Here Are The Ford F-250 Years To Avoid

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The Ford F-250 is a large pickup truck that has been a staple in Ford’s lineup for years. They started production in 1998, and they’re still going strong today. If you’re looking into a used pickup for your next vehicle, this car could be on your list. If it is, you might wonder - what are the Ford F-250 years to avoid?

We’re here to help you with the answer to that question so you can make the safest decision for your life. There are some Ford F-250 years to avoid and some worth investing your money into for the long haul. Read on to learn more about each of these categories.


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Ford F-250 Years to Avoid

The Ford F-250 is a powerful vehicle with many successful versions over the years, but it’s also had some extreme failures. We’ll review the Ford F-250 years to avoid first, so you know which versions to stay away from at a dealer.

The Ford F-250 years to stay away from include:

  • 2002
  • 2006
  • 2008
  • 2011
  • 2017

2002 Ford F-250

The 2002 Ford F-250 has been plagued by a notorious issue involving spark plugs unexpectedly ejecting from the engine block. This problem, which appears to be a design flaw in the Triton V8 and V10 engines, has left numerous owners frustrated and facing costly repairs. The aluminum cylinder heads are prone to stripping the threads that hold the spark plugs in place, causing them to shoot out while driving. Ford has yet to issue a recall or offer a permanent solution.

Meanwhile, owners of the 2002 F-250 have reported a concerning issue with the vehicle’s steering system that can cause a loss of control while driving. The problem seems to be related to a weak frame design, which allows the idler arm to tear away from the mounting point. This creates a dangerous situation where the steering linkage can become disconnected. Some owners have experienced the steering wheel locking up or becoming excessively loose, making it difficult to maintain control of the pickup truck. Despite numerous complaints, Ford has not yet issued a recall or offered a permanent solution to this potentially life-threatening problem.

2006 Ford F-250

With over 400 complaints and seven recalls, the 2006 Ford F-250 is considered one of the worst, if not the worst iteration of the super duty pickup truck.

Its top reliability woe lies with its suspension. The 2006 Ford F-250 has a well-known suspension issue called the “death wobble,” which has caused many owners to worry about their safety. This problem causes the vehicle to shake and vibrate violently at speeds above 50 mph, making it difficult to control and resulting in potential accidents.

Despite many complaints and even a letter from Ford acknowledging the issue, the company has failed to provide an appropriate solution, instead attributing the problem to tire pressure. Owners have reported spending thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements, but the death wobble persists, rendering the 2006 F-250 a hazardous and unreliable option.

In addition, the 2006 F-250 has also encountered a range of engine issues. These include unexpected stalling at various speeds and the engine abruptly shutting off, which can lead to a loss of power steering and brakes, especially on highways. Furthermore, several owners have reported problems with the throttle body, resulting in unplanned acceleration or delayed response when pressing the brake pedal. Although the ‘Check Engine’ light frequently illuminates, diagnosing the exact issue was reportedly challenging.

2008 Ford F-250

The 2008 version of the super duty truck was also plagued with issues and received the most consumer complaints.

Sadly, the dreaded “death wobble” continues to terrorize the owners of the 2008 F-250. As per CarComplaints, many owners report their pickup trucks shaking uncontrollably at speeds over 50 mph, particularly after hitting minor road bumps. The only solution is to drastically reduce speed, which can be dangerous when running at high speeds, like on a freeway. Desperate owners have claimed to have poured thousands into steering box replacements, new shocks, tie rods, and more, only to have the wobble return. If you’re serious about your safety, the 2008 F-250 might not suit you.

On the other hand, the F-250 version has been facing serious brake problems. Several drivers have reported a sudden brake failure, especially when decelerating or exiting highways, which makes the Ford Super Duty truck difficult or even impossible to control. In some terrifying instances, both the brakes and steering have locked up at the same time, resulting in perilous skids and close calls. Multiple solutions have been tried, such as replacing calipers, rotors, and even the hydro-booster system, but the issue persists to the frustration of owners.

