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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
106,018 miles
Total Complaints:
49 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
  2. take it to the dealer to fix (15 reports)
  3. remove with specialty tool (9 reports)
  4. give Ford owners access to the special wrench (2 reports)
  5. replace sparkplugs (2 reports)
  6. don't change plugs while engine is still hot (1 reports)
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 #29

Apr 292011

F-150 FX4 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles


After the local dealership informed me of how much the potential cost could be to replace the spark plugs in my '04 F150 5.4L 4x4 I decided to attack the issue myself. Of course they scared me by telling me my plugs should have been changed at 75k instead of 100k like Ford published due to problems with the plugs breaking off in the heads. Having some knowledge of aluminum and that it expands with heat I decided to give my theory a try and had great success. I let the engine run till it was fairly hot and the plugs came out beautifully, When the engine cooled, the plugs became harder and harder to the point where they would not budge until I ran the motor and got the heads hot again. It worked for me and hopefully will for others who can't afford the cost of expensive dealer shop rates.

- , Independence, MO, USA

problem #28

Apr 172011

F-150 STX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 194,000 miles

This is unreal... 3rd time this has happened to me.. Spark plug blew out of the head! It happened when I was driving for work to! I can't afford to repair this all the time. Why isn't ford doing anything about this if its a common problem? Thanks Ford! Thought I had a awesome truck!

- , Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #27

Dec 112010

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

cant change plugs keeps tristing plugs off Whath the reason for building such a cheap ass plug.....

- , Santa Fe, TX, USA

problem #26

Oct 232010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


I want to post this complaint for documentation and alert others who may have same problem. Spark plugs are defective; one blew out of cylinder head and two others broke off and sucked into cylinder head. Truck no longer under warranty. Can't afford to take to dealer to repair. I've heard other similar complaints. Would like help or direction on joining forces to make Ford Motor Company issue a recall on this problem.

- , Spring Valley, CA, USA

problem #25

Jan 112011

F-150 Lariet 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,008 miles

I just brought the truck in for the recommended spark plug change and was told that most likely one or more may break when they try to remove them. This could result in removing the cylinder head to make the repair and may cost up to $1800.00. Why should this occur on a recommended routine spark plug change? If a tech breaks a plug it is his fault or, as I best understand it, a major problem ford 5.4 liter engines have. Ford should admit to this and pick up the cost! I also understand that this engine has a tendency to literally blow out spark plugs! Come on Ford, own up for your own reputation is at stake. Unless they do I will never buy another Ford. I had a Chevy Silverado with over 250,000 miles on it and when I sold it, it was still running well - perhaps it is time to go back to G.M.?

- , New Paltz, NY, USA

problem #24

Jan 042011

F-150 5.4L 3v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,758 miles

i own 2004 F15 FX4 4x4 its 2011 now and it just came out of the dealership, i had the plugs changed and i knew about this issue, I'm told carbon builds up under the plugs if not maintained right with PREVENTIVE maintenance. I treat my truck with Lucas oil and gas treatment 2 times a month. my truck was @ 101,000 Km ... I told the dealer to change the plugs and they gave me the song and dance that they will likely brake. I looked at him and told him only if your tech is an careless imbecile. He got mad at me and told me to take the truck someplace else. i went to the manager and bet the shop manager i could remove the plugs without them busting. he took the bet and he gave me a socket and said lets see, i removed all the plugs like they were new in 20 min with no issues. needless to say i had them put in the plugs for free and a new set of tires on my truck for free. a trick is not to reef on the plugs when putting them in and use a anti seize compound on them. So people pull your heads outta your butts and be men and take care of your trucks. a lil TLC goes a long way.

- , Charring Cross, ON, canada

problem #23

Mar 102010

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles


Heard the poor design has been corrected in later trucks but didn't help the robbing I had to put up with. Also heard champion makes one-piece plugs that work. $800 towards this already. My truck isn't even paid for yet.

