Sierra saga



My Ford Sierra XR4x4 EFi continues to be as reliable as our Haden Auto-jug electric-kettle or an Ever Ready torch (“usual disclaimers”, as they used to say). Reporting on it after 37,888 miles, there is nothing to report! I remember that, when I proposed to write of other editorial cars after similar mileages, DSJ would look at me quizzically over his glasses and suggest that, until a car has run 100,000 or 200,000 miles, there is little point in discussing its durability.

However, I take some comfort from the fact that a weekly contemporary has made much of its 12,000-mile assessment of a new Ford Mondeo, admittedly completed in one week, and is now proclaiming its new 10 — 20,000 mile road-test reports. Anyway, apart from a few very minor peccadillos, the 4×4 Sierra continues to serve me well. The driver’s seat-belt does not reel in very effectively and, on one occasion, it jammed the door. Also, the digital clock has become invisible in the dark. More than once the o/s rear door has refused to shut; left open, this discharges the battery through the interior courtesy lamps — why, oh why don’t modern cars have master-switches to cut the electrics, which Renault used to provide on their most inexpensive models such as the R4. Otherwise, no problems. . .

The Pirelli P600s showed an average of 4mm tread-depth after 13,500 miles and the dip-stick’s continual refusal to call for any oil between 12,000-mile services is almost embarrassing.

Winter again proved the great worth of the Ford heated windscreen, but I wonder whether such glass, which contains the wires and is partially tinted, is bad for one’s eyes? Have any other Sierra drivers felt that this may be so? This very modern screen was blemished while I was following another car, on the M4 of all places, motorways usually being devoid of loose stones and so on.

That was no real setback, because Autoglass in Hereford had the correct heated screen in stock, which was fitted most efficiently and quickly, at a cost of £245.86. The 36,000-mile service was done equally efficiently by Smithfield Garage in Builth Wells (which used to run its own rally Escort), where a damaged contact was found to be the cause of a faulty graphic information module reading and an inoperative anti-theft alarm. The service cost £81.73; the radio/cassette now functions again, and the power steering fluid reservoir is once again secure. The brake pads did not require replacement.

In my estimation, it’s a most satisfactory car. W B