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Old 05-15-2011, 01:16 PM   #1
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Newb lookin to buy a focus

Hey guys, I am looking for advice on buying a Focus. First I want to start by telling you guys that I drive 25+ miles to work one way every day. At present I am driving a 98 Jeep Cherokee that gets about 17 MPG on a good day driving 95% on the interstate. I started looking at selling my Jeep to get a car that gets 30mpg+ on the interstate (and has four doors for the kiddo), but dont want a car payment. This means I will have $5000 or less to spend. This leaves me with cars over 200k miles or crappy hyundais and neons. But recently came across a couple of cars I like. The first is a silver2000 ZTS sedan with a manual tranny and 138,000 miles for $3950. I also found a blue 2001 SE sedan with a manual tranny and 144,000 miles for $3995.

My questions involve fuel economy and dependability. First, will a Focus really get 30+ mpg on the interstate? Secondly, am i risking a lot buying one with that many miles? I know for a fact my Jeep with 172,000 miles still has at least 2 good years left in it. That 4.0 straight six will go 200k without breaking a sweat. Will a focus last till 200k?

When looking at these cars, are there any specific things I should look for? Do they tend to rust anywhere specific? Do interior panels wear out anywhere? Any electrical issues to check for? Timing Belt issues?

Im really ready to stop forking over $300/month in gas.


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Old 05-15-2011, 02:31 PM   #2
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If you can bump up your budget just a bit, I think you can do better....
Trading in what you know (the Jeep) for what you don't know could be risky if you're looking at a high-mile vehicle.

'04 ZX3, 87k
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false

'02 ZTS sedan, 94k
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false

'05 ZX4 sedan, 96k
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...standard=false


I would stay away from the '00 and '01 models.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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Well that pretty much answers that. I have no credit to get a car loan even if i wanted a car payment (which I dont). I am already paycheck to paycheck, and I will be lucky to get $4k out of my jeep. So upping my budget is a no-go for sure. I guess I will just continue to fund big oil.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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Cool just food for thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkeraviator View Post
Hey guys, I am looking for advice on buying a Focus. First I want to start by telling you guys that I drive 25+ miles to work one way every day. At present I am driving a 98 Jeep Cherokee that gets about 17 MPG on a good day driving 95% on the interstate. I started looking at selling my Jeep to get a car that gets 30mpg+ on the interstate (and has four doors for the kiddo), but dont want a car payment. This means I will have $5000 or less to spend. This leaves me with cars over 200k miles or crappy hyundais and neons. But recently came across a couple of cars I like. The first is a silver2000 ZTS sedan with a manual tranny and 138,000 miles for $3950. I also found a blue 2001 SE sedan with a manual tranny and 144,000 miles for $3995.

My questions involve fuel economy and dependability.
First, will a Focus really get 30+ mpg on the interstate? Secondly, am i risking a lot buying one with that many miles? I know for a fact my Jeep with 172,000 miles still has at least 2 good years left in it. That 4.0 straight six will go 200k without breaking a sweat. Will a focus last till 200k?

When looking at these cars, are there any specific things I should look for? Do they tend to rust anywhere specific? Do interior panels wear out anywhere? Any electrical issues to check for? Timing Belt issues?

Im really ready to stop forking over $300/month in gas.
Yes a focus can get over 30MPG but depends a lot on your driving and the condition of the car and engine.

Personally I would stay away from 2000-2001 I have heard these cars some might have issues they were first gen.

Picture this just for kicks.

2011 Ford Focus SE
201A
Appearance package
Invoice $18400
-2000 rebate
-$5000 down
a good rate of 4.9% 6 year term
$183 a month

vs

$4000 used ford focus with over 140k miles
risking a old car being a money pit or needing a new engine
lets say the car last 2 years and you spend $400 in repairs $4400 total divided by 24 months equals $183.33 plus your without a car again or you continue to repair and deal with the headache of a old car

now remember you can actually find a ford focus 2011 new for less the SE with those packages is pretty well equipped there are other SE less equipped for a savings of about $300 or going with a base S model and manual you could be at a potential $150 a month with $5000 down a $2000 rebate and 4.9% over 6 years
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:48 PM   #6
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There aren't too many 2011's left for sale, so hurry if interested.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:39 AM   #7
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I guess you guys missed the part where I dont want a car payment? I havent had acar payment in over 10 years, and now isnt the time to start with my pay about to get cut, and I am already paycheck to paycheck... I want to go to a focus to save money on gas... what good would that do if my car payment was more than teh money i save on gas....

besides that, i dont have the credit to buy a pack of gum...
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:48 AM   #8
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honestly i would keep looking a little bit more. anything with that high of miles i would make sure it was a zetec, not a spi, unless you want to either change valve seats or take a risk of dropping them. focus WILL get over 30 mpg as long as you drive it easy and its got a good tune-up.
louisvillle craigslist has alot better deals than what youve found. 03 svt $2200 i thikn if ya keep looking youll find exactly the car ya want at a price ya can afford http://louisville.craigslist.org/cto/2384697487.html
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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focus is a great car i owned 3 already very dependable also my mom and mother in law own one think you could find one for that money with less miles check craigslist.org good luck
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:31 PM   #10
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what they are saying here is that will the engine will run forever, many of the things attatched to it will fail. A high mileage focus is not a bad thing, but it needs to have been properly maintained. Find out as much as you can about the car first, its history is very important. Is rust an issue in KY? Do you have basic mechanical knowledge to maintain your focus yourself? You basically would need to decide if some basic work now and then would be worth it for the huge fuel savings.

I drive an 01 ZX3 and that engine has been perfect, however I have replaced many failed parts such as themostat housing, cv joints, tie rod ends as well as anually performing rust repair after a winter of road salt. I have also replaced many parts that had been normally worn and added some performance parts, but all this still costs less than my former car payment.

On a side note, if you could find out if a smaller part of the price of the car could be financed with the majority being a down-payment from your jeep, this would be a great way to start improving your credit. Banks are much more willing to lend if you are paying for more than half of the vehicle up front as it reduces thier risk.
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