hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,876 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

May 172012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


I started my truck one day and received a "trans fault no O/D" dash code. The vehicle has driven fine and shifted fine, but I wanted to take it to the dealer to have it looked at. They pulled a code for the transmission temperature sensor but said they noticed metal in the transmission pan. The recommendation was a new transmission ($3000) or a rebuilt torque converter. I was suspicious that it could be so serious and called a family member that worked with a mechanic at another Ford dealer. He mentioned replacing a transmission in a 2005 F-150 in the past six months for the same situation. I noticed several related transmission issue reports at carcomplaints.com as well as several Ford forums. For a truck with low miles, transmission fluid that isn't burnt, and 66% highway miles with no towing, this is unbelievable and a huge financial burden.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #33

Mar 042012

F-150 8-cyl

  • miles
Waiting at a stop light than proceeded to go when light turned green all of a sudden big banging and grinding noise coming from under truck looked under and sees drive shaft broke in half police were called to help direct traffic and called tow truck! mechanic of the repair shop told me why in his report that the drive shaft broke he said the drive shaft had rusted in the middle to cause it to break in half!! my safety issue is I bought the truck because its big I drive my grand kids in it now can you imagine what would happen on a highway at 55 mph!!! everyone I spoke told me they never heard of a drive shaft break and rust like that especially its only a 2004 model!! can you help me on this issue I have with Ford! thank you.......

- Kapaau, HI, USA

problem #32

Jan 022012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Transmission failed and was replaced. Rear differential needs to be replaced.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #31

Feb 032012

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle began to decelerate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic where the mechanic stated to the contact that the transmission would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000. Updated 03/23/12

- Bland, VA, USA

problem #30

Feb 222012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The clutch pack in the driven train rear differentials lock up when turning corners and howls when going down the road. These failures are so common on Ford truck that Ford is now adding friction modifiers to the rear differentials to rear the problem and aftermarket suppliers are making replacements for the clutch pack like detroit locker to eliminate the problem. This lock up on winter surfaces cause the wheels to loose traction increasing the potential for accidents. The howling sound is also a drag on the drive train components, reducing mpg and capability of the vehicle to handle adverse conditions. Ford has known about this problem for several years and has done nothing to fix the problem or reimburse owners for the cost of repair. On my truck, total rear end repair costs have exceeded $3700.

- Manhattan , KS, USA

problem #29

Feb 012005


  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the vehicle began to violently shake while driving 35 mph. The vehicle was maneuvered to the shoulder and the contact noticed that the rear differential failed. The dealer made three attempts to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. No repairs were performed. The failure mileage was 4,000 and the current mileage was 62,000.

- Lacey, WA, USA

problem #28

Jun 102008

F-150 8-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


I'm driving my truck when all of a sudden it will start vibrating horribly, like driving over a washboard type of road. The only way to get it to stop is to pull over to the side of the highway, put it in park, wait, and then try to resume driving. But this does not always work. You sometimes have to stop and change to park, or reverse, a couple of times, before driving again so that the vibration goes away. I have complained about this before, and I see hundreds of complaints for the same issue on "Ford owner websites", and everybody is pissed. Nobody can get an answer from Ford service as to what is wrong. Many people have replaced many different things (I.e. transmission, clutch pads, bearings, U-joints, emergency brake cable or pads), all to no avail. They have wasted their time and money, and Ford refuses to live up to this awful and very dangerous problem. Apparently, Ford knows this is a big problem with 2004 F-150 trucks, especially, but will not acknowledge it. Someone wrote on the web that Ford knows they had a retooling problem with these trucks, and let the trucks go out for sale anyway. I am now having this problem more often, and I am afraid to drive it. I do not have any money to fix my truck, since our economy is so bad and have been unemployed for years. Make Ford take ownership of this recall problem!

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #27

Dec 262011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 36,100 miles
Truck would not start even though lights, dash indicators, & radio came on. Checked under hood & then placed in neutral to try & start. Vehicle started in neutral. Placed vehicle in park and upon taking foot off brake, vehicle lurched backward (in reverse) almost going over an embankment when I slammed brakes. Vehicle shift indicator showed it in park but, transmission was actually still in reverse. Could not get shift to engage into park. Placed vehicle into garage with emergency brake secured until could determine problem. Research indicated Ford had a recall (recall - #97V171000) for this exact issue on 1997-1998 models only. But, apparently it is still a problem on later models. Could not find a recall on 2004 model. Note that this condition almost caused a serious accident.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #26

Oct 052011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
Started my truck as usual to go to work, put it in reverse and it was like I put it in neutral, no engagement at all. Glad I wasn't in a situation when this happened that could have put myself or someone else in danger. Ford knows they have a problem, it is wide spread. Sure my truck has 124000 miles on it but the transmission malfunction light has been going on and off for the last 70000 miles and the dealer said they could not find any trouble codes or malfunctions during this period. I can rev my motor to about 2000 RPM and it will finally gently start to roll into reverse but my failsafe mode engages, check engine light comes on and the motor stumbles badly until I put the vehicle in drive gear and go about 2 miles at which time the failsafe mode goes off and it smoothes out. For the most part my vehicle has been dealer maintained.

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #25

Nov 162011


  • 115,215 miles
When I turn left or right I can feel a shake or vibration coming from the rearend.

- Cold Spring , MN, USA

problem #24

Jun 012011


  • miles


The rear differential is making a chattering noise at low speeds. It has a posi-trac rear differential, and I can feel a 'stop and go' type action as I am driving in a straight line at low speeds. Even after I added a limited slip additive, the problem is still there. It tends to be worse after a cold start, and when I am going up hills of after I go over a speed bump.

