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So you want to buy a Fiesta?…a few valuable tips for the people who don’t like to do their research!

scotman

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#1
I am referring to a used Fiesta here.
In North America, three different engine choices were available, some more briefly than others.
Most common is the 1.6 TiVCT four cylinder engine. It’s reliable enough but not very exciting to drive. It is multi port , fuel injected not GDI, which is a good thing for longevity.It is available with a 5 speed manual transmission or a dual clutch 6 speed automatic transmission.
Next is the 1.6 Ecoboost turbocharged four cylinder. Available only in the ST hatchback. And only with a 6 speed manual transmission. All Ecoboost engines are GDI. There are some concerns regarding upper intake and valve deposits causing expensive maintenance if oil change intervals are not adhered to or low quality oils are used.
For a couple of years we also had the 1.0 liter 3 cylinder Ecoboost engine with the 5 speed manual transmission.

Contrary to what some people say or believe, you simply cannot modify or hot rod the 1.6 “basic” Fiesta four cylinder engine. The controls are locked and the transmission gearing ratios are fuel economy oriented. Love it or hate it, it is what it is. It will tolerate a sporty sounding muffler system and won’t punish you if you want to go with a lower restriction intake setup. But, Chips, reflashes, cams, header, big injector’s, turbo kits off EBay and all that stuff is a no go for the basic Fiesta 1.6 four cylinder engine.

The turbocharged 1.6 engine in ST.
At this time, it is a modification friendly engine. But, aftermarket support and parts for this engine is beginning to fade. No ST have been sold new in North America since early 2019. A fairly large number of these cars were modified in the six years they were available new. Many of them will have been used very hard and are on their second or third owner’s now.
So, while these are the most powerful and sporty Fiesta, they also are the most likely to have been used hard, crashed and rebuilt or even been badly modified and have many issues that can’t be cheaply repaired. So, buyers beware.
The last one is the 1.0 Ecoboost. It is a high fuel economy oriented engine. Only available with the manual transmission. These are known to have some cooling issues if the owners are lax in their maintenance. The cooling system is rather complex and has two thermostats, the failure of either one of them is a huge potential problem. A blown engine kind of problem.
Given that the fuel economy is better than the basic Fiesta 1.6 four cylinder. I would have to avoid this one because of the cost to repair it if/when it failed.
There is no real performance gain over the 1.6 four. Unlike the European market Fiesta 1.0, there are NO performance parts available for this engine. And despite what you might hear from some people, the Euro parts will not work on the North American version. These are not very common to find for sale because the dealers didn’t want to stock them and made even less effort to be knowledgeable about them than the other Fiesta versions.

It should also be said that the production Fiesta that was sold to the public is not at all similar to the tube chassis, all wheel drive, turbocharged with sequential gearbox wrapped in a carbon fiber body shell that was built in very low numbers for WRC racing. Buying a street Fiesta is not going to get you to one of those. It’s not even step one.
There are no “body kits” to create a replica WRC Fiesta.
Don’t buy a Fiesta that is not equipped the way you want it to be!
If you want leather seat upholstery and satellite radio. Don’t buy a cloth seat,non sat radio Fiesta thinking that it will be cheap and easy to upgrade it later. It won’t be.
Other members are welcome to add to this thread.
 
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2018 Fiesta
#2
Thank you for adding the detail about the dual clutch transmission on the 2018. I have searched for that information for the 2018 and have not been able to find it. I called a dealership today and provided the VIN, but I was still out of luck.
 

Handy Andy

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#3
There are at least three "variants" of the Fiesta - not just the "S" or "SE" or SES - but the ST-Line - then there is the full featured ST model.
  • you can read more about what I mean - here...
https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/ford-fiesta-st-line

There's the Crux...

The USA-version of the Fiesta went away because the populace wanted bigger - more versatile and utilitarian vehicles - like SUV and Pickups - which can sleep a family of Four and haul them off to School, off to play soccer and feed them at the local Diner.

It's (Fiestas ST-Line) uses a NA (Normally Aspirated) engine - does not come with a Turbo, but has the ability to accept trim that offer some different performance looks that can make your entry into a "modifiable" build but with limitations.

