Mustang owners love their cars, period. They race them, they drive them to church and everything else in between. The car comes in a nearly infinite array of configurations, including convertibles and monster-powered unleashed speed demons. Even though the cars have some pretty obvious flaws, people mostly remain loyal to the Mustang brand. Every Mustang owner may not know it at first but realize all too soon that the car has its own set of quirks and problems. Ford’s flagship has been around since the 1960’s and doesn’t appear to be going away soon.
Squeaks, rattles, shakes, overheating or plain old dead on the road, are just a very few Mustang quirks that owners learn to deal with. They deal with it because Mustangs represents a lot of things like “American Dreams,” “Muscle Cars,” “Icons” and so many other words that simply fit the bill. But as with anything else, Mustang owners deal with it like any other community, giving each other a nod as they pass each other, or at the very least offering to call a tow service for the burnt out Mustang on the side of the road. Check out some of the more than common problems Mustang owners choose to ignore.
20 What’s That Noise? - Squeaky Steering
Just about anyone who drives has been in a car with a squeaking steering column. This is a very normal thing to occur. If you own a Mustang, that is. The rather embarrassing noise could be caused by a multitude of issues, including worn shocks or struts, damage to tie rod ends, or even suspension bushings. It’s just one of those symptoms that doesn’t easily go away, especially if you happen to live in the North or any Midwestern states. Hopefully, the creaking will amount to nothing more than the suspension needing to be lubricated, but as the majority of Mustang owners are used to it, they simply trade their squeaky, creaking Mustang in for another one sooner or later.
19 Not Again - Oil Leaks
Yep, if you own a Mustang, you'd better get used to the fact that it’s going to start leaking oil sooner rather than later. If you own or are planning to purchase any 2015-2017 models, then be certain that all recalls and service issues have been applied.
According to CJ Pony Parts, these model years have been recalled for oil cooler hoses coming off, which of course could spell big problems.
Once you lose the oil, you could wind up losing the rest of the engine itself. Plus, hot oil spraying all over a hot engine could possibly start a fire, and no one wants to ruin their day like that.
18 I Like The Shaking - Rough Idling
Mustangs have a knack for idling rough. This is probably due to the fact that people like to drive their pony fast, the faster the better. The owners are used to dogging out their cars, probably because most models of Mustang break down so often and depreciate so fast it really doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, even though people think of their Mustang as an ultra-fast thoroughbred, they find out all-too-soon that a Mustang is more of a mutt. So, drivers expect their cars to idle rough, stall, have power loss problems, etc. The Mustang isn’t a Bugatti, and its owners shouldn’t try to treat it like one.
17 I Can’t Hear You - Blower Only Works On High
I reviewed an article on the Repair Pal site which mentioned that one of the most common problems for Pony owners is the blower fan always getting stuck. This is especially true for 2005-2009 model Mustangs.
Most sites say the cause is most likely the fan blower resistor.
It’s a pretty simple fix, but it also seems to be more of an inherent problem for the car, so it’s something you’ll want to remember testing out when you are test driving one around town. Luckily fuses and resistors are cheap, but it’s still a shame to have to worry about a problem like that in this day and age.
16 Bubbles For Everyone - Peeling Paint
Paint peeling from your Mustang should come as no shock. It has always been a problem for the Mustang, especially the hood area. Everyone from Consumer Affairs to Consumer Reports thought that the problem was with the paint-bonding process, but it was later proven to be corrosion. Yep, once you get a bit of rust forming on the metal underneath the paint job, it’s only a matter of time before your Mustang hood starts to remind people of those gigantic rolls of bubble-wrap that you can pick up at a discount warehouse. It’s very annoying and can be quite expensive to repair if your vehicle’s warranty has expired.
15 Found On Road Dead - Engine Failures
It wouldn’t be a Mustang if the engine didn’t die every once in a while. Owners are used to the stalling engine, the sometimes-jerky transmission and under-powered feeling that comes from having a Mustang parked in your garage. Engine failure is not an issue that I thought would be common with the Mustang, but it is.
