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Old 04-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #1
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SVT maintenance cost vs plain Focus

Hi - hope this is the right place to ask this. I'm looking to buy a used Focus for my son, and my last thread got moved twice! I was looking at a 2005 ST, but it was just a little more worn than I preferred (may take another look though), so now my attention has moved to a 2003 SVT. http://austin.craigslist.org/cto/3738028090.html

My question is, would I be getting into an expensive maintenance situation with a SVT? eg, are replacement parts for shocks, brakes, clutch more expensive? Part of the attraction of a domestic is cheaper parts, vs say a VW.

Anything in particular I should inquire about? I'll be asking when shocks, brakes, tires, clutch, timing belt were last worked on. I don't want to walk into major bills a month down the road if I can help it.

TIA


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Old 04-12-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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A little poking around the web may have answered my questions. Lots of alarm bells ringing for me now - expensive parts, frequent problems with clutch, etc. Am I just being a y?
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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Well, I bought my SVT a year ago, and already spent on parts about as much as the car cost me.
But, I bought it in bad shape and I knew it. Just really wanted to save it from junkyard.
SVT will cost you about same in maintenance as any Focus. There are some specific SVT parts on it, but most maintenance parts are the same, or are similar in price.
The reason why people spend more, in most cases, is because this car is so fun to drive... So it gets driven hard and often.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:49 PM   #4
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no frequent promblems should be same as any focus
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
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Well that makes me feel better. Any thoughts on price? It looks clean, I just talked to the guy on the phone, and he says all maintenance has been done on the recommended schedule at the same shop, (local). He couldn't remember exactly when clutch, timing belt were replaced, but thinks he did shocks about 20k miles ago. He has all the receipts, so I 'll check it tomorrow when I go take a look. I'm thinking I would have to knock off maybe $500 for timing belt and $1k for clutch if they need replacing soon.

I don't do my own work, but have a cool driveway mechanic that works on our cars for about 60% of what I get quoted at service shops. I asked him for recommendations on used cars for my teenager, and he suggested Focus or Escape for ease of work and cheap parts. Don't think he had SVT in mind though. I have a 2012 SHO, and my other kid has a 2001 Crown Vic, so he figured I like Fords. He totally warned me away from VW - says he hates working on them and the parts are expensive.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:33 AM   #6
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VW, pfaff.

Gotta make sure the t-belt has been done, or do it immediately.
Clutch parts can be had for like $400 shipped (improved from original, search LUK)

The rest is just old(er) used car.
You know the drill - payments and new-car warranty or used car and maintenance costs.

In any case, it's a worthy little bugger, and you get to laugh even harder at the VTEC's (Virtually Torque-less Economy Car... nowhere in there to put 'RICER', but you mean what I know, right?)

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Old 04-14-2013, 12:57 AM   #7
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The only two items that are of any major concern that are unique to the SVT are the clutch and timing belt. As far as the price, it seems reasonable for the year/mileage. Especially if he has service records available.

The SVT has an interference engine so if something happens to the timing assembly you could be in a rough spot where you could be replacing the head, valves, and possibly pistons. If the timing belt hasn't been done, or the guy isn't sure if it has, that should be priority number 1. The timing belt, idler, and tensioner are all equally as important. There have been just as many documented failures of the idler and tensioner as there have been of the belt. A failure of any one of those components will almost always result in bent valves at bare minimum.

The clutch issues aren't quite as serious. Ford issued a recall on the original Dual-Mass flywheels for all the SVT's due to issues with chatter in neutral and some just outright failing. If the clutch has been replaced its likely it has the updated revision installed.

The other concerns are ones you would have on any zetec focus. Stuff like thermostat housing leaking, valve cover gasket leaking, clutch master cylinder leaking, sway-bar end links breaking, 02 sensors, and that stupid plastic coolant line above the radiator bursting. It might be different items on the duratec focus but since I've never owned one I can't say.

When all is said and done though, I adore my SVT. Its can be quirky and frustrating at times, but when all is well its one of the funnest cars I've ever driven. Some parts are harder to find than a normal focus, but for most items it won't be any different. If you're willing to keep up on the maintenance items and stay ahead of the issues that will undoubtedly start cropping up on a ~10 year old car I would definitely say go for it.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:26 AM   #8
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Do keep in mind that ford does not make parts for this car anymore. The transmission can not be repaired, so I'm told. There are no replacement parts. I enjoy my svt focus exponentially more than the other 3 focuses I've owned, but it needs to be taken care of. 91octane and above, religously timely oil and trans fluid changes, letting it warm up and cool down, etc. And it will be a joy to drive. Oh, and check the carfax. 15 minutes after I signed my title did I find out that it had been totalled and not repaired properly.

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Old 04-14-2013, 04:25 AM   #9
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Moved to "Ford Focus & General Car Chat". The reason the threads were moved is because SVT Performance is to discuss engine performance mods and upgrades.
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