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Advice On Buying Second Hand Fiesta


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I am looking at buying a 1.25 Zetec Fiesta for £695 out of my local paper.

The advert reads as follows:

'FIESTA ZTEC 1999 65,000 miles, MOT Nov 14, Tax June 14'

I have spoken to seller over the phone and she is the 3rd owner from new - however she has only had car since December last year. She says she is selling it because her beetle was written off but she's now replaced that with another beetle (this car was only a temporary measure).

She also says her husband is a taxi driver who knows abit about cars and says Fiesta is a good one.

Could anyone advise me what to look out for when looking the car over (ie. known problems)?


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Don't want to pay AA or RAC if I can help it (~£150) - not really worth it on a car as cheap as this.

Just looking for some advice on pit falls of Fiesta of this age and mileage.

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As an owner and somebody who's done a lot of looking look for these:

Make sure it has been services every 10,000 miles and has had a cambelt done. Expensive job to to and it will kill your engine if it breaks.

Check for rust. Top of the arches isn't too serious, and affects a lot of cars. However check the sills, they can go and will cause it to fail an MOT.

Start the engine and listen to it from cold also, they're a bit clattery when cold, should be quiet when warm.

When in neutral lift the clutch too. Check how low it bites to see how good condition it is in, but also listen for a whine when it's up. This is the release/thrust bearing. They get noisy but make sure there's no big rattle when at low revs pulling in gear.

Check for any overheat or anything like that, and make sure the heater works and any other electrical items. The rear wipers can break due to the ground not working also.

Check for leaks around the sunroof (if it has one), and in the boot. This means slight rust around the bolt that lowers the spare wheel if water has gotten in there... Also with a smell. My back doors used to let water in since they were used so little, also.

Finally check the tyres on it. See how they're worn, if it's even and the brand. If they're all different no name tyres the car wasn't loved very much, and can have had a hard life meaning possible issues down the line.

Finally, take a look at the the overall condition and any more signs of a careless, abusive owner such as kerbed wheels, and bits that are broken and parking dents and such.

Good luck! The MK4 and 5 fiestas are great cars, handle well and the 16 valve engines love to rev.

Sent from my iPhone 5 using Ford OC mobile app

EDIT: As mentioned, it should has 2 keys. If not they're a lot to replace. And people that cut the parcel shelf up to install Speakers doesn't sound like little lady owner who treated it like a member of the family.

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Good advice by everyone.

Without doubt rust is the key issue with the MK4 + MK5 Fiesta. Check absolutely every nook and cranny, i.e. arches, sills, edge of doors + bootlid, underneath car.

This car may have an analogue or digital odometer. The analogue odometer does not have enough digits to represent mileage over 100,000. So when you get to 99,999, it effectively turns to 00000! So if it says 65,000 on the clock that could be 165,000 or more!! Therefore check all previous MOTs to verify.

I have had my 1999 MK4 1.25 Fiesta for over 5 years and have covered 70,000 miles without ever breaking down! The total mileage is 165,000 and is still going strong. You really can’t go wrong with these cars.

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Many thanks to everyone for their comments especially Jake90087!

You're welcome! Happy to help. Also; if you can take down the document number and numberplate of the car. Then you can use the DVLA website to see if the car the car's MOT history.

Sent from my iPhone 5 using Ford OC mobile app

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