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Among the most important factors to consider when buying a car, truck, or SUV is its projected maintenance costs. It is especially critical when shopping for a used car. Though Ford Mustang models have an excellent reliability track record leading back to 1964, CarComplaints lists five model years that don’t quite measure up to the higher standards for Mustangs set by Ford Motor Company.

Fifth-generation Ford Mustangs logged the most complaints

Most issues related to higher maintenance costs and the decreased overall reliability of the Ford Mustang are reported among fifth-generation Ford Mustangs, including cars built for the 2004 to 2014 model years.

Of the five Mustang models with problems documented by CarComplaints, the 2006 model logged the most overall complaints, while 2007 Mustangs had the most issues with paint blistering, but the 2010 Mustang is arguably the worst of all due to higher repair costs and problems at lower mileage.

1. 2005 Ford Mustang

Owners of 2005 Ford Mustang models have reported at least 1,000 problems, including engine, fuel system, and electrical issues. However, the three worst complaints, according to CarComplaints, include transmission failure, rust under the paint, and a water leak on the passenger’s side.

Transmission failure, occurring just before 70,000 miles on average, is the most expensive to repair, costing about $3,300.

A more common complaint costing about $400 on average to repair is related to oxidation underneath the paint, which occurs before the 55,000-mile mark. At the same time, a water leak on the passenger’s side may begin to show up on 2005 Mustangs with just over 50,000 miles, requiring $500 for repair.

2. 2006 Ford Mustang

The 2006 Ford Mustang has the most overall reported problems among Mustangs. Complaints include electrical, engine, fuel system, seatbelt/airbag, and brake problems. However, the model year’s three worst complaints recorded by CarComplaints are transmission failure, bubbling paint, and an interior water leak.

It appears that the issues plaguing the 2005 Mustang did not disappear. Transmission failure after 65,000 miles for $2,100 to repair is a repeated complaint. 

Complaints about paint after 50,000 miles have increased for this model year, as has the cost of repairs, which averages over $900. The interior leak on the passenger’s side in 2005 Mustangs became a problem in various places in the car’s interior after 70,000 miles and cost owners about $400 to repair.

3. 2007 Ford Mustang 

Paint and transmission problems associated with the 2005 and 2006 Ford Mustangs continue to plague 2007 model-year cars, according to complaints lodged by CarComplaints.

Paint blistering at around 55,000 miles continues to be an ongoing issue, costing car owners close to $900 to fix. However, transmission repair imposes a greater financial burden on 2007 Ford Mustang owners, including repair costs of about $3,000 to repair shifting issues that occur after 60,000 miles and transmission failure repairs, costing a little less than $3,000 after 90,000 miles of driving.

4. 2010 Ford Mustang

For some reason, the same three issues have plagued fifth-generation Ford Mustangs even after six years of production. CarComplaints reports that corrosion on the hood, related to painting issues, water leaks in the floorboards, and transmission issues continue to be the worst complaints of the 2010 Ford Mustang.

Hood corrosion issues, occurring before 50,000 miles, have cost 2010 Mustang owners approximately $1,700 for repairs. Water leaks into the car’s floorboards have cost owners about $950 on average on cars with between 50,000 and 60,000 miles. The most costly problem to repair, at $3,200, is the model year’s ongoing transmission issue occurring at around 40,000 miles.

5. 2015 Ford Mustang

A red 2015 Ford Mustang muscle car coupe model speeding down a highway
2015 Ford Mustang | The Ford Motor Company

The current sixth generation of Ford Mustangs, which began in 2015, started with paint-related issues, but various other problems also appeared. Along with the paint coming off of 2015 Mustangs, CarComplaints notes that evaporator failure and driveshaft vibration were new additions to the worst complaints associated with the 2015 model year.

Paint issues plaguing former-year models continue to cost 2015 Ford Mustang owners about $1,600 for repair but begin to show up after just 27,000 miles. Evaporator failure, which removes heat and humidity from the car’s interior air, can become an issue before reaching 30,000 miles and can cost more than $2,000 to repair. 

An early complaint of new 2015 Mustangs, occurring between 4,000 and 5,000 miles, is that driveshaft vibration may require minimal repair costs, like replacing a pinion flange or the more costly replacement of the entire drivetrain.

Buyers shopping for used Ford Mustangs beware

One of America’s most beloved muscle cars is nearly 60 years old, so even if you avoid these five worst model years of Ford Mustangs, there are still plenty of options to choose from. Just be aware that owning a 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, or 2015 model year Mustang could cost you more in the long run. 

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