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Old 04-18-2014, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Keep in mind too, that when searching for used cars, typically people only get rid of used cars that aren't working correctly. The trick is figuring out what the real reason is for getting rid of the car. That being said, there are some cars that have "problems" which are not really problems if you know what it is. The Duratec engine in your 07 is one of those. Around 100k give or take it will start to develop a sound like bad valves, but it's the intake manifold.
Oh, really? Is there a comprehensive list of things like this for the Dtec? I just have the Haynes manual, and have been using that for everything since we got it.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:25 PM   #12
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Here's a thread with a good picture of the IMRC moveable "tumble flaps" in the intake manifold:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=358617

A tapping noise from these is quite common, and can be mistaken for valve noise or something else serious.

They can wear out to the point of not working at high mileage, intake can be replaced (new or used) or they can even be removed & the holes plugged off (info. in the Duratec performance section).

Noise could concern someone enough to sell the car off cheaply when worried about internal engine issues, that's what Whynot was referring to IMHO.

There isn't a list of concerns for the duratecs as they've been quite reliable.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Keep in mind too, that when searching for used cars, typically people only get rid of used cars that aren't working correctly.
Where is that written?
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:24 PM   #14
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Not always "broken", but except for folks who trade in on a schedule it's quite common to get rid of a car when deciding not to put any more money into it.

Might be tires & brakes, thinking it'll need a clutch soon, on SVT's they often change hands when the Timing Belt is due for replacement - lots of reasons.

Sometimes you pick one up AFTER a lot of repairs - when someone decides on a newer car B4 putting any more into their old one.

In a private sale trying to get an idea of why it's being sold can help give you an idea what you're getting into. Can't trust all the stories, but if it matches what you see in front of you it can help.

My Focus was a one owner trade in, and the evidence matched the story. Family car needed a good cleaning (found toys, change, wrappers & goo under the rear seat where they didn't clean). Tires & brakes shot (replaced by dealer), needed service (new fuel filter, Oil & filter change by dealer). Typical for being traded when in need of major servicing.

Changing needs/desires can get you a good one, like when a new family makes it time to get rid of a sporty car or a two door model. The folks who got a hatch from me (2 yr old) when I sold it to finance a sports car got a good deal, and I got a decent price - good all around. I got rid of it when still in nice shape for good $ & got something I wanted more at the time - one of the better deals I've made. Car was practical but I didn't "Love it", better for folks who wanted practical & comfortable and didn't care about sporty handling feel. (Plymouth Champ (Mitsubishi FWD) for a FIAT X1/9 - do it when you can!)

You'll notice that example was near new, if it was older there would have been more needs - private owner seldom replaces tires just to make a sale! Heck, I remember trading a Cycle when it needed a new rear tire - that one only got tune-ups when I owned it.

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Old 04-21-2014, 07:24 PM   #15
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My little 2005 ST is running great. Bought it with 74k and did simple maintenance. It's up to 83k now. Still a decent car. I don't actually know if it's reliable. I had a CRX go to 247k without much repair. Also a 94 Civic that went to 181k.

Once a car breaks past the 150k barrier and doesn't take more than CV boots and an alternator, I'll give it my seal of approval.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Keep in mind too, that when searching for used cars, typically people only get rid of used cars that aren't working correctly. The trick is figuring out what the real reason is for getting rid of the car.
While I think this is very good advice, it might be a little overly pessimistic. A lot of people do sell vehicles because of mechanical problems (I have in the past), but that is not the only reason people sell their used cars. they might just want a larger car, or a smaller car, or a faster car, or a more fuel efficient car. Maybe they lost their job and can't make the payments, maybe they just got promoted and can afford a nicer car. Maybe their grandmother just passed away, and they are selling the car she drove to church and home and nowhere else.... They may just be bored with the car they have driven for the last 11 years that has never let them down... (the reason I may sell my focus).

Just because a used car is for sale does not automatically mean there is something wrong with it. though you should always approach with caution, it is not impossible (or even really all that difficult) to find a good used car.
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