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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
121,690 miles
Total Complaints:
55 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. helicoil insert (20 reports)
  2. not sure (17 reports)
  3. bigserts are inserts instead of helicoil (7 reports)
  4. tapered seat insert in head (not helicoil) (6 reports)
  5. replaced cylinder head (3 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 3)

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, Florida, 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, Florida, 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, Florida, 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, Missouri, USA

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, Iowa, 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, Washington, 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

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