Re. ticking noise- I have just bought a 1998 Ka with exactly the same symptoms, I.e. a slight ticking when accelerating gently with a warm engine. The noise doesn't seem to be affected by road or engine speed. Very mysterious... I did suspect that it had something to do with the screwdriver bit that I recently lost down the engine bay, but I'm not so sure after hearing of others with the same problem.
The ticking could be the valves needing adjustment. as this is a push rod engine inherited from fiesta/escort tribe. A good engineer can resolve. But it may be just a worn engine.
Just purchased a 51 reg Ka and the ticking noise described above is extremely noticeable when accelerating - I am going to get it checked out by local Ford dealership and will advise of results.
Tapping does not necessarily indicate worn anything. The Endura-E engine has old fashioned adjustable tappets which need checking and usually adjusting at every service (10,000 miles). This is a doddle of a job, needs no parts, and can be completed by any competent mechanic in less than half an hour.
Despite its archaic spec, you will not find a better city car engine elsewhere in my opinion. It's torquey at low-medium revs (unlike anything with a 16 valve head), robust, reliable, frugal (ours did 40-45 mpg in all conditions) and is reasonably relaxed for longer journeys. 80 mph on a motorway in a Ka is a much nicer experience than in a Peugeot 106, or a Citroen Saxo for example.
I've found that my Ka has been nothing but trouble. The brakes are the main fault. They don't stop the car even with the pedal down. I've had it serviced and the brakes are fine; it's the build of the car! It's been a waste of a purchase. It's pokey, small, stiff, and the handling is the only good feature.
And a word of warning: my Ka has been kept in good condition and driven with only 59000 miles on the clock, and THEY ARE NOT BUILT TO LAST. The KA has an expiration date of about 7 years. This car is not built to last, and DON'T buy one if it's over 6 years old; seriously!
I have a 10 year old, S Reg Ka. Its done 74,000 miles.
OK, so it may be in need of a tune up (sounds like a diesel and won't go over 80!)
I wouldn't swap it for the world, its nippy and fun to drive.
Few rust patches appearing now, but considering its age, body looks in good nick!
Highly recommend it to the girl about town!
I bought a 98 Ford Ka2 earlier this year with 61,000 on the clock, and I love it. Yes it's got an annoying tapping noise that I can't get to the bottom of, and it does sound like a diesel and has a small boot...
But it gets me from A to B every time, and I haven't had a single problem with it... apart from needing a new headlight bulb, which the local garage I bought it from replaced free of charge.
I find it very comfortable and has very good handling... I would recommend to anyone.
I have just bought a car to practice driving, and it's a S reg Ford Ka. It might be 12, but it's lovely.
I drove it home and cleaned all the fag ends out of it, and it's new to me!
I was insured to drive my dad's Peugeot economic (brand new disabled car) for free, and as soon as I put a L plate on, people were aiming for me in lorries; this doesn't happen so much now.
After my dad got over having a seizure nearly, he decided to get what we thought would be a banger to learn in; it's not by far!
I have just purchased a Ka for my wife, and was concerned about the loud ticking noise, but after reading the reviews, I now know it's just part of owning a Ka. The comments have given me peace of mind, and I just turn me music up a bit louder when I have to go in it. Cheers to fellow Ka drivers.
I bought a KA for my daughter after her Pug was totalled. I too was concerned about the tapping noise after reading all the reviews; this is part of KA ownership. My daughter hated the KA at first, but it has grown on her... It has the usual issues though; rusty sill and around the boot lock also. If you slam the boot, the contacts for the rear wiper and interior boot release play up, but it is reliable and does what it's meant to do; go from A to B.