The Ford F-350 is part of the Ford Super Duty lineup of pickup trucks. It is a popular truck that has been in production since 1998. It is well-known for its towing and hauling capabilities, and many people rely on it for work or recreation.
However, there are certain years of the F-350 that have been known to have more problems than others, many of which coincide with the years of some of the problematic Ford diesel engines.
Let’s take a look at the Ford F350 years to avoid based on their respective issues.
1999 Model Year Ford F-350 (1st Generation)
The first two years of production for the Ford F-350 were fairly issue-free. The most notable entry was the Ford SVT, which was a high-performance version of the truck that excelled in virtually every category. That’s not to say all was perfection across the board.
There was one pesky issue affecting the 1999 model year. The issue involved the Powerstroke engine that it had. The 7.3L Powerstroke isn’t even one of the worst Ford engines. But the engine in 1999 would, at times, eject the spark plugs, and in some cases, they would cause a fire.
This was a serious safety hazard that needed to be addressed immediately. Ford did eventually recall the affected trucks and fix the problem. But it’s still something to keep in mind if you’re considering a used 1999 F-350.
The fix for this involved replacing the spark plug port threads. The cost of the repair is around $500.
2006 Model Year Ford F-350 (1st Generation)
The second generation of the Ford F-350 began in 2005 and ended in 2007. These years were not as successful as the first generation, with many more complaints, no thanks to the pathetic 6.0L Powerstroke engine that caused many problems for customers. The engine itself required frequent oil changes to keep it in decent condition.
The most common issue with the 2006 F-350 was related to transmission problems. Customers would report that their Ford trucks would randomly slip out of gear while driving, or that the transmission would not engage at all. This was a very dangerous problem, as it could easily lead to an accident.
Another common issue was with the EGR emission system. The EGR valve is responsible for recirculating exhaust gasses back into the Ford diesel engine. However, many customers reported that their EGR valves were defective and would cause the Ford diesel engine to stall. The average cost to fix these issues is between $250 and $350.
Due to the high number of engine problems and complaints, the 2006 model year is generally considered to be the year to avoid for the Ford F-350.
There are more than 125 complaints for the 2006 Ford F-350 and two recalls. The recalls are quite serious, as they have to do with the steering wheel locking up while driving. The cost to have this resolved is between $100 and $300.
2008 Model Year Ford F-350 (2nd Generation)
The 2008 model year of the Ford F-350 was not a good one for the Ford Super Duty. Many owners complained about their Ford diesel engines smoking when they accelerated, as well as total engine failure.
Steering problems were also reported. All of these issues can be expensive to fix, so avoid this model year if possible. Most repair bills for these issues can easily surpass $2,000.
There are more than 225 complaints for the 2008 Ford F-350 and nine recalls. Again, the most notable recalls have to do with locked-up steering columns. But there are others related to things like the tread belt separating and airbag issues.
Given the number of complaints and recalls, it’s probably best to avoid the 2008 model year of the Ford F-350.
2011 Model Year Ford F-350 (3rd Generation)
Ford’s 2011 F-350 was part of the 3rd generation of the popular F-series trucks. It was available in a wide range of trims and configurations, from basic work truck to luxury vehicle.
Unfortunately, it was also plagued with a number of serious problems, including blown fuel injectors and issues with the brakes and suspension. What’s more, there are 15 NHTSA safety recalls and more than 165 complaints. Locked steering once again proved to be an issue.
On top of that, some diesel truck owners experienced their Ford diesel engines locking up. Many emergency services that relied on the F-350 were forced to switch to another brand.
Still other recalls were due to owners reporting that their PTO pressure switch leaked and their engine caught fire. The seriousness of some of the 2011 F-350’s recalls prompted Ford to extend the warranty on many of the affected parts. The average cost of repairs for the 2011 F-350 can exceed $2,500.
As you shop for a used Ford F-350, it’s important to know what the most common problems are as a whole. Below are the three most common problems with the Ford F-350.
Death Wobble: The “death wobble” is a common problem for many trucks, but it’s especially prevalent in the Ford F-350. This happens when the front end of the truck starts to shake uncontrollably, and it can be caused by a number of different factors.
PVC Oil Separator: The PVC oil separator is a part of the truck’s emission control system, and it can fail prematurely. This can cause a number of problems, including a loss of power and decreased fuel economy.
Fractured Drive Shaft: The drive shaft is what transfers power from the engine to the wheels, and a fracture can cause a loss of power and control.
Stick with These Years Instead
The Ford F-350 is a workhorse of a truck, and that’s why it’s so popular. It can tow and haul just about anything you need it to, and it’s tough as nails. But like any vehicle, it has its share of problems. And while some of those problems are relatively minor, others can be downright dangerous.
You can avoid most major issues altogether by sticking with 2013 and newer model years. You can expect a reliable diesel engine from these trucks, as well as the latest safety features and technology.