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Are you having problems with your Ford Territory? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Ford Territory issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Ford Territory in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
All versions of the Ford Territory form this era used the inline six-cylinder 'Barra' engine from the Ford Falcon. This engine used a timing chain rather than a toothed rubber belt. The chain should be good for the life of the engine and should not need replacing.
It shouldn't matter how old a safety recall is, it's a safety issue, so it needs to be fixed. That's why there's no actual time limit for these repairs to be made.
Here's the official response from the Department of Infrastructure: “There are no time limits applied to vehicle recalls by the department. It is expected that if a vehicle is presented for an older recall, the manufacturer will repair it as per the original recall notice”.
The potential spanner in the works there would be if the manufacturer is no longer represented in Australia or, if the parts required were no longer being made or otherwise available. In any case, this would definitely be worth chasing up with Ford as the recall was for potentially faulty brake lines which could cause a catastrophic failure with horrendous results.
Clearly something is wrong here because wheel bearings should have a much monger lifespan than 12 months. I'd start by checking that the wheel alignment (yes, rear wheels need to be aligned, too) is correct and not putting weird stresses and strains on suspension components which could include the bearings. While you're at it, check the condition of the suspension bushes, too, as these can also allow alignment to become a problem.
Do you tow heavy loads with the car? This can also place huge stress on things like bearings and cause them to wear faster. Also, who replaced the previous set 12 months ago? Can you be sure they didn't over-tighten the new bearings, causing them to wear faster? Were the new bearings a good quality or a cheap replacement? Has the supplier of the bearings received the same complaint from other customers, suggesting a bad batch of bearings could be the cause? I've personally seen a brand new wheel bearing collapse in under 20km because the surfaces had not been hardened properly during the manufacturing process.
Finally, given the wild weather this continent has been experiencing, have you driven through flood-waters at any stage. Unlike fresh water, flood-water is often full of tiny silt particles which get into the bearing and then act as griding paste, causing the bearing to fail super fast.
If you can't find the dipstick for the automatic transmission, there might be a very simple explanation: It doesn't have one. Many Fords from this era were not fitted with dipsticks, so checking the level is done from underneath the car via the a threaded plug. Not so easy to do at home. The transmission is a sealed system, and any drop in level indicates a problem that needs to be fixed. So the level is worth keeping an eye on, even if that's not so easy to do in cars like this one.
Theories for the dipstick deletion include preventing owners from over-filling the transmission (easier than you might think, since the transmission temperature when you check it is critical) as well as not giving owners the opportunity to top-up their transmission with the wrong type or grade of fluid.
At some point though you have to imagine that cost-cutting also came into the decision.
The first thing to ascertain is what the fluid is. Is it coolant, fuel, oil or even brake fluid? All these fluids have different ways of leaking, so make sure you know what you’re dealing with. Also, don’t rely on the location of the fluid on the ground as a means of diagnosing the cause. Leaks can start in one place but appear elsewhere as they work their way along wiring, pipes, chassis rails and plenty more before they actually make it to the ground.
Meantime, if the leak is coolant and is actually coming from the back of the engine, there are a few likely culprits. There are heater hoses that run in this area and have been known to leak, as well as a welch plug that can corrode and cause a leak in this area. Other known coolant leak-points in the Territory include the radiator and the O-ring seal at the back of the water pump. If you’re really unlucky, the leak could also be from a head gasket. Have the car checked out by a mechanic, because coolant leaks only ever really get bigger over time, never smaller.
Unfortunately, while there are aftermarket specialists who could potentially engineer a towing-mass upgrade, there’s no legal way to increase a vehicle’s towing limit. That’s because the towing limit is based on calculations made by the manufacturer (Ford in this case) and it’s set in stone, I’m afraid. Some states and territories would once consider such an upgrade on an individual basis, but all the authorities have backed away from this approach now. Fundamentally, if you want to tow a heavier load, you need a car that is rated to do so.
