really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,149 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Ford Expedition:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Oct 232003


  • 120,000 miles
While driving consumer heard a tapping sound coming from the engine. Consumer continued driving when the check engine light appeared on the dashboard. Afterwards, vehicle lost power. Consumer had vehicle towed to the dealership.

- Saint Leonard, MD, USA

problem #17

Oct 152003

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
I have a 1998 Ford Expedition 5.4L. The sparkplug threads on cylinder #3 are damaged even though the sparkplugs are original. The Ford mechanic claims this is due to insufficient threads on the original cylinder head. My plug loosened part way but did not blow out like many others have reported.

- Alamo, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 172003


  • 73,000 miles
While driving 50 mph the vehicle stalled. The driver pulled over onto the shoulder and attempted to restart the vehicle but it wouldn't turn over. The vehicle was towed to the dealership but the mechanic could not duplicate the problem.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #15

Sep 282003

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles
Traveling on the freeway in stop and go traffic at approximately 40-50 mph when one of the spark plugs in the motor exploded out of the head. I spoke to Ford, and they expressed that this is a common problem with the Ford Expedition, that it is probably a casting flaw with the heads, and that a replacement is typical and will cost approximately $3,000 for repair. Aside from being stranded on the side of the road, there was no indicator that this would happen. Research has led me to find that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other Ford owners that have experienced this same problem. Where is the recall?

- Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA

problem #14

Oct 022003

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles
Spark plug was 'blown' out of cylinder head on 1998 Ford Expedition. Ford enthusiast website showed this occurring to several people. The expense is $4100 and it seems to me that this is a defect in manufacturer. There was no warning, nor any recent service performed other than oil change.

- Durham, ME, USA

problem #13

Aug 152003

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
While driving on I-75 in Michigan, I heard a loud pop and the truck began to shake. After driving to the nearest Ford dealership I learned that the 3rd spar kplug on the driver side had blown out of the head, and the coil had melted. I'm being quoted $2100 on the repair right now, and trying to trade it in, after looking at the other problems that have been posted through here. Hopefully this will get seriously considered for recall.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 272000

Expedition 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,917 miles
Incident 1 (dated 01/27/00): Spark plug blew out of driver-side cyclinder head. Dealer retapped treads, replaced spark plug, reassembled engine ($1216.79) incident 2 (dated 08/29/02): Spark plug blew out of driver-side cyclinder head. Dealer replaced cyclinder head, reassembled engine ($2035.61)

- Port Hueneme, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 181998

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
Vehicle had a cylinder head failure blowing spark plug out of the #4 cylinder causing gas to pump out over engine. Estimated cost to repair by green valley Ford $4100.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #10

May 072003

Expedition 8-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The spark plug blew out of the cylinder head on the passenger side, and stripped all of the threads out.

- Medway, MA, USA

problem #9

Feb 032003

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,588 miles
Number three spark plug and assembly blown out of head. I have found this to be common with many 5.4 litre motors since experiencing this. Local Ford dealer towne Ford in redwood city wanted $2,000 to inspect and then start to talk about repair costs. Towed vehicle to mission valley Ford in santa clara where service advisor obtained an extended warranty from Ford to have head replaced due to numerous similar problems. Repair cost $1900 for wich I had to pay $750. The motor must be pulled from truck to replace the head. I had been informed by one fleet owner of trucks with several of these motors that had experienced the same problem with the same motors as mine, that one vehicle blew out a spark plug on the driver side after replacing the head on the passenger side. I had both heads replaced at the same time and was told by the service advisor that Ford had changed the part numbers of the heads indicating that a change had been made to the new heads supplied for replacement. The total cost was $2,500 for both heads replaced. The problem is that the heads do not have enough surface area in them to properly hold the spark plug securely.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #8

Feb 012003

Expedition 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,300 miles
At 58,000 miles one of the spark plugs was blown out of the cylinder head on the drivers side. The repair required a replacement head assembly; however, no heads are available in the entire country. Only option from Ford was to replace the engine! the engine had already been replaced at 33,900 miles due to a piston slap problem. The cylinder head only had 25,000 miles on it when the spark plug blew out. Ford would not provide any assistance due to the fact that the engine warranty ran out at 24,000 miles.

- White Bear Twp, MN, USA

problem #7

Aug 132002


  • miles
While traveling on highway vehicle stalls. Dealership is aware of problem.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #6

Apr 282002

Expedition 4WD

  • miles
While at idle the #3 sparkplug blew out of the cylinder stripping the threads. The repair facility estimates $2000 to repair. This is exactly like ODI #743868. There is a defect in the heads. This engine was replaced twice at about 30,000 miles because of leaks in the headgasket. The current engine only has 34000 miles. When the spakplug blew out it spewed gas over the engine creating a potential fire hazard.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #5

Apr 102002

(reported on)


  • miles
Head gaskets are leaking coolant onto the ground. A recall has been issued on vehicle's make and model; however, this vehicle was not included due to VIN. Please provide additional information.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #4

Dec 312001


  • miles
While driving on freeway consumer heard a loud pop in vehcile, and then vehicle started to shake. Consumer took vehicle to the dealer, and dealer noted that head gasket had blowen out.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #3

Sep 032001


  • miles
While driving crankshaft/ pulley snapped off the motor. Lost all power to vehicle. After towing vehicle to mechanic, there was not a reason for crankshaft to snap.

- Harrisville, RI, USA

problem #2

Jul 172001


  • miles
We purchased a brand new 1998 Ford Expedition in November of 1997. The car came standard with a 3 year "bumper-to-bumber" warrenty. Our 3 year warranty expired in November of 2000. On July 19, 2001, we experienced a mechanical problem with our vehicle and had it towed to theodore robins-Ford in costa mesa, ca. They, theodore robins informed us that one of the engines cylinders was not working. Now, our car is a little less than 4 years old and has only 21,000 miles on it. Theodore robins-Ford is refusing to fix the car free of charge. The total cost of repairs is about $1900. Theodore robins-Ford maintains the point-of-view that the warrenty has expired. They are willing to charge us $495 that would extend our warrenty from November of 2000 until November of 2002. This $495 amount will cover the cost of fixing the car.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 072001

Expedition 4WD

  • miles
While sitting at idle, the engine blew a sparkplug from the cylinder, completely stripping the threads and requiring an entire new header assembly ($1800 repair). I had never heard of such a failure but the dealer has seen it on other Expedition/Navigator and F-150 pickups. This SUV is used as my wife's "mini van" and does not pull trailers or go off-road. There has to be a manufacturing defect with the aluminum head.

- Camarillo, CA, USA