1997 Ford KA 1.3 from Finland


Funky, but unreliable car


Sills and chips got both rusty. Sills were extremely expensive to replace. The part cost 188 euros for a piece and whole process cost almost 1000 euros.

Constant adjusting of tappets which were caused by worn-out camshaft. New camshaft cost 280 euros and with work it cost 750 euros to replace. Nice.

Muffler rusted.

Sway beam had to be replaced.

General Comments:

Nice car to drive. Very stable and good-looking.

However the quality of Ford left something to hope for. I got tired of my old 15 year old Fiat Tipo and it`s constant repairs, but Ford Ka was worse. And the spare parts were more expensive.

My next car will be made in Japan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th May, 2004

1997 Ford KA 2 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Fab :)


Initially I had a strong smell of petrol, which was rectified by the dealer under warranty.

After 18 months I was informed by another dealer that the brake discs and pads needed replacing after only 10000 miles. Being someone who at the time didn't know much about cars I went ahead with this work and now realise it only needed pads and I was in effect 'conned'

At 4 years and approx 40 000 miles I had to have the engine rebuilt due to a design fault with the cam shaft. Stupidly I did nothing about this and should have tried to get the £900 it cost to repair back from Ford.

Other than that it has required very little doing to it, new rear brake shoes and new electric window switch come to mind.

Another on going fault with engines of this ilk is that they cut out after heaving braking. But a friend in the know advised me how to clean the air inlet sensor, which when done cures the fault immediately.

Oh, and it had a leak in the front passenger foot well as well. Huge thing, used to fill it with water. Was coming from around the engine management system, but Ford didn't want to know.

General Comments:

I loved my KA, little more I can say. It drove well and it got me to where I wanted to be.

Performance was low if there were too many passengers, but it worked well and I would have another if I didn't need something bigger.

I only had to get rid of this car because it was written off by someone driving into me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2002

1997 Ford KA 2 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Small Car: Big Disappointment


There was a persistent problem with the tappets from 30,000 miles onwards.

Rear windscreen wiper didn't always work.

Bushings on the front wheels had to be replaced roughly every 10,000 miles.

Front bumper came away from the body of the car.

General Comments:

The car needed to have its tappets re-aligned every 5,000 miles or so despite the best efforts of the mechanics in my local Ford dealership. This problem is what ultimately caused me to sell the car.

Storage in the car is unbelievably poor, with precious little space to store things like maps, sunglasses, cassettes and other things people usually keep in their cars.

The radio was cheap and nasty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd March, 2002

7th Jan 2003, 15:07

My mother has a 1997-model Ford Ka. There have been problems with rust and leaking braking fluids.

Now at about 60.000 km the camshaft needs replacement. Price: about 1.200 £.

Ford admits that KA in some cases have problem with their camshafts, but since the car is more than 3 years old it is no longer of their concern.

28th Apr 2006, 04:46

Ref: the tappets.

What sometimes happens is the oil holes in the rocker shaft block up and this can cause the rockers to seize on the shaft. The cure is to take the shaft off (if I remember correctly, it's held onto the cylinder head with 4 bolts) remove all the rockers and spacers from the shaft, clean everything up and reassemble.

Unfortunately with these engines 5k miles is the furthest you can go without a tappet adjustment. However, it's a pretty straightforward job - a set of feeler gauges is about £4 and it takes about 1/2 hour.

Also bear in mind the vast majority of mechanics won't have any idea how to adjust mechanical tappets because not many cars have them anymore.