Ford F-150 5.0 Engine Problems

in Reliability
Photo of Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150 by Tuner Tom - CC-BY-SA-3.0

Introduced in the 12th generation F-150, the 5.0 Engine has been a solid engine option for owners. Dubbed the “Coyote,” the 5.0 engine is praised for its power, reliability, and overall ease of ownership. Although this engine has comparatively few problems, there are still a few things that you should be on the lookout for if you’re looking to put an F-150 equipped with this engine in your driveway. 

This article will describe some of the most common issues of the Ford 5.0 engine and how much they cost to repair.

The most common problems with 5.0L F-150 engines:

  • Rough Running Engine. Cost to fix: $200
  • Metallic Clicking or Rattling. Cost to fix: $2,000, if not under warranty.
  • Coolant Leak. Cost to fix: $250
  • Oil Leakage from the Head Gasket. Cost to fix: $2,256 -$2,632


Considering buying a used 2016 Ford Escape? Here are some of their most common problems.

Rough Running Engine 


Owners of the 2000-2012 Ford F-150 equipped with the 5.0 engine report that the engine may start to run rough around 100,000 miles. The issue seems to be tied to a dirt mass air-flow sensor (MAF) that will get dirty and eventually fail. Part of Ford’s maintenance protocol is replacing the MAF module around 100,000 miles, but since it’s a bit out of the norm, many owners don’t think or don’t know how to do it. 

Cost to fix:

You have two options here. One is to grab a container of electronic cleaner, pull your MAF sensor out, clean it (it takes about 5 minutes to do this), or replace the unit entirely. If you have a shop do it, figure anywhere from $165 to $250 to replace it. If you do it yourself, figure about $100 for the unit. 

Metallic Clicking or Rattling


Some owners report that the 5.0 engine in the F-150 has issues with metallic rattling, scratching, or ticking when the engine reaches average operating temperatures. Over time, this can create a lack of tension in the timing chain and cause the motor to file out of time. This can lead to significant issues. Ford released a TSB for this issue, which indicates a need to replace a timing chain tensioner assembly, which can fail. 

Cost to fix:

Hopefully, your vehicle is under factory warranty as this repair can be costly otherwise. This is because the issue requires the dismantling of the accessory drive belt and much of the timing chain assembly. This repair can easily reach over $2,000.


Looking for a used Ford Escape? The 2016 model was plagued with problems. See the most common problems with 2016 Ford Escapes, costs to fix, and more.

Coolant Leak

2015 Ford F-150 Platinum Crew Cab by Sicnag - CC-BY-2.0


A plastic “T” connector is a consistent source of leaks in the 5.0 V-8 installed in the F-150. Rather than utilize clamps, the connector relies on an O-Ring and threaded connection to maintain the seal, and this connection can fail. Some owners can replace the O-Ring, but this only proves a temporary fix. 


Total replacement cost runs around $250 for parts and labor. If you want to embark on doing this simple repair on your own, figure about $60 for parts. 

Oil Leakage from the Head Gasket


Apparently, the Coyote 5.0 engine is prone to oil leaks coming from the head gasket. This was considered a design issue corrected by Ford by updating the head gaskets – including the valve covers and front gaskets and O-rings. However, if you have the earlier 5.0 engine, you’ll have to address this issue quickly.

According to reports, oil leaks from the right side head gasket are relatively widespread. The oil may leak into the starter and other components of the engine. If left unchecked, it may damage the gasket, which can be very expensive to replace.

Cost to fix:

The standard fix to a leaking head gasket is to seal the affected area. Most people use an engine block sealant for effective blockage. Apply the sealant to the affected area and give it a few minutes to dry off. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution and is far from sustainable. Block seals may cost you $15-$35.

The long-term solution is to install a new, updated head gasket. According to RepairPal, you’ll likely spend $2,256 -$2,632 for a new head gasket since a V6 or V8 engine requires the replacement of both left and right gaskets.


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Avoiding Ford 5.0 Engine Problems 

Let’s set the record straight. Overall, this is a great engine. Sure, there are problems such as those we’ve detailed above, but in essence, this is an excellent engine with the potential to go well over 200,000 miles with relative ease. If you’re looking to buy one of these trucks used, here are the simplest ways to avoid buying one with problems.

Concerning the timing chain issue, you simply need to listen carefully to the ticking or rattling noise associated with this problem.

The same goes for the MAF issues; this is not normal if you’re on the test drive and the engine is running rough or hesitating. Check for coolant leaks yourself, or better yet, have a mechanic check these things out. 

Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection Report

We can not emphasize just how important it is to get a complete diagnostic of your potential new ride by a local mechanic. They’ll go through the F-150 with a fine-tooth comb for a few hundred bucks by performing a thorough visual inspection and a thorough diagnostic inspection with sophisticated tools.

Even if you’re a savvy used car buyer, they could catch something that you don’t and save you thousands of dollars worth of repair costs. A truck is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make - it’s worth it to pay a local mechanic to ensure there aren’t any hidden problems.

Get A Personalized List Of The Best Used Trucks For Sale In Your Area

The easiest way to find reliable used trucks is the CoPilot car shopping app. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll search the inventories of every dealership in your area to create you a personalized list of the best deals.