Add the words “Mustang engine problems” to any search engine, and you’ll be unpleasantly surprised by the results.
It seems the 2016-2017 models are getting a lot of attention about engine problems, according to hundreds of YouTube videos on the subject. But If you are going to own a Mustang, get used to the maintenance issues.
14 A Bit Of Paint Will Hide It - Rust Problems
Rust problems have plagued Mustang owners since the car’s inception. If the area is painted, it’ll take a while for you to notice it, but once you do, the thrill is gone. From paint bubbles to wheel wells and more, once corrosion starts, it’ll never stop. In 2015, two owners even tried to sue Ford about the problem, claiming conspiracy, according to the Ford NXT site. Ford beat that particular case, most likely because it is a well-known problem. If you are in the market for a used Mustang, be on the lookout for corrosion, especially concerning the car’s hood area towards the front end, and always be sure to get the undercarriage inspected.
13 Sing A Song For Me - MyFord Touch Problems
The Ford Touch/Sync system is a phenomenal hot mess. Everyone seems to hate it. Forbes calls the system a “polished turd.” For those not in the know, the Sync system controls most functions of the interior components, from climate controls to phones and much more.
Unfortunately, it’s integrated so deep into the car’s systems that once it starts to mess up (and it will) you’ll think you were being cursed somehow.
MyFord Touch became such a problem that a class-action lawsuit was started in 2013. It was eventually settled, but even Ford knows it has to come up with a proper replacement for Mustang owners soon.
12 I Don’t Recall - Lots Of Recalls
With a Mustang, you'd better make certain you keep up on the recalls. The worst amount of recalls concern the 1995-2000 models, with a staggering 72 recalls on the cars, according to the Ford Problems site. That’s a lot. The 1995 and 1998 models claim the most recalls with a total of 30. Everything you can think of, from headlight replacements to parking brake issues were under scrutiny. It’s amazing that Ford sold so many cars during this time, but I guess it’s pretty easy to do it if people don’t research a vehicle before purchasing it. My advice is to always do your homework before making as important a decision as buying a car. You won’t regret it.
11 It’s Not Closed - Door Hinge Problems
The doors of a Mustang are large. Therefore, you don’t need to bet on the hinges lasting too long. Mustang owners know of the fact that those hinges are going to eventually start creaking and popping and making all sorts of noises of their own accord. And it’s not just the doors, but also the hinges to the hood and trunk. Hinge wear and sometimes cracking is common on older models from 2009-2014, but luckily there are all sorts of places on the web or even your local shops to pick up some new ones if the originals get to be too much of a problem.
10 Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me? - Coolant Issues
Mustangs always seem to have leaking hoses. While some minor leaks are acceptable, quite a few Mustang owners experience overheating problems from time to time. The most common source for this is because of the low-quality or defective radiators on some older models.
Other sources for coolant leaks are the coolant hoses themselves being loose or worn out.
The Fox Body Style Mustangs are notorious for coolant problems and leaks. Prospective buyers should be sure to check those areas when Mustang shopping, or else they’ll be quite surprised when their engine overheats due to a massive coolant leak.
9 Maybe It Needs Glasses - Dimming Headlights
One peculiar quirk for Mustang owners is dimming headlights. The dimmer fuse seems to be the culprit for this problem, but some owners have found that their alternators were prematurely failing. In some cases, it’s just an electrical quirk that appears from time to time. At consumer sites such as Consumer Reports and Car Problem Zoo, it’s mentioned that moisture buildup on the headlight wiring has caused multiple problems involving headlight wiring. Another issue with the headlights is that they could be building up internal moisture, resulting in a Mustang that looks like it has cataracts.
8 I’m Not Sure Where I Am - Transmission Shifting Faults
Starting with 2011 models, Mustang owners with manual transmissions had a hard time shifting because of allegedly faulty transmissions. Some owners were attempting to merge onto the highway at the time, and I don’t even have to mention how dangerous that is with a transmission that refuses to shift out of second or third gear. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects had to get involved, since it had received at least 32 complaints about the problem, according to the Thought Co. website. Ford complied with the investigation, trying to soothe angry customers with transmission oil flushing and other techniques.
