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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,339 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

May 182015


  • 139,000 miles


I bought this vehicle used with 139000 miles on Saturday 05/16/15. Now I was not expecting a new vehicle but not one with so many problems either. First of all it has a very rough idle, I found that there is a serious problem with this engine and removal of the spark plugs. The repair shop will not even give an estimate for changing the spark plugs as there are very well known problems with them breaking off in the engine. Ford knows about this and has put out a notice about this known problem. I had to take it for a lower steering arm replacement on Monday 05/18/15 as the wheel was not returning to the straight position without assistance. Now there is a humming noise from the rear differential that the repair guy said is the pinion barring and that it needs to be fixed. The dealer window sticker had everything checked as good and no notes to say there was anything wrong with the vehicle. No surprise there. After checking this web site I found an open recall for the airbag which was repaired. I also found all the reports of problems with this vehicle. My question is why the NHTSA is not requiring Ford to recall these vehicles for the numerous problems that were reported from day one and allowed to continue through 2008. Ford was allowed to keep building these vehicles along with others with the same defective parts for over 4 years. That is just wrong. I can not believe they are allowed to get away with this kind of crap.

- Oconto Falls, WI, USA

problem #45

Nov 042014


  • miles
Found trying to turn the steering wheel was getting very stiff until I brought the vehicle through the car was then the stiffness went away until it dried in the engine compartment as I googled this issue I found that this issue is quite common with these vehicles the steering mid shaft U-joints lubrication dries up and there is no way to re-lubricate them causing steering to get stiff possibly causing an accident.

- Depere, WI, USA

problem #44

Aug 072013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Steering becomes stiff, will not turn without excessive force and if in turn requires excessive force to return to neutral position. When turn it will hang and forcing causes over steer. According to inter chat the fix was to lubricate the steering column universal joint above steering pump in engine room. Did this, was good until May 2014 and suddenly return, lubrication not working so well this time. This would cause my wife to wreck, it could cause and may have caused accidents. Appears to be common issue. Please investigate because many complaints on logged on web sites.

- Stamping Ground, KY, USA

problem #43

May 022014


  • 94,000 miles


My rear end differential - axle went out and it's making a noise and feels like my rear end is lose when I drive down the highway almost feels unsafe but it is too pricey to fix I feel I should be something Ford should fix or recall.

- Kansas City , MO, USA

problem #42

Feb 212014


  • 159,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering wheel became difficult to turn in either direction. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the intermittent steering shaft needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 159,000. The VIN was not available.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #41

Mar 032014


  • 94,000 miles
I was getting into my truck and when I was about to start my truck and leave my airbag deployed in my face my arm also hit my face an D I bruised up right away and swollen, I called a tow truck my insurance had my truck towed to the Ford dealership, they told me they will not be able to take care of damages unless I pay them out of my pocket they did tell me there was a recall on my truck for the air bag deploying on there own, next day Ford Motor Company told me they could not help me as well because they claim they sent me a recall letter, I never did. I think they should cover their repair there is a active recall!!!

- Hanford , CA, USA

problem #40

Nov 042004


  • 4,000 miles


Vehicle's back window leak noted within 60 days after purchase, resealed by dealer X2-still leaks. Within a period of one year after purchase, three of the four window gear boxes were replaced due to failure. I've noted several complaints about these issues, met other owners who have had these issues fixed under warranty, yet we were required to pay for repair. At highway speeds, 65mph, the vehicle begins to shimmy, vibrate and becomes difficult to maintain control of steering. Vibration makes ride unpleasant and noisy.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #39

Oct 152013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 89,600 miles
In low speed and high speed turns, power rack and pinion, the steering becomes very stiff causing the vehicle to turn hard, feels like the truck has manual steering. This issue is most common on slow speed however I have encountered the issue at highway speeds. Research I have done indicates this is an issue, backed by a member of a local Ford dealership service dept, of a failure of the universal on the lower steering shaft. The part # for the replacement part is as follows... #8L32-3B676-B. Ford dealership does not have a recall on this yet, I'm a deputy sheriff who has knowledge of Ford recalling the same type part on the Ford police interceptors which we currently use in our fleet. This loss of steering control is very severe.

- Waldoboro, ME, USA

problem #38

Sep 152012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Steering became quite stiff and wheel did not return after cornering. Ford service manage diagnosed problem as universal joint on steering shaft seizing due to corrosion.there are no grease fittings to lubricate the joints and they are had to reach. Ford dealers do not always have parts on hand for this repair. I have managed to loosen the joint with penetrating oil in a pump oiler. For has offered no solution and the joints had no protective rubber boot over them to protect them from corrosion. In addition, the cooling lines to the power steering pump rusted through posing a danger of sudden loss of power steering assistant. The cooling line was made of bare metal that was not rust or corrosion resistant such as galvanizing and designed as to be in a vulnerable location under the radiator behind the front bumper.

