Ford F-250 Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Ford F-250 based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
The 4.6L and 5.4L Modular V8 engine used in the 1997-1999 F-250 is known for displaying the normal symptoms of a coolant leak, including overheating, especially when the vehicle is idling, 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. Most vehicles, model 2002 and later, will have o-rings, and the water pump will not need to be removed.
The 1996-2001 Ford F-250 with the 100% plastic intake manifold is known for engine overheating, even with normal use, and a coolant leak from the front of the manifold. This will often trigger the check engine light and low engine coolant warning light.
The engine coolant leak is from a factory defect, which causes cracking on the front coolant passage of the intake manifold. In a very short time, this leak will lead to engine overheating issues, especially while the vehicle is idling.
Between 1999 and 2001, Ford released an updated version of this engine, known as the 'PI' version with a metal coolant passage on the front of the intake manifold to prevent future issues.
There is no factory authorized repair for the intake manifold, and replacement is required to correct the engine coolant leak and overheating issues.
The Ford F-250, with the optional 5.0L/302ci V8, may develop misfires, rough running, and loss of power, accompanied by the check engine light illuminating.
Replacement of the ignition wires, and securing them away from the exhaust manifold is necessary to remedy the rough running conditions.
The Ford F-250 has known issues with the V8 engine ejecting spark plugs. This will make a tapping or knocking noise, plus the engine will begin to misfire at all speeds. The check engine light will also illuminate.
The threads on the cylinder head are too short and soft, allowing pressure from combustion to overwhelm and destroy the threads.
When the spark plug ejects, the cylinder head becomes damaged, necessitating repair of the spark plug port threads, or replacement of the cylinder head and cylinder head gasket.
Ford has recommended a method of repair for the cylinder head that prevents the spark plug from ejecting under future use. Replacement of all spark plugs is not necessary, but an updated spark plug design can help prevent this from happening in the future.
There is a technical service bulletin for the V8 engine.
The tachometer sensor may fail; if the tachometer needle jumps around and the transmission has harsh shifts or does not upshift, this sensor should be checked. This sensor is mounted in a cover at the front of the motor.
The FIPL (fuel injection pump lever) sensor may fail. When this sensor goes bad, shifting is erratic and the Check Engine Light should illuminate. Proper adjustment of this sensor (when replacing it) is a must or the problem will continue. See service manuals for proper adjustment of the FIPL sensor.
A ticking noise may develop from the engine due to a warped exhaust manifold. Damaged exhaust manifolds will require replacement to correct this issue.
The EGR orifices in the intake manifold may plug with sludge. If the truck has high mileage, this may cause engine misfire when first accelerating because too much EGR gas is directed into the cylinders of the unplugged orifices. This makes the mixture lean, which causes a gradual stumble that increases in severity until repaired.
The engine oil pan gasket can develop a leak. Leaking oil may accumulate on the exhaust system resulting in a burning smell. Replacing the gasket should correct this leak.
The battery light may illuminate on the instrument panel because the alternator wire harness connector is damaged. A new connector kit is available and should be installed to correct this concern.
Failure to change the power steering fluid can cause the fluid to become gray with metal particles. The contaminated fluid can damage the power steering pump resulting in a growling noise when the wheel is turned; the damaged pump will require replacement to eliminate the noise.. Life of the power steering gearbox and pump will be shortened if the fluid is not serviced regularly.