1998 Ford Ka from UK and Ireland - Comments

15th Sep 2001, 15:39

Is it me or are these cars very very ugly??

25th Oct 2001, 12:52

The engine speed sensor is obviously faulty so fuel shut off on over-run is not working. Easily fixed by a competent garage.

24th Sep 2002, 12:04

Same thing happened to my boot opener.

Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn't.

If your engine has problems, you better go quick and get it checked.

Happened with my old one: that engine failed and then air con starts to leak. Therefore, it causes that fan to not work afterwards and the electrical loop goes wrong as well.

Many problems with this Ka and I have only had this car for less than a year from new.

1st Oct 2002, 18:07

The problems with the rear wiper are due to a poor earth contact between the wiper motor and the shell.

Remove, clean and refit and all is well :)

24th Dec 2002, 04:46

My Ka is not yet 3 years old and already I have had to have my gear box replaced and now my ABS has gone.

Having called the garage it is too dangerous for them to come out and pick it up, so I will have to drive it there myself.

I assure you although I'm a woman my driving isn't that bad. Both problems have been described by mechanic's as known problems with Ka's.

Clearly my next car won't be a Ford.

7th Jan 2003, 08:57

Our 1997 Ford Ka, used mostly by my wife and not every day, has a continuing problem with damp on the engine! It is mostly a build up around the plugs where water (condensation perhaps?) seems to lay in the area around the spark plugs.

The rocker cover is peeling paint badly and dropping loose peelings into the same area, making it all very untidy.

Is this normal?

The last time the plugs were changed it needed very careful cleaning around this area before they could be unscrewed.

Apart from that the car has served us well. It has some quirky habits such as the engine management, which really confused us after a new battery was put on the car. It took a little while to correct itself although there us a warning in the handbook to make you aware of this happening.

3rd Feb 2003, 16:50

The Ka has a massive UK following, and despite some rather (petty) complaints, it remains one of the best selling and best driving cars on the market.

Every car has good & bad points, the only bad point of the Ka is the rather old and underpowered engine... oh hang on, haven't Ford just announced the 1.6 version?

Stop moaning about petty problems which are rare on these cars. If you get a bad one, it's just bad luck, not representative of the thousands that are on the road, and will continue to be so long after some of the garbage that costs more.

My Ka? 1998 S-reg, 80,000 miles (all mine), only problems are other people attitudes.

A design classic. Broke the mold for car design, whether you like it or not. You wouldn't see half the car designs today if Ford hadn't shown some guts to make the thing.

5th Feb 2003, 02:37

I've read the "reviews" here, and I do think some people need to study the sector more before making such harsh judgements on the Ka.

First off, it was released on the 11 September, 1996. Back in those days, power steering was still a bit of a luxury item on small cars. Air conditioning and anti-lock brakes were still only fitted to the top range models as standard.

To slate the early Ka1 has having miserly equipment shows a lack of knowledge about the other cars of that price and sector. The Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Merit came with... err... a slothful 1.2 litre engine, four forward gears, and rubber-covered foot pedals. You didn't get a rear wash wipe, the fifth gear was an option, and that was that. What you did get was a steering effect that was similar to shouting, "hard-a-port" and after a few seconds, the car would start turning left.

The nearest competitor in the early days was probably the Fiat Cinquecento. You think the Ka's engine bay is cramped; try a Cinq. You think the boot of the Ka is small; try the Cinq. The Cinquecento was a good deal cheaper than the Ka to start with, and it has a slightly larger interior in the back, but it's not as comfortable for two people. Horses for courses, then.

The Nissan Micra could be considered a competitor - again, check out the equipment levels and boot space before telling the world that the Ka was hard done by in these respects.

As for the "engine management" problem - that's a dirty idle control valve. You should always get a second or third opinion if you don't rate the dealership's verdict. That's true of all makes!

The boot release, also covered here, is an earthing problem.

It's you; these cars are not ugly.

Odd that, within the Ka Klub, we've not known of any gearbox and ABS problems. You'd have thought with 500 members, we'd have heard of something by now.

All cars will have condensation problems if they're not allowed to properly warm up.

And on to the Ka's design. Was there anything like it when released? No. Is there anything like it now? Perhaps. Volkswagen have tried to go all "cute" with their Lupo, but it looks contrived, and it drives somewhat... limp. The Yaris has a sort-of funky, Ka-ish look about it, too. Following where Ford's "Edge" design led, then!

So in summary - slate the Ka all you like, but ensure you've actually studied the other cars in the sector. Otherwise, we'd all be telling us that the Ka is too small (it can't seat eight people plus luggage), too slow (it doesn't have a 7.5 litre twin-turbo V8), too thirsty (it doesn't have Ford's new PSA-licenced 1.4 litre HDI engine, oh hang on, watch this space), etc. etc. etc.

And for goodness sake, try finding a new car that handles as well as the basic Ka (available for £5K if you look hard enough) for the same money...

The DervMan

2nd May 2003, 11:20

The Ka is quite outstandingly ugly, and built like a sardine tin to boot. The gearbox and engine are quite rough. It is not even slightly innovative and didn't "break the mold" (sic) - it is just a Fiesta with a silly body on. That body, incidentally, dents very easily and rusts too quickly for a modern car.

The first comment here was very fair. Funny how the "Ka Fan Club" rush to its defence at the slightest criticism and, apparently, would like to pretend it has no faults whatsoever.

22nd May 2003, 02:06

My wife bought a Ka early in 2003, a 2000 model with 21,000km on it. It is great fun to drive, and quite refined for its size. It has a little underbody rust along some of the seams, from being kept near the sea by the first owner, but I have fixed that. It also had a round rust spot under the driver's door, the dealer had repaired under warranty. We've done 10,000km in it, so far its been reliable, except for refusing to start a couple of times, the immobiliser is a bit sensitive. Overall it is not the most refined model in the Ford range, but it is certainly the cheapest.