Looking to buy Focus Wagon
Looking to buy used stock Focus Wagon for family car. Wanting Auto trans. Anything I need to be aware of? What years and trims are have the best reliability and economy? Thanks
Welcome to FF!
Moved to "Ford Focus & general car chat" for some quicker answers.
Here's a recent thread on a similar search:
06-07. 08+ Wagons were not offered.
I didn't say 05 because the first year there were some "problems". Not real problems, just that the improvements in 06 and 07 are worth finding one of those if possible. The ATX always has it's problems, but those aren't real problems- it's the same for all modern automatics, the shift solenoids can fail. This one has no more problems than others. Another issue is the wrong fluid being used by oil change places. I would recommend always taking the car in to a dealer for AT fluid/filter changes if you're not doing it yourself.
ALL Focus wagons have issues with eating up rear tires. This can be solved by purchasing and installing one of 2 parts. 1) Adjustable upper control arms which cost about $180/pr and are cheaper to install. 2) Adjustable camber bolt which costs about $14, but requires cutting a part off of the brake backing plate. Not a big deal really, the directions explain it all. After that the camber can be set to -1 and you won't eat up tires on the inside of the tread in the rear.
The specific issues that I referred to with the 05 are more of a matter of inconvenience. There is a long/hard start issue that is only in this YM. I've been dealing with it for 160k miles. I don't even flinch any more. I turn the engine over, if it doesn't start in 1 sec, then I stop, turn off, and crank again- it always starts immediately. If you don't follow that procedure, then you can crank for 10 secs or so, and sometimes it starts- sometimes not. It will always start when you turn it off and start a second time. This has to do with too much air being allowed in so the startup mix is not rich enough. It's worse in cold weather with a cold engine.
The second 05 only issue is that the thermostat is 160F instead of 194F. This reduces fuel economy, and makes it take longer to warm the cabin in cold weather. It was changed in 06 with the addition of a temp sensor in the thermostat housing. Brace yourself- for the 05 the thermostat housing and thermostat (one piece) is $175. For the 06-07 it is $225. Replacement requires the removal of the intake manifold as well!!! Fortunately I haven't had to change mine in 170k miles. In fact I haven't changed much in 170k miles and 9 years that is out of the ordinary.
Alternator went at 140k or so.
CV axles went at 120k
I replaced the battery at the same time as the alternator.
The serpentine belt was replaced at 120k with the alternator.
Coil boots ($5ea) were replaced at 80k, and need some now.
The belt tensioner was replaced at the same time because I'm nutty like that.
The radio went out at about 150k.
The license plate lights went out at about 90k or so.
Shocks were replaced for HP shocks at 50k when I put the SVT 4 whl disc brake kit on.
That's about all I can think of. There are things wrong with my car that haven't been fixed, like the shifter boot (5 spd) broke and I haven't installed a new one yet. These cars don't have the ignition switch problems of the 00-04 models.
OH... all Duratec engines have a problem that sounds like bad valves. Use a mechanic's stethoscope trick and listen to the intake manifold and the valve cover. You'll quickly find out that the sound is coming from the intake and the valves are super quiet. This is due to the "tumble flaps". Some people have had problems with the tumble flap shaft penetrating the intake manifold and causing a vacuum leak. I have not had that problem and my flaps have been clacking away for more than 50k miles now.
To repair, the intake manifold should be replaced for about $300 with a new intake manifold. You might be able to find a used intake for $100, but that's getting more and more doubtful in these later years.
I find these cars for sale all the time fairly cheaply because someone has gone through BS with a mechanic to repair the "valves". Of course, the valves never get repaired because that's not the problem. Eventually they find out that it's the intake and freak out because they've already spent so much on it. The car ends up for sale cheap. Find one of those, and you'll be set. Honestly, I can't tell you which tumble flaps will cause a no-run situation, and which won't. I can tell you that the tumble flap is too big to fit through the valve so it won't get sucked into the engine. I've never heard of one falling off anyway. There has only been one instance on this forum where bad tumble flaps caused a no-run problem where the intake manifold was cracked.
I think it's a just a good way to talk someone down on price.
I have an 01 and an 05 currently.
My 05 seems quieter to me, and the facelifted interior less chintzy. Just my opinion. I have all new OEM engine mounts in the 01, and the 05 still seems quieter.
I like the Duratec engine in my 05 better than the Zetec in my 01.
I have not had the hard starting issue the 2005 cars supposedly have. Never once has our 05 exhibited any starting issue. Not saying it doesn't exist, just that it has never happened to me.
Ours (05) has right at 99k miles and has a slight tick. I have a new intake manifold sitting on the shelf in my garage awaiting warm weather for installation. I could probably drive it the way it is for a long time, but I'm anal like that, so I'm going to replace it.
I would buy another 05+ wagon in a second. Earlier car...hmm, would have to think about it. Probably. I settled for the 01 even though I would have rather had the later style since stick shift wagons were so hard to find. The 05+ stick wagons seem harder to locate than the earlier cars, and an early stick happened to pop up for sale near me so I grabbed it. Was a right place right time kind of thing.
Lack of a timing belt on the 05+ cars is a bonus in my book. The powerband of my 05 seems better suited for city traffic than my 01. Seems gutsier down low. The Zetec, I feel like I have to rev it out more. Might be in my head.
Other posters are correct that the rear tire wear is an issue. More apparent on my 01 car than my 05. I have new adjustable MOOG rear arms for the 2001 that are also awaiting the nicer weather when I can work on my car in the driveway. Too cold now, and my garage too full of kayaks and bikes and motorcycles to make room for a non urgent repair right now.
My advice would be to buy the newest wagon you can find with the lowest miles and best history. They are all starting to age by this point, so the newer the better in general.
In my area, wagons are hard to come by used. When they do pop up, they sell fast and for a premium over the other body styles. This is what happens when hardly anyone has built a good small wagon for a while. The good used ones get sought after. Most manufacturers moved into crossovers and abandoned small station wagons. As time has gone on, small wagons have become harder and harder to find in good shape, and the ones that are left tend to hold value and or sell quickly. At least in my experience. On the coasts, where wagons may be easier to find, this may be less the case. Manual transmission wagons are like pink unicorns with three legs in these parts, but since you're looking for a slushbox, your search will be much easier.
If Ford sold a new Focus station wagon in the USA, I'd go down this week and buy one. But they don't, so it might be a Subaru or VW for me at some point when the 01 bites it.
I have an 07 wagon automatic with about 70k miles on it and I have had no real issues....couple of posts on this forum for minor issues but I haven‘t had any big issues. Never had any issues with the rear tires but I have had the squeak issue with where the ebrake cables go through the mtela hoops...fixed with a piece of garden hose. Still has all original front end. I always ensure it is well maintained and under coated each year. For a smaller vehicle you can pack a lot of stuff in it.
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