- La Mesa, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 102005

F-150 8-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
(summer, 2007, 28K) at highway speed (60 mph) huge grinding noise and vibration, light in dash came on by itself showing, "4X4" turned on, slowed to 20 mph, huge clunk as 4 wheel drive system engaged without drivers requesting it to engage. Ford roadside assistance was contacted and Ford towed vehicle to Ford dealer, Ford dealer "reprogrammed" something, said it had moisture in a sensor, causing the 4X4 to try to engage. (September 12, 2011, 69,980 miles) at highway speed, (58 mph) during mild acceleration, 1500 - 1800 RPM, a mild grinding sound from under front end, by taking foot off gas peddle then reapplying gas the grinding sound stops. Contacted Ford dealer, they said drive it in, contacted Ford customer satisfaction department, they said to have dealer check it out, Ford dealer investigated and said there is a problem with volume of vacuum that is necessary to prevent the 4X4 system from engaging while driving on the highway at highway speeds. Ford dealer indicated that it maybe unsafe to drive like this and that this is normal for the vacuum system to fail like this, representative at Ford customer satisfaction department said that their dealer knows how to diagnose and cure problems best, and since the vehicle has more than 36K it is not a concern to Ford. My concern is that steel gears that are suggested to be engaged at a walking pace on soft pavement are automatically forcing themselves to lock together on dry pavement at 60 mph, and Ford and the Ford dealer show little concern for this condition since the vehicle has more than 36K and since no extended warranty purchased from the dealership.

- Medina, MN, USA

problem #22

Feb 082005

F-150 8-cyl

  • miles
The 2004 F150 and I assume Expedition had undersized front brake rotors and calipers and were outlined in a service tech bulletin for the purpose of diagnosing the front end shaking/shimming during braking. This is my opinion should have fallen under a mandatory recall due to the serious nature of poor engineering. No recall and out of pocket $$$. the same holds true for the rear differential which in my case has been replaced (3) times and again Ford published a tech bulletin outlining the fact that the '04 rear differential housing was subject to faulty machining causing rapid wear on ring/pinion and bearings. I believe these two defects should have been addressed due to the fact that failure of either component could result in a serious accidents. I truly believe Ford tried to cover up/white wash these defects. I still have this '04 and still have issues with the brakes and rear differential not to mention a host of other issues that have plagued this particular year model. I look forward to hearing from someone and would like to know the extent of Ford involvement and any accidents involving '04F150's. best regadrs

- Hurst, TX, USA

problem #21

May 022011


  • miles
2004 Ford F150. Consumer states problem with rear differential the consumer stated in 2006 the transmission had to be replaced.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #20

Jun 062008


  • 55,000 miles
Severe shuddering from rear end during low speed turns.

- Geneva, IL, USA

problem #19

Nov 042010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 45,020 miles
2004 Ford F-150 fx-4 pickup truck that has a grinding noise in the rearend. I complained about this a couple of years ago while truck was under warranty and gene latta (the Ford dealership in hanover, pa) said they fixed but here it is at 45,020 miles making the same vibrating/grinding noise again. After finding several complaints online this is obviously a problem with this model and Ford should fix at no cost to the owner!!!!

- Abbottstown, PA, USA

problem #18

Jul 032010


  • 114,350 miles
2004 Ford F150 with a 4.6 liter Triton engine. Ejected 3rd cylinder back on the passenger side. This happened 24000 miles after I changed the plugs.

- Holton, IN, USA

problem #17

Apr 012010

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2004 Ford F-150: The transmission will not shift out of 4WD when driving. It will however shift into neutral. The failure was caused by the solenoids which can get wet and short out ruining the actuators. This is a part which Ford knows is defective, because they have created a new part. They currently have a tsb out on this issue. In April of 2006 they started putting water guards on the solenoids to ensure this won't happen. Having a transmission that will not engage properly is a safety hazard.

- North Andover, MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 012010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 60,300 miles
Plug failure in V8-Triton engines they break off in the heads of the engines is one problem causing a 300 dollar tune up to sky rocket all the way up to 2800 dollars this is all Triton 3 valve motors Ford said the fixed the problem they did not and they still break. The other problem is that some of the plugs blow out the heads causing a sudden power loss and possible accidents when I contacted the dealer all they would do is give me a price quote against broken plugs trying to take them out they said it falls under warranty restrictions and that's not fair because one of the selling points about the truck was no need for a tune up for $100 thousand miles you can't hit that number 3 years 3600 miles there are a lot angry people out there because of this me included and I believe it falls under a dangers vehicle problem I no they have fixed other people trucks over the warranty and I had to fix my on truck after it stop running and I couldn't get a attorney I am handicap and don't have the money it took at least week to get the plugs out by my self the new plugs cost a $103 and the time crawling around because my legs or bad I figure 100,000 would be fair or may plugs paid and a trade for new tires.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #15

Sep 162009


  • 90,000 miles
My drivers side window went out one day, then about two days later my passenger and back left window went out. I brought it to the Ford dealership to get it fixed, along with what I thought was a spark plug and coiles. Well I a found out that a 2004 F-150 I have to replace the engine. While it was in the shop my back right window aperantly went out. It was working when it went in, and when I got it back I had a plastic tarp on my window, panel was off, and noone had told me they let it rain in my truck or that the one window that had worked was now out also.

- Woodworth, LA, USA

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