Ford Fiesta Maintenance Guides - Common Ford Fiesta Repair Questions Answered

The Ford Fiesta is the UK's most popular car and has topped the bestseller list for many years. It's now in its seventh generation with the most recent offerings delivering excellent handling and reliability.

Car Maintenance Guides>Ford Fiesta Maintenance Guide

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Ford Fiesta Tyre Pressure

What is the recommended tyre pressure of a Ford Fiesta?

The table below sets out the recommended tyre pressure of a Ford Fiesta, though you should check the car’s manual or a quick way to do is to check the door frame, on the driver’s side, which will show a chart of the correct tyre pressures:


Ford Fiesta Service Intervals

When buying a Ford Fiesta from new, there will be scheduled service intervals that you'll need to follow to ensure your car delivers good performance and reliability.

However, along with regular servicing, where oils and fluids are either topped up or replaced, there are specific actions to take when you rack up the miles. Ford recommends that the Fiesta is serviced every 12 months or 12,500 miles with the engine oil and filter being changed every time. The Fiesta service intervals should also include:

12,500 miles: Carry out a thorough check of pipes, hoses, the drive belt and handbrake. Plus, renew the pollen/cabin filter.

25,000 miles: As above, plus replace the pollen air filter.

50,000 miles: Replace air filter and check timing belt and tensioner (particularly for the 1.25 litre and 1.6-litre engines).

100,000 miles: Replace the timing belt, tensioners and idlers, adjust valve clearances and change the auxiliary drive belt.

Be sure to pay a visit to a Ford Fiesta full service specialist when you hit the mileage milestones listed above for a full check of your car.

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Ford Fiesta Warning Lights

The Ford Fiesta dashboard warning lights are there to warn of a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. Most of these will illuminate in red and if critical they will flash. You will notice that the warning lights illuminate on a Ford Fiesta when starting the car. This is normal and shows that the various systems are being initiated. These lights will go out. If a light remains on, even if it's an orange or amber light, then you'll need to take action and have a professional inspect your vehicle.

The Ford Fiesta dashboard warning lights are there to warn of a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. Most of these will illuminate in red and if critical they will flash. You will notice that the warning lights illuminate on a Ford Fiesta when starting the car. This is normal and shows that the various systems are being initiated. These lights will go out. If a light remains on, even if it's an orange or amber light, then you'll need to take action and have a professional inspect your vehicle.

This then brings us to the issue of the Ford Fiesta’s warning lights that appear while driving. You may need to consult the car’s manual to find out what the symbols mean, but the important ones include:


The coolant warning light means the engine is overheating and the coolant needs to be topped up. If there is a coolant leak, you will need this fixing or if the coolant tank is full then it may be a problem with a sensor or another issue. You'll need a professional to resolve this.


Another important warning light for the Ford Fiesta is for the brake system. This light will be illuminated when you have the parking or handbrake on. If it appears while driving, check that the parking brake has been taken off and if so, then it may indicate a brake system malfunction or low brake fluid. Your car will need to be checked immediately and it is dangerous to carry on driving with it illuminated.

What does the Ford Fiesta engine warning light mean?

While driving a Ford Fiesta, the engine warning light may become illuminated on the dashboard. The light is red because it is highlighting a critical problem and in some instances, you may still be able to drive but with limited power. Should this light flash, then you'll need to pull over as soon as possible and have your car professionally checked. 

Sometimes, the engine warning light in a Ford Fiesta may illuminate along with a spanner symbol in orange, which indicates a problem needs fixing. Pull over and switch off the engine. Restart the car but if it does not restart, then you'll need the car checking immediately.

What does a Ford Fiesta powertrain warning light mean?

The Ford Fiesta's powertrain warning light indicates a serious malfunction that needs to be rectified as soon as possible.

Essentially, failing to quickly resolve the problem may cause damage to the transmission, the engine or drivetrain. Some models may reduce power, so you can ‘limp home’. On some models, this can be a common fault and a simple diagnostics test by a professional will reveal what the problem is.

The best place to find a local specialist to check your car for an engine malfunction is on the WhoCanFixMyCar Ford Fiesta engine management page.


Ford Fiesta Common Problems

As with all cars, the Ford Fiesta is prone to some common problems, usually down to the wear and tear of some components. Along with clutch issues, described above, you may find issues with:


Some older Ford Fiesta models may have issues with the steering column, but it only affects a small number of cars and these were subject to a recall. The issue is resolved by replacing the universal joint and steering column assembly.

Fuel pipe

Again, older Ford Fiestas, usually built-in 2004 and early 2005, had a fuel pipe that was not built to specification and could be prone to fuel leaks. A new pipe will need to be fitted.

