fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
56,540 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. the differential was rebuilt (13 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. being rebulit (2 reports)
2004 Ford F-150 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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

problem #23

Jul 062007

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,448 miles


3rd time vehicle was brought in under the same issue. Vehicle rear end would chatter / shake while turning from a stop.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #22

Aug 152005

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,507 miles

Rear end chatter from take off again. 12K miles and this was the 2nd trip to the shop for the same issue.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Jan 252005

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,585 miles

Rear end chatter from stop while turning. Was repaired under warranty

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #20

Mar 052013

F-150 XLT 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,021 miles


I am experiencing a hole lotta shakin' going on with the back end of my F150, it started in March of 2013. I purchased the truck used from an elderly man who barely drove it, at the time it was only 50,000 on it, and for the first year I had it, things were great. However once it hit 63000 miles things began happening.

Sitting at a red light near my home I was preparing to make a left turn into my neighborhood, when the light turned green I pulled into the middle of the street and waited for oncoming traffic to pass, when the last car had cleared I turned the wheel and pressed on the accelerator to make my turn before the next set of cars made it to the light. I pressed the gas to give it some go when I felt bouncing coming from the driverside rear tire and heard a pop sound, not like a blown tire but more like something giving way under pressure. I pulled the truck into the drive and jacked it up expecting to find a busted shock or something, but to my surprise I found nothing.

The following day I noticed a slight vibration from the passenger side rear tire while on the highway heading to work. On the way home that afternoon I stopped at my favorite tire company and asked if they would take a look to see if maybe I had a bent rim or a bubble in the tire after explaining the whole situation, and they gladly accepted. After all the tests and checks they told me the tire was fine and still in good condition, and the rim was well balanced, but suggested that I look into changing the differential fluid stating that it may help, and so I did, but this did not solve the issue. Since then I have had to buy 2 new sets of tires for the rear-end after having both tires blow out during a business trip to Corpus Christi. When the shaking had become so bad it had wore out the tire treed on both tires causing them to blow as I was taking the exit ramp off of SPID, nearly hitting the rail and another car before regaining control and being pushed to a gas station just a few feet ahead of where I was sitting to get me out of the way of traffic while I waited on a tow truck to take me to a local tire shop. However; I have not had to do anything with the tires that are on the front end of the truck until they are rotated to the rear.

I have tried all I can think of to resolve this issue, but so far nothing seems to work and I am nearly at my breaking point with this truck, as much as I do enjoy working on it, this is one that is pissing me off to no end and costing me a fortune in tires, Is there something that can be done to force Ford to take care of this. As I understand it I am not the only one having these issues, could a class action suit or a juncture be filed to force Ford to fix this. What I have spent on tires I could have probably bought a whole new axle for a 08 and replaced the one that is on there now.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #19

Mar 012014

F-150 FX4 Supercrew 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Started hearing a gear whine in the rear end of the truck, which kept getting louder as the weeks went by. With windows closed and the radio off, it's almost unbearable now. I took it to a local Firestone to get the tires rotated, and asked them to investigate the noise. They told me i needed a new differential. What??!! Sure, I have 113,000 miles on the my 2004 Supercrew, which I bought used with 59k miles back in 2009. I only use the truck to commute to work and back daily (25 mile roundtrip), on nicely paved interstate highways. No offroading, towing, rough usage, etc. Only use the 4x4 feature during occasional snowstorm. I'm completely dumbfounded. I thought for sure that using a "FORD TOUGH" truck for commuting only would assure me that it would last to at least 150,000 miles or longer (given their $40G price tage when new), with the exception of replacing tires, and the usual maintenance. Firestone admitted that they do not rebuild or recondition differentials - they only swap them. A new one would set me back $3300, and a used one with warranty, $2400. WHAT??!! When I purchased the truck, I had the dealership drain and refill the differential so i could get a "new start" as the new owner. I check the fluid myself yearly, to make sure the level is maintained. How do you break a differential if you don't use your F-150 5.4L Triton for anything but highway commuting? Back in the old days, before front wheel drive cars, every car had a differential. I don't remember any of our family cars back then losing its rear end. Sure, you'd lose a universal joint on the drive shaft occasionally, or a wheel bearing, but that was it. This is ridiculous. Will never again a)buy a first year model of any car/truck, and b)buy a Ford truck. I love Ford, and with the exception of a Mazda once, all my cars have been Fords. No need to continue my loyalty to a company when it isn't loyal back. Based on what I've read here, i will have little support from Ford on this issue. Doesn't look like its a problem tied to mileage either - I see people have had the same problem at much lesser mileages. I guess i can count myself lucky that ford screwed me at a later mileage. But it hurts the same nonetheless. Got bills to pay. Never thought I'd settle for foreign truck, but here i go. Since GM doesn't mind folks dying when their ignition switch turns itself off, that saves me from considering a, gulp, Chevy truck . Wish me luck.

