RepairPal ranks Ford 21st out of 32 car brands for its reliability.
Ford maintenance costs are higher than the industry average of $652.
Drivers can use extended auto warranties and prepaid maintenance plans to save on Ford ownership costs.
Affiliate disclosure: Automoblog and its partners may be compensated when you purchase the products in this article.
Many drivers praise Ford vehicles for their toughness and versatility. However, your annual Ford maintenance cost will be higher than the industry average, so it’s a good idea to be prepared ahead of time.
In this article, we’ll discuss the true cost of owning a Ford, manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules, and Ford’s prepaid maintenance plan. For drivers looking to save, an extended warranty can reduce ownership costs over time and keep your auto budget predictable. We’ve reviewed the best extended car warranty companies and will recommend a few industry-leading providers.
According to RepairPal, Ford drivers pay an average of $775 per year for routine maintenance and unexpected repair costs. This cost is higher than the industry average of $652 per year and reflects Fords’ average reliability ratings and increased chances of severe repairs. However, Ford maintenance costs vary by vehicle model, age, and mileage too.
Here’s a maintenance cost comparison between some popular Ford models:
Average Annual Ford Maintenance Cost*
*Data from RepairPal.
Compared to other commuter brands, Ford vehicles are expensive to maintain. Kia vehicles only cost $474 on average for annual repairs and maintenance. Similarly, Hondas cost $428 per year.
What Determines Ford Maintenance Costs?
What you pay for Ford maintenance costs is affected by several factors. Scheduled maintenance, like oil changes and filter replacements, is predictable. Repairs are less predictable, but they are included in the overall costs of owning a Ford.
According to RepairPal, Ford owners commonly report the following problems:
Power booster issues
Harsh automatic shifting
RepairPal gives Ford a 3.5 out of 5.0-star rating for its reliability, ranking in 21st place out of 32 brands. Ford vehicles require repairs slightly more often than average. Ford drivers are also more likely to experience a severe repair than drivers of other brands.
Ford’s maintenance schedule follows 10,000-mile periods. Below is a sample maintenance schedule for a 2019 Ford Fiesta, according to World Ford Pensacola. For a maintenance schedule tailored to your Ford model, you can consult your owner’s manual or the Ford website.
Every 10,000 miles
Engine oil and oil filter change, tire rotation, and various systems inspection
Every 20,000 miles
Cabin air filter replacement
Every 30,000 miles
Engine air filter replacement
At 100,000 miles
Engine coolant and spark plug replacement
At 100,000 miles and every following 20,000 miles
Drive belt replacement
At 150,000 miles
Transmission fluid, accessory drive belts, and timing belt replacement
After 150,000 miles, it’s a good idea to continue with the 10,000-mile services. Your mechanic will let you know when to replace specific components.
Ford’s Prepaid Maintenance Plan
The Ford Protect Premium Maintenance Plan covers oil changes, filter changes, tire rotations and multi-point inspections. Ford’s maintenance plan also covers wear-and-tear items like clutch discs, brake pad linings, spark plugs, engine belts, and coolant hoses. The plan is transferable to secondary buyers, though for a small fee.
The Ford maintenance plan can last up to eight years or 150,000 miles, which is a long time for maintenance programs. In a quote we received for a 2019 Ford Escape SEL with about 20,000 miles, the total cost was $2,590 for a 150,000-mile plan that covered services every 10,000 miles.
The advantage of a prepaid program like Ford’s maintenance plan is predictability – your service costs are locked in for the duration of the contract. This protects you from paying more as service prices rise later on. However, since the plan includes dealership pricing, you could save money by visiting independent repair shops instead.
Ford Maintenance Plan Pros
Ford Maintenance Plan Cons
Covers standard maintenance and some wear-and-tear items
May be more expensive than visiting third-party shops
Covers up to 150,000 miles
Only valid at Ford dealers
Transferable to secondary buyers
Can a Car Warranty Lower Your Ford Maintenance Cost?
You can use an extended car warranty to lower Ford ownership costs over time. An extended warranty can cover a range of repairs after mechanical breakdowns, many of which can cost over $1,000. Instead of paying out of pocket for a covered repair, the extended warranty plan foots the bill, and you just pay a deductible and a one-time or monthly payment for the contract. Additionally, some extended warranty companies offer maintenance contracts for regularly scheduled services.
Having an extended auto warranty can give you peace of mind, spread out the cost of repairs over time, and help you keep a consistent auto budget. Extended warranty coverage can also pay out more in repairs than its original cost.
Ford Extended Warranty
The Ford extended warranty can cover vehicles for up to eight years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. The manufacturer offers four coverage plans, but they’re only accepted at Ford dealerships. You can opt for a third-party extended warranty if you want more flexibility.
Extended Warranty From a Third-Party Provider
Highly rated third-party providers allow you to go to any licensed repair shop for coverage. And since these providers have more competition, they can provide lower warranty prices overall. Third-party plans can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than extended warranties from the dealer.
Also, plans from warranty companies can last much longer than Ford’s coverage. Different plans can cover up to 250,000 miles or vehicles up to 20 years old. If you maintain your Ford regularly, there’s a good chance your vehicle will last this long.
Top Recommendations for Extended Car Warranties
To lower Ford maintenance costs, it’s important to find the right price on an extended car warranty. Contract prices depend on the vehicle, so it’s best to compare quotes from multiple providers. Endurance, CARCHEX, and Protect My Car are three reputable extended car warranty companies we recommend.
Endurance: Best Overall
Endurance has a great reputation, offers extensive coverage options, and provides some of the best benefits in the industry. Overall, we named the provider the Best Overall for extended warranty coverage.
With Endurance, you can get six different coverage options ranging from bumper-to-bumper plans to basic powertrain coverage. One of these options is EnduranceAdvantageTM, which combines maintenance and repair coverage. A plan like this ensures you are covered against common Ford maintenance costs and mechanical breakdowns.
CARCHEX is another strong option for extended warranty coverage. It’s the best choice for older vehicles because its five plans can extend up to 250,000 miles, which is plenty of coverage for a Ford. Industry leaders like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, and CARFAX also endorse the provider.
Find out more in our CARCHEX review, and get a free quote from CARCHEX by clicking below.
Protect My Car is another extended warranty company sells both vehicle service contracts and maintenance coverage. Unlike Endurance though, these two offerings are separate. You can choose between three extended warranty plans as well as three Ambassador maintenance plans to cover regularly scheduled maintenance. Protect My Car offers long payment terms of up to 48 months for warranty contracts, making it easy to find affordable coverage.
Yes, Ford Explorers are expensive to maintain. According to RepairPal, drivers pay $732 on average for annual maintenance and repairs. The average for all vehicles is $652 per year, and the average for midsize SUVs is $573.
Are Ford cars cheap to maintain?
No, Ford vehicles are not considered cheap to maintain. They aren’t the most expensive cars to maintain on the market, but Ford maintenance costs more than the industry average.
How much is the Ford factory service?
According to RepairPal, a 10,000-mile service from the Ford dealership can cost between $170 and $201. However, prices can vary, so you may find lower prices from your dealer.
Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best extended auto warranty providers.
Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team performs ongoing secret shopper analyses for different vehicles, mileages, warranty plans, and locations to give this rating.
Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car warranty company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account the number of plans offered by each provider, term limits, exclusions, and additional benefits.
Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, availability, and years in business when giving this score.
Customer Service: Reputable extended car warranty companies operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We take into account customer reviews, BBB complaints, and the responsiveness of the customer service team.