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 1 of 3)

problem #58

Nov 052015

Thunderbird

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

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

They knew of this problem. It would have been a recall with an auto company that has integrity

- , Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #57

Aug 192015

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

I'm pretty handy fixing the car and it not mine. Belongs to my lovely daughter and she always wanted that Thunderbird 2002 and got it free. Almost. I like the car but own it no. So my girl left in my drive way. Either my son and daughter drive all the time. Finally drove it and it runs rough. Took to Auto Zone for free diagnosed #2, 3, 5, and 7 need coil replace all spark plugs. After taking valve cover off # 2 & 3 and it fill with oil. So it looks like other coil was replace before cause of different color of coils. New boot for #2, & 3. Rack and pinion start to leak badly

and of course replaced. At 100,000. new upper ball joint. Now after driving around and park in my garage. Front left and right fender are so hot and couldn't figure it out yet. Calipier or bearing not hot. Need to replace lower ball joint soon. Will ship Priscilla (car name by my daughter) to New Orleans soon.

- , Wellington, FL, USA

problem #56

Jul 152014

Thunderbird Deluxe 3.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I had this problem first time last summer, 2014. I special ordered this car in 2001 and it has only 45,000 miles on it. Fortunately, I have an independent mechanic that works on my TBird since it is out of warranty. Ford just wants too much $ to work on it. Had 1 coil pack replaced last year and in May, 2015 had to have 2 more replaced. My mechanic informed me about the problems after he researched it. I am a very loyal Ford owner but disgusted with this situation especially after finding out the 2003-05 TBird's had/have the same problems and an extended warranty was provided for those years.

Thankful that I am not out the $1,000's that many have spent on the problem. Next time one goes out, I plan to go to the Ford dealer I have bought cars from for the past 25 years and raise holy h*!!!! If they don't help me get it fixed, it will be the last one I buy from them. I love my car (second only to my daughter) and feel fortunate this is really the only problem I have had with it. Doubt I will ever get rid of it - just hope my mechanic can fix the problem.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #55

Oct 012014

Thunderbird 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

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

As so many others have stated this car is " Bird Crap " ! My brother retired from Chrysler and still spits on foreign cars,but you know what the American car companies have done this to themselves . You wonder why there is so many 2002 Thunderbirds with low miles,DAH??????? They don't run and are parked ! Kinda like the Jags that this mistake was created from. Never thought I would own anything as bad as GM's HT 4100,Cadillac mechanics called the "Hook & Tow" Cadillac. I recently tried to sell this beauty for next to nothing,and guess what...... Everyone had a part that they have heard that goes bad or needs replaced. Greed has takin over this country and the few American companies left don't care about you or me,they already got our money and as long as not to many people are not getting killed yet,who cares. Look at GM,Toyota,Ford Explorer,should I go on ...... So I will get in line with all the other 2002 Thunder Chicken owners and wonder why the hell they bought this lemon and to say be careful what you wish for ! I am going to get lemon stickers and visit all the Ford dealers in Southeast Virginia, don't want to go any farther for fear on breaking down or getting killed !!!!!!!

- , Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #54

Apr 102008

Thunderbird Delux 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

BOUGHT THE CAR WITH 33000 MILES. HAVE ONLY GOT TO DRIVE IT FOR 10000 MILES. STAYS BROKE DOWN MORE THAN FIXED. HAS COST ME MORE MONEY THAN CAR IS WORTH. GOING TO GET IT GOING ONE MORE TIME AND TRADE IT IN ON A GOOD CAR LIKE A DODGE. TIRED OF BUYING COIL PACKS, FUEL PUMPS AND VALVE COVER GASKETS.

- , Lexington, IN, USA

problem #53

Feb 142008

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I am so disgusted with Ford for not recalling this problem over the years I have had to replace coil at least 10 times with a total well in the $8000 range when I spoke to ford via phone they claim they have not heard of this problem before. Granted I love the car but with this same repair, different coils as well as the same, I could have bought a new car. I see per your site this is a common defect that Ford is IGNORING.

- , Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #52

Jun 162014

Thunderbird Limited 3.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

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

Thomas here again, as I wrote earlier about my 2002 Thunderbird. If anyone has any information on a class action suit against Ford for these Thunderbird issues, please contact me at -- tpjm@optimum.net , Thank you, Thomas

- , Watertown, CT, USA

problem #51

Jun 232014

Thunderbird Limited 3.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I HAVE A MINT CONDITION 14 YEAR OLD FORD THUNDERBIRD WITH 30,500 MILES. THIS CAR HAS BEEN DRIVEN A LITTLE LESS THAN 2200 MILES PER YEAR. IT HAS BEEN SERVICED ACCORDING TO THE BOOK AND HAS NEVER SEEN SNOW AND HAS ITS OWN GARAGE. IT RECENTLY STARTED RUNNING ROUGH . THE DEALER INFORMED ME THAT DUE TO FORDS POOR DESIGN THE WATER RUNS FROM UNDER THE WIPERS INTO THE ENGINE ELECTRICALS CAUSING THE MISFIRING PLUGS AND COILS. THEY HAVE REDESIGNED THE PAN UNDER NEATH THE WIPERS BUT CHARGE YOU FOR ALL THE REPAIRS. 900.00 . I FIND THIS TO BE AN ABSOLUTE RIP OFF ON FORDS PART. THEY CAUSED THE PROBLEM , NOT ME, THEY DON;T EVEN SHARE THE COST WITH YOU. WE THUNDERBIRD OWNERS WHO HAVE HAD THIS PROBLEM SHOULD FILE A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST THEM. FORD IS A RIP , I WOULD NEVER BUT ONE OF THERE CARS AGAIN. THOMAS

