Ford F-150 Reliability

How Good And Bad Is The Ford F-150 Reliability By Model Year?

Despite its popularity and by far the best-selling pickup truck for nearly 50 years, the Ford F-150 isn’t without its fair share of faults. Adored both domestically and abroad, its fourteen generations are evidence of how highly aficionados regard and covet it. As such, it’s common for folks to look to buy one used, but be wary of the reliability of the Ford F-150 by model year.

Generally speaking, if you’re looking for a relatively safe and reliable F-150 model year, the 2013 and 2014 F-150s were pretty dependable. Also, the 2018 model year, and some of the later F-150 models were also decently reliable, too. Make sure that you do your research before getting one used, as some Ford F-150 model years are terribly unreliable.

What Are The Worst Ford F-150 Model Years To Avoid?

Depending on which specific model or trim you’re looking at, the extremely popular Ford F-150 has a respectable reliability rating. The Ford F-150 ranks seventh out of 17 full-size trucks with a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0. According to Consumer Reports, the F-150 had a reliability rating of two out of five, which is low for a heavy-duty truck.

Despite some complaints and skepticism about its dependability, the Ford F-150 is a popular used car because many people believe it offers good value for the money. Still, it’s worth bearing in mind its lower resale value. Not to mention, taking into consideration these below-mentioned most unreliable Ford F-150 model years to avoid (at all costs!):

2004 – 2006 Ford F-150

Issues with these model years include corroded gas tank straps that could allow it to detach and drag below the chassis and drag on the ground. It received critical evaluations in 2004 and 2005. With an additional airbag flaw that could accidentally deploy, the same problem was a major recall and safety threat for drivers for the 2005 model year.

In addition to corrosion problems, windows, and spark plugs were also frequently problematic. Moreover, due to a flaw in the design of the aluminum cylinder head, the spark plugs frequently broke. There was a higher documented rate of engine damage for the 6.0L V8, 5.4L V8, and 6.8L V10 engines than in previous years, particularly during the repair.

Additionally, both years had issues with basic window functioning, such as the power window control failing to register. Or, the window failing to release from the door itself. Which caused a problem for safety for its owners, huge repair bills, and performance. With that being said, it’s definitely worth avoiding the 2004 and 2005 model years. But, that’s not all!

By the time the 2006 model year was unveiled, it began to show some promise after the third year of these problems. However, the majority of 2006 model-year F-150s never lived to see more than 100,000 miles on the clock. Most 2006 model-year F-150s broke down after just over seven years on the road when the 1990s’ powerhouse trucks were still in service.

2010 Ford F-150

After a few more years of fewer problems went by, spark plug problems once again plagued the 2010 Ford F-150. Even though a couple of these years had fewer problems, from this point on, frequent coil failures caused the engine to misfire or not start at all. Fortunately, this is one of the last years to report engine failure as a prevalent concern, for now.

Unfortunately, the 2010 Ford F-150 model year will undoubtedly be free of many problems with its many sensors and electronics. It was one of the first vehicles that featured comprehensive smartphone compatibility. Alas, the 2010 Ford F-150 failed to recognize phone connections and caused synching issues frequently. It’s more frustrating than anything else.

As you can imagine, this can be a real pain nowadays if you need to connect for calls or listen to music. With its ongoing problems from previous generations, the 2010 Ford F-150 is a relatively newer model year to avoid. So, seek your options elsewhere. It is also the first of a handful from this age to experience transmission failure as early as 35,000 miles.

2015 – 2017 Ford F-150

While millions of Ford F-150s were sold during this period, virtually every truck produced at this time was in danger of unexpected failure with no apparent cause. The engine and gear shift failure raised additional safety issues. According to reports, these problems were more prevalent when drivers were hauling loads that weighed around 5,000 pounds.

This is a serious issue for the Ford F-150, which can tow more than 10,000 pounds on most versions. Despite the fact that the 2015 to 2017 model years of the Ford F-150 were highly received and sold in large numbers… There were a number of systemic problems that you should be wary of. Several drivers claimed that their master cylinder needed to be replaced.