2011 Ford F-250

CarComplaints has documented over 400 complaints and two recalls for the 2011 F-250. This is not a staggeringly high number of complaints, but it inherited many problems of earlier models, including the “death wobble.”

Unfortunately, the 2011 Ford F-250 also has fallen prey to a severe suspension issue called the “death wobble.” This issue has been extensively reported and occurs when the vehicle hits small bumps at high speeds, causing the front end to shake violently. The severity of these vibrations can be so intense that drivers may have to reduce their speed drastically or come to a complete stop to regain control. While some fixes have been suggested, such as replacing the track bar and ball joints, it keeps coming back and can only be chalked up to deeper design flaws.

Furthermore, this super duty truck also had a troublesome transmission system. Several owners have detailed that people have encountered rough and jarring transitions while shifting gears in their F-250s. Sometimes, the transmission appears to struggle to find the right gear, causing abrupt and noisy jerks that can rattle the whole vehicle. Other common problems include abrupt shifts that make the tires chirp, sudden increases in engine RPMs, and a troubling roughness when the vehicle settles into a gear after coasting. Some unlucky folks have tried replacing the transmission (which is not cheap), but sadly it didn’t work.

As such, the death wobble and transmission woes make it hard for us to recommend the 2011 F-250.

2017 Ford F-250

The 2017 model definitely deserves to be in this list of the worst Ford F-250 years to avoid. For starters, it has more than a thousand complaints and two recalls under its belt.

At the top of its sore spot is, you guessed it, the ubiquitous “death wobble.” The notorious death wobble suspension issue has plagued not just the 2017 Ford F-250, but has been a recurring problem across multiple model years (as detailed in this guide).

Many drivers have described terrifying incidents where their trucks begin to shake uncontrollably after hitting small bumps on the highway. These severe vibrations start in the front end and make it almost impossible to control the vehicle, leaving drivers to urgently slow down to regain control. In search of a solution, these owners have turned to dealerships for help. Unfortunately, the fixes provided, such as replacing steering dampers or ball joints, often prove to be only temporary and fail to fully address the problem.

These are some of the worst years in existence for the Ford F-250.

Out of all these years, 2006 came out on top as the worst overall. There are a few critical reasons for this failure, which we will review later to better understand what issues lie behind each model.


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What Makes These Years Worth Avoiding?

Several qualities make these the Ford F-250 years to avoid. Customers didn’t hesitate to report complaints they had with each of these years, making it simple to designate the ones that stood out as the worst overall.

According to, some of the top reasons that make these years worth avoiding include the following:

  • Engine troubles
  • Suspension issues
  • Transmission difficulties

These three items rose to the top as the top customer complaints that came with the discussed models of the Ford F-250.

Let’s discuss these issues in further detail so you can understand the rationale behind determining these as the Ford F-250 years to avoid. We’ll detail each problem, tackling specific complaints and the years most susceptible to them.

Engine Troubles

Engine troubles were the issue that appeared most with the Ford F-250. However, all models mentioned above experience engine trouble to some degree. The engine proved especially difficult in the 2006 model, which stands out as the worst iteration of the Ford F-250 you can invest in as a driver.

Some of the specific engine troubles included:

  • EGR failure
  • Stalling engine while driving 
  • Sudden loss of power

These received the most customer complaints out of all the available engine troubles.

An engine prone to breakage can be costly and inconvenient for a driver. If you don’t want to deal with the expensive replacements that come with an engine, ensure you select a model that doesn’t come from our list above. There are lots of solid options out there for the Ford F-250.


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Suspension Issues

Suspension issues were secondary with the Ford F-250. This trouble can lead to an inability to control the car for a driver. It can also include expensive repairs, which may not last long if the vehicle is prone to wear and tear on the suspension. This difficulty was most apparent with the 2006 and 2011 models.

Some of the suspension issues included:

  • Death wobble
  • Hyper shaking
  • Shaking and loss of control

None of these appeal to a driver, no matter who you are.

