The Ford Focus is one of those cars that we all love. When the first one came out in the late-1990s it shook the motoring world with its bold lines and brilliant drive.
The Mk2 wasn’t quite as staggering, but soon we came to love it, especially when we learned it still had that all-important class-leading ride.
We also loved it because, like the car before it, it was still a car that the home mechanic could work on without breaking too much of a sweat.
That said, while it is a joy to work on – especially with one of our manuals in hand – there are still some key maintenance tips we can share to makes things that little bit easier.
When fitting a new engine oil filter, only tighten the filter cartridge by hand – no tools. This type of filter has a tendency to ‘self-tighten’ once in place. With that in mind, if you really crank it on, you’re going to have a nightmare when it comes to changing it next time.
Had to change the sump gasket, or remove the sump for some other reason? Don’t just throw it back on and tighten up the bolts. Get the bolts in place, then use a straight edge (steel rule for example) to line the sump up with engine block at the timing chain end. Then tighten the bolts up.
The fuel level sender is a common failure point on the Mk2 Focus. The unit can be tested by connecting an ohmmeter across the sender terminals and measuring its resistance. With a full tank, we measured a resistance of 9 ohms, while with an empty tank we measured 203 ohms.
In the event of a collision, the inertia switch is triggered, cutting off the fuel flow to the engine in the process. Annoyingly, the switch in the Mk2 Focus can be activated on rough ground. If this happens, it’s behind the driver’s side footwell. Just press it, and all should bee well.
The front lower suspension ball joints can fail. You might think it’s a big job, requiring the replacement of the entire arm, given that the ball joints are riveted to it. This isn’t the case. Just drill the old rivets – replacement ball joints are less than £20 and come with nuts and bolts to replace the rivets.
Replacement of any of the bulbs in the headlights requires the complete headlight to be removed. But don’t stress over it. Just remove the upper mounting bolt, release the 2 clips at the rear, pull the headlight forwards, and disconnect the wiring plug. Job done.