Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems: Should You Avoid This V8?

The Ford F150 has been the king of the pickup truck segment in America for over 4 decades. As you might have guessed, this truck has been offered a wide variety of engines throughout the years. The 5.0 liter V8 has been one of the best sellers. But, are there any Ford F150 5.0 engine problems you should know about?

You can argue that there is nothing more American than a pickup truck with a good ol’ V8 under the hood. The F150 with the 5.0 brings the perfect mix of practicality and power to the table. However, people expect pickup truck engines to be reliable, yet there have been some doubts cast over the reliability of the 5.0.

After going through this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about the common problems of this American V8. This information will surely come in handy once you are making a purchase decision down the line. With that in mind, let’s begin our discussion on this hot topic. First up, we’ll take you on a tour of the 5.0 Coyote engine and its origin.

5.0 Coyote Engine

The roots of the 5.0 Coyote engine date back to the 80s. 1987 saw the debut of the first Ford Modular V8, which was the company’s brand new flagship powerplant of the time. It was made at the Ford engine plant in Romeo, Michigan. This 4.6 liter V8 equipped with single-overhead cam technology made its debut in the 1991 Lincoln Town Car.

ford f150 5.0 engine problems

The Modular V8 found its way to the Mustang in 1996. However, a more powerful four-valve dual-overhead-cam version was the engine of choice in the Mustang Cobra. Various revisions of this engine found their place under the hoods of different Ford models throughout the following year. Finally, things took a turn in 2011, when the first Coyote engine made its debut.

Gen 1 Coyote Engine

The 2011 Ford Mustang was the first model from the blue over to come with the new, 5.0 Coyote engine. This was Ford’s answer to the Chevrolet LS3 and Dodge’s Hemi engines of the era. This new V8 by Ford made 412 horsepower along with 390 lb-ft of torque. Moreover, there were two features that set the Coyote engine apart from its competitors.

The first one was the twin independent variable cam timing technology, which is referred to as Ti-VCT by the manufacturer. This technology allowed the Coyote to control the time at which the intake and exhaust valves open. There were many benefits of this such as improving fuel efficiency, producing more power as well as reducing harmful emissions.

Ford replaced the F150s’ 5.4-liter Triton engine with the Coyote as well. Here, the engine produced less horsepower but made more torque on the low end. 2012 saw the introduction of the Mustang Boss 302. This souped-up pony car had an upgraded Coyote engine, which was nicknamed the “Road Runner”. New heads, a lighter valvetrain as well as a revised air intake increased the power output of this engine all the way to 444 horsepower.

Gen 2 Coyote Engine

2015 was an important year for the Mustang, as it is the year in which the new S550 generation of the legendary muscle car made its debut. With this new Mustang generation, Ford also introduced an updated Coyote engine dubbed the “Gen 2”.

The second-generation Coyote engine came with Charge Motion Control Valves (CMCV). These valves were more advanced than those of the previous generation and worked within the intake manifold. This new CMCV system improved the Mustangs’ fuel economy, stabilized idle control, and lowered emissions.

The Gen 2 Coyote produced 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque under the hood of the 2015-2017 Ford Mustang GT. The third generation Coyote debuted in 2018, and we’ll talk more about that powerplant in a later section.

Ford F150 5.0

Not only the Mustang, but the F150 also benefited from the introduction of the 5.0 engine. All 3 generations of the Coyote have found their way into the popular pickup truck. The first generation Coyote engine was offered with the F150 between the years of 2011 and 2014, where it made 360 horsepower.

Similarly, the Gen 2 Coyote engine was available in the 2015 – 2017 Ford F150. Here, the power output has increased to 385 horsepower, along with 387 lb-ft of torque. Furthermore, F150 pickups from 2018 onwards are equipped with the third generation 5.0 engine, which makes an impressive 395 horsepower paired with 400 lb-ft of torque.