Suspension issues can be dangerous and expensive for the driver to fix. Keep these in mind when you select your used Ford F-250 model. The 2006 model and 2011 model are the ones to avoid here.

Steering Difficulties

Last, steering difficulties appeared in several versions of the Ford F-250. The most prominent year for this was the 2017 model, though Ford quickly jumped on this problem and fixed it. 

Some of the steering issues that surface for drivers of this vehicle include wobbles when steering and locking up the steering wheel. These control issues also correlate with the suspension difficulties mentioned earlier. Avoid the models with suspension issues and the 2017 variety to ensure you stay as safe on the road as you can.

Death Wobble

Another significant issue with the F-250 truck was the dreadful “death wobble.” Although death wobble cases were reported for the 2005 model year, they seemed more widespread for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 years. Probably not as sinister as it sounds, the death wobble refers to a body integrity issue where the F-250 truck shakes violently and becomes harder to control. This issue is loosely related to the aforementioned steering issue above.

Some owners claimed to have experienced the death wobble while hitting a bump on the road, while some reported violent shakes as they approached speeds of over 60 mph. Most reports claimed that the steering wheel shaft would rattle and shake uncontrollably.


Its large size and powerful engine, not to mention an excellent truck bed, make it perfect for a variety of needs. However, if you’re in the used car market, be sure only to purchase the most reliable Ford F-250 year. If you’re not sure what that is, read on.

Coolant Leaks

The F-250 also struggled with various types of leaks, but perhaps the most common is the coolant leaking from the radiator. This issue was reported all the way from the 2003 version to as recent as the 2018 F-250s. The most common symptom was the puddle of coolant underneath the truck.

According to several experts, the problem originated from a faulty thermostat bypass, which causes pressure spikes within the radiator that ultimately fails. The most common fix was to replace the thermostat assembly and radiator.

Spark Plug Ejection from the Cylinder Head

This is a fairly common issue with the Ford F-250 Super Duty and V8 engines. When a spark plug pops out, it can damage the threads in the hole where it was seated. If this happens, experts often recommend replacing the part of the engine called the cylinder head. You can find a cylinder head online for around $400. If a cylinder head isn’t working properly, it can lead to the engine using more oil and needing more maintenance because it controls how air flows into the engine.

If you hear a ticking noise when your Super Duty vehicle is idling, it could be a sign that a spark plug is about to eject. It’s important to check that the spark plug is screwed in tightly to prevent this. If a spark plug does break, some people suggest replacing it with something called a Heli-coil, which might be more reliable.


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Delamination of Diesel Fuel Tank

Delamination refers to small metal and lining fragments from the diesel tank blocking the fuel pump, causing the engine to stop. You can replace the tank for $1,200 to $2,400 or repair it for $200 to $400. However, the same issue may happen again with a new tank. Some repair shops address this by adding a thicker lining to the tank.

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

We’ve gone over many customer complaints, detailing the reasons for the Ford F-250s to avoid. But what about the years that are safe to buy used? It’s just as vital to know about the good as it is to understand the bad. With both sides of the equation, you can make a well-rounded decision that will serve you well in the end.

According to, some of the best years for the Ford Expedition include:

  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2018

These years have been some of the best with the Ford Expedition.

If you have your heart set on investing in a used Ford F-250, these models will do you well. They’ve clocked in the least customer complaints and proven reliable over the years. They come in far above the damaging issues of the Ford F-250 years to avoid.


A reliable car is a critical addition to the life of anyone constantly on the road. If you’re looking for a large pickup truck, the Ford F-250 is an excellent place to start. However, there are some years of this vehicle you should take care to avoid and others that you can choose safely. It can be tricky to determine the correct choice for your life.

Many Ford F-250 years clocked in complaints, and others held to the reliability that the Ford often talks about in their advertisements. We hope this advice can help you pick the ideal year for your next used vehicle! With the information we’ve discussed, you can choose your life.

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