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Ford Territory Issues & Common Problems

Here are some Ford Territory issues and common problems that you can check before you go ahead and purchase one. Including videos on how to fix problems. As you may know, there are some well known documented common problems or often referred to as textbook problems with the Ford Territories due to the vehicle’s weight, towing capacity, high kilowatts and purpose of use, i.e., towing.

Ford Territory Common Problems

Because of the vehicle’s weight the suspension components like ball joints, rear differential bush along other related components like driveshaft centre bearings including uni joints are subject to excessive wear and tear. The good news is that there is a quick fix to most problems as shown in the videos below and parts are readily available.

Ball Joint

Early Ford Territory had problems with front ball joints. The front suspension consisted of a lower ball joint that was part of the lower control arm, which connected to the steering knuckle.

The combination of weight and speed seemed to be too strong for the ball joint, which was under great pressure, causing it to be pulled out of its socket.

How To Diagnose Faulty Ball Joints?

If your car displays these symptoms, it is advisable to have a qualified mechanic inspect the ball joints. Have them raise the vehicle on a hoist and observe how much (if any) movement is in each wheel when moving top of the tyre laterally.

You can save money on lower ball joint replacement by purchasing the front lower control arms with ball joint and same with upper ball joint replacement too

Which Ford Territorys Had Ball Joint Problems?

Most SX and SY series 1 manufactured from February 2004 to April 2009 had this problem. To identify if you have a ford territory with this issue check your cars logbooks for the vehicle identification number (VIN).

If you don’t have the vehicles service book, owners manual or paperwork showing the vehicle identification particulars here’s what to do.

Your 17 character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on your vehicle at the base of the windscreen (seen from the outside), or on the vehicle build and compliance labels that can be found on the right hand (driver) side front or rear door openings.

The VIN can also be found on documents such as registration papers, insurance or finance statements. Please note, VINS are exactly 17 characters long and contain both numbers and letters. They must be an exact match. For example, the letter ‘O’ and number zero ‘0’ can sometimes be entered incorrectly, resulting in errors. Please confirm your VIN carefully before searching.

Ford Australia

Using the vehicle’s VIN you can then use Ford Australia Recall and Service Action Lookup.

The signs that you might need to replace your ball joints include tyres feathering around the edges, tyres wearing prematurely on the inside, and a loud thumping noise when driving over potholes.

Ford Territory Driveshaft Replacement: Driveability and Performance Issues

A driveshaft is a part of the transmission system, and it’s important to understand the role it plays in your vehicle. The driveshaft transfers power from the engine to the rear wheels. It is made up of a series of shafts that are connected by joints and universal joints including a centre bearing. These joints allow for flexibility in movement, so they can accommodate torque from the engine.

You might notice symptoms, like strange noises coming from under your vehicle, vibrations when you accelerate and squeaking, clicking or knocking sounds. If your Territory or Falcon is showing any of these issues, get it to a mechanic immediately.

Even though the connecting parts to a driveshaft last up to around 140,000 kilometres because of their sturdy and simple design, it’s important not to neglect their importance. You don’t want to wait until they break completely so be sure to inspect them every so often.

Ford Territory Centre Bearing Replacement Cost

Centre Bearings can cause rumbling or whirring sound even a thumping sound if left too long without replacement. When you hear this noise from around the centre of the vehicle it’s important to have a mechanic diagnose so you can be sure it’s coming from the driveshaft centre bearing. If it is then it’s not too costly to replace in both parts and labour. You can purchase the bearing as a single item or together with a uni joint. Depending on kilometres travelled and if the universal joint (uni joint) needs replacing you can get both Centre Bearing + Uni Joint Kit for around $70 to $80.

Rear Diff Bush

When the transmission is placed in drive or reverses you can sometimes hear a bang or loud clunking noise. This is also heard under acceleration and you may feel a jolt as well.