This powerplant is both powerful and efficient. However, there are some Ford F150 5.0 engine problems that have come to light. Some of the most widespread issues include,

Now, we will go through each of these engine problems.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #1 – Rattling Noises From The Engine

No one wants to hear their engines make a weird noise, as it always leads to an expensive repair bill. For some unlucky F150 owners, this was the reality. The 5.0 engine of F150 trucks affected by this problem made scratching, ticking, and rattling noises as the engine got up to operating temperature.

If these noises go on for a prolonged period of time, these issues can end up causing the engine to file out of time by loosening the tension on the timing chain. To fix this problem, almost all of the timing chain assembly has to be disassembled. Expect a repair bill of around $2000 to get that work done.


  • Audible scratching, ticking, and rattling noises.
  • Increase in noise volume as engine warms up.
  • Possible loss of power or reduced engine performance.

Causes and Reasons:

  • The primary reason for these noises is the undue strain and wear on the timing chain.
  • Potential oil sludge buildup reduces lubrication on the chain.
  • Manufacturing flaws in some batches of timing chain assemblies.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an automotive stethoscope to pinpoint the source of the noise.
  • Check the oil level and quality. Dark, sludgy oil can indicate poor maintenance.
  • Scan for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) which may relate to timing issues.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Regularly change the engine oil and use high-quality lubricants.
  • Consider using oil additives designed to reduce engine noise.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • For a professional repair involving timing chain assembly disassembly, expect costs of around $2,000. This includes parts and labor.
  • DIY enthusiasts might save on labor but parts can still be a hefty $800 – $1,200.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #2 – Rough Running

Due to an issue with the Mass Air-Flow sensor (MAF), the 5.0 engine in the F150 can start to run roughly once the vehicle reaches the 100,000-mile mark. The sensor failing due to getting dirty is the main cause of this problem. In addition to rough running, the 5.0 also tends to backfire, misfire, shake when idling as well as hesitate under acceleration.

To remedy the rough-running engine, there are two possible solutions. The first one is to clean the MAF sensor using an electronic cleaner (for more insight, check out our guide on what does a mass air flow sensor do). The other, and more expensive option is to replace the sensor entirely with a new one. You can either pay a shop around $165 – $250 to do it or do it at home for around $100.


  • Engine backfires or misfires.
  • Noticeable engine vibrations, especially while idling.
  • Hesitation during acceleration.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Dirty or malfunctioning Mass Air-Flow (MAF) sensor.
  • Potential accumulation of dirt particles over time.
  • Consistent driving in dusty environments or infrequent air filter changes can exacerbate this issue.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Inspect the MAF sensor for visible dirt or debris.
  • Use an OBD-II scanner to identify any relevant fault codes.
  • A noticeably dirty air filter can suggest an overworked MAF sensor.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Clean the MAF sensor using a specialized electronic cleaner.
  • Replace the air filter if dirty or old.
  • If cleaning doesn’t work, consider replacing the MAF sensor.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Cleaning the MAF: DIY cost is about $10 for the cleaner.
  • MAF sensor replacement: DIY cost is around $100 for a quality part.
  • Professional replacement ranges between $165 – $250, including labor.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #3 – Faulty Spark Plugs

Bad spark plugs (which you can confirm by learning how to test spark plug and how to tell if spark plug is bad) are behind some of the most widespread Ford F150 5.0 engine problems. In fact, these are the main culprits of the engine misfires (to learn more, check out our guide on how to fix engine misfire as well as the Dodge P0300 code) and backfires encountered by a majority of F150 owners. Additionally, spark plugs also cause the engine to falter when accelerating.


  • Engine misfires.
  • Backfires through the exhaust or intake.
  • Hesitation during acceleration.
  • Noticeable reduction in fuel efficiency.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Worn-out spark plugs due to mileage or poor-quality fuel.
  • The build-up of carbon deposits on spark plug electrodes.
  • Incorrect spark plug gaps can lead to performance issues.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Visually inspect spark plugs for wear or carbon deposits.
  • Use an OBD-II scanner to check for misfire codes.
  • Monitor the engine’s idle. Rough or unstable idling can be a spark plug sign.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Clean spark plugs with a wire brush and ensure correct gaps using a gapping tool.
  • Replace old or visibly worn spark plugs.
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on the correct spark plug type and gap.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • A set of quality spark plugs: $30 – $60.
  • DIY replacement: Just the cost of the plugs and perhaps a gapping tool.
  • Professional replacement: $100 – $200, depending on labor rates and spark plug choice.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #4 – Coolant Leaks

