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The Ford F-150 is one of the most popular pickup trucks on the market. Folks looking for a new full-size pickup truck will likely consider buying a used truck. But F-150’s best model years aren’t everything. Not all model years were created equal, and folks should be aware of the more problematic Ford F-150 model years.

Stick to the best Ford F-150 model years

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

According to Truckomize, the best model years for the F-150 are 1993, 1994, and 1996 model years. All three model years came from the same truck generation.

All three are similar in many ways. However, one of their best features is just how reliable they are. These trucks were built to last, and many of them can go for hundreds of thousands of miles.

In fact, according to Vehicle History, many 1993 F-150s on the road right now have clocked over 300,000 miles on their odometers. These trucks aren’t just reliable.

They’re capable workhorses. Ford improved on their power in the later model years, but overall, they still have great towing capacities for trucks of their size.

Folks who are interested in a more modern take on the F-150 can stick with the 2018 Ford F-150. In general, F-150 models made after the late 2010s are pretty good, with the 2018 F-150 being the best of the bunch. Like the F-150s from the 90s, the 2018 model year is powerful and reliable, but it’ll also have more modern creature comforts.

The worst Ford F-150 model years

There are plenty of Ford F-150 model years that folks should avoid. The two main model year clusters are the 2004 to 2007 trucks and a handful of model years in the early 2010s. As some truck fans know, the 2004 to 2007 F-150s had a huge, glaring issue primarily caused by its V8 Triton engines.

Vehicle History wrote that the Ford’s Triton engines simply had a lot of reliability issues, and that’s why the model years from 2004 to 2007 aren’t recommended. On the other hand, the early 2010s saw some ups and downs in the F-150.

For example, the 2010 and 2011 model years were some of the worst in the truck’s history, while the 2012 model year was decent.

In the 2010 model year’s case, its issues came from its infotainment system. Nowadays, the F-150’s infotainment system is fine, but back then, it suffered a lot of reliability issues, such as sometimes failing to recognize smartphones.

That said, model years such as 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016 all had problems too. They even included transmission and engine reliability problems. 

A look at the Ford F-150’s worst model year overall

The 2004 Ford F-150 climbing over rocks
2004 Ford F-150 | Ford

The F-150’s worst model year is the 2004 one. Not only did it have engine issues related to the Triton V8, but it also had reliability problems elsewhere. It was recalled about 16 times, according to Vehicle History. 

Some of its issues that weren’t related to its engine included its window regulators, which were faulty. The plastic chips could break, which would cause the windows to smash into the door. This truck’s model year also had a significant issue with its gas tank straps.

They could corrode, which could cause the gas tank to detach. Over a million unlucky owners have been affected by this issue. It just shows how important proper research is when purchasing any vehicle.