Should You Get Ford Fusion? (Common Problems)

Running into problems with your car can cause many setbacks financially and in terms of convenience. Sometimes, you may experience dangerous situations because of an issue with your car. If you’re having a problem or issue with your Ford Fusion, there are some common problems you should look out for.

The most common problems with the Ford Fusion are power steering failure and harsh transmission shifting, engine stalling, blown head gaskets, and bushing failures. In addition, there have been several recalls regarding the airbags in specific Ford Fusion models. Swollen lug nuts are also common in a large number of Fusion models.

Whether you’re experiencing one of these issues with your Fusion or looking into buying a used Ford Fusion, it’s essential to know what the common problems are. Being informed of this informed could save you from paying for expensive repairs that should be repaired under a recall.

Why is Your Ford Fusion Having a Problem

If you’re having a problem with your Ford Fusion, there’s a very good possibility that it’s one of the common problems we’ve included in the article below.

First, we’ll explain why you’re having this issue and what you can do to fix it. Then we will provide a simple breakdown of recent recalls to help you determine if your issue is related to one of them.

Most Common Issues with the Ford Fusion Explained

1. Transmission Shifting

If your Fusion has this common shifting defect, you may notice a delayed shift, jerking, shuddering, or rattling noises when your car shifts. This issue is most commonly reported in Fusion models 2011 and newer.

Catching the problem early and fixing it while it’s a minor issue is the best way to prevent more severe damage that will require an expensive transmission repair.


Many transmission shifting issues occur simply because the transmission fluid is low or dirty. If your transmission fluid is low, it may be leaking from the axle shaft seal, which is a prevalent issue for Fusions.

If you can fix the leak yourself, it’ll cost around $25. On average, it costs between $150 and $200 to have this seal professionally replaced.

Fluid leaks could also be a sign that your valve body is bad. If this is the case, you may also notice that your transmission slips when changing gears or fails to go into gear altogether.

Unfortunately, this can be an expensive repair. The part itself ranges between 200 and $300. Professional repairs can cost anywhere from $300 up to $1000.

Additionally, it’s common for the shift solenoids to go bad in these transmissions. In most cases, your check engine light will come on, and your OBD–II reader will tell you which solenoids are bad.

Depending on your model, new solenoids will cost between $80 and $120. Having it replaced by a mechanic will cost between $200 and $400.

But before you spend outrageous amounts on transmission repairs, you should make sure that your software is up-to-date and that you have tried clearing your adaptive learning tables. The video below will show you how you can do this.

2. Swollen Lug Nuts

In addition to faulty transmission shifting, hundreds of Fusion owners have reported taking their car in to have tires changed or rotated and finding out that they would also have to replace their lug nuts before the technician could finish the job.

This issue results from the two-piece lug nuts that Ford used on most of its vehicles manufactured between 2000 and 2015.

These lug nuts have a decorative cover over the steel nut. When moisture, heat, or salt gets in between the two, it causes them to swell and can make them extremely difficult to remove.

Consequently, a class action lawsuit was filed against Ford in 2017 (dismissed in 2019), stating that Ford had placed appearance and lower production costs over quality and safety.


The only way to fix this issue is to replace the lug nuts. However, several Fusion owners have reported being advised by Ford technicians to avoid replacing their lug nuts with factory replacements to avoid having the same problem in the future.

Your best bet is to replace your lug nuts with a set of steel, one-piece lug nuts of the appropriate size. You can determine the size you’ll need based on your car’s year model.

Ford Fusion lug nut sizes are:

  • 2006-2012: M 12 x 1.5
  • 2013-2016: M 14 x 1.5
  • 2017-2020: M 14 x 1.5

A quality set of lug nuts is around $50, but there are cheaper options. However, if you have them replaced at a shop, it can cost up to $200.

3. Power Steering Failure

While swollen lug nuts may not pose much of a safety concern, but power steering failure can be a significant safety issue, primarily if it occurs while you’re driving. Unfortunately, failure of the power steering system is the most commonly reported issue among Ford Fusion owners.

There are countless reports of Fusion owners (and even Ford Explorer owners) who have experienced power steering failure o just general steering problems while driving down the road. When this happens, the car will become especially difficult to steer and increase your chances of crashing. Some mention the issue being permanent, while others are puzzled as to why it failed but worked well the next time they drove the car.

A large number of these cases are due to faulty steering motor sensors, which caused the electric power steering assist system to shut down. As a result, Ford issued a recall for year models 2011 and 2012 Ford fusions that did not have the 3.5 L engine.

Many other cases resulted from the power steering gear motor detaching due to a defective design with its attachment bolts. Because the issue was so widely reported, Ford also issued a recall for 2013-2015 Fusion models.


