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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Mileage: 114500
Service History: Main Dealer serviced from purchase to 2018, Car Stood for all of 2019.

Purchased March 2020.
Purchase Price £185.
Status : Spares or Repairs.

First of, fixing up cars isnt my thing really, but with corona i had to find a project and this came up at the right money.

New Sachs Dual Mass Flywheel (£250)
New Sachs 3 Peace Clutch Kit (£250)
Front Suspension Top Mounts (£35)
Front Suspension Shocks(Struts) and Springs (£110)
Front Suspension Bushings (All of them) £100
Various items, (parcel shelf, few sensors, breaks) £100
Wheels and Tyres -£150 (Yes MINUS read on)

So were a large family, i have 7 kids, wife has managed for a coupple years with a very faithfull avensis, but all good things come to an end, after having it MOT'd its aparant its never gonna pass another one, so i grabbed this project car, all totalled about £1000 but no labor costs, and now that its on the road, and going very nicely and weve had some experience with it, i thought i would offer a short write up on things to look for if you go for one of these older cars.

Dual Mass Flywheel:
If you do go look at any, make sure the DMF is not rattling, and has been replaced with the last clutch, a well maintained car will get 2 clutches to a DMF, if they didnt do it with the last clutch, you will HAVE to do it on the next one, this is a very expensive job in the garage, Ford Quoted as much as £1700, whilst local garages wanted £900, and the parts alone are easy £500+ (Quotes are for DMF and Clutch)

Air Conditioning
Lift the bonnet and check the air con hoses behind the rad, and infront of the engine, if they have come out of there clips they wear thru, there not overly expensive to replace the parts, but the £60 to have it refilled after gets old, if the compressor is gone, you should consider moving along, compressors are quite expensive.

Lift the center console and remove the plastic loose fit tray in the bottom, ensure the EPB Release has never been used (where fitted) if it has its likly the EPB has failed at some point and not been fixed, its a SERIOUSLY EXPENSIVE bit of kit if you have to fit it.

Power Stearing
Check the bottom of the pump for any fluid loss

Rear split and removeable seats
I myself am guilty of blindly puttig them in the wrong sides, pay attention to the retaining holes where the rear of the seats lock down, the holes should be round, elongated holes and or not flat(clearly on the wonk) are an indication the seats have been installed wrong, and smashing about, if the holes are elongated, the seat are not secured and you need to get it sorted asap, for me was easy, a socket and big washer to flatten it out and secure the seats down, also check the bottom of the seats for mould dont know why ours had mould but it had stood for a year, was easy enough to clean up and disperse of the smell

Gearbox Whine
3rd and 4th gear whining at low speeds < 35 mph, is an indication of gearbox issues, the whine in ours was partly cured after changing the gearbox oil out, although the wine is still there, im almost certan is a failing synro in those gears, and i say failing because speed humps cause it to jump out of 3rd gear if your not pulling.

Wheels and tyres
So the wheels on this thing were the wrong size with wrong tyres, the result was a badly inaccurate speedo, make sure the right size wheels are on the car, this is also why my Wheels and Tyres is NEGATIVE 150, i had 16's on the car, and had just had 4 brand new pirellis fitted, ive since changed them to 17" wheels which is what SHOULD have been on it, because the rubber was new, a local garage did me a straight swap including rubber. He got 4 x 16" wheels with brand new rubber, i got 4 x 17" with part worn coopers

The car still drives cleanly and smoothly, you will never ever ever get bored of that low down tourqe, and on the motorway the 2.0 TDCi comes alive, its an over taking weapon, its also effortless, your into 3 figgures without really noticing, so you wont want from speed, it pulls away from the line well, but its diesel so it aint brilliant, 3rd gear onwards though.

The ride is pritty firm, partly down to all new suspension on the front partly the tyres, its soft enough to be a nice cruiser, but hard enough to offer some feel thru the wheel for those fast twisty roads, when crossing the camber in the road however particularly in the rain the front has a tendancy to try and push on.

For its age its averaging 48mpg now, and to us thats a 20mpg increase over the avensis

in terms of a family car, if you and your partner are on the taller side, the rear seats can become cramped even for kids, but again its comfortable enough and mostly quiet enough/

In terms of running costs, a service on the drive DIY, so Oil, Filters and Fluids etc is very cheap, £50 for all the filters and £30 for engine oil ( you can get cheaper oil, ive always used magnatec )

For somewhere between £1200 and £1500 you can get your hands on a very nice family car, that will do everything you want it to do, and be fairly cheap to run, and for 15 years old, there still very very capable, for me, from project to family car, best thing since sliced bread, driving it is a pleasure, fast enough for me, easy enough for her, and safe enough for them.

So there you have it

A 15 year old Focus CMAX - Still a decent family car for little money

908 Posts
I have only just part ex'd my 55 2l tdci in January for a newer car. IT had covered 151500 m never once breaking down. It did need a new clutch as it was starting to slip. The engine was still solid , the only reason it went was because I now have a grandson and needed isofix in the rear, I would have kept it if it had the isofix system.
The reg was EK550CN. I traded it in in Ellesmere port. If anybody sees it on auction I,d say its worth a punt.
It had a full service history , mot due Oct 5, and seviced last September. I passed on lots of bills as I always kept it running in good order whatever it needed .
As I said it never broke down I put that down to the upkeep and not having the dreaded DPF to clog everything up.
So is a 2005 cmax worth the money, YES if its been looked after.
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