Are Fords Expensive to Maintain? (Exact Costs)

Buying a car is never a one-time investment. Owners have to spend a lot of their money on the maintenance, insurance, and fuel of their car.

Plus, cars are a huge liability, so owners lose a lot of money on their vehicle’s depreciation. Consequently, knowing the true maintenance cost of any vehicle before buying it becomes highly crucial.

Over time, there has been a lot of confusion regarding the maintenance cost of Ford cars. People are skeptical about how expensive it is to maintain a ford car. To ease all those concerns, this article explains all the costs associated with Ford cars in detail, and explains whether Ford cars are worth the buy.

Are Fords Expensive to Maintain?

Ford’s maintenance costs are comparatively higher than its rivals such as Dodge and Chevrolet. On average, Ford owners spend around 775$ on maintenance and unexpected repairs on their vehicles in a year, higher than the industry average of $652. However this amount can greatly vary, and it all boils down to the model you choose and how you maintain it.

Let’s look at the average annual maintenance cost of some popular Ford models:

ModelAverage Annual Maintenance Cost
Ford Fusion$581
Ford Escape$600
Ford Explorer$732
Ford Ranger$615
Ford F-150$788
Ford Mustang$709
Ford Expedition$861

Here is the maintenance cost comparison of Ford with some other popular brands:

BrandAverage Annual Maintenance Cost

Also read: 10 Affordable 2017 Cars with Ventilated Seats

The higher maintenance cost has a lot to do with the not-so-great reliability of Ford cars. Repair Pal gives Ford reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 and ranks it at 22 out of the total of 32 car manufacturers. On average, Ford cars have a probability of 0.3 visits to a repair shop in a year, and 15% chances of the repair being severe.

On a general basis, 5-year maintenance costs for a Ford vehicle will range somewhere from $4300 to $6800.

I used the Edmunds 5-year true ownership cost for some popular Ford models:

2015 Focus – $4,824

2015 Mustang – $6,155

2015 F-150 – $ 6,327

2015 Escape – $4,321

2015 Explorer – $6,702

Also read: 3 Worst Ford Diesel Engines

How Much Do Ford Repair Cost in 5 Years Time Frame?

Ford Explorer

According to Repair Pal, the average annual repair cost of the Ford Explorer comes out to be around $732. On a 5 year basis, the repair cost would come to around $2,790.

Some of the commonly reported problems by Explorer owners include coolant leak ($88 to $111), broken heater blend door ($53 to $67), rattling noise caused by worn out timing chain cassette ($88 to $111), rough idle start ($138 to $168. However, the most severe issue on the Ford Explorer is transmission lunges and failure ($2000 to $3000).

Here is the list of the common Ford Explorer repairs with their cost:

Common Explorer RepairAverage Cost
General Diagnosis$88 to $111
Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement$138 to $168
AC Condenser Replacement$573 to $660
Catalytic Converter Replacement$1,212 to $1.247
AC Diagnosis$53 to $67
Airbag Control Module Replacement$521 to $537
Parking Brake Shoe Replacement$251 to $298
Radiator Replacement$636 to $748
Control Arm Replacement468 to $625

Ford F150

Many F-150 owners reported problems of power loss while driving their vehicle, and hard shifting. This accounted for one of the most severe F-150 issues, which costs up to $2500, and $7000 to repair respectively. However, in general, Repair Pal reveals that F-150 spends $788 on average annual repairs and maintenance on their vehicle. On a 5 year basis, the repair cost would come to a little over $3000. Other common problems on the F-150 include window not rolling ($300), little or no heat in cabin ($53 to $67), Ignition coil failure ($150 to $200), Exhaust manifold gasket crack, oil pan gasket leak ($413 to $492), and rattling issues.

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Let’s have a look at the common F-150 repairs and their cost:

Common F-150 RepairAverage Cost
AC Diagnosis$53 to $67
EGR Valve Replacement$177 to $238
Spark Plug Replacement$234 to $278
Exhaust Manifold Replacement$375 to $480
PCV Valve Replacement$48 to $62
Rack and Pinion Replacement$1,420 to $1,681
Oil Pan Replacement$413 to $492
Blower Motor Resistor Replacement$78 to $94
Mass Air Flow Sensor Replacement$201 to $344
AC Expansion Valve Replacement$128 to $146
Transmission Fluid Change$205 to $233
Engine Cooler Replacement$240 to $295

Also read: 25 Common Questions about Ford Fusion You Need to Know

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang owners spend approximately $709 on the annual repair and maintenance of their vehicles. On a 5 year basis, the repair cost would come a little above $2,800

The Mustang has been notorious for problems like squeaking noises when turning the steering wheel ($138 to $196), corrosion on the hood ($1700), loud squeaking noise while the engine is warm ($88 to $111), intake manifold gasket leaking ($210 to $249), mass airflow sensor replacement ($186 to $300).

