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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
118,450 miles
Total Complaints:
48 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. install insert replace spark plug (16 reports)
  2. not sure (14 reports)
  3. recoil plug and replace all plugs (13 reports)
  4. re-tapped hole (2 reports)
  5. changed plugs early and torque to spec using anti seize (1 reports)
  6. replace head (1 reports)
2002 Ford Expedition engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Expedition Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #48

Jan 012010

Expedition Eddie 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I avoided the problem by replacing the plugs early, adding anti seize and torqueing to spec. What is happening here is the plugs are bonding with the aluminum head. This is in combination with difficulty in servicing and chance of cross threading. Plugs must be torqued to exact value which isn't much so many are either too loose or too tight if not torqued. I have 185k and haven't had a problem, yet. I do my own work.

Very sketchy design. Who would think they would screw up something as basic as spark plugs.

- 1234qwer, Hesperia, US

problem #47

Feb 152008

Expedition XLT 5.4L V8 Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

Our 2002 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer XLT 5.4 L Triton Engine has ejected 3 spark plugs costing us thousands of dollars to repair. My wife is so concerned that she refuses to drive it on long drives where a shop and tow may not be readily available. We have recently received a quote on June 16, 2021, from a shop to repair the other 5 cylinders with Helicoil inserts of $1,800 to $2,000, maybe more. Kelly Blue Book's trade-in value is only $2,600.00 so it is hard to justify this cost. Ford Motor Company should be responsible for the repair of this problem as it is a proven design problem. I would be willing to join a class-action lawsuit against Ford to get this repair covered.

- John F., Puyallup, US

problem #46

Apr 262017

Expedition Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

This is the second spark plug that blew out of the head. It cost $380 each time. My mechanic said that if it happens to cylinder 4 or 8, he will have to pull the head to fix. This will cost over $2,000!! Come on Ford, acknowledge your mistake and make it right. Replace heads under a recall or customer goodwill. At least offer a half price repair option. For example: give away the correct heads and gaskets and customer is responsible for discounted labor cost.

- Stacy T., Buena Park, CA, US

problem #45

Dec 272016

Expedition XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles


The blown out spark plug (#4 on passenger side)) happened when my family & I were traveling in highway 4 near Stockton CA at around 5 pm. There was no shop open and I had to call AAA to tow the 2002 Ford Expedition to our friend's house about 30 miles away. It was also a very cold night and we waited for about 1 hr for the tow truck to arrive. It was incredibly inconvenient for this incident to happen on the freeway/highway. I heard that this is a common problem for the older expedition with Triton engine. I love Ford trucks/SUVs and I hope they can fix this problem with the engine before somebody gets in serious trouble. I would rather want to see a recall than a class action suit in the future.

- dino5750, San Diego, CA, US

problem #44

Oct 232016

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

Just want to add my car to the list of Ford Expedition 5.6L engines that have experienced the spark plug ejection issue. Thankfully, this occured when starting the vehicle, so it did not cause any accident or injury. This is our son's car and we intended it to be the vehicle our 15 year old used as well. However, now that we know about the spark plug problem, we no longer feel it's safe and hope to trade it in. It's extremely disappointing and disheartening to know that Ford has not taken responsibility for this issue. Our vehicle had all original factory-installed spark plugs.

- Mitchell S., Newbury Park, CA, US

problem #43

Mar 182016

Expedition 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,849 miles

Before purchasing this used vehicle I wish I had researched problems. know not to buy triton motors EVER

- Joey D., Washington, NC, US

problem #42

Mar 182016

Expedition 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles


Is there nothing that can be done? Really? So many people have had the same issue, but yet FORD chooses to over look the problem. I'm starting to feel like buying FORDS is a bad idea. I went to crank my truck after work and heard a crazy noise. Popped the hood to find my spark plug popped out. I called ford and they said the charge to fix would be around 5 to 600$(re thread) and that they won't guarantee that it will even work. I'm not happy with FORD.

- clopez, Sugarhill, GA, US

problem #41

Oct 102014

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,800 miles

Was driving to South Carolina when we got a service engine light for #3 cylinder misfire. Changed out spark plug. Problem went away.

