Normally, “Ford F350 problems” isn’t a phrase you expect to hear in a sentence. Historically, the F-350, a truck that has its roots planted since the 40s, but most recent models released in 1998, has been a reliable workhorse for the Ford brand. As early as the model year 2005 and as recent as model year 2020, the F-350 has included some of the most reliable Ford trucks on record.
Although primarily marketed toward the blue collar customer, the F-350 also began to incorporate elements of style and comfort, including much of the same modern technology you’d find in any other vehicle – if not more. However, not even the most revered models have a perfect track record, and the F-350 is no different. In this article we highlight Ford problems with the F-350 model.
1 – “Death Wobble”
The “death wobble” was a serious issue starting with the model year 2005 and lingering until 2017. It’s one of the most common issues out of all Ford F 350 problems and, by far, the most dangerous.
In fact, a class action lawsuit was filed in 2020 by previous owners of the F-350 who got into accidents due to the fault. Drivers reported that the issues began in the steering wheel, causing it to shake violently. The truck would become nearly impossible to control, warranting an emergency stop on whatever road the driver is navigating. Unfortunately, this was usually the interstate, as the problem didn’t manifest until the vehicle reached speeds of between 50 and 70 MPH.
The issue seemed to stem from faulty control arms, leaf springs, shocks, and the early wear of the track bar joint. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which might cause the problem, especially since mechanics found evidence of alignment issues and faulty brake rotors after inspection.
Potential solutions depend heavily on where the problem originates, so determining a blanket price is extremely difficult. Fixes could be anything from a new control arm, to new shocks – even a simple alignment in some situations. In many cases, there was no fix, due to the extensive damage. However, no recall was ever issued for this problem.
2 – Engine Failure
Engine failure is another one of the common problems for the Ford F 350. It occurred over several model years. Many drivers who reported engine problems replaced several motors over the life of the truck – and typically, repair of the older engine was out of the question.
It’s worth noting that normally it was the Triton (gasoline) engines in these trucks that had issues. The diesel Ford F-350 trucks had their share of issues too – but not nearly as widespread.
The cause was never really noted, as many of the Ford F-350 models that experienced these problems didn’t show any warning signs at all. The truck’s engine failed randomly, anywhere between 50,000 and 200,000, even with proper routine maintenance.
This drastically affected the resale value of the model years most plagued – including the 2008, 2010, and 2011. Additional years experienced sporadic problems, but not nearly as severe as these model years.
3 – Head Gasket Problems
If one bad thing is to be said about the engines and other components of Ford F-350 truck – when an issue arises, it sticks around for the long haul. The Ford F-350 head gasket problems caused a lot of trouble for drivers for a long period. You’d expect Ford will get better and avoid these problems, but they seem to recur.
The most common years on the Ford F-350 truck to experience blown head gasket complaints seemed to be from 2003 to 2008, and then again from 2010-2013. Complaints reported the Ford F-350 truck of these years slowly began losing power over time.
After a small window of power and torque loss, the check engine light would come on. Finally, thick white smoke would emit from the tailpipe of these Ford trucks. Oil and coolant can also mix, which can lead to total engine failure. This was the final sign before it was time to replace the head gasket, which is a pricey repair – anywhere from $1,200 to $1,900.
4 – Bad PCV Oil Separator
When the PCV oil separator goes bad, the engine of the Ford F-350 loses power and efficiency. As this problem unfolds, unfiltered air that’s sucked back to be combusted instead is funneled into the intake manifold.
While not immediately damaging, it does cause a lack of power for the engine and can lead to larger problems like engine failure over time. This engine issue was probably most prevalent in the 2008-2010 models.
Luckily, the costs to fix the issue are about $90 for parts and $200 for labor.
5 – Turbo Hose Blow
In the 2006 model, the turbo hose on the engine blew off, particularly when towing or traveling uphill. While this doesn’t cause any immediate damage, it does lead to having to frustratingly pull over to reattach the turbo hose to the engine. If the vehicle continues to be driven after it will lead to permanent engine damage.
Many drivers cite the fact that an oil leak causes the tube to become lubricated enough to fly off. Other sources say it’s a faulty part from the factory. Either way, when a driver has a turbo hose blow, the best course of action is to buy an aftermarket, third-party upgrade that works better than the old plastic. turbo hose. The OEM part replacement costs around $135, and the upgraded component can be as much as $600 – but well worth it, considering it lasts for essentially the life of the truck.
6 – Spark Plug Ejection
The dreaded spark plug ejection was an issue that plagued the early 2000s F350s (the ones with the 5.4L Triton gasoline engine). The plastic housing located around the spark plugs would erode or get weak, causing the spark plugs to fly wildly in any direction.
This requires drivers to instantly fix and replace these components. Luckily, the cost is cheap – anywhere between $8 and $12 to replace each spark plug. When replacing these components, it’s best to wear safety glasses to prevent injuries.
However, the plugs blowing out can actually damage the cylinder head. Fortunately, Ford may take an affected vehicle in if damage to the engine block occurs.
7 – Oil Leak
The issue with oil leaks is one of the few problems that took place in the later generations (2011-2022). Looking back on the history of the vehicle, there’s no one year that seems to have more customer complaints than others – but instead, reports are spread out evenly among those model years.
Luckily, the solution is an easy fix. The oil usually leaks around the oil cap because too much pressure builds up because of a dirty CCV (crankcase vent). The CCD is easily replaceable and has a price range between $5 and $100.
8 – Transmission Problems
Finally, transmission problems plagued F-350 owners from the year 1999 until the year 2004. Despite being a headache (and a costly expense – $2,000), the issues with this transmission were pretty straightforward.
Heat and vibration lead to a wire short on the 4R100 solenoid, leading to delayed shifts, and eventually, a lack of shifting altogether. If you catch the problem before the short happens you might be able to save yourself the high repair bill – otherwise, you’ll need a new transmission.
Super Duty or Super Bust?
Despite the issues listed above regarding the Ford F350, this Super Duty is still considered a dependable truck – especially if you go with the diesel configurations. It seems a majority of the Ford problems lie in trucks with standard fuel-burning engines, sparing a large number of diesel owners.