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April 11th, 2006

Ford Recalls 2003-2004 Cobra's

2004 CobraFord Motor Co. said Tuesday that it was recalling nearly 20,000 Mustang SVT Cobra cars after receiving complaints that the back of the accelerator pedal could become caught in the floor carpeting and lead to a crash.

Ford told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in late January that it had received about 100 complaints and allegations of two crashes and one injury. The recall affects 19,140 Mustang Cobras from the 2003 and 2004 model years.

Ford said in a letter to NHTSA that the rear surface of the pedal could interfere with the carpeting during heavy throttling and make it difficult for the pedal to return to an idle position. The problem could be found in vehicles where the floor carpeting does not fit flush with the sheet metal.

Dealers are expected to install a bracket over the cutout in the carpet behind the pedal. Owners are expected to be notified of the recall in late April and will not be charged for the repair.

NHTSA opened an investigation into the issue in July 2005. Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday with a Ford spokeswoman.

Contact your local Ford dealer for more information.

By 67stang @ 8:40AM PST.
Category: Ford News
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  • 1
    avatar SuperLeo says:

    This is nothing new. Back in the day my new 86 GT had a similar problem except it wasn’t the carpet, it was the floor mat. The pedal would get wedged between the mat and the carpet creating a wide-open condition. Not cool when you powershift into second and expect to let off the gas and end your “display” of Ford power. Stab the clutch, turn off the key, grab the wheel and jump on the brakes!!

  • 2
    avatar Editor says:

    Ford should have done some damage control on this by stating it was a designed feature to assist those wanting to power shift. The accelerator pedal automatically sticks to the floor and all you need to do is control the clutch and shifter!

  • 3

    […] Ford Recalls 2003-2004 Cobra sFord Muscle, CA – Apr 11, 2006Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it was recalling nearly 20,000 Mustang SVT Cobra cars after receiving complaints that the back of the accelerator pedal could … […]

  • 4

    […] Ford Recalls 2003-2004 Cobra sFord Muscle, CA – Apr 11, 2006Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it was recalling nearly 20,000 Mustang SVT Cobra cars after receiving complaints that the back of the accelerator pedal could … […]

  • 5

    […] Ford Recalls 2003-2004 Cobra sFord Muscle, CA – Apr 11, 2006Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it was recalling nearly 20,000 Mustang SVT Cobra cars after receiving complaints that the back of the accelerator pedal could … […]

  • 6
    avatar Lawrence J. Mentus says:

    Fairport Ford failed to fix my carpet grommet and my floor mat would always loosen and it would get tangeled up in the pedals. the service manager said that they would not warrantee the carpet because they said i yanked out the grommet hook on the carpet floor.they gluded it back on the first time,second time they could’t find the carpet hook,although it was found inside the carpet ! service said i needed to pay ninety dollars replace the carpet and the car a 2004 mach1 mustang is still under waranty and only 12,000 miles. i got tired of argueing with them and dropped it. the problem is that they need two hooks and grommets to hold the floor mats. yikes! I COULDN’T DEPRESS THE CLUTCH ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR BECAUSE OF THE FLOOR MAT WOULD DETACH FROM THE GROMMET HOOK!

    Sometimes i couldn’t shift and it grinded on the one two shift !i’m still upset because they never fixed my carpet peav properly! thanks, Lawrence j.Mentus

  • 7
    avatar James Cunningham says:

    I wish my 2003 Cobra only had the carpet issue. About 6 months after I purchase my Cobra it overheated and died on the freeway and had to be towed to a Ford Dealer in Riverside CA. A couple months after that It started making a tick/knock in the motor so I took it into a Ford Dealer in San Bernadino, CA. They admitted to a knock/tick noise and rough idling but said it was not bad enough to open. It was under warranty of course. Well guess what, it is bad enough not to open and of course my warranty is expired. I wrote Ford and you would think they would take care of me. No they did not. And my Cobra sits, because I don’t have the money to have Ford fix it. It also makes a strange noise in rear end or transmission. Anyone else experiencing these problems? Lets get the word out before more of these so called non production high performance vehicles hit the market.

  • 8
    avatar Chris Harville says:

    I had a 2004 cobra, recently got rid of it. I took it to my local dealership 10-15 times for the throttle sticking wide open. They went through and changed every part of the throttle including throttle body, cable, cruise control, and said it could not be the pedal. I told them that was the issue but they would not listen. There needs to be a committee at Ford for issues concerning this. Also, I believe Ford new about these issues, and since it was an SVT vehicle they tried to let it slide until it eventually kills someone.

  • 9
    avatar LaMar Martin says:

    I have a 2003 cobra I took it to the dealership just the other day for the same ticking problem on my engine. It sounds like it is coming from the right backside of the engine. The guy at the dealership said that it was probably the fuel injectors. Why would the injector make noise in only one spot is the question I asked. His reply was I don’t know we will look into it.

  • 10
    avatar aldo says:

    My best friend just died two days ago in his 2003 cobra. We still don’t know the cause of the crash(hit a tree and he was ejected from the seat)but this pedal issue could be a possibility.

