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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,703 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Jun 032009


  • 107,000 miles


Ford 2004 supercrew pickup with 5.4L engine. Factory spark plugs break off when trying to do normal factory service and Ford wants customer to pay labor charges for the removal of the broken spark plugs. I was quoted $800. Spark plugs should not break off from the factory.

- Bee Spring, KY, USA

problem #25

Mar 082009


  • 76,000 miles
Driving my truck on my lunch break I noticed a pop sound which followed with a bad idle, a check engine light, and a loud mis-fire sound... I pulled into my jobs parking lot and notice that my 2004 Ford F150 shot spark plug number 2 out of the cylinder head and shattered the coil boot into many pieces this was with only 76,000 miles. Being in the auto parts business I know that they are known for this and deal with many people daily having this issue yet Ford has still not made a recall to help us with this problem... I had to replace one spark plug, and one coil boot.. so far my coil has managed to hold up however from what I have noticed it is just a matter of time before this happens again and I would like to have some sort of info on why or how this happens and what Ford plans to do about this issue.

- Louisville , KY, USA

problem #24

Mar 232009


  • 76,902 miles
On my 2004 Ford F150 with a 5.4L 3 valve engine, the spark plugs all broke off when a tune-up was attempted. This is due to a know defect in the head design on the 04/05 models. The dealer charged me $904 dollars to change them. Ford is not reimbursing customers for this outrageous charge even though they know it is a design flaw, and are doing nothing to fix the problem. My understanding is that all of these engines will have this problem.

- Oxford, MI, USA

problem #23

Mar 122009

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford F150. The contact stated that the sparks plugs split into three pieces when removing them from the engine block. He took his vehicle to a repair shop and the spark plugs split into pieces when the mechanic attempted to install new spark plugs. Ford's tsb number 08-7-6 was referenced. The contact will call the Ford manufacturer regarding this issue. The failure mileage was 85,000. 4/01/09 updated 04/07/09.

- Odenville, AL, USA

problem #22

Mar 132009


  • miles
Truck taken into be serviced. Mechanic broke spark plug off into the head. Possibly leading to complete removal of engine and head.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #21

Mar 012009


  • 112,000 miles
Went to change the spark plugs. Ten days and $1000 later I have the truck back. If I had to do it all over again, I would sell the truck well before the 100,000 mile mark. Idiotic design leads to spark plugs breaking. Do not change plugs without discussing with dealer first. They have a special tool for extracting the broken part. It says a lot about the situation that Ford had to come out with a tool to fix their poor engineering. Ford needs to recall these vehicles with this defect and make good on it. I will never buy Ford again. If you have this problem, speak up and lets get them to fix it.

- Granville, VT, USA

problem #20

Feb 072009


  • 100,000 miles


Went to have spark plugs changed at 100,000 miles in accordance with manufacturer's factory maintenance schedule. Spark plugs are stuck due to factory not seating plugs correctly and not using anti-seize compound during factory installation. It requires a $10,000 machine to negatively polarize the engine so that the plug threads can be decarbonized and hopefully removed. This is an unacceptable factory defect and Ford needs to address the issue immediately and re-imbursed the unreasonable costs and burden placed on the consumer. No where in the literature provided by Ford was this issue discussed had it been openly discussed or presented in the literature I would not have purchased the vehicle. This is fraud.

- Mars, PA, USA

problem #19

Nov 152008


  • 66,000 miles
Changing out spark plug at 65000 because an employee of a Ford garage advised me to do so because of them getting stuck at 100,000 miles. I started to change them only to find the shaft below the threads of the spark plugs stuck anyway. I hauled the truck to boyd county Ford where the service man stated that this was pretty common and that it would take about 500 dollars to fix. Well $1000 dollars later they removed the stuck spark plugs and replaced them with some new ones.

- Catlettsburg, KY, USA

problem #18

Feb 092007


  • 33,958 miles
At ~ 30,000 miles, the engine (a 5.4 Triton V8) began sounding like a diesel engine. Took the truck to the dealer. The dealer "..recalibrated the cam sensor..." and stated the sound(s) were normal for this engine. I called Ford Motor Company and they customer service rep told me same thing. The noise is getting louder indicating the problem is worsening. Is there anything that can be done to correct this issue before the engine suffers a catastrophic failure?

