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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
130,551 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.

2002 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Aug 152013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 192,000 miles


Spark plug blew out of engine. This is the second time in a year on two different plugs. These are the original plugs.

- Wisconsin Rapids, WI, USA

problem #21

Jul 252013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
After starting engine, spark plug #2 blew out of cylinder head. Damaging coil with a load explosion!

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #20

Jul 032013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Oil leaking passenger side rear on to the starter and exhaust system.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #19

Jul 142013


  • 118,000 miles


Spark plug ejection when accelerating from a stop. This is the 3rd (third) plug that has blown out in the past year. This is the fourth repair due to the first repair using a "repair kit" that the local dealership recommended to the mechanic. This repair kit and coil pack became overheated and blew our after about 2 months of run time. It sounds like the thin aluminum heads is the source of this problem. Is there any recall or concerns from Ford on this problem. I do not think I am alone with this situation.

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #18

Apr 212013


  • 149,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, he heard a loud noise as the vehicle began to shake violently. The vehicle was shut off and restarted however, the engine roared abnormally loud and exhibited a reduction in engine power. The contact found a spark plug sitting on top of the engine, which appeared to have been ejected from the engine. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified and stated that no assistance would be offered. The failure and current mileage was 149,500.

- Pilot Point, TX, USA

problem #17

Apr 182013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 87,750 miles
While driving on mo hwy 150, I heard a loud popping noise coming from the engine compartment. I immediately pulled my 2002 Ford F-150 king ranch 4WD, to the side of the road and turned off the motor. Upon opening the hood I discovered the #3 engine cylinder sparkplug was gone! after towing the vehicle home I contacted my Ford dealer to have the motor fixed. The repair bill was $865. I went on the www and discovered that the Ford motors are notorious for this problem. Further, if the plug would have struck the fuel line just above, a fire might have engulfed the vehicle. I feel the Ford Motor Company should recall all the vehicles with this 5.4 motor and replace all parts effected by this problem.

- Grandview, MO, USA

problem #16

Apr 162008


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle shook and wobbled violently then fuel spewed from the engine. The failure recurred numerous times over the course of five years. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the spark plug coils were replaced. The failure recurred each time. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage 226,330.

- Bethel, MN, USA

problem #15

Apr 032013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. The contact stated that after driving and parking the vehicle for approximately 15 minutes, the contact found that the vehicle had caught on fire. Prior to the incident the contact had noticed that the ABS warning light was illuminated. The police and fire department were contacted and a report was filed. The vehicle was later towed but was not inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was contacted and they advised them that there were recalls on the vehicle that were never satisfied, but the contact was unsure of which recalls were open on the vehicle. The failure and current mileages was approximately 160,000.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #14

Mar 212013


  • 145,000 miles
The spark plug stripped the treading on the head an was ejected from the engine.

- New Waverly, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 182013

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, he heard a loud noise from under the hood. The contact then noticed gasoline spraying out of the vehicle. After further inspection, he noticed a spark plug had blown out the head of the motor. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the aluminum in the block was not strong enough to hold the spark plug. The hole was re-threaded and a sleeve was placed inside. After the contact drove 50 miles, the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed to a different mechanic where the contact was awaiting diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 137,000. Updated 4/26/13

- Hale, MI, USA

problem #12

Dec 172012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


While driving down the road, spark plug blew out of cylinder head. Original plugs in engine so not a question of improper torque as Ford contends. Ford even has a name for the issue = "spark plug ejection". improper design caused immediate loss of power in traffic on highway during rush hour. Had to coast to side of road. Potential for fire due to unburned fuel vapors escaping cylinder bore into engine compartment which now had spark coil exposed due to failure.

- Verona, KY, USA

problem #11

Feb 152013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 186,498 miles
My 2002 Ford F150 XLT sup cab 4WD V8 has been acting up for a month or so it started by acting like it had a dead battery but that wasn't it we used 2 new battery's in it so the local mechanic shop showed us how to remove the hot post have the truck turned on but not cranked and when you replace the hot post watch for the RPM to race to the highest then back down to 0 then crank it this is a two man job by the way and it worked then it just stopped needing to be done and has been running fine I drove it on Tuesday no problems and today Friday someone came inside and told me the truck was cranking on its own I had the only set of keys in my pocket so I thought impossible well I went to check and sure enough it was trying to start on its own I got into the truck and tried to crank it but it wouldn't start on my 3rd try it turned over but sounded like the starter was banging into something and now that I have read multiple cases where peoples truck has caught on fire while no one was in it and it had not been driven in a few days I wonder if there truck had tried to start on its own and they just didn't know it im going to call Ford Motor Company tomorrow but the people whose trucks caught on fire got no help from them im hoping they will help me before my truck catches on fire its undriveable at this point but a fire would not only destroy any chance of fixing it but the damage the truck could cause to other things or people around it would be irreversible has anyone else had there truck to crank without a person or key near it ? here's hoping Ford Motor Company cares about there customers.

