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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

After much thought and especially test driving with various cars, such as the Mazda 3 MPS/Mazdaspeed and other "hot hatches", I decided to go for the Focus ST MK3 Wagon. This is because it offers me the best of both worlds: I want a performance car with which I can still do road trips and occasionally sleep in the car. That is possible in a Focus Wagon for me.

In terms of budget (14-15k Euro) I will be looking at an MK3 with max. 140,000km. Now I wonder if the ST has specific points that I should pay attention to with buying a second-hand to avoid high costs afterwards. I have little experience with cars in terms of mechanics, but motorcycles hold few secrets for me, so I am not completely untrained in terms of mechanics. I know that with such performance cars, for example, the turbo is always a point of attention. For example, the Mazda 3 MPS has a weak stock turbo, which will smoke at idle if it is worn out. The timing chain (VVT) also often needs to be replaced around 150,000 km which costs around 1000 euros. I also know that a complete maintenance history is preferred and that the car is as good as stock. So no messy modifications that could potentially damage the engine. I also want to see that the owner is an enthusiast and therefore gave the car all the love. He must therefore be able to tell everything about his car.

So in short: does the Focus ST MK3 have specific things I should pay attention to?

Thank you all very much!
 

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Not many super common issues in stock form, its a pretty stout platform. If its been tuned or you're unsure of the tuning history, you'll want to make sure you get a compression test performed. These engines crack ringlands when LSPi'ed or outright abused. There are a few good topics here on LSPi.

Otherwise you'll want to make sure of the maintenance history. These cars eat spark plugs so you'll want to make sure those are changed out regularly (a lot of tuned guys change them at 20k mile intervals due to the physical wear on the plug). Make sure all fluids have been changed like any other car.

Also, make sure you upgrade the intercooler before any other modification. Its the most important thing you'll ever do to the car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ha, it's you again :) Thanks again! Worth a lot to me. Compression/leak-down test was already on my to-check list indeed. About upgrading intercooler I'm going to read some more.

Sounds already like the Focus ST is a lot more worry-free than the Mazdaspeed 3.
 

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OP- I have found this forum truly indispensable to owning and enjoying an MK3 Focus ST. Honestly- the wealth of knowledge and experience (in addition to the willingness of people to share it here) allows us forum members to be better informed than the Ford dealership at maintaining and enjoying these cars.

I wish Ford had sold this car in wagon form here in the US. That would suit my usage case quite well.
 

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OP- I have found this forum truly indispensable to owning and enjoying an MK3 Focus ST. Honestly- the wealth of knowledge and experience (in addition to the willingness of people to share it here) allows us forum members to be better informed than the Ford dealership at maintaining and enjoying these cars.

I wish Ford had sold this car in wagon form here in the US. That would suit my usage case quite well.
Hi-Jack!!!

Speaking of wagons...
 

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Many owners revert their cars back to stock before re-selling, so you're also going to be rolling the dice if it's said to be stock. Not a bad thing, it all depends on the quality of work to mod, then revert, so take a peek where you can to see if there are any bolts missing, loose hoses, etc. Pretty standard stuff.

Couldn't agree more about plugs and LSPI (tons of info about this, basically inducing tons of boost at low RPM's), and keeping up on regular maintenance. From my experience, most of the people that blow motors or have issues are due to driver error/lack of up-keep and not necessarily the build or tuners, but I'm sure there are lots of opinions on this :)
 

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What they all said. Additionally pay attention to the cooling system on an older/high mileage example. There are several common leak points that are not totally obvious to detect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all. Worth a lot.

Now another thing I'm wondering. Are the maintenance costs (a lot) higher than a normal Focus? Can't really find much about it.

It's one thing to be able to buy the car, keep it running is another cookie.
 

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Thanks all. Worth a lot.

Now another thing I'm wondering. Are the maintenance costs (a lot) higher than a normal Focus? Can't really find much about it.

It's one thing to be able to buy the car, keep it running is another cookie.
Just holds a bit more oil, so that will cost a bit more; ruthenium spark plugs are more expensive than the iridium that come with the engine, but will last 2 or 3 times as long if you switch them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another question.. going to look at an ST tomorrow with 136.000km / 85.000 miles on it. Is there any expensive service coming up? It's a 2012 car and I read that timing belt needs a change every 10 years. Costs around 500 dollars?
 

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Another question.. going to look at an ST tomorrow with 136.000km / 85.000 miles on it. Is there any expensive service coming up? It's a 2012 car and I read that timing belt needs a change every 10 years. Costs around 500 dollars?
Ecoboost engines have timing chains, no belt; we have several members here with 200,000+ miles with no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Another question.. going to look at an ST tomorrow with 136.000km / 85.000 miles on it. Is there any expensive service coming up? It's a 2012 car and I read that timing belt needs a change every 10 years. Costs around 500 dollars?
Good news.

Went to look at the Focus ST Wagon today. 2013, 136,000 km, Dutch car, had two owners and full service history. Both inside and out in new condition. Really nice car. Everything was right: technical tests, test drive and the financial picture. Could make a really interesting deal. Service at delivery, 6 months warranty and I asked for a compression test. I find that a reassuring idea after some tips here.

I'll go back on Tuesday to show him my girlfriend and then your club might be an ST rider richer soon!

I have to say it again: what a car. Pooh!

Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
By the way, I was a little bit disappointed by the engine sound, compared to what I've heard on Youtube. And those were stock ST's, I think.

What would be the first steps to get for example a better intake or turbo sound? I don't want to have a loud exhaust, but inside the car I want to hear the engine a bit better. Okay, stock exhaust is a little bit silent: what would be the best way to just get a little bit more of a deeper growl without it getting annoying? For both me, and people around me.

Thanks!
 

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By the way, I was a little bit disappointed by the engine sound, compared to what I've heard on Youtube. And those were stock ST's, I think.

What would be the first steps to get for example a better intake or turbo sound? I don't want to have a loud exhaust, but inside the car I want to hear the engine a bit better. Okay, stock exhaust is a little bit silent: what would be the best way to just get a little bit more of a deeper growl without it getting annoying? For both me, and people around me.

Thanks!
Resonator delete is the best way. Or "de-res pipe" over in your neck of the woods. Introduces a little bit of engine noise into the cabin, just enough to hear. Also slightly louder outside.
 

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voor intake / turbo geluid kan je beste de lucht intake vervangen voor een aftermarket exemplaar. Een demper delete geeft alleen meer uitlaat geluid, niet het inlaat/turbo geluid wat je benoemd. Voor mijn ST wilde ik hetzelfde als eerst modificatie, meer inlaat/turbo geluid. Heb zelf een luchtinlaat van REVO geplaatst, 100% het ge.uid dat ik wilde.
 
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