  • 11
    avatar Mike says:

    I hear people talking about a “ticking” in 03=04 Cobra’s what are they referring to?

  • 12
    avatar JoeFla says:

    At 32,000 miles my Cobra needed the rear gears and bearings replaced because the gear oil had leaked out from the back cover. Anybody else have this problem?

  • 13
    avatar Austin2003Cobra says:

    To JoeFla. (in regards to August 10th, 2006 mail) “At 32,000 miles my Cobra needed the rear gears and bearings replaced because the gear oil had leaked out from the back cover. Anybody else have this problem? ”

    My 2003 Cobra (32K miles) started dripping small amounts of oil from the rear back cover. I asked the dealer to check it out when I took it in for the 30K routine maintenance. They said it was “normal”. I reget not having them address it, as the car is now out of warranty. I have been VERY dissatisfied with the dealer work (Covert/Austin).

  • 14
    avatar KK says:

    My 2003 Cobra makes a terrible squeaking sound when I turn the wheel. I took it in at 10K and had the Rack and Pinion bushings replaced and then had it done again at 22K. Now it is quiet and I may add out of warrenty but now the front wheel jerks when turned at low speeds. Annoying as hell. Anybody know a fix to this?

  • 15
    avatar D.C. says:

    I recently totaled my 2003 mustang cobra because the acclarater hung. The airbags didn’t deploy, and the fuel pump didn’t shut off. And I believe I have found an attorney that wants to represent me with the loss of the car, medical bills, and more than likely some injuries that are permanant. My heart goes out to the one here who had a friend that died in his cobra. I am sure going to do my best to make ford wish they had just replaced my car with one of my choice.

  • 16
    avatar Rigo Chavez says:

    Has anyone had their cobra shut off while shifting to neutral in the highway. This has happened to me ever since i have bought it. The dealer brushed it off as a freak occurence. I read on Mustang 5.0 that many are complaining about this, and to buy some system called Apten. Anyone who has a clue about what I am talking about, please post

  • 17
    avatar Robert says:

    I regret ever buying my 2003 Cobra. I have had the original engine replaced after several months of torture. I have had the transmission replaced and the rear,clutch,axle shafts,drive shaft,wheels,brakes,wheel bearings,(K-member along with the rest of the front suspension in order to reduce a shimmey and vibration). I also framed the car to reduce the shimmey. I have had nothing but head aches and heart breaks with this car. I finally had them address the engine tapping noise which they said was in the driver head. After replaceing the head the tapping was still there. They sent me home and told me to bring it back later. The engine locked up before I could get back and they refused to fix it. It turned out it had a bearing problem and not a head problem. So now my hunk of FORD JUNK sits in pieces while I try to save money to rebuild it properly. Thanks BILL!

  • 18
    avatar B.Simms says:

    It’s a damn shame that Ford won’t take care of their customers, and they wonder why they are loosing Billions! My carpeted mat comes loose from the floor hook all the time and goes over the accelerator pedal causing a WOT condition. Nothing more fun than flooring it to pass someone and releasing the pedal to find yourself still hauling ass and coming up on traffic fast. Thank God for a cool head, or I would have taken someone out! Throw it in neutral, let the rev limiter hit, while prying the gas pedal up and moving the mat. Like Lawrence J. Mentus said above, the mats need two hooks and grommets, that is why I added two to mine, now I don’t have the problem anymore. By the way, I had the Ford re-call done as well, but my pedal always got stuck because of the floor mat, not the actual carpet, so make sure if this isn’t your problem as well. I have also had numerous issues with the clutch not fully disengaging, and making fast shifts almost impossible. Buy an aftermarket clutch quadrant adjuster, and it will fix your woes, too bad cheap ass Ford couldn’t put a quality piece under the dash instead of the POS plastic part they used, oh well anything to make up that Billion dollar deficit $1.00 at a time…LOL…good luck Ford!

  • 19
    avatar Mike says:

    I am having clutch problems from my 2004 cobra, dealer say its a wear and tear item and won’t replace it under my factory warranty I have 27,000. If anyone has had this problem or works at ford in the service area give me some advice on how to get these people to fix this problem. travelr4@aol.com.

  • 20
    avatar Jim bringham says:

    I just purchased a used 2003 Cobra. Ticking noise and rough idle a problem.

  • 21
    avatar Kendall Eidson says:

    To feel somebodys pain you must be in their same possistion, well HELL I am. I purchased my seventh mustamg and second cobra on 0544. Boy was I excited to have a super-charged poney. This highthened feeling lasted 9,287 miles. The transmition went south and Ford replaced it with little hesitation. The second transmition went out at 26,563 miles. Ford had my car this time 29 days to make repairs. Well the problem has returned at 35,640 miles and my dealer(Planet Ford in Centerville Ohio) says the problem will not be fixed due to abnormal driveing mannor. Jim P. service manager says this car is not a sports car and should not be driven as one. Since the last transmition repair I have not driven my non-sports car, My loveing timid wife is the sole driver of this “high performacd” granny pony. Ford is doing an investigation thru its customer care center. I will let you know how it goes, as of lastnight I am RED FLAGGED and can not take my car to any dealer for warrenty work.
    Needing Help, Ken.

