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Used Cars for sale - Used Trucks for sale [1828330947] Buy Used Cars

Spark Plug Nightmare

- Ford-F150

Forum Post
01/11/09 19:27
Matt Eaton

Spark Plug Nightmare

At 100k miles I decided to have my plugs changed. Apparently the 5.4l 3 valve engine takes some exocte and fragile plugs. There is a service bulletin describing a special procedure to reove and to expect the plugs to come apart during removal because they were enginerred wrong. It is possible to cost several thousand dollars to fix. Has anyone else encounted this.
Archived Replies

This post has a total of 314 replies. The most recent 25 are shown below, you can view the complete archive here: Spark Plug Nightmare archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 01/11/09 through 04/14/13, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

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Thank author of this post/comment"RipOffReport"

I posted a complaint on; Please, everyone, add your problems to the may take a while for it to show up on but its there.
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Fort Meade, MD
Thank author of this post/comment"@ Trevor: $1300 Sparkplug replacement?"

Just in case I wasn't actually driving a working man's truck, I took a second look at the front. It is not a Porsche or BMW. Thought you might want to make sure also.
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Thank author of this post/comment"RipOffReport"

OK everyone, here is the Link...Please add to my attorney is bound to see this and HELP retrieve the money we have wasted....!

Please go to and complain...!!

  • [Links not shown for inactive users]
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Fort Meade, MD
Thank author of this post/comment"Added to RipoffReport file initiated by Inspects from Scottsdale "

To Inspects from Scottsdale:

I added to your RipoffReport file, although Ford did not get my money. I fixed it myself, but I specified in the report that a special after-marked tool is needed to pull the broken plugs, and that the job is not for any Joe with a screwdriver in his garage. I also added a response to Matt P., who for some reason (paid by Ford) got bored one day, logged onto a site called "RipoffReport" without having a complaint against Ford, and proceeded to defend Ford. Hmmm... since I'm not busy right now and have nothing better to do in my life, maybe I'll log onto an Enron complaint site and tell everyone that getting ripped off by Enron was their own gullible faults.

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Fort Meade, MD
Thank author of this post/comment"Ford mouthpiece Matt P. on rebutted"

This is what Ford mouthpiece Matt P. rebutted with on And keep in mind, WHO CARES if a TSB has been released? Ford is still making $1300 off of their once-loyal customers to change 8 spark plugs:

From Matt P.:

"A TSB has been released to deal with this issue.

This affects only 2004 - early 2008 F150's with 3V 5.4L engines. Late 2008's and newer have a revised engine head design that eliminates this issue.

The cost to change the plugs on these models are only $200 - $250 more expensive than the 4.6L models. Gotta pay to play.

For people with a 5.4L F150, it is recommended to change your plugs earlier than specified by the owner's manual to prevent the breaking issues. Neglect or ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to vehicle ownership."

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Thank author of this post/comment"Good Reply MD....!!!!"

Thanks MD, people like you make a difference, I and (surely) others appreciate your intelligent and noteworthy responses you've made.

I publicly Thank You for your efforts...!

Good analogy regarding Enron, MD--;)

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Chapel Hill NC
Thank author of this post/comment"New Plugs in today...ouch!"

After 190, 000 miles on my '04 4x4 F-150, intermittent mis-firing was beginning to happen during mild aceleration, around the 30-50mph range. I thought the torque converter or Tranny was crapping out, since the mis-fires felt like it was poppin or out of gear...I took it to Ray Motors (Ford Dealer) in Hillsboro NC to figure out the issue. They ran a diagnostic test, and determined that 5 out of 8 plugs were mis-firing at certain lean mixures, and all needed replacing. Mind you this was the first time in 190, 000 miles this truck has been to a repair shop for any reason. Since it was new, it has only had oil changes, front pads, and a set of tires (twice).

Dealer tech said all 8 plugs needed replaced at $28ea plus labor. I laughed. I said the last time I bought plugs, they were like $2...what the heck? He stated they were some sort of two part plug, and nearly impossible to get out without breaking. Most do it yourself mechanics end up having their truck towed in to repair the broken plugs. So $416 later I have a new set of plugs, no busted knuckles, no new tools that I'll never use again, and my saturday was not blown under my truck. I do believe the dealership makes themselves a hefty profit on these jobs, but I do not hold them accountable for the design flaw. My advisor at this dealership (Keith) was honest and up front with the issue. The $416 they charged for this job is a whole lot less than many other posts I have read on this forum, which is why I wanted to share the info.

