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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 9
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,460 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.

2002 Ford Expedition engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Feb 102010

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Spark plug explode, when driving at 45mph, car warranty insurance deny claim due that they said is for a bad torque, however those were installed at factory.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #30

Mar 082010


  • 115,000 miles
We own a 2002 Ford Expedition with about 115,000 miles on it. Right when we rolled over 100,000, we have had multiple instances of the spark plugs blowing right out of the engine. Each spark plug repair has cost us between $300-$500 plus towing. The car will have no real sign that it's about to blow a plug. Which is scary of where you may be stuck when the thing decides to go. The last time (yesterday) that this happened, we were told that the car would need new heads ( a $3500 repair). We have researched this problem, and it is not unique to us as Ford owners. Complaint upon complaint can be found of the same problem at around the same mileage. Ford claims to not be responsible, however they have since repaired the spark plug flaw in newer Ford cars and trucks. The problem lies in that the spark plugs don't have enough threading, which causes them to shoot right out of the engine. If they have realized their flaw enough to change it, then they should take on the responsibility in repairing the cars/trucks that are on the road with this problem, and repairing people's pocket books that have already had to shovel out the funds to pay the repairs.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #29

Dec 062009


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Expedition. After being parked for two hours, he was advised that his vehicle caught on fire. The fire dept stated the fire initiated within the engine compartment. The fire report number was not available. The manufacturer took report number 0589603419. The manufacturer stated an investigator would be sent within fifteen days to inspect the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 150,000.

- Temecula , CA, USA

problem #28

Dec 242007


  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that the spark plugs caused the engine to fail. The vehicle began to smoke occasionally; however, he was able to continue driving it. Prior to filing the complaint the failure occurred three times. It also seemed to occur once every year since 2007. The first failure was repaired by the dealer according to the extended warranty. The second time, the dealer repaired it at the owners expense. The vehicle was being diagnosed at the dealer at the time the complaint was filed. The manufacturer stated that they were not responsible and that there were no existing recalls. The current mileage was approximately 89,000. The failure mileage was approximately 69,000.

- Siloam Springs, AR, USA

problem #27

Sep 022009


  • 41,000 miles
Ford Triton engine spitting spark-plugs out of engine resulting in gasoline being sprayed all over engine. Costly repairs are minimum $400+. this has happened 4 times to me and I can anticipate it happening on the remaining 4 cylinders in my 2002 Ford Expedition. As a result of this problem Ford is aware of, gasoline is being sprayed on 1000's of engines when this happens. Bad design by Ford. Aluminum heads on iron engine. Duh. My investigation has determined that there are 1000's of Ford owner who have experienced this same problem yet Ford is unwilling to do anything about it. Their repair shops will charge anywhere from $400 to $1600 to repair the problem. Please address this issue before my remaining 4 cylinders go and I will have to pay to get this bad design repaired. Thank you.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #26

Aug 262009


  • 106,000 miles
2002 Ford Expedition - back passenger side spark plug blew out. Car was pushed to mechanic who was luckily close by at time of blow out. Spark plug was completely blown out, the coil was broken and the intake manifold had to be removed to facilitate repair. Total bill: Over $1300. Ford knows about this problem - it is widely reported on the internet - but yet they do nothing to help their consumers.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #25

Jul 182009


  • 75,000 miles


I have a 2002 Ford Expedition and have now twice in the last 6 months have had to have it repaired for the spark plug ejection fro, the motor. The vehicle gave way with its power right in the middle of the intersection. I feel this is a defect and that Ford should take some ownership, it only has 75 thousand miles on it.

- Peoria , AZ, USA

problem #24

Feb 092009

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 91,651 miles
I drive a 2002 Ford Expedition with a 5.4 Triton V8 engine. I have had 2 of the exact same failures on the exact same vehicle. They both were blown out spark plugs! the first was April 24, 2007 and the second was Feb. 10, 2009. The first one occurred at 77,402 miles on the vehicle and the second happened at 91,651 miles. I am livid with rage at an problem that I have now learned is very common with this engine. This is an obvious defect with this vehicle and something that can continue to occur over and over since there is nothing to be done about it according to the Ford dealer shop service manager who repaired the problem on Feb. 10, 2009. I have spent a total of $569.75 for these 2 repairs! and obviously feel it will happen again. How can it not? there were not any events or warnings this was going to happen! it just blew out the spark plug and of course could not be driven and required towing. The parts that were replaced/repaired were on both cases a coil assembly and spark plug, rethreading for the plug. I have no old parts and was not given any. Why this has not been recalled is beyond my understanding since it will happen again due to the aluminum head that was installed on these vehicles when they were built by Ford. That is what the Ford dealer service manager told me, in fact. It heats up and gets way to hot than it blows the spark plug! I do not think I should be responsible for repairing/replacing the head in case that would ever happen which it could. Ford screwed up on this one. Make them pay to fix this ongoing problem please! I cannot afford to buy a new car.