  • 22
    avatar Ken says:

    14000 miles and knocking comming from 2dn or 3rd cylinder. I am now hearing of similar problems. dealer wants to put a new short block in $5500 of course not under warantee and ford wants nothing to do with it either. this a car never raced or redlined whats up with that? kschule88@yahoo.com if you have had similar problems.

  • 23
    avatar cherrybstr says:

    well i think 03 cobras kick ass, yah they need a little work but once your done they can push about 700 rwhp wich can smoke any vette any day. thats just a little illustration that 03 cobras are not daily drivers.

  • 24
    avatar Jason M says:

    My 2003 Cobra has had the same issues of turning off while in Neutral. It usually happnes on a cold start.

    I have had 2 transmissions and 3 clutches, all replaced under warranty, after much arguing and going back and forth with Ford service. They are very reluctant to provide any kind of service unless you go to the Director of Service and state your case as intelligently as you can.

    I have had nothing but trouble and major safety concerns when driving this car. Getting on the highway one day, I came to realize the car was stuck in gear, regardless if the clutch was engaged or not. I had to drift off into the shoulder and let the car stall, just to have a tow truck come later on. What a nightmare!

  • 25
    avatar Troy says:

    My 2003 Cobra runs perfect…sucks for you guys

  • 26
    avatar erik haeck says:



  • 27
    avatar brock turner says:

    had my 04 cobra for six months now, and have experienced about all the problems the rest of you have had……mine is getting a new trani as i write this. took it to an svt ford tech, for the leak from the rear gear cover….he told me it was from the exesive heat from the aftermarket flowmasters!!!!! This car has an all stock exaust except for the mufflers were swaaped for flows….and flow masters run cooler than stock!!!

  • 28
    avatar brock turner says:

    oh also, for the ticking noise, I was on svtoa.com lastnight addressing the tapping noise…and was told that people were finding there rocker arms comming loose for no reason just shortly after buying car…this could be your noise, and loss of about 20-25 rwhp

  • 29
    avatar Erik G says:


  • 30
    avatar Richard Neil says:

    My 2004 SVT cobra developed a strange steering problem , the car would drift all over the road and during upshifts the car would dart all over the road. After my first visit to the Ford dealer, Iwas told it was normal, “its a powerfull car”. I then had the tires replaced and the car’s 4 wheel alignment performed, no change. I took it back a second time and had a test drive with a technician, he could not feel anything abnormal. I pleaded with my service advisor to have it checked out by some other technician. Two days later I was told by my advisor that the left rear hub and bearing was craked and the wheel was walking in and out, which caused severe damage to my hub,bearing, knuckle, brake rotor and brake pads. This wheel was ready to come off the car. Had the service technician not placed the car on the rack and visually inspected the left rear wheel, it would have come off. After replacing the left rear knuckle, hub, bearing, brake rotor and brake pads, it is now repaired and drives like new.

  • 31
    avatar Chris says:

    Wow guys I planned on picking up a used 2004 Cobra but now after reading all this Im starting to change my mind.

  • 32
    avatar Anthony Alessi says:

    I am investigation the problems with the accelerator pedal and the doormat. Has anyone hired an attorney to represent them with respect to this matter. If so, who and thier phone number. Any suits brought because of personal injury and other matters.

  • 33
    avatar Anthony Alessi says:

    I am investigating the problems with the accelerator pedal and the doormat. Has anyone hired an attorney to represent them with respect to this matter. If so, who and thier phone number. Any suits brought because of personal injury and other matters.

  • 34
    avatar anthony says:

    I bought my 2004 cobra a year ago and it has been perfect, except for about six months ago I was showing a friend what the car would do and the throttle went wide open and almost killed me, so i cut out the carpet around the pedal and havent had that problem since and now just yesterday I noticed the ticking sound from the passenger side of the engine in the back and i am really worried about my car i love this thing; any advice anyone who has solved the ticking problem.

  • 35
    avatar Susan says:

    2003 Cobra – I have had the ticking noise and had a Ford rep look at the engine. He said yep, sure is one. They finally fixed it. Had a TSB for repair. ALSO, at 31,000 miles the clutch needs replaced. Now, I am 61, a girl and yes I do get into it once in a while. Clutch has always been VERY stiff, clunks and hard to put in 1st and reverse. Found several TSB’s. Will bitch to Ford. Anyone else with these problems and what did you do to fix it. Also, like the Planet Ford guy (I go there too) they don’t want to do anything. At Interstate Ford today to fix blown hose (antifreeze everewhere). We will see what they have to say about the TSB’s on the clutch.

  • 36
    avatar vic the mown says:

    hell i bought a 03 cobra and it started out with a tick from the driver head i personally thought it was a pulley or the belt squeak or something so i kept driving the car and today i was driving home from work when it just turned off on me. I turned it back on and it was knocking like crazy im wondering could it be driver side head. since i hear all this about a driver side head recall. Now my car is parked left without a clue bummer thanks everybody any help would help.