So, if you’re experiencing one of these issues, you should first ensure that your car is not included in one of the recalls. If it is, you may be able to have the problem fixed without paying for costly repairs.

The best way to know for sure is to contact Ford customer service, as they can best help you determine if your car is included in one of these recalls and where you can take your vehicle to have it diagnosed.

If your car is not included in these recalls, you can quickly determine if one of these things is the problem by using an OBD-II scanner to check the error codes. On average, it costs between $1600 in $1800 to have Fusion power steering system repairs fixed.

The good news is some things could be causing problems that are not as complex or costly. For example, you could easily experience issues with your power steering assist reliability if your power steering fluid is dirty or running low.

4. Head Gasket Failure / Engine Failure

Other common Ford Fusion problems that generally require expensive repairs are those related to the engine.

The most common of these include blown head gaskets, engine stalls, and complete engine failure. Among the list of complaints from owners of these vehicles, most reported that their engine failure occurred before the car reached 100,000 miles.

In addition, Ford fusion models 2013–2019 that have the 1.5 or 2.0 EcoBoost engines are notorious for blown head gaskets.

These engines also have an issue that allows coolant to leak past the seal and into your cylinder. When the coolant gets in the motor like this, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need a new engine.

There are also many complaints among Ford fusion owners of random engine stalls. Several of these complaints mentioned that the engine stalls occurred while driving down the highway without indicating there was an issue before stalling. These potentially dangerous engine stalls are most commonly reported in Fusion models ranging from 2008 to 2017.


When it comes to the engine stalling, there are several more minor things that it could be, including a bad fuel pump or an issue with the air intake system.

However, if your car is equipped with the 1.5 EcoBoost engine, there are problems more specific to this engine. The most common is carbon build-up on the intake valves, which can cause several performance issues.

If this is the case, you can have these valves cleaned. While it isn’t as expensive as replacing the entire engine, it will still run between $400 and $600, given the job’s complexity.

If the head gasket is blown, you should be able to replace the head gasket alone as long as no coolant Has leaked into the cylinders. If you replace the head gasket yourself, it will cost between $200 and $400. However, having it repaired at the shop will likely cost between $1500 and $2000.

Unfortunately, if coolant has leaked into the cylinders or your 1.5 engine has an issue with the turbo, the most common fix is to replace the engine. Depending on the model of your Fusion and the final cost of labor, replacing the engine will cost somewhere between $4000 and $8000.

5. Throttle Body Failure

Fusion owners who experienced the issue with their engine stalling later found out it was related to a common problem with the throttle body. The defective throttle bodies can cause the engine to stall, reduce the engine’s power, and prevent acceleration when pressing the gas.

Throttle body failure is most common in 2012 and 2014–2016 models. It can be perilous if you run into these issues while you’re going down the road. Especially if you’re on a busy highway when these problems occur, it could easily result in being rear-ended.

Many Ford owners, as well as the North Carolina Consumers Council, pressed the issue until the NHTSA investigated the issue. Still, the only result was Ford offering an extended warranty and Consumer Satisfaction Program 13N03.

Unfortunately, this only covers very specific models depending on when and where they were manufactured, meaning that you’ll likely be responsible for the cost of replacing the part.


The main problem with these throttle bodies is that they develop build-up on the throttle body motor contacts, which increases electrical resistance. When this happens, it interferes with the fuel/air ratio and results in stalling and other performance issues, many Fusion owners have noted.

The best way to fix the issue is to replace the throttle body. Depending on your model, the part will cost between $40 and $100. If you have it replaced at the shop, you’ll likely spend between $220 and $300.

Some have been able to clean the throttle body to buy some time, but after time, the problem comes back. So if you can, it’s best to go ahead and replace it.

6. Airbag Problems

While Ford has yet to issue a recall for the defective throttle bodies, there have been several for common airbag problems. The airbag problems in Fusions, along with many other Ford vehicles, are also very concerning when considering the safety of these cars.

The most common airbag issues associated with the Ford fusion include recalls due to flaws in their electric system that may prevent the airbag from deploying in the event of a crash. In addition, they’ve issued more than one recall for the airbags themselves.

The first included 2013 and 2014 models. The issue was that if the airbags were deployed, they would likely burst and disperse sharp pieces of metal that could cause fatal injuries.

To make matters worse, they later had to issue another recall for models 2008-2012 because of the possibility of faulty airbags (that were meant to be discarded) that they believed could have been used to repair specific models.

Many owners have also reported their airbag lights staying on. When this happens, it lets you know that something could be wrong with your seatbelts, seat sensors, or airbags. In most cases, this means they will not activate if you crash.


A bad sensor is the most common cause of the airbag light staying on or coming on randomly. These sensors are usually priced at around $60, and the repair at a shop runs between $75 and $100.