Another common engine problem plaguing thousands of F150 pickups is coolant leaks. The source of these leaks has been identified as a plastic “T” connector. This connector makes use of an O-ring paired with a threaded connection to form a seal. The connection fails over time, leading to a coolant leak.

coolant leaks

Replacing the O-ring temporarily fixes the issue. But, you’ll have to pay around $250 to get the leak permanently fixed. On the other hand, you’ll only have to spend around $60 for a new connector if you plan to replace it by yourself.


  • Visible coolant on the ground beneath the vehicle.
  • Overheating engine.
  • Low coolant levels in the reservoir.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Plastic “T” connector wears down over time.
  • O-ring degradation coupled with threaded connection failure.
  • Heat and constant pressure can expedite the connector’s wear.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Regularly inspect the coolant reservoir level.
  • Check the area around the “T” connector for visible moisture or coolant.
  • If the leak is suspected but not visible, consider a coolant system pressure test.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Replace the O-ring to temporarily alleviate the issue.
  • For a more permanent fix, replace the entire “T” connector.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • O-ring: $5 – $10.
  • New connector: Around $60 if DIY.
  • Professional repair for a permanent fix: Around $250.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #5 – Head Gasket Oil Leaks

Early versions of the 5.0 Coyote engine suffered from an issue where oil leaked out from the head gasket. The issue was traced to a design defect, which was corrected in later versions by updating the head gaskets, valve covers, front gaskets as well as the O-rings.

Engine oil leaking out from the right side head gasket is one of the most widespread Ford F150 5.0 engine problems. Not only that, there is a risk of the oil leaking into the starter motor and other critical components of the engine.

Head gasket oil leaks are an issue that should be addressed quickly, as leaving the oil leaks unfixed can lead to permanent head gasket damage. Sealing off the affected area using an engine block sealant is the most cost-effective fix. A block seal can be bought and applied for a cost of around $35. However, this is only a temporary solution and is not sustainable at all.

Installing an updated head gasket is the only permanent fix for the oil leaks. As you might have guessed, this is not a cheap repair. A head gasket replacement on a 5.0 Coyote engine costs in the ballpark of $2250 to $2600.


  • Visible oil leaks from the side of the engine.
  • Burning oil smell.
  • Oil on the starter motor and adjacent components.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Design defect in early 5.0 Coyote engine versions.
  • Degraded O-rings and faulty head gaskets, valve covers, and front gaskets.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Regularly inspect oil levels.
  • Check the side of the engine, especially the right side, for oil traces.
  • A professional inspection might be required for a comprehensive diagnosis.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Apply engine block sealant on the affected area as a temporary solution.
  • Consider replacing the head gasket and updating other components for a long-term fix.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Engine block sealant: Around $35.
  • Professional head gasket replacement and related repairs: $2250 – $2600.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #6 – Throttle Body Issues

The 5.0 engine uses an electronic throttle body to turn the engine on and off. On some occasions, this component becomes faulty, giving owners a headache. On most occasions, the issue can be fixed by simply reprogramming the truck’s ECU. But, there have been situations where the entire throttle body had to be replaced with a brand-new one.


  • Irregular idling or stalling.
  • Reduced engine performance.
  • Throttle response delays.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Electronic throttle body malfunction or wear.
  • ECU programming issues.
  • Potential electrical faults or wiring problems.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to check for throttle-related fault codes.
  • Inspect the throttle body for visible signs of wear or damage.
  • Test the throttle response in a safe environment.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Reprogramming the truck’s ECU using a suitable scanner or software.
  • Clean the throttle body using throttle body cleaner.
  • If cleaning or reprogramming doesn’t work, consider replacing the throttle body.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • ECU reprogramming: Varies based on software but can be free if DIY.
  • Throttle body cleaner: $10 – $15.
  • New throttle body: Varies based on brand and quality, but expect around $100 – $300.
  • Professional replacement, including labor: $400 – $700.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #7 – Stalling

Engine stalls are a relatively common complaint among F150 owners. This can happen either when the vehicle is idling or under acceleration. A faulty exhaust gas recirculation valve is the most probable cause of F150 5.0 engine stalls.


