hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,909 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.

2003 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford F-150 Owner Comments

problem #19

Nov 072016


  • miles


Trans went out a month after intake crack had to be replace almost $1,650 together also ball joints and tierod ends no good shock no good brake are falling and rear end is grinding this truck should have never been sold help and there's "more".

- Northlittlerock, AR, USA

problem #18

Dec 062016


  • 111,000 miles
The spark plug ejected from my engine and cylinder head. And apparently this is a common issue with Ford truck engines. Seems to me it should be a defect or a recall. That should not happen it could be dangerous. I thought my vehicles engine had exploded. And the cost of this could be outrageous.

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #17

Jul 132016


  • miles
Spark plug 2nd closest to the passenger blew out.

- North Branch, MN, USA

problem #16

Sep 282016


  • 130,000 miles


Was driving along at 35 mph going straight on a city street. A spark plug was ejected from the engine head. This could create a fire hazard.

- Liberty Township, OH, USA

problem #15

Jun 222016


  • miles
Vehicle caught on fire while parked in driveway. Had not been run in over a week. Completely burned up and caused damaged home. Vehicle burned had several explosions and burned at a high temp until it was extinguished by fire fighters.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #14

Dec 052015


  • 210,000 miles
Driving up a hill at highway speed I heard a loud bang and a clunk and the truck started shaking. I was quite startled. I pulled over immediately, shut it off, and found the spark plug had ejected from cylinder number 6. not being far from home, I attempted to drive it the rest of the way on less busy roads, but I had to pull over again when I started smelling a strong gasoline smell. I was able to disconnect the fuel injector and drive it the rest of the way home, but I feel there was a danger of an accident when the incident happened due to the sudden loss of power in traffic on a hill, and then a danger of a fire when I had tried to continue driving it with the fuel injector active.

- Sheboygan Falls, WI, USA

problem #13

Jul 162015


  • 139,652 miles


Second time same spark plug housing has failed to hold spark plug and ejected it from engine along with raw fuel almost igniting engine compartment.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #12

Jun 212015


  • 222,050 miles
While driving my truck with my wife & son, we heard a loud pop, like a gun shot, then my truck started to run real rough, I found a coil, & a spark plug had been blown out of the engine, because of the fuel build up & the spark from the truck still running we are lucky that the truck did not catch fire.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #11

Feb 122014


  • 94,000 miles
Driving down highway and exiting onto my exit, the truck started to run rough and eventually shut off. I had to wait about 1hour for the truck to cool off before it would start again. While waiting for the truck to cool off, I changed the fuel filter. Today, 6/3/15, I can start the truck up and let it run for about a half an hour and shut it off and it will not start back. I wait another half an hour and it will start right up. I can't effort to take it to the shop and pay $50 to $100 for them not to be able to tell me what is wrong or how to fix it.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #10

Mar 212015

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 157,000 miles
As we started the truck, we heard a loud pop and then the engine was running rough. I could smell gas burning not in a good way, so we turned off the engine and popped the hood. There was gasoline running under the truck, and gasoline coming from the exhaust. A passerby informed us that the F-150 with Triton engine is notorious for blowing spark plugs and proceeded to point out which spark plug had blown. I researched this issue when I arrived home after our truck was towed to a mechanic, and discovered that just about every F-150 owner goes through this. Why is this not a defect that Ford is being required to fix" do people have to die before a defective part is taken care of"

- Cottonwood, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 152014


  • 148,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. While driving at approximately 65 mph, the vehicle made an abnormal noise. The accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle would not accelerate. The check engine warning indicator illuminated. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence where an independent mechanic diagnosed that the spark plug detached and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 148,000.

- Lockeford, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 072015

F-150 8-cyl

  • 118,800 miles
A spark plug blew out, another plug blew out 3 days later. It cost almost $2000 to fix and there is no guarantee that the rest won't blow out.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #7

Jul 152014

F-150 8-cyl

  • 86,300 miles
While driving at 65 - 70 mph on I-95, the spark plug on the #2 cylinder blew out. #2 cylinder is 2nd plug from front of engine on the passenger side. Loud noise and lost power.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 032014

F-150 8-cyl

  • 136,713 miles
My family and I were sitting in a drive through picking up a pizza. Can we went to pull forward and it started looking really bad.. did some research and felt all the plugs and found that number four plug blew out of the head! it cost us 500 for fix and now another one is starting to go!!

- Salem, OH, USA

problem #5

Feb 142014

F-150 8-cyl

  • 97,764 miles
As I was driving home, my engine began making a loud noise & running badly. Upon inspection of the motor, I found the spark plug had blown out of the #3 cylinder, breaking the coil pack in the process. I do not believe this is a normal occurrence. I have checked on-line to see if this has happened to other F-150 owners, and found out it is fairly common. What can be done to get Ford to help with this problem?

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

problem #4

Jun 162013

F-150 8-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, she heard a loud explosion from under the hood. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis where the technician stated that the spark plug detached from the coil and would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 133,000.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #3

Jun 182012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
On a return trip from columbus Ohio to new orleans la, a spark plug ejected from #3 cylinder, passenger side second from the front. Engine stalled but was able to be restarted. Smell of fuel was very prevalent. No other apparent damage to any other systems on the engine. Plug was the original factory installed plug and had not been touched by any mechanic since the truck was new. Brought to the dealer. After a $700 repair bill, they tried a helicoil, but this failed after just 1 use of the truck on the highway.. a $28,000 truck should be able to keep its spark plugs in the heads.

- Marrero, LA, USA

problem #2

Feb 092013


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F150. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the spark plug was blown on the number four cylinder. There were no warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic, who replaced the spark plugs at a cost to the contact. The failure recurred after the repairs. The vehicle was then towed to the dealer, where the contact was awaiting a second spark plug replacement. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that there was no failure, offering no assistance. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Rushsylvania, OH, USA

problem #1

Aug 132012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 0 miles
Spark plug ejected from the cylinder upon routine vehicle starting. Vehicle was warm when started. Once the spark plug ejected I noticed the smell of gasoline and smoke. A small fire was easily extinguished however could have been severe.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

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