7 Make It Stop - Jammed Horns
Every once in a while, Mustang owners will find that their horn sticks. Other times the horn won’t even function. All kinds of things from the horn’s fuse to faulty wiring have been blamed for the cause, but at the Ford service website, they mentioned that the main cause is probably the spring underneath the horn assembly ring getting stuck for one reason or another. From what I’ve read on the subject, most people will just remove the horn’s fuse. Sure, it’ll fix the problem, until you really need that horn in case of emergency, and of course, you need a functioning horn when getting your Mustang inspected.
6 Pass The Tissues - Interior Water Leaks
2006-2010 Mustang owners seem to experience interior water leaks quite a bit. At least Ford issued a bulletin about the problem at the time, but most owners still have the problem, or never got it fixed. The passenger door seems to leak more than the driver side door on average, and there have been many reports made about the passenger side windshield seeping water as well as water leaks coming from under the glove compartment area. Consumer Reports also lists several customer comments about the leaky areas.
5 I Think I Hear An Echo - Cheap interior Trim
Newer models from 2017 and above don’t have this problem, but any earlier Mustang models will have a problem with the quality of the interior. Most owners report lots of squeaking, rattling and vibration whines in Mustangs.
It’s mostly due to the placement of so much cheap plastic just about everywhere in the cabin.
Even Car Buzz claims that the Mustang price is normally cheaper than other cars because of its second-rate interior. It’s pretty sad when the main reason for turning up the volume on your system is because you don’t want to hear the interior of your Mustang buzzing and rattling all the time.
4 No Entry - Gas Tank Filler Troubles
Quite a few Mustang owners have an issue when trying to fill up at the pump. The gas tanks indicate they are full, but they really are not. You’ll sometimes see these car owners, filling their tanks up ever so slowly sometimes, and even that doesn’t work all the time. I did ask a Ford mechanic about it, and he said it was because of the plastic butterfly valve inside the filler portion that gets bent or distorted and causes the fuel pump to shut off. I also read a report from Just Answers that mentioned that another possible source is the EVAP emissions canister getting stuck open or closed, which also will shut off the fuel pump. It can happen with all models of Mustang, but the really bad ones are the 2005-2006 model years.
3 It’s The Massage Feature - At Speed Vibration
Just about every modern Mustang vibrates at certain speeds. This mostly comes from the rear wheel suspension areas but can also be coming from the front as well. Typically, the vibrations start at high speed, but it can also be felt during normal highway speeds or lower depending on what model year you drive.
Several sites report that the steering wheel vibration is the common complaint from Mustang owners.
The Ford owners site mentions that steering wheel vibrations while driving over 40 mph could be easily caused by the optional Lane Keeping System, letting you know you are not in your proper lane. I don’t know if people are really that dim, but apparently, Ford thinks so.
2 It Can Only Go Up, Right? - Mustang Depreciation
A Mustang is a Mustang, and I think most owners realize this. I hope you don’t think too much about the fact that they depreciate so fast if you decide to purchase one. Take the flagship 2019 “Bullitt Edition for instance.
If you purchased one last July and included optional goodies such as Voice-Activated NAV, MagnaRide Damping System, Heated Steering Wheel, it would probably have cost you just over $51,000.
If the Car Gurus Mustang Price Trends chart is accurate, that same car will be worth about $35,500 today. That’s over a 42% depreciation. Only the rarest of Mustangs can appreciate in value, so if you want something for your car collection, those models would be best.
1 I’ll Be Out In A Minute - Poor Driver Seating Position
Sitting in a Mustang, much less driving one, can be a very uncomfortable experience at times. The car sits quite low, and you need to have that seat in just the right position for easy ingress/egress. There’s nothing worse than being barely able to get out of your own car. In earlier models, this is a real pain because there weren’t that many controls, but now newer models have a much easier time thanks to variable adjustments built into the seats. Depending on your body size, it can best be described as a war of wills. It’s just one of those weird quirks that you have to get used to if you own a Mustang.
Sources: consumerreports.com, carbuzz.com, carandriver.com