Making the car last
My 2002 Ford Focus is now at 200,000 km and I would like it to last another 60,000 to 100,000 km. Doing the recommended service is easy, but the replacement cost of my car is only $3000 and will continue to drop with time, so I don't want to be too extravagant in the repair shop. What is the essential maintenance I should have done? I can justify a $1000 repair bill if it gives me 9 months of trouble free motoring. -Stewart in Georgetown, Ont.
A wizard or magician I am not. Frankly what has been done to your Focus to this stage in its life will determine how much longer it will last.
Rust is often the main foe. If you have managed to hold off the ravages of this nasty stuff you're off to a good start.
On the mechanical side, regular oil and filter changes are the biggie. Assuming these have been done and that nothing nasty has been allowed to circulate and damage internal components you're looking good there as well.
The timing chain is the usual high-cost item and I assume that it has been replaced at least once in the first 200,000 km and may be due for another go-round during your expected mileage.
Obviously regular wear items like brakes and exhaust will crop up and of course an automatic transmission can be a nasty surprise. If so equipped, have it checked and the fluid replaced.
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