Come with some body styling that makes an appeal to those wanting ST looks but don't need the seating and SYNC - nor the higher price tag.

Stuck with Rear Drum brakes - unmodifiable when it comes to "bolt on mods" - just like the Fiesta base models...

The part I'm talking about may be more of a tweaking of the performance or the look of the ST upper echelons - not a basic tune but more of a profile that makes it customizable in looks to the end-user as well as the styling trim changes.
 

econoboxrocks

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#4
I'll add my tuppence. If I were looking for a Fiesta, I would only want one with a manual. There are people who know how to use the dual clutch auto properly, but most Americans can't drive a stick, so they don't get the dual clutch. That's why they had so many problems with them here, but you don't hear about problems with the same cars in Europe. Used Fiestas and Focuses are low-rated due to that one issue. Other than that, they're pretty reliable.

This also makes the few available manuals cheaper, since most people won't even consider one. Too bad. They're much more engaging to drive, especially in a small, low-powered car. You can learn to drive a stick and be comfortable with it in about a day. You only get better with it over time. Then you advance to heel-toe and crush corners. Don't fear the manual.

I'll do another post specifically about the ST. It's a different species, and no, they're not all beat to crap.

Right now, I'm going to enjoy some live music.
 
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#5
Didn't think there was an SES Fiesta, thought it was the Titanium.
 
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scotman

scotman

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Thread Starter #6
Titanium replaced SES in late 2013 same exact trim only with more letters to identify it.
 

Tokata

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#7
I have enjoyed our 2019 Fiesta SE Manual. They are a fantastic drive for the $$.
 

econoboxrocks

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#8
Titanium replaced SES in late 2013 same exact trim only with more letters to identify it.
That reminds me. I saw an older SES a few weeks ago, and I noticed that it had dual exhaust tips on the muffler, like my ST.

My EcoSport is an SES. It's supposed to be the "sporty" model, with the biggest engine, bigger wheels, AWD, sunroof, sport suspension and paddle shifters.
At the same time, Ford offered a Titanium trim. It had all the interior goodies but with stock suspension and an upgraded sound system.
 
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#9
in the 2019 model year, Ford did away with the 'titanium' trim, espeically on the 2019 Hatchbacks. so many 'top end' features have modules and wiring that was never installed, but you may see options for in ForScan.
the 2019 Fiesta also isnt FordPass modem equipped (some previous upper level trims were able to get it with optional equipment upgrades). So you cant use FordPass as a remote starter. (there is options in mine on ForScan to have a telematics control unit on the car, but im pretty sure mine didnt come with one). if you go to places that source geniune OEM parts for the 2019 fiesta, youll notice you cant even purchase a TCU for them (even though they have an option on ForScan).
for those that are willing to play around with ForScan, you might be able to get one from a 2019 Fusion to work, but no one has tested it yet (most of the ForScan forums will be folks in a truck, escape, focus or fusion, so there is very little support for newbies on fiestas)
Also, those on Sync 3 are heavily limited on audio upgrades, especially with the head unit, as the head unit may have your information center about what the warning on your dash is, be the only place to turn things like traction control on and off etc. Since aftermarket units arent privy to the custom software used by car manufacterers, you cant integrate those settings into an after market unit.

With the Fiesta being discontinued, adding things like factory remote start, doing sync2/MyTouch to Sync 3 upgrades etc, will continue to get expensive as parts become more scarce. That said, if you know the part number, dont be afraid to check out your local junkyard for the part.
 

musgh

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#10
The last one is the 1.0 Ecoboost. It is a high fuel economy oriented engine. Only available with the manual transmission. These are known to have some cooling issues if the owners are lax in their maintenance. The cooling system is rather complex and has two thermostats, the failure of either one of them is a huge potential problem. A blown engine kind of problem.
Given that the fuel economy is better than the basic Fiesta 1.6 four cylinder. I would have to avoid this one because of the cost to repair it if/when it failed.
There is no real performance gain over the 1.6 four. Unlike the European market Fiesta 1.0, there are NO performance parts available for this engine. And despite what you might hear from some people, the Euro parts will not work on the North American version. These are not very common to find for sale because the dealers didn’t want to stock them and made even less effort to be knowledgeable about them than the other Fiesta versions.
I'm one of the few that has the 1.0 Ecoboost engine on my Ford Fiesta :) I think in my 9 years of owning this car, I only saw one other SE with the 1.0 Ecoboost engine (the marque on the trunk/hatchback is SfE instead of just SE.

