Ford Territory Problems: 8 Common Issues and Years to Avoid

Discover common Ford Territory problems: front suspension, ball joint, driveshaft, centre bearing, and diff bushes issues. Stay informed! As you may know, there are some well-known documented common problems with Ford Territory vehicles. Often referred to as textbook problems. These problems occur mainly due to the vehicle’s weight, towing capacity, high kilowatts and purpose of use, i.e., towing.

8 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. To get some idea of how big a Territory is, compare it to another popular SUV the Holden Captiva. For instance, the Captiva is a good 10 or 20cm shorter in most directions. The good news is there is a quick fix to most problems and parts are readily available.

Ford Territory Ball Joint Problems

Ford Territory’s front-end problems relate mainly to the 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 Check Ford Territory 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 the 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 the same with upper ball joint replacement too

Which Ford Territorys Had Ball Joint Problems or Years to Avoid?

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 car’s logbooks for the vehicle identification number (VIN).

If you don’t have the vehicle’s service book, owner’s 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.

Ford recalls.

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

Ford Territory Driveshaft Problems

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 that 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, and clicking or knocking sounds. You can mistake these symptoms for an engine problem but usually is a driveshaft problem.

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 Problems

Faulty tail shaft centre bearing symptoms consist of a 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 it so you can be sure it’s coming from the driveshaft centre bearing. If it is then it’s not too costly to replace both parts and labour.

Ford Territory Centre Bearing Replacement Cost

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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 Ford Territory tailshaft centre bearing replacement kits (centre bearing and uni joint) for around $70 to $80.

Ford Territory Rear Suspension Problems

Rear Diff Bushes Symptoms

When the transmission is placed in drive or reverse you can sometimes hear a bang or loud clunk. Commonly referred to as the gearbox clunk. 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 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. See the post – Mitsubishi Pajero Mods, where Nolathane rear differential mount bushes are used for a replacement.

Ford Territory CV Joint Problems

Premature wear of CV joints is also a problem usually caused by 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

Ford Territory Problems: CV Joint Boot Aged
CV Joint Boot Aged

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).

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 the load to the right axle and CV joints it makes them work harder.

When inspecting a used car and you hear this clicking noise on a test drive, it doesn’t mean you should not buy it. CV joints wear out at some point. Factor the cost in when you negotiate with the seller.

Ford Territory Suspension and Steering Rack Boots Including Bump Stop Problems

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 Problems: Bump Stop Rubber Split
Bump Stop Rubber Split
Ford Territory Problems: Steering Rack Boot Split
Steering Rack Boot Split
Ford Territory Problems: Tie Rod End Boot Split
Tie Rod End Boot Split

Ford Territory Window Switch Problems

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 they couldn’t unlock their doors to get out of their cars.

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The Territory is a car that was Ford’s attempt to create a luxury SUV. It had many problems, one of which was the driver’s window not working. The window switch would break down and stop working.

Replacing the switch is often the simplest solution. You can buy single and master window switch replacements from eBay* (affiliate link).

Ford Territory Rear Main Oil Leak

Ford Territory Problems: Rear Main Oil Seal Leak
The Rear Main Oil Seal Leak

The Ford Territory has occasional issues with a rear main oil leak. Similar to the front timing cover oil leak at the front of the engine. The rear main seal prevents oil from leaking out of the rear.

Buying a Used Ford Territory Tips

Tips whilst inspecting the vehicle underneath is to try and establish how the vehicle was used. For example, the pre-purchase inspection report by BPC Auto Inspect noted that this Ford Territory was used for launching and retrieving a boat from the evidence of rust on the towbar. Look for other areas of rust like the front support. Other general tell-tale signs could be the front headlights need restoration indicating the vehicle hasn’t been garaged.

Ford Territory Problems: Towbar Rust
Towbar Rust
Ford Territory Problems: Underbody Rust
Underbody Rust

Overall the Ford Territory is an honest vehicle and will do the job, but like most vehicles, they are subject to common problems and recalls over time. Remember, if you find one 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long can Ford Territory last?

The lifespan of a Ford Territory can vary depending on various factors such as maintenance, driving conditions, and usage. Ford Territory can last over 200,000 kilometres (124,000 miles). Individual experiences may vary. As usual, follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to get the most out of your Territory. This ensures the longevity of the vehicle.

Why did Ford stop making the Territory?

Ford discontinued the production of the Territory due to changing market demands. Declining sales, increased competition in the SUV segment, and focus on other models in Ford’s portfolio were all reasons to say goodbye to the Territory.

What is a good replacement for a Ford Territory?

A replacement for a Ford Territory would depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, some popular alternatives in the mid-size SUV segment that offer similar features and capabilities include:

Mazda CX-8. The CX-8 is a seven-seater SUV similar in size to the Territory. It has a comfortable interior, a good range of features, and is available with a choice of petrol or diesel engines.

Kia Sorento. The Sorento is another seven-seater SUV alternative to the Territory. It has a spacious interior, a long list of standard features, and is available with a choice of petrol, diesel, or hybrid engines.

Hyundai Santa Fe. The Santa Fe is a popular seven-seater SUV known for its reliability and value for money. It has a comfortable interior, a good range of features, and is available with a choice of petrol or diesel engines.

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. The Tiguan Allspace is a seven-seater SUV that is a bit smaller than the Territory, but it still offers a spacious interior and a good range of features.

Toyota Kluger. The Kluger is a popular seven-seater SUV known for its comfort and safety. It has a spacious interior, a long list of standard features, and is available with a choice of petrol or hybrid engines.

These are just a few of the many replacements for the Ford Territory in Australia. It’s recommended to test drive and compare multiple options to determine which vehicle best suits your size, features, performance, and budget.

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