4 Most-Common Problems With Ford Bronco (Explained)

Few vehicles have been around as long as the Ford Bronco. Production of the Bronco began in 1965 for the 1966 model year.

Although the Bronco was discontinued in 1996, it remained a relevant model on highways until its rebirth in 2021. However, the Bronco has some problems that plague its drivers. 

Find out about these issues in this article.

1. Stalling Engine And Delayed/No Start

The ignition module may fail in certain Ford Broncos, especially the 1990 to 1996 model years, which fall under the 4th and 5th generations.

This does not mean this problem does not affect older models. Older models may have this problem but would not be properly documented because they’re less used today.

The ignition module failure often causes stalling of the engines before it eventually starts. Other times, it doesn’t start at all.

RepairPal puts the average mileage of occurrence at 166,376 miles.

Drivers complained their engines stalled while driving, and this eventually led to the engine shutting off completely. Other drivers observed that afterwards, the engines wouldn’t start until after about 30 minutes.

Other drivers had more severe experiences, which involved their engines going off unexpectedly while they drove.

Causes and Solutions

A faulty ignition module can cause this problem. Fixing the Ignition Module doesn’t have a fixed price. It varies based on the reason for failure.

Since there are many reasons for failure, it is only logical that a full inspection be carried out. This will help the technician know the exact cause of the problem and, finally, the repair costs. The diagnosis may cost as low as $88 and as much as $111, going by RepairPal’s estimate.

Afterwards, the repairs will take place. Repair costs depend on the part being fixed or replaced. Often, the alternator or battery causes the problem and would be replaced.

A new alternator will cost about $365 to $385, labor costs inclusive.

Other times, the engine stalling is because of an ignition system or fuel system problem. In such cases, costs might be higher or lower depending on the number of affected components.

For problems related directly to the ignition system, the ignition control module replacement costs from $155 to $190. The ignition switch replacement cost ranges from $135 to $193.

If the culprit turns out to be the fuel system, components of the fuel system must be fixed or replaced.

The replacement cost of the fuel pump ranges from $291 to $744. Replacing the fuel injector, however, could cost as low as $262 or as high as $319.

Related: Ford Bronco & Light: 14 Questions Answered (For Newbies)

2. Damaged Exhaust Gas Recirculation System Valve And Tubes

Several vehicle parts will be repaired or replaced during the service life of any vehicle. However, certain components of the EGR system, namely the tubes and valves, are more likely to be ruptured or damaged in the Bronco than in other vehicles.

This problem is more prominent in the fifth generation (1992—1996) Ford Broncos. However, the 1991 model is also affected.

The damaged tubes often lead to noise under the car hood. The leakage may allow fumes to escape the hood, which would cause discomfort to the occupants.

Another effect is the harm it causes to the environment.

The EGR system serves to reduce harmful emissions to the atmosphere. Thus, a problem with the EGR system disrupts the exhaust recirculation process of the vehicle. This leads to discharges that may violate federal standards for emission limits.

Causes and Solutions

There are several factors that can contribute to this problem, including wear and tear, heat, and poor maintenance. The valve should be cleaned at intervals. This is because there is bound to be an accumulation of carbon monoxide in the valve after a few thousand miles of driving.

You should replace it if cleaning does little to fix the problem.

You might notice a deteriorating performance of your engine. It could be a sign that you should either clean or replace your EGR valve. Cleaning or replacing your EGR valve can save you a lot of money that you would normally spend on engine repairs.

3. Damaged Intake Manifold Gasket

The intake manifold gasket could fail, resulting in an engine leak and eventually a decline in the overall performance of the vehicle. A poor engine performance causes deterioration in the engine’s lifespan.

The effects of a failed intake manifold gasket may include an idle engine. This reveals that a failed ignition module is not the only cause of a stall or idle engine.

The gaskets could also get sucked into the car engine, causing more complications such as blockage.

Another negative effect includes poor fuel economy. This inevitably leads to a higher cost of maintenance if you don’t fix the problem promptly. Also, the emissions that are eventually released are more dangerous and may exceed limits.

The problems related to the fuel economy come up when the air-fuel ratio becomes altered.

Intake manifold gasket failures, like many other problems, are reported to be more common in 4th and 5th generation Broncos.

The bottom line is there’s reduced power from the engine.

Causes and Solutions

Always look out for the Check Engine Light (CEL). It may come on for a variety of reasons, all related to the engine. The CEL can alert you if it detects an uneven air-fuel mixture or other anomalies in the engine.

While doing the daily routine check, observe for any fluid leaks like engine oil or coolant. The gaskets are seals that cover the cylinder heads. Hence, if they fail, fluid leaks are inevitable.

