really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,400 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.

2004 Ford F-150 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

May 302011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 94,213 miles


The parking brake on our 2004 F-150 froze in the 'on' position. This wasn't obvious until the car got to about 45 mph, when it would vibrate quite violently. The only fix was to pull over and work the brake several times. This is extremely dangerous if you are accelerating to join traffic on a busy highway! this was an intermittent problem which was reported to the dealer, but they could not duplicate it during their testing. It turns out that the parking brake expanders (actuators) were corroded to the point of one of them (driver side) being frozen. After finally having the dealer figure it out, I researched this problem on the various F-150 bulletin boards and found that this is a common problem. I also found that Ford has issued updated parts to correct the corrosion problem. In our case, the dealer replaced the affected parts with the updated parts.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #20

Feb 212011

F-150 4WD 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
I drive a 2004 Ford F-150 heritage with only 73,000 miles that has never been taken off road or towed any heavy weight and has had regular maintenance. Two days ago while I was driving down the street, my passenger side rear wheel locked up, making it difficult to steer and after stopping the truck would then not move as the wheel remained locked. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop where the licensed mechanic told me that my emergency brake system had essentially fell apart (exploded) and that all the loose parts floating around in the wheel had jammed the wheel. He claims that Ford used cheap parts in the emergency brake systems as people who have automatic transmissions rarely use them. My vehicle is a manual transmission so the emergency brake is a necessity. I asked him if this could have happened if I were driving down the interstate at 70 mph and he responded "absolutely". which means I could have lost control of my vehicle and possibly flipped. He and my husband informed me that even with any possible wear, these parts should not break. The mechanic had also informed me that I was not the first customer he had seen with this issue. I then proceeded to look on the internet and found several complaints about the same issue. Ford refused to replace the E-brake and I had to pay for the repair and other damaged parts inside the wheel. But my real concern is one of safety as I no longer feel safe driving this truck since I know it has been built with less than quality parts. I believe this is a safety issue that is going to cost someone serious injury if this should happen at higher speeds. I should also state that I had a multipoint inspection performed on the vehicle 1 week previous by a Ford dealer and was informed that the emergency brake was good. I also found a 2008 tsb for the parking brake on Ford F-150S of this year that dealt with the noise they make that I think is awarning that this is about to happen. But my truck never gave me a warning.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #19

Feb 282007


  • 14,287 miles
Passenger airbag light indicator/display advises that airbag is off even when seat is occupied.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #18

Jan 292009

F-150 8-cyl

  • 48,518 miles


My 2004 Ford F-150 parking brake doesn't release fully or randomly engages as I'm driving down the road. This makes the truck shimmy badly. I didn't know what was happening when this first started. I took it in to the dealer they said they could find nothing wrong. It happen a number of more times. Finely the parking brake pedal came loose and went to the floor when I tried to engage it. I took the truck back to the dealer they said my parking brake shoes where shot and I must be driving with my brake on. I was not. I paid to have new parking brake shoes and drums turned.about 1 yr. Later I was drive down the highway got a bad shimming again.about two days later my parking brake pedal went to the floor again. At this time I knew the parking brake was the problem. I took it back to the dealer again they still say there is no problem.

- Pasco, WA, USA

problem #17

May 162010


  • 146,000 miles
2004 F-150, moderate to severe vibration appearing to come from the drive train or drive line. Vibration appears in the 55 - 60 mph and can get so bad that I was forced to pull over to check vehicle for damage. Problem first surfaced after towing a 3500 lbs trailer for about 60 miles. No problem previously. F150 rated for 5000 lbs. Problem occurs intermittently but comes on suddenly and must pull over for fear of losing control of vehicle. Attempted typical vibration related repairs. Tires completely rotated and rebalanced. Transmission flushed and fluid changed. Differential fluid changed. Transfer case fluid changed. Engine electronically checked for operational issues or "codes". none. When vibration begins, put F150 into neutral to check for possible engine mount problems. Neutral had no effect on easing the severe vibration. Attempted simply easing off gas - no effect. Vibration remained severe. Only solution is to come to a complete stop and then restart. Vibration stops but only for a period of time then comes back just as severe. Repairs typically associated with vibration at speed have had no effect. Danger is in potential loss of control and having to stop on hi-speed interstate highways with the associated danger of collision from passing vehicles.

- Plainville, MA, USA

problem #16

Dec 212009

F-150 8-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
My 2004 Ford F 150 fx 4 regular cab flareside pickup which currently has 36,000 miles has a massive vibration / shuddering while under acceleration past forty miles per hour ; I have already taken the vehicle to the dealer where they told me that it was an emergency brake problem after getting fixed the problem occurred less than a week later ; it is going back into the dealer again to get rediagnosed and cost even more money please make Ford Motor Company accountable for this issue !!!

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #15

Jul 162007


  • 46,000 miles


I was driving down the interstate at 60 mph in a 65mph zone when out of nowhere with no prior warning or indication of malfunction it happened. No crash but emergency stop did have to happen and could have caused a crash. The emergency brake actuator froze up on the rear right side of my F150 2004 supercrew with only 46,000 miles on the odo. This freeze up caused the rear brake to engage involuntarily and destroyed the actuator, the brake pads, and the rotor.

