pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
129,831 miles
Total Complaints:
85 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. helicoil insert (32 reports)
  2. not sure (28 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 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #43

Nov 122013

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles




- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #42

Aug 012011

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles




- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #41

Sep 122014

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

I have a 02 Ford F150. Running rough for a couple days then quit. Once it started again it was too late. Started knocking when you start it up. Looked under the hood and it blew the spark plug out and tore the coil completely off. Looked this up online and it seem to happen to everyone with a Ford sooner or later and there wasn't a recall for this problem. They said that once it starts, get ready, they'll keep blowing. So here we go.

I bought a heli-coil kit and am going to try and attempt this myself. If I fail, this could be thousands to repair!

- , Shenandoah, IA, USA

problem #40

Sep 072014

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 197,000 miles

I grew up as a son of a Ford employee, which has made me pretty loyal. However, a sparkplug blowing out of the engine tells me that the threads were too course or the material (aluminum) used was not sufficient to handle the extreme pressure that occurs in a cylinder. Although this vehicle has a lot of miles I would not be too fast to blame the age or amount of miles if I was Ford. You would just be admitting to poor engineering.

- , White Lake, MI, USA

problem #39

Mar 052014

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


One minute the engine was fine, and then it went bad! It was running on 7 cylinders, coughing, sputtering and was barely able to get to a friend who is a mechanic. In this case he was able to get the bad plug out. He then bought a repair kit at a local auto parts store that included a sleeve that went into the spark plug threads and then added another new plug. I am finding out that this is a temporary fix. No parts of the plug went into the head so it did not have to be removed. The engine is now making the same type of ticking/clicking noise again and I will be taking it into a mechanic to try and replace all of the plugs with the Champion plugs that look to solve the problem. If any of the existing plugs do break off and parts end up in the head, I will be out thousands of dollars in repairs, and even if that can be avoided I will be out $700.00 to $1000.00 dollars in repair costs.

Like a lot of people, I wanted an American made vehicle and bought this truck with expectations of reliability from company that I had faith in. I am now finding that those expectation and faith were and are totally without merit! Ford has a design problem that they are failing to make right. Not only failing to make right, but telling it's consumers that it is not their issue. In fact they are telling the buying public that if you buy their product your are on your own. This is not an isolated problem, but a design problem that they deny.

The old saying, "LET THE BUYER BEWARE" applies here. I guess the only additional statement needs to be DO NOT BUY A FORD PRODUCT!!

- , Seattle, WA, USA

problem #38

Jul 082014

F-150 Super Crew 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 177,000 miles

Changed spark plugs prior to our trip to CO. Everything was fine however during our return we stopped to fill with gas. Remember everything was fine with no indication of what happened next. After filling up I started the engine and an immediate pop and engine sounded like a steam engine. I looked and found the #4 plug and coil separately lying on the head. The force was enough to blow the coil off breaking the mounting ear. I can not remove the mounting bolt as it just spins as well as the knurl. I can not remove this in order to install a new coil. I put the plug back in and tightened it with a 1/2" drive ratchet and the old coil as well. It runs fine for now but will check to see if there is a torque for the plugs as well as still the concern is removing the coil mounting bolt from the knurl which is also spinning.

- , Ozark, MO, USA

problem #37

Jun 022014

F-150 LXT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

The more I read the more passed off I get. If this is a common fault, then why wouldn't you fix it. We all know about it but I guess they have our money and they have more lawyers than us. Somebody must know someone that could fight this cause. I now have to research to find a remedy for this..... oh I know, sell it to a Ford Executive and then buy whatever he's driving. I bet it ain't a ford. But that will suit me fine. No more fords for me.

Unbelievable how a company can get away with this. Ford Tough, my rear end !!! BBB and consumer affairs, here I come.

- , Kent, WA, USA

problem #36

Oct 162013

F-150 V8 Triton

  • Manual transmission
  • 162,500 miles

We picked up the truck after yet ANOTHER safety recall in October. On the way home the car sounded loud and popping sounds. Brought it in to be looked at, was told they verified the noise, and inspected to find #4 spark plug blown out of head and ruined coil, need to re-thread head and install an heli coil, new plug and coil. Cost $205.90. We could not afford the repair.

This is an ongoing problem with FORD, how they are allowed to get away with this MAJOR auto defect is unconscionable. A blown plug is a serious safety problem from gas fumes, could cause a fire, and in fact has according to many reports online.

A Heli coil is cheap, aluminum, and has a history of blowing out again. Ford needs to be held accountable for this manufacturing defect. This should be a safety recall on these vehicles. So far we have had 3 safety recalls, including Gas Tank Strap fire hazard, and speed control defect which could cause the vehicle to burst into flames even if the vehicle is not on! There are currently at least 4 lawsuits against Ford in the south. We are determined to bring more attention to this problem, and hopefully will save money. This is NOT a cheap fix. It is expensive, and useless.

