pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
128,922 miles
Total Complaints:
83 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. helicoil insert (32 reports)
  2. not sure (26 reports)
  3. bigserts are inserts instead of helicoil (9 reports)
  4. tapered seat insert in head (not helicoil) (6 reports)
  5. cylinder head repair kit (5 reports)
  6. replaced cylinder head (3 reports)
2002 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #63

Sep 142015

F-150 Crew Cab 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles


Mechanic said he's fixed many triton engines with same problem.

- , Abilene, KS, USA

problem #62

Sep 072015

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,800 miles

I've owned it since Jan 2005, with 59K. Never used for towing, not a leadfoot. Sparingly used it for hauling, furniture and appliances mostly.

And when it popped (believe it's #3) I wasn't even under load or accelerating hard.

Update from Sep 17, 2016: I fixed it using the CalVan Tools 38900 2Valve Thread Repair Kit. If you can do basic mechanic work (tuneups, brakes, shocks,..) and have time and patience, you can do it yourself. I did it w/o using an Air Ratchet but you will need an Air Compressor to clean out the metal shavings that accumulate in the cylinder when tapping. The air plug accessory in the kit (force air into the cylinder to ensure valves are closed) didn't work, I used a long screwdriver to ensure the piston was down.

- , Centreville, VA, USA

problem #61

Jun 212015

F-150 XLT Crewcab 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Driving home from the river towing my boat with no warning I was stranded in the middle of the desert with a blown out spark plug. How many times does this have to happened before Ford steps up regarding this issue.

- , Riverside, CA, USA

problem #60

Jul 202015

F-150 Super Crew Cab 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,700 miles


This is the 4th plug that has blown out of the head. Ford needs to pony up and take responsibility for this problem, recall all the vehicles, and replace the heads. I am not the only one that has been plagued by this defect. I will not be buying Ford products again, and may even swear off American all together.

- , Cinnaminson, NJ, USA

problem #59

Jun 072015

F-150 XLT 5.4L LV8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,349 miles

My problem is common. This truck is my "bread and butter" transportation.... I never heard of the spark plugs blowing out of the head! Sure I have heard of plugs burning out and breaking off, but blowing out ....Why the hell didn't Ford Motor Company send out some kind of notice about this fricken problem when it first started happening? I had plans of getting another F150 XLT like the one I have....... but now I would be fricking crazy to double my troubles. Screw that......Looks like I'll become a Chevy driver before long!!!!

Sunday 7th of June, while pulling an EMPTY 5'X8' TRAILER to Tulsa at 65mph, 58 miles from home on a turnpike, there was an explosion and a brief billow of smoke. After calling a friend, I found out from him the spark plug problem. I looked on the head and sure enough lying there on the head was the plug unattached, the rubber sleeve and the contact box were just blow back and dangling. My only option at the time was get out my tools and put the plug back in and try to get it "the truck" to the next town and find a mechanic.


Make me feel better e-mail me with your problems like this and what you did to fix it! simsrodney909@yahoo.com

- , Enid, OK, USA

problem #58

Sep 022007

F-150 Supcab 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Ford needs to take responsibility for this. If I do a bad job I have to fix it. This is the forth plug blow out.

- , waterford, WI, USA

problem #57

May 062015

F-150 Super Cab 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


Been around cars most of my life. Do most maintenance on mine and my wife's cars since I started driving except when I'm deployed overseas and HAVE NEVER EVER SEEN a spark plug blown out of engine no have I ever heard of this.

Phil Long Ford told me it would be at least $700 to repair the ONE spark plug and be over $1200 to replace all 8 plugs and coil packs. The fact that they knew that this happens and have a set rate to repair tells me they know this is a defect in manufacture and they are using it to FLEECE us that are out of warranty, which is when this problem typically happens.

I switched to Ford and have owned Ford's for about the last 6 years mostly because GM cancelled my Grandfathers benefits and pension during the bail out and my Grandmother died not long after that because some of her medications were too expensive. I also switched to Ford because they did not take any bail out money. The last bunch of crap I went through was with a Ford Freestyle that had a transmission go out while I was returning home from vacation after a 9 month deployment to Afghanistan. It was either lease a new Flex to get my family home or spend over $5000 for a transmission on a car that was worth about $4000 and I still owed $5200 on.

Next time I'll look into a Dodge. Ford is fast losing my confidence pulling Horse Crap like this.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #56

Apr 022015

F-150 4.6L

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,000 miles

This issue has happened there times now. Driving along and bang the spark plug is blown into the hood. All three times breaking the coil in the process. The Ford engineers really screwed up this design. They are well aware of the issue and have done nothing. This is my first brand new vehicle and is has been an absolute nightmare. I wrote an email to Ford and received a lame chain letter back not even mentioning the issue, but saying how their vehicles are top quality which in this case is absolute BS. Less than 120,000 miles and the frame is rusted out.

Before this vehicle I had never owned anything besides a Ford product and after this I will never own another Ford.This has been the most I've ever paid for a vehicle and has cost me more in repairs than all my other vehicles combined. Yes, all my other vehicles I have owned in my life.

I can't express how disappointed I am in this vehicle.

On the other hand my 1984 F150 was just as the commercial says "like a rock".

- , Union, ME, USA

problem #55

Feb 282015

F-150 XL 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Two plugs blew out with approximately 90,000 miles while the original owner had the vehicle, and now at 106,000 another plug has popped out under my ownership.

Note: I had all the plugs replaced at 99,000 miles one week after I purchased the vehicle.

I've been dreading the possibility of this happening and now it has! Ford motor company is well aware of this problem and in my opinion they are committing a criminal act by not putting these vehicles on a recall list for complete repair.

