reliability getting worse according to ADAC? - tyro
On the recent ADAC thread, Jase1 posted a link to a summary of the results

One of the most striking things about this, is that the Ford Ka, which was one of the most reliable vehicles of all back in 2001-2002 , decliined sharply in reliability in 2003, and remained at this poorer level in 2004-2005.

Why? Anything to do with the introduction of the Sportka / Streetka?

Possible clues in the PDF file that Barchettaman mentions here

But since I don't speak German, I cannot understsand the comments about the Ka. All translations welcome.

Basically it says

"Marderverbiss an den Zundkabeln (2003/2005 bes. haufig)
Lamda-sonne defekt 2003/2005
Storungen im motormanagement (bes. 2004)"

There was also
"Kupplung defekt (bis 2002)"
but I don't think that is anything to do with it.

Edited by Pugugly on 12/11/2008 at 19:30

ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - barchettaman
I think ´Marderverbiss´ is a Pine Martin bite, in this case eating through a cable. Not sure you can blame Ford for that. Next one, obviously, is the Lamda sensor. Then it´s an ECU fault. Kupplung is the clutch.

Check the owners reviews on the Parkers site, there´s normally loads on there. Should give you a feeling for the likely reliability.

ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - tyro
Thanks Barchettaman

I thought you were pulling my leg about the Pine Marten bite, but a quick google showed that you were right. Seems to be a big issue in Germany. I get the impression from the ADAC pdf that some vehicles have more of a problem than others - so I guess Ford (& certain other manufacturers) probably are to blame. The words "2003/2005 bes haufig" seem to imply that vehicles from some years suffer more than others. Fascinating.

Parkers site did indeed show a few people with Kas have had problems with their Engine Management..

ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - Aprilia
Pine Martins, particularly in southern Germany and Austria, do like to bite at rubber bits on cars. They seem to like some types of rubber more than others so some models get attacked more frequently.
ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - jc2
Note that the dates seem to say that pinemartens prefer the new engines(ROCAM.) to the old HCS or Valencia.
ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - Bagpuss
It does sound bizarre, but statistically some cars appear more prone to Pine Martin attacks than others. Whether this is demographically driven (i.e. people in rural areas preferring certain types of car) or due to the materials used in some vehicles being particularly appealing to Pine Martins, I don't know.
ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - Bagpuss
Wanted to add that my wife has a 5 year old Ford Ka. Build quality is subjectively rubbish but, much to my surprise, it has been 100% reliable in the 4 1/2 years she's had it and nothing's fallen off it apart from 2 hub caps. It's been used as daily transport for much of that time and we get very severe winters in Southern Germany.
ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - AndyT
The 70bhp 1.3 Duratec ohc engine was introduced for the '03 model Ka, and I think there may have been a few engine management problems with these engines. I believe these also were installed in the base new model (at that time) Fiesta .
ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - jc2
Bagpuss, a simple car has much less to go wrong.
ADAC: Ka reliability getting worse? - mfarrow
A friend has a Ka, which needed its alternator loom replaced after the cable became excessively corroded and started to bring up the light on the dash. If this isn't a perculiarity of his car alone, maybe some of these Pine Martin attacks are mis-diagnoses?

Mike Farrow
Martens and Martens - tyro
Footnote to an old thread.

Someone was telling me about the damage caused by a Pine Marten that got into a house here in the Highlands. I remembered this thread, and did a bit of surfing.

What I discovered indicated that the culprit is probably not the Pine Martens (Martes martes) but the Stone Marten, also known as the Beech Marten (Martes foina).

The Wikipedia article on the latter states "Beech martens are noted for their habit of damaging cars by biting through ignition leads and brake hoses and pulling apart insulation boards."

The significance of this is that while Pine Martens are found in Britain, mostly in the Highlands, Stone (Beech) Martens do not occur in Britain except as very occasional escapees from captivity.
Martens and Martens - GenevaJohn
Pine martens are a well known problem in some bits of mainland Europe. I'm told that one solution is to get a dog to regularly pee on your tyres. How to get a dog to actually do this..?? ....well that's a good question....It sounds a bit radical, but I'm told it works.

Martens and Martens - Alby Back
S'pose you could always sort of show the dog what to do. Might get a few curtains twitching though.....

Martens and Martens - Leif
S'pose you could always sort of show the dog what to do. Might get a
few curtains twitching though.....

Just park in Luton.
Martens and Martens - DP
If my mum's StreetKa is anything to go by, that could have single handedly dragged the statistics through the floor.

They have spent about £1500 in unscheduled repairs in the last two years. Endless problems, some common, some rare, many interlinked. Off the top of my head it's needed replacement coil packs, heater valve, expansion tank (exploded!), thermostat, door handles (3x), oxygen sensor, alarm sensors, suspension bushes, catalyst and brake calipers. The remote locking has also never worked properly. The car hasn't yet done 50,000 miles, isn't thrashed, and has been religiously serviced to the schedule.

My sister has an early pushrod engined Ka which has done 100,000 miles and still clatters along with total reliability. The only problem that's really had is spark plugs rotting into the head, and a sump that's going porous. Looking tatty, and needs an oil top up every week, but still very reliable. Old school Ford, really.


Edited by DP on 12/11/2008 at 13:47

Martens and Martens - Rattle
My friends W reg Ka (Pushrod) was quite reliable. Had problems with a plug which got stuck, small gear linkage problem and the usual over revving issue but other that it was very cheap to run, no ticking time bombs like a £500 cambelt change.
Martens and Martens - Another John H
no ticking time bombs like a £500 cambelt change.

AFAIK the more recent Ka is chain cam, not belt.

Has it's own issues if the oil isn't clean, but scheduled change isn't part of the plan.
Martens and Martens - mfarrow
AFAIK the more recent Ka is chain cam not belt.

They've never had a belt.
Martens and Martens - Brit_in_Germany
Yes, it is the Steinmarder, or Beech Marten, which causes the problems´. Here is a cute picture:

Martens and Martens - tyro
Great picture, BIG. Cute, and very funny.

Well, I thought it was funny. :-)


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