hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,655 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Nov 202014


  • 120,000 miles


Another cracked passenger side manifold on regularly serviced vehicle. Ford Motor Company should issue recall or provide "goodwill" based on the number of failed components being reported by Ford owners.

- Stony Point, NY, USA

problem #31

Sep 072014


  • 160,000 miles
My 2003, Ford F-150 blew a spark plug for the fourth time yesterday. Each time a different plug. I was heading to church and "pop". we were just getting on the on ramp when it happen. Four time now and each time I have to pay to get it fixed. Right now I can't afford to fix it and it's sitting in my yard...

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #30

Dec 192011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 83,703 miles
Spark plug blew out of the aluminum head of the engine, which I hear is a common problem. When is the recall coming out? if this is a wide spread problem, I personaly know of two other people whom this has happened too and its all over the internet, then Ford needs to take some initiative and fix it! we consumers are what makes Ford their money and if this is not fixed for us I will no longer be a Ford consumer. I am sure others feel the same way. Ford made a mistake, we all do, now fix it.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #29

Sep 232010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


I started up my truck on lunch and heard a bang than it sounded like a popcorn machine I call Ford in londonderry nh to see what was wrong and they told me it was the spark plug coming out of the heads, they was common im not the only one this happened to friend had 7 out of 8 spark plugs shoot out for his F 250. And for the sounds of it there has been alot more!! I cant believe that Ford hasn't had a recall on this problem. People could get hurt if it started a fire under a hood.

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #28

Sep 192011

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
Spark plug blown out of the cylinder head. This is the 5th separate cylinder this has happened to in the 3 years I have owned this truck.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #27

Sep 102011


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford F-150. The contact stated that a spark plug failed, causing gasoline to blow into the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was advised that the number one spark plug had failed. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 76,000.

- Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #26

Apr 252011


  • 156,000 miles


Strap holding my gas tank on my 2003 Ford 150 rusted thru and broke it was noticed by one of my fellow employees fortunately before the other strap broke. I went to the Ford dealer in my area and had it repaired asking if there was a recall or reported problems with this and they said no. I was charged $195 to repair it.

- North Canton, OH, USA

problem #25

Aug 022010

F-150 6-cyl

  • 190,276 miles
I bought a 2003 Ford F150 with a 4.6L Triton V8 engine, while driving it started making a popping noise, like a MINIbackfire. I took it to an auto repair shop, and they found the coil pack on the #3 cylinder was melted. They replaced the coil pack, and we drove down the road to test drive the truck, within 2 miles the popping noise returned, but even louder this time. We got it limped back to the shop, and had to let it cool down overnight, so the mechanic could investigate the problem. He had a time getting the melted "brand new" coil pack out of the spark plug recess in the engine head, and an equally difficult time getting the spark plug itself out of the hole. Apparently the plug had come loose in the short threaded aluminum head, then the coil pack melted around the plug sealing it in place, and the engine burnt a hole the size of a pencil right through the aluminum head next to the spark plug hole. The coil pack was still putting out spark, but not to the plug, as the boot that held it on the plug was gone, it was just sparking against the sides of the recess in the head. The mechanic said it was lucky not to have either caught fire or blown up, I guess that is lucky, but at the same time not so nice for me with the repairs starting at $2600 to replace the heads on the same engine, or put in a used engine if we can find one for $3900, or put in a remanufactured engine for $5200, that has supposedly has addressed the issue with these Ford engines blowing out spark plugs. Ford says there isn't an issue, but they've created a fix for the problem that doesn't exist"? what to do now with my worthless pile of metal sitting in my driveway, I can't afford to fix? built Ford tough ?? after doing some research on the internet, simply google "Ford Triton spark plug blowout", and you'll find there are thousands and thousands of folks like me dealing with this issue, and Ford continues to deny it's a problem, why"

- Geneva, NY, USA

problem #24

Feb 182011


  • 82,400 miles
The vehicle began accelerating on its own (> 75 mph). Cruise control was not on. The break was effective at mitigating increasing speed until the vehicle could be stopped safely on the side of hwy 85S. Distance traveled with uncontrollable acceleration was approximately 2.5 miles. Prior to stopping and turning the engine off, an attempt to put the engine in neutral while speeding was fruitless -- the engine raced to maximum RPM when put in neutral. For fear I would blow the engine, I put the transmission back into "drive" and continued tamping on my breaks to control my speed. Heavy breaking was utilized once I was in safe place to pull off the road and turn off the engine. I attempted to re-start the engine multiple times, each time with the same result - - the engine red-lined at maximum rpms. I contacted aaa for roadside service. The truck was towed to a raleigh Ford dealer. The Ford dealer started the vehicle and the engine red-lined at maximum rpms. They turned the engine off and inspected the engine. They found a plastic cover for the throttle assembly had come loose and lodged itself in such a way as to put tension on the throttle cable/lever. A safety clip that holds the cover in place was missing. They re-secured the cover with a different type of safety connector, and then re-started the vehicle. The vehicle's engine was normal. The Ford dealer representative indicated he had seen this before on a mustang, but not of F-150. The Ford dealer representative tried to down-play the significance of the incident -- as if it was "no big deal". they did not open a service work order to document the issue or repair. The told me there was "no charge" for the service.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #23

