Ford has been on the market since 1908 with the Model T and has built a strong name for itself over the last 119+ years. As a domestic company, their cars are well-built and easily repaired. Their entire business model was formed around the assembly line, so a simple design that was easily put together or taken apart was always the end goal. In the beginning, they needed many of these easy repairs, but over the years they’ve improved on all aspects, as have all other manufacturers.
Now with the new model years out and roaming the streets, Ford has gotten their cars to a level of efficiency and effectiveness where only basic upkeep is needed to get you to have a very long time with your car. Today we’re going to cover some of the basics that apply to most if not all of their model lineup.
Ford Repair for Everyone
Every car has the same basic set of repairs and scheduled maintenance to be aware of with a few extra caveats. That doesn’t mean it has to be a confusing or difficult process! Here are some of the most common ford repair issues:
- Ford Automatic Transmission: In most Fords from 2002 until 2015, there would be an intermittent issue with the automatic or “Dual-clutch” transmissions in their economy cars and light-duty trucks. How to keep them alive the longest is by having regular transmission fluid changes, and having a dual-clutch inspection about once a year. Note that either will still run for a long time, but that optimum performance requires yearly care.
- Dusty / Noisy Ford Brakes: All cars will require you to replace brake pads about once every year or every other year, and rotors every 3 or 4. Some Ford cars (most notably the newer Mustangs) have been known to be extra dusty, meaning you’ll have to wash the car more often to prevent iron damage to the paint, as well as extra rim filth. This can be mitigated with newer style aftermarket pads, with either a less aggressive pad grip and less dust, or almost equal dust, but a far firmer bite on the pads.
- Ford Truck Ignition Issues: Some early 2000’s Fords were known to have issues with their ignition systems. The best metric to use to find out if you’re suffering from this is if you notice a misfire on multiple cylinders consistently. There were 2 causes for this, One was the type of spark plug used – there have been issues with fouling out, so replace those with newer style plugs and you’re good to go! The second option is bad plug wires. This follows the same concept as when you have an old set of headphones where one side stops working unless you bend it just right. Best practice would just be to have both the plugs and plug wires replaced at once!
- Overheating: Overheating has been a common Ford problem since the early 90’s. Overheating is where the cooling system in the car is unable to keep up with the heat being created by the motor. Usually, this is due to the failure of one of a few things. Stuck thermostats will happen sometimes when a car sits too long, or when the coolant gets contaminated. Replacing them is a comparatively inexpensive task, and is easily done in a few hours. Having too low coolant will also cause overheating. If there isn’t enough coolant in the system, it can’t properly circulate through the system. The third option is the water pump. Ford used to have a plastic connection shaft that was prone to breaking. Replacing the pump is a fair bit longer of a process than the thermostat.
Ford Maintenance Not to Ignore
Running your vehicle, there will usually be a few problems that come up that you end up saying “I’ll take care of that next week.” While this shouldn’t happen as all forms of maintenance are important, some problems should raise more concern than others.
- Fluid Levels: having a full container of old fluid will still allow the system to operate, just at a lower efficiency. If you are too low on the fluids though, it can be the cleanest oil in the world, and still not do any good, since there isn’t enough to properly circulate in the system. Even if you go a little late for your next oil change, make sure to check your dipstick and coolant levels!
- Brake pads: You’ll know your pads are wearing out by the squeal they make. They actually build that into the pads as a warning. Increasing the metal content in them causes it to create the grating metallic whine you’ll hear from time to time on the roads. While you can technically use the pads for a while after that, do you really want to risk not being able to stop when you need to?
- Replacing/rotating tires: These are the only things touching the ground, so having an old set will hurt all parts of your driving experience. The ride can feel much rougher, your car can (and will in poor weather) slide, or even worse, the tire can blow out! Having a tire go flat can be a slow event that you can control, or it can be horribly violent, going out all at once and making you lose control immediately. Moral of the story: check your tires!
Setting up Your Ford Maintenance Plan
Having a routine or plan in place to take care of your Ford repairs can be comforting, or at least keep the maintenance on your radar. The simplest way is to check your owner’s manual. All new cars come with a manual, and in the back, it will have a service guide. Usually, you schedule auto repairs and maintenance by either noticing an issue or by mileage, “40,000-mile service” “80,000-mile service” etc. Following this will give you a good understanding of when to do all of your basic repairs to the vehicle, but oil changes, tune ups, and replacing the rest of the fluids is still unknown, right?
Thankfully most mechanics and tune-up shops know how hard it can be to remember these things, so they are usually willing to give you a printout of the next due date for a check-up or even will put a sticker on your windshield in the corner to remind you! You can also set up reminders or calendar events on your phone if that would work better for you in the long term.
Ford Repair Guide and Repairs: Are they Worth It?
After you get a vehicle, be it big or small, new or old, you’ll need to pay for maintenance and upkeep. Over time the costs will add up, it’s just a fact of vehicle ownership. If you take your car to a premium wash every other week at $12 a wash, that adds up to $288 dollars alone! In the end, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it. Odds are if you bought a car, you’re willing to take care of it.
There are a lot of repairs and maintenance tasks you can do yourself to save money, which can even help to make you appreciate the car more! Alternatively, there are a lot of jobs that will need to be done that will either require specialized tools, special skills, or a lot of time and for those, there will be many trustworthy mechanics out there willing to help you get on the road again. Here at AG Automotive, we’ve worked tirelessly to improve our skills over all makes and models, so your Ford will be welcome and well cared for!
To schedule an appointment at our locally-owned shop in Portland, Oregon click here or call us at 503-253-1747!