I am off to score another 200, 000 miles with this truck...

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Thank author of this post/comment"Lucky"

Kieth, You were certainly one of the lucky ones....!

Knock on a Spark Plug--:)

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Lat. 39*09'24"N long 121* 39'24"W
Thank author of this post/comment"broken plugs"

what a stupid @ss Idea! is anyone sueing Ford for this? I broke all 8 plugs trying to get them out! now I have to take time off work to fix this mess. you buy a truck for 35K and it costs you half that to keep it running .NEVER AGAIN WILL I BUY A FORD!NEVER!
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Lat. 39*09'24"N long 121* 39'24"W
Thank author of this post/comment"broken plugs"

Is someone sueing ford?? I broke all 8 plugs off ! who thought of this stupid IDEA? now ford wants $1100 TO FIX THIS? AND DEALER SAID IT HAPPENS TO ALMOST ALL OF THEM !Even there tecks snap them off an a reg. basis.I WILL NEVER EVER BUY ANOTHER FORD! NEVER! this thing goes through Coils and Injecter, and now this! never again!last Ford>.
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Thank author of this post/comment"Junk Plugs"

I just went through this with my 2005 F150 5.4L. I knew the plugs were difficult to replace, but I tried one myself anyway. I soaked it with penetrating oil, worked it gently in and out, and it still broke in half. I then decided to take it to the dealer. They want $320.00 for the work, if none of the plugs break. Each broken plug adds another $89.00 to the bill. They broke 5 more getting them out. The final bill was $880.00 plus tax. I can't believe Ford produced this problem.
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Fort Meade, MD
Thank author of this post/comment"@Junk _ Plugs: Is Ford still using 2-part plugs as replacements?"


I'm guessing Ford is replacing those plugs (which they clearly know will make more money for them later) with the same 2-part defective Motorcraft or Autolite plugs?

If they are, the lawyers have even more ammunition.

No Ford Maintenance

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Thank author of this post/comment"F150 gas engines"

I have considered trading my Silverado for an F150, but I need to know if the 2011 F150 models have the same sparkplug problem.
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Fort Meade, MD
Thank author of this post/comment"Fixed in 2008?"

@ Fred Perron: Ford claims to have corrected this problem on the F150 sometime in 2008. However, bear in mind Ford's attitude on manufacturer defects: If it makes them more money, it's not a problem. They've already demonstrated this eagerness to profit over customer support. So if you choose to buy a Ford truck, you won't have support with whatever they get wrong. But Ford will have your paycheck, with gladness.

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Houston, TX
Thank author of this post/comment"Many thanks to all the contributors here... "

My son's truck is a 2005 with 110k miles. Was running rough, we decided to tackle spark plugs. Thank goodness I read this post first and was prepared with the correct socket and Lisle removal tool before ever starting the job. We broke 6 out of the 8 plugs removing them, the Lisle tool worked like a champ EXCEPT the threads seemed to get dull and broke before we got the final plug out. I talked to the engineer of the tool at Lisle and they sent me a new part under warranty so they are excellent at standing behind their product! This is not too bad a job if you have the correct tools and is certainly cheaper than having a dealer or mechanic do the job. I'm going to see about selling the tools on Craigslist since I'll never need them again and get some of my money back.

Thanks for the great tutorial as I knew exactly what to expect.

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Woodinville, WA.
Thank author of this post/comment"I'm thinking about starting a Ford spark plug support group"

I bought a 2006 F-150 three months ago with 126, 000 miles and I took it back to the dealership where I got it to have the two coil wires that were bad replaced along with all 8 spark plugs. They got three spark plugs out when the fourth one broke off in the cilinder head. They got the plug out but it needs a helicoil kit and to properly install that they need to remove the head and to romove the head they have to pull the cab off the body. Originally I was quoted 650 dollars to replace 2 coil wires and 8 plugs now they are telling me 4, 000. I am thinking about paying them for the work they have done and towing it to a mechanic that will probably still charge me at least a grand. Had I known that this was a problem to begin with I would have never bought this truck.
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Thank author of this post/comment"Please contact"

Does anyone experiencing these problems live in the Miami area? Please contact me. 954-622-6207
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Thank author of this post/comment"BeWare your spark plugs can blow up!!!!"