- irradiated2, Hampton, VA, US

problem #40

Nov 202015

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,900 miles

Plug blew out again and another broken #3 cylinder coil pack. Got vehicle home. Ordered new coil pack and plug. Recently installed plug looked like i didnt have good adhesion with the jb weld. Decided to give it one more try with new plug and more jb weld on threads. Made a metal braket to install on the outside of the coil pack to help strenghten the coil pack to keep it from breaking and to keep pressure on the plug. Currently a work in progress. If this fails ill let you know. A friend recommend belzona in lieu of jb weld. Truly a nightmare and Ford should take ownership of there design flaws. I have been a Ford owner and fan my entire life and this issue is making me lose confidence in them. They should back their vehicles, realize the Flaw here and take the appropriate actions for customer satisfaction.

- irradiated2, Hampton, VA, US

problem #39

Nov 042015

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,850 miles

Spark plug blew out leaving wife stranded. While troubleshooting on busy blvd, burned the crap out of my hand so be careful when engine is hot. Realized the coil pack had broken off and the coil pack and spark plug had blown out. Got vehicle home, re-tapped the hole. Really hard to get to #3 cylinder because of motor design. Realized at this point there wasn't much metal to re-thread. Did the best I could but plug would tighten. A friend suggested JB weld on thread to help hold it in. Purchased new plug, coil pack and JB weld. Installed and after 26 hrs fired it up. Ran like a champ.

- irradiated2, Hampton, VA, US

problem #38

Jul 192015

Expedition Eddie Bauer Triton %.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,114 miles


As a result of the spark plug blow out, needed towing about 15 miles at a cost of $125.00 plus the mechanic diagnosis, code 308 (cylinder 8 miss firing), found the power pack broken and the Ford autolite popped out. Materials and labor $150.00 total cost $275.00. Not to mention

two older adults having to wait for the tow truck at mid-night. This is third coil pack I have had to replace on my FORD EXPEDITION. Have had it since we bought it new.

- oscargann, Weslaco, TX, US

problem #37

Aug 132015

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,385 miles

I bought this vehicle from my neighbor with only 88000 miles. We love the vehicle. I anticipated at around 100,000 miles we would need new plugs and coils. At 96000 miles one of the coils failed. My mechanic said once one goes soon the rest, so replace them all. He also said, these plugs must be torqued correctly or you can have blown plugs. So, he was aware of the aluminum head issues.

Now at around 138.000 miles, our first blown plug(#4). The mechanics all say either #4 or # 8 goes out on these motors. Well, now my ECM is blown....the mechanics are all scratching theirs heads.....could that loose coil flailing around under the hood have shorted a wire leading into the ECM?

Time will tell, but when you start researching the problem, and read all the complaints and see that the aluminum head with only 4 thread plug holes are NOT performing well, you would think Ford would create a solution palatable to all. I feel for those who have shared their stories of spoiled vacations, or ruined outings; in our case, my wife was driving not far from home, and was able to pull into a nearby gas station shortly after the large bang under the hood.

A friend of mine is a mechanic and he said he is replacing a bunch of plugs for Ford now...he is making a good living off these problems. As for me, once I get it up and running, I will look for a Toyota or Honda.. at least they do recalls, and you don't hear about blown plugs with their engines. It's a shame...Ford's heads were once sought after for racing motors....I guess quality isn't what it used to be.

- Steven M., Justin, TX, US

problem #36

Jul 092014

Expedition Eddy Beauer 5.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,236 miles

This problem started in 2000 and I have since had to replace 3 different plugs with inserts. On two occasions I was able to make it to a garage safely but on one there was a lot of black smoke coming from the engine while I was in traffic on the freeway. I immediately shut off the engine before a fire could start.

-, Plano, US

problem #35

Apr 112015

Expedition XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I did not even know Ford had a problem with Spark Plugs ejecting from SUV's, until a friend of mine sent me a link to this site. The fact that Ford has known that the Aluminum heads is a problem in ejecting spark plugs, and have done a stone cold job in hiding this information from the public is appalling.

I will never own another Ford ever again. I have always had company cars that have been Fords, and never had a problem until now. I even called Ford today, and asked them what they are going to do for me to rectify the problem. Basically nothing they said. "There is no recall".