- Cleveland, MS, USA

problem #17

Oct 262008


  • 41,000 miles
Ford Motor Company has designed a defective head design that causes spark plugs to get stuck in the head when service is attempted. The 100K mile interval is too long, even sub 50K miles is unacceptable. The carbon buildup around the long 2 piece spark plug causes the lower, crimped on part to stay in the head while the top 2/3 and electrode come out when changing the plug. This design has been put in use for 4 years on all 5.4L 3valve motors. Ford has a tsb that acknowledges the problem, but their remedy still does not help. Once the plugs, broken and unbroken, are removed, putting nickel anti-seize on the threads still does not remedy the issue because the threads on the plug are not what is sticking. The lower part of the spark plug is what causes the trouble. Ford has even designed a tool to remove the often broken plugs. This just ridiculous and a solution needs to be made before a very large class action suit is drawn upon fomoco.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #16

Oct 272008


  • 124,000 miles


Driving my truck I heard a pop, I thought I blew out a tire but didn't. I drove it off the highway to a parking lot and it was driving very rough. Took it to the shop and they said it blew out a spark plug (original spark plugs). Called the dealer and they quoted me a $2500 dollar repair! did research and found that this has happened numerous times already and I ask if there was a recall and they said no. But offered me a new truck reduced 7 thousand...can you please check into this issue.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 312008


  • 106,000 miles
My 2004 Ford F150 with 106,000 miles started to have an engine knock which we thought was just a stuck lifter. We took it in to the local Ford dealership and was told that the timing guide broke and wrapped up in the engine causing it to be deprived of oil and now we will have to replace the engine.

- Williamsburg, IA, USA

problem #14

Jul 312007

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F150. He noticed that the spark plugs were breaking off and going into the engine. As a result, the dealer stated that the engine should be replaced. The manufacturer stated that they have received numerous complaints regarding the failure. The failure and current mileages were 73,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Benfield, PA, USA

problem #13

Apr 092007

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the engine head detached while changing the spark plugs on the vehicle. The dealer stated that the engine must be disassembled in order to remove the spark plugs. The contact will be responsible for the repair cost. The current and failure mileages were 53,000.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #12

Mar 082007

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
"condensation" in the engine block. After finding water in the oil of my vehicle, a 2004 Ford F150 with the 5.4 liter engine, I took it to the dealership for head/head gasket repair assuming the water was antifreeze coming from a failed head gasket. The mechanic at the dealership identified the water in the oil and told me that this comes from condensation in the engine block and that it is a normal condition in all F150S with the 5.4 liter engine. I don't know if this means only those built after 2004, or all. Water in any engine is not a good thing as it causes corrosion, breaks down lubrication, etcetera. Potential failure would be that the engine could prematurely/unexpectedly fail, stranding the driver and having a huge cost implication for the owner who would likely have to have a remanufactured engine installed at their own cost since the failure is likely to occur after the 3 year/36000 mile warranty has expired. Nothing at all was done to correct this defect.

- Wadsworth, OH, USA

problem #11

Mar 032004

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,900 miles
Vehicle 2004 F150 5.4L Triton problem: You cannot service the spark plugs without breaking them off in the head. Even when using Ford written tsb, spark plugs will break off leaving ground shield in cylinder head. Per Ford's owners manual spark plugs should be replaced at the 100,000 mile mark. I replaced mine at 35,000 and broken one off in the cylinder head. I used the Ford issued tsb to extract them and was still not successfully. This issue will only grow in magnitude as more people become aware and more vehicles start to approach the 100,000 mile mark. This issue is begin well documented at the Ford dealers and Ford has also acknowledged by writing a tsb for this failure mode. I ask that NHTSA get involved and force Ford to design a spark plug that is capable of begin extracted at any mileage interval without the threat of them breaking off. Thank you for your time.

- Plymouth, MI, USA

problem #10

Oct 022006

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,053 miles
My vehicle is F150 supercrew lariat. The vehicle has 80kmil. It has been running very sluggishly and idles hard in a complete stop. The auto repair shop has diagnosed the problem with the truck engine as 2C oils burned and 2pzt2fe spark plugs split in half--white middle cover of plug plug still lodged into engine.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #9

Feb 132006

F-150 4WD

  • miles
2004 F150 right fog light replaced, front kick panel cracked and loose. ***** the floor trim on the passenger side came apart. The vehicle would not start. The check engine light illuminated. The oil pressure read zero. The temperature gauge failed.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #8

Oct 032004

F-150 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The consumer 2004 Ford F150 experienced sudden acceleration which resulted in an accident. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who ran a diagnostic test. The test indicated 4 trouble codes (camshaft position sensor, PCM processor fault, throttle actuator control system which forced shutdown and an internal control module software incompatibility).

- Norwood, NC, USA

problem #7

Sep 282005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
On 9/28/05 our 2004 F150 Ford pick up caught fire as the operator was driving at approximately 10 M.P.H on a dirt road. The fire appeared to start in a location in the engine compartment. The vehicle was totally destroyed by the fire.

- San Angelo, TX, USA

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