- , Troy, NY, US

problem #18

Sep 102012

F-150 Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Have been trying to discover actual problem. Have had an annoying noise for quite awhile and have had the truck looked at several times. Always been told that a little noise is not uncommon. At approximately 68,000 miles I put new brakes and hubs on the truck and had everything checked (drivetrain). No problems were found. Noise seemed to get worse at time went on. Sounded like a dry bearing.... I have the oil changed (full service) at approximately every 3,000 mile since the truck was new, checking all fluid levels and filters etc. Was told once that the transfer case had a leak (drip of oil) but no problems were found. Turning a corner a couple of weeks ago....the noise got much worse....Took the truck to a dealership and requested that they check things out. Called received the next day...confirmed that the rear differential was the problem. Gears and bearings were all galled.....basically it was toast. Choices....rebuild, used, reconditioned from Ford. Rebuild...expensive, used...no way of knowing condition of unit, reconditioned....at least warrented. I chose reconditioned....$2900.00 +cents. Started looking for information about Ford rear differential problems and found that I'm not the only one having problems....always seems strange that you never hear of these non problems from a dealership. That irritates me....I've spent half of my driving miles listening to this noise, that wasn't necessary. I've driven lots of miles in all makes of vehicles....all have had a problems occasionally....their mechanical. Things break....but and most of the time, you find out later that it is a known problem, that "they" hope you will not have it. Well....I love my truck....I have owned several and I take care of them. Even though this time is an expensive repair, which I will take care of. I will notify Ford of the problem encountered and hopefully some of the cost for repairs will be returned. One more truck will follow this one before long....and yes it will probably be another Ford F-series. I love my trucks.

- , ElDorado, KS, USA

problem #17

Feb 082012

F-150 STX 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


F1-50 4X4 STX. About every 4to6 weeks my f 150 would start vibrating horribly , Had to pull over to the side of the road and come to a complete stop sometimes that would work or had to put it in reverse and back up about 10 feet most of the time that work. This has been going on far a long time, After 6200 miles the rear end went out ford motor company told me the warranty is out of date. And it would cost about 1867.00 bucks to replace the rear end. And this truck is supposed to be ford tough; ford need to step up and replace the differentials at no cost, If not this is the last Ford i will buy.

- , Olympia, WA, US

problem #16

Sep 212010

F-150 XLT Super Cab 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

This issue was brought to the dealer's attention right after purchase and at least three other times that the rear had issues and they always had some cockamamie resolution.

Now extended warranty is expired, on time, not miles and it needs repair. Thinking twice before going "FORD TUFF" Trouble Unforseen Fords Future.

- , Dickson City, PA, US

problem #15

Sep 172010

F-150 XL 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

To initiate a recall on 2004 Ford F-150 trucks, with vibration from differential (I believe), log your complaint officially on the government site here:


Last year, with only 38,000 miles on my truck, it started vibrating horribly at 50 mph on the highway. Nothing I did would cause the vibration to cease. I slowed down, tapped the brakes, through the vehicle into neutral while coasting, nothing worked. It then began to ease up and stop as I slowed down to almost a crawl. It has happened several times over the past year, and again today.

What others describe is perfect description - like driving over a washboard road.

Today, September 17, 2010 with 43,000 miles on my truck, it happened again. Driving along at about 55 mph and the whole truck begins to vibrate horribly.

I stated searching Google and found dozens of other sites listing the same complain on 2004 F-150's, and I went to the govt. site to try and initiate a recall. We have to log our complaints officially if we want Ford to pay for this. Go do it!

- , Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #14

May 152008

F-150 Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Bought my 04 F150 4X4 in Feb @ 68K miles. In May with approximately 70K, started feeling vibrations when turning from a stopped position. The local mech said that the rear clutches were locked up? He also said that the truck would probably run for another 100K miles, but that it would annoying. Either way, it was going to require a rear end rebuild. How would the process start for Ford to do a recall, or extend a fix of this problem?? Obviously it's a design flaw of the rear differential.

