Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

8.6

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$800.00
Average Mileage:
55,555 miles
Total Complaints:
58 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace coil and spark plugs (25 reports)
  2. replace valve covers, coils and spark plugs (17 reports)
  3. not sure (10 reports)
  4. class action lawsuit (2 reports)
  5. replace coil, cover and seal (2 reports)
  6. replaced coil #7, spark plug, & valve cover gasket (1 reports)
2002 Ford Thunderbird engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Thunderbird Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Aug 122009

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Today I will drop my car off at Byery Ford in Louisville for the fifth coil repair. I want either my warranty extended, my car recalled, my money back for repairs or cash for this clunker.

It is crazy that this was addressed for the '03s, but we are ignored and neglected! What do the lemon laws cover anyway?

Can someone come up with a patch so I can stop doing this every six months? Does anyone want to start a class action suit so we can get this settled? My frustration is endless...

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #17

Jul 062009

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

this is the fourth coil replacement. the previous 3 were due oil leak from value cover. i have spent over $1500 on this type of repair. i believe it is an engine defect but i can not get ford dealer to do anything.

- , Clifton, VA, USA

problem #16

Jun 052009

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

THE 4th Coil on Plug Problem with a leaking cover......... I haven't had it fixed. My car is a 2002 that was purchased Jan 2, 2003 and was one of the last ones off of the 2002 assembly line. The problem has been recalled for 2003, my coils are exactly the same!!!!! Please can someone tell me where to turn on this issue. I had purchased 3 vehicles from the same dealership and they were totally useless. Now that Dealership Arrington Blunt Ford in Lawrenceville,GA has gone out of business. This is THE WORST CAR I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Please see my other complaints below.

Passenger side auto door lock

Clock spring problem in the steering wheel that effects the radio and CD controls, the cruise control, the horn doesn't work, the cruise control doesn't work, the airbag light stays on (is it working???) In my opinion these are safety issues and FORD needs to take responsibility!!!!

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #15

Jun 242009

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Car started running rough and check engine light came on, took it to our local garage and they found that there was oil in the Coil on Plug wells due to valve cover/valve cover gasket failure. I did research and found this is a common failure in Thunderbird assembled at the Wixom plant. The Ford engineers acknowledge this issue starting in 2003 - 2005, and "Customer satisfaction Program 07M07" implemented "extending the limited warranty to 10 years from the warranty start date or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. If your vehicle has more then 100,000 miles then the coverage extends to 11/30/2008." This is the Eleventh Generation of the Ford Thunderbird years 2002 - 2005, CSP 07M07 needs to be extended to include the 2002 model year as the problem effects these cars as well.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #14

Jun 292009

Thunderbird 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,901 miles

Ok this is coil # three for me, first was caused to oil leaking from valve cover gaskets, fixed by replacing seal on valve covers, BUT........guess what the last two coils gone bad not caused by oil leak, they just short out sometime around 45,000 to 75,000 miles. Well three down only 5 more to go??? asked Ford dealer if new coils are good and will last, no answer..... asked dealer what are my chances of making it on a 500 mile trip without having another coil go out.....; no answer......... Is there anything that can be done to make Ford fix THEIR mistake??? so far I have spent over $1750 bucks with more many to be spent I am sure.......

- , Lebanon, TN, USA

problem #13

Dec 102008

Thunderbird Convertible 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,407 miles

Yes, This is # 4 coil replacement, only 4 more to go. FORD will not replace them all so back for 1 each time. When will they have a recall? No bailout for me!

- , Key Largo, FL, USA

problem #12

Jul 302008

Thunderbird Convertible 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Yes, Another coil problem. 2 this time. New service writer, filed a complaint with the dealer the last time I was there, however the liar was still working? ? ? I was told that this coil problem has not become a recall- not a hazard. Another 2 days off work. When will it end? Yes, I did purchase the Ford extended warranty. You would think they would fix this issue-- I will not buy another FORD, my other cars are CHEVROLET I had to buy 2 so we could get to work on time.

- , Key Largo, FL, USA

problem #11

Feb 112008

Thunderbird Convertible 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

Yes, Another coil problem with the T-BIRD. Another 2 days off work, more lies at the dealer. I had the mechanic put the car on the lift because they said they replaced the transmission --another complaint. It sure look like the original to me. I found the rack and pinion stering leaking down the right side under side. The mechanic said he told the service writer about this - I was never told! More deception at the FORD dealer.

- , Key Largo, FL, USA

problem #10

Jun 042007

Thunderbird 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,500 miles

I have a 2002 T-Bird with 31,500.m on it. I had # 3 coil, plug, & boot replaced along with the cover, one week later # 4 coil,plug & boot was replaced. I now have another one bad that has not been replaced as of yet. The car is never used in bad weather. It's a sunny day top down toy that I can't afford to keep. Is their a one time fix for this problem?

