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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,840 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Mar 022015

F-150 8-cyl

  • miles


2004 Ford F-150. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle frame rust problems. Consumer sent additional correspondence. The vehicle had to be towed to the repair shop, because the brakes went out. The rear brake lines, hoses, calipers, master cylinder and pads were replaced. Updated 03/09/15.

- Holland, OH, USA

problem #29

Sep 162009

F-150 8-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Truck vibrating. Slowed down, applied brakes several times, vibrating stopped. After getting home, stated checking things. Found emergency brake cable off. This has happened several times. Poor design. I haven't found of any recall on this. This is unsafe and should be recalled by Ford. If someone who doesn't have any mechanical ability could get "burned" by unnecessary cost by Ford or repair shops.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #28

Jun 102008

F-150 8-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I'm driving my truck when all of a sudden it will start vibrating horribly, like driving over a washboard type of road. The only way to get it to stop is to pull over to the side of the highway, put it in park, wait, and then try to resume driving. But this does not always work. You sometimes have to stop and change to park, or reverse, a couple of times, before driving again so that the vibration goes away. I have complained about this before, and I see hundreds of complaints for the same issue on "Ford owner websites", and everybody is pissed. Nobody can get an answer from Ford service as to what is wrong. Many people have replaced many different things (I.e. transmission, clutch pads, bearings, U-joints, emergency brake cable or pads), all to no avail. They have wasted their time and money, and Ford refuses to live up to this awful and very dangerous problem. Apparently, Ford knows this is a big problem with 2004 F-150 trucks, especially, but will not acknowledge it. Someone wrote on the web that Ford knows they had a retooling problem with these trucks, and let the trucks go out for sale anyway. I am now having this problem more often, and I am afraid to drive it. I do not have any money to fix my truck, since our economy is so bad and have been unemployed for years. Make Ford take ownership of this recall problem!

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #27

Oct 152011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 40,968 miles


The rear brake lines failed. The rubber line from the caliper to the steel line on the rear axle separated, first on the drivers side and about three weeks later on the passenger side. On the first occasion I was just leaving my garage and on the second occasion I was pulling into a parking spot. The steel fitting that holds the rubber line to the steel line was so badly corroded that it literally disintegrated, allowing the rubber line to separate from the steel line when the brakes were applied.

- Putnam Valley, NY, USA

problem #26

Feb 082005

F-150 8-cyl

  • miles
The 2004 F150 and I assume Expedition had undersized front brake rotors and calipers and were outlined in a service tech bulletin for the purpose of diagnosing the front end shaking/shimming during braking. This is my opinion should have fallen under a mandatory recall due to the serious nature of poor engineering. No recall and out of pocket $$$. the same holds true for the rear differential which in my case has been replaced (3) times and again Ford published a tech bulletin outlining the fact that the '04 rear differential housing was subject to faulty machining causing rapid wear on ring/pinion and bearings. I believe these two defects should have been addressed due to the fact that failure of either component could result in a serious accidents. I truly believe Ford tried to cover up/white wash these defects. I still have this '04 and still have issues with the brakes and rear differential not to mention a host of other issues that have plagued this particular year model. I look forward to hearing from someone and would like to know the extent of Ford involvement and any accidents involving '04F150's. best regadrs

- Hurst, TX, USA

problem #25

May 182011


  • 89,030 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F250. The contact stated while the local mechanic was inspecting the vehicle he advised him that the rear emergency brake hub corroded which caused the brake and bolts to rust and brake into pieces. The manufacturer confirmed that the failure was not recalled. The VIN information was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current miles were 89,030.

- Imperial , MO, USA

problem #24

Aug 012010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 116,000 miles


2004 Ford F150 w/ adjustable pedals - after a few years use, the brake lights do not work properly. The lights will come on, but only under extreme deceleration, hopefully. The lights will reset if the brake switch is unplugged and plugged back in with vehicle running, but then will continue to act unreliably after a few days of use. The brakes continue to work along with the switch to reposition the automatic shifter from out of park, but the brake lights are completely unreliable. I visit an official Ford F150 forum with many other members that several others are starting to notice that their trucks are doing the same thing. Replacing the "brake switch" recommended by Ford did not correct this problem. This problem has been reported on the forum by members with 2005 and 2006 models as well.

