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Buying a Ford KA - Rust?

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    Hey guys, Just after a bit of advice from anyone with more knowledge,

    I passed my test recently and one of the cars I'm considering is a Ford KA, It's not my first choice but one has come up locally at a very good price

    I'm aware they are common to get rust, And this one already has rust on the passenger side door and has patches on the sills which I'm aware can be failed on MOT.

    Should I stay clear or would it be worth going for it given the good price provided it passed a new MOT? Apart from the rust everything seems to be excellent with it.
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    How good is this good price then?
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    They rot from the inside out. It's what you cant see that's the worry.

    That said, if it's dirt cheap and it's solid where it matters then go for it. The old ford pushrod engine is based on very old technology so it's unlikely to go wrong mechanically.

    Really if it's old enough to have the sills patched up you're talking disposable motoring - ie 500 quid or less. Worst case scenario is you'll get £150 back from the scrap man when the MOT is up.
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    The KA is an unreliable car and is well known to rust. If you can get one very cheap and your not really bothered about having to scrap it when you move on well then fair enough, but if you want something a little bit better try a corsa C 1.2
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    (Original post by aidans34)
    The KA is an unreliable car
    Rubbish.
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    My housemate has a 1996 (year it came out) Ford KA and it's doing fine.
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    (Original post by JC.)
    Rubbish.
    This again being one of the cars i've owned (1.6 sportka), suffered suspension lower arm problems and chronic rust although I admit it was a lot of fun to drive for a small car.

    You can't ignore the customer satisfaction surveys which don't do this care any grace and favour, for what is supposed to be a cheap and cheerful car too much of the tiny amount of equipment it does have is prone to go wrong. Get a well serviced Corsa
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    (Original post by aidans34)
    This again being one of the cars i've owned (1.6 sportka), suffered suspension lower arm problems and chronic rust although I admit it was a lot of fun to drive for a small car.

    You can't ignore the customer satisfaction surveys which don't do this care any grace and favour, for what is supposed to be a cheap and cheerful car too much of the tiny amount of equipment it does have is prone to go wrong. Get a well serviced Corsa
    So you had to replace some suspension components and it got a bit rusty. So what? That's just the cost of owning a car.
    That doesn't make it "unreliable".
    A car is unreliable if it doesn't start in the morning.
    A car is unreliable if it is incapable of completing a journey on a regular basis
    A car is unreliable if it overheats every time you take it out.
    etc. etc...

    A car is NOT unreliable because you have to open the bonnet once in a while, or change a few consumables. That's just the reality of owning a car.
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    I work in a garage part time and of the KA's we have had in, it's mostly been rust in the sills and from within the arches. As well as the usual stuff, like ball joints/bushes/shockers/broken springs (all to be expected with most cars through wear anyway)

    Here is a list of all the reports of common problems for the KA and other fords:

    http://www.bba-reman.com/content.asp..._and_solutions

    Have had a couple with rough idling/engine running problems because of ECU issues. This can also be caused by a faulty idle control valve.

    ECU = expensive, might as well scrap the car.
    idle valve = pretty cheap and inexpensive to fit.

    Central locking also sucks and the keys wear out quite easily :mad:

    Non dealer parts are pretty cheap (even if the non genuine bushes are HORRIBLE to fit)

    That's something actually.

    For any parts that are not related to the engine or important sensors, go for none genuine cheap stuff. Always go to an independent trusted garage, and not the main dealer (that should be obvious) so you don't get ripped off.

    BUT, other than that they are a great car. Very easy to drive, quite nippy (even the smaller engines) cheap to run, and as has been mentioned, the actual engine is a proven design and pretty bullet proof.

    Good luck with all your motorings!
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    The KA isn't a bad car if you can get over the funky styling. There are good reason why that car sold rather well when new not just in Britain but in much of Europe and Latin America. Overall it is a fairly robust car as it used a lot of parts designed for a Fiesta so in a sense it is "over-engineered" for a small city car.

    Rust is an issue as Ford never galvanized it at factory and scrimped on the undercoating. If it is in good condition just send it for a proper undercoat and waxoyl it, the fuel filler area does rust as well but for the most part most of the rust issues are a fairly easy fix.

    As there are plenty of them about I won't rush for the first one I see

    (Original post by aidans34)
    The KA is an unreliable car and is well known to rust. If you can get one very cheap and your not really bothered about having to scrap it when you move on well then fair enough, but if you want something a little bit better try a corsa C 1.2
    Load of rubbish other than the rust issues.

    (Original post by JC.)
    Rubbish.
    Seconded
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    (Original post by +Adam+)
    Hey guys, Just after a bit of advice from anyone with more knowledge,

    I passed my test recently and one of the cars I'm considering is a Ford KA, It's not my first choice but one has come up locally at a very good price

    I'm aware they are common to get rust, And this one already has rust on the passenger side door and has patches on the sills which I'm aware can be failed on MOT.

