The Ford Focus was a compact car built by Ford Motor Company from 1999 to 2018 for the North American market. It was available in various body styles, trim models, and performance packages, making it an ideal daily driver or weekend track car.
These cars can be loads of fun to drive, but you’ll need to stay on top of routine maintenance. As the vehicle ages, there will be certain maintenance intervals you’ll need to be aware of to prevent catastrophic failure. The good news is that armed with a Ford factory service manual, you’ll be able to handle any job yourself.
What is Considered as Routine Maintenance
While all types of vehicles have different service requirements, there are some things that you’ll need to do regularly to keep your car running in peak condition. The most important tasks are to check oil, coolant, and other fluid levels periodically. Some parts like air and cabin filters should be regularly checked and replaced, particularly if you drive in dusty conditions. You’ll also need to know how to check the tires and brakes for wear and other problems.
Regular oil changes are essential for any car, and the Ford Focus is no different. A Ford workshop manual will show you the right way to change the oil depending on how you drive the car. It provides the proper specifications for replacing the oil filter, resetting the oil change light, and completing the task correctly.
Some of the more complicated-sounding maintenance items are particularly easy to do yourself. Maintaining and replacing worn brake components seems like an intimidating job, but it’s pretty simple. You’ll find the correct procedure spelled out along with complete diagrams describing how parts fit together in a shop manual for Ford Focus. If you are looking to get your hands on a good repair manual that won’t break the bank, take a look here.
Ford Focus (2005-2011) Service Intervals & Recommended Maintenance
The official Ford repair manual offers owners a good idea of the recommended service intervals. Most things are routine, but you should consider a few items, particularly when shopping for a used car.
Ford recommends that the oil is changed every 12,500 miles or annually. However, you’ll have a more reliable engine if you change the oil more often, mainly if the vehicle is higher mileage or is driven at city speeds most of the time. Stop-and-go driving is most damaging to engine oil. Using synthetic oil is a great way to prolong the engine’s life and prevent wear from high mileage.
You’ll need to change the spark plugs every three years. If you are buying a used car, the chances are high that this service interval hasn’t been followed. Old, worn spark plugs are much less efficient than renewed ones. They are also straightforward to replace.
Some Focus models can be equipped with either a timing chain or a timing belt. While chains last for a long time, the official Ford repair manual recommends replacing the timing belt at 100,000 miles. However, you may want to do this reasonably complex task earlier. Timing belt failures are responsible for the majority of damaged engines.
Many experts recommend replacing the timing belt every 60,000 miles. Luckily, it’s an ideal task to do yourself, and a Ford workshop manual is the perfect companion to find the proper replacement procedure and torque specifications for the engine cover.
It’s a good idea to change your air filter regularly. You may want to replace it annually or more often if you live in areas with dust, dirt, and bugs in the air. You can also replace your factory air filter with an aftermarket cold air intake to improve the performance and gas mileage and make your engine sound better.
One of the most often overlooked filters in your Ford Focus is the cabin filter. This filter cleans the air that goes through the vents, so keeping it clean is essential. It’s also an easy and inexpensive part to change. The workshop manual describes how to properly remove, inspect, and replace the air filter for your engine and the one for the cabin.
You should check your brakes at least once per year, and more often if you drive a lot on city streets. Brakes are inexpensive and easy to replace with high-quality components. Many experts recommend that you check your brakes twice per year, once before the summer driving season begins and again before winter. A Ford Focus repair manual not only shows you how to replace the brakes, but you’ll find out about the different designs and braking materials that can improve your car’s stopping distance.
How to Save on Routine Maintenance
The best way to save money on any car is to do routine maintenance. Putting off things like oil changes and brake replacements often leads to a significant amount of additional damage you could have avoided. Then there are tasks like changing the timing belt, a job that requires substantial parts removal, so it’s likely to be skipped.
If you are looking at buying a used Ford Focus that has more than 65,000 miles on it, you should prepare to spend the money to buy a timing belt kit. The parts are affordable and readily available. You’ll save almost the entire cost of the job doing it yourself, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have the skills to fix your car.
Furthermore, some simple, routine maintenance items, like checking the condition of the tires and brakes, are often left up to service shops. These services aren’t typically costly, and you get what you pay for. The job is usually done quickly in the hope of finding something that may or may not be wrong so that the repair shop can sell you parts and labor. Knowing the right way to inspect common parts of your car for wear is easy when you have the right service manual.
There are dozens of ways you can save money on routine maintenance simply by having the best Ford factory service manuals. Not to mention that you’ll also gain the confidence of knowing that you can repair your car yourself and save a bunch while maintaining your Ford Focus.
All things considered, the Ford Focus is a really good car. It has a reputation for reliability and durability and makes for a great commuter vehicle. With a few modifications, it is also an excellent track car for AutoCross racing. Many Ford Focus AWD models find themselves drifting dirt roads due to their superb handling and maneuverability.
However, routine maintenance is the key to keeping your Focus running without breaking the bank. Luckily, most of the tasks are pretty straightforward, especially when using a good repair manual. After all, that’s what the pros are using.