pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,850 miles
Total Complaints:
62 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (28 reports)
  2. replace defective cam phaser before it blows out motor (18 reports)
  3. replace engine (17 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

problem #62

Sep 152017

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,500 miles

I'll never own another Ford again. This f150 is my first and my last. Purchased the truck because it was "built ford tough". Now I'm told if I don't fork over money I don't have, my engine will eventually die. Poor design by Ford, maybe the CEO should take his millions of dollars and help us normal working class citizen fix our vehicles. Too many complaints for this to not be looked at and corrected. Thanks Ford.

- Nick R., Johnson City, US

problem #61

May 212017

F-150 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Never buy a ford again .Had truck from day one and never abuse it. no warning just a loud ticking then locked up.

- Wayne O., Hollywood, FL, US

problem #60

May 112008

F-150 Off Road 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I love ford but I will never buy another ford because even though I have had it checked many times no one knows why it makes this loud noise. I can't trust this truck on long trips because of this unknown problem. This is it for me and fords and I have put up with other trouble with other models, but never to the point that I had no faith in the vehicle. I have asked around and spent a ton of money chasing this problem the only thing I can find is all of the 5.4 engines do this. So ford if you are listening, recall this engine or lose another life long ford customer.

- timbradford@rocket, Goldendale, US

problem #59

Aug 012007

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

I purchased this 2005 F150 ext cab FX4 with the 5.4L " used " with only 28000 miles on it back in 2007. It had 2 major concerns for me which showed up shortly after purchase. 1. This infamous ticking noise which pretty much has been concluded as the cam phaser's from all the posts I have read over the years. Yes, it does sound like the lifters are tapping. Yes it sounds like a diesel engine. 2. The engine would not start from time to time which I have determined to be fuel injectors leaking in the cylinders after the engine is shut off.

On a good note to anyone thinking of buying a similar 2005 truck with the 5.4L. I have not went ahead with the cam phaser repair. The truck now has 160k and is just as strong as the day I bought it. I did replace the injectors myself and the no start issue has since gone.

If you tow heavy loads be sure to use the tow mode switch. Be prepared to drop a transmission in this truck. if you do not use the towing mode. I had to replace the transmission at 75k and warrantied that replacement again at 125k. I tow upwards of 6000# on any given weekend from spring -fall. So far the replaced replacement has 35k on it.

This has not been the best truck I have owned from Ford but it has never left me stranded either. Even when the transmission went out both times it crept its way to the ford dealership. I also have a 2013 F150 EcoBoost which has performed flawlessly ( 50k mileage on it ). I plan on purchasing another F150 in the future.

- eroc1, Charleston, SC, USA

problem #58

Mar 122016

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,000 miles

2005 F-150 5.4 Triton motor knocking noise has been getting louder. Sounds like it is low on oil.

- Michael W., Shakopee, MN, USA

problem #57

Nov 292005

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28 miles


- sonnypete92, Pgh,, PA, USA

problem #56

May 012013

F-150 King Ranch 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

This is another thing that shouldn't go wrong with car. Or if it does, there should be a recall. Pisses me off. My mechanic quoted me $1800+ to repair it.

- Terry K., Seville, OH, USA

problem #55

Jun 132009

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I've been putting up with this annoying ticking sound for about 80K miles. All of the 2005 5.4's that I have seen have this cam phaser problem. One friend said his truck just up and kicked the bucket one day about 4 hours from home. The most annoying part is pulling up to a fast food window and you can't here the clerk speaking over the friggn ticking echoing off the brick building. Ford knows about this and won't do a thing about it. Buying a Dodge from now on.

- Geoff H., Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #54

Jun 082016

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Hello, I am really upset with FORD because I am not the only persone who have had this problem with their F150. When I start the engine it became a knocking noise, really loud like the one in the video. my car only has 94,000 miles so it shouldnt be a reason to sound like that. I have always give the proper maintanance to my F 150, so I believe it is a problem with the factory. thanks in advance.

