20th Mar 2008, 12:43

Oh the joys of being a CMAX owner; a money pit is an understatement. Yes, I purchased a used 2.0 liter TDCI Ghia model with 30,000 miles on the clock, after a test drive that left me astounded. What a car, I thought.

During the first three months of ownership, it endured trips to the Lake District on numerous occasions and coped admirably. It totally provided everything we needed as a family, and was the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing. The torque at 2000rpm is immense and will see off most other cars on the road. And then 'it' happened.

Traveling my usual route to work down a busy motorway, I encountered steering airbag ABS failure at 70mph. Trying to turn the wheel on one of those things, without power steering, is not what you need with articulated lorries breathing down the back of your neck. I took it to the dealer where I bought it from; they said it was the alternator; apparently it had a bent pin on the connection plug. They advised that it had been fixed and I was thankful that I did not have my two precious gems on board.

I took the car from the garage to pick the gems up from the child minders, and whilst traveling down an old country lane B road at 18.20pm on a cold wet December evening, it happened again, but this time it was dark. Not wanting to risk the lives of my kids, I had to get them out of the car and phone my wife in freezing conditions to come and collect us, because it was unsafe to remain in the vehicle. To say I was a bit mad was putting it lightly.

I took it back; they replaced the alternator, which they should have done in the first instance. Since then, the radio has had to be replaced, the boot opens by itself intermittently, and the car I loved for a period of 90 days I now despise, and like many of you other unfortunate souls, face losing thousands of pounds getting rid of the damn thing.

I have now had the car approximately six months, and it has been garaged, I would say, on and off for at least a month during my ownership. It always has a habit of breaking down during the holiday period, and yes you guessed it, it's back there again.

4 weeks ago the back right caliper driver side was hanging on. I thought ah, just the brakes, I'll pop it into the dealer. They phoned me back a couple of hours later advising me that potentially I faced a (wait for it...) £1200 bill to replace my brakes. I bought a Ford because of cheap running costs; grrrr never mind. I laughed in sheer exasperation and felt sick at the same time, saying no more than "call me back after the weekend." 5 days later, I called back to my garage to pick up the car, and was issued a £230 bill for discs and pads fitted to the rear, and a few quid to spray some copper slick on the caliper. I was overjoyed, only £230.00! My words to the technician were, "it won't happen again will it, are you sure?" The technician said "no, definitely not."

Yes, it is Easter weekend, and I had a lovely trip to the Lake District planned, and you guessed it, they have had it 5 days and I won't be getting it back over the holidays. First off, they tried to fob me off saying there was nothing wrong; they had it on the rollers, out for road tests and it was working fine. I just happened to mention the alternator story and my precious gems, and said the technician better get himself back in it and find out what was wrong with it. Voila, he did find the fault, even though it was slight; now it could be the computer, or the brake switches? Or whatever shpiel the man that books the appointments on the phone was yarning about, but guess what? I'm going to recommend they look at the What Car and Car Survey reviews, because no doubt the clue rests with the EPB. OH YES, out of the hundred or so reviews I have read, an avid, lucky, spawny cmax owner loved it, as well as my car.

I have had Ford all my life and have loved the hassle free motoring. Once my precious gems get their backsides to school, and stop issuing me with a £900 childcare bill, oh yes it will be VW or Audi... RIP Ford.

27th Mar 2008, 11:40

Paid another ninety eight pounds for a brake switch to be fitted, apparently that would sort it. I have had it back three days and the brakes are hanging on again. It won't go around corners because while accelerating, the back end is braking. Don't feel like going to the dealer but I guess its going to have to go in again. I do have the customer service and ford technical departments numbers. I might give them a call as I have no faith in the dealer whatsoever.

28th Mar 2008, 06:25

We so nearly bought one of these last year, but opted for a Grand Scenic instead purely because of the bigger boot and the 7 seat option. I've owned and driven company owned Fords for years and always had excellent, well built, reliable cars. I was very reluctant to go elsewhere, particularly to Renault whose reputation is decidedly iffy. In terms of perceived quality, the C-Max seems streets ahead of the Scenic.

Looking through this list of woes though, I'm glad we did what we did. The Renault had a couple of silly faults, but nothing that's affected its running in any way. Support from the dealer, and Renault UK has been first class.

17th Mar 2009, 15:38

MARCH 2009 Ford Focus C Max 2 litre diesel - always cutting out - completely fed up - extremely dangerous - Ford can't find fault - keep spending money on it - sick of that, it's blooming time to get rid - do not buy one!(Car June 2005)

26th Apr 2009, 17:02

Hello all.. and everyone. Well I have a MAZDA 5; a car very much related to the C-Max. They share many components; the suspension, to name one.

It is a piece of junk, I have lost count the faults on the suspension. When it does decide to start it literally shudders and shakes into life, and has blown HUGE plumes of black smoke after starting... NOT good, especially on a PETROL!!!

The dealers are totally useless AND COMPLETE pants.

24th Aug 2009, 07:08

I have had a C-max for the last 3 years, and it has seen the garage on no fewer than 10 occasions, all warranty work, all carried out, but still unacceptable for a vehicle where you are paying over £12000.

For those who find faults very early on after the purchase, you do have a case for an exchange or a refund, in extreme circumstances. But you need to act quickly and don't pause to give them any extra time. When you complain, do so with the knowledge of your consumer rights, and their obligations. And also the manufacturer's warranties (may not even come into play).