Let’s look at the common Mustang repairs, plus, their costs:

Common Mustang RepairAverage Cost
Tie Rod Replacement$80 to $129
Check Engine Light Diagnosis$88 to $111
Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement$186 to $300
ABS Control Module Replacement$711 to $728
EGR Valve Position Sensor Replacement$116 to $144
Suspension Ball Joint Replacement$266 to $345
Heater Hose Replacement$161 to $185
Water Pump Replacement$292 to $392
Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement$117 to $213
Rack and Pinion Replacement$1,254 to $1,442

Ford Escape

The Escape has one of the cheapest repair costs in the Ford lineup. On average, Escape owners have to spend around $600 on the yearly repairs on their vehicle. On a 5 year basis, the repair cost would come to around $2,448

The most severe problem with the Ford Escape is transmission failure, which can cost over $2800 to repair. But there are several other minor and major unexpected repairs that the vehicle might need. Other common problems on the Escape includes Ignition misfires ($576 to $711), braking issues ($250 to $350), transfer case issues ($88 to $111), power steering loss ($1200 to $1800), and PCM failure ($569).

Let’s have a look at some common Escape repairs with their cost:

Common Escape RepairAverage Cost
Ignition Coil Replacement$103 to $118
EGR Valve Replacement$157 to $219
Fuel Filter replacement$61 to $82
Ignition Lock Cylinder Replacement$151 to $165
Blower Motor Resistor Replacement$82 to $112
Thermostat Replacement$342 to $418
General Diagnosis$88 to $111
Coolant Leak Diagnosis$44 to $56

Ford Focus

According to Repair Pal, the average annual repair cost of the Ford Explorer comes out to be around $732. On a 5 year basis, the repair cost would come to around $2,662.

The Powershift transmission on the Ford Focus was absolute garbage of a gearbox, prone to multiple issues and failure. Focus owners have reported issues like transmission shuddering, jerk while driving, hesitation after starting from and rest. Transmission repairs can cost even up to $3000. Other key problems on the Ford Focus included Steering failure ($1800), ignition key problems ($120 to $200), exhaust and fuel system issues ($110 to $180), and check engine light on problems( $88 to $111).

Let’s look at the average cost of some common Focus repairs:

Common Focus RepairAverage Cost
EGR Valve Replacement$222 to $252
Alternator Replacement$438 to $780
AC Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement$438 to $780
Fuel Filter Replacement$69 to $96
Rack and Pinion Replacement$1,327 to 41,483
Throttle Body Replacement$322 to $374
Anti-lock Brake System Inspect$79 to $100
Fuel Pressure Sensor Replacement$231 to $243
Coolant Reservoir Replacement$120 to $142

Also read: How Long Do Ford Focus Last (& Which Years to Avoid)

Is Ford Servicing Expensive?

Service costs for Fords aren’t very expensive. However, a free maintenance period isn’t offered by Ford, but Ford does have something on offer called the Ford Protect Premium Maintenance plan as a prepaid option. You have the option to choose from a 2 to 8 years coverage plan.

Plus, with the number of years, you can also opt for high and less mileage coverage options. For example, you get the option to choose between 8 years/60,000miles and 8years/150,000 miles. All your scheduled services are covered under The Ford Protect Premium Maintenance plan.

To give you some insight about the cost – an 8 year/150,000 miles maintenance plan that covers service at every 10,000 miles for a Ford Escape costs around $2500. But the cost will vary depending upon the model, vehicle age, mileage, and location.

The Ford Protect Premium Maintenance plan includes oil change, tire rotation, vehicle inspection, spark plug, and replacement of consumables like brake pads, filters, wiper blades, and more.

Now, let’s have a look at a sample Ford Fiesta maintenance schedule:

Service IntervalMaintenance Plan
Every 10,000 milesEngine oil and filter change, tire rotations, and multiple inspections
Every 20,000 milesCabin air filter replacement
Every 30,000 milesEngine air filter replacement
At 100,000 milesSpark plug and engine coolant replacement
At 10,000 miles and every following 20,000 milesDrive belt replacement
At 150,000 milesTransmission fluid, timing belt, and accessory driving belts replacement

The cost of common Ford maintenance items is also pretty reasonable. For instance, tire rotation on a Taurus would cost between $35 to $74, oil change on an F-150 would cost between $151 to $189, and $249 to $340 for brake pads on a Focus, and $163 to $280 for spark plugs on an Explorer.

How Expensive is Ford Insurance?

