hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,352 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.

1998 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #35

Mar 282007

F-150 6-cyl

  • 79,099 miles


Engine failed due to poor quality parts. Coolant leaked into cylinder, causing engine to seize, causing a bent rod, meaning $3000. All could have been avoided if Ford would have taken responsibility and issued a recall and fixed a simple gasket, $400 procedure maximum. Ford continues to deny there is a problem and will not help!

- Eustis, FL, USA

problem #34

Mar 042007

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 64,000 miles
Upon starting vehicle on my driveway a loud bang and subsequent knocking sound emitted from engine. Had a mechanic look at engine found water in intake chamber and broken rod and piston. Mechanic advises an engine rebuild will be required and is familiar with a hydro lock problem with the 4.2 L Ford V6 engines.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #33

Feb 082007

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 76,000 miles
- the contact stated that the 1998 for F-150 engine seized. The contact stated that in the morning of 02/09/07 he had no indication that there was a problem with the engine. After a day of driving he tried to start the vehicle and it wouldn't start. The contact had the vehicle towed to westerly tire, and they informed the contact that the engine seized. The current and failure mileage were 76000.

- Forth Worth, TX, USA

problem #32

May 152004

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 105,500 miles


1) around May 2004, I noticed I was needing to add water to my 1998, Ford F150, 4.2L V6 quite frequently. 2) water entered the block of the engine, long story short, my motor slung a rod through the oil pan, in turn, costing around $4,000 out of pocket to fix. 3) Ford knows of the many, many failures of this particular motor which was manufactured during the years of 1997, 1998, and part of 1999. I, like many others, never received any type of notice concerning this situation. I wound up rebuilding the entire motor due to an intake gasket malfunction that Ford could have and should have prevented by way of a recall notice.

- Monroe, LA, USA

problem #31

Aug 312006

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Spitting out spark plugs.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #30

Oct 102006

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
1998 4.2L V6 Ford engine coolant leak in engine causing hyperlock and blow a rod need to replace engine.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #29

Aug 132006

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,073 miles


Engine hard to start, smoked after it did, gasket failure cylinder filled with coolant causing connecting rod to bend or break. Engine needs to be replaced.

- Janesville , WI, USA

problem #28

Sep 272005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle was taken in for body work, it sat for 2 weeks. When the vehicle was started following the 2 weeks, the engine noise was louder than normal, and there was a coolant leak. A private mechanic was consulted, who determined the head gasket was blown. Also, the doors had cracked one half inch from the corner of the window seal. A private mechanic informed the contact the cracks were due to the weight of the door.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #27

Oct 032005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 127,528 miles
On a 1998 Ford F-150 2wd pickup with a 4.2L engine........ initial overheating due to low engine coolant. Refilled coolant and kept level at appropriate working level. From a cold start one morning heard loud knocking sound from engine. Brought it in to get it checked by local mechanic, which advised me that I needed a new engine. Purchased a re-manufactured engine at approx 125,000 miles on old engine.

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #26

Jan 142006

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles
(1) car would not start one morning like a dead battery. I jumped the car and heard a loud clattering sound from engine. (2) leaking front cover and intake manifold gaskets in a 4.2 L V-6 engines caused the engine to seize. (3) currently replacing engine.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #25

Dec 182005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,148 miles


I am one of many owners of the Ford F-150 4.2 engine trucks (ours is a 1998) that has encountered engine failure resulting the replacement of the engine due to leaking head gasket. It appears from information gathered from numerous websites and from speaking to others that this is a very obvious and common issue that Ford has chosen to ignore. We are asking that your Agency take action to help initiate a class-action suit or some how force Ford to pay for these repairs.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #24

Oct 152005

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Contact owns a 1998 Ford F150 pickup. Whiile driving on the interstate the spark plug blew out. No warning at all. The contact pulled over to the side of the road, and had the vehicle towed 650 miles back to the contact's home.