Ignoring the towing limit and hitching up a bigger load is also asking for trouble. The police are red hot on overloaded vehicles right now, and if the worst was to happen and you were in a crash where somebody was injured or worse, you might find yourself in a whole heap of legal and insurance hassle.
The other alternative, of course, is to find a lighter trailer or caravan or whatever it is you wish to tow.
Relatively modern, computerised cars like the Territory absolutely loathe low battery voltage. Without enough electricity to power all the fuel-injection and electronic ignition systems (not to mention the electric fuel pump and the on-board computers) the car will never run properly and is a good bet to enter limp-home mode as you've described. Other symptoms include the dazzling array of warning lights on the dashboard as the various on-board computer systems are left high and dry by a lack of voltage.
You're possibly on the right track with a replacement alternator as the 12.6 volts it's outputting is nowhere near enough to power the Territory successfully. Closer to 14 volts (at least about 13.7) checked at the battery terminal with the engine running and all lights and accessories switched off is where you should be.
Unfortunately, you've already replaced a whole bunch of parts that were probably okay. This approach of random replacement can ultimately cost you a lot of money you didn't need to spend, and a much better way is to have the car scanned to see if there's any electronic fault codes to give you a clue on what's wrong. But even if the alternator is not the sole cause of your problems, at 12.6 volts it is, indeed, worn out and should be replaced or reconditioned.
With the recent flooding across so much of Australia, there's a serious push by the government to convince people that they shouldn't drive through floodwater of any depth, let alone water that is a deep as the patch you've tackled.
The first thing to do is not drive the car any further. If there really is an oil pressure or level problem, permanent damage may already have been done. This needs to be checked by a workshop. However, since you seem to have already driven the car with the oil light flashing, here's the reality.
If the car still runs and drives as it did before, it's unlikely that the water has damaged the engine per se. The problem is more likely to involve the pressure of the water damaging a sensor or switch (or the wiring associated with it) that is designed to warn you of low oil pressure or low oil level. If the engine is running properly and there's oil on the dipstick, the next thing to do is have the vehicle scanned which should throw up a fault code that will lead you to the cause of the problem.
Floodwater is terrible stuff. It's full of silt and contaminants and as well as damaging an engine that ingests it, it can also destroy the gearbox or differential (by entering through the breather) and ruin electronics if it gets inside the cabin. The silt content can even act as an abrasive and wear out wheel bearings in short order.
That said, you could have a legitimate oil-pressure problem that happened to coincide with the water crossing. Stranger things have happened. A scan is the answer.
It sounds as though the engine’s idle-speed is set a little too low, and that’s making the engine feel lumpy (because it’s almost stalling). Having the transmission in Drive is adding a little load to the equation, slowing the engine even further. There are many things that can cause this, including a stepper-motor that is faulty and not controlling the idle properly.
The best advice is to have the car scanned for a hardware or sensor fault and proceed from there. But first, try this: With the engine idling and in Drive (and the vibration present) turn off the air-conditioning. If the vibration goes away, it could be that the electronics that detect the extra drag of the air-conditioner and automatically bump up the idle, aren’t working properly.
If everything is working properly, it’s less likely to be a stuck or fused relay as that would affect the operation of that circuit. In any case most relay-controlled circuits would probably be disconnected from the power source (the battery) when the car was not being used. Which, of course, brings the ignition switch into play as a suspect, on the basis that it might not be powering the car down fully when switched off.
Typically, problems like this are caused by boot lights or courtesy lights somewhere on the car staying on. In the Territory, these functions are controlled locally by micro-switches (on doors and tailgates etc) and in an overall sense by the body computer. Body computers on this generation of Ford have been known to fail, often with consequences for all sorts of functions including the central locking and possibly the courtesy lighting. Check the car on a dark night to see if there are any lights stuck on.
A security system/alarm is another great source of battery drain. Does the car have an aftermarket alarm? Even if it has just the factory security system, that would be worth checking as a cause for the battery drain. Is the car’s stereo powering down fully when you switch the ignition off? This can also be a cause of flat batteries. Again, the body computer might be the culprit.