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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,243 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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Dec 152005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,210 miles


Engine spark plug blown from aluminum cylinder head. Vehicle disabled by damage. Repair cost $2481.38 to owner. Information commonly available shows this to be recurring problem that Ford will cover only with vehicle under warranty. Problem not restricted to age of engine.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #22

Dec 082005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact stated while driving the clutch would not disengage. He took the vehicle to a certified repair shop for diagnosis. The engine lost a cylinder and fluid leaked out into the engine. The vehicle is being repaired at the contact's expense.

- Hockessin, DE, USA

problem #21

Dec 012005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,121 miles
2002 Ford F150 svt lightning 5.4L engine with only 30,121 miles on it blew up on dyno meter on 12-1-05 at only 3300 RPM's. local Ford dealership where I bought it says it is out of warranty and too bad. Estimate for new engine is $5300 plus tax, etc, installation adds up to a total of $9,300 which I don't have. I am still making payments on this truck too. I have read 32 complaints on this site tonight regarding the spark plugs ejecting and causing engine damage (a rod was thrown in this case). Thank goodness I wasn't on the freeway with it. This is a serious safety issue. How many complaints does NHTSA need to get before they make Ford recall and fix these engines that only have 4 threads on the spark plugs"?" hopefully before anyone is killed as a result. Maybe more people should join the California law firm's lawsuit on behalf of 9 people that you list on your "defect investigations" page.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #20

Nov 292005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


2002 F-150, 5.4L - 56,000 miles on truck. Spark plug ejected from cylinder head. Heard loud pop - experienced loss of power - pulled over - got towed to dealer. Dealer diagnosed problem - said cylinder head would have to be replaced - engine would have to be removed for fix - estimate of over $3,000 - would not do any kind of insert (helicoil) fix. Called and complained with Ford customer service - dealer agreed to give me 10% discount - still cost me over $3,100 plus towing and rental vehicle. Plugs were original from factory - had never been touched. Had been hearing a slight ticking noise for a few days prior to incident. Internet research has revealed several other complaints of this type for F-150, F-250, Expedition from 1999-2002. Cylinder heads reported to have only 4 threads for plug. Apparently Ford changed cylinder head in 2003 to an 8-thread plug design.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #19

Nov 152005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
Right before the failure I was sitting at a stop sign. As I began pulling a way I heard a single loud popping sound followed by a complete loss of power and popping and ticking. I stopped the truck immediately -- I never made it out onto the cross street. The plug blew out of the head --blown plug. Ford has offered to replace the head for a cost of $3900.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #18

Oct 312005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,354 miles
Spark plug blew out of #2 cylinder on right side head. 45000 miles with original plugs still in from factory. Dealer said it's a factory defect but Ford is not covering it. 3200 dollar repair. Truck is a 2002 Ford F-150 with 5.4L tritin V-8.

- West Warwick, RI, USA

problem #17

Nov 022005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 81,500 miles


April 2005 2002 F-150 Ford truck engine failure at highway speeds. #3 cylinder spark plug blew out of cylinder causing emergency exit from fast lane on hwy 81. Second incident same cylinder November 2. after researching Ford forums on the internet found this is a common occurrence with the Ford Triton 5.4 liter V8 motors. Ford Consumer Affairs was contacted - no assistance. This is a manufacturing defect affecting thousands of vehicles as well as lives. Ford has refused to recognize the issue and will lend no consumer assistance. A forced recall should be initiated. Failure is due to insufficient threading of machined aluminum head on all Triton 5.4 liter V8S. Estimated repairs in excess of $300 each occurrence. This is unacceptable and Ford should be held accountable. This is not a wear/tear component of any vehicle. It is an integral part and should be covered by Ford at any cost.

