Ford Falcon 2003 Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Ford Falcon 2003 reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
Wear on valves
THE Falcon is generally pretty good for valve recession, but it is hard to say when the head might need rebuilding. It depends of the type of driving you're doing, but I would think you'd get 150,000km or more out of it before it had to be rebuilt. A taxi would get more because it spends more time running fully warmed up than the average family car. Driving long distances won't hurt it. The valve wear would most likely be less for the same reason it's less on a taxi. Ford says its engineers reported a bent conrod caused by an engine backfire in one of its BA development cars, and for that reason it used the beefier XR6 conrods in the e-gas engine, so that's a possible problem on gas. It's more likely to be a problem on a vapour-mixer system, which is what Ford uses, than it is on a more modern gas injection system, which is less prone to backfiring.
A case of boot cramp
I'M NOT aware of after-market smaller wheels and you have to ensure any spare has the correct rating for your car. Latex tyre repair kits sold at auto stores will suffice if you have a puncture.
All good to go
WE ASKED tyre expert Russell Stuckey for his opinion. The Dunlop SP9000, SP Sportmaxx and Goodyear GSD3 all deliver good road holding and are fitted as original equipment, which is a good guide to the quality of a tyre.
Futura engine riddle
I'M NOT aware of any major problem with the BA PCM, but your problem could be caused by a problem with the interface of the dual-fuel system and the Ford system. Normally, the two talk to each other in running the engine, but it's possible the dual-fuel computer isn't properly integrated to the BA's original system. The installer should be able to find the problem.
Used Ford Falcon review:
That same car retailed at almost $40,000 when it was new.Now, my dealer mate added his profit to the price before he retailed it out of his yard at $20,500, but even then it was still just a tick ...Read More
Ford Falcon: LPG alternatives
SEVERAL dual-fuel kits are available for the XT, but Ford doesn't recommend the BA be converted because the regular engine doesn't have the extra provisions of the e-gas engine to protect it from valve recession. It also doesn't have the stronger connecting rods that Ford fitted after one of its e-gas engines bent a rod when it backfired on test. The LPG industry says many BAs have been converted and haven't had the problems Ford forecast. I wouldn't have any problem converting, but recommend you get a gas-injection system fitted rather than an older mixer-valve system.
Don't go bush
THE benefits are all about the lower cost of LPG. The disadvantages are few with the BA E-gas Falcon. You lose some boot space to the spare wheel, which is relocated to accommodate the LPG tank, and you may find it hard to get LPG if you go off the beaten track.
No premium for lpg falcon
THE dedicated E-gas option on the Falcon costs $1400, which is what you need to recoup before you start saving money. My calculations, done after driving a dedicated LPG Falcon against a petrol one, suggest you will be in front after 20,000km, which I estimate to be a little more than a year's driving. That's a new Falcon, but it's going to be less with a used car because the market doesn't value the E-gas option, so you should be able to pick up a BA E-gas car for the same price as a petrol one. You're saving money from the start that way. Holden didn't have an LPG option in the VY, so any you find on theused-car market will be an aftermarket installation.
New rotors needed
FORD has confirmed there is a fix being rolled out now. We were told that though some BA Falcons can be rectified by machining the rotors, new brake pads have been issued as a solution for those few vehicles that still have the problem after machining. Contact your dealer and have yours updated.
IT'S hard to diagnose a noise without hearing it, but I'm guessing it's not engine noise. You should be able to hear engine noise at all speeds, and though it might increase in level as the speed climbs, you should still be able to hear it at all speeds. Falcon owners quite often complain of a noise they believe is a wheel bearing or similar, but is often related to the rear brakes. It's a hard one to identify, which is why the dealer might not have been able to do so.