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Top FAQS for the Ford Scorpio



Is there anywhere I can find the answer to a problem quickly?

Yes.  There is a new Fault Finding page with all the latest advice

Buying a Scorpio

I'm looking to buy a Scorpio. Do you have any advice on what to look for?

Yes. There is a detailed list of things to check on Buyers Advice

DO NOT buy a Scorpio without reading this first.

Workshop Manual

Will I be able to buy a Haynes manual for the Scorpio in the future or can I get a Ford workshop manual?

No. Haynes have no plans to write a manual and Ford only supply to their Main Dealers. The Scorpio was only in production from 10/94 to 7/98 and we must assume that the production numbers fail to justify the cost. However, in 2002 Ford (Europe) sent us the Technical Information System (TIS) disk covering the Scorpio.  We have converted these files into PDF (Acrobat) format so you can download the sections of the Workshop Manual that you need from Servicing/Repairs

Join the Mailing List or the Forum to talk to knowledgeable members about technical problems.

All new owners need to read the Owners Handbook.

Vehicle Service

Do I have to get a Ford Main Dealer to service the car?

No. The schedule and details of the service is here

Battery Cover

Should I be able to see the battery? I notice a screw thread sticking up from the battery retention plate.

No you should not be able to see the battery. It should be protected by a plastic cover which fits neatly in the partition. It prevents water running into the ancillary fuse box and relay box, which are fitted next to the battery. If these become waterlogged all sorts of weird electrical symptoms will occur. Obtain and fit a cover as soon as possible, Finis for RHD is 1 011 540, for LHD 1 011 536

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you keep the battery shelf drain holes clear - check this at least yearly


Where did you get those splendid exploded diagrams from? Aren't they Ford Catalogue images?

The exploded diagrams are pre-production images for the Ford parts catalogue and they were sent to us by Ford with permission to use them on the site to help their Scorpio customers.


Do you think that the Scorpio is Fords' best ever large long distance tourer?




Headlight Masks

I’m going abroad soon but I can’t find any masks for the headlights.

The headlights can be adjusted yourself – see Headlights for how to change them, and back again.

Jump Starting

Is it true that the electronics on the Scorpio can be damaged by jump-starting or welding?

Yes. Follow this advice before jump-starting to - or from - the Scorpio, and warn any workshop staff before welding on your car.

Headlamp Washers

My Scorpio is supposed to have headlamp washers, but there are only flat shapes on the front bumper.

The washers are there. They pop up under water pressure when they operate and then drop back flush when out of use.

Windscreen/HL Washers blocking up


For some reason my windscreen washers keep blocking up. I clear the washers but then they block again.

This is most often caused by a previous owner adding washing-up liquid to the reservoir - the soap reacts with the proper washer fluid and forms a 'cotton wool' contaminant. The best way to fix this is to remove the reservoir from the offside wing and flush the whole system out.

Indicators Don't Flash


The indicators don’t flash when I lock the doors with the remote so I don’t know if they are locked are not. Should they flash and can I get them to?

This is a pain. For some reason, on UK vehicles Ford did not set the indicators to flash confirmation of the doors locking. The computer can be programmed to do so using FDS2000 or the later WDS, but Ford will charge. Ask to have it done during a service and negotiate the price with the service manager; or have a look at these mods.


My remote has stopped working. Do I have to get Ford to reprogram it?

No. The instructions in the handbook are wrong. Look at Remote Control Reset for instructions to do it yourself.


Do I need additional immobilisers on my Scorpio?

No. Security on the Scorpio is very good. The locks are covered against slimjims and the PATS immobilises the entire engine management system so that even an identical key won’t work. It could be towed away, though - and make sure your car keys are safe because if they are stolen, so is your car.

Alarm & Electrical problems:

instruments resetting

My alarm keeps going off for no apparent reason. Other symptoms include electrical systems like climate control and the instrument needles flicking round when starting.

Modern batteries are known to fail very suddenly - this can happen literally overnight!  In the failing period system voltage can drop below a critical level and this causes electronic modules to reset.  Have the battery discharge tested and replace as necessary.

Next suspect the alternator - even if it is charging if the diodes fail it can cause odd symptoms.