- Mashpee, MA, USA

problem #16

Sep 292005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
Spark plug blown out of cylinder head.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 022005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
Spark plugs blown out of cylinder head while driving through the desert. The front and rear spark plug on the driver's side of the engine blew out within a 24 hour period. I was diving to Oregon early Friday morning when the rear spark plug on the drivers side of the engine blew out. I was stuck in the desert for 9 hours. Called aaa and was towed back to winnemucca on Friday night before labor day weekend. No repair facilities available but the tow yard guy had some jb weld. I put some on the threads of the spark plug and screwed it back into what little threads remained in the cylinder head. I was supposed to be at work the following Saturday morning. I let the jb weld set for 5 hours. When I left winnemucca it was 1:30 am Saturday. I drove from winnemucca Nevada to auburn California, nearly 270 miles when I blew another spark plug this time the front one on the drivers side. Then I had to be towed to san jose California. Obviously I missed work that Saturday, but my boss was kind enough to reschedule the work for Sunday. The fact that the spark plug that had not been repaired (the front plug) blew out while the repaired one did not blow out tells me that all of my spark plugs are probably hanging on by a thread. If I did not have a cellular phone with service when the first plug blew out, I don't think I would have made it out of that desert 70 miles North of winnemucca on I-80. There is nothing out there. Nothing. No phone, no water, no people, except for the big trucks that blow by every once in a while at 90 mph while your trying to fix your P-O-S broken down 2002 Ford F-150 lightning on the side of a 2 lane highway.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 032005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,400 miles
I was driving in germany road back home when suddenly a hard bang under the hood and then there was a noise like the hole muffler was gone and I lost power, I barly could park my truck on the side of the road on a very dangerous place with a lot of traffic. I had to be towed away, it took 4 hours, next day a garage owner from a bosh workshop put in a replacement insertcoil with a new spark plug. It cost over the 450 euro's to pay in advance whit no waranty.

- Veldhoven, 00, USA

problem #13

Aug 012005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2002 Ford F150 caught on fire in the inside of the passenger cabin while parked.

- San Augustine, TX, USA

problem #12

Jul 192005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
Replaced spark plugs, drove normally for 8 or 9,000 miles, went to Ohio and back.then drove to work on the 19th, heard a pop and the truck started to run rough. When I got of work I looked at the truck and found the number three plug was ejected out of the cylinder head.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #11

Jul 102005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contact states her vehicle is stalling while driving at any speed. The only thing that signals that the vehicle is stalling is that the vehicle will jerk and rpms drop. This happens with the vehicle stalling everyday. The service dealer can not determine what is wrong with the vehicle because the service engine light is not illuminated. The contact is taking the vehicle to the service dealer today.

- Waynesboro, MS, USA

problem #10

May 022005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
2002 Ford pick up truck engine ejected a spark plug while driving. The consumer stated the vehicle suddenly slowed down as if he applied the brakes. The mechanic told the consumer the threads had been stripped from the head when the plug was ejected. The consumer no longer owns the vehicle.

- Harriman, TN, USA

problem #9

May 232005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
Driving on highway.. hear a large noise fromn the engine bay. Truck breaks down and I have it towed. 2002 Ford F-150 ligthning. 3rd time its been to the dealership for the same problem.. blowing a spark plug in the engine bay.. this time... worse then ever... read it was a very bad problem with other truck made this year etc.. online so I'am putting a complaint in..

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #8

Jan 272005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
While accelerating from a stop, a loud pop came from the engine compartment and the engine started shaking violently. Pulled over to check under hood and discovered a spark plug was blown out of the engine head. Head needs replacement.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 272004

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
Spark plug blown out of head. New head needed $2500 repair.

- Joshua Tree, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 102003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
While driving the vehicle stalled without warning. The dealer could not determine the cause of the problem.

- Whitehall, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 182001

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,245 miles
I have 2 spark plugs that will not stay tight. Because of the problem with these motor blowing plugs out I have to stay on top of them. I tighten then about every 3 weeks.

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #4

Nov 172000

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Known failure to cylinder heads. Failure involves the launching of spark plugs while engine is running resulting in severe engine damage.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

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