    Should I stay clear or would it be worth going for it given the good price provided it passed a new MOT? Apart from the rust everything seems to be excellent with it.
    I'm not 100% sure on this but I do think it all depends on what registration mark 1 Ka you purchase to whether or not you have concern for rust. It would seem Ford may have replaced key panels with plastic panels in later models.

    Mind you most cars can get rust if not looked after and it is down to poor ownership IMO.
    If you own a car that is considered to have problems with rust then common sense would be to place it in a garage over night i.e. thus meaning in general a typical day where you go to work and do not venture out in the evening the car could be away from the elements 6pm to 7.30am each day but no people purchase these cars and then leave them parked on a street – poor ownership. If you do not have a garage then it is only sensible purchasing a car that is considered to have problems with rust if you intend to keep it short term. Personally I would not let a little rust put you off if you intend to change cars 2-3 years down the line.

    The mark 1 Ka drives very well when comparing against equivalent cars - torquy due to its gear ratios and power to weight it also has a good handling chassis and well weighted hydraulic steering that supplies good driver feedback. The only negative that comes to mind is possible rust but as mentioned above there may be an element of which registration you purchase.

    If you can stretch your budget might be worth considered 2007-2008 registration Ka Style Climate, Ka Zetec Climate or Sportka SE
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    (Original post by JC.)
    So you had to replace some suspension components and it got a bit rusty. So what? That's just the cost of owning a car.
    That doesn't make it "unreliable".
    A car is unreliable if it doesn't start in the morning.
    A car is unreliable if it is incapable of completing a journey on a regular basis
    A car is unreliable if it overheats every time you take it out.
    etc. etc...

    A car is NOT unreliable because you have to open the bonnet once in a while, or change a few consumables. That's just the reality of owning a car.
    Have you lost your mind? If things break and you have to keep changing them obviously that makes it unreliable. Yes you expect to have to change a couple of things now and again, but say all the internal electrics broke and needed replacing all the time (like on 02-08 mercedes) would you still be brilliantly impressed with the reliability? Besides which some of these things are MOT failures, so unless your planning on driving it around without an MOT then its not going to be capable of completing a journey.

    Yes the rust you can live with, but the engines pre-2003 have a known problem which is expensive to fix (unless you get a new engine which is probably the best option) and the engines don't last into high miles like their competitors. Moreover there are problems with the steering racks and the suspension. Unless the poster doesn't think steering the car is important . . .
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    (Original post by aidans34)
    Have you lost your mind? If things break and you have to keep changing them obviously that makes it unreliable. Yes you expect to have to change a couple of things now and again, but say all the internal electrics broke and needed replacing all the time (like on 02-08 mercedes) would you still be brilliantly impressed with the reliability? Besides which some of these things are MOT failures, so unless your planning on driving it around without an MOT then its not going to be capable of completing a journey.

    Yes the rust you can live with, but the engines pre-2003 have a known problem which is expensive to fix (unless you get a new engine which is probably the best option) and the engines don't last into high miles like their competitors. Moreover there are problems with the steering racks and the suspension. Unless the poster doesn't think steering the car is important . . .

    Things break on cars - that's a fact.
    Reliability of a car is defined on whether you can *rely* on it to start in the morning and whether you can *rely* on it to complete it's journey.
    Steering racks and suspension don't break in 5 minutes. With the exception of coil springs which can break on anything at any time, You need to do thousands of miles before something will go very wrong.

    The engines are fine. They trace their roots back to the pinto which was first designed in the late 50's. So long as you treat them with respect and don't pretend you're driving a honda s2000 and rev the nuts off the things it'll be fine. It's a basic SOHC, pushrod four. It's about as simple as you can get.

    Incidentally, the term "reliability" was coined in the 70's when japanese cars were starting to be imported that would start in the morning when the local stuff perhaps wouldn't.
    If you can't get your head around what that means then I can't help you.
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    I owned a Ford Ka until recently sold. Was bought in good condition and kept in a garage for most of its time with me, Problems with rust began in the winter when I kept it at my mums not in a garage. It failed its MOT in Feb for rust but wasnt too expensive to weld but they sure do have problems with rust. If kept in a garage however I'm sure would be fine and they are nice, 'nippy' cars to drive and cheap to ensure etc. x
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    (Original post by JC.)
    Things break on cars - that's a fact.
    Reliability of a car is defined on whether you can *rely* on it to start in the morning and whether you can *rely* on it to complete it's journey.
    Steering racks and suspension don't break in 5 minutes. With the exception of coil springs which can break on anything at any time, You need to do thousands of miles before something will go very wrong.