Trying to resolve other airbag issues on your own is not recommended, as it can be very dangerous. This is especially true for those that may not have been fixed when they were recalled.

The best way to resolve this is to check with your Ford dealership to see if your airbags were recalled and work with them to fix the problem if they have not.

7. Service Brakes Issues

Another significant safety concern common in many Fusion models is the “service brakes” problem. The most common issues include brake fluid leaks and brake pads wearing quickly.

However, the most concerning accounts include the many reports of the brakes failing or taking too long to stop the vehicle. The most common cause of this issue was that the valves on the ABS hydraulic control unit would stick open and did not close properly.

This problem caused many crashes, some of which included injuries. Because of this, there was a recall for Fusion year models 2006–2010. In addition, 2013-2018 year models have faulty ABS sensors and front brake hoses.


If you’re having problems with the brakes on your Fusion, your first step should be to check to see if your model is under any recalls concerning the brakes.

Assuming you need to fix the problem yourself, you can expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $800 on repairs, depending on the severity of your problem.

You should also check for brake recalls on the model you’re considering before you decide to purchase a Ford Fusion to ensure they’ve been repaired.

8. Bushing Failure Problems

You should also consider the bushing failure problems. Fusion models 2013–2016 that have the 2.5 L engines were recalled because of the shifter cable detaching. When this cable detaches, it causes the bushing to separate from the transmission.

This problem has caused several vehicles to roll away unexpectedly because the driver would put the car in park, but the car would not be in the correct gear. In most cases, the transmission is actually in drive when the owner puts it in park. However, a few others have reported that it goes into reverse.

Fusion owners who have experienced this problem have stated that when this happened, there was no dash light or audible sound to indicate anything was wrong, making it even more dangerous.


If you experience this bushing failure, you can keep your vehicle from rolling away by setting the parking brake. In addition, if the model of your car is included in a recall, you can contact your local Ford dealership to resolve the issue.

If you need to fix this problem on the Fusion that is not included in the recall, you can expect to pay around $130 for the part or between $300 and $400 to have it repaired at the shop.

What Years Did the Ford Fusion Have Problems?

Power steering and engine failure were both significant problems for the 2010 Ford fusion. This model has received an alarming number of complaints concerning the engine stalling or the power steering failing. Most often, while going down the road at high speeds.

2011-2014 model Fusions are all known to have problems with the power steering failing. In addition, they were equipped with faulty transmissions. Mini owners of the 2011 model experienced many issues with harsh or delayed shifting and often encountered expensive repairs.

The 2013 is the most problematic of these year models. There have been 17 recalls on the 2013 model Fusion.

Aside from the power steering and engine issues, it was also recalled for the doors not latching/the latches breaking, and seatbelt issues, as well as being included in the shifter cable recall.

Among all these, the 2013 Fusion comes with the most common problems. So, if you’re shopping for a Ford Fusion, the 2013 is not the way to go.

To make things easier, we have researched the most recent recalls issued for Ford fusions between 2020 and 2022. Below you can find the recall number, which models may be included in this recall, and the safety concern for which the recall was issued.

Recent Recall Numbers

Recall NumberModels IncludedReason
22V4130002013-2021A shifter cable connecting transmission and bushing detecting could allow the vehicle to roll away.
22V0110002014-2015Brake pedal corrosion caused the pedal bumper to separate from the brake pedal
21V1580002006-2012Risk of driver’s side airbag exploding that could contain sharp metal fragments that could seriously injure the driver.
21V0810002008-2012Risk of driver or passenger airbags exploding and could contain sharp metal fragments that could cause serious injury.
20V3310002013-2014Defective door latches can make it hard to latch the door or seem to be latched when it’s not. This could allow the door to open while the vehicle is in motion.
20V1770002014–2016Defective door latches on the front doors may be difficult to latch or appear latched when they’re not, which could allow the door to open while driving.

Check to See Whether Your Vehicle Has an Open Recall

If you need to find information on the recall that was issued before 2020, you can quickly look this information up on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

1. To find information on other recalls, you’ll need to go to

2. Then, you can enter your VIN into the search bar and click search.

3. If you don’t have your VIN on hand, use the menu above the search bar and select vehicle. This will let you choose your year, make, and model to find relevant recalls.

Looking over this list of recalls for your car is a great way to identify any reliability issues you could run into.

How Reliable is the Ford Fusion?

While the list of recalls may seem steep, the Ford Fusion has been a reliable card for many. Of course, the main factor in determining how reliable your Fusion will be is how well you maintain them, which is likely why the opinions on their reliability are so diverse.

