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Whether you’re shopping for a new or used car, potential maintenance costs should always influence your final decision. If you’re a Ford fan, you’ll be pleased to know many of its used models require small repair bills compared to rivals. Here are nine reliable Ford models with annual maintenance costs under $400.

1. Ford Aerostar

RepairPal lists the average Ford model’s repair cost at $775 per year, but the Aerostar’s averages only $387. This minivan’s most common problem is an engine oil leak before the 100,000-mile mark. The issue is usually solved with a new oil pan gasket to the tune of $428, per RepairPal’s estimate. A few drivers also reported crossed oxygen sensors after 121,000 miles, though this issue can be addressed for less than $100.

2. Ford Aspire

Ford models cheapest maintenance costs
Ford logo on a Ford Aspire wheel | Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

You’ll likely pay only $369 to repair the Ford Aspire compact car each year. Besides one transmission vent problem, a lower engine bearing failure is the most prominent issue. RepairPal says you can probably avoid it by scheduling regular service appointments and keeping the engine’s RPMs low.

3. Ford Contour

RepairPal says the Ford Contour’s annual repairs hover around $397. However, keep in mind you might run into transmission problems before 90,000 miles. Fortunately, they can be remedied by replacing the front pump. The Ford Contour is also prone to plugged exhaust gas recirculation valves, but they can be cleaned or replaced relatively cheaply.

4. Ford E-250 Econoline Club Wagon

RepairPal says this model has an annual repair cost of only $316 and no recurring problems reported by owners. Most of its routine inspections and replacements are priced below $100 each. An oil pump replacement, which usually costs around $600, might be the most expensive repair you’ll have to make on the Ford E-250 Econoline Club Wagon.

5. Ford Escort

RepairPal shows the Ford Escort has many owner-reported problems, but its annual repair bill is still only $390. Hundreds of drivers had to replace the Escort’s constant control relay module at nearly 129,000 miles. The valve seals typically fall out of the engine’s cylinder head at 140,000 miles. A handful of other drivers encountered worn tire rod ends and cracked cylinder heads at higher mileage.

6. Ford Festiva

RepairPal doesn’t have any information about common Ford Festiva problems. However, it shows this model retains a below-average annual repair cost of $393. At some point, you might have to replace some major A/C components and the engine coolant temperature sensor. Wheel bearing and control arm replacements can also get pricey. 

7. Ford Five Hundred

The Ford Five Hundred sedan requires a budget of around $383 for yearly repairs, though you might have to spend extra on the transmission. Many RepairPal reviews detail delayed or rough shifting approaching 118,000 miles, which often warrants a complete rebuild. Around the same time, you’ll probably also have to get a new electronic throttle body.

8. Ford LTD Crown Victoria

RepairPal indicates the Ford LTD Crown Victoria doesn’t typically receive many complaints. However, the average repair quote for a head gasket and heater core replacement is over $1,000. If you can avoid those fixes, this once-popular Ford car has an annual repair bill of only $382.

9. Ford Tempo

Despite several reported problems, the Ford Tempo has an annual repair cost of just $341. The engine might experience performance issues after 100,000 miles, though a mechanic can usually fix it by thoroughly cleaning certain components. RepairPal recommends fixing transmission hiccups by adjusting the throttle lever, grommets, or speed sensor.


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