Trucks & SUVs

The Most Common Ford Expedition Problems You Should Know About

Ford introduced the Expedition in 1997. This SUV gets the top ranking from U.S. News on the “Best Large SUVs for 2020” list. It also received the “Full-Size SUV Best Buy of 2020” award from Kelley Blue Book. Despite its good reviews, it still has had some repair issues that pop up. Here’s a look at some of the most common problems and which Ford Expedition model years are affected.

RepairPal.com info on the Ford Expedition

Before buying a used vehicle, it’s helpful to find out what problems other owners have had in the past. RepairPal.com is one source for this type of information. The website lets owners submit complaints and connect with repair shops.

Owners have submitted just 10 different problems about the Ford Expedition. Model years that have the most submitted issues are the oldest ones. Eight issues were submitted for the 1997 model, the first year for the Expedition. Model years 1998 through 2005 and 2007 each have seven submitted problems. The years since then have decreasing issues. Of the 10 total issues, four of the complaints have been submitted 98 or more times.

A possible ejection of the spark plug from the cylinder head

The most common problem, which has been reported by 178 people, is that one or more spark plugs may be ejected from the cylinder head. If this starts to happen, the engine will make tapping or knocking noises and start to misfire. The check engine warning light will turn on.

RepairPal.com explains that since the threads on the cylinder head are too short and soft, pressure in the engine is able to push the spark plugs out of place. If any spark plugs are ejected, the spark plug port threads may need to be fixed or the cylinder head and cylinder head gasket might need to be replaced. This affects the V8 engine, and Ford did issue a technical service bulletin. The issue appears on model years 1997 through 2007. It costs $390 to $467 for spark plug replacement.

The ignition coil fails due to excessive spark plug gap

An additional 151 people reported an ignition coil failure caused by an excessive spark plug gap. This problem also causes the check engine warning light to illuminate. Repairs include replacing the ignition coils, spark plugs, and all coil boots. The issue affects a number of model years, lasting from 1997 to 2011. On average, the problem appears around 133,909 miles. Repairs cost between $784 to $950 to replace the ignition coil and spark plugs.

The Ford Expedition’s check engine light comes on after hesitation or stalling

Ford introduces the 2018 Expedition at the Chicago Auto Show
The 2018 Ford Expedition | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Reported by 104 people, the check engine light turns on after the engine runs roughly, hesitates to accelerate, or stalls. The cause of the problem is generally the failure of the mass airflow sensor (MAF), which will need to be replaced. It’s important to make sure the air filter is properly installed and sealed in its housing to prevent the MAF from failing again.

This issue is with the Expedition’s Triton V8 engine. The problem affects model years 1997 through 2014. It appears on average at around 148,640 miles. Replacing the mass airflow sensor costs on average between $172 and $286.

A rough idle caused by EGR sensor sticking

In addition, 98 people submitted issues with intermittent rough idling caused by the EGR sensor sticking. The check engine light may also come on, and the Expedition could get poor gas mileage. When the EGR sensor sticks, it causes the EGR valve to remain open a bit. Both the EGR valve and sensor need to be replaced.

This issue affects some newer models in addition to older ones, appearing in model years from 1997 through 2007 plus 2012 and 2017. The problem appears at around 172,358 miles on average. Diagnosis and testing of the check engine light costs about $88 to $111.

The biggest Ford Expedition problems are engine related, but most do appear on older models rather than more current ones. While repairs can cost close to $1,000 depending on the issue, they aren’t among the most serious.