However, JD Power, which rates vehicles based on several factors, gave the 2020 Ford Fusion a quality and reliability score of 87 out of 100. This rating ranks the car above average when it comes to reliability. However, the rating is not as high when looking at older models, starting with the 2013 Ford Fusion.

In addition, Repair Pal gives it an overall four out of five reliability rating based on the cost, frequency, and severity of the repairs needed. Many find Repair Pal’s ratings more reliable because they base their ratings on actual repair orders from shops across the United States.

How is it compared to similar cars?

If you’re considering buying a Ford Fusion, it’s also essential to compare the car to other similar vehicles. JD Power and Repair Pal are both reliable tools you can use to make the comparison easier.

The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry outbreak the Ford Fusion on both the JD Power and Repair Pal ratings. According to JD Power’s overall ranking, the 2020 Ford Fusion is ranked number 3 In comparison to other cars of its kind.

JD Power’s rankings are based on the overall experience of car owners. They analyze the information given by car owners in surveys that help them determine the overall experience the owner has had with the car in the time they’ve owned it when they take the survey.

Repair Pals rankings, however, rank the Ford Fusion at 18 out of the 24 midsized cars they compared. This ranking also lists Kia, Mazda, and Hyundai as more reliable than the Ford Fusion.

What is the life expectancy?

Knowing how long you can expect a car to last is also essential. This is especially true when you’re shopping for a used car because you may not always be able to know how well the vehicle was maintained and how it was driven by the previous owner.

On average, Ford Fusions last up to 10 years or 200,000 miles, but it mainly depends on the quality of the vehicle and whether or not you run into major problems. Another factor that plays a significant role is how you drive the car. If you drive your vehicle roughly, it can significantly decrease your car’s lifespan.

But, when it comes down to it, you have much control over how long your Fusion will last. Even those that have been recalled can go on to last many miles if the recalled problems have been repaired.

Staying on top of the maintenance is the best way to make sure you get as many miles as possible out of your car. Many owners who have stayed on top of the care have boasted of their Fusions going well above 200,000 miles.

Proper Car Maintenance

Making sure you keep your oiled changed on time is one of the most important parts of maintaining your car. It’s best to have the oil changed every 3000 to 5000 miles. If you consistently push your car past the recommended mileage before changing the oil, it can lead to severe issues with your motor.

It can also be harmful to your motor if you do not keep the air filter changed. If not changed as recommended, dust, dirt, and other harmful things can get into your engine and cause problems.

It’s also important to maintain other fluids, such as your transmission, power steering, and brake fluid.

On average, you can expect to spend between $500 and $600 a year in maintenance costs for a Ford Fusion. This process can vary depending on how many more complex issues you run into throughout the year.

What is Good and Bad About the Car?

As with any other car, the Ford Fusion has pros and cons. However, weighing the good and the bad can make the decision much more straightforward.

Ford Fusion Pros:

  • They feature an attractive and stylish design.
  • Most models have good horsepower.
  • The interior is comfortable and spacious.
  • Most have excellent gas mileage of up to 30 MPG on the highway.
  • The 2019 and 2020 model Fusions come without the list of serious concerns.

Ford Fusion Cons:

  • Many recalls, especially for the 2013 model.
  • More problematic models are costly to upkeep.
  • They have a below-average customer satisfaction score.

What do Owners Say About the Car?

The best way to understand the good and bad things about the Fusion is from those who currently own a Fusion. Here’s what some Fusion owners had to say on

“The SE we got was excellent. I love all the safety features and the large screen for the backup camera. It has plenty of power, but is still fuel efficient.” (2020 Fusion Owner)

“So my transmission is stuttering, Rpm flying up, radio is messing up, my airbag light comes on and off. It doesn’t want to accelerate, and it’s just a mess. I’m so upset. I’ve had it a months ready to get rid of it. If it didn’t have the transmission issues I’d love it. But it’s very frustrating!!!!” (2013 Fusion Owner)

“Bought used. 6 Cylinder Duratec engine. Traded in 11 yrs old with 205k miles on it and no major repairs for a newer Fusion. Ford Fusions are terrific bargains for their reliability and generous options. Thinking of a Corolla/Camry/Civic/Accord? At least test drive a comparable Fusion.” (2006 Fusion Owner)

“I’ve loved the car. 2015 Ford Fusion SE Ecoboost. @ high 76000 miles the transmission is bumping in reverse and slipping some in forward gear. Now bumping in forward gear also. Purchased with just under 5000 miles.” (2015 Fusion Owner)


Running into common problems with your Fusion can be frustrating, costly, and sometimes even dangerous. Finding out that it resulted from an issue you could have prevented can make it even worse.

This is Why it’s best to do a good amount of research before buying a car, especially a used car. Hopefully, the information above helps you decide whether or not you should buy the Fusion or figure out what’s going on with the vehicle you already own.