- , Evansville, IN, USA

problem #22

Oct 242010

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Very poor design on this truck so do it your selfers have to spend a fortune to change a friggin' spark plug. I don't think this should be our problem especially if you're living on a limited income. We were assured when we bought this truck that is was the best and now we can't even get a tuneup and keep it maintained, we have to go to a dealer and pay top dollar that we cannot afford. We cannot afford to have a tuneup so we will have to let it sit and try to find an old junker to drive around to get back and forth to work. How unfair is that? I found tons of complaints on this exact problem. I think Ford should step up to the plate and be responsible, stand behind your product and help us Ford owners out.

- , Fenton, MI, USA

problem #21

Oct 202010

F-150 Lariat 5.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I am also a Ford Man but this really aggravates me- My dealer told me it would be 85 bucks each that they broke during my tune up Luckily I only 2 to break but all could have broken- Dealer told me Ford need to recall this issue- They see it every day but most people do not complain- Ford will not acknowledge they have an issue- It cost me an additional 170 bucks for the repair- Everyone out there please take the time to complain to Ford-

- , Zwolle, LA, USA

problem #20

Sep 232010

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Took my 2004 Ford F-150 into the dealership due to check engine light coming on. Was told the code was misfiring and possible catalytic converter. Dealership notified that spark plugs should be changed. Owners manual recrommended spark plug change at 100,000 miles. I only had 72,000. All 8 spark plugs broke off. They used the flush prior to removing but it didn't work. I was then told by dealership that the reason the plugs broke was that they should have been changed at 60,000 miles. Dealership and Ford Motor Company should get their story straight! Final cost $1200.00.

If there is a class action law suit on this issue I would gladly join! Ford Motor Co. can kiss goodbye their 30+ years of top selling truck! I don't think I would buy another!!

- , Elkton, FL, USA

problem #19

Sep 072010

F-150 XL 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


I would like to know WHY Ford has not been made to help their customers with this terrible costly repair--when it is them that did not put the plugs in correctly when building this vehicle--We are retired,have limited recourses,bought a vehicle that we were lead to beleive was a good long lasting vehicle--and now we are afraid to use it and can't afford to have plugs replaced for fear it may run into the thousands to fix--how can a company get away with this--don't we have anyone out there watching out for us and making them have a re-call on this problem--

We have always bought Fords in the past--I had our Ford Escort for over 13 years and put nearly 190,000 miles in--always keep up on maint. items and was given good service with that vehicle when we finally sold it--body and interior was like new even after 13 yrs of driving--same for this 2004 F150 truck--to this day it still looks like new--we take care of our vehicles--but never have we had this kind of problem---and then not being helped with such a bad problem that was caused by the factory itself.

- , Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #18

Sep 112010

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

this really sucks.this could not have happened at a worse time financially.not sure what i will do yet about this,but dont know if i will ever buy another ford.i am trying to do a tune up and a spark plug twisted off in the head.this is a piss poor design.from what i am seeing,this is a pretty common problem with this motor and ford knows about it and have neglected this issue.sounds like maybe toyota is running ford motor company

- , Plainville, IL, USA

problem #17

Jul 172010

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

We have a Ford 2004 F150 Four door Truck, to date we have had several problems with this truck. The electric sliding rear window motor has been replaced twice and still doesn't work, we have replaced every electric window regulator because they have all broken at different times resulting in the glass falling down inside the door. I called Ford Motor Co. about this and since it happened after my truck was out of warranty they would not help and did not see the importance of my concern that this needed to be looked at as a manufacturer defect. Today....I have taken my truck in because my husband attempted to change the Spark Plugs only to discover that they are an odd style spark plug from what I am gathering were only used for year models 2004 to 2008, The spark plug is hard to remove and in most case breaks off leaving a small piece in the head.....if this happens it can result in a huge cost to the owner!!!! I immediately started looking on the internet and their is multiple complaints regarding this issue!!! When is Ford Motor Company going to recall and do the right thing by removing and replacing the spark plugs on these vehicles????????? Many folks cannot afford to simply get rid of their vehicle and get something new.....I do not feel this is the answer....I would wholeheartedly join a class action regarding this issue!!!! Please contact me if there is one.....