- , Putney, VT, USA

problem #35

Aug 152013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 192,000 miles


This is the second plug to blow out. They are original plugs too. When the plug blows it also damages the coil. The first plug blew about a year ago. The second today 8-16-13. Need to try to get someone to fix tomorrow. Another heli coil.

Update from Aug 26, 2013: The local Ford garage fixed it. 600 dollars labor and 125 parts!

- , Wisconsin Rapids, WI, USA

problem #34

Jun 202009

F-150 SVT 5.4 SC

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,200 miles

At around the 99,900 mile mark, I started hearing a slight ticking noise when truck was idling. my thinking was that it was a leaking exhaust header gasket or worse case scenario, a ticking exhaust valve. 1 week later (100,200 miles), on a scorching hot day, I locked the keys in the truck. When I finally got in and tried to start it, I heard a LOUD Bang/Popping sound immediately followed by a alternating whooshing sound. I killed the ignition instantly and went to looking under the hood for the culprit. Upon inspection I found that the 3rd sparkplug back on the passengers side had blown out taking the coil on plug with it. Thank God I killed the ignition before the sparkplug ignited any fuel mixture that shot out of the now open combustion chamber. Because this is a on going Ford issue ( I suddenly found out afterwards ) I didn't see the need to waste my time chasing Ford down over something that they were not going to fix. Because it was a back plug and the Supercharger was in the way, I had to take it in to get the head fully removed so my mechanic could put in inserts. Since I had heard of the random "Repeat" Flying Plug, I decided to have both heads removed and inserts put in all cylinders at the same time. Sure it cost more but the thought of having this sh*t happen again after dropping 3g's was not on my menu. What really added to my level of pissed off, was the fact that I had just gone over my 100,000 mile extended warranty by 200 miles!

machine more than 4 tpi in the cylinder for the sparkplugs

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #33

Aug 032013

F-150 Lightning 5.4lV8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,650 miles

70 mph spark plug#1 Blew out of engine on highway. Total Loss of power

- , Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #32

Oct 122011

F-150 Xlt Extra Cab 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

Ford never warned dealers / owners of imminent problem with alum head and short thread steel spark plug ! a very expensive fix ...First time the plug flew out ,Garage drilled, tapped and used insert . Lasted about 1 year then it happened again and Garage could only recommend a complete new head at $3 ,000 and change .

Thanks Ford for standing far behind your product for loyal customers.

- , Concord, NH, USA

problem #31

Dec 032012

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Ford has known about this issue since 1999. Defect in head design by using aluminum heads with little of the plug threads in the taper (some reports as few as 4 threads). Tens of thousands of incidents reported; they even have a name for the syndrome = "spark plug ejection". Original plugs so should not be a question of torque.

Ford's Customer Relations Center is really a misnomer. They could not care less. Rep at first refused to allow me to speak to a manager - then stated he / she would tell me the same thing. Had to wait three days for a call back and then of course it was during business hours - when everyone else is working too. Voice mail message was condescending and "flip". No help available.

Truck had only been serviced at the Ford dealer. Will never buy a Ford again of any kind due to their attitude and lack of response.

- , Verona, KY, USA

problem #30

Sep 172012

F-150 Triton 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,730 miles

This occurred while driving in rush hour traffic. They say cellphones and food are a major safety concern while driving...Try having a loud explosion come from under your hood!!! In business,you need to be accountable....Come on Ford!!!! Ford tough...my chihuahua is tougher than that!!!!

- , Penticton, British Columbia, canada

problem #29

Dec 012011

F-150 King Ranch 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

This seems to be a common problem with these modular motors. I have seen many complaints on the Ford truck forums about this exact issue. Usually happens just after the warranty runs out. The common fix is to helicoil the spark plug hole with one of a few different tool sets on the market. It seemed to be fixed ok at Sarasota Ford.

- , Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #28

Nov 142011

F-150 SuperCrew Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,106 miles

This has happened too many times to too many people for Ford to ignore, along with the dealership, running up the bill by installing parts I did not need, has been enough to persuade me to no longer buy anymore Ford Products. I owned 3 Ford trucks at the time of the problem. But I will buy no more. Ford just brushed me off like I didn't count, but loved me while I was buying their junk.

- , Willards, MD, USA

problem #27

Dec 222011

F-150 FX4 Lariat Supercrew 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,650 miles

Ford's triton spark plug problem is getting out of hand. There is comments all over the web and nobody is doing anything about it. There is people in this world that work for the little money we receive from pay checks and need every bit of it and cant afford repairs that ford should have fixed a while ago.

- , Dowagiac, MI, USA

problem #26

Jan 132012

F-150 King Ranch 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,213 miles

This has happened 4 times over the years. Two holes are now helicoiled one hole the plugs was just replaced. Yes, that is 4 blowouts on 3 cylinders.

- , Camas, WA, USA

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