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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently inherited a blue 2016 Ford Fiesta SE sedan with 40K miles from my father. I could have let it go back to the bank, but they'd have auctioned it off and his estate would have been responsible for the balance. It looks like he bought it used about a year and a half ago with 25K miles. I don't know the car's history before he purchased it, but he had the oil changed at a Ford dealership every 5K miles. According to the dealership, the only warranty repair was both rear shocks, which I found a bit odd. I suspect the vehicle may have started life as a rental (I haven't ran a history report). The modestly-powered 1.6L N/A engine is very quiet and smooth. The 6-speed PowerShift dual clutch transmission is...interesting. Having no torque converter, it essentially idles in neutral and automatically releases the clutch when you take your foot off the brake pedal. It even has a cute little launch mode that revs the engine to 3K then dumps the clutch as soon as you release the brake pedal. It's an odd sensation to feel a manual transmission with a clutch taking off all by itself. Shifts are smooth and imperceptible, although this transmission has a bad reputation for reliability and shift quality. It's been over 15 years since I last owned a Ford.

What surprised me:
1. Road and engine noise are as low, if not lower, than my 2017 Civic or 2018 Accord! Seriously, Honda?
2. The Sync 3 infotainment system is simple to use, fast, and has a clean interface. The car came with version 1.0 and was easy to upgrade to 3.0 which adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto among other things. Sync 3 is based on Blackberry QNX instead of Microsoft Windows.
3. The 6-speaker, 80-watt audio system sounds better than the 8-speaker, 180-watt system in my Accord.
4. It rides comfortably and handles surprisingly well for a low-priced, subcompact economy car.

What needs attention:
1. The rear tires are noisy. I don't think it's a wheel bearing.
2. The driver's power mirror left-right mechanism is broken.
3. The body is relatively dent-free, but there are some scratches, scuffs, and white paint overspray. It'll look much better after I clay, polish, and wax it.
5. The entire interior looked like the floor of a fast food restaurant kitchen and smells like a wet ashtray. It was full of garbage, crumbs, cigarette ashes, dust, dog hair, spilled drinks, mud, and mystery substances of questionable legality. After two, full days of vacuuming, wiping, scrubbing, and shampooing, the interior now looks presentable with only a few scratches. I've got an ozone generator coming tomorrow to address the lingering smoke odor.

Knowing my father, the car was properly maintained and gently driven, but the interior and exterior were neglected. Words can't describe just how filthy it was inside. I wished I would have thought to take "before" pictures!
 

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Have fun with it for a while, no point it unloading it too soon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Have fun with it for a while, no point it unloading it too soon.
Just over a month ago, I traded my Ridgeline and Accord for an RDX primarily to save on insurance and recover my garage space. Now, I'm right back to where I was! I certainly don't need this car. In fact, I'd never even seen it until I was notified of my father's passing and made an impromptu road trip to his house to get it along with paperwork and family photos. I do remember him telling me that he downsized from a 2013 Mustang GT California Special several months ago. I'll finish bringing it up to my standards and either hang on to it or sell it.
 

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Condolences regarding your father's passing.

I bet you would have found a way for the water heater to fit into that bad boy.:grin: Car looks mint. There's always something nice about having a sacrificial car if you want to call a 2016 sacrificial. I don't know how they do it in Texas but I hope you have a nice scraper for all the registrations.:smile:
 

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It's a "FORD" it can sit on the driveway. You can mess with the noisy neighbors about having company. ;) And if it's paid off, just drop the insurance to PL/PD, and play with it for a few months. You never know when a Friend or Family member will need a vehicle and you can pass that along.
 

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Sorry to hear about the passing of your father, Zroger. You can enjoy that car with very little expense.

The points you made about the quiet ride and sound quality of the stereo system make me feel better about the recent (today) purchase my SIL made of a 2016 Ford Focus ST with 10K miles.

Thank you for the information you shared with me via pm. He ended up getting a vehicle with fewer miles at a lower price than the one I referenced before.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I enjoy the threads that include personal illustrations of life.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Car looks mint. There's always something nice about having a sacrificial car if you want to call a 2016 sacrificial. I don't know how they do it in Texas but I hope you have a nice scraper for all the registrations.:smile:
Unlike me, the car looks better in pictures than in person, but it is dramatically cleaner now than how he left it. He used to keep vehicles washed, vacuumed, and waxed regularly when I was a kid, but he really let things go later in life. Although we spoke regularly on the phone, I hadn't seen him in about six years. I knew he wasn't the cleanest person, but I was absolutely appalled at the mess I found in both his home and car.

The car was registered in Louisiana, so it has only one windshield sticker which is already peeling off due to the cigarette smoke and one license plate. I'll need to install a front license plate bracket after I get it registered in Texas.

