As a full-sized SUV with generous interior space, the Ford Expedition is a stand-out. It is ideal for large families as it can sit up to eight people. It is premium and capable, comfortable and high-performing. Plus, it packs some of the most innovative technologies for the best driving experience.
Despite all the good things, the Ford Expedition isn’t perfect. Take note of the most common Ford Expedition years to avoid if you are planning to buy one on the used car market. By doing so, you can spare yourself from the headache. Not to mention, you won’t have to spend a lot on unnecessary repairs.
The Most Common Problems with Ford Expedition
While the Ford Expedition receives commendations for its quality and performance, it experiences several problems.
A lot of the Ford Expedition issues revolve around transmission failure. On average, the vehicle’s transmission can last up to 200,000 miles. The lifespan, however, can be shorter if you do not pay attention to proper maintenance. The inferior transmission can also result in erratic shifting, which affects the overall driving experience.
Even if the Ford Expedition has powerful engines, they inevitably fail over time. From overheating to stalling, the engine can demonstrate poor performance when it isn’t properly maintained. Most of these issues, however, are outside the scope of the manufacturer and can be avoided by being a responsible and knowledgeable driver.
While it may not be noticeable from afar, upon closer inspection, you might see some visible problems, such as bubbles or chips. It worsens when you are in a place that is extremely cold or hot.
Some also complain that the paint can easily come off. This can be frustrating as it will cost thousands of dollars to fix.
AC and Heater
The Ford Expedition’s interior is spacious and comfortable. However, there can be circumstances when the cooling and heating systems are problematic. The actuator can have an annoying noise and may change the airflow’s direction. Plus, it can also blow air that is either too hot or too cold.
Ford Expedition Years to Avoid
Below are some of the years of Ford Expedition with the most common complaints and serious problems.
The first edition of the Ford Expedition is a classic. It is what gave birth to the large SUV that we know today. However, despite being iconic, we do not recommend picking such a model. It has obsolete technologies and many of its parts are hard to find, so it can be a struggle to have it repaired. Not to mention, the fixes are costly.
Most people who have had the first-generation Ford Expedition until now are reporting that they have to rebuild the transmission to make it more capable. The fuel economy is compromised since it lacks the fuel-saving technologies that you can find in the newer iterations of the SUV.
A part of the second generation of the Ford Expedition, the 2003 model has a redesigned interior and exterior. It has an upgraded door panel, rim, and carpets. Meanwhile, the live rear axle has been replaced by an independent rear suspension, which resulted in improving the ride quality.
Even with the significant improvements from the previous years, the 2003 Expedition has many problems, making it one of the years you must avoid. The most common problem is transmission failure, which compromises the reliability of the vehicle. To be more specific, users note that they often encounter issues as they shift to the right gear.
The 2004 model had no significant changes in physical design and mechanical aspects. It retains many of the features of the 2003 model, which is also what makes it a problematic SUV. One of the main differences, however, is the reintroduction of the Eddie Bauer model, which was not available in 2003. This model had monochromatic paint work, giving the SUV an elegant appeal.
Among others, engine problems are some of the most prevalent issues in the 2004 Ford Expedition. Many drivers report sudden shutdown while they are on an open road. Ignition coil failures are also common. More than being expensive to repair, the issues with the 2004 model can compromise your safety.
Those who are thinking of buying the 2006 Ford Expedition won’t have much of a choice. While there are several trim options, it only has one engine. The SUV is powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine, which generates 365 pound-feet of torque and 300 horsepower. Nonetheless, it is also one of the models with the highest number of complaints.
You will experience several engine problems with this model. Such can be frustrating to drive as it is prone to breaking down. Plus, the low mileage is a concern for many drivers. It is far from being economical compared to many of its counterparts. Cosmetic issues have also been reported, specifically the chipping of paint.
A third-generation release, the 2011 model is also plagued with numerous problems. Among others, one of the most persistent is excess moisture, which condenses with gasoline. The latter can cause engine misfires while also compromising the power of the SUV, especially when you are in a challenging environment.
Additionally, the 2011 Ford Expedition also has transmission issues. The latter is most evident when you are shifting. It is common to feel a jolt. Stuttering noises are also apparent. Some drivers, meanwhile, reported sudden forward surging while also losing power.
