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Ford Expedition Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Ford Expedition based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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15
Known Problems

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.

Spark plugs in the Ford Expedition 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 for the removal of each broken spark plug.

The Ford Expedition has known issues with the V8 engine ejecting spark plugs. This will make a tapping or knocking noise, plus the engine will begin to misfire at all speeds. The check engine light will also illuminate.

The threads on the cylinder head are too short and soft, allowing pressure from combustion to overwhelm and destroy the threads. 

When the spark plug ejects, the cylinder head becomes damaged, necessitating repair of the spark plug port threads, or replacement of the cylinder head and cylinder head gasket. 

Ford has recommended a method of repair for the cylinder head that prevents the spark plug from ejecting under future use. Replacement of all spark plugs is not necessary, but an updated spark plug design can help prevent this from happening in the future. 

There is a technical service bulletin for the V8 engine.

The Ford Expedition is known for intermittent rough idling, which may be accompanied by illumination of the check engine light, and poor fuel mileage.

This may be caused by the EGR sensor sticking, causing the EGR valve to stay slightly open, and diagnostic testing must be conducted.

The EGR valve and sensor must be replaced together to correct this concern.

 

An illuminated Check Engine Light may indicate that the spark plugs are worn; this will cause intermittent misfire and damage to the coil packs.

The 1997-2014 Ford Expedition is known for displaying the normal symptoms of a coolant leak, including overheating, especially when the vehicle is idling, the strong smell of coolant from the engine, and illumination of the low engine coolant warning light

This leak is difficult to locate as it is buried underneath the intake manifold, and only begins to leak coolant onto the ground in advanced stages of disrepair. This leak springs from the heater tube, which allows coolant to flow between the water pump and HVAC heater core

When the connection for this tube begins to leak, the coolant burns on the hot engine, and produces a sweet smell that is unmistakably engine coolant. 

The remedy can be complicated, and will necessitate removal of the intake manifold, heater tube, and possibly the water pump. After removal of these items, the connector may be replaced, or a set of o-rings, depending on the year of the vehicle. Most vehicles, model 2002 and later, will have o-rings, and the water pump will not need to be removed. 

The Ford Expedition is known for idling roughly, with a slight whistling noise from the engine compartment. After a short time, this may result in poor fuel mileage, and illumination of the check engine light

This is caused by a cracked positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve hose, which allows a small vacuum leak, and improper evacuation of engine crankcase pressure.

Correction is simple, and requires replacement of the PCV hose. An updated part may be available. 

Drivers may notice the engine idling roughly, hesitation to accelerate, and even engine stalling on the Ford Expedition with the Triton V8.

The mass air flow sensor (MAF) is prone to fail, and commonly is diagnosed as the faulty component when these issues arise.

When the Check Engine Light illuminates, and the diagnosis is a failed MAF, it will require replacement to correct the issue. 

Ensuring the air filter is installed properly, and sealed to the air filter housing, can help prevent MAF sensor issues. 

The 2008-2016 Ford Expedition with automatic climate control may have a problem with frequent fan speed changes when using the heater or air conditioner. Normally, the fan speed changes only to maintain a selected temperature, but when the fan speed changes frequently and needlessly, there is an issue with the fan speed control unit. 

The fan speed control unit, sometimes erroneously called the blower motor resister, regulates the speed for the blower motor in order to maintain the temperature set by the driver. When it fails, the fan will run at random settings, and the climate control will be inaccurate.

Note: this does not affect the temperature of the air that comes from the vents, it affects the amount of air that comes from the vents. 

The repair is simple, and quick. The control unit is located behind the glove box in most models, and removal and installation takes only minutes.

Also note: this only applies to vehicles with single or dual automatic climate control.

The 2007-2016 Ford Expedition with manual temperature and fan controls may have problems with the the blower motor only blowing air on certain settings. Most commonly the fan will only run on the highest setting. This is a well documented problem, and is caused by a failing blower motor resistor.

Correcting the problem is straight forward, and requires replacement of the small resistor. The resistor is normally found behind the glove box, next to the blower motor.