Feb 282011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Nothing caused this failure other than factory defect. I problem I have had is the sparkplug blow out of my vehicles cylinders it has happened on 3 separate occasions. Leaving me stranded. Also all 3 times I have had to buy new spark coils and spark plugs, this last time it ruined the treads in the block costing over $800 to repair. I do have the old parts

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #22

Feb 132011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 108,000 miles


I was driving to work in my 2003 F 150 and heard a kind of tapping noise and strong vibrations coming from engine.. pulled over and had truck towed to my house... as a friend of mine is a mechanic he came over and had me start the truck... as I did so the #3 spark plug shot out of the engine and bounced off the hood.... I started to research online and found hundreds of reports about the Ford F150's doing this exact same thing and the majority of the problems seem to come from the #3 plug... several people have spent 100's of dollars to upgrade at the dealerships... only 3 thread on my head and all trucks now have 7 threads... why did Ford change it? must have known about this lil problem....

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #21

Jan 242011


  • 41,050 miles
Left dealership after lo-jack installation. Entered traffic lane and began lightly braking for approaching signal. I felt two forward surges and then increasingly rapid acceleration. I checked rear view mirror and then pressed on brakes with the sound of the racing turbo charged engine filling the cab. I then moved the gear out of drive and in my haste saw I had it between reverse and park. I brought it back to neutral and then the sound subsided. The entire acceleration incident lasted less than 10 seconds. The truck was immediately returned to dealership and then reported incident to the manufacturer.

- Benicia, CA, USA

problem #20

Jan 042011

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
I recently purchased a 2003 Ford F 150, Triton V8 from a local reputable dealer. It is in for repairs due to engine concerns. In researching the Triton V8 I find that I am not alone and there is a concern with blowing spark plugs out of the engine head. I want to document my problem at this point so if the need to legally seek repairs I have a paper trail. At this point I am told that the repair will be $550, but in reading other consumer complaints I see that most began the same way.

- Canfield, OH, USA

problem #19

Nov 172010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
I was driving 65 mph. I heard a pop. The original manufacturers spark plug shot out of the engine. It completely ripped the threads out with it. Upon doing research online, this appears to have happened to hundreds of people once their Ford hits 100,000 miles. My 2003 Ford F150 V8 4.6L has 103,000 miles on it.

- Neptune, NJ, USA

problem #18

Nov 062010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I have a 2003 F150 that has 135K miles. I have had the truck serviced regularly and have had no major issues until today. I am in the navy and was driving into work for duty when my spark plug was ejected from my engine. The explosion was so great that it broke the coil pack in three pieces and when I pulled over in investigate the noise I turned on the engine with the hood open to see the spark coil across the port where the plug had been and it was sparking (it's a wonder that it didn't catch the vapors on fire fron the cylinder) the plug also severed one of the vaccuume hoses in the engine compartment. I contacted the Ford dealership in town and the mechaninc told me that was normal for trucks over 100K miles, and that they would 'start popping out like popcorn'. this seems outragous! I tried to fix it myself but now am having to concede to letting Ford do the work since they have the replacement kit ( "because this always happens" - their own words). There is a potential that this could cause an engine fire! please force Ford to do a recall.

- Saint Marys, GA, USA

problem #17

Jul 312010


  • miles
There were no events leading up to the incident. Driving 10-20 mph the first times and 25-35 the second. 2 spark plugs ejected out of the engine twice in 4 days 1st time we took it to the mechanic and it was replaced 2nd time took it to the mechanic and it was replaced.

- Poway, CA, USA

problem #16

Jul 092010


  • 95,400 miles
Ford F150 2003, 5.4 engine. The spark plug issue has just bitten me, now I have a 10,000 dollar peice of steel in my driveway because I am not paying 5400 and some change to fix a problem that should be recalled, the plug gettting hit by the piston or shooting out of the hole can be very dangerous by allowing fuel to come in contact with hot engine or electrical spark therefore starting a fire, this problem has been an ongoing issue and yet nothing is done I think a recall should be placed for the issue. Before someone gets killed.

- West Chester, IA, USA

problem #15

May 052010


  • miles
Ford F-150 spark plug blow out, common in F-150's.

- Jonesville, SC, USA

problem #14

May 162010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Blow out of spark plug on 2003 Ford F-150 4.6L Triton V8.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #13

Feb 252010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 173,000 miles
I own a Ford F150 with a Triton V8 engine. One of the spark plugs blew out of the engine on 2/25/10 while I was driving on a highway. I had the truck towed to a local repair shop. After looking at the problem they sent me to a Ford dealer. The dealer has told me it is a $1000 fix and that it was possibly due to the person who replaced the plugs for me.

- Siloam Springs, AR, USA

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