Ford Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Ford 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 automatic transmission may develop shifting concerns. On lower mileage vehicles, upgrading the software in the powertrain control module (PCM) and the transmission control module (TCM) may correct the problem. As the mileage increases, internal transmission damage can occur. Repairs could involve replacement of the valve body or a complete transmission rebuild. Whenever major transmission repairs are made, it is important to be sure the PCM and the TCM have the latest software updates to help prevent these issues from reoccurring.

The engine may have a misfire, hesitation, and/or run roughly – notably after a service and/or ignition wire replacement. If after recent ignition wire replacement, the cause can be misrouted ignition wires. The wires from the distributor to the valve cover must be routed correctly to avoid interference and induction crossfire. Verify all clips are used to secure and separate ignition wires.

An illuminated Check Engine Light could indicate that one or more of the ignition coils has failed due to excessive spark plug gap. To fix this problem, the ignition coils that have failed, the spark plugs, and all coil boots should be replaced.

A leaking axle shaft seal and / or PTU cover seal can cause transmission (red) or Power Transfer Unit (PTU) (brown) fluid leaks at the axle area. The axle shaft seal and / or PTU cover seal may be leaking and should be replaced as required.

Catalytic converter failure is common. Internal components become loose, causing a rattle or creating back pressure in the exhaust.

The engine oil pan gasket can develop a leak. Leaking oil may accumulate on the exhaust system resulting in a burning smell. Replacing the gasket should correct this leak.

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.

Software enhancements are available to remedy inconsistency and confusion about the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning cycle - “Regeneration” mode. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) will need to be reprogrammed to add several enhancements, including a more reasonable driving experience during the cleaning cycle and instrument cluster notifications of the cleaning status.

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.

Squeaks and creaks heard while driving over bumps and turning can be caused be a couple common sources and should be carefully diagnosed. Possible weld issues on the lower control arms can cause the noise concerns and require repair kits for the lower control arms from Ford. A jounce bumper (bump stop) rubbing against dry strut plate can cause an abrasion noise from the strut area. In this case the strut assembly should be disassembled to lubricate the jounce bumper and then reinstalled.

There is a technical service bulletin for the V8 engines regarding a possible problem with the spark plug being ejected from the cylinder head, damaging the threads in the spark plug hole. If the vehicle is under warranty, cylinder head replacement is recommended. If the vehicle is out of warranty, Ford authorized the use of a specific thread insert to repair the head.