Ford Mondeo (Mk3: 2000-2007)

Used, blue Ford Mondeo ST (Mk3) on OEM alloy wheels.

The Ford Mondeo Mk3 received two facelifts – in 2003 and in 2005. Mondeo ST220 shown above.


Reliability & common problems

This section covers the potential reliability issues that you might have with the Ford Mondeo Mk3. Click on the buttons below to read more about the typical problems that fall outside the scope of routine maintenance.

1.8 & 2.0 Duratec-HE – tumble flap failure

The Duratec-HE engine is fitted with tumble flaps in the intake manifold. These little plastic flaps introduce turbulence in the air going into the engine. Turbulent air mixes better with the fuel, thus improving emissions and low RPM torque.

The flaps are made of plastic, but the rod they are attached to is metal. Early Duratec-HE engines were prone to wearing out the rod holding the flaps. There have been cases of the rod breaking into pieces and getting ingested by the engine along with an unlucky tumble flap.

The result?

You’d likely need a new engine.

An ingested flap can take out valves, a piston, and damage the cylinder walls.

A typical symptom of a problem with the tumble flaps is a rattling noise coming from the engine. You’ll hear it at idle, and it’s the sound of the loose flaps rattling around. If left unchecked the rod that holds the flaps will eventually break.

Here’s what the tumble flap rattle sounds like:


As shown in the video above, the rattle usually disappears when you remove the vacuum hose that controls the flaps.

The flap mechanism has been updated in the second half of 2002 and the updated intake manifolds last a lot longer. While the flaps can still wear over time, they are a lot less likely to detach and become ingested by the engine. Still, if you hear a rattle coming from your engine, get the flaps checked.

If you’re looking to buy a used Ford Mondeo Mk3 with the Duratec-HE engine, get a post-facelift (2003) model as it will have the updated intake manifold.

I’d also like to clarify something – the Duratec-HE has tumble flaps, not swirl flaps as many people call them. There’s a small difference between the two.

Swirl flaps rotate the air around the cylinder axis, and cars with swirl flaps have two intake ports per cylinder. One of the ports has a swirl flap that closes that port off at low RPM. In other words, imagine a tiny skateboarder entering the cylinder through the intake port and doing a 360° spin.

Tumble flaps rotate the air in a direction perpendicular to the cylinder axis. Imagine a tiny skateboarder entering the cylinder through the intake port and doing a front flip.

Makes sense?

Swirl flaps are typically used in diesel-powered cars, while tumble flaps are used in petrol cars.

Early TDCi engines – injection system issues

The early 2.0 TDCi engines had injection pumps that were susceptible to generating metallic particles as a result of wear, which would then cause issues with the fuel injectors (no wonder).

Ford revised the injection pumps in mid-2002, therefore, you should look for a post-facelift model. Also, post-facelift cars have updated power-train control modules (PCM), which is another good reason to get a newer model.

These are the typical symptoms of problems with the TDCi injectors:

  • difficulty starting the car and rough idle when cold

  • white smoke (unburnt fuel) after a cold start

  • engine cutting out under acceleration

  • flashing glow plug light while driving (it indicates a fault with the engine management system – not necessarily injectors)

The symptoms listed above are also typical for worn-out injectors. Pay attention to how the engine runs after a cold start before buying a used Ford Mondeo Mk3, regardless of when it was produced.

Summary or problems & additional information

  • The corrosion protection in the Ford Mondeo Mk3 is not very good (but not as bad as some earlier Ford cars). Before buying one, inspect it for rust and remember to check under the doors. It’s a typical spot for corrosion in these cars. The post-facelift (2003) cars are less susceptible to door corrosion as early ones had problems with the sealant applied to the doors.

  • The Duratec-HE (1.8L & 2.0L) was designed by Mazda, where it is known as the L series engine. You’ll also find it in some Volvo cars. It is reliable apart from a poor tumble flap design in pre-2003 cars. Those flaps may break off and wreck your engine. It’s best to stay away from pre-facelift cars with the Duratec-HE unless the flaps have already been sorted out by the previous owners or you are going to do it yourself.

  • The diesel engines in the Ford Mondeo Mk3 are Ford’s own designs (unlike the TDCi in the Focus Mk2). The TDDi and the TDCi are pretty much the same engine, except for different injection systems and turbochargers.

  • The TDCi is a Common Rail engine, and the things that could go wrong with it are the same as for all other modern diesel engines. Just skip the pre-facelift (2003) cars due to problems with the early injection pumps.

  • The TDDi is a direct-injection engine with a distributor pump and spring-loaded fuel injectors. If you like old-school diesel engines, it’s the one for you. Keep in mind that the simpler, mechanical injection system is louder than the TDCi, and there’s also a difference in fuel economy.

  • All engines in the Ford Mondeo Mk3 have timing chains and they are usually reliable.

  • The 4-speed automatic transmission (CD4E) used with the 2.0 Duratec-HE has a bad reputation for overheating and breaking itself apart due to excessive line pressure. Most of the bad rep comes from the earlier Ford and Mazda models. The CD4E used in the Mondeo Mk3 went through multiple updates since the previous failures, which should make it more reliable. To be safe, avoid high-mileage cars and don’t neglect the transmission oil changes.

