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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,612 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.

2009 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Ford F-150:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Ford F-150 Owner Comments

problem #19

Jul 012016


  • 100,000 miles


Spark plug ejection. On 4/24/16, #3 cylinder ejected the spark plug, recommended repair was to use/install heli-coil. 7/1/16, #3 cylinder ejected the spark plug again, this time damaging the cylinder head. Now waiting for an estimate and to see if the head can be repaired or has to be replaced. Both times, vehicle was accelerating from a stop when traffic light changed from red to green.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #18

Mar 022016


  • 30,000 miles
My truck has only 30,000 miles on it. While driving it, the 5.4 liter engine started knocking severely and would not power the vehicle. I managed to avoid a major accident and get it pulled over to the side of the freeway. I had fortunately purchased the extended warranty and took it to the dealer. When I got it to the dealer, all the service writers acknowledged that the 5.4 has a serious problem. The mechanic examined it and stated that it was a cam phaser issue. Here is the problem: Ford knows that the 5.4 liter engine has this problem and will not acknowledge it because there are 1,000S of these on the road and they do not want to pay to fix them. That is why they discontinued the engine. What is really bad, is that the NHTSA knows about it as well. Ford needs to fix these trucks before someone gets hurt. I barely got the truck pulled over on the southern California 405 freeway! I will never buy a Ford product again. I am going back to my trusted Toyota brand!

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #17

Feb 012016


  • 113,500 miles
Ford Motor Company has installed defective fasteners on the exhaust manifolds of numerous modular V8 (4.6L & 5.4L) equipped F-150S. This is a well documented issue among several F-150 owners throughout the us and Canada for many model years. The problem with these manifold fasteners (studs) is that after the normal heat cycles of driving and sitting, they begin to deteriorate at an excelled rate. Once a stud or studs have failed, engine emissions leave the exhaust system prior to reaching the catalytic converter. The way to repair this is by removing the exhaust system and manifolds in order to extract the broken stud or studs and replace them with improved parts, in many cases the entire engine must be removed from the vehicle due to clearance issues. Not only is this issue very costly to the consumer and the environment it is also an arduous process to be repaired even by someone that is mechanically inclined. My 2009 F-150 currently has this same issue. Evidence that this has been a consistent problem for almost a decade: Service bulletin no.: 17320 component(s): Engine and engine cooling NHTSA id number: 10008169

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #16

Oct 282015


  • 81,000 miles


Exhaust manifold leak due to broken exhaust manifold to head bolts. On cold start there is a moderately loud exhaust leak that diminishes as the engine heats up. Vehicle was stationary and parked when first noticed.

- Mulberry, FL, USA

problem #15

Sep 202015


  • 73,538 miles
Coming home, something let lose under the hood and was tinking. Ended up having it towed home where we found out the spark plug ejected. Called the dealership as I just bought my truck 2 months ago, they couldn't do anything. Called Ford Corp they wouldn't give me any information. After doing research I found this was a tbs. I called a Ford dealer to see what to do. He told me it would have to be fixed at my expense. Took it to a garage where they figured the spark plug ejected and ruined a few other parts that needed to be replaced. After a week later I have my truck back. Not sure how much it cost yet, the bill is in the mail once he figures it out!

- Rossiter, PA, USA

problem #14

Jul 212015


  • 50,250 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle stalled. The failure recurred on one other occasion. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle had carbon build up. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was towed back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,250.

- Valrico, FL, USA

problem #13

Aug 032015


  • 43,000 miles


While driving in a parking lot at speed below 5 mph, the engine began to shake and chatter. The sound and vibration went away at speeds above 5 mph. I was able to duplicate the problem repeatedly. The local dealer said it was the cam phaser, and they needed to be replaced. This 2009 truck was assembled in November of 2008. Truck was purchased used with 36000 miles in November of 2014. Cam phasers replaced at 43800 miles.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #12

Aug 142015


  • 87,024 miles
Purchased this vehicle used from a well known and popular dealer in Utah. We did not note any noises during the test ride and vehicle appeared in great condition. On the drive home (of course) we stopped for dinner. Noticed a loud knocking noise coming from the engine. This continued and worsened and we feared the vehicle would stall. The problem subsided when the RPM's increased slightly. We were able to duplicate the problem repeatable in a parking lot at low speeds and low rpms. Specifically when turning left and the problem worsened when the 4X4 was selected. I video taped the engine noise as proof for the dealership. Doing research we have noted that this is a common problem with the 2009 F150 5.4 L. range of problems described as either cam phaser or internal engine problem. Corrections have been noted as either cam phaser replacements (not very helpful) or full engine replacement. Taking the vehicle back to the dealer this morning to return.

- Clearfield, UT, USA

problem #11

Jun 052015


  • 130,475 miles
2009 Ford F150 has been shaking at idle or when going slow when vehicle is not in park. It shakes and jerks terribly bad. It has caused me to stall at a stop light waiting for the light to turn green and I've nearly been hit in the rear multiple times and this is not counting the road rage people have when this happens. Took it to a shop and was told it was a cam phaser. Found out this is a common problem with Ford's 5.4 but Ford isn't doing anything about it. I guess if you just get ran into and not killed from something then it's not serious enough to own up to it and issue a recall? this is ridiculous and dangerous!! besides not having $4K to fix it I've also been told that it often requires you to get a new engine. If I don't have $4K I definitely don't have $8K for a new engine. Someone needs to help us please!!!

