Ford Fiesta ST: Long-Term Reliability Report

The saying goes “all good things must come to an end,” and that saying sadly now holds true for my 2017 Ford Fiesta ST’s bumper-to-bumper warranty. I bought my Fiesta ST brand new in August 2017 with 64 miles on the odometer. Two years and two months later, it hit 36,000 miles which also signifies the end of my 3 year/36k bumper-to-bumper warranty. While this is most definitely a sad state of affairs, I do still have the 5 year/60k powertrain warranty that covers the really important bits. And while I hope I never actually need to use that powertrain warranty, I have had to use the bumper-to-bumper coverage a few times. 

Exactly a year after I bought the car, I noticed dampness under the front passenger seat. There were a few stray water bottles left on the floor from my passengers, so I just assumed somebody left one of the caps loose. After the next big rain storm we confirmed that it was not a leaky water bottle and indeed a bigger issue. I took the car into the Ford dealer later that week and they found that the sunroof drain hose had become disconnected from the sunroof cassette. Instead of rainwater exiting to the ground it leaked down the top of the headliner, behind the B-pillar, and ultimately wound up pooling under the passenger seat. I researched this issue and couldn’t find any consistent reports of this happening to other people. My theory is the ST’s harsh ride mixed with New Jersey’s rough roads literally shook the piece loose. Part of driving a hot hatch is dealing with things the chassis was never initially designed for. The ST’s added ride stiffness over a regular Fiesta causes plenty of rattles elsewhere in the interior as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if issues like this continue to pop up given the circumstances.

The rear shocks were also repaired under warranty. I noticed the rear dampers seeping small amounts of oil about 20,000 miles into ownership. The rear of the ST is set up very stiff to help induce its infamous lift-off oversteer. This means it takes a bit more abuse over the bumps. I didn’t notice any decrease in body control, but I got these replaced at the dealer anyway. I have a set of Koni Single Adjustable shocks on standby for the next time this becomes an issue. 

Lastly, the dreaded blend door actuator! A bad blend door in a Fiesta is as common as a saggy glovebox in a BMW E36 3-series, and both are equally embarrassing. Every time you get into a Fiesta with a bad blend door, it sounds like something is fighting it’s way out from under your dashboard. I mean really trying to punch their way out. Everything still works properly, so this problem is purely an embarrassing noise. Mine went bad at roughly 25,000 miles, and I waited until just before the warranty expired to replace it. 

Overall, I’d say a lot of what went wrong in the amount of time I’ve owned ST was circumstantial. I drive this car hard on a daily basis taking numerous on/off-ramps with a hint of opposite-lock, and it never complains. Any car that you drive hard is going to wear at a faster rate than normal, and that seems to be what’s happening with my Fiesta ST.  The smiles-per-dollar of the Fiesta ST far outweigh the few common wear items and problem points. Even with those things in mind, I’m still excited for many more over-steery mornings with the “party on wheels!” 

Fiesta ST passenger side

1 thought on “Ford Fiesta ST: Long-Term Reliability Report”

Leave a Comment