  • 37
    avatar jason says:

    Hey, I am having some alignment issues i believe with my 04 Cobra. About 3 thousand miles ago, i had what was suppossed to be aproper alignment done. About the 3rd time, they couldnt get it right the first couple times and Ford assured me this time it was proper for the 04 cobra, and they explained were they found they had screwed up. Well anyways, i had brand new goodyears on when they done this alignment 3,000 miles ago, and now there is wear showing again that is from alignment, its obvious. Is there any Ford dealer that can do this right??? THanks for your help Oh by the way that accelerator pedal deal was crazy, and i hear a tick from my pulley or belt or something, no other problems tho yet. The clutch seems to show wear, but it could be my driving? One day i had a problem getting into reverse, i think that could be possibly the clutch or something, dont know. THanks again J.

  • 38
    avatar kevin jones says:

    03 cobra,87,000 miles,,carpet problem happend..so i cut it out..no ticking,no knockin..no nothing…love the car!

  • 39
    avatar jjsvt says:

    I think some of you need to understand that cobras are not Lincolns they are race cars. Like race cars there tempermental a little noisy and needs a good driver. Remember for 35000 $ there a bargain compaired to 80000 $ viper or 70000 $ vette, all great cars but they break to. When you drive something that has 390 hp chances are its going to break. Maintaince is very important on all cars and more crucial on Cobras.

  • 40
    avatar FSTMRFR says:

    I have a 2004 mystic cobra, it has 62,000 and still kickin strong! I have NOT had a single issue out of this car. I have changed blowers to KB, pushing 19psi. I dont beat it up regularly, but I get in it when I can safely. I am sorry to hear that people are nervous or scared to purchase such a fine machine! I would recommend this vehicle to ANY ford enthusiast!

  • 41
    avatar Cory says:

    Hey i was just lookin at some of the articles and stuff on here and i just thought id throw my experiances in here. I just recently turned 21 years old. I have had 2 cobras so far. i had a black 03 cobra that my father bought from me and it just turned 61,000 miles and still goin strong. I now own a 2004 mystichrome cobra with 24,000 miles on it and it is heavily modified. It has a HP Performance Twin 60 mm Turbo kit on it. The car has a few lil problems here in there but nothing major. The only problems i’m havin so far is a vacuum leak somewhere and the turbo kit came with cheap ass plastic blow off valves so i can only run bout 12 psi of boost. I had it tuned at JLP and he said it was the first car he has ever seen make a lot of power on low boost. It was dynoed at 610 to the wheels spinning the mickey thompsons on the dyno with a vaccum leak the size of a dime at my AIC sensor. But what i guess i’m tryin to say is don’t be afraid to modify let alone just drive the car. They were built to drive and be beat on. Enjoy the cars cuz you only live once~!!

  • 42
    avatar B.jeet says:

    I have a 2003 Mustang Cobra and it just hit 40,000 miles. I’ve had it maybe 5 months and it’s been a great car. It has aftermarket exhaust, so I expect it to have miscellaneous exhaust leaks. The car is lowered also, so I have had a couple of scrape issues too. Getting back to my point… I’ve done two oil changes and i’ve used full sythetic oil both times. The first time I used 5W-30 Mobile 1. When it was almost time for my next oil change, i noticed a little tick/knocking noise coming from the passenger side of the car in low rpms. It can be heard best from idle-1200 rpms. The next oil change I used Royal Purple 5W-20 and the tick/knock has remained. I’m totally confused to why it’s making this noise because I really don’t dog the car out. It sounds like the noise is coming from the bottom end, but I also think that the noise could be related to the eaton supercharger that is also making a “grinding” noise. I’m taking it to the dealership tomorrow and hopefully I don’t have to dig into the motor to figure out what is wrong with it. Any advice, email me at bassknifebx5@hotmail.com

  • 43
    avatar Francis J says:

    Cant shift gears or get shifter into gears anytime. yes I have adjusted the pull back on the clutch pedal. I have been asking everyone even fordsvt hot line about this and all I get is a run around. Worst shifter/clutch pedal design I have everseen. I have not changed to the aluminuim bracket attached to the cable. does anyone have any ideas. This is dangerous, I cant get it in to first gear at a traffic light ever. Car is a 2003 Cobra 6 speed.

    Please help !!!


  • 44
    avatar Mike says:

    Well, now I see alot of 03′ and 04′ Cobra’s on ebay for crazy money over book. I was wondering why anyone would even think of selling. Guess I found out! Too many problems. Looks like Im saving for a different whip!!!!

  • 45
    avatar eric says:

    i just bought my 2004 cobra, used with 19,000 miles,,, runs like a monster. (GOOD) now its a beast with the kenne bell supercharger!

  • 46
    avatar Daniel says:

    Im still buying one. What i’ve found about the tick in the motor is that when the heads were delivered to SVT the rocker arms were not torqued down to specs (2003). If thats not it, god help you because the other more rare problem i’ve found is with the main bearings. All this and I haven’t even bought one yet, my advice, research what you are buying over and over and over BEFORE you buy it. Research research research. On another note, buy an 04 if you are looking for one, at least then they had all of 2003 to troubleshoot alittle. Good luck everyone, and sorry to the guys who own a dead car, I had a main bearing go on my old built ’68 Cougar once and ended up losing the car due to lack of money to fix it. Enjoy your “non-sports cars”.

