The Fifth Generation Ford Mustang Models You Should Avoid Buying Used

With the fifth generation Mustang, wade through brings back the menacing psychopathic look of the original in a modern form factor. The distinctive design, room for many modifications, and raw V8 power under the hood made the 2005-2014 Mustang very popular with car enthusiasts.

Despite its popularity, the fifth generation Mustang came with a lot of problems and owner complaints. If you were in the market for a used Mustang in those days, there are a few broad issues regarding any given model year that you should be aware of to avoid ending up with a lemon. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the worst years of the fifth-generation Mustang, its longevity and reliability, and everything else you need to know before spending your money on it.

RELATED: Here’s Why The Next-Generation Ford Mustang Stick-Shift Is Today’s Necessity

2006, 2011, And 2012 Mustangs Raise an Alarming Number of Complaints

Based on owner complaints registered on the Car Complaints website, the 2006 Mustang had the highest number of complaints. The most common problems regarding the 2006 model are paint bubbling and the hood peeling off. Owners have seen problems in mileage as low as 8,000 miles. On average, it costs nearly $1,000 to replace the entire hood or sand and repaint the panels.

Another frequently reported issue with the 2006 Mustang has to do with water leaks into the cab. Most owners can’t find a permanent solution, while the few mentioned sealing grommets do the job for around $500.


Owner reports indicate that the 2011 Mustang also had paint problems on the hood. Also, some owners have complained about the 5.0L V8 engine causing a lot of headaches at low mileage. According to reports, the pistons are prone to adverse damage, leading to engine failure. The owner had to spend more than $5,000 to swap the entire machine.

Many owner complaints are registered on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website regarding the 2011 Mustang transmission. Owners complain about the MT82 transmission system not shifting properly into first and second gears and making grinding noises.


“The transmission is not shifting properly. Indecision during takeoff and inconsistent gearshifts creates dangerous conditions when you expect the vehicle to run and the transmission not working”, cites 2011 Ford Mustang owner at NHTSA.

The 2012 Mustang had a few complaints related to the engine going into limp mode while driving. Fortunately, the problem can be fixed by replacing the throttle body and does not require a complete engine repair. However, Ford has yet to recall the Mustang for this issue, and owners have to spend an average of $450 to receive the repair.


More than 15 owners commented on NHTSA complaining about the power steering in the 2012 Mustang failing without any notification. “The vehicle lost all power steering at highway speeds. It also makes a clanking sound as it spins. I had to replace the EPAS steering assembly at my own expense for $1,656,” said one of the owners in their complaint registered with NHTSA.

RELATED: Stock Or Custom: The Choice Is Yours With This 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback

Take good care, And Your Mustang Will Hit 200,000 Miles

Various online car websites estimate that a fifth-generation Ford Mustang can typically offer up to 200,000 miles of reliable service with proper maintenance. However, if you are a third or fourth owner, you should expect a massive engine and transmission overhaul of around 100,000 to 150,000 miles.


Following Ford’s official maintenance schedule is essential to keeping the Mustang up and running. Some of the important services include:

  • Every 7,500 miles: perform basic maintenance, including changing the oil and oil filter, rotating tires, and checking the cooling system.
  • At 15,000 miles: check the exhaust system, brakes, and unsealed steering connections, lubricate the suspension and driveline joints, and replace the cabin air filter.
  • At 90,000 miles: replace engine and cab air filters, fuel filters and spark plugs, and lubricate the suspension.

According to the RepairPal website, maintenance of the Ford Mustang will cost $595 a year, slightly above other competitors, such as the Chevrolet Camaro.

RELATED: Muscle Vs Weight: 2022 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 Vs 2022 BMW M4 Competition

Avoid Troubled Years, And The Mustang Could Be Your Next Long Lasting Dream Car

The Mustang’s reputation as a fuel-hungry pony with a powerful V8 has made it one of the most famous names in the automotive world. Today there are manufacturers who make replicas of the first generation Mustang for many buyers around the world.

Through its fifth generation, the Mustang is reviving and redefining what American muscle cars mean to both domestic and global buyers. If you’re buying a used one, it’s safer to avoid the 2006, 2011, and 2012 models due to widespread engine, paint, and transmission problems.

Last but not least, consult a trusted mechanic to make sure the powertrain and everything else is in good condition before finalizing your purchase.

Leave a Comment