    The engines are fine. They trace their roots back to the pinto which was first designed in the late 50's. So long as you treat them with respect and don't pretend you're driving a honda s2000 and rev the nuts off the things it'll be fine. It's a basic SOHC, pushrod four. It's about as simple as you can get.

    Incidentally, the term "reliability" was coined in the 70's when japanese cars were starting to be imported that would start in the morning when the local stuff perhaps wouldn't.
    If you can't get your head around what that means then I can't help you.
    Yes things break on cars, but the difference between a reliable and unreliable car is how many things break and how often. If someone asks if a car is reliable they're asking about all of the car, if you were to say to a customer "yes this car is very reliable, the suspensions ****ed, the steering rack doesn't work and all the electrics are useless" how impressed do you think they would be? You have to do thousands of miles before it goes wrong?? Well pardon me for making an assumption but most people do do thousands of miles in their cars and they want to be able to do those miles with only normal maintainance. My parents had a Previa for 10 years that did 100k and all that went wrong was the sunroof, thats reliability for it. You'll find few modern cars that will regularly not start unless they are especially ****ed so thats really a moot point.

    There is a known fault on the pre-2003 models, and even on the latter models they tend to deteriorate at lower miles than competitors engines. It came from the 1950's ey? Must mean its brilliant.

    End of the day the 1.3 ka is a poor car in comparison to whats avaliable and its a bad choice to make, you can have much better for the same money.
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    A TVR is unreliable.

    A Lotus is unreliable

    A Jaguar can be unreliable.

    A Land Rover is very unreliable.

    Ferrari's are horrendously unreliable.

    A Ford is not. Especially not a modern one.

    People have no idea about what a unreliable car is anymore. Having to change bushes and suspension is normal maintenance. Especially if you buy an older car with 60k miles on it. Its just most people wouldn't bother on a Ford Ka as it would cost more than the cars value.

    Cars are generally very reliable now and you have to scrape to the lowest echelons of build quality to get an unreliable car...i.e. a British car! Haha! Its a shame that British cars are also the most fun.
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    (Original post by aidans34)
    Yes things break on cars, but the difference between a reliable and unreliable car is how many things break and how often. If someone asks if a car is reliable they're asking about all of the car, if you were to say to a customer "yes this car is very reliable, the suspensions ****ed, the steering rack doesn't work and all the electrics are useless" how impressed do you think they would be? You have to do thousands of miles before it goes wrong?? Well pardon me for making an assumption but most people do do thousands of miles in their cars and they want to be able to do those miles with only normal maintainance. My parents had a Previa for 10 years that did 100k and all that went wrong was the sunroof, thats reliability for it. You'll find few modern cars that will regularly not start unless they are especially ****ed so thats really a moot point.

    There is a known fault on the pre-2003 models, and even on the latter models they tend to deteriorate at lower miles than competitors engines. It came from the 1950's ey? Must mean its brilliant.

    End of the day the 1.3 ka is a poor car in comparison to whats avaliable and its a bad choice to make, you can have much better for the same money.
    Of course you can have much better for your money. What's a fiat panda cost these days? 11 grand? You could buy a 60's mustang for that or a TVR.
    We're talking about budget motoring here, though.

    The fact the engine can trace its roots back to the 50's means that it's simple by todays standards and thus cheap to maintain.

    I'm not going to waste any more time arguing the point with you. From the standpoint you are taking you've clearly never turned a spanner in your life and you also strike me as one of those people that think you can own a car and never lift a bonnet between services.
    I've owned over 50 cars throughout my driving history and one of them was a KA. It was fine.
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    (Original post by JC.)
    Of course you can have much better for your money. What's a fiat panda cost these days? 11 grand? You could buy a 60's mustang for that or a TVR.
    We're talking about budget motoring here, though.

    The fact the engine can trace its roots back to the 50's means that it's simple by todays standards and thus cheap to maintain.

    I'm not going to waste any more time arguing the point with you. From the standpoint you are taking you've clearly never turned a spanner in your life and you also strike me as one of those people that think you can own a car and never lift a bonnet between services.
    I've owned over 50 cars throughout my driving history and one of them was a KA. It was fine.
    Yes and even by budget standards, its a **** car, come into the motor trade and deal with different types of cars and problems every day, try talking to mechanics from all the main dealers and other non-franchise dealers and then you'll see how ridiculous it is to have this 'i owned one that was fine and therefore they are all fine' attitude.
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    Lol, J.C. is in the motor trade...
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    Good for him, but that begs the question even more as to why he hates every modern car apart from the Ford KA which is apparently wonderful. Its like being a hotel inspector and claiming the best place to say is Wandsworth prison

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