It's a "FORD" it can sit on the driveway. You can mess with the noisy neighbors about having company. ;) And if it's paid off, just drop the insurance to PL/PD, and play with it for a few months. You never know when a Friend or Family member will need a vehicle and you can pass that along.
That's the current plan is to keep liability (required) and comprehensive (cheap) only and drop collision (optional). I have a step-sister of limited means who is in need of a vehicle and this one would be perfect for her, but she refuses to accept anything less than an SUV or pickup even though her daddy is paying for it. Don't get me started on that! I can't stand manipulative moochers taking advantage of the goodwill of others.

The points you made about the quiet ride and sound quality of the stereo system make me feel better about the recent (today) purchase my SIL made of a 2016 Ford Focus ST with 10K miles.
Congrats to your SIL - I'm sure he'll enjoy the FoST! My step-brother bought a new Focus back in '03. It was sooo much fun to drive and fairly refined for the segment.

One negative thing that stands out about this Fiesta is that it has a lot of plastiky dash rattles and creaks and the doors feel worn. I'm used to Hondas with tens or even hundreds of thousands of miles still being tight. The great-sounding stereo helps with this, though, and the multi-color ambient lighting is a fun novelty. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What needs attention:
1. The rear tires are noisy. I don't think it's a wheel bearing.

3. The body is relatively dent-free, but there are some scratches, scuffs, and white paint overspray. It'll look much better after I clay, polish, and wax it.

4. The entire interior looked like the floor of a fast food restaurant kitchen and smells like a wet ashtray. It was full of garbage, crumbs, cigarette ashes, dust, dog hair, spilled drinks, mud, and mystery substances of questionable legality. After two, full days of vacuuming, wiping, scrubbing, and shampooing, the interior now looks presentable with only a few scratches. I've got an ozone generator coming tomorrow to address the lingering smoke odor.
1. I jacked up the rear of the car and couldn't find any signs of a bad wheel bearing, but the left rear tire was cupped - I could feel it and see it. I had a local Ford dealer install a new OE tire for $118 and the noise is gone. The service department was super accomodating. They gushed over how clean the car was (if they only knew what it looked like a week ago!). They even offered to replace some other parts for free and offered advice on the potential causes of failure!

3. I clayed and polished the paint over a two-day period. Everything except the hood and front grill look showroom new. All the scratching from two years of automated car washes is completely gone. This car has a really good paint job - the amount of orange peel is minimal. Unfortunately, the etching, chipping, and flaking due to dried insects and road debris on the hood, grille, and mirror housings is beyond my ability to repair - those items need repainted in order for the car to look like new again. I'll check out low-cost options, but it's not worth a factory-quality repair.

4. To my amazement, the ozone generator removed all traces of both the cigarette smoke smoke and cheap air freshener odor. However, I think I overdid the ozone and oxidized the interior materials creating a new smell that smells like "old car left out in the sun too long". I believe this can be masked by some good air freshener.
 

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1. I jacked up the rear of the car and couldn't find any signs of a bad wheel bearing, but the left rear tire was cupped - I could feel it and see it. I had a local Ford dealer install a new OE tire for $118 and the noise is gone. The service department was super accomodating. They gushed over how clean the car was (if they only knew what it looked like a week ago!). They even offered to replace some other parts for free and offered advice on the potential causes of failure!

3. I clayed and polished the paint over a two-day period. Everything except the hood and front grill look showroom new. All the scratching from two years of automated car washes is completely gone. This car has a really good paint job - the amount of orange peel is minimal. Unfortunately, the etching, chipping, and flaking due to dried insects and road debris on the hood, grille, and mirror housings is beyond my ability to repair - those items need repainted in order for the car to look like new again. I'll check out low-cost options, but it's not worth a factory-quality repair.

4. To my amazement, the ozone generator removed all traces of both the cigarette smoke smoke and cheap air freshener odor. However, I think I overdid the ozone and oxidized the interior materials creating a new smell that smells like "old car left out in the sun too long". I believe this can be masked by some good air freshener.
You might want to wipe some Shin Etsu grease on the weatherstripping around the doors and windows, and any other rubberized components you can find in the cabin, under the dash, etc. That ozone can do a number on rubber stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dam Mustang to a fiesta....
No kidding. Going from a semi-rare muscle car to a bargain-basement rental car must have been like cutting off his own leg.

