When you’re in the market for a new or used Ford, you’ll eventually wonder what a Ford generally costs in maintenance. In this blog, we’ve done our absolute best to give you a complete rundown of the costs and what you can expect for different models and model years. Let’s start with a quick answer:
Fords have above-average annual maintenance costs of $775 per year. This is quite far above the average of $646 for all car brands. This is because Ford mainly sells larger vehicles that are used intensively. Furthermore, their cars are made in the United States, which means labor and material are slightly more expensive than Asian brands.
However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below, we’ll start by looking at the annual maintenance cost of the most popular models and their corresponding model years. Furthermore, We’ll look at the eight most common service points and discuss what a Ford costs you in this regard. We’ll also compare the annual maintenance costs of a Ford to 23 other car brands and discuss why a Ford is considered cheap or expensive in maintenance. Read on!
Also read: Are Ford Cars Reliable? (15 Models Analyzed)
How Expensive Are Ford Models To Maintain
First of all, we feel it’s essential to understand how much each model, and different model years of that model, cost per year in terms of maintenance. For this, we’ve taken data from Repairpal. We’ve compiled this data in the two tables below.
In total, we analyzed eleven popular Ford models. For most models, we’ve been able to gather the maintenance costs associated with older models than 2018. This is because newer models are still under warranty and have fewer problems overall, which means not enough data is gathered.
We can see in the first table that only the Explorer and the F-150 when they get a little older, have maintenance costs that cross the $800 per year mark. This is understandable given that these are the larger cars in the lot, and primarily the F-150 will be used much more intensely than the other cars. However, for such large cars, these maintenance costs aren’t outrageous.
Furthermore, the maintenance cost for the Ford Focus, Taurus, as well as the Ford Fusion are all in the same region (although the costs for the 2013 Taurus are a little on the high side for a car of this size). The Mustang is the only car that starts high and remains this way. That’s expected for a pony car (which is what the Mustang is), but it’s worth noting.
When we look at the remaining models in the table below, we don’t see any surprises. Models such as the Fiesta and Escape are a little smaller, and therefore their maintenance costs are a little lower. The Edge and the Flex are both a little larger, and the Flex is the largest of the two, so maintenance costs increase.
Finally, the Expedition is the only Ford with a potential maintenance cost of $1,000+. However, this is also the largest Ford of the lot and therefore not all that strange. Consequently, we can conclude that Fords typically have maintenance costs that correspond with their size.
Are Parts And Services Expensive For A Ford?
Furthermore, it’s essential to discuss the average cost of general maintenance tasks. This way, you know what to expect from your Ford, and you’ll be able to see if specific maintenance is more expensive than others.
For the sake of this comparison, we compared the cost of the tasks mentioned below for a small Ford (Focus), A truck (F-150), and a large SUV (Expedition). This way, we get a complete understanding of the full range.
An oil change on a Ford will generally cost you $110 – $139. On average, an oil change costs $40 – $60 for conventional oil and $60 – 120 for full synthetic oil for a car. Therefore, Ford is slightly more expensive, but most modern versions do indeed require synthetic oil.
Replacing the brake pads on a Ford costs between $175 – $222 per axle. On average, brake pad replacement costs between $150 – $300 per axle. Therefore, most Fords have a standard price for this maintenance task. Bad brake pads can cause a long list of problems from a shaking car to a grinding noise.
Replacing filters is also a task you’ll encounter from time to time. The fuel filter is generally the most expensive filter to replace. Replacing a fuel filter in a Ford will cost between $70 – 118. Replacing a cabin air filter is $56 – 101 and replacing an air filter is $48 – 61.
Typically, replacing a fuel filter costs between $80 – $150. This means replacing the fuel filter on a Ford is very affordable. Replacing a cabin air filter costs typically between $60 – $80, meaning Fords are about average. Replacing the air filter costs usually $50 – $70, which means that Fords are about average once again.
The average price to replace a Ford battery is between $172 – 209. On average, replacing a car battery costs between $120 – $240. This means that Fords have average costs in terms of replacing the battery.
Another replacement that you’ll come across when owning a car is a timing belt replacement. Timing belts need to be replaced around the 100,000 miles mark. However, replacing the timing chain on a Ford will cost $525 – 919. For most Ford, the cost will be below $1,000.
On average, replacing a timing belt will cost between $500 and $1,000 for standard cars. Therefore, Fords are generally average in terms of costs.
Tire Rotation And Replacement
Replacing a set of tires on a Ford will cost $400 – $500. The Ford Focus has slightly cheaper tires than the F-150 and the Expedition, although we have to say the price difference isn’t that significant.
On average, a single tire costs $50 on the low end for sedans and smaller cars, whereas it can cost up to $500 per tire for SUVs and trucks that require a premium tire. Fords are, therefore, about average.
Replacing a set of spark plugs costs between $104 – $351 per set for a Ford. The Focus is the cheapest with a cost of $104 – 120, and the Expedition is the most expensive, costing $293 – 351.
On average, it costs $75 – $250 to replace a set of spark plugs. This means that replacing spark plugs on a Ford has an average cost, although the larger vehicles can get pricey.
On average, it costs between $59 – 152 to replace a set of headlight bulbs on a Ford. The Focus is the most expensive and will set you back $138 – $152, whereas the F-150 and Expedition bost cost $59 – 70 per set.
On average, replacing headlight bulbs costs between $100 – $150 for a set. Fords, therefore, are about average.
Are Ford More Or Less Expensive Compared To Other Brands?
Knowing everything we know now, it’s essential to have a final look at Ford as a brand. For this, we’ve compiled data of 23 other carmakers. The average annual maintenance costs of each carmaker are in the table below. By comparing all brands to each other, we understand how expensive a brand truly is in maintenance.
In doing so, we found that Ford is one of the more expensive brands to maintain. However, having said that, we also felt this wasn’t entirely fair. Ford typically makes larger vehicles, or at least that’s what they sell the most. This means maintenance costs for the group increase. Instead, it’s fairer to compare Ford to similar brands.
Comparing Ford to Chevrolet, GMC, and Dodge seems like the more reasonable thing to do. All these car brands are American, and they have a similar offering. However, in doing so, we also found that Fords are still more expensive in terms of maintenance. Dodge is even $131 per year cheaper on average than Ford, and Chevrolet is also pretty far away.
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Why Are Ford So Expensive To Maintain?
The final question we have to answer is why Ford is more expensive to maintain than other similar brands. For this, we again went to Repairpal.com. We compared the data they’ve gathered for each brand in the following two extra categories: frequency of unexpected visits to the garage and likelihood of severe problems during such a visit.
We found that Ford cars have to visit the garage for unexpected maintenance around 0.3 times per year. Furthermore, there’s a 15% chance of severe problems during such a visit.
The frequency of unexpected visits is slightly higher than that of Chevy, Dodge, and GMC, which have a rate of 0.28, 0.22, and 0.28, respectively. Furthermore, Chevy and Dodge have a 15% chance of severe problems, whereas this is 17% for GMC.
Therefore, we’re left with two possible conclusions to this question. First, it could be that Ford’s as a group are slightly more unreliable and have to visit the garage slightly more often than GMC, Dodge, and Chevy, which increases their maintenance cost just enough to be outside of the control group.
The other possible option is that Ford sells slightly larger vehicles or is used more intensively, which increases maintenance costs just enough to be a negative outsider. Given that the F-150 is the best-selling car in the United States, it could very well be that this is where the difference comes from as well.
Overall, we do not think the difference is of concern for the average car buyer, given that the numbers speak for themselves, and no significant problems seem to show up when doing so.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!