2004 Ford F-150 Lightning Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2004 Ford F-150 Lightning based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
The Ford Lightning is known for displaying the normal symptoms of a coolant leak, including overheating, the strong smell of coolant from the engine, and illumination of the low engine coolant warning light.
This leak is difficult to locate as it is buried underneath the intake manifold, and only begins to leak coolant onto the ground in advanced stages of disrepair. This leak springs from the heater tube, which allows coolant to flow between the water pump and HVAC heater core.
When the connection for this tube begins to leak, the coolant burns on the hot engine, and produces a sweet smell that is unmistakably engine coolant.
The remedy can be complicated, and will necessitate removal of the intake manifold, heater tube, and possibly the water pump. After removal of these items, the connector may be replaced, or a set of o-rings, depending on the year of the vehicle.
Spark plugs in the Ford Lightning can be very difficult to remove.
Ford has issued a service bulletin (08-7-6) to address this issue, which includes a recommended procedure on how to remove the plugs. Failure to follow the recommended procedure can result in the one or more spark plugs breaking off in the cylinder head.
The recommend procedure is as follows. Using this procedure will greatly reduce the chance of breaking a spark plug.
1. Break the spark plugs loose when the engine is warm.
2. Turn each plug 1/8 to 1/4 turn and soak the treads with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of Motorcraft Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner or a quality penetrating oil. Do not try to remove the plugs at this time.
3. Let the threads soak for at least 15 minutes.
4. After the soak period, tighten and loosen each spark plug, working it back and forth until the turning effort is reduced. Then, you can remove the spark plug.
There are special tools available to remove the broken spark plugs and repair shops will often charge additional labor for the removal of each broken spark plug.
The Ford F-150 SVT Lightning with manual temperature and fan controls may have problems with the the blower motor only blowing air on certain settings. Most commonly the fan will only run on the highest setting. This is a well documented problem, and is caused by a failing blower motor resistor.
Correcting the problem is straight forward, and requires replacement of the small resistor. The resistor is normally found behind the glove box, next to the blower motor.