- , Texas City, TX, USA

problem #13

Apr 012008

F-150 Heritige 4.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


bought the truck early april from my boss with 69k miles and about a month later started hearing a grinding noise and i would feel a slight vibration in gas pedal only happen from a stop and especially turning from a stop now it has 73k and it is really bad feels like sometimes its gonna lock up sometimes on me don't have money to fix it at the moment just got laid off for the winter read all the reports on this and it seems like its gonna be the rear diff YAY :( DAMN FORDS

- , Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #12

Mar 042008

F-150 Supercrew 2wd 5.4L Xlt

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,250 miles

at 26250 miles my f150 xlt supercrew 2wd needed the ring and pinion and complete drivshaft replaced.I took the truck in for whine in differential previously before warranty expired.Ford dealer in Riverside CA said mechanic could not hear whine at freeway speed.Told CJ that whine appears at 75 to 78 mph only. CJ assured me that complaint was in their system if problem gets worse.Four months after warranty expired truck had annoying clunk upon takeoffTook to same dealership and talked to CJ again.He said Ford would not honor fixing and complaint was not logged in their system.After numerous calls to Ford corporate they agreed to assist me with problem since i was a loyal Ford customer with 2 other Fords.I had to pay $850. for more poor quality.If you suspect something is wrong with your Ford and your near end of warranty do not accept their promises...leave it their or ride with the technician to get fixed the fist time. 21k miles front rotors worn. 26250 miles differential rebuilt with new ring and pinion.also entire driveshaft replaced. 31333 miles rear door window motor and cables fall apart.This is a family transportation truck only. No commercial use or offroad...NEVER another Ford....

- , Riverside, CA, US

problem #11

Aug 012008

F-150 Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Noticed that the truck stuttered and shook when starting from a complete stop. Thought it might be electrical and one shop actually thought is was the plugs. After several shops went through troubleshooting they found that the rear had to be rebuilt and possibly replaced if they found it ground up too badly (working on it now). Last truck I had was a 2002 F250 and the rear axle wheel bearings went out (completely shot) at 67,000 miles.. This is the last Ford I will own. Ford needs to step up to the plate since its obvious others have had the same problem.

- , Port Tobacco, MD, USA

problem #10

Nov 102008

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

After replacing all 8 spark plugs (3 which broke off in the head and earlier then required) , both cats (1200), and all differential seals front and back, I thought I was good. Then every time I turned left or right I would get a bad vibration, almost like I was hitting several holes. Turned out the rear dif is chewed to hell. I can't believe that ford would put out a product that fails on so many levels. Screw ford to the floor if you can.

- , Ontario, Ontario, Canada

problem #9

May 022008

F-150 FX4 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

After reading this forum, it sounds like I need to have the differential rebuilt @ 50K. For the past four months I have ignored the shuttering in the drive train when turning and accelerating. The rear end feels like it�s spinning on gravel when starting from a stop. Ford knows there is a problem and they won�t have a recall. Sounds like another future class action lawsuit.

- , Jamesville, NY, USA

problem #8

Apr 032008

F-150 Supercrew Lariat4x4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

I had just bought this vehicle used when the differential starting grinding and shaking while turning and accelerating. The local Ford dealership estimated $1200-$1400. I took it to a local powertrain service and got it repaired for $600. Apparently this is a chronic problem with this model and I would highly recommend purchasing a Chevy.

- , Mobile, AL, USA

problem #7

Jan 042007

F-150 Supercrew 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Rear differential failed. Heard grinding sound and felt grinding sound under rear passenger seats. Took to Ford dealer where truck was purchased and they said one rear rack and pinion bearing went bad and they rebuilt it. Ford offered up 50% of the cost because I had to complain about it multiple times. Trucks are usually getting to the "broken in" stages around 60k miles seems to me that Fords are broken in and beyond at end of standard warranty 36K miles.

- , Dillsburg, PA, USA

problem #6

Jun 152005

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

OK, this is f150 # 2. The rear diff. started shaking when starting from a stop. It felt like the tires were spinning on loose gravel. This is the same problem we had with f150 # 1! Dealer fixed it under warranty.

- , Port Saint Lucie, FL, US

problem #5

Jun 152005

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles

Problem #3 with this truck. Replaced front brakes twice. The rear end feels like its spinning on gravel when starting from a stop. Dealer fixed the rear dif. under warranty.

- , Port Saint Lucie, FL, US

problem #4

Dec 192007

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

For the past five months I have ignored the shuttering in the drive train when turning and accelerating. I recently talked with another person who owns a 2004 F-150 and his differential failed last summer at 38,000 miles. I have not had the truck fixed, but now understand this is a widespread issue with Ford F-150s from the 2004 model year. I hope Ford addresses this problem, else I hope for a class action law suit to help cover the costs of repair. My truck is mostly (99.9%) a paved road vehicle and has not been abused. This is not ford tuff. I expect better from a KIA. If not properly addressed I will move to Toyota. I have owned three F-150s (2000, 2001 and 2004). Until now I was very happy.

- , Madison, WI, USA

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