Ford Expedition Rust and Paint Problems

sixtiesrocksixtiesrock Member Posts: 6
We own a 2003 Expedition (bought new) with 28,000 miles. Noticed yesterday that there is rust under the bubbled paint surronding the rear door latch cover. We have meticously kept this vehicle clean and spray waxed. Has anyone else had this problem and have any solutions to offer? I purchased extended warranty when it was new.......any recourse?


  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    You can get the feedback you want from owners in the main Ford Expedition discussion. Ford Expedition Owners: Problems & Solutions may also be helpful.

    tidester, host
  • tkhilliardtkhilliard Member Posts: 3
    i have the same problem. i got one small bubble on the outside of the hatch, and 5 bubbles inside the bottom of the hatch. ford dealership said it wont fix until theres an actual hole.or a tsb on it.(or tbs, something like that)
  • cntrysquirecntrysquire Member Posts: 2
    I've just discovered the same problem, bubbled paint on the rear hatch, near the latch and at the bottom edge of the door. My info says unless the rust causes a hole, the damage is only covered by the 3 year/36,000 warranty. Since I bought my Expedition in Oct 02 and it has 47,000 miles, I'm out of luck. Your original warranty could stilI be in force. Or if the extended warranty you bought is an extension of the bumper-to-bumper warranty you should be OK. I think it's crazy that a $40,000 vehicle, less than 4 years old is starting to rust, even if I do live in salt-crazy MN.
  • sixtiesrocksixtiesrock Member Posts: 6
    Hi tidester
    I took my 03 Expedition to the competing dealer in the city. My Expediton only has 23,000 miles on it. I had to pay $100.00 CDN and Ford did the rest as goodwill. Just out of curiosity is your Expediton lazer red? Mine is just wondering if the problem is with that color only. I also have extended warranty on mine ( I know it doesn't cover the paint but maybe it helped)
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Hi, sixtiesrock!

    Actually, it was tkhilliard who said he has the problem with his Expedition. I was only directing him to where he might find additional help.

    tidester, host
  • froggie1froggie1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Medium Wedgewood Blue Expedition and the same thing is happening to mine - in the same spot. I actually noticed the first small spot about about 3 months after I hit 36000 miles.
  • sixtiesrocksixtiesrock Member Posts: 6
    Hi froggie
    Must have been a bunch of them where they screwed up on the end gates. If you will notice the newer ones have a redesigned endgate. Best advice is go to your dealer and see if they will stand behind their product. Mention the goodwill thing from Ford. Good luck.
  • donsladonsla Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem. The dealer fixed it under the 3/36 warranty. The running boards on one side also began to rust (sport ed). They replaced....I worry about this vehicle. Where can I get a good deal on a warranty?...I'd consider trading in but would "lose my shirt". So can anyone suggest a warranty plan??? Thx!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Check out the Extended Warranties discussion.

    Steve, Host
  • tkhilliardtkhilliard Member Posts: 3
    mentioned the goodwill thing, they laughed.
    so ended up buying primer paint and clear from work, so 130 bucks later i got my materials and gonna fix it myself. i paint for a living but just didnt think i should have to repaint and fix a 3 year old vehicle
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    mentioned the goodwill thing, they laughed.

    That's when you reply that you'll laugh all the way to the Chevy/Toyota/Nissan/Dodge dealer next time, but first you're going to tell all your friends at Edmunds about the rust.

    It might not hurt to keep your receipts in case people start getting them fixed by the factory.