Also check the Battery Cover above.

Instruments only show half way

Sometimes the fuel and temperature gauges show half, even when completely cold. They flick back later. What is this?

This is a common fault in the soldering on the circuit board for the instrument panel. A new one costs about £150 - but an owner has worked out how to repair it.

Replacing Battery

I nearly ruptured myself putting the new battery onto the shelf. Is this a joke or what?

The battery shelf has a partition that can be removed. If you lift the sealing rubber off the top of the compartment wall and look closely at the side you'll see two 'fir tree' fasteners each side that can be removed. The front of the battery partition comes away and makes the job a lot easier - especially with the heavy duty battery!  See Replace Battery.

WIndows One-touch operation

After I changed the battery I notice that the windows won't one-touch open or close any more. Is something broken?

No. The window module needs reprogramming to the window positions. Simply open the window on the button until it's fully down, then release and press the down button for 1 second. Then wind the window fully up on the button, release and hold the Up button for 1 second. That's it - job's done.

Electrical Gremlins

The car has suddenly taken to odd behaviour, like the lights coming on and the windows opening by themselves.

This is most often caused by water ingress into the fuse box, (beneath the driver's side windscreen), or the auxillary fuse box, See Drainholes

An Owner has repaired a main fuse box.

If the lights alone are effected, check the rear of the headlight switch - these can overheat.

Instrument Bulbs

How do I change the bulbs in the fascia?

Full instructions on Fascia Bulbs

KPH on Trip Computer

How do I change the Trip Computer from Litres/Km to Gallons/Miles?

Press and hold the S button and then press the R button. This will flip the display from Metric to Imperial. You will hear a chime when it changes. If nothing happens the switch contacts are probably dirty. You can dismantle the unit and clean the contacts (use extreme care when opening), or you can buy a new one from a Main Dealer, Finis 7142892

And look at the handbook.



Engine Rattle from Cold

My 24V has a slight rattle when started from cold.

There is a known fault with the earlier o/s cam chain tensioner on the 24V Cosworth. These are hydraulic and drain overnight. A redesigned one can be fitted cost about £200. See Faults.

If the rattle persists, or you can hear the rattle while the engine is hot then you need to consider changing the timing chains as a matter of urgency.

This whole issue is discussed at length here.

Cleaning the Engine

I want to get the engine clean. Could I use a pressure-washer?

No, No, No! Hi pressure water or steam can remove waterproof grease on the electrical multiplugs, soak the ignition and alternator and cause great expense. See Engine Cleaning

Change Drive (fan) belts

How do I change the drive belts on my Scorpio?

Instructions for changing the drive belts for all models is on Drivebelts.

Transmission Noise

Sometimes when I accelerate hard or the cruise control is on I get a heavy vibration as if I'm going over a cattle grid. What is this?

This noise has been reported by many owners, and may be caused by a worn seal on the transmission fluid pump, see Cattle Grid. Owners have experienced the noise for years without it getting worse.

Cambelts Change?
I don’t want to take chances – should the cambelt be changed on the DOHC engine?

No. Fibre timing belts are not used on the Scorpio engine. They use simplex chains which do not require changing in normal service. See Timing Chains

Auto Gearbox O/D light flashes

Auto Gearbox behaves strangely
The overdrive light keeps flashing, and the auto gearbox is behaving strangely. I've been told that the gearbox probably needs changing, would this be true?


My gearbox behaves strangely - it won't change gear properly but the O/D light doesn't flash

- First of all, clean the MAF sensor. This becomes sooty and can cause loss of O/D and incorrect ratio errors.

- DOHC owners can find insulation problems with their engine looms

- The DOHC and 24V owners can read their own Diagnostic Trouble Codes (see OBD Reader). Once you have the reading you can put it up on the Mailing List for advice.

- 12V and possibly diesel owners may check their EECIV codes

- Very rarely, owners of earlier Scorpios have experienced problems with the engine bay wiring.

- You can test your own gearbox loom - see Looms

Automatic Gearbox Errors

I have a problem with the auto box but my garage tells me they can’t find it.

