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Ford Ka Common Problems and Solutions

Lit Up Frost Light

Problem:

Even when the weather is warm, the frost warning light is illuminated.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is simply a faulty temperature sensor, which you will usually find beneath the driver's door mirror. Remove the sensor and replace it, and the light will go off. You can find inexpensive temperature sensors on the BreakerYard parts page.

Difficulty level

1

Oil Light Is Illuminated

Problem:

The oil light is lit up, even though you have checked the oil level, and it's fine.

Models affected:

Solution:

Keep checking that your oil is not running out too quickly, as this will be a sign that you have a leak, which will need to be located and sealed. If your oil levels remain constant, then you will have a faulty oil pressure switch. These can be ordered directly from us and delivered to you.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Oil Pressure Sensor Switch

Part required

Oil Pressure Sensor Switch

Get a quote for Oil Pressure Sensor Switch

The Ka Won't Start

Problem:

Your engine was overheating, and now it won't start at all.

Models affected:

Solution:

You have a broken temperature sensor in your coolant system, which happens very frequently in the Ka. Fortunately, these are very low-cost in our store, and they are very easy to install.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Coolant Temp Sensor

Part required

Coolant Temp Sensor

Get a quote for Coolant Temp Sensor

Engine Misfiring

Problem:

The engine is misfiring and makes a high-pitched whine when you are idling.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is likely going to be a faulty ignition coil pack, which doesn't always trigger the engine management light when it breaks. We always have ignition coil packs in stock, and they are easy to find on our drop-down menu for the Ka.

Difficulty level

2

Part you need

Ignition Coil

Part required

Ignition Coil

Get a quote for Ignition Coil

Rattling Engine

Problem:

You can hear a rattling sound from the engine while driving. You may also feel a loss of power.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is very likely to be worn out or damaged cam followers. You can find these easily on our parts list and have replacements delivered to you.

Difficulty level

3

Rattling Engine

Problem:

You can hear a rattling sound from the engine while driving. You may also feel a loss of power.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is very likely to be worn out or damaged cam followers. You can find these easily on our parts list and have replacements delivered to you.

Difficulty level

3

Tight Steering Wheel

Problem:

The steering feels very tight to turn. It might even make a grinding noise, and in some cases, you can smell burning oil.

Models affected:

Solution:

The Ka's steering rack is well-known to fail, and it can be a tricky job to replace it yourself. However, you can order a replacement from BreakerYard, and there are a lot of very good videos online that will take you through the process.

Difficulty level

4

Part you need

Power Steering Rack

Part required

Power Steering Rack

Get a quote for Power Steering Rack

Idle speed control valve (ISCV)

Problem:

This problem leads to stalling at junctions and rough idling. The ISCV is also known as the air bypass valve and is located on the inlet manifold. The issue is normally down to the valve becoming clogged up over time with carbon and oil deposits. Have a look at the video below:

Models affected:

Solution:

To solve this problem you may be able to remove the ISCV and clean it out. If this doesn’t fix the issue, you’ll have to fit a new ISCV.

Difficulty level

4

Rear brake problems

Problem:

The rear brake drums on the 1996 Ka were known to get damaged when tightening the wheel bolts causing a vibration. The wheels, brake drums and wheel hubs were revised to sort this problem.

Models affected:

Solution:

You have to fit the revised parts to solve this issue.

Difficulty level

3

TPS sensor problems

Problem:

On the 1996 Ka there have been reported issues with the revs being too high when changing gears. This is due to the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) not working correctly as it had bad connectors.

Models affected:

Solution:

To fix this, you have to fit a new sensor and wiring loom. This fault has been rectified on vehicles built after 1996.

Difficulty level

4

Rust problems

Problem:

The underneath of the Ka chassis, especially around the wheel arches, simply rots away overtime. The metal used just doesn't seem to be able to handle various weather conditions over a prolonged period.

Models affected:

Solution:

You may want to try and weld up some of the rusted and broken areas, however, if the vehicle is left too long the only thing left to do might be a trip to the scrap yard as the cost to resolve the rust problem might be too high to get your car through the MOT.

