2003 Ford F-150 Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Ford F-150 based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
There is a technical service bulletin for the V8 engines regarding a possible problem with the spark plug being ejected from the cylinder head, damaging the threads in the spark plug hole. If the vehicle is under warranty, cylinder head replacement is recommended. If the vehicle is out of warranty, Ford authorized the use of a specific thread insert to repair the head.
If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, this could be caused by a failing differential clutch kit. An updated differential clutch kit available.
A ticking noise may develop from the engine due to a warped exhaust manifold. Damaged exhaust manifolds will require replacement to correct this issue.
If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, there is an updated differential clutch kit available.
Catalytic converters can go bad and potentially plug the exhaust, hurting engine efficiency and performance.
New TSB may be available
According to Ford Bulletin 06-04-04
Some 2003 + INDEPENDENT REAR SUSPENSION (IRS) AXLE F-150 vehicles equipped with a 9.75″ or 8.8″ limited and Mustang vehicles equipped with limited slip rear axle, may exhibit a chatter, shudder, a binding sensation, or a vibration during low speed turns. On 4X4 vehicles, the sensation may appear to be originating from the front axle or the steering gear.
First verify the condition. On 4X4 trucks ensure that Modifier (XL-3) for fifteen (15) minutes prior to the vehicle is in 2WD, to isolate the rear axle. If the condition is verified to be in the rear axle, replace the limited slip clutch pack.