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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
111,994 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. helicoil insert (15 reports)
  2. bigserts are inserts instead of helicoil (7 reports)
  3. not sure (7 reports)
  4. replaced cylinder head (2 reports)
  5. tapered seat insert in head (not helicoil) (2 reports)
  6. cal-van kit is 18mm and worked (1 reports)
2002 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

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, Virginia, 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, Florida, 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, B.C, 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, Maryland, 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

problem #25

Dec 212011

F-150 LX 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,146 miles


I was traveling down the freeway at 60 miles an hour when I heard a loud noise under the hood followed by a lot of clattering. I was 135 miles from home. So I pulled off the freeway onto the shoulder. I looked under the hood; starting from the grill searching to the rear looking for the problem. I first thought I had broken the belt, then I saw a sparkplug lying on top of the engine and the coil bracket broken and the coil lying on its side.

I did not have any tools with me, so I limped to an auto parts store thinking I could just replace the coil. The manager said it may be worse than just replacing the coil. He had spoken to others Ford owners that the spark plug was stripped from the engine. He even said one of his customers had just purchased a low mileage 2007 Ford from a dealer and asked to have a tuneup. He was told that it would be $3,000.00 for the tune up because the Triton engines don't hold their spark plugs. He would have to have the engine bored and new sleeves put in.

Ford appears to be knowledgeable of their defects or at least their mechanics are. There should be a recall of all Ford Triton engines.

- , Newberg, Oregon, USA

problem #24

Sep 212011

F-150 King Ranch 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,000 miles

have had truck to same garage for same problem (spark Plug Blow Out) have finally got a appointment with a mechanic to proper fix the issue so it doesn,t happen again , also understand there is a civic law suit against ford for this know defect on there 5.4 triton gas engines.Would like to know how I get my 2 cents in on this so that ford ends up paying for this , so far it had cost me 350.00$

- , Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

problem #23

Apr 222011

F-150 FX 4x4 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles

I am one of the people who have had the original factory spark plugs eject from the engine, which indicates there is a defect with the engine & cylinder head design.

Where I work, four of us have the same year truck, three of us had the same spark plug ejuct problem! The fourth guy only has 40,000 miles on his truck, so were all waiting for it to happen to him! Just another of Fords better ideas-I DON'T THINK SO!

- , Fort Morgan, CO, USA

problem #22

Sep 052011

F-150 Harley Davidson 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,235 miles

Ford Dealership in Georgetown TX wants $5000. to replace cylinder head after spark plug blew out of the engine. These are original spark plugs and NO one should have to incur this type of expense. Was Also advised that they may have to long block the engine at my expense. Ive been a loyal Ford man for 15 vehicles. Notwithstanding if Ford doesn't step up, I'll move on!

- , Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #21

Aug 052011

F-150 5.5L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

Ford has a problem with their eng. and wont take care of it. I for one will never buy another Ford.

- , Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #20

Oct 062010

F-150 Xlt Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

First plug blew #7 10/2009 the day after an oil change at the dealership, shamed them into repairing it for parts, then on 5/2010 I blew plug #4 this one cost $700 because I needed an insert. I asked them to check all of my plugs because I was told that they would only blow if they were lose. Then 10/2010 (1 year and 4 days later) plug #7 blew again, not covered under the warranty from the repair because it was 4 days after the 1 year warranty,so I had a local reliable mechanic repair it and replace all of my plugs, he said there were 3 plugs that were lose, really only 5 months ago they were checked, anyway so far so good. I did forget to mention that my local dealership told me that they have a truck in about 2 to 3 times a month but this is not considered a flaw or recall problem.

Really! I like this truck and I can't afford to buy a new one, b I am afraid to take it on a long trip.

- , Carleton, MI, USA

problem #19

Jul 012010

F-150 LX 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

my F150 4.6L blew out plug and burned hole in pistion head needing new motor 3500bucks if they have more threads in cylinder head there would be no problem then they could call it a trition and be pride of it problem is fixed more threads on newer engines but for people like me with 2002 4.6L have to bite the bullet if they changed the new engines they should take care of people who had problems with older engines no problems with engine until plug blew out then all hell broke out

- , Spencerport, NY, USA

problem #18

Nov 052011

F-150 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,517 miles

Just installed a new motor 3.5 months ago and this happened. I'm pissed right off. After talking to mechanics and the place I got the engine at, they tell me this is a common problem with these engines. Why the f#ck doesn't Ford pay up and do a recall? There reputation is already f@cked up. According to stats on the internet, there are some 20 million odd customers that have experienced the same thing.

- , Inuvik, NWT, canada

problem #17

Jul 212011

F-150 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,643 miles


- , Harmony, PA, USA

problem #16

Jun 012011

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,600 miles

As I search the issue with my F150 I have realized that the blown out Spark Plug is a huge issue. Ford needs to step up and fix this with a recall and make it right.


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