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Old 12-28-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
chemistkremer
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New Used Owner

I'd like to say a big hello to all the fellow FF owners out there, so far it has been an interesting time reading through all of the threads on here.

Before I continue, to the mods: if you deem this thread better fits somewhere else, please move it, but after some in depth searching I have not found a recent (past 3 months) thread such as this.

Anyway, I previously had been driving a 2000 Saab 9-5; while it i can be a wonderful car, mine had developed far too many issues to warrant continued service (I can/will do any and all repairs that do not involve removing major systems, machining parts, or rebuilding critical components). The alternator died 2 weeks ago, so I decided that coupled with a new job was a sign that I should move up in the world.

My car search was for either a late model focus, cruze lt, or a late model mazda3. In a perfect world, I would have purchased a 2014 Mazda3 HB 2.5 Grand Touring in a heartbeat. (If you have a chance to ever test one of those, I urge you to do so). My fiance has a '14 CX-5 Touring and even in hers, the 2.5 and a 6-speed auto is just butter especially on the freeway. So much passing power, so smooth, and GREAT mileage Knowing that I could not afford one, I kept my search realistic and stuck to gently used compact cars. That brings me to my recent purchase...

A local dealer was offering my purchase originally for around $13,5k but they were heavy on used foci and they admitted they were hurting for numbers (I like talking to dealers, so we chatted and it just came out) so the price was dropped to 12,9k. Now that was good but I was able to talk it down to 12,4k for everything (tax, tags, etc.).

It's a '12 Oxford White SEL (see pics below) with the standard SEL options (automatic climate control, piano black grille, fog lamps, etc.) and 35k miles. I was mildly aware of the issues other owners experience, mine was manufactured in april '12 and was a rental trade.

After my first 250 miles, I have little to complain about. It's still under warranty for 25k miles, the dealer put a lifetime engine warranty on it, with a $100 copay regardless of the repair, and while the powershift is interesting to drive, I am not really experiencing any problems others are. Though it didn't smell fantastic and the seats and ceiling needed a whole can of scotchgard upholstery cleaner, knowing it has 35k miles of different people driving it like anyone would a rental (and no problems to show for it) I would say I made out pretty well.


Therefore: I must ask,

1) What problems should I be aware of/look for? I drive 70 miles mixed every day, so preventative maintenance is my best friend.

2) What's the recommended oil brand. I only use full synthetic in any cars I own, and my fiance's calls for Castrol. I have a free change and tire rotation from the dealer but after that I will be changing it myself (doesn't void the dealer warranty, I asked)

3) What are the recommended mods? I'm not looking to do anything to the suspension, my route includes some roads in not-so-great shape, but other than that I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks in advance for taking a look!

(If you're in the market for a used Saab, hit me up....)






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Old 12-28-2013, 06:09 PM   #2
2013Tuxe
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Welcome!

Oil: I stick with the Ford Synthetic Blend, but that's because I have $11.95 oil change for life through the dealer (woot!). I also rarely keep a car beyond 4 years or 100k; I like new cars too much!

Check out the sticky with all the DIY mods...lots of options and relatively inexpensive(?!). I have only done a drop in filter (KN) and the snorkel delete (free!). The butt dyno approves of both!

Enjoy the Focus!
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Other than the DCT and MyFordTouch, those cars are reasonably trouble-free, so there isn't a lot to look for. If your Focus has accumulated 30k+ miles and DCT behavior is fine, you're probably good for the duration.

As far as oil goes, the one thing to keep in mind is that the Focus uses direct fuel injection. There are advantages to this, but two disadvantages are 1) potential intake valve deposits as the air fuel mixture doesn't wash over the intake valves like in a typical FI engine and fuel dilution of the oil.

To combat intake valve deposits look for an oil with low Noack volatility and good Teost values. These measures indicate how much oil evaporates and may be drawn into the the PCV system for deposit on intake valves (Noack) and how many deposits may be result (Teost). Pennzoil Ultra is a great synthetic with great Noack values and good Teost results. Castrol Edge with Titanium has low Teost values and pretty good Noack results. Both are mass-market oils with good availability. Amsoil SS is another good choice but is more expensive and typically available only by mail or through Amsoil's Amway-style distributor network.

Fuel dilution is somewhat inevitable, but if your driving style includes lots of cold starts, short trips, etc., don't extend your oil change intervals too much.

Good luck with the new car!
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:57 PM   #4
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Hey, I see you are in York, PA as well.... mind if I ask which dealer you bought your Focus from?
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
chemistkremer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan50 View Post
As far as oil goes, the one thing to keep in mind is that the Focus uses direct fuel injection. There are advantages to this, but two disadvantages are 1) potential intake valve deposits as the air fuel mixture doesn't wash over the intake valves like in a typical FI engine and fuel dilution of the oil.


Fuel dilution is somewhat inevitable, but if your driving style includes lots of cold starts, short trips, etc., don't extend your oil change intervals too much.

Good luck with the new car!
Thanks! My Saab is/was direct injection, so it was all synthetic there too. I've never been comfortable with >5k intervals, even if the manual says it's okay. I've seen a good share of horror stories when the oil has been neglected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2013Tuxe View Post
Welcome!

Oil: I stick with the Ford Synthetic Blend, but that's because I have $11.95 oil change for life through the dealer (woot!). I also rarely keep a car beyond 4 years or 100k; I like new cars too much!

Check out the sticky with all the DIY mods...lots of options and relatively inexpensive(?!). I have only done a drop in filter (KN) and the snorkel delete (free!). The butt dyno approves of both!

Enjoy the Focus!
Thanks! I have checked it out so far, and there are a few things which look good but overall I am surprised there are not as many DIY threads as with other vehicles. I am thinking about the filter and snorkel, as well as mudflaps. I want heated seats but would pretty much only do it if I could get the system out of a wrecked Focus, I just don't like the look of the DIY ones

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Originally Posted by DougC View Post
Hey, I see you are in York, PA as well.... mind if I ask which dealer you bought your Focus from?
Saw some of your posts actually and then saw your location. No surprise which emporium you got yours from.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:20 AM   #6
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