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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,149 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 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Dec 282004


  • miles


Driving down to bakersfield, following a severe skiing injury, my 1998 Ford Expedition blew a spark plug out the aluminum head, shearing off the coil, and incapacitating the car.

- Redondo, CA, USA

problem #37

Nov 252005


  • miles
While driving on the northbound 405 in la, my 1998 Expedition shot a spark plug from the aluminum head. I was trapped in 70mph traffic in the dark waiting a tow truck.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 032005

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles
I was accelerating near my home when the plug blew in the engine of my Ford Expedition. No accident was caused. This is the second plug to blow on this vehicle in 3 years.

- Dunkerton, IA, USA

problem #35

Jul 022003

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


On July 1, 2003 while driving on freeway I heard a loud pop followed by a loss of power. I had the vehicle towed to galpin Ford. I was told the #2 spark plug blew through the head gasket. Total repairs paid were $4059.99. Approx. 1 month later spark plug #4 on the other head blew. Not wanting another 4 grand bill I towed the vehicle to Dodge brothers where I was charged $402.95 to insert a heli-coil for the one spark plug hole. On 11/10 a 3rd plug bew. Knowing that I still had two more plugs that could blow my wife towed vehicle back to galpin. When told repairs would be in excess of $2500 she broke down and got them to reduce the cost to $874. Total costs with tow and rental $5,736.94.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #34

Dec 012004

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles
Contact stated while wife was driving a 1998 Ford Expedition a spark plug blew out from engine. The consumer states wife heard a loud noise coming from the engine and the vehicle kept running, but it lost power and was misfiring. A certified mechanic stated the number four spark blew out on the passenger side due to a defective cylinder head. And stated there is not enough thread on the block to hold the spark plug in. The consumer states this has never happened to his vehicle before. The vehicle has now been repaired by having metal jackets put into the cylinders and also had the cylinders rethreaded. The service dealer stated it would cost approximately $2,000 to repair the vehicle.

- Hanford, CA, USA

problem #33

Jul 222005

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
My wife and I were going down to so. Calif. When we heard a loud pop. I checked under the hood and found that the second spark plug back on the drivers side had blown out. We had to set out in the desert for 4 hours before we could be towed. The Ford dealer in carson city, Nevada told us that this a common problem and Ford would not cover these repairs. What is going on here, where is the recall, Ford should have to replace all of these defective parts at their expence, they are the ones made the defective parts.

- Pollock Pines, CA, USA

problem #32

Jul 012005

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


My 1998 Ford Expedition eddie bauer with 84K miles on it has had two spark plug coils go bad and have been replaced for $425 each time. On July 1, while driving on the highway, the car made a loud pop and we had to pull over, luckily without causing an accident. We were able to get to the Ford dealer in ojai, who looked at the car and determined that the a spark plug had blown out of the head and cost to repair was going to be $3800. Many people with the 5.4L Triton engine report the same problem and Ford needs to address this. The engine should be recalled since it has a fatal deisgn flaw. There are only 4 threads in each spark plug hole instead of 8. we could have been killed if the car had stalled at the wrong time. Please get Ford to address this problem.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #31

Oct 222004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles
Engine failure. In my research of the type of engine in my vehicle, a 4.6L made in the romeo plant, have found that there has been numerous people that had their motors fail(blown). I have a Ford Expedition 1998 with a 4.6L engine and the 8th digit of the VIN # being a w for romeo plant. When I called in excess of 20+ auto salvage yards, I had gotten the same response. That particular engine from that particular plant was a problem. I was also told 1997 was the same occurrence. Unfortunately, I owe almost $7000 on this vehicle that I now can not drive with out replacing or rebuilding the engine, which will be more than a couple thousand. I have been told by these many salvage yards and my local Ford dealer the problem occurs when antifreeze makes its way into the oil and burns out the main bearings.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #30

Jun 142004

Expedition 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
The vehicle started to make a noise, when the consumer was driving. The dealer stated the upper camshaft sensor had broken. Then a month later the lower camshaft sensor broke. The manufacture stated the warranty does not apply after mileage has become to high.

- Quinlan, TX, USA

problem #29

Dec 282004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
I had a skiing accident and severely damaged my knee. As I was being taken to the hospital in my 1998 Expedition, it blew a spark plug out of the engine. I was told by the dealer today that this is a common problem with all Ford Triton aluminum engines, however, there would be no compensation for this known defect.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #28

Dec 102003


  • 90,000 miles


While the vehicle was parked, a fire started in the engine. The fire was put out and the vehicle was towed.

