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The Top 10 Problems Ford Owners Report

The Top 10 Problems Ford Owners Report

The days when the word Ford stood for Fix Or Repair Daily, are thankfully long in the past. However, while reliability is undeniably better than it was, there are still a number of problem that the brand’s cars tend to suffer from.

Using data from, we can see that a few Ford models tend to suffer where complaints and problems are concerned, and here we list the top 10 issues owners report. Indeed, the most problematic model is the Ford Explorer, which has generated no fewer than 13,200 complaints on, more than double any other Ford model.

Bear in mind though, that while your Ford might generate an issue or two, you can save huge amounts of money by investing in the relevant Haynes manual and repairing the car yourself. Just think – no labor charges. That’s got to be a winner.


1. Transmission problems

By far the biggest issue facing owners of Fords concerns the transmission. Thousands of people have lodged complaints about the transmission suddenly becoming lethargic, causing the car to ‘lunge’ forward or backwards, or refusing to shift altogether. This tends to happen at around the 98,000-mile mark and the problem can cost as much as $3000 to repair. And it doesn’t sem to be model-specific, because the same issue crops up throughout the brand’s range. Worse still, in some cases the average repair cost is $7000.


2. Tailgate problems

Again, a great number of owners of the Ford Explorer have reported problems with the panel below the rear window, which can easily become cracked. The average cost to repair the problem is around $460, mainly because it involves installing a new panel, which has to be painted to match the rest of the car.


3. Coolant-leak problems

The radiator on the Ford Explorer appears to be a weak spot, because it has generated numerous complaints from owners. Unfortunately, replacing the radiator is not a cheap job, at an average of $720.


4. Paint problems

Paint issues are largely a thing of the past, but not if you have a 2013 Ford Explorer. Hundreds of owners have reported a problem where the paint on the leading edge of the hood bubbles up and flakes off. If not attended to, it simply starts to rust. This tends to happen at a comparatively young age, when cars are showing an average of 46,150 miles, and costs and average of $1220 to repair.


5. Window problems

The 2004 Ford F-150 appears to be blighted by failures in the electric window system. Sometimes it can be the window regulator, and other times it’s the cable. The average costs to fix the issue is $320, but this is thoroughly covered in the relevant Haynes manual, so why not try sorting it yourself?

Power steering

6. Power steering problems

The 2012 Ford Focus has a notable problem with its power-steering system, which can fail al of a sudden, rendering the steering unusably heavy to operate, and therefore making the car difficult to drive safely. Many owners have been forced to replace the steering rack in their Focus, at an average repair cost of $1900.


7. PCM problems

If you have a 2005 Ford Escape that’s approaching 100,000 miles, then a PCM failure is a possible issue you’ll face. This issue can cause the car to run rough or simply to not run at all. Unfortunately, it isn’t cheap to diagnose and repair, at an average cost of $2050.

rear axle

8. Rear axle problems

According to, the Ford Windstar that was built around the turn of the century has a fragile rear axle, which can fail all of a sudden, making control of the vehicle much more difficult. The average cost to repair the issue is $690, so it’s worth checking it out and seeing if your vehicle requires a repair. And if it does, dig out your Haynes manual and get on to it right away.

Electrical wiring

9. Electrical problems

The Ford Edge is an undeniably high-tech vehicle, but that tech can sometimes go wrong. Notably, a number of owners have had cause to complain about the interior light of their vehicle remaining on even after the door is shut. Indeed, the car actually believes the door to still be ajar, so sounds a warning bell as soon as the owner tries to pull away. It costs around $420 to fix.

Wheel Bearing

10. Wheel-bearing problems

Wheel bearing are a cause for some concern for Ford Explorer owners, because they can fail on a monotonously regular basis. The only way to fix them is to replace them, at an average cost of $820.