Fast Ford - - Buyer’s Guide Mondeo St220 -

It’s all about the en­gine. The source of the ST220’s grunt comes from its Amer­i­can-made Du­ratec-ST, an over­sized lump of al­loy that can mean death to a Mon­deo if all goes wrong.

But that’s not to say it will, be­cause 150,000 miles is usu­ally noth­ing to worry about. Usu­ally…

Cru­cially, lis­ten for nasty knock­ing, beware of blue smoke or steam from the ex­hausts and steer well clear of any ST220 en­gine that doesn’t sound smooth. It’s pos­si­ble that tick­ing noises could re­sult from camshaft bear­ing caps or belt ten­sion­ers ( which are rel­a­tively mi­nor fixes) but crip­pling is­sues could be lurk­ing be­neath. An owner sell­ing a stut­ter­ing ST220 or a car with poor idle may claim it just needs a coil pack or spark plugs ( ad­mit­tedly tricky to change the rear bank), but such symp­toms also point to head gas­ket fail­ure and an ap­point­ment with the scrap man.

Mis­fires, poor per­for­mance, rough idling and ex­ces­sive fuel con­sump­tion could also be caused by the throt­tle po­si­tion sen­sor, air­flow me­ter, vacuum hoses ( per­ished pipes lead to in­duc­tion is­sues) or ECU but you’ll need a thor­ough di­ag­no­sis to work out what’s wrong.

Oil leaks are pretty com­mon, if not easy to solve. You’ll al­most cer­tainly see gunge around the front ex­haust man­i­fold, but chances are it’s dripped from the filler neck when be­ing topped up.

Noth­ing is easy to ac­cess un­der the bon­net, thanks to the V6 en­gine orig­i­nally be­ing de­signed for rear-wheel- drive ap­pli­ca­tions and squeezed into place be­neath the Mon­deo’s bon­net. This means a ten­dency for pipes, hoses and wires to chafe; the loom around the bat­tery, bulk­head and al­ter­na­tor is es­pe­cially prone.

Coolant leaks are po­ten­tially cat­a­strophic, and it takes only a pin­hole in one worn hose to re­sult in to­tal en­gine melt­down (the car in th­ese pho­to­graphs suf­fered that ex­act fate while still rel­a­tively new).

Fuel pump fail­ure is also fairly com­mon ( of­ten at around 100,000 miles), re­sult­ing in non-start­ing. The fix in­volves drop­ping the tank, but many bodgers cut holes be­neath the back seat to gain ac­cess.

Ser­vic­ing is due ev­ery 12,500 miles but the tim­ing chain should last the life of the en­gine. A rat­tling chain of­ten sig­nals the end of its life…

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