When we took our 2014 Ford Fiesta ST in for its first scheduled service, this hot hatch was feeling worse for the wear after a few months of hard driving. Along with the regular maintenance, we had the dealer check out a few issues staffers had noticed. Most notable were vibrations at highway speeds and some clunking noises from the rear suspension. Below is the full timeline of our issues and how they were resolved.
3,294 miles: The front tires are looking worn after an autocross and a track day, so we rotate all four to even out the wear.
5,395 miles: Associate Web editor Jake Holmes notices that the brakes are squeaking a bit. He also points out a vibration from the front end that may signify a bent or unbalanced wheel.
5,552 miles: After yet another autocross and even more hard driving, all four tires need replacing. Our friends at Tire Rack send us a new set of the Fiesta’s OEM tires, RE050A 205/40R17 Bridgestone Potenzas. Including the labor to mount and balance all four, the total cost for the new rubber is $764.
5,773 miles: We make a trip to an alloy wheel repair shop to straighten out the left front wheel that was causing the vibration at highway speeds. Total cost is $135.
6,642 miles: The vibration is back, and road test editor Chris Nelson notices that the rear shocks are feeling worn. They make clunking noises over large bumps, and the rear end doesn’t feel nearly as tight as it did when we first took delivery of the car.
7,022 miles: Although the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST’s maintenance schedule recommends a service every 10,000 miles, we took our car in to Dean Sellers Ford in Troy, Michigan, a bit early for its scheduled maintenance. We also asked the dealer to take a look at the squeaking brakes, the vibrations, and the rear shock absorbers.
It turned out that three of the four wheels -- left front, left rear, and right rear -- were bent, and both rear shocks were blown out. That explained the vibrations and clunking noises. The service technician told us that the squeaking brakes were normal, so no fix was issued for that. Replacing three of the Fiesta ST’s wheels cost $1,550 total, including labor, and the two new rear shock absorbers added up to $375.72.
That’s a lot of money for a car with only 7,000 miles on it. For the wheel damage, we blame the low-profile tires, whose thin sidewalls offer little protection from Michigan’s brutal pavement. For the rear shock replacement, we accept some culpability, since we did drive the car hard at the autocross and on the track, not to mention our spirited driving on public roads. Still, we think a performance car such as the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST should be able to stand up to this amount of hard driving, as it seems reasonable that owners of this car would use it like we did.
We’ll keep a close eye on our 2014 Ford Fiesta ST’s bill of health going forward, so look for future updates on the car to see how it holds up for the rest of its stay with us.
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