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #23

May 042010

(reported on)


  • miles
2004 F-150. Consumer states faulty spongy brakes the consumer stated he had to get another brand of brake linings to make his vehicle safe.

- Belford, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jul 162007


  • 46,000 miles
I was driving down the interstate at 60 mph in a 65mph zone when out of nowhere with no prior warning or indication of malfunction it happened. No crash but emergency stop did have to happen and could have caused a crash. The emergency brake actuator froze up on the rear right side of my F150 2004 supercrew with only 46,000 miles on the odo. This freeze up caused the rear brake to engage involuntarily and destroyed the actuator, the brake pads, and the rotor.

- Fort Payne, AL, USA

problem #21

Sep 102007


  • 45,000 miles
Brake pads and rotors wear out every 40,000 miles. Dealer says it is due to soft metal Ford used. They recommend replacing. Is this a recall item" if not, why not"

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #20

Mar 312009


  • 70,000 miles


Severe vibration while braking from above 40M/hr. Dealer had to replace both front rotors and machined both rear rotors for warping. Rotor wore off before the original braek pads. Dealer says its typical but I suspect poor quality as I am a careful driver.

- Coldwater, MI, USA

problem #19

Sep 082004


  • 30 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. While driving approximately 70 mph on normal road conditions, the vehicle vibrated excessively when the brake pedal was depressed. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection and they replaced both front rotors under the warranty. On three separate occasions, the vehicle was taken back to an authorized dealer for the identical failures. The front brake pads and rotors were replaced at the contact's expense. The manufacturer has been notified of the malfunctions. The failure mileage was 30 and current mileage was 32,000.

- Belford, NJ, USA

problem #18

Oct 152008


  • 58,000 miles
Parking brake activates while driving at highway speed. It causes vehicle to shudder. Local dealership, says this has been a consistent problem.

- Jefferson, NC, USA

problem #17

Jan 122009


  • 67,000 miles
71K miles on the odometer has leaking rear axle seals on both sides and the oil is running down on the parking/emergency as well as the main brakes. This confuses the ABS system and renders the rear brakes useless in normal as well as emergency situations. I blogged on the forum F150online and several other owners are experiencing the same problem with some having as few as 11K miles on their vehicle. Look at the post, ¿rear axle seals leaking on a 2004 4X4¿. I did purchase this vehicle from the original owner knowing it needed a complete brake job on both axles. I performed the brake job just prior to making a 2K trip to visit my father during the holidays noticing the problem and could do nothing about the leaking problem until my return. The brakes worked very well during the whole trip. I noticed the leaking by oil dripping on my wheel after my return. The leaking is worse on the right side (passenger). I am a well trained mechanic and perform brake service to mine and my family's vehicles using the best parts I can buy in this area. If I do it, it stays fixed. I have the old parts removed from the brake job and would be willing part with them for an investigation on your part.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #16

Dec 102008


  • miles
On my 2004 F-150 super crew w/75000 miles I have had to replace front rotor 3 times because rotors are turning blue and wearing down prematurely causing bad braking, because bearings are failing and causing wobble and overheating rotors taking temper out of rotors, I have been to dealers and they say can't find problem and must be excessive braking, (not) this model rotor has built in bearing and cost over $200 each. Now wheel is doing it again and looking at 4th set of rotors because wheel is wobbling( bearing failing again) some thing has to be done because other people are having same problem with front brakes on this model vehicle, did internet search, please let me know.

