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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,957 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Dec 302007

F-150 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My 1998 Ford F-150 only had 76,000 miles on it and was well-maintained. On 12/30/2007. It had run a little rough at start up for about two weeks prior to 12/30/2007. Then on that day a loud knock in the engine. I took it to a mechanic who said that there was a history of the 4.2 engines having problems. And I would have to replace the engine. I have not done anything with it yet. I believe that Ford should stand behind this engine. If they know it was a design problem to start with.

- Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #40

Mar 022007

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I purchased a used 1998 Ford F150 from car max in las vegas. I also purchased car max's extended warranty. I took the truck to jiffy lube for an oil change and drove it home, a distance of about 1 mile. Jiffy lube did not note any problems when they serviced the truck. The truck would not start the next time I went to use it. Jumping it did no good, the battery was not low. I had the truck towed to car max it was towed on a flat bed trailer, so the wheels never touched the ground. I called car max the next day and they said they had it scheduled to look at the following day. They called me that following day and asked if the truck was smoking when I last drove it. I told them it was not and that it drove fine. Then they told me the engine was blown and continued to act as though I had caused it. On my next day off, I rode my bicycle to car max and checked the truck's odometer against the mileage jiffy lube wrote on my receipt. There were 28 miles put on my truck since the oil change. Car max will not take responsibility, even though they blew the motor in my truck, but deny it. My son had done most of the oil changes on the truck, so I have no proof oil changes were done, so car max denied the extended warranty. I called Ford and I was told there is no such issue on the truck, even though Ford changed the head starting with later 1998 models, due to a faulty design. Their customer service agent was very frustrated with my asking how they can deny an issue, when they put out information to their dealers on steps to take when servicing the F150. She asked what I wanted them to do. I told her I was not asking Ford to replace the motor because I am paying for an extended warranty. But I would like them to contact car max and tell them that the motor blowing up was not my fault, so car max would cover it, as they should anyway. She told me no, because there is no issue with the 1997 and 1998 Ford F150's. please help.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #39

Apr 172007

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Head gasket failure.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #38

Apr 152005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought used vehicle from the bo's autorama on 6/2004 and used it once or twice in the first year. I started to use it regularly in April 2005. First I had to replace the spark plugs/wires because of water getting into them, and causing a miss in the engine on 4/2005. Then I had them sealed on 9/2005, then, replaced on 12/2005, and the problem to this day, has never been fixed, but I spent over $900 trying. The transmission and rear differential has had to be replaced 3 times on 5/2005, 6/2005, and 7/2005. The muffler was replaced in 8/2005, the battery died in 10/2005, the front brakes went out in 11/2005. So less than 14,000 miles from purchase I had spent over $5ooo in repairs, and still could not drive it. I took the truck to bo's beuckman Ford and will never deal with them again. They over charged me for lousy work. Also, Ford would not pay for the first faulty rear differential because I did not have Ford install it. Why would I? they could not fix the engine miss after 2 tries, and charged me both times, and it took them 3 times to fix the transmission.

- Ellisville, MO, USA

problem #37

Jun 012006

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles
1998 Ford F-150 4.2L V6 engine, engine has burned coolant for several months, engine recently started making a loud knocking noise, two mechanics have diagnosed the problem as a bad piston and the engine needs to be replaced.

- Fulton, NY, USA

problem #36

Jul 292006

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 196,000 miles
1) rough idle, white smoke from exhaust pipe, failure of both catalytic converters, unexplained loss of engine coolant. 2) hydro-locked engine, un-repairable engine damage. 3) quoted $3500 for rebuilt engine, no action yet taken.

- Parkville, MO, USA

problem #35

Dec 192005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 106,888 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

On Monday Dec 19 2005 while driving with my wife and granddaughter, an explosion occurred under the hood of my 1998 Ford F150 VIN: [xxx]. smoke came out the hood and through the air vents into the cab. The Ford dealer said the plastic plenum in the intake manifold cracked allowing raw gasoline to enter where it should not have and exploded. They replaced the manifold assembly with the new style aluminum manifold and plenum. This cost almost $1,100. I have since found that Ford settled a lawsuit 12/16/2005 in which the plastic plenums cracked. But this only covers a small number of Ford cars and not trucks. The dealer service mgr told me that Ford has developed a new aluminum plenum that replaces the old plastic one and I should have no more trouble. My question is why I cannot be reimbursed for a plastic plenum that cracked, they obviously know they are bad, and we could have been seriously hurt. Updated 07/17/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #34

Mar 152005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 947,250 miles
MY98 Ford F150 4-2L motor thew a rod found coolent on the plugs just like the huhdreds of otheres but no one wants to admit to the problom with this motor now its 3K to 4K to fix it I dont know when that will happen but it make a great lawn ornment I hope some one is looking into this thank you for you time

- Shoreline, WA, USA

problem #33

Aug 122003

(reported on)

F-150

  • 30,000 miles
The spark plugs blew out at 30,000 miles which caused gasoline to spray onto the engine. Consumer bought a new engine. Currently, at 40,000 miles vehicle experienced the same problem.