Note that many things can cause your engine performance to deteriorate, so it is not always a sign of damaged gaskets. However, get your engine checked if you notice any of the above in your car. Do not wait for too long, else the problems will escalate.

An example is that leaking fluids will usually only require that the gaskets be replaced. If you, however, do not replace them immediately, you could spend a lot more later on. Eventually, you’ll need to replace the intake manifold or even repair the engine.

According to RepairPal, the average replacement cost for the manifold gasket ranges from $310 to $385. This includes labor costs, which take up the bulk of the money. The replacement parts barely cost more than $20.

Related: Ford Bronco & Keys: 12 Questions Answered

4. Faulty Universal Joints

Drivers may notice loud vibrations at high speeds. The universal joints enable the attached shafts in the suspension to rotate freely. Hence, when they get damaged, the effects include vibrations and/or loud noises.

Universal joints last very long. However, rough driving, bumpy roads and poor maintenance will cause the joints to wear faster.

RepairPal estimates the average mileage of occurrence at 142,000 miles. Certain drivers observed the vibrations occurred at particular speeds.

In extreme cases, the drive shaft may fall off while driving, leading to accidents or even loss of lives.

Causes and Solutions

Several issues can cause this problem, including rough driving, rust, and general wear and tear. You should handle faulty universal joints with alacrity.

When you notice vibrations of any kind in your Bronco, call a mechanic and explain the situation.

Do not ignore the problem or postpone calling your mechanic. Continuous driving with a faulty universal joint may eventually lead to fatigue and ultimately fracture of the component.

It is better to tow the car to the repair shop or have the mechanic come to your location. Only drive if you must, in which case, drive carefully at low speeds.

Drive carefully when you approach bumpy roads. Ensure you take care of the underbody of your Bronco and protect against rust. The replacement cost for universal joints is less than $300, labor costs inclusive.

Other Problems With the Ford Bronco

A failing deferential clutch kit can also cause noises when driving at high speeds or taking turns. The vibration could  extend to the steering wheel. However, you can get an updated clutch kit to replace the old one.

Another problem that Bronco drivers might encounter is the failure of the plastic vacuum hoses. This occurs because of the effect of engine heat.

As time passes, the plastic becomes more susceptible to the engine heat and less flexible. The average mileage of occurrence stands at 166,166 miles.

As at this moment, the best solution to cracking or melting vacuum hoses is to get them replaced.

Related: Where Are Ford Broncos Made? (Solved & Explained)

General Pros and Cons of the Ford Bronco

Here are some pros and cons of the Ford Bronco:

Pros

Here are some advantages of the Ford Bronco:

  • Excellent engine performance
  • Exceptional off-road performance
  • Comfortable interior
  • Modern safety features

Cons

The following are downsides of  the Ford Bronco:

  • Stalling Engine And Delayed/No Start
  • Damaged Exhaust Gas Recirculation System Valve And Tubes
  • Damaged Intake Manifold Gasket
  • Faulty Universal Joints

What Is the Resale Value of Previous Model Years?

The Ford Bronco has a remarkable resale value. Ancient models may even become collectibles and can go for unusually high prices, usually at auctions.

Example: The 1990 model year has a higher resale value than the preceding years according to data from Edmunds.

Model Year Mileage (Miles) Resale Value ($)
1990 372,000 5,727
1992 348,000 2,519
1993 336,000 2,711
1994 324,000 2,977
1995 312,000 3,324
1996 300,000 3,719

The 2021 Ford Bronco marks the beginning of the 6th generation. Drivers who decide to sell their newly purchased Broncos can make large profits. This is owing to the high demand that the revived Bronco enjoys.

One can only speculate that the 6th generation Broncos would hold their values for a long time as we have seen with the previous generations.

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Ford Bronco doesn’t have a lot of reviews because of the fewer number of complaints reported. This is because production halted for over two decades. Top rating sites like RepairPal have no ratings for the Bronco.

However, J.D. Power gives the 2021 Ford Bronco an overall rating of 83%, with great ratings in its quality and reliability, driving experience and resale value.

J.D. Power ranks the 2021 Ford Bronco number 4 in top consumer rated SUVs. It’s next to the Chevy Trailblazer, Buick Encore and Nissan Rogue.

Final Thoughts

Only time will tell how well the Bronco will perform in the long run. However, the sixth generation Bronco has promising potential.

Also, from the way the Bronco was widely accepted when it was re-birthed, that’s a hint that drivers have missed the Bronco in the two decades that it was away.

If you plan on getting a Bronco for yourself, there are no red flags at the moment to stop you.

Resources

Ford Bronco Problems | repairpal.com

2021 Ford Bronco | carcomplaints.com 

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