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Ford F-150 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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.

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Known Problems

The Ford F-150, with the optional 5.0L/302ci V8, may develop misfires, rough running, and loss of power, accompanied by the check engine light illuminating.

Ignition wires can rest on the exhaust manifolds if they are not properly secured. The hot manifolds will melt the insulation on the wires, damaging the wires and causing the mentioned condition. 

Replacement of the ignition wires, and securing them away from the exhaust manifold is necessary to remedy the rough running conditions. 

Spark plugs in the Ford F-150 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 is known for intermittent rough idling, which may be accompanied by illumination of the check engine light, and poor fuel mileage.

This may be caused by the EGR sensor sticking, causing the EGR valve to stay slightly open, and diagnostic testing must be conducted.

The EGR valve and sensor must be replaced together to correct this concern.

 

The Ford F-150 is known for idling roughly, with a slight whistling noise from the engine compartment. After a short time, this may result in poor fuel mileage, and illumination of the check engine light

This is caused by a cracked positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve hose, which allows a small vacuum leak, and improper evacuation of engine crankcase pressure.

Correction is simple, and requires replacement of the PCV hose. An updated part may be available. 

Drivers may notice the engine idling roughly, hesitation to accelerate, and even engine stalling on the Ford F-150 with the Triton V8.

The mass air flow sensor (MAF) is prone to fail, and commonly is diagnosed as the faulty component when these issues arise.

When the Check Engine Light illuminates, and the diagnosis is a failed MAF, it will require replacement to correct the issue. 

Ensuring the air filter is installed properly, and sealed to the air filter housing, can help prevent MAF sensor issues. 

The 2004-2014 Ford F-150 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.

On higher mileage vehicles, one or more EGR orifice in the intake manifold may plug with sludge. This can cause the engine to misfire when first accelerating because too much exhaust gas is directed into the cylinders where the orifice is not plugged. Cleaning the clogged passages should correct this concern.

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.

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.

The 2009-2014 Ford F-150 with automatic climate control may have a problem with frequent fan speed changes when using the heater or air conditioner. This includes F150 Harley Davidson, King Ranch, SVT Raptor, FX2, FX4, Platinum, Lariat, and STX editions. 

Normally, the fan speed changes only to maintain a selected temperature, but when the fan speed changes frequently and needlessly, there is an issue with the fan speed control unit. 

The fan speed control unit, sometimes erroneously called the blower motor resister, regulates the speed for the blower motor in order to maintain the temperature set by the driver. When it fails, the fan will run at random settings, and the climate control will be inaccurate.

Note: this does not affect the temperature of the air that comes from the vents, it affects the amount of air that comes from the vents. 

The repair is simple, and quick. The control unit is located behind the glove box in most models, and removal and installation takes only minutes.

Also note: this only applies to vehicles with single or dual automatic climate control.

The front brakes may stick, bind, or grab. This can happen when the front brake caliper pins become corroded. Cleaning or replacing the caliper pins will be necessary to correct this problem.

The gears for the timing chain can strip, causing the engine to crank but not start.

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.