really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 28
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
88,682 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.

2001 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #98

May 092014

F-150 6-cyl

  • 200,000 miles


Vehicle was parked and motor was off. Vehicle catch on fire and fire departments had to go turn it off but we could not save anything from this truck it got very damaged.

- Lytle, TX, USA

problem #97

Dec 052013


  • miles
While driving down the interstate, the vehicle caught on fire. Everything under the hood was destroyed.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #96

Apr 132012

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 202,000 miles
Pulled out of side road onto major highway and suddenly a loud flapping noise from engine was heard. Immediately pulled to shoulder of road and turn vehicle off and called for assistance. Was told that a spark plug was the cause of the problem and that it should be a easy fix, this was not the case because the head had to be removed to extracted to damaged plug. Our fix is costing upwards of $700.

- Waynesville, NC, USA

problem #95

Jan 312012

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford F-150 Triton. The vehicle was taken for state inspection when the contact was advised that the engine, engine manifold and bolts were corroded. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was confirmed. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 68,000 and the current mileage was 71,000. Updated 05/21/12 the consumer was informed the material used were defective.

- Greencastle, PA, USA

problem #94

Mar 182012


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford F-150. While parked, the contact noticed smoke coming from under the hood. After opening the hood the contact noticed that the manifold and the wiring harness was on fire. The contact stated that the vehicle had been shut off and had not been driven prior to the fire. The contact was able to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostics or repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 28,000.

- Calera, AL, USA

problem #93

Aug 192010


  • 180,000 miles
I'm in the large growing number of owners that have had a sparkplug blow out. Ford knows this is a problem and have come up with a special tool to help in the repair of this. It rethreads the hole then they have an insert that goes in it. The problem is there's not enough threads to hold the plug. The thing is, if they don't want to do a total recall then they should at least cover the expense when it happens. I guess like everything else, it's going to take a death or serious injury before they will step up to the plate and do the right thing.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #92

Feb 062012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 156,000 miles


Spark plug blew out of engine causing failure. Engine. Fire

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #91

Jan 262011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 80,500 miles
Attempted to start a 2001 Ford F-150 super crew that has a 5.4liter engine and only 80,500 and heard a bang. Engine started but made a lot of noise. I shut down the engine and checked under hood. On the right side of engine found a plug wire and coil destroyed which indicated a spark plug exploded out of the cylinder head. Repair shop said do not drive it as fuel will spray on hot manifold and will cause a fire. They said I was lucky engine was not hot. These were the factory installed plugs as original window sticker says 100K mile tune-ups. Estimate of repair is $4,000. Ford accronim applies here "found on road dead or, fix or repair daily." Upon internet search this appears to be a common occurance and neither Ford or nhitsa are doing anything about it. Ford has even put out a tsb07-15-2 authorizing a specific tool and repair procedure for aluminum heads for the 5.4 1997 to 2004 fseries. Ford knows it is an engineering defect and nhitsa knows it is a fire hazard as some vehicles have caught on fire.

- Cape May, NJ, USA

problem #90

Jan 162012


  • 116,000 miles
I have a 2001 Ford pickup with 116,000 miles that I have babied since I purchased it just this week I had a spark plug blow out of the head, just so happened I was 45 miles away from home, so a wrecker charge was due, took my truck to my usual repair shop but they said they couldn't fix the problem. So I then had to find someone else, anothe wrecker charge. Ford must know from all the complaints that this is a big problem and very costly. Ford should recall all vehicles with aluminum heads and install a steel sleeve in all spark plugs to take care of this problem, they are saving tons of money with this type of faulty engine. I had considered buying a new Ford pickup, but this just might have changed my mind. The price of vehicles these days, many people like myself have to drive their vehicles serveral years, we can't afford a new vehicle with the price of gas. The poor middle class is almost a thing of the past, if you're not making 100,000 a year you're hard pressed to keep your head above water. Someone needs to stop the things that ragan started with his trickle down policies and fix the problem. Keep the republicans out of office and let some good people work for the middle class for once.

- Henderson, KY, USA

problem #89

Dec 232011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 122,989 miles
Spark plug blow out caused excessive damage to engine. Engine had to be replaced at a cost of $6200. This is a known problem for 1999 to 2005 engines.

