These Ford F-150 Model Years Get the Most Complaints

The Ford F-150 pickup truck is one of the most popular vehicles in America. For more than 40 years it’s been the best-selling pickup truck in America as well. With functionality, comfortability, and reliability, the F-150 gives drivers everything they need. A luxurious ride with the capability to haul payloads and tow anything, exactly what Americans want. Over the years, there have been loads of complaints about various model years, as you’d expect from such a popular vehicle. With so many on the road, various things are bound to go wrong. Which model years get the most complaints, and should you avoid buying them used?

2010 Ford F-150

A gray 2010 Ford F-150 with a transparent background
2010 Ford F-150 | The Car Connection

For the 2010 model year, the F-150 received the most complaints since 2005. Back in the 2004-2005 model years, issues with the F-150 were way up but died down for the next few years. In 2010, the problems returned. The most common problems customers have complained about are the windshield, transmission, body/paint, engine, and drivetrain problems. Some of these (like the windshield and paint) are fairly common with all vehicles and aren’t too expensive to fix. The others, however, can be extremely costly. In fact, as this model year gets older it becomes less and less worth it to replace an engine or transmission. \

103 people reported window or windshield issues to CarComplaints.com. Of those, 76 were for shattered rear windshields, which needed to be replaced. Many of the customers reported the rear windshield as a manufacturer defect, stating it would fix the issue. Transmission issues reported consist of hard and inconsistent shifting, vibration while driving, and sometimes complete failure. Any vehicle with reported transmission issues is something you’ll want to avoid.

2013 Ford F-150

a white 2013 Ford F-150 drives on a road in the snow
2013 Ford F-150 | Ford

The 2013 F-150 received even more complaints than the 2010 model. Worst of all, the complaints are about more severe issues. The most commonly reported complaint with the 2010 model is engine problems. Everyone knows that’s one of the worst common issues to have on any vehicle. 37 times, users have reported an engine shudder and loss of power, with countless other variations also reported.

One owner of a 2013 F-150 had this to say, “Ford is telling me I need to replace all sorts of things (long block and turbos) to the tune of $11,000!” That type of repair is usually not worth it, and in fact, it may be better to avoid the vehicle altogether. Some of the cheaper trim levels, like XL, are going for around $12,000-$15,000 today.

2015 Ford F-150

A 2015 Ford F-150 at an auto show
2015 Ford F-150 | (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

For the 2015 model year, the F-150 doesn’t seem to have quite as many complaints as 2013, but still plenty to go around. Transmission, interior accessories, and engine problems lead the way. The most common issues are with a hard downshift, which sometimes led to updating, rebuilding the transmission, or replacement. One user reported having the CPU flashed and the transmission driver memory reprogrammed twice, only to have the issue return a third time.

Other users reported the issue leading to drivetrain damage, especially when towing large loads. The transmission issues are bad enough without them leading to an entirely different problem. A particularly angry customer on CarComplaints reported these transmission issues in 2017 when the vehicle hadn’t eclipsed 40,000 miles yet.

2016 Ford F-150

A blue 2016 Ford F-150 at an auto show
2016 Ford F-150 | (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The 2016 model year sees engine issues along with brake and interior accessory problems. Though engine issues seem to be the most frequent by a large margin. Most commonly, the engine stalling or dying while driving seems to happen to everyone. A common solution for the engine issue is replacing the throttle body, which some say can be done by owners. An aftermarket part can be found for $120 and replaced rather easily if you’re capable. Though the repair doesn’t seem very expensive, it might not be worth the risk of the engine dying while driving.

These are the four most recent model years to receive a ton of complaints about them online. Older model years, like the 2004 and 2005 models, are far worse. These newer models seem to all have engine and transmission problems, which are ones we recommend always avoiding. Almost every time, the cost and headache that comes with potential engine issues are not worth it. Those are the Ford F-150 model years that get the most complaints since 2010.

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