pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,329 miles
Total Complaints:
42 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (17 reports)
  2. replace engine (13 reports)
  3. new cam phasers (6 reports)
  4. tsb - replacement part including timing chain & cover (2 reports)
  5. replace plastic bushings (1 reports)
  6. replaced coil assembly (1 reports)
2004 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #42

Jan 012016

F-150 Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Bought this 2004 F150 used. Typical engine knocking as described everywhere online for the model. Not worth fixing at this point. I have 135k on the truck now. We'll see how long it lasts.

- , Cambridge Springs, US

problem #41

May 022017

F-150 XL 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,300 miles

ford has had this problem for many years with this 5.4 engine, yet they continue to pass the buck along to the consumer.

- , wheeling, WV, US

problem #40

Jan 152017

F-150 XLT 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,169 miles

I bought a Ford truck as I believed Ford quality was on par with others.... I hate to admit to my wife... ( who drives toyota cars to over 250K miles.. that my truck won't make 150K miles.

FORD - you know this is a problem.... give us a solution and take responsibility

- , Richmond, VA, US

problem #39

Jan 052017

F-150 LX 5.4L 3v V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


I'm 26 years old and i just got my first truck. I've been wanting one for ever and finally I got an F-150 which I thought was a good truck even though I grew up being told ford was sh*t. But I didn't listen and now I got a lemon. It was all okay until a few weeks ago when the knocking started and now just tonight 1/28/2017 at 7:37pm on federal and 64th it started knocking louder and then shut off. I rolled it back from the light waiting on the tow truck and then the truck went completely dead and wouldn't even shift into neutral. So I have not done anything to the truck just yet, waiting to find a starting point by reading and calling places. So if anyone can help or if ford can help that would be lovely because I am out of work now till I get it fixed so please help. I did have a friend who has the same truck only difference is my truck is a crew cab, his is normal only 2 doors not 3 like mine, and he had a recall on his, but not mine. so what the f*ck. That's all for now.

- , Arvada, CO, USA

problem #38

Oct 012016

F-150 Heritage 4.2L V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,000 miles

intake manifold runner control

The IMRC on the 4.2 litre V6 is a servo type actuator behind the intake manifold. It is known for causing knocking noises(if they become disconnected)and can confuse the ECM.There are two rods that connect to the intake manifold. They are held in place by plastic bushings, they disintegrate over time,took me a while to find out what causes these engines to tick at low rpm.

- , Tampa Bay, FL, USA

problem #37

Jul 222016

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,500 miles

So I got this f150 used at 175000 miles on it..no warranty...come to find out that these 5.4L engines tick and knock, and it needs a tune up bad...it hesitates to accelerate. The tick will be guaranteed, according to my mechanic, to go away. He said it takes a few oil changes for it to go away completely. The oil pressure gauge on it is the "idiot gauge". It gives false readings. Don't use the recommended 5w20s...it is not thick enough for it to reach to the top end of the engine. Don't use diesel oil or anything either as it is too thick for the tightly compressed engine. Use 5w50 always. Ford dealers are full of sh*t and only know about leather seats and suits and ties!!!!

- , Prattville, AL, US

problem #36

Jul 012008

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


I love my truck, that is all I buy. I am a Ford man. When I started to drive, I had a Ford truck. I want my truck engine fixed or I will have to buy something else. I would like to have my problem fixed. Please Ford help us with our engine. That 5.4 engine is knocking does not sound good. Being a Ford truck, I know Ford is better than that.

- , Williamston Nc, NC, USA

problem #35

Jan 012015

F-150 5.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I've been a Ford guy my whole life, my whole family has been. I was pumped when I bought my FX4 F-150 5.4, had 50,000 miles on it. Once It got to 60,000 the knock started and everybody would always say something to me. I took it in and the mechanic said it was common with this year of truck and that's just how it was... so I didn't think nothing of it. It slowly got worse and at 130,000 the knock gained a tick and I took it in. Thought it might be lifters had all the plugs changed and that cost me a small fortune cause everyone of them broke off.. Problem not fixed just got worse. Took it to a different mechanic and he said he just had a Ford the same year 2204 brought in with the same problem. He told me the engine is a lemon and 8k would replace the engine... I've read online here that this problem with these 2004 F-150 5.4 engines is a common thing... Come on Ford, you are going to lose customers.. I am sitting with a $20,000 lawn ordainment now.. Sounds to me this is a factory problem and Ford Needs to step up and replace these engines... I will never by a Ford again... I am going to trade this in for a Dodge once I get this truck fixed.. Piece of Sh*t, is what I have now.. Thanks Ford for loosing a life long customer....