Ed Herrmann

- , Edison, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jan 092008

Thunderbird Convertible 3.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

this problem is known by Ford--engineering problem!! Problem was addressed by Ford for the 2003 vehicles, but refuses to recognized for 2002.

the problem is that, with time, the valve covers warp and allow oil to seep into the spark plug/coil cavities--the accumulation of oil short-out the coils causing the spark plus to foul and fail.

the cause is the warping of the valve covers and gasket/seal failure. Once coils fail, it makes for costly repair-- four coils, spark plugs, valve covers, gaskets, and labor $1500.00

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #8

May 302003

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Car was still under warranty and would not pass emission inspection. They kept putting the computer on it and saying it was fine. It finally passed. 30 days later car starts skipping the dash lights up and the engine overheats. "Bad Gaskets" caused leaking into the crankcase on two cylinders and had to replace all gaskets and two coils/plugs. Fords response.... we offered you the extended warranty when you had the car in here last month!!!!

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #7

Aug 082006

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Car has an odd smell like rubber burning and engine starts to skip and run poorly. Red lights start flashing and engine overheats.... Guess what COILS AGAIN!!! had 2 more replaced. Still no response from Ford.... except for "we have seen this happen in the T-birds.

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #6

Aug 202007

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

It is now the third time!!!! Overheated, smells like oil burning had been getting poor mileage, engine skips and loses power. DIAGNOSIS... SAME THING, LEAKING INTO THE CASE, TWO MORE COILS REPLACED!!!!!! A $43,000 automobile with 60,000 miles and I have spent near $3,000 on engine repairs with absolutely no relief from FORD!!!!!

OK EVERYONE, I KNOW OF TWO OTHER T BIRD OWNERS THAT HAVE HAD SIMILAR PROBLEMS.... MAKE SOME NOISE... HOW AB OUT A CLASS ACTION SUIT TO GET THEIR ATTENTION!!! I HAD BEEN A LOYAL FORD OWNER UNTIL NOW..... NEVER AGAIN....

Update from Sep 23, 2011: Final complaint. I had replaced 6 coils, had plugs replaced numerous times and valve cover gaskets 3 times. Car still cut out and stalled.

The less than 2 miles from home, while sitting at a stop light, the engine light comes on and within 30 seconds the temperature guage starts rapidly rising. I tried to accelerate to drive through the intersection to get to the frist parking lot I could see and the vehicle won't go over about 10 miles an hour. I have it towed and the verdict: The last two coils are broken. Plugs fouled. Oil and water in the cylinders. Valve gasket leaking oil AND A BAD HEAD GASKET! The repair estimate was over 4k. Need to replace coils and rebuild the engine. I am out of money. The car is the prettiest turd I've ever had the misfortune of owning. I will NEVER EVER BUY ANOTHER FORD PRODUCT AND I JUST CAN"T FORGIVE THEM FOR CLAIMING THIS HASN'T BEEN A PROBLEM. Do they think we are stupid or are they simple unscrupulous liars without morels or ethics?

- , Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #5

Jul 252007

(reported on)

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,526 miles

I thought that this may be connected to the previous problem - crank case had a leak. #6 was replaced, they test drove it and came back and told me #1 had fouled and they replaced that one. Service adviser James Parsons said that this is common in Tbirds, Jaguar because of the location of the engine and that he has seen numerous cars with this problem. He said it is a design flaw, the coils get too hot and foul the plug. Unbelievable, I purchased the car of my dreams and it turns out to be a living nightmare. Add to that the dealership does not want to assist.. any ideas?

- , Horseshoe Bay, TX, USA

problem #4

Jul 252007

(reported on)

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,500 miles

July 24, 2007... I give up after being away since the last repair on July 6, 2007 the first time I drove my car #3 and # 5 fouled. The cost is over $1000 in two weeks, and I have been told that this will continue to happen because of the design flaw, who can afford to repair these cars, this has to be a lemon. The owner of the dealership will not return my phone calls, the dealership does not have a service manager, the acting service manager Marilyn does not return my phones calls, the service adviser Kevin said they have not had any luck talking with their representative at Ford. What do I do I really don't know who to turn to, obviously Ford does not want to deal with their mistake so why should the consumer have to bear the financial burden alone... this car should have a recall or we should file a class action suit to get their attention.

- , Horseshoe Bay, TX, USA

problem #3

Jul 252007

(reported on)

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,254 miles

July 6, 2007 the car started missing and the engine light came on, again it is the coil fouling the spark plugs this time it is #8-I requested new plugs and coils to be replaced another service guy Kevin Holcomb. I had been told that it is the coil overheating causing the spark plugs to foul so this approach made sense to me. Unfortunately Kevin decided that the coil cost too much to replace and only replaced the spark plugs. None of this is covered by warranty because it is considered a maintenance issue. How can Ford get away with this, by the way if you complain to Ford, their response is to thank you for your positive feed back... WHAT PLANET ARE ON!!!!

- , Horseshoe Bay, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 252007

(reported on)

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

12/05 The car was missing, dealership said the car had a leak in the crankcase that was causing the fouled plug. The engine light was on and the car could not be driven over 45 mph. This was the first time I had any problems with the car at all, the mileage was 60K +/-. Repairs were covered by the warranty.

- , Horseshoe Bay, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 252007

(reported on)

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,431 miles

This is the third time to repair the car this time it is #7 that fouled. Proceeded by the car missing and the engine light coming on. Again the dealership said that it is a design flaw service adviser William Thurmond, I suggested replacing all of them at one time and was told they can't do that, why not.. guess it would not be financially beneficial to the dealership Johnson Sewell in Marble Falls Texas.

- , Horseshoe Bay, TX, USA

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