- Albany, LA, USA

problem #10

Oct 072009


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, he heard a loud popping sound and the vehicle decelerated. After inspection, he noticed that the spark plug ejected from the cylinder head, damaging the ignition coil. The failure occurred three times. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included on any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 185,190.

- Baldwin City, KS, USA

problem #9

Nov 142012


  • 138,000 miles
While driving 60 mph I heard a loud pop followed by deceleration and engine misfire. Examined engine compartment and observed compression air from #4 spark plug. Overhead coil broke off and still attached to #4 spark plug. Gas fumes and still sparking plug was a disaster waiting to happen so I had the truck towed $150. And $300 repair to rethread cylinder head. Mechanic said it was original sparkplugs and examined all remaining plugs. # 1 plug seating was damaged upon inspection and appeared that it was about to pop out also.

- Niagara Falls, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 292012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 82,823 miles
The #3 plug on the passenger side towards the rear blew out of the engine. The engine has never had the plugs replaced. I purchased the truck new from Ford in April 2002. The truck has the Ford 5.4 Triton. The plug has all of its threads the head has no threads. The coil was also damaged when the plug blew out of the head.

- Maryland Heights, MO, USA

problem #7

Jun 042012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 200,500 miles
A spark plug worked loose from the head and blew out causing damage to the head and the ignition coil. All 8 plugs had to be replaced, two damaged spark plug holes repaired and two ignition coils replaced.

- Hortonville, WI, USA

problem #6

Jul 272012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
Exhaust clamp that holds exhaust damper or counter weight fell off ( because of rusted exhaust clamp ) while driving at 50 miles per hour. Its quite heavy and was bouncing on road behind me almost hitting motorcycle following me. I found my exhaust damper on side of road, if needed for investigation.

- Staint Paul, MN, USA

problem #5

Aug 172011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
On start up a sparkplug blew out of cylinder head.... 3rd plug to bow out in 8 months over $800 per plug to fix then caught on fire under hood......very dangerous to have happen may cause our house to burn down if in garage.... I called Ford 4 times no help what so ever.....bad not advise......bad Ford products....they need to do a class action on Ford.....

- Quincy, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 112012


  • 98,791 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. The contact was traveling 45 mph when a popping noise emitted from under the hood and the vehicle decelerated abnormally. The check engine light illuminated after the failure. The contact stated that a private mechanic confirmed that the passenger side coil for a spark plug became detached. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 98,791.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Jun 072012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 188,000 miles
I was driving my vehicle when I heard an explosion-type sound, similar to that of a gunshot. The sound startled me and caused me to veer off the road crashing into a bush on someone's front lawn. I re-started the vehicle and heard a very loud and rapid "popping" sound from underneath the hood, which became worse as I accelerated. The vehicle was also shaking violently as I attempted to drive home, which was only 1 mile away from where the incident occurred. When I arrived home I inspected the engine compartment and immediately noticed that the 2nd spark plug in on the driver's side of the engine (#6 cylinder) was blown completely out of the engine head. I contacted my local Ford dealer the next morning and was told to have the vehicle towed to their service department. Shortly after arriving, I was informed that "blown spark plugs" are a very common issue with the Ford Triton 4.6 and 5.4 litre engines. I was advised that the spark plug hole would have to be re-tapped and a heli-coil kit installed. This work was performed on 06/08/2012 with a total cost to me of $449.81, not including the cost of the tow. I was advised by the dealer's service department that Ford had issued the first of several tsb's (technical safety bulletins) to all of it's service departments across the us in March of 2006 informing their technicians of the defect in the engine's aluminum head and the increasing frequency of this "blown spark plug" issue. Included in this tsb were instructions on how to repair by using a heli-coil, which is not a Ford part, not covered under any warranty and not guaranteed to stay in place. A recall needs to be issued. Please see the link; I am one of thousands who have experienced this issue and I feel that those of us who have incurred unnecessary costs due to Ford's defect should be made whole.

- East Haven, CT, USA

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