  • 47
    avatar Brian says:

    I just bought my 2004 SVT Cobra Convertible Decebmer 17th with 35,000 miles on her. Just 4 days after I bought her she started siezing up on me on the highway. She would shut herself down after idling for about 45 seconds. It turned out that the drivers side head was messed up. The dealership had to replace the whole head, at no charge to me ofcourse. It seems from a few of the messages on here that I’m not the only one this is happened to. I’m just hopin now that she’s fixed that I can take her to the track and not have any further problems. I’m just worried that this is just a precursor to mor stuff happening down the road.

  • 48
    avatar mike says:

    I have an 04 cobra and wanted to test the torque by trying to take off from the stop sign in sixth gear. I put it in sixth then took off. I then heard three ticks, sounds like it was coming from the transmission/clutch area. It was raining outside too. I then put it in second and drove back home.didn’t notice any problems. Got out of the car, and smelled something weird. Almost like when you put a hot cast iron skillet in cold water. Did I f up my car, or is the smell just the block getting wet from the rain?

  • 49
    avatar michael says:

    well i am on my second clutch and ford doesn’t want to pay for it either can anyone recommend something that is better than the standard crap ford seems to put in this car.

  • 50
    avatar 2yellow03 says:

    I will tell you I own a 2003 cobra and have had issues for a year, due to my inexperience with the car. I’m sorry that everyone is having these problems. But having this car and having friends who have the cars, I have seen why 95% of these problems occur. If you buy your car used you want to know where it comes from or you could be taking a chance. People try to modify these breath taking cars but they don’t do it right. The number one issue with all problems is heat. Think cool first before anything else. Change heat exchanger to larger aftermarket wether you up the boost or not. Especially if the car has no issues, spend about 250 to 300 bucks and that will cure alot of headaches. Then take the car and have the cam bolts and heads retorqued to specs. Then if you decide to up the boost( change the pulley) you have alot of things to do. Regap spark plugs!!!!!

  • 51
    avatar jeremy says:

    i have a 04 cobra i hacve only had a altanator problem and a 6th gear problem i have, a 2.8 pulley, stock heat exchanger and, hoosier d/r and f,ull mac cat back, with mac o/r h pipe ,and a custome tune, and straight axel swap, with a drive shaft shop drive shaft.

  • 52
    avatar Sandy Higgins says:

    Got my Mineral Gray ’03 Coupe used at a dealership about 4 years ago with 7000 on the odometer. Apparantly the previous owner had put in a chip/pulley combination without dialing it in correctly and had mushroomed the pistons and blown the engine. Obviously, Ford would not cover any warranty work because of the modifications. So, this dealership put in a brand new engine and sold the car to me without telling me this. The only reason I found out about this is because I have an aquiantance who happened to be the guy who shoehorned the new SVT engine into this car. Anyways…I’ve had all the issues that I’ve heard discussed here – the tick, the vibration, the clunking, the difficulty of aligning the front end…I’ve had it all, but was willing to live with it. On Dec.22, 2006, on my way to work, the car started to overheat BIG time. I pulled over as soon as I could, called my girlfriend for a ride to work, and made plans to go back & get the car at the end of the day. When I returned, the car wouldn’t start at all. It was making a weird SHHZZ-SHUZZ sound when I tried to crank it over. Susequently, I had it towed back to the dealer ship that I bought it from. Two days later, they call me back & tell me that I need a whole new engine. This CAN be done for around the sum of $10, 300.00 – but that’s only if the BLOWER is okay, if I need a new blower, it’ll be another $2500.00 on top of that. So, now I have a mint condition ’03 Cobra sitting in my garage THAT I’M STILL MAKING PAYMENTS ON that I can’t use & I can’t afford to fix. If anyone has had similar problems PLEASE feel free to email me at dejablue59@comcast.net

    Thanks ,

  • 53
    avatar james says:

    Dam it ! I didnt relize all the problems, I currently own a modified 2000 gt mustang at 99000 miles and it runs great, so I was thinking to go ahead and purchase a 2004 cobra well guess what, I think I’ll jus stick to my mustang.

  • 54
    avatar james says:

    Dam it ! I didnt relize all the problems, I currently own a modified 2000 gt mustang at 99000 miles and it runs great, so I was thinking to go ahead and purchase a 2004 cobra well guess what, I think I’ll jus stick to my mustang.