- Fort Payne, AL, USA

problem #14

Aug 222009


  • 63,098 miles
Parking brake is not disengaging properly causing intermittent rubbing/clicking sounds coming from rear wheels while driving. All parking brake cables, parking brake shoes and liners were replaced on 8/28/09. Now again on 12/12/09, I'm having the same problem and my truck must go in shop for diagnosis/repair again on 12/14/09.

- Lincoln University, PA, USA

problem #13

Apr 212009


  • 39,000 miles
Used emergency brake, released it and was driving on highway at 55 mph. Truck began to shake. Shaking increased to where wipers where bouncing on windshield. I had to slow down and finally pulled off road. I pushed and released my emergency brake several times. This fixed the 'problem'. this issue happened 2 times...after second occurrence, I wd-40'd the emergency brake system and more importantly, quit using it! no problems since. I mentioned to Ford and they shrugged their shoulders...

- Navarre, FL, USA

problem #12

Oct 182004


  • 10,863 miles
I have a 2004 Ford F150 that has had a terrible vibration and shaking problem to the point that the windshield wipers jump up and down everytime I have said anything to the dealership they say they dont what it is and they haven't heard of anything like this and even the last time I told them it was like something was seizing up we went online and started investigating the problem and found that all kinds of people are having the same problem and alot of them seem to think it is in the emergency brake system there is two metal parts that rust together and wont let it work is there anything I can do about this to get Ford to replace it even though it is 5 yrs old because this is very dangerous last winter I was driving in snow and the back end slid around on me and this was caused by the brake trying to seize up.

- Church Hill, TN, USA

problem #11

Jun 192009


  • 47,000 miles


This complaint regards the separation of brake lining from the brake shoe on the parking brake mechanism of a 2004 Ford F-150 truck.

- Elma, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 152008


  • 58,000 miles
Parking brake activates while driving at highway speed. It causes vehicle to shudder. Local dealership, says this has been a consistent problem.

- Jefferson, NC, USA

problem #9

Jan 122009


  • 67,000 miles
71K miles on the odometer has leaking rear axle seals on both sides and the oil is running down on the parking/emergency as well as the main brakes. This confuses the ABS system and renders the rear brakes useless in normal as well as emergency situations. I blogged on the forum F150online and several other owners are experiencing the same problem with some having as few as 11K miles on their vehicle. Look at the post, ¿rear axle seals leaking on a 2004 4X4¿. I did purchase this vehicle from the original owner knowing it needed a complete brake job on both axles. I performed the brake job just prior to making a 2K trip to visit my father during the holidays noticing the problem and could do nothing about the leaking problem until my return. The brakes worked very well during the whole trip. I noticed the leaking by oil dripping on my wheel after my return. The leaking is worse on the right side (passenger). I am a well trained mechanic and perform brake service to mine and my family's vehicles using the best parts I can buy in this area. If I do it, it stays fixed. I have the old parts removed from the brake job and would be willing part with them for an investigation on your part.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #8

Nov 302008


  • 77,500 miles
Right rear emergency brake assembly shattered, bent and broken inside brake drum. Pad stripped off one brake shoe, pins bent and activator arm broken. Occurred when emergency brake applied while in parking lot. All pieces stayed in the brake drum and damaged the drum before the vehicle could be brought to a stop. Could have been very serious if it caused the drum to seize due to overheating or jamming between the drum and the axel while spinning around inside the drum while driving.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #7

Apr 102006


  • 65,000 miles
Approx two years ago I replaced the front brakes on my 2004 F-150 super crew. Upon removing the right side caliper I discovered that one of the two pistons was cracked. I also found it to be leaking fluid. I then removed the left side to find the exact same cylinder in that side cracked however not yet leaking. Upon taking my truck to my local Ford dealer I was told there was nothing they could do. My after market warranty company advised they did not cover this either and that the problem was caused by me. I am only bringing this to someone's attention now because I simply was not aware of this site. Also three weeks ago I changed the brakes again and observed the cylinders appeared to be brittle and would not make it to the next brake change. Now my brakes are mysteriously loosing pressure.

- Pleasantville, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 142008

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,915 miles
May 07 rear brake pads replaced. January 08 a violent shaking occurs at 50mph nearly causing a loss of control of vehicle on highway. Took vehicle to shop and found that a broken clip on the parking brake allowed the parking brake shoes (on the inside of the rotors) to bind nearly locking the wheels. Needed to replace parking brake, both rotors and brake pads due to damage. Shop did not keep the parts. Concern is the a broken parking brake clip can result in a loss of vehicle. Cost was over $800. Ford claimed that brake abuse was at fault.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Jul 122006

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
The parking brakes have failed causing severe vibrations while driving over 50 mph, and must be replaced as well as the rotors on my 4X4 F-150 truck.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #4

Jun 222006

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
Felt like a flat first time it happened, but there was no flat. Heavy vibration. Dealer can't service under warranty without duplicating it. Put my hand on right rear rotor, it was hot and the other 3 rotors were not. I suspect it is a bad piston in caliper or a faulty E-brake. I am going back to dealer again.

- Danvers, MA, USA

problem #3

Apr 292006

F-150 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driving at highway speeds, a severe vibration occurred. Rear parking brakes lockup without warning, required replacement of rear parking brakes.

- Tewksbury, MA, USA

problem #2

Jul 152005

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Rear brakes applied without prompting truck vibrated wildly causing loss of control. Result right rear emergency brake cable detached from seat, rear brakes burnt down to 33 mm. Brake rotors out of true. Tires wearing irregularly.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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