Commonly Reported Problems: Ford Fiesta

Ford FiestaDo you own a Ford Fiesta, or perhaps you’re thinking of buying one? Make sure you’re aware of these common faults in some of the recently produced ranges of cars that could give you a few problems on the roads. Whilst most major faults always lead to a recall, you could save money and trouble identifying issues with this guide.


One of the more widely reported faults on Ford Fiestas is a problem with the airbag in models produced between August 2001 and April 2004. In this car a warning light shows if the front crash detectors pick up a fault, which may fail to engage, giving you no prior warning of airbag deployment. This caused a factory recall, as the part needs proper attention from a mechanic will skill in this area.

Rear axle

With Ford Fiestas produced in the middle of 2002 there is a widely reported problem with the axle across many models in the range. This can often show as difficulties getting the car’s handbrake to function correctly, due to a weld seam that secures the brake unit mounting plate to the rear axle of the car. You may be able to fix this if you have enough mechanical skill by re-welding the mounting plate.

Fuel pipe

Cars produced between July 2004 and February 2005 had problems with their fuel pipes, which were not made to the usual manufacturer’s standard, and can therefore rapidly degrade. It’s definitely worth getting this checked out as if your Fiesta has this problem is could lead to fuel leaks and a fire when on the open road. Fitting a new pipe will fix the problem.

Steering problems

There are two commonly reported steering problems with the Ford Fiesta. In 2006 the manufacturer had issues with a number of steering columns, which could lead to difficulties controlling the vehicle, however this should have been resolved by a dealer recall. The second problem is due to a fault within the power steering belt, which can delaminate and fail, leading to control issues with the power-assisted steering. Check the steering column for signs of damage, and if there are any problems then you need to replace the part.


Finding damp patches in your car? If so then the source of these could be a faulty pollen filter. This part has reportedly caused water to enter the driving compartment. However this is a simple part to replace and will not cost much money to find a new or second hand spare.

Water pump

Grumbles and groans from the engine in some Fiestas is a symptom of a faulty water pump. The sound is particularly prevalent when the car is idling at a junction or in traffic and should alert you to this particular fault. Fortunately this is another part you can replace outside of the garage mechanic’s shop.

Hydraulic clutch

One of the more simple problems on the list to fix, there is a reported problem where the cylinder rod becomes disconnected from the clutch pedal. This is a very widely reported problem and it even happens on the Zetec range. This will manifest as problems changing gear and getting the clutch to engage in a responsive fashion. You can repair this fault yourself by purchasing a single connecting clip to repair the issue.


There is a well-known fault with 2011 Ford Fiesta – a blanking plug was not fitted tightly enough. This could melt the cooling fan leading to exhaust fumes in the car. This problem led to a factory recall and should have been fixed by a Ford mechanic and should not be an issue.


Is the ride jumpy and bumpy in your 2011 Ford Fiesta? If so then there’s a chance that the rear axle mounting bolts are not up to the required specification. This is one problem you should have reviewed by a mechanic, who should be able to tell you if your vehicle has the deficient bolts and replace them.

To date the Ford Fiesta remains one of the most popular cars on the road. Given the huge number of vehicles produced by this massive manufacturer, there will always be a small percentage that suffer from faults and failures. However, don’t let this put you off choosing this car as a very cost effective little city run-around.

This entry was posted in Cars and tagged , on by Justin Smith.

About Justin Smith

As the man at the helm of BreakerLink, it is no surprise that its Director, Justin Smith, has always had a keen interest in cars, bikes and most things wheeled. Having spent over two decades in the car parts industry, Justin combines his passion that since 2002, has successfully united those looking for new and used car parts with the breaker that supplies them. Follow Justin on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: These articles are for guidance purposes only. If you have any questions regarding any matter relating to your vehicle we would recommend that you seek the advice of an appropriate professional. We accept no responsibility or liability should you suffer financial or personal damages in relation to the advice stated on this website.