- David R., Calexico, CA, USA

problem #53

Jul 092015

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I have try to fix my 2005 f150 for all most a year how . I have taken it too 2 ford dealer and I'm getting different store from both. The first ford dealership was right here in yuba city ca. The first day they told me I needed a new motor. On day 2 they call me and told me I needed cams at the end of day 2 I call them and they told me that it might be the Vct solenoid. Now this is a dealership that I have had problems with fixing my truck before. Now I have someone take my truck to a dealership in Sacramento ca. And they had it for 3/4 of the day and they tell me that 1 and 7 cylinder coil pack or bad ? Now just 2 week before I had put new spark and coil pack . So I replace the 2 cylinder . I had a auto machine tell me that it is my transmission switch solenoid , so this week I took it in to have it checked &I have had many other auto machine tell me different thing from cam chain guide etc. can someone please tell me or tell me a good mechanic to fix my truck

- Mark L., Yuba City, CA, USA

problem #52

Nov 112015

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,000 miles

I bought this truck used at 166,000. I've had ford trucks in the past that exceeded 300,000 miles, so when I bought this I had no doubt it would too. Couple months go by and I have this knocking noise from the passenger side of the engine. Only does it when the engine is at normal operating temp. I did some research and it seems like this is major problem with the 5.4 Triton 3V in 2004 and 2005. This truck runs good and has plenty of power but it sounds horrible like a ratted out school bus. Sounds like slack in the timing chain or the cam phaser is shot. How does a built ford tough truck need major engine work at 166,000 miles?!?! They were all highway miles from the previous owner. I'm reading about people who had this problem at way lower mileage. How is this not recalled??! With the amount of money to get it fixed I might as well replace the whole engine cause the rest of the truck still looks new.I hope Ford reads this and everybody else's complaints on this so we can get this recalled finally. Wish me luck to not get stranded in a beautiful truck with a terrible engine problem cause I cannot afford to fix it!

- Steven H., Lutz, FL, USA

problem #51

Jan 012012

F-150 XLT 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

started out a rattle like a lifter clicking. got louder and wen't to dealer for tear down of right valve cover. Mechanic came back with cam cover from rear of head and journals were worn and blue. Said I needed a new head, blamed wrong oil? After new head installed they heard a bottom end knock. The trust bearing was gone and crank was moving back and forth. The metal from cam dropped down and tore it up. New motor at $5700 for rebuilt long block. Told me the cam tensioner pads were worn out also. Since this happened i found out the oil pressure gauge is basically an idiot light as it moves to 40lb and stays there regardless of actual pressure. There was no way I could have known the pressure was down due to this gauge. It takes about 60 to 75K for this to happen. Ford would like this to go away offering no help whatsoever. I am hoping a class action will start but I might be too late. After six months the new motor started rattling at start up after sitting for a few days. It was the cam tensioners bleeding down and the chains rattled till pressure came up. The dealer said it was normal and showed me the door. I wen't down the street and bought a Ram with the Hemi and I am thrilled.

- Bob G., Grants Pass, OR, USA

problem #50

May 272016

F-150 Lariet 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

A year after I bought my F150 I had the bottom part of the engine rebuilt. Only part of it was covered under the extended warranty. I have just replaced the transmission, spark plugs, coils and catalytic converter on my 2005 F150 Lariat with the 5.4 Triton motor. All within the last 4 months at a cost of about $6,000. Now there is a ticking noise coming from my engine. My mechanic thinks it is the lifers at a cost of about $5,000.. At this point I have replaced all of the major working parts. I will NEVER purchase another Ford vehicle again.

- Erica B., Providence, RI, USA

problem #49

May 202015

F-150 FX4 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Well as others have posted, the cam phaser on the 5.4 engine is a real problem that needs addressed. It will start with a little clicking, then gets worse through time, and then it will mess with your timing causing low RPM's and when you are pulling a load it has caused the engine to die. I have spoke with Ford, through e-mail, and they told me to file through here, in order to have anything get done about it. This is such an expensive fix for the consumer, since this is a fault of the Engine. It needs to be addressed. If the phaser messes with the timing, it can cause your engine to stop and could cause an accident. Lets fix this before someone gets hurt .. Also reading tons of complaints on this matter, Ford is , and going to be loosing a lot of business on this. Thanks