On average, Ford owners spend around $1655 on their vehicles’ average annual insurance cost for full coverage, almost equal to what an average U.S. driver spends on insurance – $1674. Nevertheless, the cost greatly depends upon the model you choose, vehicle age, location, coverages needed, and your claim history.

The cheapest Ford to insure is the Ford Escape with an average annual full coverage premium of $1430, and the most expensive is the Ford Mustang with an average full coverage premium of $2,188 for a year.

Let’s look at the exact insurance costs for some popular Ford models:

Ford Escape

Insurance CompanyMonthly PremiumAnnual Premium5-year Premium
State Farm$109$1,313$6,565

Ford Focus

Insurance CompanyMonthly PremiumAnnual Premium5-year Premium
State Farm$116$1,392$6,960

Ford 150

Insurance CompanyMonthly PremiumAnnual Premium5-year Premium
State Farm$93$1,120$5,600

Also read: 10 Best-Looking SUVs Under $15k (with Photos)

Ford Explorer

Insurance CompanyMonthly PremiumAnnual Premium5-year Premium
State Farm$110$1,327$6,635

Ford Mustang

Insurance CompanyMonthly PremiumAnnual Premium5-year Premium
State Farm$140$1,681$8,405

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for Ford’s Fuel?

To provide you a detailed overview of how much you would be spending on your Ford’s fuel, I have included a detailed list of 5 popular Ford vehicles with their average fuel cost monthly, yearly, and in 5 years.

To bring out clear results, the calculation below has been done based on an American’s average annual driving distance, which is around 13,500 miles per year. The average gas cost has been taken at $3.00 per gallon.

Miles driven:

  • 1 Month: 1,125 miles
  • 1 Year: 13,500 miles
  • 5 Years: 67,500 miles

Gas cost: $3.00/gallon

Model NameCombined mpgFuel cost/monthFuel cost/yearFuel cost/5 year
Focus30 mpg$112$1,350$6,750
Escape30 mpg$112$1,350$6,750
Explorer24 mpg$140$1,687$8,437
F-15021 mpg$160$1,928$9,642
Mustang22 mpg$153$1,840$9,204

How Much Do You Lose on Ford Depreciation?

According to Car Edge, on average, Fords depreciate close to 16.47% in the first year or have a resale value of 83.53% with around 91.67% of the vehicle’s life remaining. The depreciation rate follows at 28.81% in the second year, 35.19% in the third, 41.33% in the fourth, and 49.62% in the fifth year. This rate, of course, varies from model to model.

Here is a detailed comparison of the average depreciation of some of the popular Hyundai cars over the years. I have assumed that the car does 12000 miles / per year on average, and is maintained decently.

Vehicle AgeFusion ($25,894)Escape ($28,908)Explorer ($43,607)F-150 ($43,450)Mustang ($36,454)
1 year$4,922 (19.01%)$4,541 (15.71%)$7,147 (16.4%)$5,453 (12.55%)$6,893 (18.91%)
2 year$9,216 (35.59%)$7,536 (26.07%)$12,406 (28.455)$7,591 (17.47%)$8,953 (24.56%)
3 year$10,500 (40.55%)$9,676 (33.47%)$13,754 (31.54%)$9,494 (21.8%)$10,790 (29.6%)
4 year$11,489 (44.37%)$11,479 (39.71%)$16,902 (38.76%)$12,392 (28.52%)$12,569 (34.58%)
5 year$13,543 (52.3%)$14,812 (51.24%)$22,078 (50.63%)$15,638 (35.995)$13,936 (38.28%)

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Ford Car in 5 Years?

Taking the average expense of all five Ford models, you can expect to pay an average of $35,635 in 5 years.

Here is the detailed cost breakdown:

Fuel: $8,156

Insurance: $5,814

Maintenance: $5,665

Depreciation: $16,000

The exact cost can vary based on the Ford model that you buy, and how you take care of it.

Are Fords expensive to maintain?

Yes, when compared to the competition, Ford cars are slightly more expensive.

For instance, a Toyota Corolla sedan 5-year ownership costs $30,000 on average.

Is Ford worth buying?

It totally depends upon the model you are thinking of. In general, Ford cars do offer some great engines, athletic driving dynamics, comfortable cabin, and safety. But are also comparatively expensive to maintain as well as unreliable.

What are the Ford Alternatives?

I would recommend the Mazda CX-5 or the Volkswagen Tiguan over the Ford Escape. Whereas, for the Explorer, I would recommend the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, or the Mazda CX-9. The Ram 1500 for the Ford F-150, would be a worthy alternative.

Reference resources:

Repair Pal

Car complaints

Car edge



Motor 1