Ford Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Ford reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Why does my 2018 Ford Ranger Wildtrak stutter when accelerating?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Dec 2021

This gets a bit political, because Rangers delivered after May 1, 2018 carried a five-year factory warranty, but cars sold before that date had just three years of factory cover. Which means that if your car was sold new before May 1 2018, it will now be out of warranty and, if it was sold later than that, the problem is still Ford’s as the warranty should still apply. Even so, it would seem fair that Ford should offer some pro-rata cover for a car that was built in early 2018 and missed out on the five-year warranty by a quirk of the calendar. But don’t count on it.

As for the actual problem, have you noticed any warning lights on the dashboard? If so, that could be a clue to what’s going on. But unfortunately, there are many, many things that could be making a modern turbo-diesel engine run poorly. Rough running or stuttering, for instance, could be caused by anything from a blocked fuel filter, worn fuel pump, faulty fuel-injectors or a DPF system that is blocked. Or any of literally hundreds of other things.

The best advice is to have the car electronically scanned to see if the on-board computer throws up a fault code. From there, you can home in on the actual problem without a hit-and-miss approach. That said, I would have expected a Ford dealer to have tried this already, so maybe it’s time to try another dealer. And don’t forget to press them on the warranty situation.

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What could be causing my 1998 Ford Fairmont to misfire in gear when it is at idle?

Answered by CarsGuide 12 Dec 2021

Even though the car isn’t moving, putting it in gear, does place some load on the engine. The rule of thumb is that a miss under load will be ignition related. These engines are well known for failing coil-packs which, essentially, provide the spark for the engine. If these aren’t operating correctly, a miss can certainly be one symptom.

But a better approach would be to have the car scanned electronically. At that point, the car’s own computer will very possibly throw up the answer to what ails it. That will save you a lot of time and money changing parts that were not the problem in the first place.

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Will a Ford Focus radiator work on a 2002 Ford Cougar?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Dec 2021

Even if you could get the radiator from a Focus (and you haven’t told me what year Focus) a radiator designed to cool a small four-cylinder engine probably wouldn’t have the capacity to cool a larger, V6 engine as found in a 2002 Ford Cougar. Perhaps it would work at moderate speeds in cool weather, but a freeway drive in high ambient temperatures would very possibly see it fail to cope. You’d also need to ensure that the radiator suited the transmission fitted (a radiator for a manual car can be different to one for an automatic).

From what I can see, the radiator to suit a 2002 Cougar is, in fact, interchangeable (on some level) with that of a six-cylinder Ford Falcon from 2002 to 2008. Perhaps that would be a better idea, but I’d still be running a tape measure over both cars and taking careful note of where the mounting points are. Or, simply buy the radiator that’s designed to fit the Cougar.


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The front passenger tyre on my 2006 Ford Focus fell off. Are the axles on the 2002 and 2006 Ford Focus interchangeable?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Dec 2021

Not really sure what the axles have to do with a tyre that has jumped ship, but perhaps you mean the whole front wheel and tyre assembly came adrift. If so, you’re lucky not to have crashed or hurt yourself or somebody else. If this was caused by a broken axle (also called a driveshaft) then perhaps that’s the basis of your question.

However, the answer is probably no; the driveshafts from a 2002 and 2006 Focus are unlikely to be interchangeable. Even though the engines and gearboxes form each of these two Focus models were similar, the later car was 141mm wider, which almost certainly means it had longer driveshafts than the earlier car. But if a replacement driveshaft is what you need to get back on the road, I wouldn’t have thought finding one from a 2006 Focus (the same as yours) would be such a problem. Parts recyclers are likely to have plenty of these cars in stock, and specialist driveshaft shops can be a great source of spare parts also.

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Can the Ford Everest RWD 2021 tow a mid-sized caravan mainly on road? Or do you need the 4WD version?

Answered by CarsGuide 5 Dec 2021

Both two and four-wheel-drive variants of the Everest have identical towing limits of 3000kg with a braked trailer. So, on paper, there’s nothing to split them as tow-cars. And the reality is that a rear-wheel-drive vehicle should be a terrific tow-car, especially one like the Everest which is fairly heavy itself and has tough suspension and plenty of brakes.

The complications start when you tell me you want to use the vehicle to tow `mainly on road’. That suggests to me that there’ll be times when you may not be on sealed roads. At which point, the extra grip of the all-wheel-drive Everest might prove to be the difference between getting to where you want to go and not getting there at all. All-wheel-drive really comes into its own when the surface you’re driving on is less than perfectly grippy. Towing a caravan at the time only makes that difference greater and, when you’re half way along a dirt road and it starts to rain, that all-wheel-drive will be worth its weight in gold.

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I need a new front driver's door for my 2014 Ford Focus, will a 2012 or 2016 Ford Focus door work?

