Ford Falcon Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Ford Falcon reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
How much should it cost to replace the headliner in my Ford BA Falcon?
Ford Falcon headliner replacement cost will be somewhere between about $300 and $500, depending on a few details. Those prices are based on a modern Falcon, say, a BA Falcon or FG Falcon from this century, after Ford had switched to the one-piece, cardboard-backed headliner. However, the cost could be more if the vehicle is a station wagon or has a sunroof fitted, as both these things alter the amount of material used and the degree of difficulty in removing and refitting the headliner.
Other variables include whether you take the vehicle to a motor trimmer to have the existing headliner recovered, or you call an onsite repairer to remove your old headliner and fit a reconditioned unit in your driveway or car-park at work.
You might be able to find a second-hand replacement headliner at an auto parts recycler, but the danger is that the headliner you buy might also fail in the not-too distant future. That’s because the modern one-piece headliner – including late-model Falcon headlining - is made from a structural backing board with a layer of foam sandwiched between the board and the vinyl or cloth that you see above your head. Over time and with heat, the foam layer breaks down into dusty fragments and the adhesion between the backing board and cloth or vinyl is lost. That’s when the cloth starts to hang down inside the car.
Overall, Falcon roof lining replacement is not a difficult job for an experienced trimmer, but it is a bit fiddly and will take some time. Many owners put up with a saggy headliner, but a fresh roof lining repair will make the car look and feel brand new again.
How can I change driveshaft centre bearing on a 2004 BA Falcon?
It sounds very much like a seized bush in the rubber-donut assembly that joins the tailshaft to the back of the gearbox. Inside the rubber donut (also called the flex-joint) there’s a metal inner bush and these have been known to seize. Water gets into this bush and rusts the assembly solid. If that happens, it will feel like the thing will never come apart.
At that point, perhaps removing the slip-yoke from the back of the transmission will allow you to remove the whole assembly and get better access to it on a bench, rather than from under the car. The slip-yoke shouldn’t present any problems other than you might lose a little transmission fluid (so have some rags handy) but you do need to remember to mark the position of all the components relative to each other. That means marking where the tailshaft bolts were relative to the rear coupling, the coupling relative to the flange, the shaft relative to the yoke’s holes and so on. That’s so when the tailshaft is reassembled and refitted, it’s still in balance and won’t create any new driveline vibrations. This process even extends to marking which nuts and bolts attached to which mounting holes in the rear CV joint, as some of these bolts were individually weighted for balance.
The other thing to check is the actual centre bearing you’re trying to replace. For some reason there were two different part numbers for this series of Ford Falcon. One has a different bearing inner diameter and a different spacing for the mounting holes compared with the other. Make sure you buy the correct one.
Will I still be able to buy LPG gas in the future?
Back when LPG was between 10 and 20 cents a litre, it made all sorts of sense. Even when it had crept up to 50 or 60 cents a litre, car-makers like Ford and Holden were producing LPG-dedicated vehicles to make the most of that cost advantage.
Now, however, when LPG is 80 or 90 cents per litre (versus $1.40 or $150 for petrol) the arithmetic no longer presents the sound financial case it once did. Given that Australia still has plenty of LPG, this probably means a couple of things. The first is that the companies who produce the LPG would rather sell it offshore in bulk that mess about transport it to a few thousand individual service-stations. The second is that maintaining a service station to incorporate petrol, diesel and LPG is too much trouble, so there’s a move to get rid of the latter as a streamlining measure. The death of local cars with LPG engines has only sped up this process. Again, though, this is only conjecture.
My guess is that you’ll still be able to buy LPG from a service station for many years to come, but it may not be every service station you pass. The bigger issue, though, is that now that LPG is no longer the money saver it once was (yes, it costs less, but you use more per kilometre than a car running on petrol) what’s the point of an LPG-dedicated vehicle? Dual-fuel (where you can run on petrol or LPG at the flick of a switch) is one thing, but a dedicated LPG car stopped making a lot of financial sense for many people a few years ago.
What is the best type of oil to use in a 2009 Ford Falcon XR6T?
A good multi-grade oil is what you’re after; one that is thin enough to circulate and protect quickly in cold conditions, but also able to cope with the heat and stress inferred by a turbocharged engine in hot conditions. Options include a 5W30 oil or even a 10W40, but make sure that the API rating is suitable for your car. The correct API rating ensures that the oil is of a sophistication in keeping with the technology in your engine.