- , Watertown, CT, USA

problem #50

May 272014

Thunderbird

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

This seems to be a continual problem with the 2002 Thunderbird. I have only 72,000 miles on a 12 year old car and have spent at least $6,000+ dollars in (above normal maintenance) repairs on this car. The coils on the 2002 are a huge problem and yet Ford has never address the issue for this year or redesigned the coil pack. So you can expect this issue to come up again and again.

I truly wish they would recall this model and year Thunderbird for this reason, it’s a safety issue.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #49

Jul 012013

Thunderbird 3.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,200 miles

Why is the 2002 Thunderbird gasget, coil, spark plugs and connectors not covered under the recall of the 2003-5. This seems to be a major problem! Ford you need to recall the 2002. This is not an affordable problem.

- , Lititz, PA, USA

problem #48

Jul 302013

Thunderbird 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

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

We have an 02 thunderbird that burns out coil packs also. We are afraid to drive this car at all now. What a waste of a beautiful car. And so disapointed in Ford!

- , Mustang, OK, USA

problem #47

May 192012

Thunderbird 3.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Bought this Thunderbird a year ago and join the swelling ranks of those experiencing the plug/coil/valve cover problem. Just replaced the plugs myself. I noticed that half of the coils had been replaced and oil in the #1 plug valley. Car ran fine for one day and then started skipping again and overheating as well. Instead of just keep on replacing plugs, coils and valve covers has anyone thought of a permanent fix such as venting the plugs and better seals for the valve covers? If not, I am seriously considering pulling the engine and putting in a Chevy V8.

- , Franklin, NC, USA

problem #46

Apr 192012

Thunderbird Convertible 3.9L 8 cyl. Fuel Inj

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,400 miles

I've had my T-bird for seven years and started out loving it. I drive it back and forth to work - it does not just sit in the garage and look pretty. My mileage is not that high for the engine work it is requiring. The love relationship is over. I have now had to replace five coils, every time having to replace the valve covers. I just had the fifth replaced four days ago and this morning the engine light came on AGAIN, so I guess I'll be going for the sixth. I am calling Ford today - this is not acceptable as I am tired of pouring money into car repairs.

- , Pooler, GA, USA

problem #45

Jun 012003

Thunderbird V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

Ford did an injustice to 2002 owners of the Thunderbird by not accepting that they had an issue with the car!!!!!

- , Bedford, VA, USA

problem #44

Aug 132010

Thunderbird 3.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Obviously this is a design defect by Ford or Jaguar and they should come up with a solution by creating a coil that is not destroyed by the heat created by THEIR engine. They need to fix the problem, not just treat the symptoms. As of 1-17-12 I have now had to replace 4-6 of the coils and the engine is running rough now, the engine light is on and it is occasionally hard to start.

Do any attorneys own a T-bird having these problems. If so is there anything we can do?

If so contact me at jimhazel123@yahoo.com.

- , Chatsworth, GA, USA

problem #43

Aug 112011

Thunderbird

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

Should you feel Ford has not adequately addressed the trouble you are having with the Coil and Plugs, please feel free to contact Ford US via telephone at (800)392-3673 between the hours of 8am and 5pm, local time, Monday through Friday.

Rise up and raise heck.......

- , Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #42

Aug 112011

Thunderbird

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

If you have this defect call Ford and raise Heck - Ford offers a fix for this the 2003 thru 2005 but claims there have not had an issue with 2002. All made at the same plant - 2002 has the highest failure rate on this component/s.

- , Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #41

Jul 302011

Thunderbird 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I'm having the same problem again, but I have not had problem repaired yet.

- , St Paul, MN, USA

problem #40

Jul 112011

Thunderbird 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,300 miles

Same thing coil number 8 is bad. Had the problem repaired by replacing the coil and spark plugs.

- , St Paul, MN, USA

problem #39

Jun 172011

Thunderbird 3.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I purchased my 2002 for T bird in 2005. I had second thoughts about buying a ford, because I hear bad reports about ford. But I like the way the T bird looked. This year in June the car started missing really bad. Found out the #4 and 5 coils had gone bad. The car was running good for 4 weeks. Its started missing again. This time is was coil number 8. The car was running good again. Two weeks later now it's doing the same thing.

I have a 94 buick park avenue with 170,000. It runs better than my T bird. The engine is garbage. I can't believe ford is getting away with this. I called to see if their is a recall on the coils. I've had no success.

- , St Paul, MN, USA

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