Ford F150 Hesitation And Missing While Driving

The ignition system, fuel delivery issues, blocked air intake, vacuum leak, wiring issues, etc are some of the possible causes of hesitation and missing while driving the Ford F150. The cost of fixing this issue will be between $357 and $587, including $180 to $302 in labor costs and $177 to $285 in parts costs.

Once the inspection is done and the mechanic finds the actual cause, you can get an idea of the repair cost.

Today, I will talk about all the possible causes of hesitation and missing while driving your Ford F150 and will also provide an idea of the repair cost. Let’s start!

Top 9 Causes of Ford F150 Hesitation And Missing While Driving

Sudden hesitation and missing your turn while driving your Ford F150 can be scary. If that happens, you should immediately stop driving and try to find the issue. However, the problem can happen for various reasons.

Let’s have a detailed look at all the causes:

#1 – Ignition System Problem

Damages in the ignition system components, such as worn-out spark plugs, a faulty ignition coil, or ignition timing, can cause hesitation and misses in the Ford F150. A faulty ignition system means efficient combustion, which leads to this problem.

  • Symptoms: Besides hesitation and misfire, if there is an engine misfire or difficulty in starting, then the problem is within the ignition system. Besides, Rough idle and loss of power indicate the same issue.
  • How to Fix: Inspect the ignition system components to find which one is damaged and then replace it. Additionally, make sure the wiring is connected properly by checking it.

#2 – Fuel Delivery Issues

A smooth delivery of fuel is necessary to ensure efficient combustion and the optimal running of the engine. But clogged fuel filters, weak fuel pumps, fuel leaks, or damaged fuel injectors cause issues in the fuel delivery that lead to vehicle hesitation and missing.

  • Symptoms: Besides hesitation, there can be a bad fuel smell, and you will also have poor acceleration. If you find fuel underneath the vehicle, that can be due to a leak. The dashboard may also show notifications such as check fuel fill inlet. All of these indicate issues with the fuel delivery system.
  • How to Fix: Clean the clogged fuel filters first. Then check different components, such as the filters, pumps, or injectors, and replace the ones that are damaged. Also, check for any leaks and replace the faulty part.

#3 – Air Intake System Blockage

A clear and sufficient amount of airflow is essential for proper combustion. But dirt and debris build up in the air filters can interrupt the system. Additionally, the intake manifold could leak, causing hesitation and missing.

  • Symptoms: Frequent hesitation with loss of power and smoke from the exhaust system are common symptoms of air intake system blockage in the Ford F150.
  • How to Fix: Clean all the clogged or dirty air filters to ensure smooth airflow. Replace damaged air filters and leaked manifolds.

#4 – Mass Airflow (MAF) System Malfunction

The mass airflow system ensures the proper amount of air is entering the engine. A malfunction in the system can also lead to hesitation and missing parts in the Ford F150. It mostly happens due to wiring harness issues or sensor failure.

  • Symptoms: Rough idle, hesitation, and stalling in your truck indicate that something is wrong with the mass airflow system.
  • How to Fix: Clean the sensor system and connect the wiring properly. If the problem still exists, inspect the sensor with an expert and replace it if it is damaged.

#5 – Vacuum Leak

The engine requires proper vacuum pressure to run different engine components. But a leak in the system can cause problems with the engine and lead to hesitation. The leak can happen in the vacuum hoses or lines. A deteriorated head gasket can also be an issue here.

  • Symptoms: A vacuum leak will result in increased fuel consumption. Common symptoms include poor acceleration, stalling, and hesitation.
  • How to Fix: Inspect the hoses and seals in the vacuum system for any leaks and replace the faulty part.

#6 – Wiring Problems

To transfer power between the Ford F150’s various electrical components, wiring is necessary. Frayed wires, loose connections, and corroded terminals can make the truck hesitate and miss while driving.

  • Symptoms: If there are any intermittent issues, such as sometimes the truck starts and sometimes it won’t, then the wiring might be faulty. Besides, erratic behavior and poor performance are other symptoms.
  • How to Fix: Inspect the whole wiring system with a multimeter to ensure it is in good condition. Also, check that there are no loose connections or corroded terminals. Check out this wiring diagram that can be helpful for inspection.

