What Common Problems Could Plague My Ford F-150?

Jun 26, 2024 | Blog

Common Mechanical Issues

The Ford F-150 is a workhorse. One of the best-selling trucks of all time, it is favored by both commercial and recreational drivers who need to haul heavy loads reliably. But, the Ford F-150 has had its fair share of weak points over the last 20 years. If you own a new or used Ford F-150 or are considering purchasing one, keep an eye out for these common mechanical issues.

Ignition Coil Failure

The ignition coil is essential to a vehicle’s ignition system. It acts as a transformer, converting the low voltage from the vehicle’s battery into the higher voltage needed to begin the combustion process in the engine.

The ignition coil in some Ford F-150s is known to transform the voltage to a much higher level than what’s needed. This leads to sputtering, a coughing sound in the engine, poor engine and fuel performance, and long-term damage. Odds are, your first sign will be a check engine light on your dash.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace the ignition coils and the adjacent components, including the spark plugs and the coil boots.

Spark Plug Failure

The Ford F-150 is notorious for spark plug issues.

Spark plugs can sometimes eject from the cylinder head, destroying the threading in the cylinder and on the plug itself. This will cause knocking sounds in your engine and noticeable acceleration issues. Your check engine light will also come on. Ford has released a technical service bulletin about this issue, so if your vehicle is still under warranty, it’s a good idea to get a cylinder replacement.

Ford F-150s from the mid-2000s ran into different spark plug issues. Rather than spontaneous ejection, spark plugs in these 3-valve engine models seize up in the cylinder head, causing them to break off when they are unscrewed. Removing the stuck threading requires specialized tools in a mechanic shop. Depending on how many spark plugs in the truck are affected, it can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to repair.

Transmission Problems

The 2004, 2005, and 2010 Ford F-150 models had the most significant transmission issues and received the highest number of driver complaints compared to other model years. Drivers of these vehicles notice clunking sounds, poor acceleration, fluid leaks, burning smells, and, of course, the check engine light.

Over the past few years, Ford has recalled thousands of its F-150s due to faulty transmissions. Drivers have reported that the truck randomly downshifts into neutral, sometimes causing the back tires to seize. This puts drivers at an increased risk of injury or death from a car crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is actively investigating this issue in various F-150 models.

Brake Issues

The 2013 through 2017 Ford F-150s faced a number of brake issues, sometimes breaking down after only 39,000. Ford recalled 292,311 2014-2017 models featuring their EcoBoost V6 engine, which could potentially leak brake fluid and cause a crash.

The 2021 through 2023 model years of the Ford-150 were recently recalled for faulty parking brakes. In the rear axle, the parking brake wiring may come into contact with the axle housing. Over time, this wears down the tape and insulation on the wiring, leading to a short circuit. Some drivers reported seeing a parking brake light illuminate, while others reported their parking brake turning on while driving. Vehicles included in this recall can receive a tie strap and tape wrap at a Ford dealership to solve the issue.

Axle Concerns

Many 2021-2023 Ford F-150 models were also recalled for a rear axle malfunction. This especially impacted trucks equipped with the Trailer Tow Max Duty. In these vehicles, the rear axle bolt is at risk of breaking, leading to wear within the axle. This additional strain on the axle negatively impacts the power transfer in the rear wheels and can lead to sudden and unexpected movement while the truck is in park. Drivers will likely hear a clicking sound as the bolt loosens and a banging or rattling sound if it completely breaks off.

Ford has not developed a recommended repair for this issue yet, so first, check if your vehicle is affected by this recall, then call a mechanic to see if they have an idea for a short-term fix or preventative measure.

How Can I Avoid These Mechanical Problems?

If you’re a Ford F-150 owner, it’s essential to keep an eye on vehicle recalls. While Ford will issue notices to each owner of an affected vehicle, it’s a good idea to stay ahead of the game. If your vehicle is recalled, bring it to a mechanic for the fix right away.

If you’re lucky enough to own a Ford F-150 that’s still humming, make sure to perform routine maintenance and ask your mechanic about preventive measures to avoid some of the common issues listed above. Consider replacing spark plugs before the recommended 100,000 miles. Go to a certified mechanic who will use quality parts and is familiar with these common weak points in the Ford F-150. Protect your investment in your truck by being proactive about maintenance and repair.

If you’re ready to part ways with an old or faulty Ford F-150, consider bringing your truck to Sell My Junk Car. We can offer you cash for your truck and will ensure it is recycled responsibly. Contact us today to learn more.