Here comes more bad news for consumers looking for a good deal on a used Ford pick up or SUV, not to mention more bad news for beleaguered Ford truck owners and the financially troubled automaker.
The spark plug spitting that has plagued 1997 to 2002 Ford trucks is now showing up in 2003 model Expeditions and Explorers and pickups, an analysis of consumer complaints filed with ConsumerAffairs.com reveals.
Thousand of Ford truck owners have paid thousands to dollars to repair an aluminum engine head that has ejected a spark plug. The Ford Motor Co. has refused to accept any responsibility for the blown spark plugs that can cost as much as $6,000 to repair.
The automaker has routinely denied Ford truck engines spit spark plugs despite thousands of pages of consumer complaints to the contrary. When Ford acknowledges there is a problem, the automaker blames spark plug and refuses to most warranty protection.
Service managers and others associated with Ford suggested that if there Ford truck engines were spitting spark plugs, that problem was rectified following the 2002 model year. The auto industry rumor was backed up by the absence of any consumer reports detailing problems with a blown spark plug in a Ford truck after the 2002 models.
The most recent reports from, owners of 2003 Ford trucks point to an on going design flaw in the Ford truck engines that would indicate the vehicles face a risky future.
Doug in Pickerington, Ohio wrote ConsumerAffairs.com that his 2003 Ford F250 "had a spark plug blow out of the cylinder on two different occasions and Ford will do nothing about it."
Auther in Stoneham, Massachusetts experienced a spit spark plug in a 2003 Lincoln Aviator with 81,000 miles. Another reader suffered a blown plug with a 2003 Ford Explorer. Up until now, neither the Aviator nor the Explorer engines had failed because of a blown plug.
Here are more examples:
A 2003 Ford Expedition in Goodhue, Minnesota, blew a spark plug out of its 5.4. liter Triton engine with 75,000 miles. The owner "hauled it to the dealership to have it helicoiled."
Mike in Corpis Cristi bought his Ford Expedition in February of 2003. The truck has 61,000 miles on it and Mike has replaced three plugs.
"I have become familiar with what the process is when it comes to know when these plugs are about to pop. You feel a rougher idle (you can really feel it when you're at a stop) and then about two to three weeks later the plug pops," he wrote.
"I'm going to be in the process of hiring an attorney to try and get Ford to back their product even if it has flaws that they are aware but still insist on making money off consumers," Mike told us.
Debbie owns a 2003 Ford Expedition with 73,000 miles on it.
"I was driving January 17, 2007 when I heard a loud banging noise coming from behind the stereo. I pulled over but the noise continued. I proceeded to drive home about 3 miles. I noticed that I lost about 50 percent of my power," she said.
She called the service manager at her Ford dealer in Saugus, California. "He guessed it was a blown spark plug in the cylinder and he also mentioned this would cost $3,500 to $4,000 to fix," she said.
Gabe of Lake Dallas, Texas, had 58,000 miles on his 2003 F150 FX4 when the spark plug blew. "It began shaking and losing power upon accelerating. The check engine light came on so I took it to the dealership and they said it was the number 3 spark plug."
His dealer either did not know the cause of the spark plug problem or did not tell Gabe the truth.
"After asking the Ford dealership what is causing this problem their response was that it was an electrical problem and of course none of this is covered by the warranty."
Needless to say, Gabe is one Texan who no longer thinks his Ford Truck was built Ford tough.
"It is sad that my $25000 truck is breaking down with less than 60,000 on the odometer," Gabe told Consumer Affairs.Com.