  • 55
    avatar vinnie says:

    My brother Artie has an 03 cobra. He’s had problems with the plastic gas pedel breaking and sticking to the carpet, many clutch problems, hard clutch pedel, clutch cables keep breaking, constant ajusting of cable, eating clutches, hard shifting. Squeaking from front end of the car, rear end cover leaking, stalling sometimes coming to a light in neutral. Very bad weelhop, and every time car sits for more than twenty min. or so, when you start it up the car blows light blue smoke. Now Ford says its normal. Some people have said o thats because of the over headcams, or thats because of the thin weight oil. Ask any mechanic you knows what the hell there talking about and they will tell you, valveguides more then likely. Now ford did replace the drivers side head from the factory for bad valveguides, by the blue marking on the head. Dont you think they should have replaced the other head for safe measure. As far as the clutch goes they should go to what works like in the old days, get rid of the cable and go to like a z bar setup, sweet and simple. And the squeaking frome the front end I belive is normal from the siff bushing needing to be greased. The weelhop is normal too, needs better bushings you can buy from any aftermarket suspension company. The carpet needs to be cut or some kind of braket behined the pedel. And the pedel itself humm let me think, maybe metal instead of plastic, what a great consept. Just wanted to let you know, incase you have had any of these problems.

  • 56
    avatar Evans Brooklyn NY says:

    This past march i traded in my 03 mach 1 with 20,000 miles for an 03 cobra with 1,400 miles. After reading about all these problems i wonder if this was a mistake.So far i put 300 miles on it without a problem,exept for the floor hook that holds the floor mat in place (the hook is almost detached from the carpet.Same thing happened to my mach 1)

  • 57
    avatar supertech says:

    I’m sorry to hear bad comments about the terminators.
    I am a master cerified auto technician w/ a 2004 cobra.
    I have had every problem you others have had. The gas pedal had a plate underneath it when I bought the car. I have had to replace the LR wheel bearing due to looseness and growling at high speeds. I replaced the stock clutch quardrant w/ a quick release one from steeda, including an adjustable firewall adjuster and cable. The pedal is still stiff, but it releases faster.
    The tremec tranny is very notchy, period. Shifting sometimes is tough. I also changed the fluid w/ royal purple sychromax(which helped). I have replaced the rack and pinion bushings w/ an updated pair( ten bucks from ford)- fixed the squeaking when turning at slow speeds- I also installed nitto 555 extremes 275-40-17 which helped the wheel hop in first gear. I bought the tires from steeda for 145.00 apiece (the best thing I have bought so far). I also have replaced the stock shifter w/ a steeda tri-ax. The shifts are a much shorter throw. The bottom line is that these car are heavy and a handfull at times, but are a good value for 400 horses.
    Hope this helps!
    God bless anyone who has been injured in one of these cars. Note: If the gas pedal sticks turn the key off!

  • 58
    avatar VALENTINE gARCIA says:


  • 59
    avatar Evans Brooklyn NY says:

    I now have 2400 miles on my 2003 cobra convert. my wife and i took it to newport R.I. and the car ran great.I know i only have 2400 miles on it but maybe the cars having all these problems are just too modified and driven too hard. By the way mine is bone stock

  • 60
    avatar david says:

    i got my 03 cobra just over 2 yrs ago. i have had all the problems and still have some. it had 49k on it. now it has 75k. right after i got it the battery light was coming on sometimes. i know what was happening but didnt do anything about it. nothing every happened. a few weeks later the throw out bearing came apart, replaced it did a clutch at the same time, also mgw short throw shifter. about 10 k later i noticed another noise from the tranny. so i pulled it out the throw out bearing sleeve broke. so i replaced it, 26 spline upgrade and another clutch, spec stage 3 + the stage 3 isnt very streetable. a quadrant and firewall adjuster, use the factory cable aftermarket break and streetch to much then an upper pulley, canned tune and long tube headers full exhaust. then my alternator finally went out. got new from ford and installed red top optima battery. i now have the same as above full exhaust, stage 3 + clutch upper pulley and short throw. since i have put in `160 t stat, bigger intercooler resvior, bigger coolant resvior, and dual pass heat exchange. i still have problems, clunking from rear, diff cover leaking, growling from all wheel; bearings.intermin, tapping/knocking noise from engine goes away when engine gets hot. im not worried about any of it, becasue it will all be replaced with better evently. even with all the problems these cars have mine with 75k on it never been opened up with all the above mods was custom tuned in nov. it put down 465 hp and 485 ft lbs. it runs and pulls real hard. it does have traction issues, wheels hop and alot of spinning. wheels hop on the track i take care of by using micky thompson et streets, i have seen to many people get in to wheel hop and break axles with street or drag radials. if something doesnt feel right shut it down and get it looked at. these cars are great wouldnt even trade for a new shelby. if you are looking to buy one look it over good. these cars are expsensive to fix just like any other car.

  • 61
    avatar Aharris says:

    I recently purchased a use 2004 cobra and I also noticed that the wheels would want to wander from the irregularities in the road, what solved the problem is to have smaller width tires on the front as it appears that the geometry isnt correct for the tire width that is standard for 2003-2004 cobras, also replace the coolant as soon as you purchase a used cobra as the antifreeze starts to act like glue and not allow proper thermal exchange between the cylinders walls and the antifreeze cuasing heating problems. This problem is from driving the cobra hard and then shutting down the engine and not allowing the heat still in the engine to be removed by the cooling system. Also the transmission fluid is not impervious to heat also as it should be noted that cobras are good daily drivers but not good part time street light to street light racers as ford didn’t design the cobra’s cooling system correctly.

