everyones experience and opinions on this particular model

Just got rid of a fiat brava mainly because got 2 kids and another due in October. Had spent a bit on the car and to be honest seemed like the head gasket was on it's way out. Also it was returning summat like 20 mpg when a few months ago it was doing 30+. Also tax was up

Ive been after a focus for a while , nice look good reviews , very popular car , millions of owners cant be wrong can they?

So when I saw this particular model on the forecourt I compared it to their other 10 focuses and this one came out on top every time

103k , 3 previous owners, there was however no service history which was a bit of a concern

First thing I did on Monday was to have new cambelt fitted and as soon as I have 100 quid spare next month I'm having a full service done

So guys give me all your experience , will this cat keep me happy than the 4 years I had the brava? What problems should I look out for? What are the benefits of a 1.8 diesel? Basically have I bought a good car?

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i've got a 2000 1.8 tddi focus cl (same engine as the zetec i believe) and i can honestly say that it has not missed a beat since i bought it a year ago. like you i also had no service history and it was on 99K, i have heard of these doing well over 300k, i curently get roughly 50mpg on a run so it looks likeyou made a wise decision

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Well I can probably put your mind very much at ease. I have that very model.

Mine is a 1999 Focus 1.8TDDi Zetec, a 5-door hatch. I bought mine in October 2004 and have had it ever since.

When I bought my car, it was showing just below 127,000 miles. Mine had previously been a lease car, but was leased as a company car for a sales rep. It's 127k had been done by one driver who had had the car serviced more or less bang on each of it's 10,000 mile service intervals, and I got a full history book with the car.

My car now has 205,000 miles on the clock. It has passed every MoT since I got it, only picking up a couple of advisories along the way for brake pipe rust (which you will get through time, regardless what car you own!)

The TDDi engine has a couple of so-called "common" failures, but truthfully one isn't as common as websites such as Honest John would have you believe.

The truthful biggest weak point on the TDDi engine is the electronic fuel injection pump. This failed on mine when it was on 198,000 miles. A replacement "virgin" reconditioned pump from a Bosch specialist cost me an eye-watering £450. I then shelled out extra for new fuel injection pipes, seals, pulleys, and a timing belt kit. And including buying tools to get the job done (Timing pin set and a special torx socket), it then came to £700, but I saved on labour costs by fitting it myself.

Don't panic that you have bought a bad car, as this fault is not just a Focus failing! This type of Bosch fuel pump is the weak point on a number of different models - the MK4 Astra/MK2 Vectra 1.7DTi, Audi A4s, and others - anything with the fly-by-wire Bosch fuel pumps basically. The failure is typically a little sensor inside the pump. There are places which will take your pump and repair the electronics which would be substantially cheaper than a reconditioned pump like I fitted on my car.

The other reported "common" failure is big &/or small end bearing failure, usually number 3 cylinder. I think this has actually been a result of a bad batch of shells to be honest, because the ones I have known to fail have all been on similarly aged cars, so I don't think this is as common a failure as some websites would have you believe.

Other than my fuel pump going, the only failures on my car have been: 1 - a leaking fuel injection pipe shortly after I bought it (Cost me about £25 for a new set of injection pipes), and 2 - a burst turbo boost hose (I have now replaced all mine with silicone items which totalled around £60 - cheaper than replacing them with Ford items!).

Then beyond that it's been the sort of typical wear and tear items you might expect to have to replace on any car if it's done a lot of miles - Suspension ball joints (anti-roll bar links go quickly, particularly with the very very well maintained roads in the UK :-P), brake discs and pads, wheel bearings.

Benefits of the 1.8TDDi is that, besides the dodgy Bosch fuel pumps, they are relatively bomb-proof. As long as you change the oil, coolant and filters regularly, then you should have very few problems. Timing belts are, according to Ford, every ten years or 100,000 miles depending which comes first, but I would recommend doing them sooner (the belts can last 100,000 miles. The tensioner pulleys, however, cannot).

My 1.8TDDi has consistently delivered between 45 and 50MPG, which should be pleasing to you if you have been used to around 30.

I also think the TDDi engine has plenty of get-up-and-go. Granted, newer TDCi engines are much faster, however you pay for that with more fragile parts ready to go wrong and cost you a lot of money (Expensive fuel injectors, dual mass flywheels, etc. etc.).

So, have you bought a good car? Well I've done 78,000 miles in mine over 7 and a half years. So I would say so!


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I part exed my 1999 TDDI in for a TDCI version a few years back... The car was nudging the wrong side of 280,000 miles, and was running perfectly, and had been a very reliable car... As a precaution i had a new gearbox fitted when the clutch eventually went, simply because the car had exceeded a quarter of a million miles by that stage!

The old girl soldiering on...


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Can i ask how much did it cost you to have the timing belt and tensioner replaced? Mine will need it doing soon and im not going to risk doing it myself, Also am i right in saying the 1.8tddi has both belt and chain? Im sure i read that somewhere on the net if so when does the chain need doing?

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