Our Cars : Keith’s Mondeo – racking up (even more) miles

Regular readers will already know that I’ve bought a £760 Ford Mondeo, with the intention of running it on Bangernomics principles. In other words, it’s a nice car that won’t cost a packet to run, and at which we’ll throw the absolute essential servicing items to keep it running to the best of its ability.

With 210,000 miles on the clock, our 2.0 Ghia Saloon is never going to be a classic car. It’s never going to be desired by anyone and, thanks to a couple of scrapes on its front wings, there’s no real desire to keep it polished and looking its best.

Thanks to Mike, it smells and looks nice in here now…

Despite that, after lending it to Mike Humble for a couple of weeks – while he was between cars – it came back a much improved car. Perhaps I should lend him all my cars. For one, the manky interior had been shampooed to within an inch of its life, so it’s soiled beige cloth seats now looked much more habitable.

But there was more…

Oh yes, those brakes and warning lights

When it headed towards leafy Horsham, the engine management warning light was glowering angrily from the instrument cluster. In addition to this, and as reported by Mike in his recent blog, the brakes were a cause for concern.

I’d already identified that the front discs were warped, but I wasn’t that concerned as they delivered oodles of stopping power, and they’d clearly been replaced quite recently. But when Mike got it home, he’d (rightly) decided that they needed changing in the interests of safety.



I picked up new discs and pads for him (dear at £130 all in, but there’s no reason why I’d skimp on safety) and, during a visit, passed them on. And that very weekend, he put them on – and the difference in the car was immediately clear. Now it stopped in a straight line  – and didn’t threaten to put the driver in a spin. Nice work, Mike!

As for the engine management light, he plugged in his OBD reader and reset the warning. And since then it’s not returned.

And now it’s back in Rutland?

After his short tenure with Mike, the Mondeo is back with me. Don’t worry, he’s not carless, as there’s a very nice Rover 216 GSI on his drive as well as a 66-plate Vauxhall Insignia which he’s driving for Parkers. It’s ploughing the A47 on my commute to Peterborough, and it’s just fine. Forgettable, but fine.

Honestly, I have to say that it’s never felt better. The car truly belies that galactic mileage – there are no clunks, rattles or wobbles. It tracks straight and true, and when sitting on the motorway, it feels planted and secure. The service history paints a picture of a car that’s been supremely well maintained throughout its life, with bills stretching back to the point when it was new. I do wonder whether a TDCi diesel version would be so together and such a mileage – or whether it would have made it at all.

Not sure it was a taxi – it’s too unworn in here

The only thing I’m even vaguely concerned about is its seeming lack of power. It pulls well from about 4000rpm, but up to that point, it feels flat – a sensor or mapping issue. Or just a sign that its 2.0-litre Duratec engine is growing old gracefully. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with its fuel consumption – Mike achieved 44mpg while he had it – and I’m getting around 40mpg.

The warped discs and dents are clearly recent, and point to its last owner, who decided that a cheap car needed to be treated like an, er, cheap car. A shame, that… Is there a plan for this car? Not really – I suspect that, as Bangernomics cars go, this one will perform the role perfectly. I might change the worn-out heated window buttons, though…

Will I keep it? Who knows? It’s a pleasure to own, and painless too. It’s no Rover 75, though. And it never will be…

Keith Adams


  1. I have a 2009 TDCi Mondy…148,000 and counting. Did 650 miles over the bank holiday weekend in great comfort whilst returning 55 mpg. Oddly enough it is having some issues with the brakes too. I am pretty confident it will crack 200k without major issues

  2. we run a taxi fleet with many on 250k and no probs. Press the ok button and the warning lights go off

  3. Great to read that she is running well, a saloon variant is a rare beast on UK roads!

    Having had the fingers burnt many moons ago on an Orion that was scrapped with only 80k on the dial, it looks like Ford might be back on the radar.
    The new Mondeo is a handsome thing – the Aston grille almost gives it an SD1 style 5 door GT car look, while it remains to be seen if SWMBO can be convinced that a Mustang is a family car – it has rear ISOFIX mountings after all…

  4. Glad to hear that the Mondeo is still running well. Petrol Fords are ideal bangernomics cars.

    Obviously not everyone has a mechanic mate who will fit brake discs and diagnose engine management lights for beer or favours, which is why bangernomics is not for everyone and many people still prefer to buy or lease a new(er) car, even if it costs them a big chunk of their disposable income.

    • Many people buy just scrap it when things need doing, so a mechanic friend isn’t even needed! Perhaps not the thing to do with a £750 car after a few weeks, but there are plenty of cheaper cars with a year’s MOT which will last most of that before going wrong.

  5. Supposing you had a wife who pressures you to buy her a car, then drives it into a steel fencepost; and doesn’t believe you when you say that an insurance company would spend £1700 to fix it; you wouldn’t get her an expensive car, would you? Just supposing, you know…
    it helps to have a neighbor with a scaffolding pole residing in his garage.
    That got it at least half way straight.

  6. Looks a very decent car for the dosh that’s responded well to a good clean. The new brake discs & pads look ideal as well. I like the 2 tone dash and door casings – wish my Focus had those.

  7. Locally a gang of kids( you’d assume) decided to scratch a group of cars parked on the street. One was a new Audi. Unless you have a drive or a garage, I see no point in spending money on expensive cars, and I am still having to pay off the finance on a six year old Nissan. It has quite few scratches and scrapes, it’s getting noisy going over speed bumps and poor road surfaces( possibly something like a worn shock absorber), but does me as I can get 50 mpg to work and back and it always starts.

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