- Holt, MO, USA

problem #10

Apr 282015


  • 73,574 miles
Spark plug blowout in rush hour traffic.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #9

Dec 052014


  • 74,985 miles


Engine began to shake at 65mph. Pulled over and engine was shot. Possible cam phasers.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 062014


  • 153,080 miles
After accelerating to pass on the highway (65 mph to 70 mph), the truck remained going 70 mph when accelerator released. Vehicle could be slowed with difficulty by applying brakes, but would resume speed when brakes released. Fortunately, traffic was light. Cruise control was not being used at time of incident. Attempted to resolve issue for approximately 4 miles/minutes at highway speeds (determined accelerator not stuck on floor mat, engaged and disengaged cruise control, braked repeatedly while making sure I was also not hitting the accelerator). Eventually slowed vehicle to approximately 10 mph with extreme braking on an uphill incline, at which point vehicle would not slow any further. Took truck out of gear and shut off engine (vehicle stopped). Had towed to service department of Ford dealer who "could not reproduce problem" but replaced electric throttle body assembly and cleared/reprogrammed computer. When asked if incidents such as these are reported to Ford for their database, the service representative said no, that they had no means to do so.

- Knoxville, MD, USA

problem #7

Apr 142014


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was restarted after one hour and operated normally however, the failure recurred four times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but they were unable to detect a trouble code or diagnose the problem. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 71,000.

- Pooleville, MD, USA

problem #6

Apr 122014

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 66,700 miles
Approaching an yellow light at approximately 35 mph I hit the gas pedal hard for passing gear. The accelerator stuck, the engine roaring, I had to step as hard as possible to stop the truck so I would not hit the vehicle in front of me. Engine would not stop accelerating forcing me to turn off the truck. Shocked, I sat in traffic for a moment before I restarted the engine, but it immediately went to full speed again, forcing me to again turn off the engine. My friend climbed out and pushed me out of traffic. After sitting in a parking lot for about 5 minutes I again started the engine and it started normally.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #5

Mar 042009

F-150 8-cyl

  • 500 miles
I was on the highway and when I attempted to pass a vehicle, when I floored the gas pedal the truck lost all power for 3 to 5 seconds almost causing an accident. It has been that way from the day I bought it until present. When I questioned the dealer on the lose of power problem I was told nothing can be done about it because it is a normal issue with fly by wire accelerator.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #4

Jun 012012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
No problems until about 60,000 miles. Then one day, while stopped, the truck suddenly died, the check engine light came on, and the gas gauge would indicated a quarter tank when the tank was actually full. All of this happened at the same time. I had two oxygen sensors replaced (about $400) to clear the check engine light and the fuel pump replaced (about $700) on the recommendation of the Ford service department to cure the gas gauge problem. While turning across oncoming traffic, the vehicle has died and was hard to steer. Oncoming cars had to brake rapidly as I have had a hard time steering with no power. This has now happened numerous times. The truck dies or runs very rough and nearly stalls almost every time I drive it more than a mile or so. There is no check engine code and the dealer stated it could not be duplicated when I took it in for evaluation. This has the potential for creating a dangerous situation. I would fix this issue if it could be identified.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #3

Aug 142012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 37,009 miles
Dropped off vehicle with Ford dealership service adviser and proceeded to waiting area. Vehicle had a steady yellow engine light indicating service is required. Five minutes later, loud engine racing noise, tires squealing and crash impact sound from service bay area. Knowing it was my truck, I went out to the service bay to see it slammed through the far stone wall, about 75 feet from the service desk. Hydraulic fluid was all over the floor, outside and inside of the truck. Service adviser was stunned and crawled out of vehicle claiming it suddenly accelerated and he could not put the vehicle into neutral or park as the engine raced at full RPM. Service adviser was sent to hospital. Ford service manager was concerned and agreed to check engine codes, he talked like he'd seen this happen before. All service engineers were concerned about spontaneous acceleration they all witnessed as the truck miraculously barreled through the service bays without hitting any of the workers. Later in the day, I returned to check status and everyone at dealership changed their story. They will not tell me why the truck accelerated like it did, but will not admit there was human error either.

- Middleton, MA, USA

problem #2

Jul 282012


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Ford F150. The contact stated that after starting the engine, there was a loud, abnormal noise emitted from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The failure and the current mileage was 59,000.

- Merrimac , MA, USA

problem #1

May 292012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
While driving the vehicle engine lost all power and when I pulled over to the side of the road the engine died. Tried restarting the engine multiple times, and it would start but only run for a few seconds and then die. Had it towed to the local Ford dealer and they could not replicate the problem. Have had the same issue 4 more times since then. Vehicle engine dies but the last few times has restarted. Took it into the local Ford dealer again and again they could not replicate the problem.

- Little Canada, MN, USA

Not what you are looking for?