Is the 11th Gen Ford F-150 Actually That Unreliable?

The Ford F-150 has long been one of the top-selling full-size trucks in the United States. It offers capability, practicality, and the pickup driving experience that many drivers seem to prefer. But not every F-150 model is created equally, and each generation comes with its own unique pros and cons. The 11th generation Ford F-150 was sold from 2004 until 2008, and its reliability track record is fairly mixed. But, is it actually that unreliable?

Does the 11th gen F-150 have engine problems?

From 2004 until 2008, a variety of engines were available for the Ford F-150, but some have serious issues. Perhaps the biggest issues were seen in the 5.4-liter Triton V8 engine. This three-valve engine faced a number of problems that can be fairly expensive to fix. Reliability issues with this truck engine include things like:

  • Spark plugs and ignition coils
  • Timing chain
  • Fuel pump driver module
  • Oil pan gasket leak

While not every Triton engine will face problems with these components, it is something to keep in mind if you are looking for a used F-150 from this era. In terms of the spark plugs, they can adhere to the engine which makes them difficult to remove. 

What problems does the 11th gen Ford F-150 have?

In addition to engine problems, buyers may notice some other fault points on this generation of Ford truck. The airbag system was a common point of failure for F-150 models ranging from 2004 to 2008. The air back could deploy randomly and the airbag light may come on for no apparent reason.

A white 11th generation Ford truck sits outside a factory in Michigan
2006 Ford F-150 | Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

Now, Ford did issue a recall for the airbags, and that should correct the problem. So if you are purchasing one of these trucks, be sure to check that the recall was performed. 

Another problem has to do with ignition coil pack failure. If an 11th gen F-150 has a check engine light with trouble codes P0301-P0308, it means there could be a problem with one of the coil packs. Over time, the ignition coil wears down and will fail. This will affect the reliability of your pickup. 

Should you buy a used Ford F-150?

If you are shopping for a used truck, certain pre-owned F-150 models are likely a safe bet. But, it might be best to avoid an F-150 from the 11th generation. Now, each truck does have its own unique history. So even if you do purchase an F-Series truck that was made between 2004 and 2008, it is possible to get something that has good reliability. 

The best used Ford F-150 pickup truck years
The 2020 Ford F-150 pickup truck in blue | Ford

Ultimately, it is always best to check a truck’s service history and records before purchasing. According to AutoTrader, service records will provide you with key information about what services have or have not been completed. And for a used truck, that can be key, as it will save you a headache in the long run. 

As new pickups become more and more expensive, it makes sense that buyers are flocking to the used market. And Ford is a popular manufacturer for many truck owners.

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