Every pickup truck has its unique problems. And some of the Ford F-150‘s problems are downright dangerous, such as the EcoBoost coolant leak or a malfunctioning transmission known to shift into first gear on the highway. Ford has, of course, issued recalls for significant safety concerns, leaving F-150 owners with some lesser issues, which can still be pretty frustrating.
Failed O2 sensors causing a check engine light
Check engine lights are annoying. Sure, it’s a relief when the problem is caused by something as trivial as an O2 sensor. But still, it would be a relief not to have to deal with the problem at all. According to 1A Auto, a common cause of a Ford F-150 check engine light is a failed O2 sensor. If you drive all the way down to the auto parts store to have your check engine light read and it is throwing codes P0139 and P0150, then you have a failed O2 sensor.
What’s even more annoying than a check engine light caused by a little O2 sensor? Getting the darn thing swapped out–if your exhaust system is especially rusty. Hopefully some penetrating oil and patience will get you up and running again, check engine light free.
MyFord Touch head unit problems
The infotainment screens in Ford F-150s, especially 12th-generation trucks, are known for all sorts of issues. One frustrating problem is when the infotainment system keeps working, but the touch screen stops responding to you. Another frustrating issue is the touch screen getting stuck in its energy-saving mode. When this happens, you can’t wake it up no matter what you click or press. A third frustrating problem is when the infotainment system fails to connect to your smartphone, even after you’ve gone through all the annoying steps of the pairing process.
One infotainment screen issue is even more than frustrating: Occasionally, the F-150’s screen stops talking to your backup camera–while you’re reversing! Luckily Ford has developed a software patch for these frustrating touchscreen issues. If fixing computers doesn’t annoy you too much, you can try to download this file to a thumb drive and then connect it to your truck. Or you can just take your F-150 to the dealership so they can update it. If nothing else works, you can replace your infotainment head unit altogether.
Ejecting spark plugs
When my colleague Nathaniel Ehinger reported on the most common Ford F-150 problems reported by owners, the 5.0-liter V8 ejecting spark plugs made his list. Imagine you’re driving your V8-equipped F-150 down the highway when it begins to run so rough that you can hear it misfire. Then you notice your check engine light is on. Naturally, you pull over and find it continues to misfire at all speeds. When you poke youre head under the hood you find that the engine has actually ejected on of its spark plugs. So you have to find a wrench and screw it back in place. Talk about frustrating.
But wait, it gets worse. F-150 V8s are known for throwing spark plugs because the threads holding the plugs in the engine are too short and too soft. Eventually, the engine pressure can strip these threads out entirely. When that happens you’ll need to replace the cylinder head, to the tune of $241-$285.
Next, read about reliable alternatives to a used Ford F-150 or watch the 1A Auto Youtube video for yourself below: