For over a decade, Ford’s F-150 Raptor has been an automotive industry leader in performance and off-roading capability in the pickup truck segment. It is widely considered a go-to truck for those looking for power, good towing capacity, and ruggedness to tackle rough terrain.
The Ford Raptor was an instant hit among consumers and a top-seller for the brand, but like any vehicle, it does have its issues. If you’re looking to purchase one of these powerful trucks, there are certain things that you should know before moving forward.
From normal maintenance needs to the most common complaints and knocks against the model, let’s take a look at what potential owners need to be aware of before owning one.
1 – Oil Leaks
When it comes to the Ford Raptor, one thing you should be aware of is its engine problems. They can develop oil leaks over time especially with Raptors from the early to mid 2010s. This may sound like a familiar issue with most cars, but due to their intricate design and components, repairing an oil leak in a Ford Raptor could end up being more expensive than other vehicles.
So, what causes these oil leaks? Well, prior to 2018, the Raptor’s oil pan was made out of plastic, and this material degrades over time. In addition, the turbocharger can also force fluids from the engine, leading to further leakage.
This problem has been documented in Ford Raptor years from 2011 to 2017. Ford issued a few recalls involving the Raptor and the “standard” Ford F-150 concerning the issue.
How to Fix
Don’t worry if you’ve already bought a Ford Raptor and are noticing oil leaking—depending on the amount, there could be some simple measures that can fix it! Before scheduling service, there might just be one or two solutions to help solve the problem.
Before you get started, be sure to examine all hoses and gaskets; they may have become loose or worn. If this turns out to be the source of your problem, you can easily restore them with some minor equipment and a bit of DIY savvy.
If the gaskets appear to be intact and working properly, it’s likely that you’ll need a new oil pan. This type of repair may require expert attention and should only be handled by a certified technician in order to ensure it is done correctly. If your vehicle uses plastic on the oil pan, then, unfortunately, a replacement will most certainly have to be made.
2 – Transmission Issues
Transmission issues can be a major problem, especially those in 2017 and 2018 Ford Raptor years. Symptoms of potential transmission problems include slipping or grinding gears, erratic shifting, and even complete failure while driving. This issue has been reported by many users and can be quite a costly repair if not fixed properly.
The cause of these transmission issues can be attributed to the Raptor’s 6-speed automatic transmission, which often doesn’t have enough clutch friction material to handle the truck’s torque output. As a result, the clutches start slipping, and shifting becomes erratic over time.
In addition, some models may also come with an inadequate cooling system for its transmission fluid—when it reaches too high of a temperature, the transmission will start slipping and eventually fail.
How to Fix
If your vehicle falls under this category, don’t fret – you can still get your Raptor back into gear. Repairing or replacing the 6-speed automatic transmission is likely necessary and should only be done by an experienced technician. If you’re lucky, you might just have to replace the transmission valve body which is cheaper than needing to replace the whole transmission.
3 – Stalling Engine and Loss of Power
Stalling engines and a loss of power can be another common problem for Ford Raptors. A few symptoms of this issue include difficulty starting the engine or it stalling once it’s running. It may even feel like it is surging as you accelerate.
This type of issue is usually caused by a faulty mass airflow sensor (MAF), which is responsible for regulating the amount of fuel that’s being delivered to the engine. When it isn’t working properly, the Raptor can experience stalling and loss of power as a result.
What’s more, vehicles in the 2012 model year have also been known to suffer from an oxygen sensor failure, leading to similar issues with stalling and power loss.
How to Fix
Don’t lose hope if you’re one of the unfortunate souls that have experienced this issue with your Raptor – a MAF sensor or oxygen sensor replacement can easily fix the problem. However, be sure to have a professional technician complete the repair in order to guarantee it will be done correctly and thoroughly.
4 – Rattling and Clunking Noises
If you’ve been in the market for a Ford Raptor, you may have encountered others talking about rattling and clunking noises when driving. This is an issue that can affect any model year of the Raptor and can be a bit concerning if you don’t know what’s causing it.
So, what causes these noises? It turns out it’s usually a faulty wastegate actuator control arm/clip. This is an important component that helps regulate the boost pressure from the turbocharger. If it’s damaged, you can expect to hear some irritating rattling and clunking noises.
It’s also worth noting that this issue is most common in Raptors with aftermarket turbos and exhausts.
How to Fix
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. All you need to do is replace the faulty actuator arm/clip with a new one. Be sure to buy an OEM replacement, as aftermarket parts can cause even more problems down the line.
5 – Power Windows and Sunroof Failure
Another common issue is power windows and sunroof failure. This problem can affect the 2012 model year of the Ford Raptor, and the signs can be pretty obvious. If you notice that your windows or sunroof are no longer responding to your commands, it’s most likely an issue with the power window/sunroof switch, module, or the wiring.
How to Fix
To fix this problem, you’ll need to either replace or repair the faulty parts. If you’re feeling confident, you can take on the task yourself and save some money in the process. However, it’s best to leave it up to a professional if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.
6 – Buggy Infotainment System
If you own a newer Ford Raptor, chances are you’ve experienced some issues with the infotainment system. This is a common occurrence that affects first generation Ford Raptor years and can be quite irritating. You may find that your touchscreen isn’t responding properly and that there’s a ton of lag.
How to Fix
The good news is that this issue can be fairly easily resolved. All you need to do is update your infotainment system with the latest software and firmware updates. There are many aftermarket mods available that should do the trick for you.
What Are the Best Ford Raptor Years?
Although previous models have their merits, it’s generally accepted that the best Ford Raptor years are anything from 2018 and up. As always, do your homework and research different newer models to find something that works for your budget and needs.