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Even gigantic corporations have down years, and 2018 was particularly rough for Ford. The American automaker’s storied truck lineup delivered underwhelming results in significant categories. And these downfalls might encourage you to be cautious before buying a used 2018 Ford truck.

Thankfully, we can analyze several years of data to show what went wrong with the 2018 F-Series lineup. Additionally, we’ll identify some better alternatives for drivers who want to upgrade to a lightly used pickup.

Experts warn against buying a 2018 Ford F-Series truck

A white 2018 Ford Super Duty Limited towing a white boat on the highway
The 2018 Ford Super Duty with a boat in tow | Ford

The F-Series has long been the best-selling truck in the world. However, you’ll want to skip over the 2018 Ford F-150, F-250, or F-350. These models are prone to experience higher-than-average issues. So, you won’t exactly save money by purchasing one of these used pickups.

How have automotive experts come to this conclusion? Consumer Reports is one of the leading experts in reliability data. It routinely gathers information on a wide range of models from its subscribers.

The publication discovered frequent problems that occur within these models. In fact, it gave the 2018 Ford F-150, F-250, and F-350 a 1/5 rating in reliability. So, it’s no surprise Consumer Reports added all three 2018 Ford F-Series trucks to its ‘Used Cars to Avoid Buying’ list.

What reliability issues do these used 2018 Ford F-Series models have?

A red 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel parked on display
The 2018 Ford F-150 with an available Power Stroke Diesel engine | Ford

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an eye-opening number of recalls for each of these trucks. It recalled the 2018 F-150 11 times, the 2018 F-250 six times, and the 2018 F-350 seven times. These problems vary in seriousness, but all three pickups had an issue that includes a possible engine fire risk.

Ford will have likely already addressed the majority of these recalls before the trucks hit the resale market. So, consumers shouldn’t worry too much about these issues. Instead, you should focus on other reliability problems that drivers have frequently experienced.

Many 2018 Ford F-150 owners reported oil consumption and leak issues that impacted the truck’s performance to Consumer Reports. Notably, these complaints spanned across V6 and V8 models. One F-150 XL 5.0-liter V8 owner wrote, “The engine started burning an excessive amount of oil. The heads were replaced to start. Then, after approximately a month, it started burning oil again, and at that time the engine was replaced. All work was done under warranty.”

Meanwhile, the 2018 Ford F-250 and F-350’s suspension systems are also top areas of concern. Owners criticized the Super Duty’s infamous death wobble. This issue causes the steering wheel to violently shake at high speeds, making it difficult for the driver to control the truck.

Used truck alternatives to Ford’s troubled trucks

Don’t get stuck in a pickup you can’t depend on. Instead, we’ll guide you toward some more reliable used options within a similar price range to these 2018 Ford F-Series models.

Ford fanboys can opt to spend an extra few thousand dollars to get into a 2019 F-150 rather than a 2018 version. Consumer Reports gave the 2019 Ford F-150 a 3/5 reliability score, but it’s very similar to its predecessor. That’s why we suggest test-driving the 2019 Ram 1500 instead.

Consumer Reports also recommended avoiding the 2018 Ram 1500. However, the 2019 iteration is much more reliable, and the U.S. News & World Report named it the Best Used Truck Under $25k for 2021.

Meanwhile, those who need heavy-duty capability should explore the 2019 Ram 2500. According to Consumer Reports, it’s one of the most dependable models in its class. The publication gave it a 5/5 reliability rating, and its areas of most concern (paint/trim and body integrity) aren’t significant issues.


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