Car Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The front brake rotors can warp and cause a vibration when braking. The rotors will need to be machined or in cases where they are worn to thin, replaced to correct this issue.

An overheated wire in the head light harness can cause the low beams not to work. Replacing combination light/turn signal switch switch, the wire for the low beams, and the combination switch connector (if damaged) should repair this issue.

There have been some issues reported with the electric sliding doors. Our technicians remind us that proper diagnoses will be necessary to determine the cause of various faults which may occur.

If one of the power window motors is not very strong, and the window moves slowly. Operating the windows with the engine running will help take some of the stress off the motor and prolong its lifespan.

The green "Drive" light on the dashboard tends to burn out, requiring replacement of the burned out bulb.

The exhaust manifold commonly fails on the 5 cylinder engine and may develop an exhaust leak that is especially noticeable when the car is cold.

A cosmetic crack may develop on the plastic liftgate trim panel. Our technicians tell us the Ford has released a service procedure to replace the applique without damage the the liftgate glass.

Very hard shifting may be noted after the transmission reaches operating temperature. Most commonly this occurs in the higher gears and reverse. Replacement of the transmission may be recommended to correct this concern.

Various problems with the 5-speed automatic transmission were common. These problems can be more common on the 2002 models with build dates before March, 2002. There are many service bulletins describing the diagnoses and repairs, which include fluid leak repairs, transmission software updates, or internal failures requiring a costly repair.

Bulletin 13N02 - This program extends the coverage of the brake booster to ten years of service or 150,000 miles from the warranty start of the vehicle, whichever occurs first. This is a one time repair program.

In some of the affected vehicles, it is possible for the brake booster to develop a small tear in the diaphragm under certain driving and environmental conditions. If this occurs, the driver may hear a hissing noise while depressing the pedal and may also experience a "spongy" pedal feel without a noticeable effect on braking performance. If the vehicle is not serviced, the tear will eventually expand and the pedal effort required to stop the vehicle will gradually increase. However, in all cases, the fundamental vehicle braking system remains functional.

The common problem for ignition misfires are ignition coils going bad. Replacement of the bad ignition coil is necessary. These should be fixed as soon as a problem is detected. Otherwise the misfire can cause damage to other components.

Delamination of the diesel fuel tank can occur resulting in a loss of power due to debris clogging the fuel filters. In some cases the fuel injection pump and/or fuel injectors have also been damaged. Ford has issued a service bulletin (#19728) addressing this concern. This issue can affect all diesel F-350, F-450, F-550, F-650, and F-750 Super Duty models.

Our technicians tell us the spark plugs in this engine can be very difficult to remove. Ford has issued a service bulletin (08-7-6) to address this issue, which includes a recommended procedure on how to remove the plugs. Failure to follow the recommended procedure can result in the one or more spark plugs breaking off in the cylinder head.

The recommend procedure is as follows. Using this procedure will greatly reduce the chance of breaking a spark plug.

1. Break the spark plugs loose when the engine is warm.
2. Turn each plug 1/8 to 1/4 turn and soak the treads with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of Motorcraft Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner or a quality penetrating oil. Do not try to remove the plugs at this time.
3. Let the threads soak for at least 15 minutes.
4. After the soak period, tighten and loosen each spark plug, working it back and forth until the turning effort is reduced. Then, you can remove the spark plug.

There are special tools available to remove the broken spark plugs and repair shops will often charge additional labor time, over and above the quoted spark plug replacement cost, for the removal of each broken spark plug.

The composite (plastic) intake manifold may crack near the thermostat housing and cause a coolant leak. Ford released an updated manifold that was reinforced to prevent a recurrence. No recall was issued for this problem but Ford did extend the warranty to seven years on some models from the date of purchase.

If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, this could be caused by a failing differential clutch kit. An updated differential clutch kit available.

The composite (plastic) intake manifold may crack near the thermostat housing and cause a coolant leak. Ford released an updated manifold that was reinforced to prevent a recurrence. No recall was issued for this problem but Ford did extend the warranty to seven years on some models from the date of purchase.

A dirty throttle body may cause a lower than normal idle and possible stalling condition. Performing a throttle body service will commonly correct this concern.

The quick-connect fittings for the heater hoses tend to leak engine coolant. This problem commonly occurs because the metal housing has become brittle, which can break and cause leaks.

The heater - AC blower motor may stop working at one or more speeds due to a faulty blower motor resistor block.

The muffler heat shield may become loose on the muffler causing a rattle or popping noise. Our technicians tell us there is a kit available from GM to correct this problem.

The 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.

Various issues with the electric power steering system may develop and could require replacement of steering column assembly.

The ignition switch may fail causing a no start condition. This is not generally a theft system (passlock) issue because the security light does not illuminate or flash.

The speedometer or other instrument panel gauge may begin to work erratically at times. Our technicians tell us that the instrument cluster must be sent to a repair facility to correct this fault. The warranty has been extended on some of these units to 7 years or 70,000 miles.

The speedometer or other instrument panel gauge may begin to work erratically at times. Our technicians tell us that the instrument cluster must be sent to a repair facility to correct this fault.

The turn signal switch in the steering column may fail causing the turn signals not to work on one or both sides.

The steering wheel position sensor may fail, resulting in the service stability message being displayed.

One or more fuel injectors may become stuck closed causing an engine misfire  and the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us that this problem can be caused by some fuel additives. There are special procedures which may be able to restore the affected injector. If this fails the affected injector must be replaced.