Is Ford Focus MK2 1.8 TDCI (2004-2011) a Reliable Car?

Ford Focus MK2 is one of the common compacts that has managed to fight for the market with the strongest competitors, such as Volkswagen Golf or Toyota Corolla. Buying this car is not particularly risky, although overall operating costs can be relatively high.

It is known for a long time that the aftermarket is occupied by diesels, but the fear of high repair or exploitation costs is starting to intensify. Hardly any diesel engine can be said to be reliable and reliable.

The Ford Focus MK2 looks most attractive with diesel under the hood, and although the successful 1.6 TDCI engine fits it like a glove, it has its drawbacks that can cause a lot of trouble.

This engine has often been combined with a diesel particulate filter, and is fragile in some areas. However, we will look at a different diesel mounted under the hood of the second generation Focus. I am talking about a Ford 1.8 TDCi engine.

Read Also: Which Renault Vel Satis (2001-2009) Engine To Avoid?

Focus MK2 Characteristics and construction

Ford Focus MK2 made its debut in 2004 as the successor to the very successful Focus I. Ford decided on a less daring styling, but improved the Focus in every way to make it ready to fight for the market not only with Golf, Corolla or Astra, but also with modern French.

The car retained its greatest advantages, i.e. sensational suspension and good functionality, and at the same time raised the bar in every respect. Even today, the Focus MK2 can be considered a very modern and contemporary car.

The car was sold in several body versions as hatchbacks, sedans, station wagons and even a hardtop convertible. In addition, the Ford C-max is also a Focus, but with a minivan body.

The interior will easily accommodate a full set of passengers, it is well made and it is difficult to have any objections to it. The trunk of the hatchback holds a solid 385 liters of packages, the estate 482 liters, and the sedan as much as 526 liters.

The suspension of the Focus is a MacPherson strut for the front axle and a multi- link at the rear. The steering gear is hydraulically assisted, and the rear brake discs are found in the vast majority of models.

The car was equipped well, usually cars have at least manual air conditioning and ABS, the ESP system is less common.

Focus MK2 has become much safer, more mature, but also heavier than its predecessor, also stylistically. It was refreshed in 2008 and production stopped in 2011.

Focus MK2 Engines

The range of Focus MK2 engine is very rich in both petrol and diesel engines. The first group is opened by a very weak 1.4-liter engine with only 80 HP.

The 1.6 16V engine, which is quite lively in Focus I, is a much better choice, although it lost its temper in Focus MK2. However, it is the most reliable and recommended workhorse that can endure a lot.

Virtually everything except gas operation. Larger 1.8 and 2.0 liter engine can be recommended to those who care about dynamics.

The ST version with the 2.5-liter turbo engine was also sold, as well as the hardcore RS version, but this is a completely different car.

There is no less variety in diesels. Generally, the engines can be divided into three groups of capacities: 1.6 l, 1.8 l and 2.0 l. Individual varieties of these engine differ in power and, therefore, also in design solutions.

Who wants a cheap, reliable and simple engine, chooses the 1.6 TDCI from PSA concern with 90 HP. This engine has a fixed geometry turbocharger and neither a dual mass wheel nor a diesel particulate filter.

The more powerful 109-horsepower version has it all, although there are cars without a particulate filter. On the other side there is also the French top diesel 2.0 TDCI, which gives the driver 110 or 136 hp and provides sensational dynamics, but is difficult to access because buying a new car with this engine was expensive.

Moreover, this engine of all diesels will generate the highest repair costs, although it is very reliable and durable.

In the middle is our hero of the episode, a Ford 1.8 TDCI engine that generates 100 or 115 HP. The latter variant is more popular. Compared to the French Focus MK2 engines, this one is already outdated, it even has a cast iron cylinder head.

However, today it seems to be its greatest advantage. Although it has Common Rail injection, we will not find a diesel particulate filter. And that’s a lot when it comes to a fairly old diesel.

What’s Common Problems On Focus MK2?

So let’s continue the topic of the engine that we have chosen for today’s material. Although the opinions about Ford diesels are not the best, and the 1.8 TDCI engine still remembers the times of Sierra and Escort, the latter, driving the Focus, is a successful design.