#7 – Bad Throttle Position Sensor

The throttle position sensor (TPS) keeps track of the position of the throttle in order to control the engine. But incorrect TPS adjustment or TPS wear can affect its functionality and cause hesitation and missing.

  • Symptoms: The most typical signs of TPS failure in a vehicle are erratic idle, poor acceleration, and hesitation.
  • How to Fix: Adjust the TPS by an expert to fix the issue. If that does not solve the issue, test the sensor and replace it if it is malfunctioning.

#8 – Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor maintains a proper oxygen level in the exhaust system to ensure a perfect fuel mixture and control emissions. But it can go bad due to age, heater circuit failure, or contamination and affect the engine’s performance.

  • Symptoms: Poor fuel economy or quick fuel consumption are common symptoms of a faulty oxygen sensor. Besides, smoke from the exhaust system and rough idle indicate the same issue.
  • How to fix: Check the oxygen sensor with an OBD device and replace it if faulty. Also, check the wiring and connections to ensure everything is working fine.

#9 – Low or Poor-Quality Engine Oil

Using good quality engine oil in your vehicle is important, or it can result in hesitation and missing. A low engine oil level can also cause this problem.

  • Symptoms: Low fuel efficiency and engine overheating leading to hesitation and missing are among the common symptoms of using poor quality oil. Besides, a check engine light also appears, indicating a low engine oil level.
  • How to Fix: Ford recommends using SAE 5W-30 or 5W-20 engine oil in F150 trucks. Use the recommended oil from a good brand and keep the oil at an optimum level to avoid this issue in the future.

Cost to Fix Ford F150 Hesitation & Missing While Driving

As hesitation and missing while driving a Ford F150 can happen for many reasons, first, an inspection is necessary to find the actual problem. The inspection cost will vary between $90 and $110 on average.

Depending on the exact problem, the cost to fix hesitation and missing while driving will be between $357 and $587. It includes $180 to $302 for labor costs and $177 to $285 for parts costs.

However, it can be as high as $1,800 if there are any wiring issues. That’s because the mechanic will need to check all the wiring and connections in the whole car.

Nonetheless,  you can also get away with only $85 if the issue is with the engine oil. You can even replace the engine oil yourself to save more money.

Repair Cost:
ProblemsLabor CostParts CostTotal Cost
Ignition system problem$88-$125$117-$263$205-$388
Fuel delivery issues$225-$310$567-$825$792-$1,135
Air intake system blockage$248-$305$89-$107$337-$412
Mass airflow (MAF) system malfunction$45-$98$180-$280$225-$378
Vacuum leak$56-$135$102-$317$158-$452
Wiring problems$800-$1,500$200-$300$1,000-$1,800
Bad throttle position sensor$45-$68$87-$130$132-$198
Faulty oxygen sensor$55-$92$220-$258$275-$350
Low or poor-quality engine oil$55-$77$30-$88$85-$165
Total Average Cost$180-$302$177-$285$357-$587

Note: This table provides a rough estimation of the repair cost. They can vary significantly based on the problem’s severity and where you fix it.


Can I continue driving my Ford F-150 if it is experiencing hesitation and missing?

No. Driving your Ford F150 while experiencing gestation and missing can be risky. Continuing to do so can harm various components of the truck, including the engine. Besides, you may also lose control of the truck and have an accident.

Can I fix hesitation and missing issues in my Ford F-150 myself?

As the exact reason for hesitation and missing issues can vary, an expert should inspect the truck first. If the problem is simple, then you may try to fix it yourself. But in the case of complex issues, it’s best to leave the job to the mechanic.

Why does my Ford F-150 hesitate when accelerating?

Hesitation while accelerating mainly indicates issues with the fuel delivery system. In most cases, it is a faulty fuel pump or filter. You will need to replace the damaged part to fix the issue.

Can regular vehicle maintenance help prevent hesitation and missing issues?

Yes. Regular maintenance of various components of your vehicle, such as the fuel system, ignition system, air intake system, engine components, and various sensors, can help prevent hesitation and missing issues.

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