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It’s typically a good idea to look for a used Ford F-150 model. These trucks are capable and can be more affordable than brand-new trucks. However, not every model is created equally. Watch out for the 2018 Ford F-150. It’s one of the most unreliable model years. 

Is 2018 a good year for the F-150? 

The 2018 Ford F-150 driving on a road in the wilderness
2018 Ford F-150 | Ford

The 2018 Ford F-150 is a good truck for its stout towing capacity, upscale interior, modern tech, and off-roading capabilities. It has tons of engine options to serve various needs and budgets. Plus, there’s an F-150 Raptor trim available. 

When properly equipped, the 2018 F-150 can tow up to 13,200 lbs. That beats the 2023 Ram 1500’s ability to tow up to 12,750 lbs. The 2023 F-150 can tow up to 14,000, so it’s not far behind the modern model. 

The 2018 F-150 is part of the 13th generation introduced in 2015, and you might be able to find more reliable options from those years. For example, the F-150 got aluminum body panels and an aluminum bed in 2018. 

This made the F-150 the lightning fullsize truck in the segment, but it also weakened it a little. Aluminum doesn’t always hold up like steel. 

How reliable is the 2018 Ford F-150? 

The 2018 Ford F-150 isn’t the most reliable model year. It earned a score of 74 out of 100 from J.D.Power. Scores between 70 to 80 are average, while trucks in the 81 to 90 range are above average. Anything between 91 to 100 is best. 

So, the 2018 F-150 was only a few points away from falling into the below-average bracket. It also took quite a tumble. The 2017 F-150 has a score of 84 out of 100, so how did the 2018 model drop by 10 points? 

The average Ford F-150 model is expected to last between 200,000 to 300,000 miles, but this seems like a stretch for the 2018 model has 15 recalls. Three of which are related to engine problems. 

For example, cylinder heads for the 3.5-liter engines may have been machined without lubrication for the camshaft bearing journals. This could cause the engine to stall and fail. 

Models with the engine block heater are subject to corrosion. Water and other contaminants could get into to the splice connector of the heater block cable and cause corrosion and damage. The wires could overheat or melt, increasing the risk of fire. 

Another recall for the heater block’s cables came out a few months later because the cable splice connector may have been damaged during the previous repair. The risk of a wiring short was increased and could cause fires. 

What are the biggest 2018 F-150 issues? 

A white 2018 Ford F-150 model parked near trees
2018 Ford F-150 | Ford

Engine problems can be common with the 2018 Ford F-150, but that’s not the only glaring issue. It has racked up thousands of complaints, and the most common issue is related to the new 10-speed automatic transmission

The transmission is prone to rough shifting, loud clunking, ticking, seizing, hesitating, locking up, getting stuck, lurching forward, losing power, and leaking fluid. 

There are also tons of complaints about the body paint, body integrity, steering, windshield, brakes, lights, wheels, and electrical system. 

Other model years from the 13th Ford F-150 generation don’t have nearly as many complaints or problems. While the F-150 is typically a solid option, the 2018 model might be one to steer clear of.