hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,911 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 1 of 2)

problem #28

Feb 252012

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 175,000 miles


Coil and spark plug blow out of engine when truck was started (1998). The Expedition has been known to have this issues as well as other issues. Why is Ford not taking responsibility; so far accident avoided. I had to replace one coil pack each year so far but this was the worse. I needed the cinder retreaded to fit the spark plug in.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #27

Feb 082012

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
#6 spark plug blew out of cyl head. Reinstalled and replaced coil since it broke mount. Put back in service and next plug in bank (#7) blew within 10 miles at approx same speed. When searching the internet this is a common problem with Ford modular engine prior to 04. When they make special tools and inserts to address the problem, Ford should pony up and have the inserts installed at least for the normal life expectancy of the engine.

- Bethel, AK, USA

problem #26

Jan 302012


  • 175,000 miles
Spark plug blew out while driving on highway -- very dangerous. Had children in car. Had to be towed. My mechanic told me this is a recurring problem with this engine--5.4L-- in other Ford as well. He had another Ford with same problem come in the previous week, and has seen several others recently (this is just one small town/rural mechanic). Please take action -- it's a costly repair.

- Sylva, NC, USA

problem #25

Oct 212011

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 241,252 miles


Plastic intake manifold failure resulting in repairs in excess of $1500.

- Bath, NY, USA

problem #24

Apr 072011

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 80,638 miles
April 2011 Ford 5.4 liter Triton blew out yet another spark plug.

- Warrenton, OR, USA

problem #23

Feb 042011

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
3rd time we have had a spark plug ejection from the passenger engine head of our 1998 Ford Expedition with a Triton 5.4 liter engine. I owned a Ford F150 and had this same problem twice. I did research and called a few ase master mechanics that are rated as America's #1 and #4 mechanics in the nation, and was told it is the most common problem Ford Triton engines have ever had, and they see these problems on a daily basis, yet Ford does not acknowledge the problem. Ford desperately needs to recall these engines, they are a hazard, and the spark plug ejects with explosive power damaging nearby components on it's way out of the engine. Ford refuses to acknowledge this common manufacture defect. To fix this problem new heads need to be installed on the engine. The quick helical style sleeve into the stripped spark plug threads has a failure rate of 100%. again this is a major problem and the magnitude can be seen all over the internet by searching Ford spark plug blowouts. Literally 10's of thousands of forums, and insight in this problem is available online, except support from Ford Motor Company.

- Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #22

Nov 152010

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • 145,000 miles


I was driving @ 70mph down interstate 10 in seguine Texas when the sparkplug on my 1998 Ford Expedition blew out of the head, destroying the coil, plug and wire. The vehicle interior filled with gas fumes and the vehicle started to knock very loudly. I was able to stop the vehicle prior to the fuel vapors igniting, however this was extremely dangerous as my wife and children were in the vehicle with me. After researching I have found that this problem is common with the Ford 5.4 Triton engines. The mechanic I took the vehicle to explained that the aluminum heads do not mesh with the steel spark plugs and eventually tear all the threads out of the head and shoot the plug out of the hole. The head of the vehicle had to be removed and machined at a cost of 1400$.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #21

Aug 162010


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Expedition. The contact stated that the spark plugs blew out of the engine while traveling 65 mph; the contact smelled something burning under the hood. In March of 2009 one spark plug blew out, but in August of 2010 2 additional spark plugs blew out. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer confirmed the failure. The failure mileage was 150000 and current mileage was 160000.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #20

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 #19

May 102004


  • 89,500 miles
1998 Ford Expedition sparkplug ejection.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #18

Oct 112009

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 151,000 miles


Driving our 1998 Ford Expedition with a Triton 5.4L V-8 home from a weekend camping trip, the engine blew a spark plug. We were on a very busy 5 lane highway with our three children under 6 years old. We spent nearly two hours on the side of the interstate waiting for a tow truck. I understand this is a fairly common malady; one in which the NHTSA has investigated before. I understand that many outside Ford Motor Corp feel this is a design flaw and creates unnecessary emergency events on the side of the road.

