The crown jewel of the Ford F-series is the Ford F-250, which is known for its bulky look and significant towing power. But what kind of problems does a Ford F-250 have? Which generation of Ford F-250 offers the best functionality? In this blog, we’ve outlined all of the significant issues that are common in Ford F-20. Let us start with a short answer:
The most common problems in the early years (2002-2010) of the Ford F-250 were engine, fuel pump, and electrical system problems. The death wobble affects all model years from 2005-2019. Furthermore, the seat back strength required a recall and engine coolant leaks were reported in the 2019-2020 models.
This is only the tip of the iceberg—a detailed analysis of these problems entailing the root cause, symptoms, and fixing cost are still left. We will also suggest the best and worst years for buying a Ford F-250. For all these details, read on!
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Death Wobble – Loss Of Control
Ford F-250s are notorious for losing control on highways, which has earned this problem the name of death wobble. Several models of Ford F-250 are known to shake violently, making it extremely difficult for the driver to handle the super-duty truck. This problem usually manifests when your Ford speeds over 50 mph or when you’re traveling on a bumpy road.
More than 1,200 Ford owners have reported this problem, but Ford is yet to make a recall to fix this problem. However, if you’re in luck, you might get a letter from Ford saying they will cover the repair cost.
Ford is sending many customers a letter which says if your truck has “sustained steering wheel oscillation after hitting rough pavement or an expansion joint at speeds typically above 45 mph,” bring it to the dealer and it will replace the steering linkage damper for free.Source
This problem is even worse because it does not have a single cause. Early and abnormal wear of car parts, loosening of the track bar bushing, structs, control arms, or faulty ball joints could cause this issue. In short, a flawed suspension system and faulty steering linking mechanisms are the root cause of this problem.
There are no notable symptoms that you need to be watchful of. This problem arises when you’re going above 50 mph or when your car encounters an uneven surface at high speed.
The 2005-2019 models should be avoided if you don’t want to face this problem. The frequency of this issue is far less in the later (2020-2022) models.
Depending on the cause of this issue, it will cost you around $2000-$2500 to fix this problem.
Fire After Seat Belt Pretensioner Deployment
Another problem plaguing the Ford F-250 is a fire hazard, which occurs after the seat belt pretensioner is deployed during an accident or a sudden jerk. There is a high risk of fire arising in these vehicles – and this problem can cause severe damage to carpeted vehicles.
The fire can ignite materials, especially the nylon floor carpeting inside the truck. If the fire is out of control, it can also burn the insulation inside the B-pillar area, causing irreparable loss.
Ford has initiated a recall for this issue with an NHTSA Recall ID of 19V880000. Ford has alerted both the F-250 owners and dealerships about this problem. Ford instructed the dealership to apply heat-resistant tape to the carpeting and insulation to minimize fire risk.
Since there is a recall for this issue, you can get this issue fixed without incurring any costs on your wallet.
Reduced Seat Back Strength
Another problem that made Ford recall the F-250 trucks was reduced back strength. All Ford trucks in the F-series are equipped with manual front seat back recliner mechanisms. These mechanisms were found to be missing the third pawl that is pivotal in increasing seat back strength, causing the seat to become loose.
This specific problem is more common in 2019-2020 models of the Ford F-250. Before buying a Ford F-250 of these model years, it is advised to ensure that this problem has been rectified. The solution to this problem is to install the third pawl, which the Ford dealership should promptly do.
Tailgate Opening Unexpectedly
For the F-250 models from 2017 to 2019, Ford has issued a recall to examine and fix another recurring issue – the sudden opening of the tailgate. In all affected Ford Trucks, an electric tailgate latch release is located above the tailgate handle. Water or moisture getting into this area can damage the electrical wiring, causing the tailgate to open unexpectedly.
The unwarranted opening of this tailgate can cause you to lose all cargo placed at the back of your truck and create a potential road hazard.
