2004 Ford E-150 Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2004 Ford E-150 based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
If the slip yoke in the driveshaft is binding, it can make a clunking noise when pulling away from a stop. The slip yoke will need to be lubricated.
The Check Engine Light may illuminate, the engine may run rough and have misfires on acceleration. Commonly the ignition coils and/or the ignition coil boots are the cause of this problem. The rubber boot that insulates the coil to the spark plug can dry and crack allowing arcing. Inspect the coils and boots, and replace them as needed. Our technicians also recommend replacing the coil boots any time the spark plugs are replaced.
The Ford E-150 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.
Engine oil may leak externally from the cylinder head gasket. The gaskets were contaminated with metal debris from the factory – between the block and gasket and/or the head and gasket. To correct, the head gasket must be replaced and the mating surfaces on the cylinder head and block need to be inspected for chips or damage. In some cases the cylinder head will not be repairable and will need replacement.
The spark plugs may become dislodged from the cylinder heads. A loud popping noise can be heard and a subsequent misfire experienced. The threads on the spark plug ports in the cylinder head(s) can become stripped or missing when the spark plug is dislodged. The threads in cylinder heads may be replaced using “Lock-N-Stitch” aluminum inserts. Our technicians tell us thread replacement is performed when the vehicle is out of base warranty. Vehicles under base warranty receive a new cylinder head.
The front end may make a rattle noise over bumps. There may be handling issues, and play in the front wheels on inspection. If there is up and down movement on the front wheels while the lower control arms are being supported, inspect the upper and lower ball joints for excessive play. These are prone to failure from moisture entry and lack of lubrication. The ball joints should be replaced as needed.
Electrolysis can cause repeated failures of the heater core and radiator. The diagnosing technician should check for voltage present in the coolant, with the battery disconnected, because electrical current in the coolant causes electrolysis. Corroded or deteriorated parts should be replaced, and the coolant should be flushed. Ground straps can be added to help prevent future corrosion of components.
This concern related to the 4R100 automatic transmission typically seen mated to the 5.4L V8. If the transmission does not shift correctly out of first gear, a “one-way” clutch inside the transmission may have failed. If the transmission fluid condition is good, and other failures are not found upon transmission tear down, the one-way clutch may be replaced along with the drum and friction plates. Our technicians note this is a major internal transmission repair.