  • Sudden engine shutdown while driving.
  • The vehicle jerks or hesitates before stalling.
  • The engine dies during idling or at a stop.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Faulty exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve.
  • Clogged fuel injectors or fuel filters.
  • Faulty ignition coils or spark plugs.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to detect any engine error codes.
  • Inspect the EGR valve for blockage or damage.
  • Examine other ignition components and the fuel system.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Clean or replace the EGR valve.
  • Consider cleaning or replacing fuel injectors.
  • Replace faulty spark plugs or ignition coils.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • EGR valve replacement: $150 – $300.
  • Fuel injector cleaning: $50 – $150.
  • Ignition coil replacement: $100 – $300.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #8 – Engine Knocking

Excessive valve float or a piston slap can make knocking noises inside the 5.0 engine. This is a serious issue that can lead to catastrophic engine damage. Usually bearing, gasket or crankshaft replacements have to be made to get rid of the engine-knocking issue.

These are a few of the most common Ford F150 5.0 engine problems. If you are on the lookout for an F150, keep these issues in mind.


  • Audible knocking or tapping sounds from the engine.
  • Reduced engine performance.
  • Excessive engine vibration.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Excessive valve float.
  • Piston slap due to wear or misalignment.
  • Damaged bearings, gaskets, or crankshaft.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Conduct a visual inspection for any visible wear or damage to engine components.
  • Use a mechanic’s stethoscope to isolate the source of the knocking.
  • Check for low oil levels or inferior oil quality.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Using higher octane fuel or oil additives might reduce knocking.
  • Consider replacing damaged bearings or gaskets.
  • For severe issues, consulting a mechanic is essential.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Bearing replacement: $400 – $800.
  • Gasket replacement: $200 – $500.
  • Crankshaft replacement or repair: $500 – $1500.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #9 – Oil Pump Failures

Over time, the oil pump can wear out, leading to inadequate lubrication of the engine’s internal components. When this happens, you might notice a low oil pressure warning light or even hear increased engine noises due to inadequate lubrication. This situation is quite grave, as running an engine with insufficient oil can cause extensive damage. To resolve this, a full oil pump replacement is usually required. This can set back an owner by $600 to $800, excluding labor costs.


  • Low oil pressure warning light activation.
  • Increased engine noise due to metal-on-metal contact.
  • Overheating of engine components.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Wear and tear of the oil pump over time.
  • Blocked oil passages.
  • Broken oil pump drive belt or chain.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Check the oil level and its quality.
  • Use an oil pressure gauge to measure the actual oil pressure.
  • Inspect the oil pump drive mechanism for wear or damage.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Replace the oil pump.
  • Clear any blocked oil passages.
  • Replace a damaged oil pump drive belt or chain.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • New oil pump: $150 – $400.
  • Labor costs for oil pump replacement: $450 – $600.
  • Total estimated cost: $600 – $1000.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #10 – VCT Solenoid Malfunctions

Variable Camshaft Timing (VCT) solenoids play a crucial role in adjusting the valve lift timings. Sometimes, these solenoids become clogged or malfunction. When this happens, drivers often experience a decrease in fuel efficiency, power loss, and even a rough idle. The check engine light might also turn on. Replacing these solenoids can improve the engine’s performance. A replacement typically costs between $250 to $400.


  • Decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Power loss while driving.
  • Rough idle.
  • Activation of the check engine light.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Clogged VCT solenoids.
  • Malfunctioning or failing VCT solenoids.
  • Improper oil viscosity or contaminated oil.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to identify any error codes related to the VCT system.
  • Visually inspect the VCT solenoids for signs of damage or clogging.
  • Check the oil quality and ensure the right viscosity is used.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Replace faulty VCT solenoids.
  • Regular oil changes using the correct viscosity can prevent clogging.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • VCT solenoid replacement: $250 – $400.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #11 – Fuel Injector Issues

Fuel injectors spray fuel into the engine, ensuring a smooth combustion process. Sometimes, due to dirt or other contaminants, these injectors can become clogged. This often leads to engine misfires, reduced power, or even a decline in miles per gallon. Regularly using a quality fuel injector cleaner can prevent these issues. However, if a fuel injector fails, replacement becomes necessary. This can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 per injector.


  • Engine misfires.
  • Reduced engine power.
  • Decrease in miles per gallon.
  • Rough idling.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Clogged fuel injectors due to dirt or contaminants.
  • Damaged or malfunctioning injectors.
  • Poor fuel quality.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to identify any fuel injector-related error codes.
  • Visually inspect the fuel injectors for damage or blockage.
  • Perform a fuel injector flow test.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Use a quality fuel injector cleaner.
  • Replace faulty fuel injectors.
  • Regularly use quality fuel to prevent contaminants.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Fuel injector cleaning: $50 – $150.
  • Fuel injector replacement: $100 – $200 per injector.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #12 – Emissions Control Problems

The Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) helps reduce the emissions released into the atmosphere. However, components such as the EVAP purge valve or the charcoal canister can fail, leading to increased emissions and triggering the check engine light. Addressing these concerns is essential not just for the environment but also for passing emission tests. Fixing the EVAP system typically costs between $150 to $300, depending on the exact problem.


  • Activation of the check engine light.
  • Failed emission tests.
  • Fuel smell or fuel leaks.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Failed EVAP purge valve.
  • Damaged or malfunctioning charcoal canister.
  • Leaks or damages in the EVAP system hoses.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to detect any EVAP-related error codes.
  • Perform a smoke test to identify leaks in the EVAP system.
  • Check the purge valve and charcoal canister for proper operation.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Replace the faulty EVAP purge valve.
  • Replace the damaged charcoal canister.
  • Repair or replace any damaged hoses in the EVAP system.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • EVAP purge valve replacement: $50 – $150.
  • Charcoal canister replacement: $100 – $250.
  • Total estimated cost for various EVAP system repairs: $150 – $300.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #13 – Transmission Shifting Issues

Although not directly an engine problem, the 5.0 Coyote engine is sometimes paired with transmissions that exhibit erratic shifting patterns. This can lead to a jerky ride and is often caused by a malfunctioning transmission control module or worn-out transmission fluid. Regular maintenance and periodic transmission fluid changes can prevent these issues. For severe problems, a transmission overhaul might be required, costing upwards of $2000.


  • Erratic shifting patterns.
  • Jerky or uneven ride.
  • Delayed gear shifts or gear slipping.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Malfunctioning transmission control module (TCM).
  • Worn-out or degraded transmission fluid.
  • Mechanical issues within the transmission system.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to detect any transmission-related error codes.
  • Check the transmission fluid level and quality.
  • Visually inspect the transmission system for any signs of damage or wear.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Change the transmission fluid at regular intervals.
  • Reset or update the transmission control module software.
  • Replace the transmission filter.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Transmission fluid change: $75 – $150.
  • Transmission control module replacement: $500 – $900.
  • Transmission overhaul: Starting from $2000.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #14 – Engine Overheating

A well-functioning cooling system is essential for the longevity of any engine. On occasion, the water pump or thermostat may fail, leading to an overheated engine. Continual driving under these conditions can cause engine damage. It’s important to address overheating quickly. Replacing a thermostat is relatively inexpensive, typically costing $50 to $100. However, a water pump replacement can be more costly, ranging between $300 to $500.