  • 62
    avatar big t says:

    going to florida to buy a 2004 cobra with 2300 miles on it.i am paying about 28k for the car.usualy i buy chevy product but found myself wanting a cobra but after reading all of this i am starting to want to back out of the deal.maybe what us chevy guys has always said what ford stand for is true F.O.R.D=Fix Or Repair Daily.

  • 63
    avatar IVAN says:

    Please i have a 04 Cobra and im in love with my car yes it has some minor really minor things you have to fix but come on guys. Is a Terminator n is a performance car and if you run them like a performance car well expect shit to break.

  • 64
    avatar rick says:

    I have a 2003 cobra and its making the tick noice,and I take it to the track and never had problems with it….

  • 65
    avatar 05marine says:

    good to know i’m not alone w/the problems, i’ve learned a lot from all of your suggestions/concerns. btw, i had the car put on a dyno immediately and it read 425hp stock, it was advertised as 390 to prevent the gas guzzler fee of usually a few thousand if advertised over 400hp, like the viper. had a hop when i bought the 03 cobra brand new and added $50 bushings, it stopped that. had a vibration that caused: valve stem covers to come off, rearview mirror came off, windows warped off track, cd player broken, stress dimples in the body of the paint on the doors/rear quarter panels and the stock tires wore horribly (kumho all weather work wonders)- and I hadn’t even raced it! put on a steeda cold air intake to help breathe/gas mileage, but you gotta keep it clean. change all fluids/oil filter/fuel filter on a regular basis, the charger and everything else works harder/faster for performance. like someone else said above, had to change LR wheel bearing and sometimes gears seem like they don’t wanna shift easy, platinum spark plugs are usually pre-spaced, check the spacing anyway. don’t let the engine check light stay on too long without resetting the battery, it will mess up the sensor, auto zone will let you rent (money returned once machine is) a diagnostic machine and you can write down the numbers registered on the machine and ask ford what they are before spending crazy $. supercharger belt came off in a deserted area and although the thing drove like an import without guts, it got me home to safety. this car hasn’t given up on me so i won’t give up on it. i have way too many miles, about 135K, but that car has gotten me everywhere and especially to see my fellow Marines and firefighter brother after his search and rescue service at 9/11…bless our country and American cars!

  • 66
    avatar Heath Evans says:

    I recently bought a 2004 cobra with 20000 miles on it. Had it for two weeks and 3rd and 4th gear went out in it. I also have a problem with my motor vibrating as it idles. You can hear it through the exhaust. What would be the problem with the motor? The tranny is being replaced by the dealership that I bought it from. Anyone have any of the same problems? I had a 98 GT that I beat on harder and had no problems like this.

  • 67
    avatar Jay Staggs says:

    Man, I’m a huge blue oval fan and love Ford Performance, and the 2003-2004 cobras are the way to go. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the car. Stock, dynoing higher than what they are rated, running 12.5 12.7 stock in the 1/4 mile with a good driver, and that the engine is nearly bullit proof. Considering that it has full forged internals I believed it. And now, I find this site with nothing but people having problems with these cars. Starts to scare me. I was looking to buy one after I finish UTI at Houston but I guess I’ll settle for a 2004 maybe if I can find one by one time owner, and ask if he’s had any problems, if so, than I will be buying me one of the new S197s… maybe a 2010 , I like the way the headlights look….sorry for those who lost someone in this car, and sorry for those who’s had these problems, in reality though, what company doesn’t have it’s faults on their cars?…. You have your good ones and bad ones, like I said, I’ve heard nothing but good things about them until I’ve come to this site.. and we owned a 03 cobra with a Kennebell supercharger, putting down 603 and 589 ft lbs tq. Had no problems other than the air to water stock intercooler getting heat soaked after a couple hard pulls, but that was just our bad….

  • 68
    avatar CmMustang03 says:

    My dream since i got my license was to have the fastest car in town, and i have always loved mustangs and once i saw the 03 cobra roll outa the showrrom i knew that was what i wanted
    it really sucks that they have all these problems with enignes and trannys and the throttle pedal sticking
    my heart goes out to all the people that have been injured or worse due to these problems
    im still in love with the cars and hope to buy one when i get out of college in a few months
    its either that or a lightning but ive heard they have theyre problems too

  • 69
    avatar zach says:

    oh man. Please people who are on the market for a 03-04 cobra do NOT let these articles deter you from buying one. I have one with 75,000 miles on it and it runs like the day we bought it! STRONG!!! NEVER had a problem! When looking for a cobra listen to see if any abnormal sounds are coming from it. Most of these cobras are driven very hard which in turn leads to damage. But…. on a rare occasion you will find one that is a solid runner. Good luck!

  • 70
    avatar Roderick Rios says:

    I’m recently looking to buy a 2003 or 2004 Conv. Cobra any advice what I need to look for when im looking at one please advice.