So what is it? The textbook problem for this one is usually the Rear Differential Bushing. The purpose of the bushing is to transfer power from the engine to the rear wheels smoothly but if worn excessively the problem is easily detected. Also, if not replaced early can cause damage to the other bushes and related components.

Guide To Checking Rear Differential Bush On Test Drive

To make sure the rear differential bushings are not worn or damaged is to test the vehicle under acceleration. On takeoff, during kick-down (transmission shifting down gears with the accelerator pressed) and in reverse listen for a banging sound or sudden Jolt. This usually indicates the rear centre differential bush has cracked and become loose like in the video below.

Watch Video On Ford Territory Rear Suspension Solutions Including Front & Rear Diff Bush Replacement

Ford Territory Suspension Playlist

CV Joint Boots

Premature wear of CV joints is also a problem usually caused by the CV joint boot splitting. The CV joint boot holds the grease and protects the CV joint from dirt and grit. If the car is not regularly serviced the split CV joint boot can go unnoticed causing premature failure of the CV joint. The boots usually have a service life of around 100,000km depending on the environment before the CV joint boot starts to crack and split.

Can CV Joints Be Replaced?

With the changes in manufacturing costs most automotive workshops remove the old drive-shaft (axle) and replace it with a new driveshaft that has reconditioned inner and outer CV joints on both ends and also new CV joint boots. The customer saves time and money due to less labour time.

Guide To Checking CV Joints On Test Drive

CV joints (Constant Velocity Joints) usually make a clicking sound when turning a corner. Attached to the inner and outer ends of both the right and left axles (drive shafts).

Image cv joint boot
CV Joint boot cracking

To check the condition of these joints drive the vehicle slowly in a circle both clockwise and anticlockwise gradually increasing speed to place more load (weight) on the axles.

If you hear a clicking noise when turning in a clockwise position it usually indicates CV joint problems on the left axle. Because the vehicle transfers the load to the left axle and makes the CV joints both outer and inner work harder, especially the outer CV joint (closest to the wheel).

The same principle applies if you hear a clicking noise when turning in an anticlockwise direction which usually indicates CV joint problems on the right axle. Because the vehicle transfers load to the right axle and CV joints it makes them work harder.

If you are buying a used Ford Territory or any Front Wheel Drive Car and hear this clicking noise when test driving it doesn’t mean you should not buy the car. CV joints like many other parts wear out at some point, just make sure you allow for these to be replaced when you negotiate with the seller.

What Are Other Common Ford Territory Problems That Come With Age?

Aged Steering Rack Boots, Ball Joint Boots And Tie Rod End Boots

These problems are not detected until you get underneath the vehicle. The tip here is to have a general look at various components like steering rack boots, ball joint boots and tie rod end boots for any splits as shown in the below images.

Ford Territory Window Switch Problems

The Territory is a car that was ford’s attempt to create a luxury SUV. It had many problems, one of which was the window switch. The window switch would break down and stop working, but it wasn’t just the switch that had issues. The Territory also had issues with the power steering, transmission, and even the door locks. Some drivers found that they couldn’t unlock their doors to get out of their cars.

The window switch on the driver side of my ford territory has been broken for a while now. I was hoping to fix it myself but I can’t find the part anywhere and I don’t know how to fix it.

I am looking for a way to fix this window switch problem without having to spend too much money on it.

Buying A Used Ford Territory Tips

An important tip whilst inspecting the vehicle underneath is to try and establish how the vehicle was used. E.g., you can see in the images that this Ford Territory was used for launching and retrieving a boat by the rust on the towbar. I recommend you grab my free Street Smart Tool Kit for further tips.

Overall the Ford Territory is an honest vehicle and will do the job. Just like all vehicles they are subject to common problems and recalls over time. Remember if you find a vehicle that has been well looked after and does have some issues you can negotiate with the seller. See our car valuation formula to calculate vehicle market value so you know how much you should pay for a Ford Territory.