Difficulty level

3

Wheel cylinder problems

Problem:

This issue occurred on vehicles built between 1996 and 1999 as water leaked into the rear wheel cylinders, causing the brakes to stick and make a funny noise.

Models affected:

Solution:

The best way to stop this is to install a rubber gasket around the wheel cylinder. This will prevent water seeping through any gaps.

Difficulty level

3

Central locking problem

Problem:

The 1999 Ka was prone to the central locking not working due to the pins on the door wiring harness getting corroded or damaged by water leaks.

Models affected:

Solution:

You might be able to clean and re-use, but if not you will have to fit new pins. You should also fill the gap at the cable grommet to stop any further leaks.

Difficulty level

3

Brake fluid leakage

Problem:

On a 2000 Ford Ka the brake fluid warning light may come on prior to there needing any sort of top up. This is caused by a leak in the brake hose connected to the wheel cylinder.On a 2000 Ford Ka the brake fluid warning light may come on prior to any sort of top up being required. This is caused by a leak in the brake hose connected to the wheel cylinder.

Models affected:

Solution:

The connection will most likely need to be tightened to the new recommended torque of 17.5nm. If this doesn't fix the problem then you might need to replace either the brake hose or wheel cylinder. Search for braking system parts now.

Difficulty level

3

Part you need

Brake Wheel Cylinder

Part required

Brake Wheel Cylinder

Get a quote for Brake Wheel Cylinder

Fan blower motor problems

Problem:

Any Ka up until 1999 could have a faulty fan motor blower which does not operate on settings one, two or three and has a smell of burning plastic. The connectors on the blower motor multiplug may not be connecting properly causing the multiplug to melt.

Models affected:

Solution:

You will need to fit a revised blower motor resistor and wiring loom to solve the issue. Find cooling and heating parts for your Ford Ka here.

Difficulty level

4

Burning Plastic Smell

Problem:

You can smell burning plastic inside the car, and the fan blower will not work in the first three settings.

Models affected:

Solution:

A common issue in 1999 models of the Ka, the problem is a poor electrical contact that's on the blower motor resistor multiplug. The result is a high electrical current, and that's melting the multiplug. You'll need a new blower motor resistor from our store, as well as a new wiring loom.

Difficulty level

2

Part you need

Heater Motor Resistor

Part required

Heater Motor Resistor

Get a quote for Heater Motor Resistor

Engine Fan Is Running Constantly

Problem:

The engine fan is always running, the car occasionally misfires, and it is harder to start the engine.

Models affected:

Solution:

Kas built in 2002 have a known issue where water is getting into the PCM. Have a look at your PCM connector pins, which may be corroded. If so, you will need to replace the entire PCM with a new one, which you can find on our parts list for the Ka. You should also have a quick check of the wiring harness for the PCM, as it may not be sealed correctly. If not, then order some extra sealant to prevent the problem from occurring again.

Difficulty level

4

Hard To Start

Problem:

The car is hard to start, and there may be a strange smell inside it.

Models affected:

Solution:

The reason that this happens so often with the Ka is that it is used largely for short trips. That means the diesel particulate filter (DPF) hasn't been triggered and is now blocked. These can be cleaned, but you will need specialist cleaning equipment. In many cases, it's more wallet-friendly to buy a replacement from us and simply replace the clogged DPF.

Difficulty level

2

Part you need

Diesel Particulate Filter

Part required

Diesel Particulate Filter

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Engine Won't Turn Over

Problem:

The engine won't turn over, but there are no warning lights, and the battery is full of charge.

Models affected:

Solution:

Kas built between 2017 and 2019 have a slight design flaw on the un-fused battery monitoring system that is causing wire chafe. You'll need to buy some replacement wires from our parts list. It's a good idea to wrap the new wires with cloth tape and install a wiring harness resting clip to ensure that the issue doesn't repeat.

Difficulty level

2

Reading these common Ford Ka problems should help you find out what is wrong with your Ford Ka – or just what to look out for in the future. We’ll also give suggestions on what to do if your Ford Ka does have one of these issues.