  • Before buying a used Ford Mondeo Mk3 with the CD4E transmission (2.0 Duratec-HE), make sure that the gear changes are smooth (harsh gear changes are a typical problem with the CD4E) and that the ATF doesn’t look burnt.

  • To finish on a more positive note, the 5-speed automatic transmission (Jatco JF506E) used with the Duratec V6 and the TDCi engines is definitely more trustworthy than the 4-speed CD4E.


Ford Mondeo Mk3 specifications

This section contains Ford Mondeo Mk3 specifications. You will also find technical information regarding the engines used in these cars. Press the buttons below to display the specs and engine technical details.

Petrol engines – specs & performance figures

1.81798 cm³ / 109.7 cu in110 PS / 81 kW165 Nm / 122 lbf⋅ft2000-2007, Duratec-HE (Mazda L) engine
1.81798 cm³ / 109.7 cu in125 PS / 92 kW169 Nm / 125 lbf⋅ft2000-2007, Duratec-HE (Mazda L) engine
1.8 SCi1798 cm³ / 109.7 cu in130 PS / 96 kW175 Nm / 129 lbf⋅ft2003-2007, Duratec-HE (Mazda L) engine with direct injection
2.01999 cm³ / 122.0 cu in145 PS / 107 kW190 Nm / 140 lbf⋅ft2003-2007, Duratec-HE (Mazda L) engine
2.5 V62495 cm³ / 152.3 cu in170 PS / 125 kW220 Nm / 162 lbf⋅ft2000-2007, Duratec V6 engine
3.0 V62967 cm³ / 181.1 cu in204 PS / 150 kW263 Nm / 194 lbf⋅ft2004-2007, Duratec V6 engine
Mondeo ST220 (3.0 V6)2967 cm³ / 181.1 cu in226 PS / 166 kW280 Nm / 206 lbf⋅ft2002-2007, Duratec V6 engine

Diesel engines – specs & performance figures

2.0 TDDI (90)1998 cm³ / 121.9 cu in90 PS / 66 kW245 Nm / 191 lbf⋅ft2000-2005, ZSD-420 engine (VP30 distributor pump)
2.0 TDCI (90)1998 cm³ / 121.9 cu in90 PS / 66 kW245 Nm / 191 lbf⋅ft2005-2007, ZSD-420 engine (Common Rail)
2.0 TDDI (115)1998 cm³ / 121.9 cu in115 PS / 85 kW280 Nm / 206 lbf⋅ft2000-2002, ZSD-420 engine (VP44 distributor pump)
2.0 TDCI (115)1998 cm³ / 121.9 cu in115 PS / 85 kW280 Nm / 206 lbf⋅ft2002-2007, ZSD-420 engine (Common Rail)
2.0 TDCi (130)1998 cm³ / 121.9 cu in130 PS / 96 kW330 Nm / 243 lbf⋅ft2001-2007, ZSD-420 engine (Common Rail)
2.2 TDCi (155)2198 cm³ / 134.1 cu in155 PS / 114 kW360 Nm / 265 lbf⋅ft2004-2007, ZSD-422 engine (Common Rail)

Petrol engines – technical details

EngineEngine config.Forced inductionValve timingFuel deliveryDMFInlet flaps
1.8 SCi Duratec-HE (Mazda L) Inline-4, 16 valvesNoTiming chain, DOHCDirect Injection (SCi)YesYes
1.8 & 2.0 Duratec-HE (Mazda L) Inline-4, 16 valvesNoTiming chain, DOHCPort injection (EFI)YesYes
2.5 & 3.0 Duratec V6 V6, 24 valvesNoTiming chain, DOHCPort injection (EFI)YesNo
Legend:DOHC - Double Overhead Camshaft
SCi - "Smart Charge Injection"
EFI - Electronic Fuel Injection
DMF - Dual-mass Flywheel (does not apply to auto. transmissions with torque converters)

Diesel engines – technical details

EngineEngine config.Forced inductionValve timingInjection systemDMFDPFSwirl flaps
2.0 TDDi (ZSD-420)Inline-4, 16 valvesTurboTiming chain, DOHCDirect injection, distributor pumpYesNoNo
2.0 TDCi (ZSD-420)Inline-4, 16 valvesTurboTiming chain, DOHCCommon Rail (TDCI)YesOptional after 2005No
2.2 TDCi (ZSD-420)Inline-4, 16 valvesTurboTiming chain, DOHCCommon Rail (TDCI)YesOptional after 2005No
Legend:DOHC - Double Overhead Camshaft
TDDI - "Turbo Diesel Direct Injection"
TDCI - "Turbo Diesel Common Rail Injection"
DPF - Diesel Particulate Filter
DMF - Dual-mass Flywheel (does not apply to auto. transmissions with torque converters)


Ford Mondeo Mk3 wheel sizes

Press the button below to see the original equipment manufactuer (OEM) rim & tyres sizes for the Ford Mondeo Mk3. These are the original wheel sizes that were fitted by the manufacturer.

TyresRims Centre BoreBolt PatternComments
205/55 R166.5Jx16 ET52.563.3mm5x108
205/50 R176.5Jx17 ET52.563.3mm5x108
225/40 R187.5Jx18 ET52.563.3mm5x108Standard on ST220 & ST TDCi


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