When you buy a new vehicle or a used one with low miles, you expect to get a lot of use out of it without the repair headaches. Sometimes, a truck comes along that misses the mark and you’re faced haggling with the dealership to fix the problem. Some issues are minor and you can often deal with them easily. But, that’s not always the case. Most automakers will have certain model years where it sends out trucks with problems affecting more than just a few people.
The Ford F-150 is no exception. There are few known issues, people have ranted about on various websites, that are not exactly minor. A quick search on the internet brings up a ton of common Ford F-150 problems. CarComplaints.com lists the three worst ones, that Ford owners experienced with their F-150 pickups, over the last 15 years.
Ford F-150 loses power while driving
This problem, rated number one for complaints, plagued the 2012 model year. Some reported having the power issues in 2010, 2011, and 2013 models, but the vast number of grievances came from the 2012 Ford F-150.
The engines, Ford installed in this model, have a tendency to lose power while driving down the road. Some Ford drivers noticed the issue when an error code popped up on the display, showing a problem with the supercharger boost sensor.
Ford consumers weren’t happy because this was a safety issue. Losing power, while driving in traffic, puts many lives at risk. Some affected pickups had new throttle bodies installed only to do them again later on.
Ford finally sent out a service bulletin explaining the issue was a poorly designed control cable for the turbo function. There was a sharp bend in the cable when they installed it at the manufacturing plant. After driving it for a while, the cable’s rubber would crack, causing improper fuel and air mixture. A new cable became available, and the issue isn’t receiving very many complaints anymore.
F-150’s window won’t roll up
The 2004 model year of the Ford F-150 had numerous complaints concerning a problem with power windows not going up. Some drivers had the window get stuck in the mid or low position, and they either wouldn’t budge or they would finally go up with a lot of manipulation of the window control.
The worst complaints came from drivers who reported that the windows would just fall down inside the door panels, on their own. They couldn’t get them to roll back up, so some had to get inside the door, pull them up manually and wedge them shut. Others drove, with the windows down, in rainy and snowy weather until they could get them fixed.
As a solution, the Ford dealerships offered to replace the window regulators, however, only a few had the repair covered under warranty. The rest got billed around $300 for each window repaired. As it turns out, replacing them wasn’t a fix, because the drivers had them fail again, and again.
The resolution finally came when people replaced them with the 2006 model, and newer, window regulators that didn’t have the problems seen with the 2004.
The engine makes a clattering noise
The 2009 Ford F-150 was the worst year for problems with a clattering engine. Drivers of the 5.4L V8 reported that their motors started making a clattering noise at a low r.v.m when the engine warmed up.
Some said it sounded like a diesel motor, while others complained of a loud knocking sound. In most cases, when they took the truck to the dealer, they were told that the noise was normal in these trucks. However, many ended up reporting damaged engines that needed replacing after being told the clattering sound was normal.
A few drivers got lucky and had an engine replacement covered under their warranty, but most of them got stuck with an approximate $7,000 service bill. Some pickup owners had the cam phasers replaced in the motor which helped somewhat.
They reported that the noise was still there, but not as loud as before. Some even complained that the cam phasers needed replacing again after a while. The problem has been resolved going into the 2010 model year. There were only a couple of complaints reported from then on.
When a vehicle gets a couple hundred thousand miles on it, expect several problems to come up. But, when your truck has under a thousand miles you’ve got a problem on your hands. The three problems listed here are only the worst rated for certain Ford F-150 models. Luckily, all appeared to have resolutions. Still, it’s good to know what to expect should you buy a vehicle with the same problem previous models have had.