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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 13
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,493 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Ford Expedition electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #55

Mar 172016

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 203,538 miles


Went to store, came out battery dead, car wouldn't start. Had not left lights or any accessories on. Got a jump, drove to auto parts store. They checked alternator and battery and said battery dead, needed an overnight charge. Let them charge battery, put back in car, horn started blowing and would not stop despite my using both the key and key fob. Horn blew for 5 hours before I found out how to disconnect from google. Got horn to stop, and car wouldn't start. Ford dealer said anti-theft system had to be reprogrammed at cost of $250 plus tow to dealer. I never armed the system and it should not have shut my truck down and prevented me from driving it. I don't have $250 and then I found out the repair is only $100 at most. But this according to my dealer happens to any Ford anytime the battery goes dead and is replaced, anti-theft system is making people pay $250 to Ford to reprogram what should not have to be reprogrammed. Please help me. Thank you. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Colorado Springs, MI, USA

problem #54

Jul 182014


  • miles
When it rains everything inside goes dead and it will not crank. Can be going down the road and it shuts off on you. This will continue for a few days until everything dries out or its not damp outside anymore.I have looked this up on computer and it looks like it is coming back to the fuse panel getting wet because of poor drainage coming from windshield, some people are saying that it has caused fires. Ihave only owned this vehicle for 11/2 years and don't know if there has been any recalls or anything fixed on it. Please let me know. Thanks. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #53

Jul 212014


  • 170,000 miles
The vehicle rolls when in park. It makes a loud grinding sound while it is rolling unlike a parking pawl makes. I have not gotten any recall notices on this issue.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #52

Mar 012011


  • 100,000 miles


We have our Expedition for a while and we know the people who owned it before us. While it is raining and days after the power to the truck does not turn off. The radio will turn on, the blower for heat or air will keep blowing, the lights will turn on, the four wheel drive will stop, ABS will stop, and the wiper blades will not work. So because the electrical items will turn on at random, they drain the battery and the truck will not start the next day. We found out that due to manufacturing error, the windshield leaks water into the general electric module. The other problem is the part not only expensive, but if you buy one and it does not work, it is not returnable. And that was told to us by multiple dealerships. So basically Ford knows of the problem and it is a safety issue and has done nothing about it.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #51

Dec 122012


  • 161,000 miles
Vehicle draining power after ignition shut to off. Power is on to vehicle due to water damage from vehicles exterior defect draining water direct to the fuse panel. What is it going to take before this dangerous condition is addressed by our NHTSA, deaths" I have found this to be a problem in almost every one if not every one of these vehicles, it is only a matter of when these problems start. Do your research and you will find countless complaints, what are you waiting for? will this be another stop sign installed after someone is killed. Is that what we are waiting on" please step up and protect the people that now own these vehicles before someone really gets hurt.

- Wonder Lake , IL, USA

problem #50

Apr 302012


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Expedition. The contact was traveling 20-30 mph when the anti-theft warning light illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle failed to restart after the failure. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home and was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 200,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #49

Jul 252010


  • miles


My 1998 Ford Expedition had a recall and they wanted to keep my car for three day minimum of three days. I have to work so I waited until I had a long weekend. I waited to long I guess because I came out of the bank and my car was on fire. I called auto fair Ford in manchester, nh and they said because I did not bring it in immediately that they would replace the part that started the fire but I was responsible for everything else destroyed by the recalled part. I will never buy or deal with Ford or Ford vehicles again!

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #48

Jun 142010


  • 180,000 miles
My 1998 Ford Expedition began having severe electrical problems after heavy rains. The starter will cycle when the key is not even in the ignition, the ac blower remains on when truck is shut off, speedometer fails to work, transmission shifts roughly, interior lights come on, truck shuts off unexpectedly. Researched on internet and apparently many Ford trucks made in 1998 have similar problems due to leaky windshields, allowing water to enter fuse boxes. This problem could be very dangerous particularly the constant cycling of the starter in an unattended truck, and shutting off while driving. I would imagine engine fires are also a possibility given the range of electrical issues this is causing. Repairs include a new windshield and GEM box, running approximately $1,000.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #47

Apr 022002


  • miles
Ford special message #15773. Why is there not a recall for this" this is despicable. The amount of damage this causes is horrible. The air bags can deploy because of this problem. How many children are in danger because of this? how many fires can be started? any vechicle that falls under this message should be repaired by Ford at Ford expense. I have spent a lot of money trying to find out why this has happened when Ford has known the entire time. Multiple people with same issue. See link:"id=15119

- Southaven, MS, USA

problem #46

Mar 012010


  • 93,000 miles
Our 1998 Expedition only has 93,000 miles and it is posing electrical problems, the mechanic has told us it needs a new GEM module. I have read at least 50 complaints about Ford windshield leaking and causing same symptoms. Why would Ford do a recall. Or maybe they have. Can you tell me if they have. This could cause a fire which could cause a sever accident. All the complaints are very similar so it is a manufactured defect.