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #16

Aug 132010

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,300 miles

i really am a ford man but this really pisses me off. i love doing my own work so i figure if i can work on million dollar aircrafts i can change 8 spark plugs on a $30,000 vehicle. i was completely wrong .when the plug broke off i thought it was something i did wrong but after making a few phone calls ford knew about this problem and did not do a recall. right now i don't know what to do or what this will cost me maybe its time go with a toyota

- , Ocean Springs, MS, USA

problem #15

Jun 282010

F-150 N 5.4L Ltr V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I have been taking our Ford F150 for oil changes at the local ford dealer for years and at no time did they alert me to the bad plugs. After having a bad repair experience with this dealership I decided to get my plugs changed by my local garage, they alerted me to the problem before they started the work. I was told that they did several of these already with no huge problems but they had some plugs break but were removed with the tool at a slightly added expense. The next day I find out 3 broke, they assured me they were working to get them removed but alerted me to the worst case scenario. Next day, worst case scenario, 1 plug won't come out and they have to remove the head. It was $1889.00 later that I got our truck back and although I called ford motor co, they are not doing anything about these vehicles. They tried to say I should have gone to the dealership and maybe they could have done a better job. So they tried to make it my fault? Ford knows there is a problem and they didn't let anyone know It's their responsibility to alert owners, my dealership had the chance every 3 months when I went in for an oil change but they didn't disclose the issue. Poor Customer service by Ford Motor Company and Szott Ford in Holly, Michigan as well.

- , Holly, MI, USA

problem #14

Jul 222010

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Went to have a standard spark plug change which was recommended at 100k miles. The truck was running great! Got the phone call that 1 plug broke off but not to worry; there was a tool that can be used to extract it. Even the extractor tool would not remove that last stuck spark plug so the head is coming off to finish a simple spark plug change. Ford should have a fix and a recall for this issue. A lot of loyal Ford owners are leaving. Now I'm worried what can go wrong from here having to pull the head.

- , Elgin, SC, USA

problem #13

Apr 132010

F-150 XL 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles





- , Westland, MI, USA

problem #12

Mar 052010

F-150 Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,040 miles

Come on. Have had Fords since the 70's. Could work on them even sit inside the engine compartment of my 73' but to design an engine that not only a backyard mechanic cannot take out the plugs, but a seasoned Ford "trained mechanic has issues with", think again. I still love the truck but one day the cost of changing the plugs is going to be worth more than the truck is worth, quality is "Job One", or profits and poor engineering are "Priority One" .

- , Brantford, Ontario, Canada

problem #11

Nov 142009

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Just changed the plugs in the 2004 F150 5.4, this is a problem that Ford should have definitely thought out little better. Instead of thinking of share holders all the time, and start thinking of the little people that pay out their @$* for a vehicle. I was not about to pay the quoted $2500 to change plugs on my vehicle. The best option is break each plug loose, 1/8 turn, spray with a good penetrating oil and if you have time let it sit.. for a while. I let mine sit over night, Matco make a removal too for about $110, I purchased one from Napa for $90 and it worked great, the instructions are very clear. It is still about a 5-6 hour job but my time is a lot cheaper than any dealership!!!

- , Escanaba, MI, USA

problem #10

Sep 282009

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,655 miles

Vehicle engine light came on so took it to Auto Zone for free diagnostic. They told me it was 7 an 8 spark was not working. I took truck to dealership and told them and they said that is a generic diagnosis and they would have to put it on their machine and charge me 109.90 to find out the trouble. They told me it was 7 and 8 also. Was told that they would fix it but the spark plugs sometimes break off and if they do I would have to pay 100.00 per spark plug that broke plus labor and parts. Took truck in at 6:50 am for appt at 7 am. Did not even look at truck until 8:45 am and told me that it would be awhile. They may have to soak plugs to make it easier to get out. Kid that worked on vehicle was working on other cars in between mine and talking to co-worker for about 45 minutes. Well both plugs broke (imagine that) so I had to pay 200.00. I left dealership at 1pm and went back to get it at 4:30 pm. The cost for labor was 649.62. parts 223.16, shop supplies 43.17 and tax 13.32. I asked why so much for labor when the kid did not work on it the whole time and I was told the labor is added into each job of approximation. What a rip off. So where in the paperwork does it show that 200.00 nowhere. I will never take my vehicle to Beach Ford in Virginia Beach Va again. I will never buy a Ford either and I was always a Ford person.

- , Virginia Beach, Va, USA

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