- Millersport, OH, USA

problem #23

Feb 112009


  • 130,000 miles
Hello we have a 2002 Ford Expedition with the 5.4 yesterday it blew a plug. We have kept very good care of this vehicle and should not have had this problem we are a family of 5 and the only thing Ford wants to do is put in a new motor or sale me a new car this is not right, this is a on going problem with these motors to fix this problem it will be $500 to try and retap the hole for the spark plug that may or may not hold or $5000 to rebuild the motor. Can someone help us. Tim

- Crockett, CA, USA

problem #22

Dec 312008


  • 130,000 miles
Spark plug #3 blew while traveling with children on the highway resulting in engine damage, repairs of $4000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #21

Dec 292008


  • 128,000 miles


My wife and I were going to eat and the vehicle started running rough. I told her to pull over and pop the hood. I got out, opened the hood and there was a fire on the drivers side of the engine compartment. I attempted to put it out but was unsuccessful.

- Tallapoosa, GA, USA

problem #20

Nov 302008


  • 77,997 miles
Spark plug ejected from engine.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #19

Feb 252008


  • miles
On three separate occasions, my 2002 Ford Expedition has blown a spark plug. This is a well documented, albeit unacknowledged by Ford, issue with the Triton engines. Each time, I incurred the direct cost of an independent mechanic correcting the issue using after market repair kits. Websites such as are replete with others encountering the same problems. Why Ford has not been forced to recall and fix these vehicles is beyond me. There is a very real danger with the blown spark plug igniting vapors and starting an engine fire. Each time the spark plug blew, it was while the car was in motion, causing rapid deceleration and jerking of the car. I am using the second date of incident for purposes of this report. The most recent occurrence happened on Sunday, Nov 30, 2008.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #18

Nov 232008


  • 105,000 miles
# 3 spark plug blew for the second time and destroyed the motor head. Now have to replace head and have been quoted around $3000 to fix a problem Ford has known about and has had many complaints about as well as Consumer Affairs.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #17

Sep 112008


  • 117,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Expedition with a 5.4L engine that has just recently experienced a blown out spark plug and coil. In more than half of the 5.4L engines produced by Ford between 1990 - 2005 have experienced a blown out spark plug and coil. The plug thread within the cylinder head are inadequate resulting in replacement of your heads or to temporarily fix the problem with the lock-N-stitch method which is Ford approved. The reason I am raising this concern is that this situation has affected so many vehicles yet Ford still continues to produced equipment set up to fail. I always see recalls on items that are definitely safety issues but are a cheap fix but when it comes to complex problems that are costly to repair and very common among the same style and size engine it should be addressed as well. At this time I am not sure of the result in damage or injury except for maybe the person working on the vehicle.

- Rio Linda, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 112008

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I have a 2002 eddie bauer Ford Expedition, and it just blew out a spark plug at 66 thousand miles or so. Dealer says it isn't covered under warranty. I am seeing a huge amount of these V8 Triton engines blowing out spark plugs on the internet, and attempted class action lawsuits. It looks like the engine threading is messed up and the plugs blow out. All the plugs are original factory. I smelled fuel after a loud pop happened, and I was worried the engine might explode from gas vapor, but I wasn't on the freeway thank god.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #15

Jun 262008

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 61,258 miles
My 2002 Ford Expedition threw out a spark plug(#3) after I started it. The car showed no signs of any problems prior to the event. From the number of complaints I've seen online, this is not an isolated incident. The dealer recommended a head replacement but I could not afford the $3,700 they wanted. I had to choose the helicoil fox at $600 and was informed that there would not be any guarantee on this fix or how long it would last. Updated 07/17/08

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #14

Jun 132007


  • 142,748 miles
Engine backfired blowing out no. 7 spark plug stripping out cylinder head. Has backfired before splitting no. 3 spark plug. Causing the vehilcle to be unusable until repaird.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #13

Apr 152008


  • 92,000 miles
2002 Ford Expedition - out of the blue, the car blew a spark plug. It was towed, did full tune up and new spark plug. Was informed that there have been many problems with blown plugs and faulty aluminum heads in my year and make. It was $500. 2 weeks later same plug blew out. Had to tow again. My choice was either new car or drop a new engine in the car. A new head would have been a band-aid. I had to put a new engine in, the engine and the labor were $6,000. I should have never had to do this for a 2002 that I paid over $30,000 for. Several mecanics said they are seeing more and more of these coming in their shops from years 2000-2002 in different Ford.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 122008


  • 107,000 miles
Spark plug ejected from engine. Original spark plugs in the vehicle. Ejected at start up of engine. Heads will need to be removed and heli coil inserts installed.

- Derby, KS, USA

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