Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
125,508 miles
Total Complaints:
75 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. helicoil insert (30 reports)
  2. not sure (23 reports)
  3. bigserts are inserts instead of helicoil (8 reports)
  4. tapered seat insert in head (not helicoil) (6 reports)
  5. cylinder head repair kit (3 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 1 of 4)

problem #75

May 242016

F-150 XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles


Driving normal speed in town when the engine started making popping sound. I pulled over and opened the hood and found the coilover and sparkplug had blown out of the engine. I will have it towed home tomorrow. Pretty sad when you take care of your vehicles and this happens. The plugs are original.

- , Fresno, CA, USA

problem #74

Mar 032016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,543 miles

Hard to believe that so many problems of this same thing and yet all the complaints and no one takes responsibility for this. I am a Ford man and sure would think they would man up but guess not. Had a Chevy before this truck never had a problem or recall with it should have stuck with a Chevy I guess.

- , New Washingtio, OH, USA

problem #73

Mar 102016

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 250,000 miles

I've had three spark plugs blow out of this pickup. I've never even heard of any engine in my life that the spark plugs blow out consistently and commonly. This is a huge engineering flaw and should be the companies cost to repair and or take care of instead of the consumer.

- , Osborne, KS, USA

problem #72

Feb 252016

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


2002 F150 Harley Davidson with 75,000 miles. Spark plug blew, first time ever hearing of something like this happening to a engine. Poor design FORD ( Fix or repair daily). This is not normal wear and tear. You could be held responsible for engineering a substandard product. A spark plug blowing out of a engine. What is going on with our USA brand products. Lets go class action. I'm in.

- , Killeen, TX, USA

problem #71

Feb 052016

F-150 5.4V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,364 miles

I cant believe the spark plug would just blow out as it did. Then I found out it's an on going problem with this motor but ford said it not their problem and wanted $300.00 to fix it. Now I have to worry about the other seven plugs or do I need to just sell my truck.

- , Glasgow, KY, USA

problem #70

Oct 262015

F-150 XLT 5.7V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 157,000 miles

This just happened yesterday, so we are not certain as to what the problem is, but we think it is another spark plug blow out. The last one was #3, back in 2008. The issue I write of today is from an apparent plug blow out in Menomonie, WI. We are waiting to hear from a mechanic for his diagnosis, but the POW in the engine brought back clear memories of when this happened with this truck when we had it in AZ in 2008

WE WILL NOT BUY ANOTHER FORD TRUCK/VEHICLE unless they own the spark plug blowout problems in their trucks, and compensate us something for this huge expense.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #69

Feb 192008

F-150 XLT 5.7V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,163 miles


Out of the blue while driving on a road to town.......POW! Sounded like the engine blew. Could not drive it without a terrible loud engine sound, so called a tow truck. Had it towed to the Ford Dealer in Apache Junction, AZ. They told us the engine was shot---5K for a new engine--nothing else they could do.

Happened to have a brother in law that told a buddy about it. He knew of the Ford issues with spark plug blow outs and he knew of a guy in Mesa that could fix it. Had the truck towed to Kenny Speed tire and Performance Center in Mesa. Tow was $81.00, Parts were $117.18, Labor was $297.50, tax $9.43--total bill $505.11. Add to that the original tow to Ford Dealer of $175.00. So our actual cost=$680.11

Although this was much less than the 5K engine, it was a big expense for us.

If the Ford trucks are known for this, why was there not a recall.

Story continues with my next complaint........

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #68

Apr 182015

F-150 Lariat Triton V8 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Spark plug ejected. Left stranded 40 miles from no where. Thank god for AAA

- , Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #67

Nov 112015

F-150 XL 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Im tired of repairing this engine. It is the 6th cylinder to be repaired in the last 5 years. I need help or I need to seek advice through the community as why we still buy fords?

- , Morgan Hill, CA, USA

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!

- , 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

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