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Old 01-13-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
gambitraven
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Looking to buy a 2002

I found a 2002 for sale Its a SE 4 door automatic. I dont know anything about these cars figure id Ask you guys here on the forum.
The pros
one owner
garage kept
well maintained
the cons
need new timing belt
vibration in idle (it had a recent repairs done to motor mounts and still has vibration)
High miles 160k

owner is selling because she bought a newer focus 2012. I want to know if known issues or annoyances I should know about. And anything else I should be aware of the car. The car visually is in good shape.
Thank you for you time.


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Old 01-13-2013, 09:53 PM   #2
calebstubstad
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ask what engine it has. whether it's the SPI or the zetec, se's had either of them. i've heard
things about the timing belt on here alot, so look into it, as i'm still learning more than anything. there's guys on here with cars upwards of 200k miles, but the SPI's are known to drop the valve seat around 120k, so that's a little sketchy. the vibration could just mean the ecu needs a reset, that helped mine (2000 LX) a little bit, but also ask around more. hope this helps a little, but alot more info is needed that that before a verdict can be made. hope it works out for you!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
calebstubstad
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oh, and
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
Luis360
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if its an SPI dont get it
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:12 AM   #5
tmittelstaedt
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If the valve cover is black and says Zetec, it's a winner.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:46 AM   #6
amc49
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The bad motor will say 'split port on' top or 8th digit of VIN will be the letter 'P', don't get that one....................
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
my_beautious_ZX3
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if you're not in a hurry, then hold out for a 2003 or later. I've seen various repair surveys that list the 2000-2002 Focus as being at the bottom of reliability, and the 2003-later as being better. The Focus was a new product in 2000, and it took a couple of years for them to straighten the mess out. I've got a 2002 and it's the biggest piece of crap I've ever owned or worked on. My mechanic has been in business for 30 years and he says the same thing.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:31 PM   #8
239rsw
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I have a '02 zetec and have 305K. Replaced timing belt at around 290K when I heard the ticking sound and it was loosing power. Replaced front suspension few times but some of them were not necessary. Replaced front wheel bearing maybe 3 times. Bottom line, I am happy. I used it to load the lumber for my new deck. What's bothering me now is the rad fan resistor, which was replaced twice and it is gone again.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #9
amc49
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If a zetec, the biggest problem will be the fuel pump issue. I have both a '00 and '02, both needed fuel pump yanked to clean the screens. No new parts bought for that at all. In addition I looked into all recall issues to resolve them, most were non-existent problems or I did a preemptive strike on them to stop it. I would describe the cars as fairly reliable. Even the '03 and later were getting new engines, so still potential trouble there........

239rsw, if the resistors are simply popping the thermal breaker in resistor to make for no power to fans then fan motor(s) could be old enough so that amp requirements have gone up to pop the breaker over and over. Meaning motor may need changing. If melting the connector, it is too small. I rebuilt mine using same guts from resistor but without the breaker and ran bigger wires with positive screw down bolts for good connection. Cost maybe $10 and been working fine for a good while now, I look at the connections for signs of heating but nothing yet.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:04 PM   #10
p58ff
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I've a 2002 SPI, 4-door sedan with the automatic with 175000 miles. Got it through a bank repo auction about 6 years ago and it had led a hard life I think.

I've replaced the sway bar end links, brake shoes/discs, timing belt and water pump. The latter since it was easier to get to when the car was opened up. Did the motor mount last month. I did rear shocks too. I've also replaced the usual stuff like plugs and wires.

It's collected one deer and more recently a plastic, 5-gallon paint bucket at road speed. It served my ex-GF well during trips from Virginia to South Carolina and now is my primary commute vehicle. It was her commuter too for a few years. I drive 60 miles round trip every day, 5 days a week.

I read a lot about the SPI grenading itself and mine may do that tomorrow but I've yet to see scores of them along side of the road dead and smoking.

Change the oil, don't rag it out and I bet you could end up with a good little vehicle.

Last edited by p58ff; 01-16-2013 at 06:06 PM. Reason: syntax
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