hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
112,711 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

May 252015


  • 85,000 miles


On my way home from the lake, my vehicle starting idling rough. Pulled over to check things out, couldn't find any noticable issues. Retarted vehicle and engine started smoking. I raised the hood and smoke was billowing out from the coil atop the number 2 spark plug, drivers side, looking from front to rear of engine. Had thevehicle towed to bill collins Ford of louisville, ky.they informed me that the spark plugs needed changing. Upon removal, 4 of the eight spark plugs broke off in the engine head. This cost me $857 to change 8 spark plugs that normally I could do myself. The breaking of spark plugs in this type engine, 5.4L Triton, is a well known issue, that Ford Motor Company knew about. Yet they have yet to do a recall. Instead, they developed a tool to take these broken sprk plugs out, yet the consumer still has to pay sometimes upwards of $2,000 for the repair. Ford used a substandard part in their vehicles and refuse to honor the customer. They no lonegr use that type engine, but anyone with a 5.4L Triton engine from Ford will have to pay a lot of money to change eight spark plugs when the time comes. I could not put my vehcile into gear when this happened, that seems like a safety concern to me!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #48

May 182015


  • 139,000 miles
I bought this vehicle used with 139000 miles on Saturday 05/16/15. Now I was not expecting a new vehicle but not one with so many problems either. First of all it has a very rough idle, I found that there is a serious problem with this engine and removal of the spark plugs. The repair shop will not even give an estimate for changing the spark plugs as there are very well known problems with them breaking off in the engine. Ford knows about this and has put out a notice about this known problem. I had to take it for a lower steering arm replacement on Monday 05/18/15 as the wheel was not returning to the straight position without assistance. Now there is a humming noise from the rear differential that the repair guy said is the pinion barring and that it needs to be fixed. The dealer window sticker had everything checked as good and no notes to say there was anything wrong with the vehicle. No surprise there. After checking this web site I found an open recall for the airbag which was repaired. I also found all the reports of problems with this vehicle. My question is why the NHTSA is not requiring Ford to recall these vehicles for the numerous problems that were reported from day one and allowed to continue through 2008. Ford was allowed to keep building these vehicles along with others with the same defective parts for over 4 years. That is just wrong. I can not believe they are allowed to get away with this kind of crap.

- Oconto Falls, WI, USA

problem #47

May 132015


  • 105,500 miles
I am now a victim of the 2004-2008 5.4L cam phaser problem. It started out when I came to a stop light and the truck started shacking really bad and making a loud knocking sound. As soon as I accelerated it went away so I thought it was a fluke. Nope!! it stated doing it more and more but I was not getting a check engine light. Finally the light came on and gave me the code P0012-intake camshaft position timing over retarded on bank 1. the only place to take it was Ford because they have the most up to date and complete diagnostics tool. It is still in the shop right now but to look at the phasers to see if I need both it is running me $600 just for them to remove the valve covers to look. He said it was going to cost me close to $1500 just to fix the issue! I have read all over the internet about this issue and it seems like Ford know about this issue because in 2013 they got sued because of this same problem! if you look 2004 has the most complaints of every year by far! please stay away from the 5.4L engine or Ford in general. I don't even want to get started with the spark plugs that break in the engine if you don't know what you are doing. That was another $600 bill that Ford had to do. The 4WD system as well had many issues with the iwe because its a vacuum system and was brand new in 2004. To many problems with Ford!

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #46

May 082015


  • 108,000 miles


All the sudden the truck starts making a loud ticking noise coming from engine, I have always gotten oil changes and have no clue what this is but it has lowered power also. It is still making the ticking/rattling noise and its loud.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #45

Apr 062015


  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. While an independent mechanic was performing a routine tune-up on the vehicle, the number three spark plug fractured inside the engine and was unable to be retrieved. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 127,000.

- Detroit , MI, USA

problem #44

Mar 072015

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I have 2004 F-150 with 92,000 miles on it, I bought it 3 years ago with 70,000 on it making a slight tapping noise. I talked with many people and and the dealer saying that this is the way the engine is designed and should be fine.yesterday driving down a major highway in northern Virginia traveling at 65 mph my truck started making a noise from the engine and shut off, I had good oil pressure, water temp was fine I pulled it off the highway, never to start again. I had it towed to a locale Ford dealer in fairfax va.after reading from Ford forum web site and hearing the horror stories I feel I am in for a hugh repair bill.I also see there is a class action suit against the Ford Motor Company for not standing behind their vehicles when there seems to be a major flaw in the engines design. Aprox. Cost of a new engine is between 7 and 10,000 some consumers started to have problems as early as 12,000 miles, I baby my truck, the heaviest thing I have hauled in it is a 6 ft. Christmas tree for my living room.I babied my truck to what means just to have a high repair bill like so many others"?" I hope you can help. Please/thank -you in advance

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #43

Nov 052012


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated that the engine hesitated on several occasions and that there was a tapping noise that progressed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who replaced the spark plugs, fuel injectors and the plug wires. The contact stated that the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician diagnosed that the head gasket needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #42

Jan 202015


  • 150,027 miles
I have a problem it pops up saying transmission fault and I want to fix it so help me please!!

