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Ford F-150: Model Years to Avoid

Ford F-150 to avoid

The F-150, specifically, was introduced in 1975, and this design went on to be one of the most-sold trucks ever. Its design has gone through numerous iterations and has been upgraded in numerous ways, most recently with the move to an aluminum frame.

Ford trucks are among the most popular worldwide, and with good reason. They are generally a reliable and durable choice. However, there have been a few off years for the Ford F-150. If you’re in the market for a used pickup, there are three years you should avoid.

There is absolutely no question that Ford is one of the top car manufacturers in the entire automobile world. However, it is quite apparent that they have gotten most of their success from how well they have built their pickups over the years. When one buys a Ford truck, more often than not, it is going to be a model that will absolutely end up lasting a long time. However, in some rare cases, Ford has actually released some pretty horrible pickups that did not allow this to occur. With these specific instances, criticism is absolutely warranted and a necessity when looking for a new pickup from them.

With all that has been stated thus far, in this article, we will be looking at ten trucks from Ford that are built to crumble in five years and ten more that are built to last. There is absolutely no question that Ford has done an absolutely amazing job over the years with their pickups, but they’re definitely have been some truly abysmal ones to add to this list. At the end of the day, it is extremely important to know which models were bad because the smallest of year differences from these models can go from you getting a great pickup to an absolute lemon. Ford definitely deserves a plethora of praise for all that they have done for the automobile world, but some of these pickups are just inexcusable.

For more than 40 years, the Ford F-150 has been one of America’s most popular passenger vehicles. With its robust design and spacious interior, the Ford F-150 is a great vehicle for transportation and leisure. With proper maintenance, F-150 models generally give users years of reliable performance. Over the course of seven decades and more than 13 generations of trucks, Ford is the automotive choice for millions of drivers.

As popular as Ford trucks remain, each model has had its share of problems, though. Whether the issue is aesthetic or mechanical, it is crucial to understand these issues so that you can be better prepared for any common maintenance needs or know what to look for when considering the purchase of a used Ford F-150.

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How long does an F-150 last?

The answer to this question varies on the model, how well the vehicle is maintained, the environment, and a number of other factors. Depending on the year (for instance, the 2005 F-150 has been known to fail after 75,000 miles), you can expect anywhere from 100,000 – 250,000 miles out of your F-150. The best way to get a measure of the lifespan of your truck is to get into conversations with other Ford owners on forums, as well as taking it into a mechanic to see what the potential roadblocks and failures you might experience down the road.

Which ones should I avoid?

2004 Ford F-150

The 2004 Ford F-150 is infamous in Ford history for its amount of issues and unreliability. To date, there have been 16 recalls on parts, and the model is known for engine problems as well. Best avoid this one.

The window regulators were a major issue. Typical problems include plastic window clips breaking and causing the window to crash into the door suddenly. The startling noise creates a dangerous distraction for drivers.

Sudden spark plug ejection with the Triton 6L V8, 5.4L V8, and 6.8L V10 are specifically noted, but other models share a similar fate. Whether due to the cylinders’ aluminum heads, the four-thread design of the aluminum plugs, or over-tightening, the spark plugs are known for this problem.

Spark plugs also have a tendency to break off while being removed from the engine, leaving the piece lodged inside the cylinder.


The 2004 Ford F-150 could very well go down as the worst pickup to ever come from that specific series. A massive reason behind this is the fact that this model possessed one of the worst engines in the history of the automobile world, so it was prone to having a lot of breakdowns.

This was truly a rare lemon from the series and one that the car manufacturer wishes that they could take back.

Although they were able to make up for it with later models, this truly ended up hurting their sales for a temporary set of time.

Ford F-150 Tradie utes not to buy

2005 Ford F-150

Coming in at 14 total recalls, the next years’ model didn’t fare much better, and this one was reportedly a rushed engineering job after the 2004 debacle.

The power window regulator failure continues to plague the 2005 Ford F-150 models.

A common problem reported with the 5.4L engine is a knocking sound, which is attributed to the cam phaser and bad cylinder heads.

Spark plug problems remain a central theme with engine concerns.

The 2005 Ford F-150 is another from this series that definitely did not work out well for the car manufacturer. This can be blamed on the clear fact that this model just was not built to last and was definitely rushed into production. That is the problem with the competitive market. At the end of the day, there is absolutely no question that buyers should avoid this model at all costs because there are so many far better from this series. This model definitely was one of the worsts to have ever come from the company, and due to this, it should never have been released in the first place.

2010 Ford F-150

Structural difficulties plagued this particular model, requiring tons of maintenance and repair. Another one to scratch off the list.

Commonly reported complaints regarding My Ford Touchscreen to include abrupt screen failure and unresponsiveness. It fails to recognize smartphones, and the rear-view camera stops working when trucks reverse.

The passenger-side head gasket tends to leak. The engine oil pan gasket also tends to leak. It experiences a rough idle due to exhaust gas recirculation sensors that stick from an accumulation of carbon.

More problems with the spark plugs cause ignition coil failure, leading to misfire and inability to start.Reports of the automatic transmission suddenly downshifting into second gear are common.

The 2010 Ford F-150 is another rare mistake from the F-150 series, and this is large because of the fact that it possessed an extremely weak structure. This would result in this vehicle has a very low customer satisfaction rating from the start because of the problems it always had.

This model does not follow the success of many of the other F-150 pickups.

As a result of this, one should avoid ever buying one of these at the end of the day.

In Ford’s Generation 12 F-150s, complaints have arisen about the unreliability of MyFord Touch1 — a touchscreen feature in Generation 12 and 13 models. Since 2010, drivers have cited the feature as one of the main reasons for Ford’s declining ratings in user satisfaction.

Early users of the touchscreen feature reported it would abruptly stop working. Moreover, the commands were variably unresponsive, and the system did not synchronize with smartphones. In 2014, Ford responded to these complaints with a redesigned user interface meant to enhance the performance of MyFord Touch. Despite these efforts, complaints about the system have continued with newer models in the F-150 series.

The system has reportedly proven incompatible with portable MP3 players. Once frozen, MyFord Touch has even failed to reboot in trucks where someone has removed and reinstalled the battery.

MyFord Touch has also been reportedly difficult to use in colder weather. Moreover, users claim the system is difficult to update. In fact, most users have needed to visit the dealership for upgrades. Ever since Ford removed buttons from the interface, users have claimed commands are difficult to input when wearing gloves or with long fingers.

Before the rollout of MyFord Touch, Ford trucks ranked fifth among non-luxury vehicles in customer satisfaction. Within two years of the introduction of the touchscreen system, the automaker dropped to 23rd out of 32 brands. While this may not have been the only factor in the ranking drop, it definitely didn’t help the F-150’s case.


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