    Steve, Host
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,257
    the thing is, it's up to you to earn the 'goodwill'.
    if you are not a regular service customer, forget it.
    the service department reviews your history and goes from there.
    i have gotten goodwill a couple of times on different vehicles. this is also known as 'awa'. it's good for 6 years or 75k, whichever comes first. you usually have to pay part of the repair too.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • tkhilliardtkhilliard Member Posts: 3
    i've been searching around and there are ALOT of the new style (03 and up) with the rust spots on the hatch. youd think they'd do something. it would make them look better as a company to admit fault and repair,, to me anyway. when i was in there one tech mentioned something about the new style f-150 doors rusting on the bottoms and they are covered, but not the expedition hatch? kinda crappy but what can ya do.
  • fundadfundad Member Posts: 27
    Not true. Never had a vehicle in for service. I have always done my own. When the trany went on my explorer at 55,000 miles (19,000 miles past the warrantee) the dealer replaced it as good will and I only had to pay $38.00 for shop materials.
  • salty600xsalty600x Member Posts: 3
    I have a 03 gas guzzling expedition with the same rust bubble problem also, I thought it was just mine! BTW, just traded it in on a nissan murano that gets double the gas milage.. see ya
  • fundadfundad Member Posts: 27
    I went out today to wash my 03 E.B. and noticed the same. I checked it and found that the hatch is aluminum, not metal. Cant be rust I guess. lol
  • ekm1ekm1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 03 Expedition under warranty for a few more weeks...blistering at the tailgate was fixed under warranty but now it is blistering on the inside panel with the outer skin meets the inner and blistering from the seam. They said they will fix it but will not cover it again if it blister more. Asked for replacement...said no, asked for additional 3 years on tailgate repairs...said no. Great company and products!!!
  • cntrysquirecntrysquire Member Posts: 2
    I just had the "bubbling paint" on the rear lift gate on my 03 Expedition fixed. They said the lift gate is aluminum so it isn't rust but bad paint/aluminum adhesion. My Expedition has nearly 50,000 miles, and I had no history with the dealership (the guy who sold me the truck had just changed dealerships 2 months prior), and they still fixed it under some vague "goodwill policy". They claimed that Ford would pay 60%, the dealership 20% and me 20%. I considered this an admission of guilt to a manufacturing defect and considered pushing for full payment by Ford/dealer. In the end I agreed to pay $200. I wonder how long this repair will last.
  • homey7homey7 Member Posts: 5
    I went to look at a 03 Expy for sale the other day and it had the same problem, it was red. Seems like wuite a large issue. I am now going to look at an 04. Maybe its a little better. Paint just does not stick to aluminum well. But it will at least reduce rust problems.
  • rowensrowens Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem on my 2003 Grand Marquis except it is on the roof. The paint rises up and pops off. There is definitely rust underneath. Dealer told me that it had to rust a hole in the material before warranty would cover. Has anyone had this problem on other areas of their Ford or Mercury models?
  • ricardopricardop Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Eddie Bauer and I had problems with rust on the undercarriage only a few years after purchasing it.

    Now the car has a rust on the roof produced by the rust and the bottom of the back passenger side door is rusting to piesces.

    Anybody has similar issues?
  • knotaknota Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 F-150 with paint blistering on the edge of the hood. Ford knows they have a problem, just trying to keep it to themselves. I found out today by searching the internet that they issued a technical service bulletin on December 27, 2004 titled Aluminum Corrosion, number 04-25-1. The issue as described in the bulletin: "Some Vehicles may exhibit bubbling or blistering under the paint on aluminum body parts. This is due to iron contamination of the aluminum panel." The bulletin goes on to say, "Testing has revealed that the aluminum corrosion was caused by iron particles working their way into the aluminum body part, prio to painting."

    It covers most 2000 to 2004 larger cars, suv's and pick-ups including the expedition, explorer and f-150.

    Now you know the problems, a latent manufacturing defect. So far no luck in getting for to fix the problem. They say their corrosion warranty won't cover it unless the metal is perforated, even though they label the service bulletin as aluminum corrosion.
  • corinnamcorinnam Member Posts: 1
    I feel your pain. We have a 2003 Expedition and it's totally bubbling and peeling on the back gate. Ford says since it's not corrosion and it's past the 5 year warranty, they will pitch in $400 to have it re-painted. The body shop said they have repainted these, just to have it bubble off soon again. This is very frustrating and I swear I'll never buy another Ford Product again.
  • rodeogirlrodeogirl Member Posts: 1
    Hi - I have a 2004 Escape I bought new and I have paint lifting off down to the primer on the rear lift gate at the top edge and it's beginning on the hood now too. Ford is stonewalling me and is refusing to help fix this paint problem. I also have doors corroding from the inside out on all four but the drivers side is worst. They only are saying they are willing to fix the one door. No help on paint! This sounds like enough for a group of people to take paint issues to Ford for a class action.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    You people need to understand that the only protection you get when you buy a car is lemon law and the car warranty. If something is not covered by warranty, then you don't have recourse against Ford.

    Now if you feel that Ford is wrongly denying warranty coverage for a problem that SHOULD be covered then you have something to talk about.
  • bigtonybigtony Member Posts: 1
    Iam having the same problem with my 2003 F150 the dealer repainted the hood about a year ago but its back
  • selectusernameselectusername Member Posts: 3
    ricardop: I have a 2000 EB too and had it at the dealer for regular 75K service. They are telling me I need to do $3,000 of repairs, mostly due to rust. I cannot believe this.

    I don't live in a region where they use salt on the roads and I park in a garage every night. I'm thinking there is a defect with the vehicle. Would like to find out how many others are having the problem to determine if Ford has some responsibility beyond warranty.

