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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,013 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford F-150 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments

problem #15

Jul 132016


  • 90,300 miles


I was pulling a trailer over the Continental divide with my family and stopped to get gas in leadville, Colorado. As I was pumping gas I saw smoke coming from under my truck bed. I looked under the truck and saw flames near my spare tire. I stopped pumping gas and ran to get a fire extinguisher. After the fire was out I observed that my tail-pipe had broken away from my muffler. The heat from my exhaust had melted the rubber coating on my rear right brake cable. The heat had also melted some plastic near my spare tire. The mechanic in leadville who welded my tail pipe back to the muffler told me the melted plastic came from an evaporative fuel emissions system mounted near my spare tire. (bad place to put it if you ask me) my truck bed-liner also started to melt from the heat. I called Ford to notify them of the safety problem and they only recommended that I take it to a Ford dealer and have it looked at. I doubt I will ever hear from them again. I'm not going to pay out of my pocket to have this problem officially diagnosed. I guess I'm just lucky to be alive and that the whole gas station didn't blow up.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #14

Apr 302015


  • 80,000 miles
Master cylinder leaked brake fluid into booster (just like the current investigation on food F150). Causing sudden loss of braking ability while driving. Nearly caused a wreck. $700 spent on repairs.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 082016


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. While driving approximately 65 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle involuntary accelerated. In addition, the brake system failed. The contact had to switch the vehicle to neutral and the rpms increased. The contact had to pull over to the side of the road to a complete stop. The contact pulled the fuses to the throttle and cruise control. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure recurred even with the cruise control deactivated. The contact recurred seven other times. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 79,000.

- Granger, IN, USA

problem #12

Mar 042016


  • 129,900 miles


Hard brake pedal, rough idling check engine light went to step on brakes it was a hard brake pedal had to take it out of gear tried using 2 feet to press ended up using emergency brake to stop. Checked brake boost line have no vacuum on line can push air in and hear it behind the manifold.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #11

Nov 042015


  • 7,000 miles
While driving, I tried to stop and brake pedal went to floor and I had no brakes.I had to use parking brake to stop and avoid an accident. Ford dealer tech. Said the brake fluid was removed from master brake booster due to faulty seal.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #10

Oct 222015


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owned a 2004 Ford F-150. After the gear shift was switched into the drive position with the brake pedal engaged, the vehicle accelerated independently. As a result, the contact crashed into a ditch and the vehicle rolled over multiple times. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained a broken hand and arm, a severed finger, and bruising on the body that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Pineville, KY, USA

problem #9

Aug 092013


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. While the vehicle was parked, the brake lines fractured more than twice. The contact mentioned that the brake lines had extensive rust and corrosion. The contact stated that the rear driver side brake line fractured on the first occasion. On the second occasion, the rear passenger side brake line fractured. The parts were replaced, but the failure recurred with both rear brake lines. The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Putnam Valley, NY, USA

problem #8

Jun 152015


  • 50,000 miles
ABS brake system. My brake system began to fail in May 2015 and has done it ever since. When I push the brake pedal brakes fade to floor. I have nearly had several accidents due to brake failure. I took it to my local dealer (sackelaris Ford in camdenton, mo) and they analyzed it for an outrageous fee and stated the problem was either the master cylinder or the haydraulic control unit on ABS. I had the master cylinder replaced with a new mc and it hasn't helped. My brake pedal still fades to floor. I checked on the internet to see if this problem was a 2004 F150 F4 common problem. It is and a shocking pervasive one. Numerous accounts of this problem were posted on the internet. So I asked the dealer if there were any recalls for this and there isn't. I called the Ford customer service department and they corroborated there were no recalls. My mechanic stated there was a thecnical service bulletin for this reoccuring problem (tsb reference # 17750, NHTSA reference # 10008234) and Ford should fix it up to 100,000 miles. I again contacted the Ford customer service department and they at first denied the tsb. On a subsequent call I gave them the tsb number and they stated it did not cover payment for the repair. This is a frightening experience and I am amazed there hasn't been a recall on the ABS issue. I will not drive my truck until I can get this repaired. The ABS system is supplied by Bosch.

- Camdenton, MO, USA

problem #7

Aug 122014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the service engine sensor illuminated intermittently and the brakes failed to work when the brake pedal was applied. The contact had to apply force to the brake pedal to completely stop the vehicle. The brake pedal was difficult to depress to no avail. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 08V208000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who diagnosed that the brake booster vacuum supply hose assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was not available.

