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Buying a mk2 1.6. Thoughts?


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Hi everybody,

Looking at a 1.6 Focus as a first 'owned' car, although have been sharing a car for a year. My mate has a 1.4, which was woeful when I drove it but the 1.6 seems a bit better. Was looking at this one in particular:


Any thoughts on it? Any thing I should be looking out for in particular e.g major services that should've been done etc. I know about the whole spark plugs issue and rusty wheel arches. Also general car buying advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for any help!
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You've mentioned the Spark plug wells which is good, check when the Cam Belt was last done too. 


Things that have happened to mine during the last 18 months of ownership include:

  • Leaking Power Steering Fluid Reservoirour/ Pipe Connection
  • Cam Sensors
  • Instrument Cluster Dry Joints causing Immobiliser and Safe Mode issues.
  • Dodgy Key buttons
  • Coil Pack Connector perished

Nothing really expensive, just hassle.

I'd keep an eye on the VCT during a test drive, when accelerating hard the switch between cams should be smooth with no acceleration lumps.

The MPG is pretty poor around town, mins regularly around 28mpg after a tank of fuel, which given the roads and routes I am taking makes sense.

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The cars a 'non VCT' 1.6 (100ps, not the 115ps version - I checked on Ford Etis) so you won't have the problems associated with the VCT one. You'll also be looking at around 36 - 38 (I do 7 miles to and from work daily) average MPG unless you do a lot of long drives, (never seen 42mpg in mine even driving from Livingston to Birmingham) I've got the mk2 facelift and had it 2 1/2 years so far without any problems except a new calcium battery as the garage fitted a 'bog standard' lead acid when I bought it. Check if the cambelts been done (100,000 miles or 8 years whichever comes 1st) make sure the electrics are all working and the dash/display lights up as it should. Also check the coolant bottle cap unscrews easily and isn't sticking as they're known to seize up and break in the neck of the bottle. (No big deal to fix) Check the bonnet lock works as it should. If everything is as it should be I can't see you being disappointed.

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There is nothing wrong with the 1.4 Duratec (80 HP), 1.6 Duratec (100 HP) or the 1.6 Duratec TI-VCT (115 HP) Petrol engines that were used in the Focus MK2. 

There are only a few known problems on this type of engine:

* Water ingress between the spark plugs causing misfiring. This problem is caused by a design fault of the Focus MK2/MK2.5. The washer jets are not properly sealed inside the bonnet. This causes rain water to drip into the cilinder head cavities where the spark plugs are located. Resealing the washer jets is a cheap and easy fix. On the 1.6 Duratec (100 HP) the Volvo engine cover can be installed as a preventive measure. The 1.6 Duratec TI-VCT (115 HP) does not have mounting points for the Volvo engine cover.

* Defective coil pack. This type of engine has a single coil pack for all four cilinders. The coil pack is mounted very close to the engine. During time the heat of the engine causes the insulation material of the coil pack to deteriorate. This causes a defective coil pack which usually results in misfiring or the engine running not on all four cilinders. A defective coil pack can also be caused by incorect spark plug air gaps or deteriorated spark plug leads. All of these parts are pretty cheap to replace.

* The 1.6 TI-VCT can have defective actuators of the variable valve timing (VCT) system. The first symptoms of defective actuators are a rattling noise after a cold start. At a later stage this problem can result in slight hesitations of the engine, loss of power and the engine warning light being activated. This is considered as normal wear by Ford. Replacement of both actuators is pretty expensive. Parts alone will set you back about 700 pounds.


Apart from these known problems these are strong reliable engines. This type of engine is basically a further developed version of the older 1.4/1.6 Zetec S(E) engine. 

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another thumbs up for the 100 bhp 1.6 petrol engine.

easy to maintain and smooth & quiet.

you wont win any grand prix's with it but ts as reliable as the proverbial horse & cart :-)

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How often do these vct system fail? Are they that common in going. Mines only has 72,000 on clock.

Do I think about getting rid car before it happens.

But on that common threads fault I've already had most.


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If your gonna go for focus go for the 1.8 or the 2.0 the 1.6 has loads problems unless you strike lucky n get a good one. The 1.8 n 2.0 are solid
I have the 1.6 but no issues what so ever in 4 yrs of ownership. But its maintained at dealers without fail & still only done 60k miles.

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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