Ford Galaxy (1995–2006)

What's good

Owner's helpsite

Club for owners of all Fords, old and new:

User's website:

What to watch out for

Hard to park.

2.8 VR6 okay in manual form but VR6 autos guzzle fuel.

You have to open the doors to turn the GL's front seats right round.

Lots of quality problems.

On early models, water can enter car via ventilation, soak the underfloor and get into the ECU which controls the electric windows and alarm system. (On later models, this ECU has been moved.)

Aircon vulnerable to front end shunts. (Also shifted in later models.)

TDIs can blow turbos and catalytic converters.

Pre 1999MY key-lock immobiliser models suffer same security design fault as Passats, A4s and early Golf Mk IVs. Thieves can pop out the lock barrel then use the same screwdriver to turn lock so all the windows open and alarm sensors are disabled.

On early Galaxy 2000MY the two rear seats are very difficult to put upright and to remove. The padding was increased in the foam for 2000 models, made them harder to tumble over (or impossible).

Came last in 'P' reg J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey, but by 'R' reg had improved. Only 82% breakdown free in 2003 Which survey.

1995-1997 poor for breakdowns, problems and faults; 1998-2000 average for breakdowns, poor for problems and faults; 2001-2003 average for problems, poor for breakdowns and faults in 2003 Which survey. 9th from bottom out of 137 models in 2003 Top Gear survey.

2004 Which? quote: "Happier in the local garage than on the open road, the Galaxy can cost you an arm and a leg to run. Lacks loading and storage space, too." Can also suffer ABS failures. Engine mounting bolts of 2.3 litre petrol engines are prone to shearing after 5 - 6 years.

Replaced by Mondeo/S60 based S-MAX 7-seater in 2006.

Make sure 7-seaters are genuine seven-seaters with rearmost area heating and not just 5-seaters with two extra seats clipped in.

Make sure recall work carried out.

Beware if wipers won't turn off. Water gets into wiper motors, corroding them. New motors £500. First symptom they will not turn off.

Vital to check that the aircon works properly as this is a common failure and fixing it can be very expensive.

Air mass meters on TDI 110s can suffer failure through corrosion.

Brake servo pipes of TDI 90 and 110s can fail leading to lack of servo assistance.

Intermittent power loss on TDI 90s and 110s may be due to one of the following:- sticking turbo due to dirty oil; dirty or faulty mass airflow sensor; exhaust gas recircularion solenoid valve sticking open; wastegate valve actuator rod sticking; faulty throttle switches; faulty temperature sensor; loose or leaking brake servo pipe or turbo boost pipe from fuel pump to turbo; faulty ECU.

Clonks from the front of a 2.3 petrol model may mean one or more engine mounting bolts have sheared.

Problems with Ford 5-speed manual box on early TDIs. On 6-speed twin shaft manuals the gearchange from 1st to 2nd can become still. First stage dealer cure is to replace the transmission oil. If that fails, it needs a synchro ring replacing. So if your box stiffens up, make sure it is attended to before the warranty expires.

Ford dealers unable to work on Galaxy 2.8 automatic with the "Tiptronic AG5" gearbox as it is purely VW and they do not have VAG diagnostic equipment. Problem of stretched timing chains on VR6s and chains actually breaking at around 90,000 miles.

Reports of valve box failures on Galaxy TDI 115s with JATCO 5-speed auto.

JATCO advises owners not to carry out AUTOMATIC transmission fluid changes hemselves because it's difficult to ensure the correct amount is added (the gearbox needs to be run to a specific temperature - This requires diagnostic equipment) and probably they will use the wrong oil, e.g. Land Rover Discovery ATF is different from a Land Rover Freelander, and Jaguar X-Type (Jatco) uses different ATF to a Land Rover Freelander (Jatco).

Reconditioned JATCO automatic transmissions around £1,000 from Factory exchange JATCO automatic transmissions (more expensive) from

Reports of failures of 6-speed manual boxes started coming in early 2007.

On TDIs, EGR valve should open to allow carbon dioxide, which acts as a cooling gas) into the combustion chambers when the engine is under load (>30% boost). This allows the combustion chamber temperature to drop and thus the temperature of the exhaust gases. If it sticks in the closed position the exhaust gas temperature will rise causing a) the turbo bearings to fail and b) engine oil into the induction system. This can cause the engine to run on its crankcase oil until it is either stalled or goes bang. Problems with EGR valves in TDI engines are often the cause of rough running when the valve is stuck in the open position as well. In several cases turbos have blown but the EGR valve has not been replaced. Inevitably the new turbo unit will not last long.

Failing DMFs on 6-speed diesel manuals can generate so much heat in the transmission housing that they cause a fire.


1996 (April '96-July '96): check for overheating of brake system.

1996 (2-litre with air-conditioning -Jan '95-Feb '96): air conditioning compressor may seize up.

1997 (built Jan '96-Apr '97): check optional child seats.

13-1-2000: 80,000 Galaxys, Alhambras and Sharans VIN TV000001 to YV509825 recalled to check for contamination of brake fluid through master cylinder vent. Brake master cylinders of older cars to be replaced.

23-5-2001: Build dates 1-1-1994 to 5-11-1999 2.0 litre and 2.3 litre petrol models with a/c: when engine rocks the fuel feed and return line may hit the a/c low pressure suction pipe, eventually leading to abraded fuel lines. Fuel lines to be inspected and replaced as necessary and spacer clips to be fitted to all.

6-10-2003: 7,866 Galaxys VINS.....2R to .....3T recalled because wiring for curtain airbags may be transposed. Check and if necessary fit wiring adaptor. TSB at some time between 2005/2006 to replace faulty dual mass flywheels on post 2001 TDIs. 25/04/2006R/2006/034 FORDGALAXYflywheel may fail build dates 01/11/200231/08/2003

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