You might want to wipe some Shin Etsu grease on the weatherstripping around the doors and windows, and any other rubberized components you can find in the cabin, under the dash, etc. That ozone can do a number on rubber stuff...
I do have an unopened tube of SE grease, but I'm not very concerned about exposing the car to ozone. The ozone generator I used claims 5,000 mg/hr. output. It was on for one hour then the car was ventilated with fresh air. The ozone generator in my hot tub claims 300 mg/hr. It runs continuously. The plastic, vinyl, and foam rubber inside the hot tub outlasts the exterior vinyl covers protected with 303. Even the plastic, vinyl, and rubber components from the ozone generator to the Mazzei injector lasts for years under constant exposure to concentrated ozone. Basically, I'm confident that a 5,000 mg burst of ozone over an hour is much less damaging than a continuous exposure to 300 mg over tens of thousands of hours. :)
 

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Sorry about your father's passing, it was rough when my dad passed.

But if you will allow me.... And if you're still considering getting rid of the car... When someone passes, as you pretty much said, what they own is applied to what they owe. So if they have positive net assets, all or a percentage is legally owed to the institutions holding loans. But if you returned the car to the finance company with a death certificate, they may just forgive the debt. If they have no net assets, they have no choice but to "forgive" the debt.

Just in case you're not already aware of this.

I hope this doesn't come off as crass, it's hard to communicate sympathy in writing.

PS: I am not a lawyer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry about your father's passing, it was rough when my dad passed.

But if you will allow me.... And if you're still considering getting rid of the car... When someone passes, as you pretty much said, what they own is applied to what they owe. So if they have positive net assets, all or a percentage is legally owed to the institutions holding loans. But if you returned the car to the finance company with a death certificate, they may just forgive the debt. If they have no net assets, they have no choice but to "forgive" the debt.

Just in case you're not already aware of this.

I hope this doesn't come off as crass, it's hard to communicate sympathy in writing.

PS: I am not a lawyer.
Thank you.

The car is worth just under payoff. He did not have credit life insurance on the loan. I've already contacted the lender. The two options are:

1. Pay off the car. They'll mail the title and I'll pay a small amount to transfer it to my name using an Affidavit of Heirship (no will or probate necessary).
2. Voluntarily surrender the car. It will go to auction where it will be sold for thousands below payoff. They will come after the estate for the difference.

Option 1 will result in a smaller net loss. Fortunately, he had just enough money in a savings account to pay off the car and cover his other final expenses. I still plan to sell the car. I never saw him in it, so there's no sentimental value and I have no use for it. I believe I can get close to payoff for it. A co-worker and a third party have already expressed interest in it, but I doubt either one qualifies for financing.
 

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Thank you.

The car is worth just under payoff. He did not have credit life insurance on the loan. I've already contacted the lender. The two options are:

1. Pay off the car. They'll mail the title and I'll pay a small amount to transfer it to my name using an Affidavit of Heirship (no will or probate necessary).
2. Voluntarily surrender the car. It will go to auction where it will be sold for thousands below payoff. They will come after the estate for the difference.

Option 1 will result in a smaller net loss. Fortunately, he had just enough money in a savings account to pay off the car and cover his other final expenses. I still plan to sell the car. I never saw him in it, so there's no sentimental value and I have no use for it. I believe I can get close to payoff for it. A co-worker and a third party have already expressed interest in it, but I doubt either one qualifies for financing.
OK, you have a good plan, best of luck zroger...
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I ended up paying the car off and finally got a clear title. It's been up for sale for a few days now and I've got several bites, but nothing promising yet. Payoff was more than the value of the car, but it felt like the right thing to do as opposed to letting it go back to the bank.

I replaced the driver's power mirror mechanism and door speaker, so everything works now. As luck would have it, the OE battery died on my way to the title office after only 2.5 years. Surprisingly, a new Motorcraft battery installed by a local Ford dealer was the least expensive option.

Here are some "before" and "after" photos. The "before" interior picture was actually after an initial shoveling of garbage (literally) out of the floor, seats, and console. The interior from headliner to floor was covered in a layer of mud, cigarette ashes, sticky soft drinks, prophylactics, and beer along with seeds, powders, and other substances of questionable legality. Amazingly, it was well-maintained mechanically, is all-original, and virtually dent-free. The paint was dull from the abrasion of what must have been hundreds of automatic car washes immediately behind muddy trucks. Another day of claying, polishing, and waxing restored the paint to a like-new gloss. It was actually fun to see the transformation. The only thing that I wasn't able to bring to my satisfaction was paint etching on the front bumper, hood, and mirror housings from those evil "lovebugs". I touched up that damage with a Dr. ColorChip kit - the improvement was quite significant.
 

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Good work Roger! Looks great. Make sure you price it on the high side due to it's condition. Otherwise people will show up and wonder why it's so cheap that there must be something wrong with it!

Maybe you should just trade it and the RDX in on the new 2020 Ridgeline with the revised front end and the new knob radio!

STeve
 
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