25th Mar 2020, 00:31

Original owner again...

The AC only took $800 to repair... new compressor, accumulator, and orifice valve. I decided to get the AC fixed, since that, and the $200 in motor mounts, made it an even $1000. Considering this was the only repairs for the past ~12k miles, I figured it wasn't so bad for a car that has been paid-off for 9+ years. Heck... I might get another couple years of use out of this car now.

Oh... Then the power steering pump started leaking. Actually just the o-rings where the reservoir plugs into the pump. $8 in o-rings could have been a quick fix, but since this reservoir has an internal filter that gets clogged, I swapped out the entire $90 reservoir, DIY with OEM parts from the Ford dealer. I attribute this leak to the mechanic knocking around the reservoir, and aged o-rings, during the AC repair. Those o-rings had been seeping for about 2 years, but the knocking around during the AC repairs did them in. Side effect... the cold morning whine is gone. PS pump must have been sucking air through the o-rings, when cold.

Then the thermostat housing started to leak... I had the thermostat replaced in late 2018. Turned out the housing was just a little loose. A couple turns of my ratchet and the leak was gone! $0.00.

That just leaves the ball joints, right? O'Reilly's had a good on-line coupon at the end of the year, so I bought a pair of their premium lower control arms, with "lifetime warranty". They are actually Mevotech Supreme units, under O'Reilly's private label. They are sitting in the garage, waiting for me to install them. I figure I'll save about $400 DIY'ing these, compared to having my mechanic do the job. Only issue is the Mevotech's have greaseable ball joints. I prefer a good sealed ball joint, but there is no such thing in the aftermarket. OEMs were 2X the cost and only had 2 year warranty.

But then I noticed those AutoZone pads were getting a little thin. So I ordered a set of Raybestos EHT pads & rotors from Rockauto. I got some OE caliper pins, boots and anti rattle springs too. Those brake bits are also now sitting the garage waiting for me to install them. I have the EHT pads & rotors on another car and really like the feel of the pads. Low dust, easy on rotors, GG rated, and bite like a semi-metallic pad.

So... would I still buy another Focus? In 2007, yes... I'd buy a new 2007 Focus... or any 2005-2011 Focus. In 2018 (when they stopped making the Focus), I would only buy a 2018 (2012-2018) Focus with a manual transmission. That dry dual clutch "automated manual" automatic transmission Ford tried out (2012-2018) is just too darn problematic.