- Greenfield, IN, USA

problem #45

Jan 282010


  • 169,000 miles


First, the interior lights and running lights would not power off while all doors were closed, door ajar indicator was on. Took to dealer problem resolved for a month or so. Now need to spray WD40 on latches religiously. Dealer also replaced cruise control harness at this time. Then came the radio and heater running with the key out of the ignition. Beeps and clicks and bad smells coming from under dash. Again to the dealer, no codes found for the issues I was having. Battery draining occurring frequently now and no resolution. I now have to disconnect the battery everynight. Now when I drive down the road I get the many failure lights flashing on the dash, the windows won't work, speedometer fails, truck loses power and the transmisson shifts strangely. I was hours from home and doing 70mph on the highway when evidencing decided to not work at the same time. Then I realize that this is occurring only when it rains or is very wet out. And I was truly afraid for my life and the others that were on the road with me. I had to drift across a lane of traffic with no power to get to the side of the road. I put the truck in park and put my head down, whew, and the motor powered back up and all the failure lights were off. Only after investigating on the internet today do I find out this is a common problem. And the fix... replace the windshield seal! and possible damaged fuse box and GEM! now why didn't the Ford dealer help remedy this problem one of the many times I was in? this problem has been occurring for several years. New windshield $165 and they come to the house. I paid big money for "no codes match your issues, miss." Tw*

- Lowell, MI, USA

problem #44

Dec 012003


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 98 Expedition, windows roll down, stereo come on heat turns on, all dash panel warning lights come on and off, the air bag light go on and off, and the wipers and overdrive go on and off, the starter tries to start while running it started few years ago on occasion when it would rain now everytime, found out the windshield leaks water on the fuse box and some other generic box, I feel Ford should fix the Expedition its there default look on the internet, there are lots of other people with the exact same prob. Please help.

- Aberdeen, WA, USA

problem #43

Dec 172009


  • 132,456 miles
I have a 1998 Ford Expedition eb model. I just had to take it into the dealer because the windshield is not sealed properly and the GEM module has been getting wet and needs to be replaced along with the fuse box. Apparently this is quite common with this year and modle.I have to spend 885 to have it fixed and now have to have the windshield replaced as well. The car would not start and the lights flickers on and off while I was driving the power locks would lock and unlock while I was driving. The windows would go up and down while I was driving. This is not safe! it died in the middle of an intersection once then the engine revved up and it wouldn't stop. The only way to stop it is to disconnect the battery. The dash started smoking and a beeping noise came from under the dash somewhere. I was lucky enough to get the battery disconnected before there was any real fire damage. If I had know nothing about cars I would have kept driving and could have been seriously injured.

- Coeurdalene, ID, USA

problem #42

Sep 012009


  • 197,400 miles
Corrosion on blower motor resistor components and thermal event on wiring harness to blower motor resistor.

- Schererville, IN, USA

problem #41

Dec 182008


  • miles
My SUV caught fire parked in a parking lot and not running at the time.

- Kendall, NY, USA

problem #40

Mar 192009

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Expedition. The contact noticed a large amount of smoke while the vehicle was parked in a carport. Suddenly, the vehicle erupted uncontrollably in flames and exploded. The fire department was called to the scene and a fire report was filed. There were no warnings prior to the failure. The two pet dogs that were outside when the massive fire erupted sustained severe burns. There were no personal injuries. The property damage consisted of the carport and portions of the house, such as the roof, siding, and a couple of rooms inside. The vehicle was completely destroyed and currently remains at the scene for investigation purposes. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The insurance company was notified, but the cause of the failure has not yet been determined. The failure and current mileages were 181,000. Updated 05/08/09 updated 05/12/09. Updated 06/09/09.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #39

Oct 142003


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that her vehicle caught fire in her driveway. The fire department extinguished the fire and a report was filed. The insurance company was unable to determine the cause of the failure; however, they would not replace the vehicle because the insurance coverage was cancelled. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer wanted possession of the vehicle in order to perform an inspection; however, it was no longer available because the insurance company disposed of the vehicle. The manufacturer would not assist with any reimbursement and stated that they were not liable for the repairs. They further stated that the customer's claim will be closed. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #38

Nov 272007

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles
My 1998 Ford Expedition XLT has the leaking windshield problem, which has led to misdiagnosis by the dealer and by independent mechanics. The lights, fans, and switches randomly turn on and off, the power windows work intermittently, the blower fan and radio stays on, and the battery has gone dead three times. Today is the most recent occurrence of the problem, and I found it as noted in an online forum. Ford is/has been aware of the problem, yet will only fix it if the car has less than 75,000 miles on the odometer, which works intermittently as well. Apparently the repair will run in excess of $1,000, even though Ford has multiple reported cases of the same problem.

- Blaine, TN, USA

problem #37

Nov 172006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
My 1998 Ford Expedition XLT caught fire when parked in the parking lot of georgio's restaurant after driving for about 20 minutes. Fire started in the engine compartment and remained localized there. Entire engine compartment flamed up, burned a hole through the hood, and damaged everything forward of the vehicles firewall. Flame was contained and extinguished using industrial fire extinguishers available at the restaurant georgio's where my wife, daughter, and I were meeting my parents for dinner. The vehicle has a good service record and has been service at the local Ford dealer a few times, so this was a huge surprise. I am fairly confident the vehicle will be declared "totaled" by my insurance carrier geico. My wife and I depend on having a second vehicle because I drive our other vehicle 60 minutes away every day for work. Since she spends her time raising our daughter, I am the sole source of income, but we're unsure that income can accommodate a car payment (both of our vehicles are paid for).

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #36

Jan 122006

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 1998 Ford Expedition XLT. My check engine light has been on for the past 8 months. When truck is connected to computer for trouble shoot egr code is detected. I have changed egr, solenoid, computer and to this date light is still on. I have been doing research and a large amount of people with Ford Expedition are having this problem. Please help.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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