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The Ford F-150 is the most popular truck, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Some of the most common Ford F-150 problems could put this pickup’s reliability into question. Let’s investigate the trouble spots to see whether this Ford truck is worth the hype.

The most common Ford F-150 Problems

The automotive repair and maintenance site RepairPal collects data on the most common Ford F-150 problems and the number of owners who have reported each. Hundreds of drivers have experienced these top three issues:

  • Little or no heat in the cabin — reported by over 400 owners
  • Engine running rough at idle — reported by more than 180 owners
  • Ejection of spark plugs from the cylinder head — reported by nearly 180 owners

Of the three, the third appears to be the most serious. Spark plugs ejecting from the cylinder head could lead to costlier repairs than a lack of heat in the cabin.

Several factors could contribute to an F-150 losing heat in the cab

A few possible reasons could explain why the heat stops working in a Ford F-150. They include air door actuator failure, low coolant level, thermostat malfunction, and improper coolant flow through the heater core.

If you take your Ford truck to a repair shop to check this issue, the diagnostic cost averages $88 to $111. Repair costs could be higher if the problem is more severe than low coolant levels.

What causes a rough idle in the F-150?

One of the most common Ford F-150 problems is a rough idle, which could be caused by the EGR sensor sticking. This symptom is caused by the EGR valve remaining slightly open. The valve and sensor must be replaced to correct this problem, typically costing around $200.

The most severe of common Ford F-150 problems is the spark plug ejection

F-150 models with a V8 engine are known to eject spark plugs. That isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, but it’s a relatively serious problem. Typically, a tapping or knocking noise can be heard from the engine, which will begin to misfire at all speeds. The “check engine” light also illuminates.

This problem occurs because the threads on the cylinder head are too short or soft. Pressure from the combustion inside the chamber overwhelms the threads and destroys them.

Typically, the cylinder head needs replacing when this common Ford F-150 problem appears. In some models, an updated spark plug design can fix the issue. This repair costs about $250.

Is the Ford F-150 reliable?

In addition to listing owner-reported problems, RepairPal assigns a reliability rating to every vehicle. The Ford F-150 received a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0. This above-average score places the F-150 in seventh of 17 full-size trucks.

RepairPal’s reliability ratings are based on three factors. They are the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance, the frequency of unscheduled repairs, and the severity of those repairs. The Ford F-150 achieves at or better than the average for full-size trucks in all three metrics.

Which F-150 model year is most reliable?

2009 Ford F-150: Reliable used Ford F-150 model years under $10,000
2009 Ford F-150 | David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The 2009 model is tops in Ford F-150 reliability. Many enthusiasts agree this year is the best F-Series truck. So it’s an excellent year to consider if you’re considering a used Ford F-150.

The F-150 has been among the top-selling full-size trucks for over 40 years. That provides many high-quality model years to choose from. Other reliable F-150 model years are 1994, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2019.

Problematic F-150 years include 2004 to 2007 and a few in the early 2010s. Many 2004 to 2007 F-150s have experienced issues with their V8 Triton engines.

How many miles will a Ford F-150 last?

Most Ford trucks last 200,000 miles. Some will make it much farther. With proper care and maintenance, an F-150 should last about 17 years. That number is based on most owners driving a yearly average of 12,000 miles.

Is the 2023 Ford F-150 a good truck?

The 2023 Ford F-150 off--roading over rocks
2023 Ford F-150 | Ford

The 2023 Ford F-150 is the top-rated full-size truck in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. It’s no accident the F-150 has been the most popular truck in America for over 40 years. It boasts widespread appeal and several upscale trims.

If you can avoid the most common Ford F-150 problems, you’ll have a truck that provides excellent driving for the next two decades.