- Greenville, TX, USA

problem #41

Jan 192015


  • 127,678 miles
In all 04-10 F150 trucks with the 5.4, lack of oil pressure can and will cause cam phaser failure resulting in the motor locking up or even shutting off damaging the timing chain guides and tensioners. This can become extremely dangerous as all 04-10 5.4 motors experience oil pressure problems to the top end and all exhibit a knocking sound. I'm sure I'm not the first to complain as hundreds of thousands of people have had issues and accidents because of this incident. Please instigate and read the countless articles of these situations. Ford is causing people to pay up to 8 thousand dollars to repair this. It is a rip off scene by Ford and something should be done.

- Seneca, SC, USA

problem #40

Oct 032014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle shook violently without warning and the engine stalled. The engine warning indicator illuminated and the emergency brake had to be applied in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated that the valve fractured in the number one cylinder and destroyed the engine. The engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Lakinka, CA, USA

problem #39

Aug 022004


  • miles


Ford F150's have a known problem with the spark plug being blown out of the head. The Ford dealership has told us this is a known problem and there has been no recall issued. We have contacted Ford about this issue and know of many other Ford owners that have complained. This has now happened 4 times to us alone! we have been told that it will continue to happen until Ford changes the head so this can't happen. The problem we now are running into is that we are having to replace plugs that have already been replaced, therefore the head has to be replaced with the same defective ones that Ford is putting in them! consumers should not have to pay for the defects. Ford ([xxx]) informed me that the NHTSA is not issuing the recall, that there is nothing Ford can do about it until NHTSA does something. This is costing people thousands of dollars! it is very unsafe because this happens when you are driving and the truck loses power. Why isn't this being recalled and taken care of" is this a Ford problem or NHTSA? what needs done on our part to get this problem resolved" information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Warsaw, OH, USA

problem #38

Apr 012014


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. While driving approximately 65 mph, the engine stalled without warning. Intermittently, the engine RPM's increased and a loud noise was present. The failures occurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to various independent mechanics. One technician stated that the wiring harnesses and cam phasers needed to be replaced. In addition, the intake and throttle body needed to be cleaned. The vehicle was repaired, but the failures recurred. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Paola, KS, USA

problem #37

Sep 022014


  • 87,600 miles
Experiencing shudders and shakes when accelerating.

- Denham Springs , LA, USA

problem #36

Aug 132014


  • 28,750 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, the contact heard a strange noise. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the catalytic converter needed to replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 28,750. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 11/20/14

- Leonardo, NJ, USA

problem #35

Aug 082014

F-150 8-cyl

  • 56,867 miles
The truck have only 55K miles which the engine should not have any problems but this is a very common problem which should be a recall. It's known for the camshaft phasers to start making a knocking noise and make the vehicle sound like a diesel truck. I don't think it's right that we pay tons of money for a vehicle and we have problems like this that cost us customers more money. I've done some research and I'm not the only person with this problem. Please take the time to review this problem because there are many other customers out there with this problem and cant afford to have it fixed. Even with the aftermarket parts the cam phasers go back out again after 60 miles.

- Whiting, IN, USA

problem #34

Jul 202011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 74,500 miles
As I turned right into a side street engine stalled. I had very little control of vehicle but managed to steer it onto left side of street. Lucky no cars coming. Also happened on 4 Aug. Checked internet and possible corroded fuel pump driver module. Many complaints. Could cause a major accident.

- Raton, NM, USA

problem #33

Jul 072014

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles
Engine knocking - oil pressure dropping - timing change bad.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #32

Apr 302014

F-150 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
We always take our truck to the Ford dealer for service. Recently they got new management and they said oh by the way someone should have told you even though the spark plugs are 100,000 miles you should have had them changed already because they get stuck. So I went to the internet and read the nightmares about my 5.4 engine spark plugs. Took it to a 3rd party mechanic and all 8 got stuck and were not easy to remove using Ford's special tool they developed because they know of this problem. I apparently made put a lot better than most, my bill was only a whopping $700 for having spark plugs changed within 100,000 miles they are supposed to be good for. Mechanics are recommending getting them changed at least every 50,000 miles now and some won't even touch the Ford 5.4 engines. Many other customers have had bills in the thousands for this routine maintenance all due to Ford's bad design. There have even been multiple class action lawsuits but when I called Ford for more information about them and why I wasn't notified to join, they say they can't provide any information. I don't mind routine maintenance but a known issue like this that Ford refuses to assist consumers with is ridiculous.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #31

Apr 022012

F-150 8-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
We always take our truck to the Ford dealer for service.I had been telling the service advisor for years that we heard an air bubble noise when accelerating. They kept saying everything is fine. As soon as our extended warranty was over, they then said I had an exhaust leak. I took it to a 3rd party mechanic and immediately they were able to determine it was both exhaust manifolds and is very common in F150's. the problem is with the bolts breaking when trying to get out, and due to Ford's poor design more than likely will warp again. This repair cost is over $1000 (Ford dealer quoted $2165) and should have been covered under our extended warranty if dealer would have admitted it had leak when we mentioned the sound before. The 3rd party mechanic said any mechanic should have been able to diagnose the distinct sound just by hearing it for a few seconds. Manifold leaks are apparently fairly normal in trucks however once again Ford design makes it much more difficult than most other truck makes to repair, adding much more additional cost to the consumer.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #30

Feb 272014


  • 119,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2004 Ford F-150. The contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle would spontaneously hesitate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact independently performed a tune up on his vehicle and when he attempted to service the spark plugs he was unable to reach them. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 119,000.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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