- , Centralia, WA, USA

problem #34

May 132015

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 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 shaking 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.

Too many problems with Ford!

- , Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #33

Sep 142014

F-150 XLT 4.6L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,054 miles

My Ford F150 has been making a ticking noise from the engine. I have taken the truck to the dealership for assessment. They told me it was normal. Yesterday, I was driving downtown Vancouver 50 km per hour and the truck suddenly made a loud banging noise. The truck did not stall out. I pulled over, popped the hood to see if I could identify the source of the noise. Upon acceleration, the banging got louder and faster as well. I parked the truck and had it towed to Coastal Ford dealer on Terminal street in Vancouver BC.

Waiting for diagnostic report. From what I have been reading, their appears to be a manufacturers defect causing spark plugs to blow out go the cylinder head. My 2004 is in show room condition. I have been a Ford owner for 20 plus years. This issue could lead me away from Ford. It just depends what and how the problem is handled.

I will repost once I get more info.

- , Vancouver, BC, canada

problem #32

Jun 152011

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


I am a GMC/Chevy guy, but when I was looking for a used truck I found a 2004 Ford F 150 4X4 Crew Cab - with a rebuilt engine. I thought, OK, it's rebuilt, it should be a good one so I bought it. Within 6 months I was having engine problems. First they said I needed cam phasers replaced which was an $1800 repair cost, and I had it done. Then when I left the garage, the check engine light came on and the engine started knocking and rocking and died out when I slowed down. I took it back, and then they said it was a timing issue! I saved some money and took it back to have the timing components and sensors changed, add another $2,000 to the repair costs.

Finally picked it up and on the way home, the check engine comes on and it starts doing exactly what it did before - no change in the engine, and in total I have invested about $4,000 in repairing this engine to no avail. It just seems like before I can even get it home it runs as badly, if not worse than before. I will never buy another Ford again! As it is I will have to get another engine for this one, which in the end will have cost me $24,000.00 for a used Ford truck... shame on Ford for not standing behind their product and issuing a recall on the 2004 Ford due to the problems it was manufactured with.

- , Toppenish, WA, USA

problem #31

Aug 142013

F-150 XL 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

The engine runs great, but there is an annoying "ticking" sound which diminishes as the engine gets up to temperature, much as one would expect to hear from a sticking valve lifter. I had the problem diagnosed by a local garage that found that one of the manifold bolts on the left side of the engine was rusted off. How is this possible...the truck had less than 70,000 miles on it and has been kept in a garage? The expense of replacing that bolt is ridiculous, so I live with the noise. Ford was not helpful when I wrote to them about the problem.

- , Ontonagon, MI, USA

problem #30

Feb 012011

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,540 miles

Knocking started around 80,000 miles, on my 2004 ford f150 FX4. I was told it was the cam phaser and timing chain keepers that need replaced, nothing $1,000 to $1,500 wouldnt fix. After reading numerous complaints about the same problem, I was hoping Ford would stand behind the problem. Yeah right, just like they stood behind the spark plug deal, where they designed a 2 piece plug that breaks off in the heads and cost me $1,100 to fix. I dont know about you but I just make it, with a moderate house and food other bills etc. but I paid Ford dam good hard earned money for there product, I took very good care of my truck and im so disappointed in the we will do nothing for you attitude. Why wont they fix there problems, make it right for the buyer. Im not asking them to fix a problem that I caused, I cant afford another vehicle. Please Ford do whats right and make me and all the others want to be return customers of your vehicles. I will be posting complaints on the spark plug issue as well as a steering shaft issue that they are aware about as well, when does it stop and when will we get any help!! Sincerely Keith Cook Grantsville Maryland

- , Grantsville, MD, USA

problem #29

Jan 052012

F-150 FX4 5.4ltr

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,350 miles

Follow up to VCT fix.... Truck was repaired two weeks prior for Cam Phaser issue, had to return it, engine was cutting out and limited power. The truck was placed on handheld and was told it's just me the truck is fine. Drove truck to different Ford dealer ran Diagnostic on handheld and was told previous repairs was less than satisfactory. Took back to dealer that originally performed the work had to meet with the VP of dealership to get the issue addressed. Dealership had the truck for 4 more weeks and replaced the VCT that was replaced two weeks prior...defective.

- , Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #28

Sep 282004

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18 miles

We have always purchased Fords and have always been satisfied with the vehicles. We would upgrade after we had the vehicle for 5 years. I decided when we purchased our truck I would keep it because it drove well, had 4 wheel drive, good gas mileage and I didn't want another car payment.

We picked up our new truck right off the lot with 18 miles on it. We heard the engine ticking which sounded like a lifter knocking. We asked our dealer and was told the noise was normal. We had it about a year and the knocking got louder. We took it back to the dealership and was told the cam phasers were going out in it. They replaced them for us at 30,000 miles. The noise went away and we were happy even though we questioned why we weren't told about the problem in the beginning. After 60,000 miles the knocking came back and we were told we would have to replace the cam phasers again. The cost was $1800.00. Who keeps this amount of money on hand to fix a vehicle.

The dealerships hands were tied. They told us we would have to pay for it because it was not covered under the warranty. We decided we would not buy another Ford. We are very disappointed that the manufacturer will not take care of the problem. We will probably have it fixed and I will sell it to an individual and buy something else. One thing I do want to say, it is not the dealerships fault. They tried to help us. Unfortunately their hands are tied and we are stuck with all of the problems.

What happened to the Ford strong? That's what happens when you get really big. You forget who gets you there. It won't be the number one selling truck for long once others find out.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #27

Jul 302004

F-150 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles


- , Greenfield, WI, USA

problem #26

Feb 212013

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I have bought this truck used from a guy that had this knocking issue already and he had the engine replace. Cost him 10,000; now with a new engine in the truck having 45000 miles on it the knocking sound is back! I am a Ford man, my last truck was a 7.3 Powerstroke and loved it. I drove that truck with the original motor and tranny for 450,000 miles on it, loved it all, down sized to the F-150 for thinking it would be cheaper at the pump and less maint.

I'm with all of you on that law suit, was told that $2000 would; maybe fix the problem. My mechanic said try to get ford to pay for it, but good luck on that.

- , San Tan Valley, AZ, USA

problem #25

Mar 132013

F-150 Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Let me start off by saying I have always been a ford guy.I have owned many ford vehicles and always stood by them. But, with this one ford has made a mistake it doesn't look like they are going to recover from, and i am sad to say i think i am done with ford if this is the way they are going to treat loyal customers. I have a 2004 f150 lariat. the truck was perfect for a while but it seemed like when one thing messed up it turned into a ticking time bomb. one thing starting tearing up after another. first the window motor went bad, Then the over drive went out of the transmission, I have a loud ticking noise that seems to be the cam phasers, And now it is time for a tune up and mechanics are afraid to touch it because these engines have a bad reputation to having the spark plugs break off in the heads causing a simple tune up to cost up to or over 1,000 dollars. Ford needs to do something about this or they will lose a lot of costumers in the future.

- , Morristown, TN, USA

problem #24

Dec 152012

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I bought this truck used but have owned new and used Fords all my life. I had it for about a year when I noticed a tap come in the engine (which has gotten worse). I have changed oil and filter a few times and finally took it to the dealer after exhausting all possibilities of fixing it myself.

I was told I have a cam phaser gone bad and that it was a very common problem. (They have 4 more on the lot right now with the same problem). It will cost about $1500 to fix.

After a few days checking into this on the internet, I have found it is a very common problem with these trucks. I contacted Ford and they pretty much told me it was my truck- fix it yourself!!!! What the hell is that? if I build something and there is something wrong with it, I fix it !!! Ford should do the same!! If this was my fault, I would not have a problem, but, with all the problems being reported on these engines, you'd think Ford would stand up and do the right thing !!! I think after 40 years of owning Fords I am going to start looking at a new Dodge!!!!

- , Lamar, SC, USA

problem #23

Feb 282013

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 192,000 miles

Had the engine replaced and 77,000 miles later the same thing happened again. Good luck to all of you with this problem!!! I called Ford and it's almost like they were laughing on the other side. My next truck won't be a Ford. I've been a Ford customer my whole life and now this happens to me twice.

- , San Tan Valley, AZ, USA

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