  • Engine temperature warning light activation.
  • Steam or smoke from the engine bay.
  • Reduced engine performance.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Failed water pump.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat.
  • Coolant leaks or low coolant levels.
  • Radiator blockage or malfunction.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Monitor the engine temperature gauge.
  • Check the coolant level and quality.
  • Inspect the radiator, thermostat, and water pump for proper operation.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Refill or replace the engine coolant.
  • Replace the faulty thermostat.
  • Ensure the radiator is free of debris and functioning correctly.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Thermostat replacement: $50 – $100.
  • Water pump replacement: $300 – $500.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems #15 – Ignition Coil Failures

Ignition coils play a pivotal role in starting the engine by igniting the air-fuel mixture. Over time, these coils can wear out or malfunction, leading to engine misfires or even failure to start. When faced with these symptoms, it’s essential to inspect the ignition coils. Replacing one isn’t overly expensive, but costs can add up if multiple coils need replacement. Expect to pay around $100 to $200 per coil.


  • Engine misfires.
  • Rough idling.
  • Difficulty starting the engine.
  • Activation of the check engine light.

Causes and Reasons:

  • Worn-out or malfunctioning ignition coils.
  • Damaged spark plug wires.
  • Moisture or contaminants in the ignition system.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Use an OBD-II scanner to detect ignition coil-related error codes.
  • Visually inspect the ignition coils and associated wiring.
  • Test the ignition coils for proper operation.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Replace faulty ignition coils.
  • Ensure the spark plug wires are in good condition and securely connected.
  • Keep the ignition system clean and free of moisture.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Ignition coil replacement: $100 – $200 per coil.

In conclusion, while the Ford F150’s 5.0-liter V8 engine is robust and reliable for the most part, like any mechanical component, it has its share of potential issues. Regular maintenance, periodic checks, and promptly addressing any minor concerns can go a long way in ensuring your engine’s longevity. Always stay informed and consult with professionals when faced with any engine-related problems.

Ford F150 V8

The 5.0 V8 engine first became available with the Ford F150 in the truck’s 12th generation. Although, it was not the only new engine option for that generation. A new 3.5 liter EcoBoost also made its first appearance with this generation. Both engines have been available on the subsequent 13th and 14th generation F150 pickup trucks as well.


Although these two engines made their debut at the same time, there are some major differences that set them apart. Let’s explore some of the key areas of difference.

1. Towing

Both the EcoBoost and the Coyote engine are very capable when it comes to towing. However, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost edges out the V8 in this aspect. Thanks to its turbocharged technology, the EcoBoost excels in the lower-and-mid rev ranges, making it an excellent choice for people looking to tow heavier weights for longer distances.

There are other factors that have an effect on the towing capacity of the F150 as well. The choice of the drivetrain (2WD or 4WD), the generations as well as optional extras like the towing package are some examples. Furthermore, if you want a truck that can handle the heaviest weights, consider either the F-250 or the F-350.

2. Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is another key difference between the two engines. The F150 is not the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the world, so getting an efficient engine can help you save a few bucks. When it comes to the F150 engines, the EcoBoost is more efficient than the V8. However, other factors like transmission, vehicle generation, and even the way you drive all have an effect on fuel economy.

3. Performance

Both engines are among the top performers in the pickup truck segment. The EcoBoost excels in the lower to mid RPM range as it uses turbocharged technology. Yet, the 5.0 V8 comes alive above 5500 RPM. You can’t go wrong with either of these engines, still, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost has the edge when it comes to daily driving.

We previously mentioned the third generation of the Coyote engine. Now, let us take a deeper dive into it and see what it has under its sleeve.

Gen 3 Coyote Engine

The third generation 5.0 Coyote engine was the first to use the Plasma Wire Arc Transfer cylinder liner technology. This new innovation replaced the cast iron sleeves used in the earlier generations. The bore diameter of the engine also received a bump, from 92.2 to 93.0 mm. Additionally, the total engine displacement increased to 307 cubic inches as well.

The gen 3 Coyote was outfitted with new camshafts and a new intake manifold. Furthermore, the engine intake and exhaust valves were enlarged too. These new modifications resulted in a redline that was now at 7500 rpm. Other updates from the second generation to the third include high-pressure direct injection as well as an increased compression ratio.