- Spencer, OH, USA

problem #6

Oct 152004

F-150 8-cyl

  • 100 miles
Im sure of the exact date originally bought my truck in 2004 brand new with 60 miles on it I had it less than a week and they replaced the tires and told me it was because they were egg shaped. And this is why it shook or vibrated at 55/70 mph it went away for awhile. Then I kept routine oil and tire rotations and balancing on it but the vibration kept coming back. The rear brakes were replace on the truck with less than 30,000 miles cost me a fortune which are supposed to last until 150,000. The shocks, struts, brakes, and rotors and bearings were all replaces twice now first for vibration in 2007/2008 spent thousands didn't work replaced tires and rims went away for about six month then came back again every time we rotate the tires the vibration goes away for like a day or two then comes back in 2010 I had to replace the rear brake and emergency brake and bearings and seals for a second time because they locked up in 2011 I have replaced the brakes, shocks, rotors and struts, because of vibration guess what didn't work now were looking at tires and rims again and Ford tells me that my rear seals and bearings need replaced for leakage and the possible shaking is my drive shaft I bought a 30,000 truck that I have put 10,000 grand in just estimating oh and they just fixed the recall for the airbag harness and tell me the airbag light is flashing but it isn't covered in the recall and it wasn't flashing when I dropped it off. I have two Ford I have a Ford escape I bought at the same dealer in 2005 that they kept a revolving door for in service because of all its problems and everyone tells me it should have been replaced I will never buy another Ford again now I know why people joke about the fix or repair daily.

- Mosinee, WI, USA

problem #5

Apr 282014

F-150 8-cyl

  • 201,000 miles


It appears that there was an issue with the parking brake linkage. There had been small noticeable shimmy with the brakes, which having been fairly recently replaced, did concern me. However, on the way home, I tapped the brake at approx 35 mph, I got a very large clunk in the rear. I continued to drive, very concerned over what may have occurred. However, I was on open road, 40 miles from home. As I continued to drive, I could tell there were major issues. It was bad weather, and I was in middle of nowhere. I continued home to my repair shop. They informed me the next day, that the parking brake linkage got fouled up, wrapped around a brake or something, eventually tearing it all up. This is costing me approx $500 to replace. After research, I see a tsb 08-11-1 was issued. Why not owners notified? this is an issue that should have been sent to owners for a fix. I blame Ford.

- Hopewell, VA, USA

problem #4

May 102006

F-150 8-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
I had to replace my brake rotors and calipers due to corrosion after only 18000 miles, and again after about 35,000 and 60,000 miles due to corrosion. On two occasion, this problem was discovered when the brakes completely locked up and the vehicle could not move. Much of my driving is on snow-covered roads with road salt, but I routinely use a car wash with undercarriage wash frequently -- about once per week. Is there no technology to increase the corrosion resistance of these critical safety parts?

- Hendersonville, NC, USA

problem #3

Jul 012012

F-150 8-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2004 Ford F-150. In 2012 I had my E-brake light start flashing at me. I brought it into the mechanic and had them look it over, they said they couldn't find anything wrong other then the wiring under the dash was probably bad, so I brought it to a brake specialist and they said the same thing, nothing wrong with cylinder or brakes, that it was the wiring under the dash. I'm truly not safe using my E-brake as I'm not sure if it is working or not. My interior lights started coming on also when I would turn on my headlights, everyone knows you shouldn't have the interior lights on while driving at night anyway. I have read several articles where other Ford F-150 owners are having the same problems. I think this needs to be looked into and a recall should go out.

- Nine Mile Falls, WA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012006

F-150 8-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
I have had brake problems since vehicle was purchased. The latest is the brakes locking up (mostly front) and the wheels getting so hot you can smell them burning and you can't touch the wheel. I have had the vehicle serviced several times at several different service stations starting at the dealer and the problem keeps returning. I have had new rotors installed several times (5), new calipers twice, new brake hoses, flush and fill brake fluid and had the master cylinder push rod adjusted only to have the same problem continue. I have looked online at the forums about F-150's and I am not alone and no one has any answers. I emailed Ford asking for help and they advised me to see the dealer which I already have several times and every time they say they can't duplicate the problem and the last time they adjusted the push rod which lasted a little while. I have spent thousands trying to fix this problem and I'm afraid to drive it.

- Westmnister, MD, USA

problem #1

Aug 022012

F-150 6-cyl

  • 49,888 miles
Rear steel brake line failed above gas tank causing loss of brakes. Ford dealer says lines were corroded and rusted which caused failure on 8 yr old truck with 49.,000 miles in a non corrosive environment. And charged $500 to replace. Vehicle has already been recalled for gas tank strap corrosion failure this year. I contacted Ford and got a very unsatisfactory so what type response. Your help and assistance into this potential safety issue is welcomed.

- Blackwood, NJ, USA

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