2008 Ford Focus Long Term Road Test

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2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe: 25,000 Mile Service Conclusion

July 31, 2009

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So this morning we dropped our 2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe off at Santa Monica Ford for an oil change and a tire rotation. They quoted us, after some debate, a price of $55.99 before tax. Too late, you alerted us to a printable coupon that could've gotten us this service for $39.95. Being Santa Monica, they certainly offered us no such deal without our prior knowledge. Welcome to the West Side.

At the end of the day we walked out with fresh oil and rotated tires (I secretly and permanently marked the wheels, they were rotated front-to-back) and were charged $59.85. The cashier was on the slow and careless side and the valet took forever: Ford of Santa Monica gets a C for this effort.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 25,068 miles

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2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe: Time for the 25K Service

July 31, 2009

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Service still comes every 5,000 miles if you own a 2008 Ford Focus. We've just hit the 25,000-mile mark, so our blue coupe is due for an oil change and tire rotation.

It wasn't busy at Santa Monica Ford today, so I pulled into the service drive without an appointment, and within 30 seconds, a service advisor came out to greet me. After jotting down the mileage, he invited me inside and I told him I wanted an oil change and tire rotation. I then noticed he'd typed "$75.99" in as the preliminary estimate.

"$76 seems high for just an oil change and a tire rotation," I said.

"It's a minor service," he replied.

"Well, how much for just an oil change?"

"$35."

"So it's more than double that just to pull the wheels off for a tire rotation?" I asked.

"Well, it includes other inspections, including a brake inspection."

"Well, we don't need a brake inspection," I said. "How much just to change the oil and rotate the tires?"

That brought the estimate down to $55.99, and our service advisor was nice about it. The printout I signed actually included both figures, but he was willing to "X" out the $75.99 and put his initials next to it, so I'm 99 percent confident that $55.99 plus tax is what we'll eventually pay.

While waiting for a ride back to work, I lingered in the dealership's outdoor waiting area. There are chairs indoors, too, but this shady spot is a nice place to be on a Santa Monica summer day.

Then, I noticed this poster on the door. Hmm, just about 2-3 years out of date.

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Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 25,079 miles

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2008 Ford Focus: Bumpers Protect Your Budget

June 08, 2009

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Its pretty clear that the biggest draw of the Ford Focus is its affordability. As I tooled around town in the coupe this weekend, I mused for the thousandth time, "This car is the opposite of exciting, but it delivers lots of features for very little coin."

I came across a news story that pointed out that the Focus can save you money in accident situations, as well. In recent crash tests, IIHS concluded that the Focus had the lowest repair costs of the 20 compact cars tested. The Focus sustained two-thirds less damage than the Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Rabbit, which both logged more than $4,000 worth of damage in a single crash test. IIHS credits the Focus' bumpers for this achievement, saying that they do a great job of protecting sheet metal and other expensive parts from damage.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 20,846 miles

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2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe: Early Maintenance

March 23, 2009

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Our Ford Focus just got its 20,000-mile routine maintenance ahead of schedule. We took it in at just over 17,000 miles because it had its last appointment early.

We took our little blue guy to Ford of Santa Monica for a routine oil and filter change, tire rotation, and brake inspection. Everything checked out A-OK. The total for this visit was $43.43 with a special coupon.

Looking back through our posts on the Focus, it seems we never blogged about the previous appointments. We must have been too busy rattling on about the Sync system.

Here's the history:
At around 13,500 miles we had the 15,000-mile service. I don't remember why we did it early. I think it was just a scheduling issue. This was the big one with a multi-point inspection of the brake lines, cooling system, drive shaft, steering, suspension, etc. etc. etc. Total cost for parts and labor was $126.99.

At 10,000 and 5,000 miles, we had the normal oil and filter change and tire rotation. Both appointments were $58.12.

I shouldn't say this out loud because I don't want to jinx it, but outside of a loose passenger door handle, we've had good luck with our Ford.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 17,260 miles

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2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe: Key Fob Battery Bites the Dust

January 05, 2009

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Over the weekend, the battery in the key fob of our 2008 Ford Focus said farewell to this sometimes cruel world. Its demise seemed a bit sudden, considering the car is only 11 or so months old.

Anyway, the situation called for a new battery. The car's owner's manual provided the relevant details and instructions.

First, I made a quick trip to the drugstore to purchase the replacement battery -- a CR 2032 that was about the size of a coin. The store only had that battery in a two-pack, which ran just over 8 bucks.

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2008 Ford Focus: Well, Checking the Oil Is Easy

November 24, 2008

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I landed our long-term 2008 Ford Focus for the weekend.

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2008 Ford Focus Coupe: Handle Problem Fixed!

May 07, 2008

We're an enterprising sort around here. With the Focus' faulty door handle placement, we thought it wouldn't be too hard to correct this problem without the need for millions of dollars worth of R&D. So DiPietro and myself took a trip out to J.W. Higgins Auto Yard in Crenshaw to search for our solution... Within minutes, we spotted a '71 Cadillac Eldorado with a suprisingly well-preserved red leather interior. With little effort, we crowbarred off the chrome and wood applique that held what we were looking for. Ten minutes and a whole heap of industrial glue later, voila. We'll see if our door handle design lasts longer than Ford's.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2008 Ford Focus Coupe: Pull my Handle

May 05, 2008

We've blogged before about the poorly placed door pulls on our Focus Coupe. They are located too far forward and subsequently don't provide enough leverage to easily close the door. This is not only a problem for weak-armed folks, but for the handle itself, as the passenger side one now comes out every time you try to pull the door closed. As the below video shows, it doesn't take a lot of force to do it.

This is simply a design flaw and a curious one given the previous Focus' handles were placed at least six inches aft of their present location. We'll try to get the handle fixed at our next appointment, but there's no getting around the faulty positioning. I'm curious to know if other Focus buyers (sedan and especially coupe) have had their handles pop out. In the mean time, I'll just keep closing the driver side using the plastic trim piece lip at the base of the window.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 7,213 miles

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