Answered by CarsGuide 3 Dec 2021

Ford used the same body on its Focus from 2011 until the model was replaced in 2018. On that basis, the front door from either of the cars you’ve listed should fit your car perfectly. You don’t even need to worry about finding a door from a sedan or hatch as opposed to a two-door Focus, as Ford didn’t offer that model in Australia in a two or three-door (which would have had longer doors). Even the sportiest Focus, the ST, was a five-door hatchback. Ford did give the Focus a mild facelift in 2015, but the styling changes were restricted to the front and rear, with the doors not altering at all.

Finding a second-hand door shouldn’t present too many problems the Focus sold in reasonable numbers and many ended up in recycling yards. You might even strike it really lucky and find the door in the same colour as your car which might negate the need to have it painted.

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Should I get ceramic paint surface protection for my 2021 Ford Everest?

Answered by CarsGuide 27 Nov 2021

Products such as paint coatings and upholstery treatments are often not much more than a way for the car dealership to squeeze a few (sometimes quite a few) more dollars out of you. Don’t tell me, let me guess: Once you’d agreed on the car, colour, options and price, you were led to another office where a sales rep offered you these miracle products that would keep your car looking new forever and without which, it would be a shambles in just months. Am I close?

I’m not saying that some of the better products don’t work, and they certainly shouldn’t harm your car’s appearance, but ask yourself this: If a car maker cannot, in 2021, sell you a car that has high quality, long-lasting exterior paint, do you really want that car in the first place? If something as fundamental as the paint is questionable, what else is going to go wrong with the thing? And if the paint does somehow degrade through normal day-to-day exposure, the new-car warranty should cover it anyway. There could be exceptional cases (such as using the car underground in a mine, or parking it next to a railway line every day of its life where it will be constantly showered with small, rusty metallic particles) but for a normal car living a normal life, these dealership add-ons are a very dubious prospect.

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Will the V6 diesel or V6 petrol option be more popular in the new Ford Everest?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Nov 2021

The rumours of a V6 engine option for the next Ford Everest have been swirling around for a little while now. The other expected change is the phasing out of the five-cylinder turbo-diesel, leaving the Everest (and Ranger) line-up with a four-cylinder or V6 turbo-diesel. It’s also pretty likely that you’d need to spend up big for the flagship model of the Everest to get the option of the V6. A petrol V6, meanwhile, is a possibility but would likely be packaged up with a plug-in hybrid driveline. That means that each variant (if it pans out that way) will be aimed at a very specific type of buyer, so it won’t be as simple as petrol versus diesel V6.

The rule of thumb in 2021 is all about deciding whether a diesel engine is right for you. That rule states that if all your driving is around an urban environment without regular (at least a couple of times a month) highway running at highway speeds, a modern turbo-diesel can be a bit of a maintenance headache. As far as any of these vehicles go as an investment, it’s probably a mistake to imagine they won’t – as most brand-new cars do – drop a sizeable chunk of their value the moment you leave the dealership for the first time.

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Will headlights from a 2005 Ford Focus interchange with a 2000 Ford Focus?

Answered by CarsGuide 19 Nov 2021

There’s a distinct line in the sand here. If the 2005 Ford Focus you’re referring to was a late Mark 1 Focus, then yes, the headlights should interchange with an earlier Focus as both cars were more or less the same. At the time, Ford was making use of what was called its `Edge’ styling philosophy which was all hard lines and sharp angles.

However, for the Mark 2 Focus which came along in May 2005, Ford had softened the styling considerably, and the headlights of an early Focus will definitely not fit the Mark 2 model as they are a totally different shape.

What puzzles me most is where you managed to obtain a 2000 Focus as the car was not introduced into Australia by Ford until late 2002. The car did exist prior to that, but not in this country. Perhaps you’re buying headlights online from an overseas seller. If that’s the case, make sure they’re for a right-hand-drive Focus as they’ll physically point the wrong way if they’re for a left-hand-drive car. They’ll also be technically unroadworthy if that’s the case.

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Does having the "smart alternator" configured to a normal alternator void the warranty in my 2021 Ford Ranger?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Nov 2021

The `smart’ alternator fitted to the Ford Ranger was designed to cap the amount of charge being fed back into the vehicle’s battery. In effect, it meant that the battery was usually charged to a lower voltage that it would have bene with a conventional alternator.

The reason for this was to extend battery life by never over-charging (and stressing) the battery, but many owners have found that the lower charge rate left them with a battery more likely to go flat when they most needed it. Many Rangers are also used for camping and therefore have a second battery fitted. That could also cause problems as the extra battery and electrical accessories often fitted to such vehicles weren’t recognised by the vehicle’s computer, leading to more low-voltage problems.

For many Ranger owners, the solution was a trip to a Ford dealer where the computer could be re-programmed to make the alternator perform in a traditional (non-smart) way and keep everything purring along. Having this performed at a dealership will not affect your warranty, but having a non-Ford technician fiddle with the charging system may not be so warranty-friendly.

I’m also informed that driving everywhere with the car’s headlights switched on causes the alternator to acknowledge the current draw and switch to a higher charging output.

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