Best Years For Ford F150

There are some model years that suffer from fewer Ford F150 5.0 engine problems than the rest. Here are our choices for the best years of this legendary pickup truck.

  • 1994
  • 2018
  • 1996
  • 2009
  • 2012
  • 2001
  • 1993
  • 2003
  • 1998
  • 2015

Best Years For Ford F150 #10 – 1994

1994 was one of the first years of the F150 to take passenger safety seriously. This model year bought with it a driver-side airbag for the first time in the truck’s history. On top of that, extra door side beams also added to the safety of the 1994 F150.

Under the hood of the truck was a 190 horsepower, 4.9-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine, which gave it plenty of power. The truck was stylish on the outside and came with a CD player on the inside to keep the passengers entertained. A CFC free air conditioning system, as well as a center-mounted stop lamp, was the other noteworthy features.

Best Years For Ford F150 #9 – 2018

Next, let’s move on to the newest truck on this list. The 2018 F150 is special because it is one of the least recalled model years of this best-selling pickup. The truck is filled to the brim with the latest technological features and comes with many personalization options that help to make the truck your own.

Best Years For Ford F150 #8 – 1996

1996 was the swansong of the F150’s 9th generation. The engine that came with this model is an upgraded 5.0 liter V8 that produced 205 horsepower. On the inside, there was a new, comfortable seat design with an integrated headrest as well as an automatic locking seatbelt restraint mechanism to keep you safe in the event of an accident.

Best Years For Ford F150 #7 – 2009

Powered by a 248-horsepower V8, the 2009 F150 was a popular choice among pickup truck buyers in the late 2000s. Additionally, even the base models came packed with great features, which only added to the appeal of the truck.

The 2009 model year also saw the debut of the top-of-the-line Platinum trim level, which was the go-to option for luxury pickup truck buyers of the era.

Best Years For Ford F150 #6 – 2012

An eye-catching boxy design is what set the 2012 F150 apart from the competition at the time. However, this generation was not lacking in the equipment department either. Options like neutral tow-assist and hill assist increased the capability, while the 9 different trim levels on offer made the truck appealing to a larger audience (for more insight, check out our explainer on what does SE mean on a car).

Best Years For Ford F150 #5 – 2001

2001 is well known among F150 owners to be one of the most durable and longest-lasting model years. It was very well built, as proven by the examples still kicking around with over 200,000 miles on the odometer.

Best Years For Ford F150 #4 – 1993

The first performance pickup truck saw the light of day in 1993. We are of course talking about the first generation F150 SVT lightning. It had a 5.8-liter V8 heart and was capable of sprinting to 60 mph in just 7 seconds. For people who wanted something more rational, there was the capable XL trim level.

Best Years For Ford F150 #3 – 2003

With a 75% improvement in town capacity over the previous year, the 2003 F150 was the vehicle to get if you wanted to haul a heavy load across the country. However, the impressive towing capability took its toll on fuel economy, as the 2003 F150 could only get 12 miles per gallon (to learn more, check out our guide on how many miles per gallon).

Best Years For Ford F150 #2 – 1998

The 1998 F150 is the perfect truck if what you seek is a reliable engine and a robust body design. These trucks are powered by the beloved Triton V8s, which are some of the most reliable powerplants the American manufacturer has ever produced.

Best Years For Ford F150 #1 – 2015

As with the Mustang, 2015 was a turning point for the F150 as well. This was the year in which the F150 shifted to an all aluminum construction. As a result, the weight of the truck was reduced by around 700 pounds. This had a positive effect on the truck in several areas including performance, efficiency, towing, and payload capacity.