- jasn71, Bonfield, IL, USA

problem #48

Jan 272016

F-150 FX4 5.4L Trinitron

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I bought this 2005 F150 new in 2005. At 62,000 miles I had to replace the transmission! Today, with 105,000 miles my mechanic gave me the news that I now need a new engine at $7000!!! For 10 years I had the truck serviced at the recommended intervals and used the OEM parts. It first started ticking, then knocking, and now the plastic cam phasers fell apart, the timing chain is broke and little plastic segments are all throughout my engine. I called Ford Motor Co and filed a complaint and was told there is no recall and no warranty. After reading all these similar complaints, it seems like it would be foolish to replace the engine with the same defective engine and have it happen all over again somewhere down the road. I will never buy another Ford product in my life! They don't stand behind their failures at all. Now I have a $15,000 piece of junk!

Update from Jan 28, 2016: Until all of us who have experienced this issue have filed a formal complaint on the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) website......Ford will not step up and do anything. They will not respond to this or any internet complaint site.....only if we complain formally on NHTSA in mass, will Ford ever be forced to address the issues. So go file a complaint on NHTSA.

Update from Feb 29, 2016: I just had my truck "fixed" at a Ford dealership. It's now back to the dealership for the 3rd time in a week to get it fixed right! My truck had two major know issues; stuck fuel injectors which blew out the catalytic converters & timing chain/cam phasers. The fuel injector/cat conv. issue was covered under the FMC extended warranty $4500 of work. The timing/phaser issue was on my dime $3600. Still have knocking noise. Headed back to dealership with it.

- Linda E., Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #47

Mar 092015

F-150 STX 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,850 miles

Trucks ticks very loud and engine shakes truck when idling. It ticks and sounds just like the problem with the 5.4L V8 but when I called ford they said the 4.6L V8 doesn't have that problem, yet here I am with the problem. I can't get it fixed under warranty because it isn't a part of a recall and isn't broken yet, so I just have to deal with it until it actually breaks so it can be replaced under warranty. I'm pretty sure they're just saying that so that it gets pushed back till after the warranty ends so that they make money off me for the fix.

It will also make a hissing sound like water hitting a hot surface when going up an incline on the highway especially while towing. Worries me that it might just freaking blow up soon or something. Just can't wait to get rid or this truck in a few months, worst buy decision I've ever made.

- Hunter G., South Jordan, UT, USA

problem #46

Nov 032013

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,984 miles

loud sounds like a diesel. common problem cam phazers 2004-. dont buy ford

- tklass, Leduc, AB, Canada

problem #45

Jun 162012

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Bought my 05 F150 5.4l and the Ford dealership said that it has a stumble due to them washing the engine. I took it back after a week and they said would change the oil if I wanted, but the small stumble and ticking sound was normal. Two years later, it all of a sudden started shaking and knocking but only did it a few times. Now 140,000 miles and several coil packs with no engine light and injector flushes later, I need a motor, and is not drivable due to stumble and sound from the front of my motor. I was told by my mechanic it is the timing chain but he said it is not worth fixing. It took out my top end. Very upset and heart broken over my loss.

- Andrew H., San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #44

Aug 152014

F-150 XLT 5.4L Triton 3 valve

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

I bought my 2005 F150 in August of 2013. 10,000 miles later I started to hear a loud ticking, it eventually got louder and sounded like a diesel. My mechanic changed the cam phasers, then the 2 piece plugs broke during removal, then the individual coils went bad, now the timing chain is slapping and the engine is knocking. I did oil changes by the book and used Motorcraft 5w20 syn blend and the ford oil filter from the dealer as they recommend. I bought this truck from a ford dealer used car lot, now I find out the service dept did something in order to quiet it to sell it. I could never recommend ford after this to my fellow air force vets. Can anyone give me the name of the place in Tucson where I can get a reman 5.4 for 1,800 dollars. Thanks

- dcostello1956, Romeoville, IL, USA

problem #43

Dec 242014

F-150 LX 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I just purchased a 2005 F150, in nice shape with 116,000 miles. The lifters are tapping, like they are not getting oil to them! As I look to online blogs, it seems like everyone is complaining about the same issue.. I can't believe that FORD, don't have a "RECALL" on this!! I work at the University of Alabama and know a law professor. I am going to see if he knows someone, who may start a class action lawsuit!

- Marlon K., Cottondale, AL, USA

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