Ford Focus: A dealer calls

  • The Focus takes its first trip to the dealership
  • Serviced over the course of a day for £125
  • Recall work carried out to fix intermittent fault

Having booked two weeks off, I had a chance to get the Ford in for its first service. I put a call in to my local dealer and they offered me the option of bringing it in the very next day.

This was ideal. The staff told me that they’d need the car for about two and a half hours, at which point I’d be able to collect it. They even asked if I’d need a lift home after dropping my car off. Once the booking was confirmed, I received an automated text message containing the details of my appointment. That's a neat touch, especially if you've a hectic schedule and want to double-check the time and date.

When I arrived at the dealership, at eight in the morning, I was immediately greeted by a member of staff. He then told me that they’d have the car until about five thirty. Now, while this wasn't a major issue for me, it was considerably different from the previously stated timeframe. For some, that may have caused issues.

Nevertheless, I left the car in the hands of the dealer and headed home. At around four o’clock I received another automated text message, saying that the Focus was ready for collection.

I headed over as quickly as I could, as being based in Milton Keynes I wanted to avoid the typical gridlocked rush hour. The Focus was parked out front, and ready to go, but I had to mill around restlessly before someone appeared to attend to me. Afterwards, the paperwork was dispatched of quickly and I retrieved my keys.

During the course of the service, Ford carries out a detailed check of the vehicle that includes things such as the condition of the tyres, vital fluids, suspension and other mechanical parts. You receive a series of printed sheets that list all the areas covered, as well as the condition of each part and whether there are any issues. In our instance, there was a note pointing out that there was 4.5mm left on the front tyres. That’s plenty, but we’d have to bear in mind that they’d need replacing sooner rather than later.

Ford also fixed a recall issue related to an 'intermittently discharging battery fault', something that my colleague Simon McBride had experienced first-hand. Luck, fortunately, seems to have saved either of us from being stranded somewhere. In all the miles we’ve covered in the Focus it only happened once and in that instance it wasn't difficult to get it going again. It was good to know that it was a known issue though, and not simply a ghost in the machine.

The bill for the service came to a sensible £125. That’s marginally cheaper than services we’ve had carried out on our Toyota Auris or Mazda 3, each of which came in at around £150.

With the Focus set for another several thousand miles, and the intermittent fault fixed, I can’t see any issues developing. It’s been utterly reliable and still feels as solid and durable as it did when it first arrived.

The only downside? During the service, they’d moved my seat and steering column. It’d taken ages for me to get that right. Still, I think I’ll live…

Current mileage: 12,762 miles

Average mpg: 43.6mpg

I dropped the Focus off in the service bay, at the dealership, at 08:00...

...and collected it later at around 16:30. Just in time to beat rush hour.