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It’s impossible not to talk about the Ford Transit Connect when it comes to the best cargo vans in the market. The model is known to be the most fuel-efficient city van, with a combined fuel economy of 25.5 miles per gallon (mpg). It has a resale value of approximately $14,570, depreciating by 54% after five years, according to CarEdge.com.

Is the Ford Transit Connect Reliable?

RepairPal ranks the Ford Transit Connect 5th out of 21 commercial vans, giving the model a 3.0 out of 5.0 reliability rating. Annual repair and maintenance costs for the Transit Connect are relatively high at $926 compared to the usual $652 for other vehicle models. Its ownership costs, however, are still cheaper than other commercial vans.

Owners of the Transit Connect tend to bring in their vans for unscheduled repairs 0.5 times a year. The model has a 14% probability of needing a major fix compared to the usual 12% for all vehicle models and 16% for other commercial vans.

Common Ford Transit Connect Problems

Although the Transit Connect is one of the most reliable city vans on the market, it can still have worn-out or damaged parts that could affect its drivability, quality, and safety. Here are the most common problems found across Ford Transit Connect’s model years:

Transmission Failure

Transmission problems are not uncommon for the 2012 Ford Transit Connect. Many owners of this redesign have reported instances when their vans lost power and stopped shifting gears properly.

Some drivers have also reported that the parts needed to repair the transmission were on national backorder. This kept them from using their vans for a long time.

Aside from the 2012 redesign, some 2013-2021 Transit Connects have also been reported to have transmission issues. Early in 2021, Ford issued a recall for over 192,000 2013-2021 Transit Connects due to their high probability of rolling away when in park mode.

2019 Transit Connect Van parked -Ford Media Center
Aside from the 2012 redesign, some 2013-2021 Transit Connects have also been reported to have transmission issues. Image source: Ford Media Center.

According to the automaker’s report, a faulty connection between the shifter cable and transmission could make the van appear to be in park mode even when it isn’t, increasing the risk of a crash. Although there haven’t been any reports of accidents or injuries related to this problem, Ford announced that it will replace the faulty part free of charge.

Several issues could cause the transmission to go bad. They include a failed transmission solenoid, a bad torque converter, a faulty clutch, and low transmission fluid. If you notice your van showing signs of sluggish performance, make sure to have it checked by a licensed mechanic to know whether or not you need a new transmission.

Engine Failure

There have been cases of engine failure in some 2016 Transit Connect redesigns. Most of the owners of the affected models have complained that their engine died while driving. Others reported their vans vibrating excessively and displaying erratic gauge readings along with an illuminated check engine light.

Upon inspecting their vans, most owners determined that the issues were caused by a faulty throttle body. Replacing this part can cost anywhere between $100 and $900 plus labor costs.

Ford issued a recall in 2021 for newer Ford Transit Connects (like the 2020 model) that have a buggy engine failsafe feature. The failsafe could cause increased temperatures and delay the engine’s cooling strategy, resulting in decreased engine power and increased risk of fire.

Loose Panoramic Roof Panel

One of the most notable features of the 2014 Ford Transit Connect is the panoramic roof, which allows extra light into the cabin while making it look more spacious. But while this feature has its advantages, the roof panel of some models has been reported to cause some problems.

In May 2020, Ford recalled certain 2014-2017 Transit Connects due to a loose panoramic roof panel that may produce wind noise and water leaks. It could also separate from the vehicle’s body. Ford dealers have been notified to remove, clean, and reinstall the panoramic roof panels on the affected vans free of charge.

Loose Door Latch

2016 Ford Transit Connect - Ford Media Center
A loose door latch in some 2014-2016 Transit Connects has been reported to make it hard for some drivers to fully close the doors. Image source: Ford Media Center.

A loose door latch in some 2014-2016 Transit Connects has been reported to make it hard for some drivers to fully close the doors. This led Ford to issue a recall in 2020 to replace the faulty part.

If you’re dealing with the same issue and your Transit Connect isn’t included in the list of recalled vehicles, you can opt to get an aftermarket door latch. It can cost you anywhere between $40 and $100 plus labor costs.

Faulty Air Conditioning (A/C) Unit

Owners of some 2014 Transit Connects have complained that their A/C units failed to blow cool air from time to time. Several factors can cause this problem, such as a clogged cabin air filter, lack of refrigerant, and a faulty A/C compressor. If you’re dealing with the same issue, make sure to have your van checked by a licensed mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

As reliable as it is, the Transit Connect is not immune to issues that could affect your driving experience. Fortunately, by being aware of the model’s most common problems, you’ll know which parts you’ll eventually need to replace to keep your city van performing at its best. It’s also a great idea to stay on top of your van’s maintenance needs to ensure that all of its parts are working as they should.

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