- Napa, CA, USA

problem #17

May 202009


  • 113,000 miles
1998 Ford Expedition with 5.4 L engine. #3 spark plug blew out of engine suddenly, causing severe noise, rough running, and loss of power. Mileage: 113,000 miles. Repair: $400 for retaping head, placing insert, replacing plug and coil.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #16

Jun 152003


  • 85,000 miles
1998 Ford Expedition blew spark plug out of the head with just a little over 85,000 miles. I was told by the dealer I bought it from that the factory recommends to replace the head at $2300. And they said this was the only fix. I traded the vehicle in for a huge loss. I only had it for less than a year. Because I found that this is a big problem with Ford and no-one will do anything to stop this problem, I have vowed never to by another Ford and will make as many people aware of this problem as possible. I now own an escalade and have put on over 90,000 miles without any problems, not like the Ford expensive repairs. This happened to me a number of years ago and I didn't know there was a place to enter my gripe besides the Ford Motor Company, and this was like talking to a wall. My family had bought Ford since the 40's, when my grandfather owned dealerships. He would turn over in his grave to find out that Ford is turning it's back on so many longtime faithful customers.

- Chippewa Falls, WI, USA

problem #15

Jan 292009


  • 163,345 miles
My 1998 Ford Expedition has blown out two spark plugs in the past 4 months. After doing research this is a common problem which Ford does not repair on their warranty. Ford needs to be held responsible for their mistake!

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #14

Sep 102008


  • 117,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway at 10pm, and heard a loud pop, then what sounded like I had no muffler from the engine. I looked in the engine, and could not really see anything because it was dark. I had to the vehicle towed because I thought I blew a rod, or a head. Once at the mechanic's, they saw that I shot out 2 spark plugs- the no. 3 and 4 still attached to the wires, and that there were no threads left. I am having them pull the head, and have plugs put in, so far the cost to date is $1200. If the plugs do not hold, or other ones blow- which could happen at any time, I will have to replace the entire engine. This will about $3000 this is a very common problem with Ford engines. Please do something about. Ford needs to take responsibility!!!!!

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 172008


  • 129,000 miles
The engine in my 1998 Ford Expedition continues to have spark plug problems. The engine misfires, runs poorly, and is a hazard to have on the road. I have had several spark plugs blow out and have had to spend $4000 to have one of the heads replaced because Ford did not include enough threads in their original design. They later changed the design in 2003 I am told. If someone there would visit the following site [www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/ford_spark.html], they would see that these engines continue to blow out spark plugs as recently as yesterday, 9/16/08. When are you going to issue a recall? these engines have been dangerous and defective for years. I am not sure what it takes, but Ford needs to step up an resolve this problem.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 282008


  • 119,254 miles
Ford exp eddie B. blew out #3 spark plug. Striped the threads in the head. Cost is about 2 grand to repair and correct the 7 other plug holes to ensure it does not happen to others.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #11

Mar 022008

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Expedition. When the vehicle was started, the spark plugs literally shot out and burned a whole right through the engine. She has not taken the vehicle to the dealer, but the manufacturer sells a toolkit to repair the failure. The contact believes that a recall should be available. The current and failure mileages were 127,000.

- Hasqell, NJ, USA

problem #10

Apr 212007

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,319 miles
I was driving my 98 Expedition through our cul-de-sac when we heard a loud noise from the engine compartment. My wife and I had to push the truck back to our driveway and immediately began to check the spark plugs.(I am a mechanic by trade) we soon discovered that it was the #3 spark plug. It had blown out, stripping all threads. Ford is no help at all. They want $4000 to replace the heads, (and claim to have no knowledge of this defect)but can't guarantee that this won't happen again. Since yesterday, I've discovered that I'm one of the many thousands who've had this problem. When is someone going to step up and take responsibility?

- Kendalville, IN, USA

problem #9

Oct 182004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
The engine shut off while being drive. The dealer stated that the isc valve was defective.

- Arnaudville, LA, USA

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