Water pump

When stationary, you may hear a knocking or whining noise coming from the Ford Fiesta’s engine bay and this will be the water pump fails. A new pump will need to be installed.

Rear Axle

One big problem for Fiestas built between August and September 2002 was the welding for the rear axle. A recall was initiated for the welding problem to be fixed.


The Ford Fiesta was subject to a recall to deal with the suspension issue for cars built in September 2011. The problem is resolved by replacing the rear axle mounting bolts.

Injector issues

A common problem for the diesel versions of the Fiesta is injector issues which can be expensive to resolve.

What are common automatic gearbox problems on a Ford Fiesta?

The Ford Fiesta is available with an automatic gearbox with newer versions having Ford's Powershift offering which is a six-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission. The automatic gearbox in the Fiesta is generally reliable, but there are some common problems which include:

Clutch shudder at low speeds

The problem here is probably down to fluid contamination with the input shaft seals failing. The clutch can be cleaned, and the seals replaced, but if the damage is severe than you could be looking at fitting a new automatic gearbox. (Though you may only need a clutch pack which is a much cheaper option).

Clutch contamination

The best way to avoid clutch contamination, especially for those Fiestas with a Powershift gearbox, is to maintain it as required by Ford. This means having fresh fluid and filter changes every three years to ensure it functions properly. The seals will be checked for leaks and for the metal parts so they are not wearing down.

Why does my automatic Ford Fiesta “whine”?

One common problem with the Powershift gearbox is that it may begin to ‘whine’ when accelerating, and you may feel that the clutch is slipping and does not progress through the gears as it once did. This is a known issue and some models were subject to a recall - you will need a professional to inspect and replace any relevant parts.

Powershift sensor issues

There is also a potential issue with the sensors used in the Powershift transmission - usually, these magnet sensors need cleaning, but it may mean stripping down the transmission to do so.  

Why is my Ford Fiesta squeaking?

If your Ford Fiesta has developed squeaking breaks this may be down to:

Dirty pads or discs: You'll need to have them cleaned to resolve the issue.

Brake drums: Check the rear brake drums which may be worn and need replacing or it could be the self-adjusters need fixing.

Bedding in: If it is a new Fiesta you will need to bed the brakes in as there's a coating on the brakes that needs to wear off.

Why is my Ford Fiesta exhaust ‘blowing’?

If you have noticed a louder exhaust note from your Ford Fiesta, then this may indicate that the exhaust is ‘blowing’. This means that part or all of the exhaust system will need replacing, so you should take your Fiesta to a garage for this work to be carried out.

One of the symptoms of a blowing Ford Fiesta exhaust may be a loss of power or an increase in fuel usage, which will mean either there's a problem with a sensor or there's a small hole so the pressure in the exhaust system is being lost. 

If you have a diesel Ford Fiesta, then you may find the exhaust is blowing smoke which could be the injectors or the valve stem oil seals. Again, you'll need to have a professional look at your car and rectify the problem.

Also, for Fiestas built after 2011, there was a common problem with the exhaust system with some models having a hole in the system because the blanking plug was not correctly fitted. This then led to the cooling fan moulding melting and fumes entering the cabin. The issue is resolved by tightening the plug fitting new parts.

If one of the gearbox problems mentioned above persists, get in touch with a local Ford Fiesta auto gearbox specialist to avoid potential damage in the future.


Ford Fiesta Oil

Which type of oil is best for a Ford Fiesta?

To ensure you use the correct oil type for your Ford Fiesta, it's important that you check the car's manual. Depending on the engine, you may require 10W40 semi-synthetic grade oil for your Ford Fiesta. For high mileage drivers and those with the EcoBoost engine, then you may require SAE 5W-20 synthetic motor oil. Diesel engine Fiestas may need 5W30 synthetic motor oil.

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How do you reset the oil change light on a Ford Fiesta?

To reset the oil change warning light in a Ford Fiesta, and if you've already checked the oil is topped up and has recently been changed, then the process is straightforward.

  • Turn the ignition key so the dashboard lights up, but do not turn the engine on
  • Depress the brake and accelerator pedals for 20 seconds until the light goes off
  • Turn the ignition off 
  • When you turn it back on, the light will be cleared
  • That's it!

What is a Ford Fiesta’s Oil Capacity?

As part of the routine maintenance for your Ford Fiesta, you may need to replace the gearbox oil and need to know the capacity of this. For most models, the gearbox capacity is 2.3 litres and for those with the Powershift transmission, it is 1.7 litres.

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