I've had a Ka since 2001, and I've done my very best to destroy it. Nothing will break on it. I've sent it in for only 2 of the 6 or 7 services it should have had by now and it's still never given me a SINGLE bit of trouble. Done 62,000 miles and all it's had done is a tyre change. Brakes need to be done soon I'd say, but everything's just perfect.
I don't know of any other car built in the last 30 years that's as reliable.
We've had my wife's 2001 Ford Ka since new, and in the 6 1/2 years since then we've had:
New disks and brake pads at the first MOT at an independent garage at 25000 miles. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the disks since I couldn't feel anything wrong with it when I was driving, but felt I had to let them change them since their machine said they were warped and we wouldn't have got the MOT without it.
One front wishbone at the 2nd MOT.
2 track rod inner ball-joints at the 3rd one.
The horn failed and was replaced October last year.
Nothing significant at the 4th MOT in May this year, but front tyres have regularly needed replacement after only 16000 miles or so due to wear on the outside of the nearside tyre - despite the wheel alignment being checked and adjusted.
Just last month we began to notice a knocking noise when it was going over bumps and general suspension creaking, so yesterday it went to our local friendly tyre/brake/suspension place and had both front upper suspension mounts changed at 51000 miles and a cost of £127.
It's also beginning to look as if the steering rack will need replacement soon as oil has started to leak out of one of the the track rod end rubber boots. Tightening the clip has stopped the oil leaking out for now, but apparently it should be retained within the rack and not get so far as the inside of the rubber boot.
Overall not a very durable car in my opinion, particularly with the steering and suspension. I won't be buying another one and wouldn't recommend them to anybody else either.
Apart from the first 2 services which were done at the main dealers workshop all the work has been done at other independent garages - at much lower prices than quoted by Ford.
As previously seen, and as you might expect, I am writing regarding the Ford KA's stallion steering rack!
My girlfriends car, aptly named Paris, is a 2001 Y reg Ford KA with 26/k on the clock and the steering rack is knackered.
Like the inevitable Grim Reaper, we have fallen victim to this dreaded fault.
£300+ later and we live in fear of the next power steering episode.
When buying a KA, ask if they will throw in a couple of racks for good measure, as you will need them!
Student daughter's steering rack on her 51 Ka is leaking again. This will be the 4TH replacement rack - obviously reconditioned ones do not last. She has done less than 30,000 miles and just cannot afford to replace yet another. I contacted Ford a couple of years ago to raise the issue; they did not bother to reply, and repeated requests failed to elicit a response. The garage whom have repeatedly repaired it have gone out of business - must have been all the steering racks they were having to repair!
I drive a Ka too - it gets through suspension springs at an alarming rate, despite taking any speed bumps very, very slowly!
Bought my car 8 years ago when it was a year or so old. It's just about to reach 80k miles and is finally looking like it's on its way out. It hasn't given me a huge amount of trouble and in general has been very reliable. The main issues were the exhaust back box falling off twice and problems with the automatic idle valve, oh and a spot or two of rust! In general it's not been too bad over the years and I have not had any problems with the steering that other people report. I've been really pleased with my KA and would recommend them to others.
My partner bought a 2nd hand Ka as her first car and loves it. Although myself being in the motor trade, and ending up being the one who repairs it... we have owned it for a year and and I have never had a car with so many problems...
Both front wish bone rubbers perished (looking over the service history, it's had 6 in total before I fitted the 2 new ones).
The power steering rack is on its way out (it's had two in its life before us).
The power steering pump again on its way out (had one fitted with every rack).
The heater solenoid burnt itself out, so have temporary repair for winter by removing the solenoid and using straight through copper pipes, although this means its constant heat, she can open the window.
The cat is part of the exhaust manifold, and has had 3 of these in its lifetime, and now it's snapped on the weld at the joint underneath. I have welded this, but is not a good fix, so have ordered another in @ £133 and that's without OBD.
Now I have a knocking noise when going over speed bumps from the nearside front. Many mechanics and technicians from Bristol, Winchester, Southampton and Wales (as travel I for work) have looked, but found nothing, and it then passed an MOT.
The vehicle vibrates like hell between 40mph and 50mph when accelerating from the nearside front, and is affected by weight, so is this the same problem as above???
On its MOT, it failed first time round on corrosion on the outer sill, and also two cast iron spacers behind the rear wheels to the axle. The tester told me that these could not be purchased, and would have to be made by a steel merchant. I phoned Ford and was supplied them for £5.99 each inc vat!!! Easy to do, but just a crap job. After paying off a welder at work with 20 Stella, £40 and a night out on the town on me, he welded the outer sill and it received a fresh MOT certificate...
All this in just less than one year of owning the car. We are just looking to repair as cheap as possible to sell to upgrade to a family car, as we are expecting and we will probably get no more than £700 for the car, so we don't want to spend too much.
My opinion - DO NOT BUY ONE.
I had a KA for my very first car, and now I have traded it in for a newer one.
The first was a 1999 KA 1 and I owned it since 2001. I loved this car, it gave me no major problems apart from rust (which is quite severe and caused it to fail MOT a couple of times). I put this down to 'you get what you pay for' - KAs are only cheap (paid £1500 for mine with 50,000 miles) and the bodywork isn't the best quality. Never had any problems whatsoever with the steering as so many KA owners do, or anything engine or electrical related. Started first time every time and never let me down. Minor faults with back wiper not working and similar, but was just a case of reconnecting wires where they'd popped out. My sister-in-law now has this KA, it has 80,000+ miles on it, and it's still going strong.
I now have a 2002 KA luxury, bought for £3000 with 44000 miles. I bought it because I loved my old car so much, but wanted added perks like air con, remote locking, leather seats, heated windscreen etc. I got a 3 year gold warranty just in case. I only bought it in September so can't comment too much yet, but all seems to be OK so far. Engine is more powerful than my older KA, although it does have the same engine (just missed out on the newer one introduced in 2002/3). Only thing is, steering feels a bit 'funny' sometimes - can't quite put my finger on it, just don't trust it as much as my old one.
All in all, I think there are common faults with KAs which would understandably get you annoyed - but if you get a good one without these then they're a fab little car. The question is - how to ensure you get a good one??!