- Dameron, MD, USA

problem #88

Jan 052012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


I was getting on the interstate this am and heard a noise, the truck lost power and started running extremely rough. I turned around and barely made it home (only a few miles). When I raised the hood, a spark plug was laying on top of the engine. The coil pack was also broken when the spark plug blew out. There was a very strong smell of gas. I researched the internet and found that this is a major problem with Ford engines built from 1997 - 2003. If I had been in a center or left lane, being rush hour traffic, this could have caused a major wreck. This problem should not be ignored and should become a recall for Ford.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #87

Dec 092011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 202,534 miles
Attempting to park vehicle in parking stall with foot on brake stopping the vehicle. The vehicle, for no apparent reason, abruptly accelerated forward striknig the vehicle on the other side of the parking stall. The resulting crash caused damage to the front of the 2011 GMC sport utility vehicle and to the front of the 2001 Ford F-150. This is the second time an incident similar to this has occurred. The first time was in August 2011. The first time the vehicle demonstrated a similar phenomena occurred when the owner was parking the vehicle in a parking stall. The vehicle was stopped in the parking stall, the driver's foot on the brake and the vehicle abruptly accelerated, for no apparent reason, over a concrete parking block. The vehicle continued into the street as the driver continued to apply the brake, attempting to stop the Ford F-150. The driver was unable to avoid striking a vehicle after entering the street.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #86

Oct 092011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
I was driving to work and heard a loud pop and stopped the truck and called the tow truck. The mechanic informed me that a spark plug blew out of the head of the engine and it was going to cost $550 to fix, he also said that it would be a temporary fix and that I would need a new engine because of the damage. I did some research and found that this has been a problem for some time with these engines because of the aluminum heads and there were only 3-4 threads actually holding the spark plug. A Ford Motor Co. Warranty inspector says the Ford Triton V-8 engines are "dropping like flies" because of blown spark plugs. I would like to address the Ford spark plug blowout issue. Ford Triton engines from 1997 to 2003 had a problem where spark plugs would randomly fly out the cylinder head. This appears to be due to a few issues (engineering design flaw), first there are insufficient threads (3-4) in the head to properly hold the spark plug. Second the threads in the head are not inserted, in other words the threads are in the aluminum and are not very strong. Spark plug ejection is dangerous because fuel vapor starts coming out the spark plug hole, which is clearly a serious safety issue. The fuel vapor can be ignited by the loose spark plug - and in fact there have been a small number of cases reported of engine fires due to spark plug ejection/blowout. Ford needs to be held responsible for the repairs of spark plug blow out and should extend the warranty regardless of age on the spark plug blow out issue, they also should be forced to pay a fair amount of labor time, because most of the repairs cost thousands of dollars. Ford has been aware of this serious issue of an engineering-design flaw and needs to recall 17 million vehicles from 1997-2003.

- Wrightstown, NJ, USA

problem #85

Oct 032011


  • 249,000 miles
The contact owned a 2001 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked for a few days when it suddenly caught on fire and burned to the ground. The contact suffered minor burn injuries as a result. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 249,000.

- Lincoln, AL, USA

problem #84

Sep 082010

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns 2001 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the vehicle exhibited an abnormally loud knocking noise from the front end of the vehicle. The contact inspected under the hood and noticed that the spark plug located nearest to the driver side had disengaged from the coil head without warning. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where a helium coil kit was installed. A few months later, the same failure recurred and the engine was replaced by the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000. Consumer is still having problems with the aluminum head. Updated 11/10/2011

- Orlanda , FL, USA

problem #83

Jul 282011

F-150 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
2001 Ford F-150. The truck had an under hood fire while it was in a parking lot. The business owner found me after the fire was started and put out. The truck was totaled.

- Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #82

May 022011


  • miles
2001 Ford F-150. Consumer states vehicle caught fire and then exploded the consumer stated she saw a report on T.V. regarding problems with fuel tanks and NHTSA was investigating.

- Harlan, IA, USA

problem #81

May 132011

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I own a 2001 F-150 Ford truck. I have experienced 3X now in a year the spark plugs blowing out of the heads. The first 2X it scared me half to death to the point I lost control for a few seconds ( thank god no one was on the road at the time). I have had the plugs heli-coiled in twice and waiting on the 3rd one now. The Ford dealership I take the truck to says, "it is a poor design in the heads of this motor that causes the plugs to blow out and Ford Motor Company knows about the problem." I am concerned that it will happen to someone else and cause serious injury or even death due to the "explosion" sound at first and the extremely loud knocking noise.

- Hicksville, OH, USA

problem #80

Jan 102011


  • 140,000 miles
Spark plug blown out of engine twice. First time cheap fix second time it was over $700. Seems to be a pretty common problem. Needs a recall done.

- Hereford, AZ, USA

problem #79

Apr 082011


  • 209,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford F-150. The vehicle was parked and shut off when a fire began on the driver's side of the hood. The fire department extinguished the fire. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was not moved from the location and was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 209,000.

- Columbia, MS, USA

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