Car Mechanics (UK) - - Survival Guide -

Apart from be­ing slug­gish, the 1.6 Ford Sigma unit is ro­bust and gen­er­ally trou­ble-free, as is the 1.8 petrol, which is a Mazda-based en­gine sim­i­lar to that used in the MX-5. The 2.0 is an­other Mazda unit and it’s much quicker and al­most as fru­gal. The five-cylin­der petrol units are just as rugged, al­beit a bit thirsty. The 1.6 diesel is the FORD/PSA

DV6 16v unit, which has been blighted by turbo and diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter (DPF) is­sues, so is best avoided; the 115bhp 8v ver­sion that re­placed it with the dry DPF has fewer prob­lems. The larger-ca­pac­ity 2.0 D3 and D4 five-cylin­der diesels are gen­er­ally bul­let­proof. How­ever, it’s worth keep­ing an eye on oil lev­els on the D5 as a tech­ni­cal ser­vice bul­letin was is­sued re­gard­ing diesel get­ting into the sump dur­ing DPF re­gen­er­a­tion cy­cles.

Of­fi­cial tim­ing belt in­ter­vals vary be­tween 7-12 years or 87,500 to 120,000 miles, but there’s no harm do­ing it at the lower end of this range.

Trans­mis­sions are ro­bust, but it’s best to change the oil on the Aisin Warner auto fit­ted to the 2.4i, T5, D3/4/5 at 80,000-100,000 miles. Be­ware the Ford Pow­er­shift twin-clutch man­ual gear­box: if it goes wrong, it can be a night­mare to di­ag­nose and fix.

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