The NHTSA Recall ID for this issue is 19V864000. Ford has asked the dealerships to modify the tailgate and frame wiring in the affected Ford Trucks. Jumper pigtails have been added to isolate the control circuits responsible for releasing the tailgate. If the release switches were malfunctioning, they’ve also been replaced.
Fixing this issue via a recall does not cost you anything.
Daytime Running Lights Not Dimming
With an NHTSA recall ID of 19V808000, Ford is trying to fix the issue of faulty daytime running lights. In these vehicles, the DRL (Daytime Running Lights) do not dim as they should when the headlight switch is turned On.
This can cause a visibility issue for other drivers, increasing the chances of an accident. The solution to this problem is to reprogram the Body Module Software – and this will be done without charging anything from the owner.
Engine Coolant Leaking
Ford F-250 also suffers from frequent engine coolant leaks (especially the 6.7 Powerstroke diesel). The cooling system passes the engine coolant (AKA antifreeze) throughout the car’s engine. A lack of antifreeze can heat the car’s engine, causing it to seize.
The primary symptoms of a radiator leak include a strong odor of coolant from your vehicle’s engine. The coolant might also be visible if you look under your vehicle. If you see that your car is overheating while traveling long distances or when you hear squealing noises from your Ford, an engine coolant leak is the most likely culprit.
There can be many causes of engine coolant leaks in your Ford F-250. A disconnected hose, corroded radiator, a faulty thermostat, or even road debris can cause your car’s engine coolant to leak.
During most coolant leaks in Ford F-series trucks, the radiator is the one that needs replacing. If the coolant is due to other causes, such as using low-quality coolant or a disconnected hose, the fixing cost usually lies between $30-$50. However, a radiator change will cost around $1500-$2000.
Electrical System Problems – Dashboard Lights Not Working
Ford F-250 owners have reported several electrical system problems in their Ford Trucks. One of the most common problems is that the dashboard lights suddenly stop working. This problem is more commonly reported in earlier versions of F-250 trucks.
This problem usually arises after you’ve undertaken some electrical system replacement in your Ford – such as replacing the factory radio with an aftermarket radio or installing new wiring in your car.
The most likely cause behind this issue is a faulty relay or a blown-up fuse. Another probable cause is improperly done wiring. A faulty OEM harness connector can also cause this issue.
Replacing either of these components won’t drain your wallet – it costs around $40-$50 to replace a fuse or a relay in Ford F-250.
Fuel Pump Failure
Your Ford can face major drivability and performance issues without a functioning fuel pump. 2017 Ford F-250 owners have reported that their fuel pump gave up the ghost while the car’s mileage was around 100-150k miles.
Early symptoms of this problem include whining noise from the engine, sputtering under acceleration, and difficulty starting the engine. If you see any of these symptoms while driving your Ford, a fuel pump failure is on the cards.
Including the part and the labor costs, it can be expensive to replace a fuel pump. It will cost you around $750-$850 to get a new fuel pump for your Ford F-250.
What Is the Worst Year For The Ford F-250?
The Ford-250 is one of the most reliable trucks on the market that will last you for 200,000-300,000 miles if maintained properly. They have been in the market since 1998 and have seen a lot of ups and downs – customer complaints and rave reviews. Before looking for a Ford F-250, it is better to clearly understand what years to avoid.
The worst model years for a Ford F-250 are 2002, 2006, and 2008. These were the relatively early models of the Ford F-250, which had problems such as engine coolant leaking, frequent death wobbles, fuel sensor issues, and engine failure complaints. There were frequent suspension problems as well.
Ford did well not to repeat these mistakes, and the latest models come with several modifications to ensure that these problems are a thing of the past. The latest models are the best years for Ford F-250.
If you are looking for the better option out of the earlier models, the 2009 and 2011 models of the Ford F-250 were the best ones. They were reliable and had powerful engines combined with new and innovative features.
His interests in cars, motorcycles, and machines led him to the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore where he is currently a mechanical engineering sophomore.
His future aims include the development of an energy-efficient prototype vehicle for the Shell Eco-Marathon competition and getting a Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering from Germany.