Ford India’s decision to do away with the Ford Ikon car recently was not a shock for many. The car was anyways long in the tooth and had already been replaced by its more classier cousin, the Ford Fiesta, in the global market. However now even the old Fiesta is getting replaced with an entirely new one, so it was a wise decision to axe the ageing Ford Ikon. However along with the axe comes a bonus, that of diminishing second hand Ford Ikon prices. I know that its been more than a month since anything worthwhile has been contributed to the used cars section. We are short staffed at the moment and this is the reason. When one of my friends recently sold his 8 year old Ikon and went and brought a new Fabia, another of my friend, who was very much interested in the Ikon asked me for some tips on buying a used Ford Ikon and here is what I had to tell him. Mind you, this is only the tip of the iceberg and lot more things have to be taken into consideration while buying a used car and especially a Ford Ikon.
First of all, the Ford Ikon was available in 4 variants. A 1.8 and 1.4 diesel, 1.6 and 1.3 liter petrol engines. The 1.4 engines were introduced as part of satisfying the economy brigade whereas the 1.6 was more for the enthusiasts who wanted more out of the Ford’s willing chassis. The 1.8 diesel was for taxi operators or for those looking for diesel economy. The main reason why many people prefer not buying a used Ford Ikon is because of the high maintenance tag associated with it. Well let me be clear on this. Yes, a used Ford Ikon does have a higher maintenance thing going on for it than the others in its class. First and foremost, the Ford Ikon is built on a tough chassis and so there wouldn’t be too many squeaks and rattles coming its way. The exterior body paint, though used to look dull on the old lot of cars however still will do with a wash and wipe sequence. Tougher body shell than the Maruti Esteem ensures less of dangling bumpers. Well you can get dangling bumpers if the said car has been in a shunt and the owner is one of those “chalta hain “ attitude people. Fixing the front or rear bumpers would set you back by approximately Rs 5000. The front door, if it has got a ding or doesn’t close properly, would have to be replaced and it is a costly affair at Rs 9k. The bonnet would go for Rs 7k whereas the front windscreen for Rs 5k and the rear one for 3k. The bonnet also costs Rs 3k. Not exactly cheap and so one must look or rather scrutinize the used Ford Ikon before buying it.
Tyre tread pattern for cars with steel wheels need to be checked properly. If the tyre appears bald, then ask the previous owner to have the tyres replaced. Also bald tyres indicate that the suspension must have also taken a hit. Check for suspension arm bushings visually and also for any oil leaks from the suspension. Now comes the time to check if all the light glasses have blacked out or are clear. If it’s the former, then either the glass can be cleaned or it can be replaced. Its not a costly thing. Checking out the interiors of the car would reveal minimal squeaks or rattling body parts as the Ikon has a tough body shell. However the interiors would seem Spartan in front of the modern cabins that today’s cars have to offer. Check if the lights are all working properly. Put on the handbrake or press the brake pedal to ensure that even the brake lights are working. A major problem with the Ford Ikon is its AC. It was notorious for throwing out fumes or hot air instead of cold one. Check the AC duct pipes and in my honest opinion, get a AC specialist with you for checking the car’s AC. It is better to detect or nip the problem at source rather than have to pay Rs 11k for getting the AC overhauled. The Ford Ikon’s interiors get soiled easily for the cars after 2004, which used beige as an option for upholstery. However a simple shampoo job would do the trick.
Seats are comfortable for the front passenger and driver however for the rear ones, it would be an intimate affair. The Ikon boasts of a hump in the form of the transmission tunnel at the rear and this limits the space available. Seating two however wouldn’t be a problem. The boot space is also good however it is marred by suspension intrusions. Few Ikons have been reported with some rust in the boot, so check if the boot hinges and all are rust free. Also check the seat belts and if they are past their expiry date. There shouldn’t be too much of slack when you brake hard. For the part of driving the car, the idle should feel real smooth and the car shouldn’t be sluggish while negotiating the city traffic. If it does, then the imported from Brazil fuel injector would have to be replaced and it would cost approximately Rs 5k. Yes, it is that expensive plus there would be a waiting period before that part is procured from Carnival Land. The Ford Ikon was known for its razor sharp steering response and a used one shouldn’t be different. The steering pump is highly reliable and so there shouldn’t be any issues with it. The 1.8 diesel, though a rare find was not much of a performer but then had many issues related to the engine. It is best to leave this car alone, even if it is available at a steal of a price. The 1.6 petrol though is a jewel however beware of tuning boxes attached or free flow exhausts used. In stock form, the engine develops 90 Bhp of power however tuning box specialists have known to take it to 120 Bhp +. Rev the engine and if you experience a screech instead of the free revving noise, then the timing belt has gone kaput and would set you back by Rs 3000. Brakes however have been an issue with Ikons from day one and if you experience that you have to push the brakes real hard, then don’t be alarmed as it is a known Ikon issue and buyers of a second hand Ford Ikon will have to learn to live with them.
On a bad stretch of road or potholes ( both which are more than readily available on Indian roads), the used Ford Ikon’s suspension should behave without any clunky noises. If it does clunk, it means a major suspension overhaul. Moreover, if the car pulls to one side during the test drive, then it also indicates wornout suspension bearings. Overall, it has been noticed that people shy away from buying Ford Ikons but then the newer lot consisting of the 1.4 TDCi engine are the gem for those looking for diesel power and economy. However the 1.4 diesel would be a rare find considering that it is a new unit. The second hand Ford Ikon price for a 2000 model would be somewhere close to Rs 90,000 whereas for a 2005 model 1.6 petrol, it would be Rs 2 lakhs. Closer to 2008/2009 models would be available for Rs 4.33 lakhs. Be prepared to shell out a premium for the 1.4 diesel if you happen to find one. Ford has taken care of their service part and so there shouldn’t be any graying patches over it.