- , Forestville, CA, USA

problem #54

Feb 252015

F-150 Limited 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,999 miles

This was the first of three now that have blown out. So I went to a friend mechanic and am not sure what he used, but I do know the helicoil is about the only thing that will hold up. Ford you owe us all - fix it!

- , Crestview, FL, USA

problem #53

Mar 022015

F-150 Limited 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles


Absolutely a factory default. Why is there not a civil suit already in existence?

- , Crestview, FL, USA

problem #52

Mar 122015

F-150 Limited 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,020 miles

click to see larger images

spark plugs blown out of motor

I thought I was getting shot at. The "bang" was awfully shocking. This is the third one now in less than a month! I have no idea how Ford has escaped responsibility/liability for this obvious factory defect.

- , Crestview, FL, USA

problem #51

Jan 232015

F-150 Crew Cab 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,000 miles

After I got over the surprise I suspected the spark plug had blown so even though I was in downtown traffic in Minneapolis during evening rush hour I pulled over to a safe spot & called my reg. mechanic who had installed new plugs about 15000 miles ago & he suggested pulling the fuel injector & spark plug connectors & driving as gently as possible. I made it home, 30 miles out of town, & I'll have to get it fixed but my main concern is will this happen 7 more times? I think I'm done with this model Ford even though I liked it up to this point.

Update from Jan 29, 2015: After our mechanic had a look we found it was the # 3 plug that failed, it was fixed & the truck is back to running just fine but our confidence level has dropped considerably in this brand.


problem #50

Jul 192014

F-150 XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

Driving as usual, suddenly loud bang came from under the hood and truck began to sound like a lawn mower. Loss of power but still driveable. Got to destination and had it towed home. Mechanic said this is a common problem, Autozone even stocks a kit to fix it. Replaced with a kit which failed within 6 months requiring a new head at $2000.

- , Columbia, MO, USA

problem #49

Jan 082015

F-150 XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

3 cylinder spark plug blew out less than 6 months ago and repair kit installed by mechanic. Driving home and a series of bangs from under the hood and loss of power but again the truck was drivable to destination. Last few hundred yards the check engine light came on and exhaust fumes inside the truck. Plug blew out again. Read on internet these things are popping out like popcorn, no recall. Won't buy another Ford!

- , Columbia, MO, USA

problem #48

Sep 192014

F-150 King Ranch 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

Had the third plug blow out 2 months. After my second one, I cant afford to continue fixing your problems Ford. Hhow about someone getting involved and getting us help.

- , Janesville, WI, USA

problem #47

Sep 112012

F-150 Lariat 7700 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

This happened to my truck, my father in laws truck and now my husbands F250. We got rid of my truck and bought a Chevy because of this, my father in law had to replace his engine because it was cheaper than just replacing both head and since my husband has 5 spark plugs that have dieseled out, we are going to replace his engine with one with hardened threads (a fix to the Ford problem). I am getting sick of this.

- , Clarkston, WA, USA

problem #46

Sep 072014

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,631 miles

Absolutely terrible that Ford will not back this up, they have an amazing vehicle that is ruined by one flaw. If they were to fix that flaw it would be UNSTOPPABLE but this needs to be brought to a court because it is on Ford, not the consumer because it is a flaw from the factory.

- , Grain Valley, MO, USA

problem #45

Nov 072014

F-150 XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles

Two weeks ago I dropped off my 2002 F-150 to my dealer (Newberg Ford) as I ordered a "NEW" crate motor to replace my worn out oil leaking motor. Finally after discovering I needed other items such as power steering pump, exhaust manifold repairs and a couple of other small items they installed this "BRAND NEW" motor this past Friday 11/7/14. I got a call Friday afternoon from the service rep saying "YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS" but when they started up this "BRAND NEW" "NO MILES" motor it shot a spark plug out. The service rep told me that they will order another head, I told him NO I want what I am paying for and that is a complete new engine not a new engine that has already had the head removed. I was asked to call the Ford customer service line (1-800-392-3673) and I was told by a gal named Janelle she said that it was the dealers call to make and that they have nothing to do with it. I am now waiting for the service manager at the dealer to call me back as he stated that he was getting hold of his Ford contact guy. This is not like the many I have read about with owners having this problem after 100,000 miles on their vehicles this motor has ZERO MILES on it. Am I wrong? This job is going to cost in the $6,000 plus range.

Thanks Carl

- , Salem, OR, USA

problem #44

Nov 132014

F-150 Harley Davidson Edition 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Been hearing a tick for the last few weeks. Thought it was an exhaust leak at the head. Had one mechanic look for it, he couldn't hear it, found supercharger idler pulley bearing making noise but not a tick. Took it to exhaust shop on Nov 7th and did a complete check. No leaks but they said they thought I had an injector ticking since they could feel it on the fuel rail. Put in a can of Sea Foam to clean injectors and left for a trip on Nov 13th. Didn't make it. Didn't notice any lack of power, occasionally a rough idle at times but rarely. Truck has only 75,000 miles on it. Busted coil, and loose spark plug on #3.

Called Ford for any TSB repairs. They just said it's too old and out of warranty. Asked for repair price to replace all plugs, coil on plugs, and fix #3 spark plug threads...... $2800 OMG!!!!!! I ain't no Rockefeller! Found another reputable garage to do same work for around $900

Read online about many instances of this happening and Ford not admitting it's a problem... although they did redesign to a 3V head... which has it's own problems... but still blows plugs also I hear.

I now worry about my 5.4 Super-duty truck also... and it has 154000 miles.

- , Springfield, MO, US

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