- Milford, CT, USA

problem #15

Feb 132008

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. When making right turns at any speed, the contact hears an unusual sound coming from the vehicle. When he makes left turns, he hears nothing. The failure worsened to the point that the unusual sound occurred when he would accelerate from a stop. The dealer informed him that the brakes failed and the vehicle needed a complete brake job. The failure mileage was 7,000 and current mileage was 8,200. Updated 7/3/08 updated 07/03/08

- Randolph, NJ, USA

problem #14

Dec 152007

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Tsb 050621. This is where your brakes shudder very harshly when braking at higher rates of speed. This is a problem on every Ford F150 built before mid November 2004. Unfortunately Ford has made this only a technical service bulletin but the repair is very expensive and not covered if the truck is out of warranty. It is too dangerous of a problem to not get repaired.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #13

Jun 302006

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,500 miles
While traveling on I-10 vehicle vibrated violently. Once while traveling approximately 55 mph and once at 65 mph. During the incidents the vibration was not isolated to one part of the vehicle but the whole vehicle vibrated. After inspecting the vehicle the next day in daylight I noticed the following: 1. all wheel rims were completely covered with brake dust. Even though I had just washed the vehicle prior to starting the 1,000 mile trip from houston, tx to green cove springs, fl. 2. all wheel rims had what was either brake fluid or melted wheel grease on the surface. 3. all four tires were damaged by the vibration I.e., tread had started to delaminate from the tire. Tires had approximately 28,000 miles at the start of trip and were in good condition with no tire worn to wear bar. 4. all four tires had scuff marks that appeared as if the tires had been run low on air. 5. the front rotors on the outside surface were the brake pad made contact were grooved beyond what should have been present on a vehicle with 29,000 miles on the odometer. Metal shavings were present on the front wheel rims. 6. the rear rotors were also grooved on the outside with the inside appearing as if the brake pad was not making contact with the rotor surface I.e., only outside pad is making proper contact. I took the 2004 Ford F-150 to the Ford dealer located in green cove springs, fl for correction of the above problems. Service manager initially resisted admitting that anything was wrong with the vehicle until a maintenance tech walked by and said he had a "tsb on that". dealer subsequently replaced the front rotors, calipers, and pads. However, the service manager would not admit the vibration caused the damage to the tires. The rear calipers, rotors, and pads were not serviced or changed. Further, the service manager could not or would not admit to original problem with the vibration being fixed.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #12

Mar 232006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,900 miles
3/23/06 took my truck into dealership for what seemed to be the front left caliper sticking (truck felt like brake was continuously pressed, area smelled strongly of burned rubber). Dealership stated they took left front wheel off and found no problems, truck was okay to leave in. 4/6/06 - while pressing brake pedal, it went all the way to the floor and brakes were hardly operable. While driving to dealership, brake pedal would continuously alternate between working okay and depressing all the way to the floor. Dealership acknowledged lack of brake functioning and stated that is was a safety hazard and advised me that they would replace master cylinder. Kept truck overnight. 4/14/06 - same exact problem as on 4/6/06. Dealership again acknowledged lack of brake functioning and stated safety hazard. Dealership stated that the new master cylinder that they put in must have been defective and that they would need to keep the truck over the weekend in order to get another new master cylinder in and replace it again. 4/24/06 - same exact problem again. Dealership acknowledged lack of brake functioning and safety hazard. Dealership told me that the master cylinder push rod was not adjusted properly. Adjusted push rod while I waited. 5/18/06 - once again, brake pedal goes all the way to floor. Drove straight to dealership & was informed of safety hazard and that they need to keep it overnight, because they are not sure what is wrong. I don't believe any consumer should be stuck with a vehicle that becomes potentially dangerous without warning and that has been in the Ford repair shop 5 times in 2 months for the same thing. I do not feel safe driving the vehicle due to the number of incidents and the dealerships lack of being able to correct it. I am now stuck with a $16,000 payoff on a possible death machine and I think someone higher than the dealership should seriously review my situation before this happens again.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #11

Jan 272006

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,040 miles
The brakes began to shimmy and shutter and there was vibration from the rear when driving. The problem started three months after the vehicle was purchased and recurred every three, four or five months. Four repairs did not eliminate the problem so a fifth repair was required on Jan 25, 2006 with 32040 miles. During the five repair the rotors were resurfaced twice and replaced three times. The brake pads were replaced three times and the front brake calipers were replaced once.

- Woodsboro, MD, USA

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