  • 71
    avatar cobra101 says:

    real quick. got mine new in 2002. now only 60k miles. ford fixed under warrnty: rear diff leak seal 3x, rt rear wheel hub/bearings/knuckle., alternator.

    I did clutch at 58k miles, not bad I drive it hard and on my 13th set of back tires. needed retainer sleeve too. I recmmnd nitto 555 & 555R. did stock clutch again it treated me right.

    just had to do drvr sd wheel hub and beearings (paid 400.00 instlld) parts bout 300.00

    had TOB clutch squel almost from day 1. finaally did quaadrnt and fw adjuster..no help. pedal was always very hard too. all was fixed when new clutch and retainer sleeve went in ..awesome now.

    never had the “tick” or vibratuon probs.

    mods are 3inch catback, air intake and uper pulley. rich tune and making 440rwhp and 455rwtq. could squeeze more but I’m good.
    ohh the sound also was recorded for and used in knight rider (2008)

    buy wisely..also svtperformance.com has very good resources.


  • 72
    avatar Anonymous says:

    Wow this is truly depressing I am 22yrs old and my dream car is an 03 to 04 cobra and I’ve watched videos of them on the internet and how much sick power they make but after reading all of this and seeing how many people have been hurt I want no part of this. I was about to sell my 08 GT Premium Coupe but I think im going to stick with it and just make it faster then a cobra over time. Good luck to all and sorry to hear your news.

  • 73
    avatar Shawn T. says:

    I just got the left side head tick on my 04 cobra, it has 98,000 miles. Its partially not the engines fault because I didn’t notice that the Intercooler Pump quit working which inturn superheated the intake and head causing the valve guides to wear. There was no check engine light, the engine oil temp gauge was in the normal position. however what I needed was IAT2 temp guage, with that, I would have been able to catch it in time. Yet I was on the highway playing with the boost a little, then take my exit and start hearing a very noticeable tick, tick, tick noise. I open the hood and there’s intercooler coolant sprayed all over the front of the supercharger and engine and the IinterCooler resevour showed no movement of coolant with the engine running and at temp. I got the pump working by tapping it with a rubbber mallet. I pulled my plugs and noticed damage due to detonation and heat soaked. Installed new plugs. I’m going to order another pump and get my compression checked and get it retuned since my tune is over six years old. The car seems to run fine except I’m scared to get into the boost just in case my faulty pump quits again, and for the tick, and from what I hear the tick doesn’t hurt anything. I’m curious to see how my air/fuel ratio looks having not been logged in so long. I also want to buy the bigger heat exchanger and resivour. As the car has almost a 100k miles I don’t feel its appropriate to spend $1,500 for a new head on an over the hill high mileage engine, when I can spend 4 grand and get a three year 100k warranty for a remaufactured engine. Needless to say being a newlywed and now newly broke, I’m just going to wait until the engine blows up before I put a new head or engine in place of a good but noisy engine just because the noise is offensive to me. Because I would hate to put a new head on the car and 10k miles down the road throw a rod thru the side. Does anyone know what a regularly maintained yet sported a little, cobra with with all the boltons and smaller pulley, can get in mileage until they quit. I think the highest mileage cobra I’ve heard is aroung 135k miles. I can’t see one last over 200k, unless it was bone stock and hardly ever got into the boost.

  • 74

    But I like it’s smooth shifting with gear spreads which keep the engine in its proper rev range. Actually its a nice car!

  • 75
    avatar andre says:

    yes mine starting

  • 76
    avatar Whisnantmustangs says:

    I have an 03 with 10k miles the only problem I have found rearend leak. Bought to sell but the market went to shit. So never drive but love the car.

  • 77
    avatar cobrabob says:

    i just built a 04 cobra total has 03 cobra motor 4,900 miles on drive train i love the car. has many mods.if u want to play u have to pay these are great cars.

  • 78
    avatar Jay Brummett says:

    I had a similar problem with overheating twice. I was able to get help from Ford. If you still have issues please give me a call @ (714) 815-5156 or write me at Cyclone66@aol.com. I may be able to help?

  • 79

    Audio started playing as soon as I opened up this website, so frustrating!

  • 80

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  • 81

    Virtually all of the things you say is supprisingly appropriate and it makes me ponder why I had not looked at this with this light before. Your piece truly did turn the light on for me personally as far as this particular subject goes. However there is one point I am not really too cozy with so while I attempt to reconcile that with the actual main theme of the issue, let me observe what the rest of your readers have to point out.Very well done.

  • 82

    […] Ford Recalls 2003-2004 Cobra’s | FordMuscle.com – Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it was recalling nearly 20,000 Mustang SVT Cobra cars after receiving complaints that the back of the accelerator pedal could become … […]

  • 83

    […] Ford Recalls 2003-2004 Cobra’s | FordMuscle.com – Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it was recalling nearly 20,000 Mustang SVT Cobra cars after receiving complaints that the back of the accelerator pedal could become … […]

  • 84

    […] Ford Recalls 2003-2004 Cobra’s | FordMuscle.com – Ford should have done some damage control on this by stating it was a designed feature to assist those wanting to power shift. The accelerator pedal automatically … […]

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