Well, they have no excuses. FDS2000 and WDS reads problem codes (DTCs) direct from the EEC-V. Start banging the manager’s table or take it to a different Main Dealer, or find another owner who has an OBD lead - many owners have successfully diagnosed their own problems and repaired them successfully.

Engine Part-Throttle Misfire

My engine has started to misfire on part throttle

Check all of the plumbing for the EGR carefully, because this can leak air into the inlet manifold. Sometimes the pipes have been damaged or have worked loose. See Misfire and EGR

Engine Hesitation at Speed

Not to be mistaken for an actual misfire (above) I can feel the engine definitely hesitate at mid-throttle around 60mph to 75 mph.

In several cases owners have experienced this and traced it to failing HO2S sensors. This effected the fuelling of the engine, although there was no other symptom.

DOHC Misfire

My DOHC engine has developed a misfire during idle and at higher rpm the engine misfires again. I've changed the spark plugs but it's still the same.

This is most often caused by the wiring between the engine sensors, the spark modules and the EECV control module. On the DOHC engines this is called the Fuel Cut Off loom and can be repaired or replaced by the owner. Use proper waterproof grease for the connectors, Finis 5 030 186.

Poor Idle Quality

My Scorpio idle is poor. Sometimes the engine races: on other occasions the engine stumbles and stalls. I've tried to clean the Idle Control Valve.

Newer engines are less susceptible to dirty IAC valves, although this often worked on the 12V Cologne engine.

Poor Idle gives some detail for this issue. Also look at the Idle test on the Comprehensive Component Monitor in OBD2

In the case of a racing idle when cold, this may simply be caused by a nearly empty fuel tank, or a loosely applied petrol filler cap.

I’ve been told that the DOHC2000 16V is from the RS2000. Is this true?

Yes. The 16V is an updated version of the RS2000 engine, sharing some parts, like the valves for example.

2.3 Timing Chains

I’ve heard that the DOHC 2.3 engine is prone to breaking timing chains. Is this true?

No. Early versions of the engine had some trouble with the secondary balancer shafts drive chains, but they were changed in production in 1996.

This engine is used in the 2.3 Galaxy, (mounted transversely) and is a powerful and refined unit.

2.5 Diesel
Is the Scorpio 2.5 TDI Diesel the same as in the Granada?

Yes, both use the Vittori-manufactured (VM) turbo-diesel. In 9/96  an updated VM diesel with more power and torque was introduced. See Granada to Scorpio

LPG Conversion

Can the Scorpio engines be converted to LPG?

Yes, owners have converted several engines to LPG and they have written up their work on 16V and 24V


Steel Wheels

My Scorpio has steel wheels. Did Ford have a range of Alloys for fitment?

Yes. If they are still available, you can see the Ford alloys in Alloy Options. The Scorpio changed to a 4 stud pattern rather than the 5 stud fitted to Granadas.

Steering Wander

My Scorpio seems to wander about on the road, following the camber etc. Could this be down to the tyres?

Badly worn tyres can cause steering wander. On some cars the front radius arms (wishbone) inner bushes have failed and these are serviceable. Worn outer balljoints are not, however, and the radius arm (wishbones) must be replaced.

Steering Wander II

I have steering wander and excessive front tyre wear. I've been told that the rack bushes are shot and that the rack isn't serviceable. Is this right?

No. The rack bushes (actually they are ball joints) are replaceable. See Bushes

However, internal steering rack wear is not owner -repairable because Ford has not issued a repair kit. Replacement Racks can be purchased for £250 - £400.

Steering Shake

I have noticed a steering shake. The tyres were balanced and I noticed that a wheel rim was flattened on the inside. Could this cause it?

Yes. A flattened rim on the front will cause a steering shake and on the rear it will cause a drone, increasing in loudness with speed. On alloy wheels inner rims are prone to damage even at a very low speed so avoid kerbing and treat ramps with great care. See Alloy Care

Steering Shake at parking speeds

I've noticed a heavy shake on the steering wheel when I'm parking. Is this usual?

Ford recognised a problem with the power steering pressure pipe and issued several Technical Service Bulletins to replace the pipe for a different one. This can still be done, cost about £100. See production history

Steering Shake after garage work

After a service I notice that the steering shakes when I manoeuvre at low speeds. Have the garage broken something?