    Did you end up doing repairs? Did you spend a lot? Thanks.
  • ricardopricardop Member Posts: 2
    At the end of the story I ended up repainting the vehicle and in the process we founded multiple areas with rust. Mud guard, roof, hood, ens of doors ect...

    I think if enough people get together there is room for a class action....they know they bought a bad batch of steel for this vehicle but they are hiding behind the warranty time issue.
  • buzzz1buzzz1 Member Posts: 42
    Where is the rust and why does it cost 3,000?

    The truck is supposed to be covered by a 5 year rust through warranty.
  • selectusernameselectusername Member Posts: 3
    The rust was mostly around the wheels, and on some transmission parts. They had to fix:

    - Front rotors and front hubs (they couldn't take the rotors off, they were "rusted onto the hubs" so had to change the hubs too)
    - Rear axle seals. In doing that, they noticed the backing plates were rusted and needed to be changed.
    - Transfer case output seal and slip yoke and U-joint (rusted)
    - Rear rotors: Had to be changed because the park brake, which is mounted inside the rotors, was in very poor shape (not sure if this was rust-related though).

    A few other non-rust maintenance items were performed as well.

    The 5 year rust warranty doesn't apply, it's a 2000 model.
  • laf7laf7 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 XLT and have problems with rust underneath also. The parking brake was so rusted that it broke into pieces jamming up the rear wheel and had to be removed. Now my rotors are so rusted in the rear they have to be replaced. I only have 55,313 miles on it and it has always been in the garage and kept clean. My sway bar in the front end is also broke on both sides and needs replaced. So much for "Built Ford tough" I won't buy another Ford product.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Just how old does a truck have to be before its allowed to rust?

    Did you always do an undercarriage clean after driving on salt covered roads?

  • selectusernameselectusername Member Posts: 3
    To be saying this you must either be a Ford representative or have very very low standards (perhaps you've only driven american lemons?)

    I can't imagine any consumer accepting rust on a $40,000 vehicle after 8 years and 75,000 miles, at a time when salt is not used on roads anymore.

    I have a 1997 Honda CRV that's been driven in the same region and weather conditions, has 140,000 Miles, and doesn't have a spot of rust.
  • charlibobcharlibob Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 F150 with very extensive rust on the roof... to the point of going clear through the metal in places. This only started appearing early this year. There is only 48,000 on it, although I guess that isn't a factor. I don't live in an area where salt is used on the road.

    I just got the stock answer from Ford that rust is only covered for five years, and that there was no history of complaints about rusting on this line of vehicles. I got two estimates from body shops. One would agree to cut out the dollar size rust spots, there are 8 of them, weld new patches in place, do corrosion treatment, and repaint the top for $1600. The other shop refused to do patches, saying that they would not be satisfactory, and wanted $3000 to replace the roof.

    From reading through this thread, it seems Ford has a problem with the rust issue that needs to be addressed, even if out of warranty. Anyone else have some ideas.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    I can understand being upset with the rust mentioned by the previous poster under his vehicle. I can't see however how rust on the roof "snuck up" on you. Dollar sized rust spots going through the metal in less than a year??? Surely there was some bubbled paint or small spots showing up earlier. Do you wax your vehicle?
  • wilson1971wilson1971 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Ford Expedition EL and at 37000 miles I have found that the paint is bubbling near the right side of the lic. plate. Ford has rejected the claim numerous times.

    Let me know if anybody has experienced this issue.
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Member Posts: 339
    Very common problem. It is an aluminum tailgate so it is oxidation as opposed to rust. Some people have luck getting it fixed at no cost, others are not so lucky.
  • jkl4jkl4 Member Posts: 1
    Have an appt with the dealer to address peeling paint or plastic coated metal panel on the two panels flanking the back lift gate glass on 2007 Nav-L. It is peeling from the top down, no apparent rust.
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Member Posts: 339
    I'd guess they will fix that for you. If it is the same as earlier models, it is an easy panel to switch, they are riveted into the body and with the quarter windows opened you have great access. I had one ripped off my car while it was in transit to me across the country and it was no big deal. It was a bigger deal that the thing held on for a while and gouged the quarter panel. Would have been nicer had it just come completely off.
  • kennyk1019kennyk1019 Member Posts: 1
    One day after a hard rain my daughter says dad the car is leaking by the passenger door. Hmmmm, we thought it was the windshield, we climb up on the roof and every grooved slot is rotted out one cracked straight through.. Of course they deny the claim. Makes me sick.. 3K to replace te entire roof. I siliconed it up for now..">
  • jamjimjamjim Member Posts: 1
    Noticed roof rust (blistering) in the front end of channels over cab. My truck is like new inside and out, but this rust looks like a manufacturer's production problem. Local dealer said, your out of warranty (by a few months) and must call Ford. Called Ford, they said we'll check into it and have your local dealer call you. Two months later no call from dealer, but I did receive a Ford Customer Satisfaction Survey.

