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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
123,894 miles
Total Complaints:
66 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. helicoil insert (25 reports)
  2. not sure (20 reports)
  3. bigserts are inserts instead of helicoil (8 reports)
  4. tapered seat insert in head (not helicoil) (6 reports)
  5. replaced cylinder head (3 reports)
  6. cylinder head repair kit (2 reports)
2002 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #66

Oct 162015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


My fiancé was driving home from work, not towing, never have towed anything with this pickup, and all of a sudden a loud bang was heard and sounded like the exhaust fell off. He was still able to drive it so he got home and then after talking with me he went to the transmission shop where they told him it was a blown out spark plug and that it is common with this year Ford pickup and wanted almost $400 to fix the one spark plug. So he came home and we decided he should take it to my mechanic down the road just a few blocks and he was about $70 cheaper and the mechanic said that he was lucky it didn't blow all the way out but it will still cost around $300 plus.

Ford needs to do something about this and after reading all the complaints about this common problem I am wondering how many of the people complaining are actually taking it a step further and taking their complaint to Ford and the Better Business Bureau? I hope you are all doing something so that this does not get swept under the rug. I started this first step by making it known to the public (this forum) and the next step is to report it to BBB, and then onto writing a letter to Ford. Hopefully they will offer to pay part of the bill; if not I will be reporting this to the papers so that other consumers will not buy Ford products again.

- , Nowhere, OR, USA

problem #65

Sep 272015

F-150 XL V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,228 miles

Had no idea that this could be a problem with the F150. I was in Yellowstone National Park when it occurred going 45 mph. Called AAA but they are not allowed in the park so I had to use the towing company that has contract in park to tow the car to West Yellowstone Gate. This cost $354.38. AAA recommended Randy's Auto Repair who could not fix it but they referred me to Jake's Automotive and Tire who had to wait a day for the spark plug repair kit and explained that it was a temporary fix and not guaranteed. Jake's was really good and the repair cost $371.59.

I was stuck 2 days in West Yellowstone and the hotel cost $396.02 so the total cost was $1121.99.

- , Boise, ID, USA

problem #64

Sep 242015

F-150 Lariat Triton V8 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

This is my second spark plug to pop out and strip the hole. The truck is inoperable until you get it fixed. The first spark plug popped out 5 months ago. Left me disabled 40 miles from anywhere. Thank God for AAA.

- , Vallejo, CA, USA

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.

- , 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

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