The other critical piece of advice is to use a quality oil from a reputable brand. Ignore the supermarket-shelf stuff and, if you’re having the car serviced at a workshop, don’t forget to ask what brand and grade of oil it intends to use. A fully synthetic oil will cost more but will offer more protection for an engine such as the hard-working turbomotor in an XR6T.
Why does my 2002 Ford Falcon idle irregularly and have a delayed throttle response?
An engine that runs well when cold but misfires when It’s warmed up is often a victim of poor air-fuel mixture. That can be caused by an air-leak (such as the intake manifold gasket you’ve already changed) a crack in any of the intake plumbing, faulty fuel injectors, a worn fuel pump, a corrupted ECU (computer), blocked fuel line or about a thousand other things.
But in this case, knowing the Ford AU Falcon’s engine, I’d be taking a close look at the ignition system, specifically the coil pack. These have been known to fail regularly, often displaying their problems including a rough idle, once the engine has warmed up; precisely the symptoms you’ve noted. That said, rather than rush out and buy a new coil pack, have the vehicle scanned electronically to rule out any other potential source for the problem.
What oil can I use instead of Ford Engine Oil?
You need to keep using an oil that is compatible with LPG as this fuel places different stresses on the lubricating oil compared with an engine burning petrol or diesel. Provided you stick with the correct grade and API rating and choose a known brand (not the Brand-X supermarket stuff) you should be fine. Don’t forget to change the filter every time you change the oil.
What is causing my 2001 Ford AU Falcon ute to miss?
A miss is fairly common on these engines and is usually tracked back to either a dud spark-plug or a crook ignition lead. If you’ve already changed the plugs, I’d suggest checking the ignition leads for excessive resistance. The other major source of misses in these engines is usually a fault with the coil-packs. Swapping these for another set is a pretty easy way to check whether they’re the culprits. Don’t forget, however, that a miss can also be fuel or mechanical-related, but experience with these engines shows that the ignition system is often the cause.
According to government websites, the 2001 Falcon six-cylinder can, indeed, use E10 fuel. You may find, however, that you use a little more E10 over 100km than normal unleaded, so the savings at the pump might not be as marked as they seem on paper.
Ford Falcon 2003: Leaking coolant and replacing remote locking
If you can’t see coolant on the ground where the car has been parked, you need to start a more thorough investigation. Your car is now 17 years old, so every hose, clip, clamp and junction that carries coolant is a prime suspect to be the cause.
The lack of any evidence could mean that the coolant is only disappearing when the engine is running and/or the engine is hot and the coolant is under pressure. So a close check of things with the car up to temperature and idling is a good start. Don’t forget, though, that a running engine has all sorts of belts and fans to get tangled in, and that the coolant – if it is spraying out anywhere – will be scalding hot.
The other possibility is something to which Falcons of this era are a bit prone. And that’s a faulty transmission cooler which can fail internally and allow the coolant to escape into the automatic gearbox. At that point, the transmission is usually damaged to the point of needing replacement, so it’s a big deal, but it could explain the mystery disappearance of your coolant.
As for the central locking, these functions are handled by the car’s body computer. Again, it’s common with this model Falcon for the computer to start playing up and require replacement. But before you do that, check that the battery in the remote unit hasn’t gone flat. If it’s not that, a trip to an auto electrician is the wise move. But if both the body computer and the transmission need replacing, you might just find that the repairs will cost more than the value of the car itself.
Ford Falcon 2002: Why does the engine keep cutting out?
Computer-controlled engines like the one in your Falcon, Tony, require a range of sensors to provide the information to the computer to allow the engine to run properly. If just one of those sensors sneezes, the engine can shut down without warning.
As well as a throttle-position sensor, there are also camshaft-angle, crank-angle, air temperature, coolant temperature, oxygen sensors and more. So the best advice is not to start replacing the sensors one by one, but to have the computer interrogated electronically. The computer will be logging problems as they happen and should be able to tell you exactly which sensor is nodding off intermittently. A Ford dealership along with many independent workshops will have the computer-scan gear to do this. It will save you time and money in the long run.
For what it’s worth, since the car cuts out completely, my hunch would be the crank-angle sensor is overheating. So, if you want to persist with a home diagnosis, try this: Carry a bottle of cold water in the car. Then, the next time the engine cuts out, pour the cold water over the crank-angle sensor. If the car suddenly restarts, you’ve found your problem.
But to be honest, you could also be looking at a dud fuel pump, a blocked fuel filter and literally a hundred other possibilities.
Ford Falcon: Can I use premium unleaded fuel?
No, using premium unleaded won’t cause any engine running problems, if anything it would improve the running.