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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

May 152005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


Overnight hydrolock condition, caused by faulty intake gaskets and cylinder head gaskets, causing immediate and unforseen internal damage up to and including damage to pistons, rods, crankshaft, and bearings. We were non-informed due to Ford's neglet to send appropriate recall notices for both vehicles owned by our family. This is a well documented problem within the internet community, and although Ford did issue recall notices, we did not recieve any to our current knowledge. Ford Motor Company will not fix this problem because apparently it is too late to turn in a recall. The response given by Ford Motor Company does not seem ethical in my eyes, and many consumers are out of transportation and be out the money that this will cost them to fix the problem themselves. These are honest, hard working citizens that have believed in Ford for many years, and for this kind of problem to come up and to have them not do anything about it, removes any shred of confidence still remaining in todays manufactured goods.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #14

May 102005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,234 miles
1.white smoke coming out of tail pipe for about 2 minutes, returned home. Tried to start my truck the second day to bring in the garage, there was a loud clunk!!! engine would not turn !!!! 2.right lower intake manifold side gaskets failed, allowing coolant to leak into engine oil and cylinder. Issue is addressed by Ford with tsb article no. 99-20-7 3.engine failure, bent rods!!!!! having to replace the engine!!

- Denver, NC, USA

problem #13

May 072003


  • Manual transmission
  • 130,000 miles
Have had problems with my 1998 V6 Ford F-150 pick up, regarding coolant/water loss, so have continually done coolant maintenance. Started the truck up last Saturday 5/7/06 and the engine made an an awful sound, and white smoke came out of the exhaust. The truck was running fine the day before. My truck was towed to a mechanic yesterday, and they say the engine needs replaced, which will cost $4,000 plus. I have seen many, many complaints from F-159 V6 owners, 1997-2000. I cannot afford to have the vehicle repossessed, as I still owe $4,000 plus on it. I cannot afford the rebuilt engine repair, and now have no means of transportation. Also, I am currently unemployed and looking for work. Ford company needs to do right by their customers, as this same problem has happened to so many F-150 owners. A class action suit is currently on-going in northern California, according to a consumer website. I never received a recall notice from Ford. Please let me know how I can join this class action lawsuit.

- Bellingham, , WA, USA

problem #12

May 052005

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


When I started my 1998 Ford F-150 today, a great deal of noise occurred and finally a rod shot out of the bottom of my truck's oil pan. The truck has only 72,000 miles on it. Upon investigation, I have discovered that many people have had the same problem with their 4.2 liter engine. Apparantly Ford know about this problem, but refuses to acknowledge or fix it. From what I have read, the problem starts with the head gasket going bad putting coolant into the engine creating the failure. Please help others so that won't have to shell out $2,500 for a new engine or possible get hurt from flying parts!

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #11

Aug 172004

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
Catatrophic engine failure at 52000 miles. Ford dealership admitted there was a problem similar to 3.8L engine tsb notice. On disassembly by professional garage they indicated head gasket failure as causing the connecting rod bearing to fail, (similar to 3.8L failures).

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #10

Dec 102004

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles
Parked truck in driveway. Running fine. 2 hours later started truck. White water vapor from exhaust and rod knocking. Intake manifold gasket failed, causing hydrolock. Removed engine replaced rod piston and bearings. Have old piston and rod.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #9

Jan 132003

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Vehicle was parked when all of a sudden the engine caught on fire. Manufacturer was contacted by consumer but the cause was undetermined.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Sep 252004


  • 72,000 miles
This complaint was received via E-mail. 4.2L engine became disabled and burned a bearing in the crank shaft. Had to have the engine replaced by Ford at consumer's expense. Mechanic indicated that this was a common problem with Ford and this size engine.

- Barberton, OH, USA

problem #7

Jan 302004

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I took my 1998 Ford F150 V6 for a minor repair and when I checked with mechanic he told me that he folded water in the oil. Mechanic informed engine needs replacement. Did some research and this seems to be known issue with cetain Ford engiines and I felt I ws not made aware of the issue with a leaking head gasket problem

- Mt.Prospect, IL, USA

problem #6

Aug 242004

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,720 miles
(1) no events leading to failure. (2) started hard, heavy white smoke out the exhaust and knocking in the engine. Onsequences - #4 & #5 rods in cylinders stressed. (3) correction of failure - 4.2L engine replacement at my expense. Ford would not back up even though I have obtained tsb-99-20-7 and this truck was manufactured 12/97. Recall was thru 5.1.97 and engine was put in trucks until 1.15.98.

- Lima, OH, USA

problem #5

Mar 082004


  • 55,000 miles


Consumer attempted to start the vehicle while parked. After several attempts the engine fired up. Consumer heard a loud knocking sound coming from the engine. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for a check up. Dealer examined the vehicle, and found that one of the rods was bent in the engine. A new engine was needed.

- Barron, WI, USA

problem #4

Aug 072003

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
I have a 1998 F150 I bought new. I have been a Ford person for many years but will not buy another Ford until the problems with the motor and transmissions are corrected. At 72,000 miles I had to replace the transmission. ($2,200), at 92,000 miles check engine light came on, idling was rough but drove fine. Took it to the mechanic he said tune-up would correct it. $400 later, still check engine light and idle rough. It just stopped and wouldn't start back up. I'm having to replace the block ect.. having to continue to pay a nice vehicle payment each month and insurance and still not having a vehicle to drive is ridiculous. Very disappointed with Ford!! kl.

- Lithia, FL, USA

problem #3

May 221998

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Leaking valve cover gasket and gasket around spark plugs leaking allowing oil in cylinder. Repaired less than one year ago at 30,000 miles. Has reoccured at 33000 miles. Defective parts?

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #2

Apr 162003

F-150 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,095 miles
I was coming from the doctor with my wife when my truck starts doing a laud knocking sound. I could not figure what was going on. The temperature, battery, oil pressure and everything was fine. The next day I took it to a mechanic and he told me I had a bad head gasket and found that it damage a #1 cyl, bend connecting rod, crack piston and of course a bad head. To fix it was over $2,500. I live in a social security disability with a fix income since February and cannot afford to pay all that money and barely make the payments. The mechanic told me that it has been lots of problems with these engines and head gaskets. I told my stepdaughter and we went on-line surprised to see lots of people with the same problem. Ford knows about these problems since 1998 on the 3.8-liter V-6 head gasket used between 1988 and 1995 on the Taurus, Sable and Continental, as well as the 1995 Windstar and we think they did not fix the problem not until way after 1998 when they issued a technical service bulletin. Now 1998's F-150 got exaclly the same prablem. I donżżT know what to do !!! I have not call Ford credit to tell them yet. Anny sugestions please E-mail me at jessym28@hotmail.com

- North Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

Feb 022003


  • miles
We have a Ford F150 clubcab pickup. It was performing fine and I came to work and went to start it and it would not start. My husband came to help me and it finally started but it had a severe knock in it. He took it to the gargae for repair and was told it was the engine. No warning pf any sort. It had great oil pressure, chnaged frequently, coolant was fine etc. We were told that it has a bulletin out on it for this very problem but no recall. We now have heard of 3 other people with the same identical problem around our small community. Ford says they will do nothing about it as it is just a bulletin not a recall problem. The garages around here have told us this is a common problem with this engine. If Ford would even pay half of the $3600 repair we would be satisifed but they tell us no.

- Wolverine, MI, USA

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