Ford 5.0 Engine Problems: Facts You Need to Know

  • The 5.0 engine, also known as the “Coyote,” is a popular engine option in the 12th generation F-150 for its power, reliability, and ease of ownership.
  • Although this engine has comparatively few problems, it’s important to be aware of some of the most common issues if you’re considering purchasing an F-150 with this engine.
  • The most common problems with the 5.0L F-150 engine include a rough running engine, metallic clicking or rattling, coolant leak, and oil leakage from the head gasket.
  • A rough running engine is often caused by a dirty mass air-flow sensor (MAF), which needs to be replaced or cleaned for about $100-250.
  • Metallic clicking or rattling can be a result of a lack of tension in the timing chain, which requires the replacement of the timing chain tensioner assembly and can cost over $2,000.
  • Coolant leak often comes from a plastic “T” connector, and the total replacement cost is around $250 for parts and labor or about $60 for DIY repairs.
  • Oil leakage from the head gasket is a common problem in earlier 5.0 engines and requires the installation of a new, updated head gasket for about $2,256-$2,632.
  • To avoid buying a used F-150 with problems, listen carefully for ticking or rattling noises, check for coolant leaks, and get a pre-purchase inspection report from a local mechanic.
  • The pre-purchase inspection report is essential in catching any hidden problems and can save you thousands of dollars worth of repair costs.
  • Despite these issues, the Ford 5.0 engine is a great engine that can go well over 200,000 miles with relative ease.

Ford 5.0 Engine Problems and Repairs Facts:

  • The Ford 5.0 engine, also known as the “Coyote,” is praised for its power, reliability, and ease of ownership.
  • Despite having comparatively few problems, some issues should be on the lookout for if you own or are planning to purchase an F-150 equipped with this engine.
  • The most common issues with the 5.0L F-150 engine are rough running, metallic clicking or rattling, coolant leaks, and oil leakage from the head gasket.
  • Rough running can be caused by a dirty MAF sensor, which can be cleaned for around $100 or replaced for $165 to $250 by a shop.
  • Metallic clicking or rattling requires a timing chain tensioner assembly replacement that can cost over $2,000 if the vehicle is not under factory warranty.
  • Coolant leaks are typically caused by a faulty plastic “T” connector that can be replaced for $250 in parts and labor or $60 for parts alone.
  • Oil leakage from the head gasket is a design issue corrected by Ford, but it may still occur in earlier models, costing between $15-$35 for temporary blockage and $2,256-$2,632 for a long-term solution of installing a new head gasket.
  • To avoid buying a used F-150 with these problems, listen for ticking or rattling noises associated with timing chain issues, check for coolant leaks, and have a mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection report.
  • Overall, the Ford 5.0 engine is an excellent engine with the potential to go well over 200,000 miles with proper maintenance and repair.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems: In Conclusion…

The Ford F150 equipped with the 5.0 V8 engine is one of the best trucks on the market in terms of both practicality and performance. No matter if you want a truck to haul cargo, go on a highway cruise, or tow a trailer cross country, this truck has got you covered.


However, there are some widespread Ford F150 5.0 engine problems that every potential buyer should keep in the back of their mind. The best way to avoid these issues is to select a truck from the most reliable model years which we discussed with you here today.

Ford F150 5.0 Engine Problems: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some popular FAQs:

What Is The Coyote Engine

The Coyote engine is a lineup of naturally aspirated V8 engines by Ford. The first generation of this engine made its debut in 2011 in the Mustang GT of that model year. It is one of the most powerful and fuel-efficient high-performance engines, getting around 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.

How Many Miles Can A Ford F150 Last

With proper maintenance, an F150 can last you a long time. The average lifespan of an F150 is between 150,000 – 200,000 miles, although there have been examples that have been recorded to last over 300,000 miles.

Are Ford Trucks Reliable

Ford trucks are generally considered to be reliable. Yet, the reliability largely depends on how you take care of the vehicle. Carrying out regular maintenance and not overstressing the engine are two options you can take to prolong the lifespan of your Ford truck.

What Engine Can Replace A 5.4 Triton

There are several engine options that can replace the 5.4 Triton Modular V8 engine that comes in F150s. Some of the most popular choices include the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, the 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V6, 2.7L EcoBoost V6, and of course the 5.0-liter V8.

Where Is Ford F150 Made

Currently, Ford produces the F150 in two production facilities located in the United States. The first facility resides at the company’s home base in Dearborn, Michigan. The Claycomo, Missouri plant is the other location where the F150 is made.

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