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Common Ford S-Max problems

  • Ford's sporty and practical MPV
  • but problems do exist
  • We reveal what to look out for
Words ByRory White

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The Ford S-Max is a great car for people who have a large family, but dont like the idea of driving a traditional MPV. Its sleek lines give it a sportier look, while its precise steering helps to offer a better experience than many family cars can manage.

The third row is best reserved for kids, but the seats can fold down flat when not needed to reveal a large boot.

The S-Max was launched in 2006, with revisions to the engine line-up in 2010 and 2012. Used buyers will find 2.0-, 2.3- and 2.5-litre petrols, along with 1.6-, 1.8-, 2.0- or 2.2-litre diesels on the UK's forecourts.

An automatic gearbox came with the 2.3 petrol and 2.0- and 2.2-litre diesels.

These are the main problems to watch out for when buying a used Ford S-Max.

Ford S-Max fuel pipe problem
Some cars built between February and June 2006 had fuel pipe issues. The connector between the engine fuel line and fuel tank might not be totally secure. This could result in a fuel leak and the engine cutting out.

Ford S-Max windscreen problem
A number of cars built between December 2005 and June 2006 have problems with their windscreens. The heated windscreen's earthing point might not have been tightened to the correct torque. This could result in electrical arcing, and in extreme cases, the burning of surrounding trim.

Ford S-Max brake pedal problem
Some cars built between November 2005 and December 2006 have been known to suffer from issues with their brake pedals. Low temperatures can cause a non-return valve in the vacuum pump to stick, resulting in a stiff pedal action.

Ford S-Max panoramic roof problem
There have been issues with the glass panoramic roofs of cars built between September and November 2006. Its possible that one of the glass panels might not have been bonded correctly. Should this be the case, the glass panel could detach.

Ford S-Max brake pedal problem
A further brake pedal problem was discovered on cars built between November 2008 and March 2009. During engine warm up, it is possible that the non-return valve within the vacuum pump might stick. Stopping distances could be increased as a result.

Ford S-Max electrical problems
Problems with electrical components affecting the windscreen wipers and engine management systems have been reported. Buyers should also check the battery, because a fault can drain power if the car is left unused for a couple of days.

See What Car? Approved Used Ford S-Max examples >>

Read the full Ford S-Max (06-) used review >>

By Rory White