Just got a beautiful ford f150 6 months ago from the ford dealership, driving to work one day started to shake badly. Had it towed to the dealership's shop, was told that the spark plug(factory 100, 000 mile spark plugs) blew. Pieces of it got into the cylinder and tore up our engine. $6, 500 to put a new ford engine in, ford refuses to be liable for any of this. There are only 65, 000 miles on this truck, I took it in 2 since I bought it and was told everthing was fine. I'm sur that everyone of these dealers already know about this problem with ford's but of course aren't telling anyone about it. Had we know we would of PAYED to change out spark plugs when we bought it. Thank you FORD!!! just lost our trust in american made vehicles. Oh by the way we have a German made(volkswagon) vehicle 13 yrs old tons of miles that's works great and is still in top condition. If anyone start a class action lawsuit please let us know.
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Phx Az
Thank author of this post/comment"Plug replacement cost"

The problem with the plugs is that carbon builds up in the lower section causing it to break off. There are two tools on the market and they both work some of the time. My 2008 they worked on a couple of the plugs but not all. There were plugs that were stuck on both heads so the whole top of the engine had to be removed including both heads so the plugs could be driven out with a hammer and punch. The final bill was $2937.00. The good news is that after you get them out there is a after market set of one piece plugs that will not break off available. As always the plugs should be coated with quality lead based (not aluminum) anti seize be fore being reinstalled.
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Thank author of this post/comment"nightmare is an understatement"

so frusterating reading all these comments. why is there not a recall on this. heres our story.... My husband started to change the sparkplugs on his 2004 f150, when one broke off he had it towed to the dealer. the dealer charged us $600.00 to change the spark plugs. a few weeks later his truck started making noises and progressivly got worse. he took it to a mechanic who thought it may just need a new head. he took it apart and found the insides of the cylinders were scratched up, worse than he has ever seen. he figures that when the dealer took out the spark plugs, particles got in the cylider and created the grooves. So because of this we had to get a new motor installed for $5, 700.00! we went and talked to the dealer and he is telling us that is impossible for any particles to get in the cylinder and said it was because it over heated. we dont know who to beleive. would love to hear if anyone else had this issue.
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Thank author of this post/comment"18 Days after purchase of 2003 F-150"

We purchased a 2003 F-150 [Lariat] on the 28th of August, 2012 and 18 days later a spark plug blew. Due to this we were without our newly bought vehicle for 2 days along with that, hubby lost a days work due to being repaired! We were unaware of this problem when we bought our 2003 and chose it due to we previously owned a 2002 F-150 and did not have this issue. We pick our F-150 up today but are on edge as to whether this is gonna happen again!!
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Cody, Wyoming
Thank author of this post/comment"HOLY CRAP"

Thank you for all the information . Im getting ready to take My 2006 f150 in for a tune up. God after reading these post im in a panick.I will keep everythink documented reciepts pictures the whole deal. If i have any of these problems i will be happy to support any action taken against ford. I will post the results after i take it in. Thanks again for the info
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Thank author of this post/comment"Our Sparkplug Nightmare is over."

@Ray Lester -- Update on our Spark Plug Nightmare, back in Dec. [2 wks before Christmas] we had spark #4 blow so that made 2 within 4 mths end result ... we dumped the F150 Lariat in Jan. and went back to Nissan.
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Sylmar Ca
Thank author of this post/comment"Lisle 65600"

Dose anyone out there can help me with lending me the tool to pull out one broken plug from my F-150 8182705537
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Thank author of this post/comment"spark plug F-150"

My dad is taking a auto class at a small community college. He took my 2004 f-150 so he and the instructor could change the spark plugs. They were got the spark plugs out with no problem. The trick is to take your time when doing the job. They first pray the plug with carburetor cleaner. let it soak for a hour. Turn the plug a hair. Spray again then turn a little more. The job took a few days. They both said PATIENCE PATIENCE SPRAY TAKE YOUR TIME ARE THE KEY!!!!!
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    Archived Replies

    This post has a total of 314 replies. The most recent 25 were shown above, you can view the complete archive here: Spark Plug Nightmare archive. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

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