Let’s face it; no Ford owner is ever excited at the prospect of a part replacement. Many of us are all too familiar with that feeling of frustration when the mechanic tells us that “X is busted and needs replacement.” This is especially true of new drivers who may have come across conflicting accounts about the cost of maintaining a Ford. Moreover, many Ford owners don’t know how vital a Ford factory service manual is in reducing the cost of maintaining their cars.
So, how expensive is it to maintain a Ford? How affordable is a Ford in terms of parts and replacements? These are some questions we would be looking to clear in this article.
This guide would also prove helpful for new Ford owners or consumers currently considering buying one interested to know what the future holds in terms of maintenance expenses.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. As you probably guessed, a Ford OEM part is produced by the same company that supplies the manufacturing plant. These are also the ones likely to be recommended in your official Ford repair manual.
Years ago, you could only purchase these from authorized dealerships, but luckily, things have changed a lot since then. Nowadays, you can find them in retail stores and online too.
On the other hand, aftermarket parts are manufactured by competitors of the OEM and can be found almost everywhere, from auto part stores to repair centers and various online stores.
Function-wise, there are minute differences, if any, between the OEM and aftermarket parts. They look similar and can be used in place of each other. In terms of price, Ford OEM components are generally more expensive than aftermarket parts, but as an advantage, they often come with longer warranties and premium material.
Aftermarket parts are cheaper, but there is a relatively higher risk of getting a low-quality part—yes, these are rare nowadays but due diligence in research is still required.
Since OEM parts are exact replicas, they are usually favored by those who want exact replacement parts for their vehicles—same quality, same lifespan. Aftermarket parts are more suited to those on a budget. And if it’s your case, never forget that you can save even more by replacing the part on your own, using the replacement procedure found in your car’s repair manual. If you don’t have one, take a look at eManualOnline. Their manuals are super easy to use and cost a lot less than having to go to the repair shop again.
We’d tell you right off the bat—owning and maintaining a Ford can be expensive when compared to other similar-sized cars in the same class, like a Toyota or a Honda (both of which are the cheapest in terms of maintenance and repair). They are even more expensive than other American brands like Buick or Chevrolet. However, their parts still aren’t as expensive as those of a BMW or a Mercedes, which places them a bit above average but still somewhat affordable.
The cost of a Ford Focus alternator replacement can cost anything between $325 and $379, according to Repairpal. In contrast, a new alternator for a Toyota Corolla ranges between $340 and $367—not so bad here.
The Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor is an integral part of a vehicle’s air intake system and detects the amount of air flowing into the engine. A Ford Focus MAF sensor replacement can cost between $203 and $277 on average. Comparatively, a Toyota Corolla’s is priced between $149 and $226 so the Focus is slightly more expensive. Still, that’s a lot more affordable than a Mercedes, where the same part can easily cost over $500.
The radiator is a crucial part of any vehicle’s engine cooling system and helps the engine stay within the normal operating temperature range. A Ford F-150 radiator replacement part is estimated to cost between $442 and $571. On the other hand, a new radiator in a Toyota Tundra can cost anything between $417 and $514.
The brake pads are also prone to wear and tear and commonly need replacement. A known mechanic rule of thumb is to change brake pads with 25% of life left, so you would likely require a brake pad replacement at least once during your ownership.
Ford F-150 brake pads cost between $177 and $250, while for a Toyota Tundra, the same would cost between $124 and $164.
It is essential to remember that the prices listed above can vary a lot due to your area, the car’s age, and the available auto repair shops. Ford repair service costs are also generally higher when compared with a Toyota or a Honda.
Ford vehicles are definitely not the most expensive cars to repair. Of course, that will always depend on the size of the vehicle. Brake pads on an F-150 will obviously always cost a lot more than the same parts for a Focus.
To help with these lump maintenance costs, drivers can consider third-party extended warranty options which can extend coverage for your Ford long after the factory warranty expires.
However, never forget that the easiest way to keep expensive repairs at bay is to perform regular inspection and maintenance yourself. In this case, always keep in mind that reliable Ford auto repair manuals are always your best friends. Not only will you find everything you need to know about the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals but also very detailed procedures to perform them on your own.
After all, there is simply no better way to save on car repairs than to fix it yourself!