- Richmond, KY, USA

problem #32

Jul 122003

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
My engine failed due to the following information. According to Ford tsb 99-20-7 these engines were assembled with obsolete engine front cover gaskets and/or lower intake manifold gaskets. When these gaskets fail, the resulting damage will often create the need for an entire engine replacement. Due to this failure an engine is needing replacing. After looking at cases on the internet. I find Ford not correcting a major defect in there product.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #31

Apr 162003

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,095 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was coming from the doctor with my wife when my truck starts doing a laud knocking sound. I could not figure what was going on. The temperature, battery, oil pressure and everything was fine. The next day I took it to a mechanic and he told me I had a bad head gasket and found that it damage a #1 cyl, bend connecting rod, crack piston and of course a bad head. To fix it was over $2,500. I live in a social security disability with a fix income since February and cannot afford to pay all that money and barely make the payments. The mechanic told me that it has been lots of problems with these engines and head gaskets. I told my stepdaughter and we went on-line surprised to see lots of people with the same problem. Ford knows about these problems since 1998 on the 3.8-liter V-6 head gasket used between 1988 and 1995 on the Taurus, Sable and Continental, as well as the 1995 Windstar and we think they did not fix the problem not until way after 1998 when they issued a technical service bulletin. Now 1998's F-150 got exaclly the same prablem. I donżżT know what to do !!! I have not call Ford credit to tell them yet. Anny sugestions please E-mail me at jessym28@hotmail.com

- North Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #30

Dec 092002

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
I currently have a 1998 Ford F150 4.2L engine that has 65000 miles and am experiencing head gasket failure. Ford moco stats there is no tsp's or recalls reguarding this. I pulled the owners notification 98B33 off your web site. My engine build date is Nov 1997 at the essex plant. I am in the army and am stationed in germany. The dealership here quoted me $2500 for the estimate. At this time they will not honor the U.S. esp purchased from the original dealer. I am currently trying to get this resolved. Ford will not give part to me at no cost to fix there defective head gaskets and lower intake manidols gaskets and engine front cover gaskets. They are giving me the run around and can't get me straight answers. I am continuing working with my dealership. I am afraid they will sit on this until my warranty runs out on the 22 January 2003.

- Apo, NY, USA

problem #29

Dec 062002

F-150 4WD

  • miles
Ford denies that the cylinders head are defective, yet I have seen hundreds of other complaints on the internet.

- Incline Village, NV, USA

problem #28

Mar 272001

F-150

  • miles
No summary.

- Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #27

Oct 222002

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles
While driving at 30 mph a spark plug (cylinder #2) blew out of cylinder head cracking coil pack. Dealer estimate for replacement of cylinder head is $3400. Vehicle is out of warranty period. This is a manufacturing defect that is very common in F150's particularly with the 5.4 V8 engine. This is a stock engine, with factory installed spark plugs that are not required to be replaced until 100K miles. Plugs should not blow out of cylinder for no reason. This could cause serious injury due to projectile or risk of fire. Based on my investigation, Ford does not acknowledge problem. More info at: www.F150online.com/forums/showthread.php?S=4abd0A2337942B5D2ed89C308E5C3975&threadid=88853

- New Paltz, NY, USA

problem #26

Oct 182001

(reported on)

F-150

  • miles
Engine has a "spark knock" during light to moderate acceleration, extremely bad on heavy acceleration.

- Cleveland, GA, USA

problem #25

Aug 012001

F-150

  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Jefferson, LA, USA

problem #24

Sep 102001

F-150

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Front inner tie rods on right side broke while vehicle was parked. Consumer has taken vehicle twice before to dealer, and the dealer still did not do anything for consumer taken it again to dealer. Consumer stated there is a noise in front end when steering wheel is being turned, there is a noise when attempting to start engine, headlights stay on until the parking brake is applied, engine is using 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles, the dealer replaced the outer tie rod ends.

- Riceville, TN, USA

problem #23

Jan 102001

F-150

  • miles
The vehicle would shake and stall when started, and the check engine light would flash the entire time vehicle was in motion, consumer was informed that all the vehicle needed was a tune-up and was assured that after the work was completed that the vehicle would operate normal, the next day the vehicle began experiencing the same problems, consumer took vehicle back to the shop and their only answer for the problem was to keep bringing vehicle back in for repairs.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #22

Apr 151998

F-150

  • miles
Vehicle would stalls only during rainy or misty weather condition. Vehicle been into dealer shop on three occasions, and the they were unable to locate cause. Feel free to provide any further information on this matter.

- Fort Frances/Ontario, CA, USA

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