Of all the newest editions of the Ford Expedition, the 2015 models are the ones with the most complaints. The most recurring are engine and drivetrain issues, which were also the culprits for the underwhelming performance of the SUV. When driving, it isn’t surprising that the vehicle will demonstrate a power loss.
One of the worst problems with the 2015 model is that it catches fire. There were complaints about leaving the car in what they believed to be a safe spot, but it ended up in flames.
There were also cosmetic or body problems in the 2015 Ford Expedition. Some people report that it has chipping paint. Water leaking is also common.
Buy Ford Expedition From These Years Instead
If you are thinking of getting a used Ford Expedition, here are some of the years that should be on your radar.
The fact that there were no recalls for the Ford Expedition 2017 model is already a good reason to believe that it is amongst the most reliable. It was one of the fastest within its category. The turbocharged V6 engine is one of the reasons for this.
Aside from speed, the SUV is also known for its large interior space, which can accommodate up to eight people and a lot of cargo.
One of the highlights of the 2019 Ford Expedition is its 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, which provides up to 375 horsepower. The upper rims, meanwhile, can have up to 400 horsepower. It is also a great choice if you are looking for fuel efficiency. It has a fuel consumption of approximately 17mpg for city driving and 24mpg for highway driving.
If you want the latest technologies and best-in-class performance, it is hard to go wrong with the 2021 Ford Expedition. It combines style, power, and space in an imposing SUV, which also has great towing prowess. You can enjoy state-of-the-art features, such as heated seating, a premier sound system, and legendary trims.
Keeping Your Ford Expedition’s Peak Performance
Even if the Ford Expedition has some of the best technologies the company has developed, its performance suffers over time. To keep it running at its peak, below are some of the best things to do.
Have a Regular Maintenance Schedule
Mark your calendars and know the right schedule for maintaining the different parts of your Ford Expedition. For instance, you should change the engine oil at least once every year. When you do so, the oil filter must also be replaced. Meanwhile, you should rotate tires every 10,000 miles or 12 months.
Check the Suspension and Steering System
For the best driving experience, do not forget the suspension and steering system in your routine maintenance. The latter will keep you safe and comfortable throughout the ride. When there are problems, the ride can be bumpy and it will be more difficult to control the SUV, especially when you are traversing challenging terrains.
Change the Transmission Fluid
As we have earlier noted, the most common Ford Expedition problem has something to do with its transmission. That said, you will need to check and change the transmission fluid as necessary. It lubricates the transmission components to minimize wear while also ensuring a smooth driving experience.
How long does a Ford Expedition last?
On average, a Ford Expedition will last anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 miles. According to many of its users, as soon as the vehicle reaches 150,000 miles, the performance starts to dwindle. However, you can make it last longer with proper maintenance, as well as upgrades or replacements of some components.
What should I look for when buying a used Ford Expedition?
Purchasing a used Ford Expedition is overwhelming. Aside from knowing the years to avoid, below are other crucial considerations:
- Mileage: One of the first things to look at is the mileage, which indicates how used the vehicle has been. If possible, look for low mileage, but such can make the price higher. If the mileage is high, some of the components can already be in bad condition.
- Engine: The power of the vehicle depends on the engine, so consider such if you want to evaluate how well or bad it will perform. The older models pack a Ford Triton V8 engine. Newer models have more powerful engines, such as a 3.5-liter V6 engine.
- Body Kit: It is good to take the time to have a physical inspection of the vehicle. This will let you take a closer look at the body kit, including paint. You will see dents, chips, and other visible problems.
- Interior: Speaking of inspection, you should also look inside the car. From the floor to the seat, make sure that everything is in good condition. Otherwise, you might have to spend on detailing and repair.
How reliable are Ford Expeditions?
Ford Expedition is a reliable SUV. Even if it has problems, overall, it is a high-performing premium vehicle. The older models have a bad reputation for having numerous problems, but the newer versions have been improved to make them more reliable.
If you are thinking of buying a used Ford Expedition, avoid those from 1997, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2011, and 2015. They are amongst the most problematic models, with some of the most common issues being transmission failure and paint chipping. Instead, choose newer models, including 2017, 2019, and 2021 Ford Expedition.