Ford F150 Years To Avoid – 6 Model Years

The Ford F150s are some of the best-selling trucks in history. However, it would be best to avoid model years like 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, and 2015. And not just because of their many recalls and complaints but also their engine and transmission issues.

Besides, the 2004-2005 model years, for example, also struggle with spark plugs breaking or blowing out. In addition, the Ford F150 years to avoid have had issues like faulty airbags, windows shattering, and several electrical problems.

Now, this article is a must-read if you plan to buy any Ford F150 pickup, whether new or used. But before that, here is a summary of what we will cover in the guide.

Ford F-150 Years to Avoid and Reasons Table

Before we proceed to the main article, check out this table with information about what year F150 to avoid.

Ford F-150: Models & Years To AvoidGenerationKey Reasons for Avoidance
2004 F15011th Gen● 16 recalls.
● Several engine issues like rough idle running.
● Spark plugs breaking and popping out.
● Faulty windows and window regulators.
●Transmission failures.
2005 F15011th Gen● 14 recalls.
● All problems in 2004 F-150 were present.
● Paint fading, peeling, and cracking.
● Gas straps corroding.
● Defective airbags.
● Cracking exhaust manifolds.
2006 F15011th Gen● 14 safety recalls involving headlights, airbags, and more.
● Weak plugs and threads that would easily break.
● Gears slipping.
● Paint peeling.
● Poor fuel economy at 12 mpg city and 16 mpg highway.
● Engine problems.
2010 F15012th Gen● One safety recall.
● Idling and running rough at about 100,00 miles.
● Failure of the coil to boot.
● Inconsistent gear shifting at around 15,000 miles.
● Minimal or no heat in the cabin.
● Bad infotainment system.
● Rear window and windshield problems.
● Electrical issues.
2009-2010 F15012th Gen● One safety recall for models built between January 2008 and November 2009.
● Faulty door handle spring.
2015 F15013th Gen●13 safety recalls per the NHTSA.
● Brake fluid leaking.
● Electrical problems.
● Loss of steering control.
● Cooled/heated seats cause burns.
● Rear windows shattering.
● Doors open while the vehicle is in motion.

Read More: Ford F150 Interchangeable Years.

What Are The Ford F150 Years to Avoid?

The Ford F150s are top-rated and durable trucks, available in up to the 14th generation. However, some of these trucks are not worth buying because of their many reported reliability issues. So, we will check out the different Ford F-150: models & years to avoid.

#1 – 2004 F-150

The 2004 Ford F150s are light-duty trucks belonging to the 11th gen of the Ford F-series. This is the worst Ford F-150 model year to avoid because it has had around 16 recalls on parts alone.

However, one of the primary reasons you must avoid this model year is its engine issues. It uses the famous 4.6L and 5.4L Triton V8 engines, prone to mechanical problems like spark plugs breaking during removal. Other issues include:

  • Engine misfiring under acceleration.
  • Spark plugs popping out.
  • Engine knocking and running rough.
  • Bad cam phaser.

Besides the engine problems, this F150 model year also had issues with the windows. According to different customers, the windows could fail to roll up, and the window regulators would easily break, causing unbearable noises. Also reported were rear window leaks and common Ford F150 transmission problems.

#2 – 2005 F-150

Like the 2004 F-150, the 2005 model year also belongs to the eleventh generation. The 2005 F-150 trucks did not fare better than expected since they had 14 recalls.

Unfortunately, most of the problems in the previous year were not resolved. So, by buying a 2005 Ford F150, you have to deal with issues like-

  • Faulty window regulators.
  • Spark plugs being ejected from the cylinder head.
  • Engine idling rough and stalling.
  • Spark plugs breaking when changing.
  • Transmission problems.

The 2005 Ford F-150 model also suffered other problems, including cracking exhaust manifolds, causing leaks. In addition, these trucks had issues with the gas tank straps corroding, paint fading and defective airbags. The airbags would accidentally deploy.

#3 – 2006 F-150

Similar to its 2004 and 2005 predecessors, the 2006 Ford F-150 has also had at least 14 recalls involving the following:

  • Brake vacuum boost.
  • Airbags.
  • Instrument cluster.
  • Headlamps and tires.
  • Wiper motor and reflectors.

Most of the concerns were reported in both model years in the 2006 F150. For instance, it has engine problems that lead to the spark plugs blowing out at approximately 88,000 miles. This is because the threads and plugs are fragile, causing them to break.

Another complaint is the paint peeling at around 60,000 miles and the gears slipping at about 75,000 miles. Even worse, its fuel economy is poor at 12 mpg city, 16 mpg highway, and 14 mpg combined.

#4 – 2010 F-150

Overall, the 2010 Ford F-150 has had only one safety recall, unlike its 2004, 2005, and 2006 counterparts. Even so, you must avoid buying the 2010 F-150 powered by the 5.4 Liter V8 Triton engine.

The most common issue with this engine is running rough and idling after around 100,000 miles. Also, there are issues with the coil failing to boot.

The good news! Replacing the motor is less expensive than the 6.7 Powerstroke engine replacement cost.

Additionally, these trucks also struggle with transmission issues. Various drivers reported erratic shifting of gears from second to first at approximately 15,000 miles. Other issues that make it one of the worst Ford F-150 model years are:

  • Little to no heat inside the cabin.
  • Defective time chain due to low oil pressure.
  • Electrical problems with the lights at 130,000 miles.
  • Rear window shattering and windshield problems.
  • Non-responsive infotainment system.

#5 – 2009-2010 F-150

Additionally, you must stay away from Ford F150 models manufactured between January 2008 and November 2009. These trucks were recalled because of issues with the door handle spring. The handle spring would fail to activate in the event of an accident.

#6 – 2015 F-150

The 2015 Ford F150 has had at least 13 safety recalls and over a thousand complaints per the NHTSA. One of the most reported complaints is leaking brake fluid into the booster. Unfortunately, this issue is still there even after the 2020 recall.

Another thing that makes it one of the worst years for the Ford F-150 is its several electrical issues. These model years have had recalls because of problems with the following:

  • Steering losing control.
  • Doors opening while in motion.
  • Rear windows smashing.
  • Heated seats causing burns.
  • Failing adaptive cruise control.


Now, let’s check out some frequently asked queries about the worst years for the Ford F-150.

Which Ford F150 years to avoid due to transmission problems?

The 2017 and newer model years utilize the 10-speed transmission. In fact, a class action case was filed against Ford because of the recurring transmission issues in these model years.

In which generation are the worst Ford F-150 years to avoid?

The eleventh generation ran from 2004 to 2008. This gen has 2004, 2005, and 2006 F150 years to avoid because of various engine problems, especially concerning the spark plugs.

Which Ford F150 years are the best?

According to critics, 2003, 2007-2009, 2017, and 2019- 2023 are the best Ford F150 model years. This is based on customer ratings, feedback, and reported problems.

Key Takeaways:

Different Ford F-150 model years have and continue to receive various complaints through the years. However, the worst Ford F-150 model years remain 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2015, and sections of 2009-2010. With that said, here are some key takeaways just for you:

  • The main issue with all these Ford F150 years you must avoid is engine problems. This leads to rough idling, misfiring, and the spark plugs blowing out.
  • Most of these problems have been corrected in the newer Ford F150 models, especially in the 2019-2023 years.
  • All the Ford F150 years to avoid have had various recalls issued per the NHTSA due to safety concerns.

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