I'm also one of those who had a blown engine because of cooling issues, namely a coolant hose deteriorated and engine overheated but provided no dashboard warning. That said, I take my car in for regular maintenance including multi-point inspection. In fact, it was maybe just about 1 or 2 months after an oil change/multi-point inspection (and I always use the same Ford dealership) that the coolant hose deterioration happened. I asked the service manager, wasn't the hose checked at the multi-point inspection? He said, we check it but you know, there are some kinds of deterioration we can't tell without disconnecting the hose, blah blah blah. I did an internal eye roll. Livid.

All this said, my question then is when you say "...if the owners are lax in their maintenance", what do I need to convey to the dealership to check when I bring my car in for maintenance, specifically that is cooling systems related? I don't do my own maintenance, I'm not a car enthusiast, and honestly I leave it to the hands of the "expert" because cars isn't in my wheelhouse of interest.

That said, I do enjoy driving manual. In fact, when we were deciding to buy this car (brand new), one of the conditions was it needed to be fuel efficient, and second was, if possible, manual.
 
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scotman

scotman

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Thread Starter #11
You will need to replace coolant lines and hoses as a normal course of maintenance. Including the coolant reservoir and those pesky thermostats. I would probably be replacing the radiator every five years.
 

musgh

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#12
You will need to replace coolant lines and hoses as a normal course of maintenance. Including the coolant reservoir and those pesky thermostats. I would probably be replacing the radiator every five years.
So I guess this means I can't just take the car in for regular maintenance? I have to specify more precisely what I need completed at certain mileage?

UGH. That's terrible. I mean, terrible in that my whole point of taking a car in to "experts" (and it's always the same one and it's the authorized dealership!) is so that they can tell me what needs to be done to the car. I know y'all are car enthusiasts and probably enjoy tinkering with your cars. It's not my cup of tea -- I hate that kind of stuff :)

That said, I guess I now have all new coolant lines and hoses. I don't think the coolant reservoir is new though. Hmm. How often does that need to be replaced?
 
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scotman

scotman

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Thread Starter #13
I view preventative maintenance as comparatively cheap insurance against unplanned inconvenience and expense. It might seem like having to buy hoses, coolant reservoir and lines are an added expense. But in reality just hiring a tow truck to haul a dead Fiesta to the shop is roughly $200. So, money is going to be removed from your wallet regardless. Regular, intensive maintenance is more of a cost and inconvenience "containment strategy." With new cars costing north of twenty grand for the cheaper ones and dealership repair shop labor rates above $190 an hour, rental cars are roughly a hundred bucks a day. Intensive maintenance doesn't look cheaper until you calculate the real costs of the repairs.
I dont trust any plastic coolant reservoir past 3 years of age. Same for rigid plastic coolant lines.
 
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musgh

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#14
Nothing against doing regular maintenance. In fact, that's what I thought I was doing. Taking my car in, letting the dealership know that I'm in for regular maintenance and they do their thing. That's my assumption that they will actually do the regular maintenance and know what needs to be looked for, what they recommend changing etc.

My gripe isn't about cost. My gripe is that they may not be doing the kind of maintenance I thought they were doing. They're the experts; not me.
 
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scotman

scotman

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Thread Starter #15
All Fiesta's and Focus will require intensive maintenance on their cooling systems as the cars age. Under Hood temperatures are working against the plastic reservoir and coolant lines. The heat also takes it's toll on the cooling fan motors. I now carry a spare fan relay in my glove compartment.
This spring i will create a thread on maintenance of the fiesta cooling system. This area of the fiesta is probably the most vulnerable to failure and or neglect.
 


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