- Racine , WI, USA

problem #23

Sep 012005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,100 miles
To whom it may concern: I am the owner of a 1998 Ford F-150 4.2L XLT. A few weeks ago I noticed a slight hesitation upon starting my engine. Once the engine started, it struggled a little and then smoothed out once I began to drive. The truck continued to run fine, once started, but continued with the slight hesitation when starting the engine for about a week. On September 1, 2005, I attempted to start my truck and found that it would not turn over right away. I let the truck rest a moment then again attempted to start the engine. The truck started up, then I heard the slight hesitation and all of sudden I heard a loud bang followed by a loud noise coming from the engine. I had the truck towed to my mechanic whereupon I was informed that it was a rod knock, which shot down through the oil pan. He found coolant on the plugs and water intrusion through the intake manifold into the block. He informed me that my engine had hydro-locked. Through research I was able to determine that this is an apparently widespread problem. I found that Ford Motor Company issued a recall on the intake manifold gasket in 1999. I never received such notification, although I have, in fact received information for other recalls. I was never sent anything in the mail and had no idea of this problem. In addition, I am informed that Ford Motor Company is not doing anything to rectify this matter with customers. I currently have 117,000 miles on my truck and had to pay over $4,000 to replace the long block. I had to pay to repair a problem that Ford obviously knew existed. Since Ford was aware of the potential danger of damaging the engine and did little, if nothing, to inform its customers of this potential danger, I feel that Ford Motor Company should be held, at least in part, liable for the damage incurred to my truck and to many of those, like myself, who have had the same problem. I would greatly appreciate your assistance in this matter.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #22

Sep 202005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
98 Ford F-150 with 4.2L with coolant leaking into engine. This is happening to almost all of these engines and Ford is doing nothing about it.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #21

Sep 092005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,500 miles
On my way home from work, I noticed my temp gauge in the red and my oil pressure gauge at zero. The "check oil" light was lit as well. The truck at the time was running fine, no noises from the engine and no smoke from the tailpipe. I pulled off to the shoulder of the highway and had the truck towed to the nearest shop which happens to be a Ford dealer; diablo Ford in pittsburgh, ca. On 09/12/05, the first day the service dept was able to get to it, I received a call from the dealer telling me that both head gaskets were blown. The engine needs to be pulled and disassembled to check engine bearings, connecting rods, valves and pistons to see if there is more damage than just blown head gaskets. So far the quote with internal engine parts not damaged is $3200. That quote could rise very easily if internal damage is found. Since this happened, I was on the fightback.com website and have found literally hundreds of people with 1997 to 1999 F150 Ford trucks with 4.2 liter engines. Apparently, Ford has changed the design of the head gaskets in mid 1999, due to consumer complaints for these particular engines. My understanding is Ford refuses to acknowledge the problem, and hundreds if not thousands of people are shelling out $3000+ to repair their trucks. In some cases, entire engines were replaced for thousands of dollars more. I believe Ford should recall and cover the costs on the engines. If I'm not mistaking, the 3.8 liter V6 shares the same block and heads as the 4.2. the 3.8 is found in a lot of Ford Windstar and Taurus'. somebody needs to accept responsibility for making faulty engines.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #20

Sep 022005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,500 miles
1998 Ford F150. Coolant in the oil, and serious engine noise. The are white vapors from the exhaust system. Has not taken vehicle to a service station yet. Unable to drive automobile.

- Penfield, NY, USA

problem #19

May 302005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,664 miles
I was towing an ultra light camping trailer with the cruise control engaged when I smelled what appeared to be an electrical fire then the engine immediately failed. I replaced the entire engine at a cost of $ $4000 and have had at least 10 more instances where the cruise control stopped working on the interstate.

- Stonewood, WV, USA

problem #18

Jun 302005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,350 miles
Head gasket/ head bolt failure at 66,000 miles. Mechanic reported it during routine service. Said 3 things cause this failure. 1. lack of coolant (overheating), 2. defective gasket or 3. factory defect during the milling the head. Mechanic reported this as a known problem with this model of Ford truck. Since the coolant level has always been maintained, that leaves the other two possibilities. Since this vehicle is regularly serviced, problem was caught right away. No indication of problem before hand. No tsb issued for this vehicle but some for other Ford vehicles in same manufacturing year. Searching the internet found similar problems with other Ford 150S' with premature blown head gaskets. Repairs at Ford dealer were $2300 with little choice to go elsewhere. Problems with dealer in getting repair done correctly, but that is a different complaint. I have seen other recalls for defective head gaskets over the years, this engine should be considered.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #17

Jun 282005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer said that spark plug blew out of the cylinder head. Consumer was traveling in vehicle at about 30 mph up hill. This happened in the day time. Consumer saidthat his vehicle was in garage to be repaired. Consumer did not know which cylinder. Consumer did report this to Ford.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #16

Jun 052005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
Coolant leaked into the engine due to a faulty deisgn of the front cover gasket causing a bent rod due to uncompressible coolant in the cylinders.

- Headland, AL, USA

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