- Ontonagon, MI, USA

problem #37

Apr 102010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving on a gravel road approximately 15 mph, a rattling noise emitted from the front end of the vehicle. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in motion. In addition, the steering wheel would slightly vibrate. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Summersville, MO, USA

problem #36

Dec 302006

F-150 8-cyl

  • 21,715 miles


Driving on the interstate @ 55mph the truck has a vibration -begins to shake- returned to dealer no problem found, this story goes on and on I have replaced out of my pocket rotors, calibers two whole set of tires and still to this day is still will shake @ and around 52 mph to 57 mph nobody will help me find the problem now it is out of warranty Ford doesn't care.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #35

Sep 242012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Turning out of a parking lot during acceleration the truck began to "jump" and ride rough like driving over a "washboard". after stopping and checking it out nothing was seen. Happened again on the way home. I took it to the dealership in town and they said the rear diff needed to be replaced.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #34

Jan 032011


  • 70,000 miles
Shaft assembly part #8L32-3B676-B on 2004 Ford F-150 needed to be replaced. Mechanic told me there was a technical service bulletin (tsb). Steering wheel would stick badly especially at low speed turns and intermittently at high speed turns, as well, causing two near accidents. Still having problems...one mechanic tells me it the tie rods that require replacing and another tells me lower steering shaft needs replacement.

- Victor, NY, USA

problem #33

Oct 032011

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,188 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F150. The contact was driving 55 mph when the steering wheel seized. The contact merged the vehicle off the highway, turned the vehicle off and waited thirty minutes before restarting. The vehicle resumed as normal. The dealer inspected the vehicle and advised the contact that the upper and lower steering shaft had rusted together. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 103,188. The alternator was replaced. Updated 02/28/12

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #32

Aug 102009


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, there was a loud rattling noise coming from the steering column. The contact continued to drive and later discovered that the failure was contributed to the tie rod ends, which were extremely loose. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that there were no recalls associated with the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- South Lyon , MI, USA

problem #31

Jun 162011


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated the bolt in the steering box was broken and caused the steering wheel to become very tight. The contact was able to drive the vehicle back to his home then to the dealer who confirmed one of the bolts in the steering box were broken. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileage was 66,000.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #30

May 012011


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated while driving, the vehicle made a noise in the front end; the steering wheel was also difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and who diagnosed that the rack and pinion steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 64,000 and the current mileage was 65,000. Updated 09/08/11 updated 2/9/12

- Cicero, IL, USA

problem #29

Feb 162010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the steering wheel would vibrate excessively when driving 40 mph and over. The vehicle would not remain in third gear when shifted and the interior of all four tires were worn prematurely. The tires were replaced at a local tire specialty facility and the contact was advised to rotate the tires every 2000-3000 miles. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle would exhibit an unusual knocking from the top portion of the engine. The rear brake light above the crew cab would become filled with water that was leaking into the vehicle. Also when accelerating to highway speeds, the vehicle would become resistant to acceleration. The contact would have to depress the accelerator pedal abruptly. When doing so, the check engine warning light would illuminate and the vehicle would vibrate violently. The contact believed there was an issue with the fuel gauge and tank. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 70,000 and the current mileage was 98,000.

- Freemont , CA, USA

problem #28

Jan 012010


  • 98,000 miles
Steering became very hard intermittently. I thought that I had a power steering problem. Steering would not return to center when completing turns and froze up on turns at low speed. Took to dealer and advised that universals in steering shaft were rusted frozen. Truck had 98,000 miles. A friend with a 2007 F-150 with 50,000 miles had same problem. This is a very dangerous situation, since it was difficult to control the vehicle in turns.

- Stratham, NH, USA

problem #27

Mar 302010

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
2004 Ford F-150 VIN#[xxx]. I was having a problem steering the vehicle and thought it was the steering fluid/pump. Pump and fluid were find but, they problem continued and I was having considerable issues trying to steer. Vehicle was taken to my local repair shop. All tire on staten island New York. Phone# 718 447-3400. The problem was diagnosed and repaired. The lower steering assmebly was broken. This shaft is part #8L3Z3B676B. I was informed by one of the shop managers that this is a common problem and that he was repairing a second Ford a Ford Excursion with the same shaft. He further stated that he has repaired several in the last few months. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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