- Satellite Beach, FL, USA

problem #27

Oct 062004


  • miles
The plug blew out of the head on my 1998 Ford Expedition 5.4 liter V8. Has to go to Ford, approx 2700 to fix, my extended 3rd party warranty refuses to cover because they say it is a manufacturer defect. Ford disagrees. I will have to pay this. Too many people have this same thing happen to them. There are several web sites that deal with it. Even the 3rd party extended warranty company said they see it all the time on these engines.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #26

Jun 232004

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,428 miles
On June 23, 2004 my 1998 Ford Expedition was towed to a dealer because I blew a spark plug. I was told that it would cost over $2700 to get it fixed. They said it was because the spark plug would only blow out again and I needed a new head covering. The service manager said that this was a common occurrence on the aluminum heads. My question or rather my complaint is that I am angry about the response from the service manager and from the Ford front office. If Ford knows that this is a common occurrence then why should the consumer be liable for something that Ford knows is a problem. Am pretty upset about this as Ford knows this happens and there hasn't been a recall. Why isn't there a recall if there is a problem with the head coverings"? am I expected to pay an additional $2700 when the other head goes bad" this isn't right and if they have a problem then fix it and don't just rob the consumer.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #25

Jun 272004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,450 miles
Engine at idle for a period of time heard a pop and found that spark plug had blown out of the head upon further investigation found out that this is a common problem with the Ford Triton V8 engine.

- South Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #24

May 312004

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles
While driving consumer heard a loud knocking noise coming from the front. The consumer was able to pull over and inspected the vehicle. The consumer noticed that the spark plug from the passenger side blew out. The consumer contacted the dealer, and was informed that the cylinder head needed to be replaced due to a blow out. The consumer found that many others experienced this same problem with the 5.4 and the 4.6 Ford engines. The problem was found to be a defect in the heads not having enough threads to hold the plugs in. Ford would not assist in the repair, even though they recently redesigned the heads to prevent the problem.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #23

Apr 272004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
Driving one day and heard a loud pop then no response or power from the engine.a certified mechanic said that the 3rd spark plug was blown out of the head and the acknowledged that this is a common thing in these type of engines. I also talked to the dealer that I bought this joke of a vehicle from and they said that they get these kind of repairs in all the time - domino Ford in midlothian il. I talked to Ford Motor Co. Consumer complaints and all they said was "sir there is no recall on your'E vehicle and they said have a nice day. The mechanic said they would put in a insert or heli coil and that it might work but after scanning the internet there is all kinds of complaints out there with this exact kind of problem with the Ford pickups, vans and SUV's that have this Triton engine. Ford won't acknowledge this because they know that under a recall it will cost them a lot to fix this obvious manufacturer defect. Of the complaints that I read and talking to my mechanic they all mention that the threads that hold the spark plugs are not long or deep enough to contain the spark plug for good. For 40K price tag Ford Motor Co. Should replace the engines in these vehicles. Do we have to wait for someone to sacrifice their life for this to get rectified? just like the tire issues. If someone does die due to this defect I will be the first to come forward on this on when I complained and that nothing was done. Peoples lives should not be risked to line Ford pockets. If you sue them they will drag it out so long because they made 40K a vehicle on this model alone and they will drag it out until you can't pay for help anymore.

- Worth, IL, USA

problem #22

Apr 012004

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,300 miles
When accelerating from a traffic light, I heard a pop and then my 5.4L engine on my 1998 Ford Expedition started making a loud continuous popping/ticking sound. We had it towed to the local Ford dealer and they diagnosed it as a blown spark plug caused by the cylinder head threads giving way and causing the spark plug to be blown out of the spark plug hole. They are charging us almost $3300 to fix the defect in their cylinder heads. They deny there is any type of recall, but I did see a tsb# 98B33 which relates to cylinder head replacement. If you go to these websites,"S=90A1A25C42dbffde23D53146381E3E78&threadid=88853&perpage=15&pagenumber=2 and"cat=&board=ubb10&number=155196 you will see that this has happened to alot of other Ford owners with 5.4 and 6.7L V-8's and V-10's. I have never heard of a spark plug blowing up and cracking a head before in my life and to me this is obviously a manufacturer defect and Ford should recall these engines and fix this problem at no cost to the consumer. We have done all of our scheduled maintenance at Ford dealers and spent considerable amounts of money doing so and we were never warned or told of this problem with these engines. Ford should at the very least recommend more frequent maintenance specifically addressing this issue.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #21

Feb 042004


  • 107,000 miles
While driving consumer heard a loud rattling noise coming from engine. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #20

Dec 202003

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ford spark plug blowout problem.

- Kearney, NE, USA

problem #19

Jan 102004

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles
Spark plug blown out of cylinder head.

- Billerica, MA, USA

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