No. This has been reported by many owners and is very common. The steering has been on full droop on the lift and is now adjusting back to normal position. The 'shake' will disappear after a few days.

Steering shake under light braking

When I brake lightly I can feel the steering shaking- but not when I brake hard.

This is often caused by a warped brake disk, and they may need changing. Bear in mind that a corroded or warped rear as well as front disk can cause steering shake because of the fluid-pressure effect through to the front calipers.

Suspension Rattle

I can hear a rattling noise from the suspension

A light rattling noise going over rough surfaces is most often the Link Arms between the anti-roll (stabiliser) bar and the front stub-axles.

A heavier clonking noise (at low maneouvring speed and changing steering lock) is most often a failing inner radius arm (wishbone) bush.

Handbrake Lever too high

My handbrake lever is too high and it will fail the MOT. DO I lower it using the adjuster on the cable?

No, No, NO ! This is the Handbrake Cable Adjuster, not the handbrake adjuster ! The handbrake should adjust itself automatically by the mechanism inside the rear brake calipers. See Adjust Handbrake



Air Conditioning performance
My climate control doesn’t seem to keep my feet cool.

The climate control computer needs resetting from time to time.

Climate Control performance

On very hot days my climate control struggles to get the temperature down. Is it working correctly?

Yes, the system is set very conservatively to prevent the evaporator from freezing up. However, this modification lowers the vent temperatures.

Air Conditioning Faults

I don't know much about airconditioning. If something goes wrong will I have to pay a main dealer?

No. If you have a problem with the air conditioning or climate control virtually every possibility is covered on AC Index

A Granada site says that changes between the Scorpio and the Granada were just cosmetic

Body panels, transmission, front and rear suspension, engine management, all the engines, internal wiring, fascia, radio, instruments, front seats and security systems were all redesigned. Circuit testers must not be used on the central-locking or airbag systems. The basic floorpan remained unchanged. Oh, and some of the window glass is the same. See Granada to Scorpio

Luggage Cover Rattles
On my Estate the luggage cover rattles and creaks when I drive over rough ground. Is this a known problem?

Yes. Ford revised the end caps for the luggage cover. You can order them and fit them yourself. Finis 1 040 316. Alternatively, fit the rubber bands Nokia use on the wire for their mobile phone chargers around the squares on the end caps. See Faults.

Cleaning the Leather
I’ve not had a leather interior before. How can I clean the seats without them squeaking?

Never use silicon polishes on the leather. For info on how to clean the seats properly, go to Working on the Interior

I thought that the new Scorpios had updated radios in them, but mine has the old style Ford 2007 fitting.

The audio systems for the Scorpio remained the same as the Granada until the second half of 1995, when the new double-height 5000 to 7000 units were fitted in production. For wiring details see Radio

If you want to upgrade the earlier radio to the later model see Upgrade

I’ve had Granadas for years but how is the Scorpio different from them?

Go to Granada to Scorpio for details of all the changes.

The Scorpio is coming up to nine years old. Are there any modifications available to upgrade it?

Yes. Some of our owners have used their considerable technical skills to upgrade some of the Scorpio's functions. See Mods Index



Estate Rear Wiper

How on earth do I get the rear wiper off my Estate?

This is shown in the handbook, see wipers

Estate Tailgate loose

The tailgate on my Estate is loose and rattles badly.

The locking pin for the tailgate is covered with a plastic sleeve to prevent the metal-to-metal rattle with the latch lever. See Tailgate

Ultima Badges

Recently I saw a Scorpio with Ultima badges on the rear doors. Why are they not on mine?

The Ultima door badge was introduced in 1996. You can fit them - and other - badges as shown here.

Missing Kerb Lights

I notice that earlier Ultimas had kerb lights and warning lights on the doors, but they are missing on my 98 Ultima. What's happened to them?

In November 1997 Ford introduced the facelift model Scorpio and some of the minor detailing, like the kerb and door lights and the illuminated passenger mirror, were deleted.

Bodywork Protection

Is there any advice to prevent corrosion on the Scorpio?

Yes, check out the rustproofing pages.



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