2003 Ford Mondeo Zetec Duratec HE from UK and Ireland


Junk at 80k


Front suspension spring snapped (randomly).


Clutch release bearing broke up.

Coolant expansion tank cracked.

Coil pack stopped working for cylinder 3.

General Comments:

Ford state this engine is disposable, meaning the car is disposable. The oil control rings wear out prematurely, thus making the car junk. You will not easily get through the MOT once this occurs, and this has been designed into the car (engineered obsolescence). So there you go, we have come full circle. Back in the 1960s cars were worn out at 70-80k (rebore needed); today the same deal - just designed into it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd June, 2016

4th Jun 2016, 13:31

if the piston rings have really gone at 80k, I would be inclined to think there's something up with the air filter (i.e. the element is missing or has a hole in it).

My experience (as a former Vauxhall mechanic) is that Mondeos are mechanically quite robust and will generally run well past 100k without issues (the electrics are a different story though).

11th Jun 2016, 16:06

Or maybe the 77400 recorded miles when he bought it was false and it had been clocked?

12th Jun 2016, 16:57


Yeah I was wondering about this - although it had several past MOTs and service history & such like, but does not mean impossible. I know clocking is endemic in the motor trade, but 20 years of buying cars said the mileage was genuine to engine condition... but hey, I might be going senile. However it seems the 1.8 Duratecs are known to smoke a lot, and does seem to be oil control rings as the most common fault.

8th Jul 2017, 07:53

Yeah this is the most likely. However I have significant experience of buying and selling cars, and the mileage and all the documentation looked 'right'. But you never know - if it was a rep car, in the first 3 years could have clocked up big mileage, then clocked before the first MoT. However compression on all cylinders was very good.

8th Jul 2017, 07:56

if you were a mechanic, you'd know the difference between compression and oil control rings. The compression rings were giving very good compression across all cylinders. I thought maybe the oil control rings were 'stuck' - which happens on some cars for sure, but extensive 50/50 paraffin/oil 'washes' (an extensive approach someone should only do when they really know what they are doing) never changed oil usage. I feel it was unlikely they were stuck, but still possible. It is more likely they were worn out.

2003 Ford Mondeo Zetec 2.0 TDCi 130 (6) turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Trouble free motoring


My Mondeo has been very busy; nearly at 200,000 miles on the clock and still going strong.

Only one problem to report in my ownership, the car has gone into limp home mode a few times (only happens when the fuel level is below 1/4 tank). Although turning the car off and back on again removes any problem.

General Comments:

I paid £750 for my mk3 Mondeo Zetec. It's the 2.0 litre TDCi Zetec with 130 BHP and the very nice 6 speed manual gear box. I was fortunate enough to find the car, as the original owner had been given a new Mondeo as a company car.

The car has 188,000 miles on the clock, which is impressive considering the car still runs with no problems at all. Has been a pleasure to drive the last 8,000 miles, which have been trouble free minus a few issues with the car going into limp home mode.

Eats up miles on the motorway, feels very nice to drive and the TDCi lump is very quick and punchy. In gear acceleration is good, handling feels very nice, and the car feels very well planted on the road.

Starts first time with no issues on freezing mornings, and the quick clear screens shift ice and mist from the windows very quickly.

Many people report problems with their Mondeos; personally mine has been a very good runner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2014

24th May 2014, 08:48

To jump into a ocean when you don't know how to swim is better than to buy a Ford Mondeo or other Ford models. I had a bad experience with my Mondeo. Rubbish gearbox, weak engine, unreliable. It looks good, but inside there's nothing but a weak engine.

26th Jan 2016, 01:01

Everyone is entitled to their opinions. My Ford Mondeo Ghia estate is very reliable, and for such a large car, very economical, and a joy to drive. Only my opinion, but I am never wrong.