This was after their brakes abruptly stopped working when they reported braking failure. Within minutes of the “low brake fluid” warning appearing on the dashboard, drivers could not apply the brakes. The NHTSA further received reports and complaints of engine stalls for these two models with less than 30,000 miles on them in 2016 and 2017, too.

What Are Some Common Ford F-150 Problems To Be Wary Of?

Spanning throughout multiple or many model years (sometimes, entire generations), here are some of the most prevalent reliability issues with the Ford F-150 over the years…

1. Engine Problems

Ford F-150 Reliability

The V6 and V8 engines in the 2012 model might seem like a good choice from the get-go. However, due to countless engine issues, many critics rank 2012 as the worst model year. The engine for the 2012 Ford F-150 has received roughly 57 complaints, according to An additional 417 complaints were submitted to the NHTSA, as well.

This model year received a predictive dependability rating of 2/5; lower than any prior model year. Therefore, those who are interested in the 2012 model year may believe that it is the one to buy based on the J.D. Power ratings for that year, which are higher than those for any other model year succeeding it at 88/100. Alas, those engines prove problematic.

The sudden power loss issue has been reported in both the 5.0-liter V8 and the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engines. This is by far the biggest criticism of the 2012 model year Ford F-150 engine. But when you look at the actual complaints, you’ll find that most of them are related more specifically to the EcoBoost engine, rather than the 5.0 Coyote V8.

They frequently claimed that the problem manifests itself when it’s rainy or humid, with the check engine light coming on. And then, a power outage. However, after receiving almost 100 complaints concerning the EcoBoost engine, the NHTSA conducted a significant amount of investigations into the 2011 and 2012 models, taking a close interest in them.

2. Power Window Issues

According to data from, about 650 complaints were made about power window problems alone in 2004. And the following year, around 250 additional complaints were made about the same problem. Most users claimed that changing the power window regulator, which costs around $300, does fix the power window failures.

Consumer Reports also notes this problem in its reliability analysis section. Here, several drivers have expressed concern about rear window leaks and malfunctioning window motors. But if you’re shopping and come across a 16-year-old F-150, the windows have likely failed and been replaced. That’s because the usual mileage for failure is about 60,000 miles.

3. Transmission Failure

In late 2019, Ford was forced to recall 1.2 million Ford F-150s in the US. The Ford F-150 from the model years 2011 to 2013 that came with the 6-speed automatic transmission was the subject of this recall. According to the recall notice, the Ford F-150’s transmission may unexpectedly downshift into first gear, independent of the vehicle’s speed.

Thus, this increases the likelihood of an accident and causes an abrupt loss of vehicle control. In addition, a 2016 recall of 150,00 Ford F-150s from the 2011–2012 model years for the same problem was made in addition to this recall. This isn’t even to mention the 10-speed automatic transmission problems that plagued later Ford F-150 model years.

4. Stuck Door Latches

Ford F-150 Reliability

Owners of Ford F-150s filed a complaint in March 2017. They allege that Ford had not addressed the prior faults with the frozen door latches. Before the lawsuit and complaint were filed, the company had released two technical service bulletins. But, owners continued to report Ford F150 problems years later. A recall was finally announced in April 2017.

This applied to Ford F-150s from the model years 2015 to 2017 after the lawsuit was filed. In some cases, the doors might even open while you’re driving. Or, you might have issues opening them at all. If you go deeper into the recall details, you will discover that the door latches may freeze. This can result in an unexpected opening of the doors while driving.

5. Brake Problems

When it comes to safety, brakes are crucial. Yet, several F-150s model years have encountered brake problems. In 2016, Ford recalled 271,000 F-150s from the 2013-2014 model years due to brake fluid leakage. This leakage could reduce brake function, leading to extended stopping distances. For anyone on the road, an unexpected increase in braking distance spells danger.

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