Anyway, I was driving back from Sonoma State after taking my daughter on a school visit when the incident occurred. It happened on the I-5 South in the middle of nowhere, near a town called Button Willow at approximately 10:00 PM Saturday night. When the incident occurred, I thought I had ran over something that I did not see. There was a thump sound on my engine, and under my vehicle that caused me to swerve with a loud banging noise. Luckily, there was no one next to me on the road or I might of hit another vehicle, or the bolt that snapped off from the spark plug cable that went under my vehicle might of shot out and shattered someone else's windshield.

The car sounded so bad, I thought it was going to explode with the rattle and banging noise. I was eventually able to pull over to the side of the road. I had to travel at least another 1/2 mile to find a marker when I called AAA. Not only was it beyond a pain in the ass, it ruined the rest of the weekend trying to get home, and being 95 miles away. I had to wait over an hour for a tow truck, and check into a Sleezy 8 motel with thin walls after midnight where my daughter and I lost sleep all night.

The next day, I had to get the tow truck to tow to a nearest AAA approved center which was 24 miles away in Bakersfield at a Pep Boys - $102 later. Pep Boys was about as useless as tits on a bull. No help at all. The tow truck driver and I already found the problem, and showed the mechanics at Pep Boys. They told me that they could not do it, and that the head has to be taken off, and re-threaded by a machine shop that could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000. I called Ford, and they told me it would cost roughly around $900 to recoil the one spark plug. In the mean time, I am without a vehicle, and it is sitting at Pep Boys in Bakersfield - 81 miles away. I have to wait a week to activate my premium service from AAA to get the car towed back home to get work done on it.

- Jeffrey R., Santa Clarita, CA, US

problem #34

Apr 012015

Expedition XLT 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

Ford needs to stand up and be a true American company that takes responsibility for their mistakes. I know, they knew/know there was a problem but keep making the same engine failure parts. As an owner of 12 Ford vehicles over the years, I am very disappointed in their response and professionalism about the 5.4 Triton spark plug blowouts.

- Charles R. D., Lyden, WA, US

problem #33

Mar 272015

Expedition 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,676 miles

45 miles from home on some dark county roads and BAM! Sounded like something blew up. Pulled over and searched for the source and saw the coil for #3 bouncing up and down. It was 2am so I limped my way home. Took over 2 hours to get home and into garage. Pulled the coil out and no spark plug found anywhere. I will start calling Monday to see how much this will cost. Found the tool kit for rent on eBay if I want to try to fix it myself. This truck was great until I hit 100k then its constant nickel and dime. Its a shame that Ford hasn't done anything to remedy this problem. Looks like I may become a Dodge fan.

- Scott O., Hobart, IN, US

problem #32

Nov 182014

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,367 miles

I have a 2002 Ford Expedition. It has now shot three plugs on me costing me almost 1500 bucks with the tows. I also had a 2001 one that shot 2 on me. My 2002 is now also having transmission problems too. I cannot afford to keep fixing this horribly designed motor. Ford knows how much of a reoccurring problem and hassle this is for their customers. I hope they make this right before they lose a lot of Ford drivers. I know of o have to fix this again and Ford doesn't do anything about it. Its going in the demo derby and I'll never buy a Ford again.

- Justin W., Cassville Wi, WI, US

problem #31

Nov 132014

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,200 miles

My truck has been perfectly maintained, and has been a good, reliable vehicle. Last night at 1:00 am, I started it up to go home from work and heard a very loud bang, with lots of fumes. Investigation revealed a spark plug hanging by its lead. Since there was no help available at that time, and I was 25 miles away from home, I elected to see if I could make it home.

I did, and now am researching the problem for a fix.

I had planned on replacing the truck next month. It has only a little over 122,000 miles. To say I am disappointed that Ford has never taken any action on this known problem would be an understatement.

- dohrmc, Dunwoody, GA, US

problem #30

Apr 142012

Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Engine ejected the #3 spark plug. This is the original plug installed by the factory so it was not over-torqued as Ford claims. Called the dealer and I was told that it is normal for a plug to blow out!! Out of warranty, no recall by Ford. What a line of BS!

- David S., Boulder, CO, US

problem #29

Nov 082012

Expedition 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have never heard of this happening before. Now this is the second time.

- Dennis C., Tinley Park, IL, US

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