    I got an estimate from a local body shop, but the guy stopped me in my tracks, when he said, We've had hundreds of F-150's and Expeditions with rust problems. My jaw dropped.

    Is there any hope for a fix from Ford or am I just another long time Ford Guy who is finding out that Ford has some problems and doesn't give a flip about me?

    Thanks for any insight.

    Jim Colbert
  • wgardenswgardens Member Posts: 1
    sorry - hit return and my last post went up with no content. Ford has a bad habit of covering up their defects... seems like tons of people are suffering this bubbling of the paint. Anyone interested in a class-action lawsuit against them? please contact me at [email protected]
  • johnnyp1039johnnyp1039 Member Posts: 1
    Another rust story - I'm a clean freak about my vehichles - I noticed my 2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer is rusting/bubbling near the right side of the lic. plate. Noticed numerous issues with this - Is Ford doing anything to fix this??
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Member Posts: 339
    The good news is that it isn't rust, it's oxidation of the aluminum panel. The bad news is that they probably won't do anything about it. there are numerous TSB's on the issue, and that is one of the spots. Doesn't hurt to try though, especially if you have a strong "good will" position with your dealership - i.e. buy from them, get service done there, repeat customer, etc etc.

    I haven't had the issue on my '03, but have on my '04. First by the lift glass, and now around the license plate frame as you described. Had the first spot fixed around 2 years ago and it is still good. Going to get the new spot fixed shortly. They spot fixed it, reshot the color on the area and then clear coated the whole panel again. You will probably find more of the same on the bottom inside seam on the panel where the inner and outers are welded together. I can live with that because you'll never see it.
  • mtcarmelfoxmtcarmelfox Member Posts: 13
    Do a fast internet search for factory paint defect. Problems are occurring with all the automakers. Anytime an issue occurs, why don't the dealer review the dutability criteria for each of the individual layers. That will rule out if the damage is due to a factory paint defect, environment, design or a common TSB issue.
  • drequetdrequet Member Posts: 5
    My 2005 did this in the same spot. I had bought it new in 2005. At 37,000.00 miles it started that bubbling. My dealer said no way - out of warranty. I got in touch with Ford and since I did buy it new and it is probably our 8th or 9th new Ford in the past 20 years, they paid the dealer to repaint it. A friend of mine is the painter for this Ford dealership. He said he can paint it but it will happen again. Two years later it bubbled up again in the same spot - got rid of it in Dec. I had the fuel pump problem and it was going to take three months to get a fuel pump. By the way Ford did pay my diagnostic bills on that. Love those Expeditions but doubt if I'll ever buy another one.
  • jroyaltyjroyalty Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2004 Expedition (<50k miles) and its roof started rusting maybe a year ago but didn't perforate until 2 weeks ago. The dealer says the Ford warranty on perforation is 5 years (I checked the warranty manual and he's right). Unfortunately we've had the truck 5 1/2 years. My 2003 F-150 did the exact same thing 2 years ago but said it was covered b/c there was "less than 100k miles on it" according to the body shop person (never checked the warranty manual). We live 6 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. I don't know if this contributed to this or not - you would think not. A little disturbing that both my trucks have/had the issue.
  • wendygirl276wendygirl276 Member Posts: 3
    I noticed recently that my 2006 Expedition ( only 28,000 miles) has rusted spots in the channels on the roof. Ford's warranty won't fix it because the rust didn't go through yet to the interior!?!? By the time THAT happens the 5 year warranty will be expired. They want to charge me $1000.00 to repair the roof. I will definitely not be purchasing another Ford. Should have listened to those who warned me about Ford 4 years ago before my purchase.
  • stargo61stargo61 Member Posts: 1
    I like all here am having the same problem. I contacted my dealer and Ford Customer service in Dearborn without any recourse...basically the just said no it wouldn't be covered under warranty. I am not familiar with the class action process, but I'd imagine we have some cause. If someone else if familiar please say so, I am going to look into how this might be addressed and can keep you apprised. It is roughly $1000 to fix, but there is no guarantee that it won't keep happening.
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Member Posts: 339
    Are you talking about the hatch or the roof issue? If they prep the hatch properly by stripping and starting from bare metal it shouldn't keep happening.
    I got a quote of 650 for mine. I previously did a spot treatment, which is still fine but another spot came up. Rather than chase it around I'm going to do the whole thing.
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