  1. Serious defects are very rare, and if there are problems, they are not particularly expensive to remove. One thing’s for sure – it doesn’t have a diesel particulate filter, and it was the only Focus MK2 diesel that had never been fitted.
  2. However, we do not have certain information about the injection system. We found out in the Ford service that only Siemens piezoelectric injectors were installed in the 1.8 TDCI engine since 2004. They are very durable and refined, but remanufacturing is virtually impossible and the parts are expensive.
  3. However, from an independent workshop dealing with the regeneration of diesel injection systems, we allegedly obtained certain information that the 100 hp Focus featured electromagnetic Delphi injectors, and thus not durable, but very simple and cheap to regenerate.
  4. The same source claims that the 115hp version was equipped with Siemens piezoelectric injectors, as stated by Ford Dealership. Anyway, the purchase of the 115 HP version is best preceded by checking the injection system, because spending a few thousand dollars on new injectors for a “good morning” can discourage you from this model.
  5. The sensors in a Ford engine can fail, especially the position sensor of the camshaft and crankshaft. One of the known ailments is also damage to the intercooler intake pipe. The turbocharger is cheap to repair. Other elements show virtually no weaknesses. The timing system drives a durable and secure belt, but it does not directly connect the crankshaft to the camshaft, but the camshaft to the injection pump. The pump is driven by a chain connected to the crankshaft. Later, the chain was replaced with a belt in an oil bath.
  6. Dual mass wheels wear out quite quickly, but a lot depends on the way they are used. It is no secret that Focuses are often driven by people who have never heard and do not know what dual mass is and the effect of this is its accelerated wear.
  7. The second reason is the assembly of the self-adjusting clutch without the use of a special assembly tool. Yes, replacement is possible without it, but then you should not expect the factory durability of the clutch and the mass flywheel. It is also necessary to remember to replace the central slave cylinder with the clutch.
  8. In the chassis of the Focus MK2, although it is quite complicated, we will not find any surprises. Its durability can be considered as good, although compared to structures based on a torsion beam or Japanese multi-link, it is at best average. Every 80,000–100,000 km, it is best to replace the set of rear axle wishbones. The use of good quality parts and replacement of the set can bring more benefits than replacing one element at a time.
  9. Some mechanics risk replacing the wishbone bushings themselves, which is not the best idea due to their rather delicate design. In the front swingarm, it is exactly the opposite. If the mechanic has the appropriate tools, he should only replace the bushings and the riveted bolt. To regain the sensational handling of the Focus MK2, it is best to also invest in shock absorbers.
  10. The braking system is quite troublesome and it turns out to be effective but unreliable. Jamming terminals, corrosive elements responsible for connections or failures of the ABS system are basically the norm. Brake hoses age quickly, which lowers the efficiency of the system. Ford even announced a service campaign for the brake booster.

In addition, the Ford Focus MK2 does not suffer from major ailments. Sometimes the heater fails and water appears in the cabin. Corrosion occurs only in accidental or collision model. To sum up – the Ford Focus MK2 1.8 TDCI is a rather reliable car, but from time to time it will require a larger financial contribution.

Focus MK2 Operating costs, pricing and parts availability

Fortunately, the Focus MK2 is a well-known car on our market and the mechanics will surely be able to handle it. In addition, automotive wholesalers are well-stocked with parts, which makes them inexpensive. Sometimes it is also worth checking the prices at the Dealership, because they can be competitive.

Also outside this company, we can find relatively cheap and good components, an example of which is, for example, a clutch kit with a dual mass flywheel.

Caring for the car will bring measurable benefits because it is usually neglected Focuses that generate high service costs. The cost of operation is reduced by good reliability and the absence of a diesel particulate filter.

Focus MK2 Market offer

As the market statistics show, the easiest way to find a diesel is, and the most popular engines are 1.6 TDCI. However, the larger Ford engine is also available on pre-facelift Focuses. Most are cars aged 6 to 10 years, and the cheapest we can buy for less than $2240. For a really neat and pre-facelift Focus you have to pay around $5600.

Lovers of driving on gas will do better if they look for another model. The statistics alone show that finding a gas-powered Focus will not be easy, and the installation is not recommended for Ford petrol cars. These engines are not sufficiently durable, although the use of a good quality installation and appropriate service should be enough for about 100,000. km cheaper driving.

Is it worth For Buying Focus MK2?

The Ford Focus, apart from driving characteristics, is not better than the Golf, Astra or Corolla, but it is also not worse. It can be assumed that this is average, which is worth considering if you want to buy a compact, and you will find a well-kept Focus MK2.

The 1.8 TDCI engine should not cause major problems, and the service costs will not differ from competitors’ engines. It all depends on the technical condition and care. When asked if it is worth buying a Ford Focus MK2 1.8 TDCI, we answer: Yes.

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