Trucks & SUVs

What’s the Worst Model Year for the Ford F-150?

Ford made the F-150 for a long time, but there’s one awful year that Ford had for various problems popping up with its popular truck. The 2012 model year takes the award of being the worst one the pickup saw. The complaints are many and the positive reviews are few.

Online resources, like Car complaints, show several F-150 owners who reported the frustrations they had with their trucks. Tons of entries show issues ranging from engine problems to window troubles. Most of the repair costs fell on the owners and not Ford’s warranty programs. A lot of them even happened with only a few miles on them.

Here, we’ll look at just a few of the issues that plagued the 2012 model year, according to reports on CarComplaints.com.

Engine problems

2012 brought a ton of engine problems to many Ford F-150 owners. There were complaints of a loss of power while driving, that seemed to be repaired with throttle body replacements for some. Others reported engine misfiring when they went to accelerate. Often they experienced those misfires during rain or other moisture-related situations. In these cases, they replaced plugs and coils, usually at the owner’s expense.

Another problem reported, for the 2012 F-150, was a ticking noise happening in the engine. Some people, who experienced this problem, stated that there was scoring in one of the cylinder walls. To resolve the issue, dealers ended up replacing the engine, usually under warranty. Most of the complaints were from vehicles with 60,000 or fewer miles on them.

Brake issues

The second problem that received the most complaints had to do with this truck’s brake system. The Advancetrac warning light would light up frequently. Sometimes, it caused other issues with the steering and turn signals. One owner reported that he had to replace the rack steering to fix the problem, but it cost them a considerable amount of money.

Another issue that occurred was that the brakes either didn’t work or worked intermittently during dangerous situations. The solution most owners used was replacing the vacuum pump within the braking system. Again, these issues happened on vehicles with lower miles on them.

Steering problems

Ford F-150 owners complained of the power steering going out on them while driving. It became extremely hard to move the steering wheel to get to a safe place on the road. Dealers solved the problem for some of those owners by replacing the power steering module, at the driver’s cost.

Others complained of a faulty steering rack that caused irregular steering issues with their truck. These complaints came from owners who had pickups with an average of 55,000 miles on them. Most had to eat the cost themselves.

Window issues

The 2012 F-150 has had many problems, but none as surprising as the window issues reported by some owners. Faulty rear defrost systems are blamed for the rear windows shattering on its own. Most occurred on cold mornings when the rear defrost was engaged. Luckily, Ford replaced the windows at an average cost of about $600.

Transmission problems

Another problem Ford F-150 owners reported, had to do with the transmission. Several complaints stated that the truck would shift randomly with any gear it felt like. Driving down the highway, at normal speeds, the truck shouldn’t be shifting gears unless you engage them yourself.

Most reported they needed a new lead frame as the old one was cracked. Another owner claimed they had to replace the front driveline seal and transmission pump to resolve it.

Another complaint reported was that there were noises within the gear shifter. Some owners claimed they heard clunking and popping sounds while driving down the road. Some reported other issues along with it, like the Advancetrac warning light showing up. The fix, for some, was to replace the shift solenoid.

The 2012 Ford F-150 has proven to be the worst year for this truck. Tons more issues have popped up, but most appear to happen within 55,000 miles or fewer. The 2013 version was another bad year with several engine, brake, and transmission problems. Most of those complaints happened with lower mileage vehicles like the 2012 year. However, those problems slowed down and there were significantly fewer complaints for the 2014 year.