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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your Ford Thunderbird

Ford Thunderbird Models:

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Ford Thunderbird Problems

Engine -- Verified

The valve cover gaskets may leak oil into the spark plug wells, shorting out the spark plugs, causing a misfire, and illuminating the Check Engine Light. Commonly the spark plugs and ignition coils or wires will require replacement, along with resealing the valve cover to correct this concern.

Engine -- Verified

There may be an extended warranty on the ignition coils - see your  Ford Dealer for more information-Thanks John B for this information!

Engine -- Verified

White smoke coming from the exhaust could indicate that a head gasket has blown or there is a cracked cylinder head. Our technicians tell us that removal and inspection of the cylinder heads will be required to confirm a crack is present.

Engine -- Verified

Water or oil may enter into the ignition coil cover and the spark plug bore, causing a misfire and illuminating the Check Engine Light. A coil with improved water and oil sealing is available and should be installed.

Engine -- Verified

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.

Ford Thunderbird Recalls (Recent)

Body, Interior & Misc., May 15, 1996

Summary: WHEN IN THE SECONDARY LATCHED POSITION, THE DRIVER DOOR LATCHES MAY OPEN WHEN SUBJECTED TO TRANSVERSE LOADS LESS THAN THAT SPECIFIED IN FMVSS NO. 206, "DOOR LOCKS AND DOOR RETENTION COMPONENTS."

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Body, Interior & Misc., July 20, 2004

RepairPal Expert Overview:

Ford has recalled certain 2004 Taurus, Thunderbird, and Mercury Sable vehicles due to an inadequate weld on the front seats. In a collision, the seat may not perform as designed, which could result in injury. Dealers will replace the upper support assembly on the power seats.

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Body, Interior & Misc., May 24, 1991

Summary: THE NUTS WHICH HOLD WINDSHIELD WIPER MOTOR TO THE WIPER MODULE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENTLY TIGHTENED AND MAY LOOSEN OR COME OFF. THIS CAUSES CHANGED WIPER PATTERNS, OR THE WIPERS MAY JAM IF TWO OF THE THREE NUTS COME OFF.

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Drive Train, July 22, 1991

Summary: THE PARK ROD ASSEMBLY CONTAINS A PARK CAM WITH INADEQUATE SURFACE HARDNESS, WHICH COULD LEAD TO PARK DISENGAGEMENT OR NO PARK ENGAGEMENT WHEN THE LEVER IS PLACED IN PARK.

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Electrical & Lights, June 7, 1996

Summary: THE IGNITION SWITCH COULD EXPERIENCE AN INTERNAL SHORT CIRCUIT.

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Ford Thunderbird Questions and Answers

Smoove, 1990 Ford Thunderbird, Portland, OR

where is a wiper motor located in a 1990 thunderbird SC

Visitor, 1990 Ford Thunderbird, Stockton, CA

location of diagnostic plugs

Steph83, 1990 Ford Thunderbird, Buckeye, AZ

the darn questionaire won't let me put in the actual year it is an..

1983 Thunderbird...It has been sitting for a year I have put in three "top grade gas" with fuel injection/carb...

Visitor, 1990 Ford Thunderbird, Manchester, TN

my 60 tbird, hard top, 352ci, with a/c needs a heater core. the a/c feature requires that the replacement core be EXACTLY the same configuration as the original. my car is torn apart until i can...

Visitor, 1990 Ford Thunderbird, Manchester, TN

i need a heater core for 1960 tbird with a/c. and a 352ci
do you know anywhere i can get one?

Write a Review About Your Car

Ford Thunderbird Reviews

I have a 2004 T Bird. With 14,200 miles and started missing under acceleration. Took it to my Ford Dealer in Stockton, Ca.

It was two coils and the window washer container and they replaced them. Gave me a new Mustang to drive home. I live 65 miles away from the dealer. No charge for anything except the gas I used.

There is a Ford warranty on the 2002--2004 Thunderbirds for 100,000 miles or 10 years. The Dealer was great. Said come back if the problem recurs. No Charge just a handshake.

Cy in CA.

We purchased this 1994 T-Bird from the original owner in 2001 and it had about 60,000 miles on it and was in beautiful condition. The engine is the 3.8 V-6, and only full synthetic oil was used in the car since new. My wife drove it until 2009 when she got a new car. At that time it had just under 100,000 miles on it. I started using it as my part time commute car for work and put another 5,000 miles on it. Over years, the car ran great, and other than routine maintenance, we had no problems. A couple of years before my wife stopped driving it, however, we noticed that it was losing coolant, but there were no apparent leaks. When we had it checked out, the mechanic flushed and pressure tested the system and indicated that there were no problems. He neglected to tell me that these cars are known for head gasket failure. A little over a year ago the check engine light started coming on intermittently, the heat stopped working and the coolant loss problem continued. I stopped driving it, and several months ago when I started it up, it begain spewing white smoke. I am told that the head gasket needs to be replaced, and I understand that this could be quite expensive, since I can't do it myself. This is unfortunate, since I really enjoyed driving this car, and this is the only major problem we have had with it.

i have a 1997 ford thunderbird but when i buy parts its gotta be for a 96 tbird. but my cars a 1997 makes no sense made a few trips to autozone with parts for a 97 and not fit .. anyways its a great car i just put brakes on it but my rotors are so messed up when im goin like 65 and i gotta make a sudden stop it shakes like u wouldnt believe .but all 4 wheels are all disc brakes is there anyway that i can put my back rotors on my front ?? does anyone know .if u can doit or not but other than that i love it i got the 4.6 V8 and i get like 28mpg.. its awesome the interior is a lil messed up but it was like that when i got it.. its the fastest on race day!!!!

I've never been a real fan of Ford until I gambled and bought my 1996 v-8....this is absolutely the best car I've ever owned, powerful, quiet, a smooth ride, and stylish good looks - the only fault I can find is the cup holders are positioned awkwardly

Beautiful Car. It is fun to drive. I am greatly disappointed with the air conditioner. They say it needs a new compressor. It has 32,000 miles on it.