Ford Reliability 101: An In-depth Look

Are Ford Reliable

Lovingly referred to as "Fix Or Repair Daily," Ford is middle-to-bottom-of-the-line in terms of reliability.

According to RepairPal, Ford has a reliability rating of 3.5/5.0, placing it in the 21st position out of 32 car brands.

Consumer Reports gives Ford a reliability score of 38, placing it in the 22nd position out of 26 car brands.

Read on to learn more about why Ford is fairly reliable and what you should consider before buying one.

Are Ford Cars Reliable?

Ford cars are fairly reliable. Ford cars have a reliability rating that fluctuates. Some Ford cars have awesome reliability, but some are as good as trash. The reliability of Ford cars depends on the model you choose and the year of production.

The Ford brand seems to be maintaining an unpopular rule: the bigger, the better. This has seen Ford delivering more reliability in its bigger cars, trucks, and Mustangs.

According to RepairPal, Ford has a reliability rating of 3.5/5.0, placing it in the 21st position out of 32 car brands. On the other hand, consumer reports give Ford a reliability score of 38, sitting in the 22nd position out of 26 car brands.

Ford’s unstable and poor reliability rating is because of the common Ford problems that affect its reliability. However, the possibility of your Ford car having numerous problems and average reliability depends on your choice.

For instance, the Ford F-150 has impressive reliability, sitting as one of the top-selling cars in America for over 30 years. We can’t say the same for the 2011 and 2017 Ford Edge.

On Ford brands, you will enjoy some levels of fuel economy that you can rely on in some of its models. There are a lot of Ford cars with high safety ratings, and you can always rely on Ford’s Power Stroke engine for impressive performance. However, you will have to battle other issues, such as maintenance costs and the tendency to run into unnecessary major or minor repairs.

Why Fords Are Considered Fairly Reliable?

Here are the major reasons why Fords are fairly reliable.

1. Engine and Performance

There is no need to mince words that Ford produces great engines with outstanding performance. Ford has some of the best engines for towing, speed, or power. No matter your driving needs, there is a Ford engine for you.

Ford’s Power Stroke engine beats the Duramax and Cummins engines in horsepower, towing strength, and better design. If you need an engine that you can rely on for real driving conditions, you should consider getting a Ford.

Some of Ford’s best engines are:

  • Ford Flathead
  • Ford 428 and 427
  • Ford Ecoboost
  • HO 5.0
  • 289 Small Block
  • Boss 429, 351, and 302

These engines provide varying horsepower, torque, and strength. Their reliability is undeniable, but you must choose according to your needs.

2. Safety and Technology

Ford has many cars earning high safety ratings on IIHS and NHTSA. Five Ford cars are earning the 2021 Top safety pick IIHS rating, with two cars earning the Top Safety Pick+.

Some Ford cars, like the Ford explorer, earn a five-star rating on NHTSA. The high safety ratings of Ford cars span across different years, and this is because of Ford’s active investment in its safety technologies.

Ford adopts a co-pilot 360 technology that gives a second pilot on the wheels. You have extra eyes and legs to ensure that you always reach your destination safely.

Some of Ford’s safety technologies include:

  • Bluecruise
  • Blindspot Information system (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert
  • BLIS with trailer coverage
  • Lane-keeping system
  • Pro Trailer backup assist
  • Pre-collision assist
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Hill descent control
  • Intelligent adaptive cruise control
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Rear view camera
  • Active park assist 2.0

The safety features of Ford cars incorporate auto high-beam headlamps, airbags, seatbelts, durable frames, and engineering processes that cushion the effects of crashes and impacts.

3. Durability

There is no argument that Ford is a strong brand. These cars are built tough, rock solid. Ford has a reputation for making strong and sturdy cars.

The strength of these cars not only supports the users’ safety but also aids the durability of these cars. Ford cars last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

The durability of these cars depends on your driving conditions and maintenance habits. Users can also rely on the Ford warranty status to extend how long they can use these cars before repairs.

The sad thing about Ford cars is the maintenance cost and the probability of major repairs. Ford has an average annual repair and maintenance cost of $775. This is higher than the average $652 cost for all brands.

There’s also a 15% probability of severe damage and an average 0.3 chance of visiting the mechanic. It would be best if you made inquiries about your preferred model before making a purchase. This will save you the stress of dealing with problematic Ford cars.

4. Fuel Economy

Fuel economy and gas mileage are benefits of Ford cars that you can rely on. There are quite a lot of Ford cars that are fuel efficient. You can expect impressive gas mileage from the Ford Ecosport, Ford Explorer, Ford Bronco Sport, and even the Ford Maverick Hybrid model.

The Ford Fusion, Fiesta, Escape, and Focus are not left out as some of the Ford cars with great fuel economy.

Ford Reliability: Pros

  • High safety ratings
  • Great engine
  • Impressive performance

Ford Reliability: Cons

  • High maintenance cost
  • Compromised handling in some models
  • High frequency of repairs

Why Do Fords Have Death Wobble?

Ford is battling because most of its cars have death wobble. This problem is evident in most Ford F-series trucks, dating back to the 2005 models.

However, the Ford death wobble is not limited to Ford cars alone. There are also complaints of death wobble in trucks, Jeeps, and 4x4 cars. Nevertheless, the cause of the death wobble in some Ford cars is not a mystery.

The Ford death wobble is caused by premature and abnormal wear, weakening, or loosening of the car’s track bar joint, bushings, shocks, control arms, struts, or damper bracket. While we wait for Ford to issue a recall on the cars affected by the wobble, drivers are advised to learn how to fix the death wobble issue in their cars.

Final Verdict

There is hardly a final verdict on Ford’s reliability. Sometimes, they get so good that they produce amazing cars that match Toyota’s reliability. Some other days, they deliver cars that make General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler look so good.

We believe our guide on Ford’s reliability status will help you decide if they are the best choice for you and which years and models you should avoid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ford expensive to maintain?

Yes, Ford is expensive to maintain. The average annual cost of maintaining a Ford is $775, which is higher than the $652 cost of the industry average. The cost of maintaining a Ford is higher than that of other American brands like Dodge and Chevy.

How long do Ford cars usually last?

Ford cars usually last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. However, this greatly depends on proper driving conditions and good maintenance habits.