The F-150 Lightning exceeded many people’s expectations when it debuted for the 2022 model year.
It still retains the same look as the ICE-powered F-150 but it’s filled with the latest EV tech, so it’s not lagging behind its competitors even when compared to high-end luxury EVs.
This article compiles some of the most common issues and complaints reported by actual owners.
Table of Contents
1. Connectivity Issues
Many F-150 Lightning owners report that they’ve had to deal with random connectivity issues.
This is often caused by a software issue with the F-150 Lightning’s Telematics Control Module, also known as a modem, which is responsible for the truck’s cellular, Wi-Fi and phone connectivity.
Symptoms of modem issues include:
- Services that require an Internet connection don’t work
- FordPass app can’t connect to vehicle
- Charging, location, and vehicle details not updating on app
- Remote Start and door locks don’t work
- Can’t activate FordPass
- Phone as a Key (PAK) issues
- Certain navigation features are disabled
- BlueCruise stops working
- Connected Services error in Settings menu
In some cases, the problem gets fixed on its own after waiting overnight or after a few days. This is likely due to the modem going into a ‘deep sleep’ mode and then waking up after some time.
Restarting the infotainment system by holding down the volume down and next track button on the steering wheel can also help fix connectivity issues.
Most F-150 Lightning owners who regularly have connectivity problems recommend disconnecting the negative terminal of the 12-volt battery for a few minutes to force the modem to restart.
2. Hood Won’t Open or Close
Some F-150 Lightning owners have trouble getting the hood to open and close electronically.
Unlike ICE-powered pickups, the F-150 Lightning actually has a usable trunk in front, also known as the frunk, where the engine used to be.
The frunk’s hood also uses electric motors so it opens and closes with the push of a button.
However, some owners have reported issues where the frunk refuses to go up or down on its own and they have to do it manually instead.
If the hood consistently fails to open or close, it’s best to take it to the dealer because you might need a new frunk control module or a new motor/actuator. Some F-150 Lightnings had issues with water intrusion causing the frunk to malfunction.
Lots of owners also don’t like the beeping the frunk makes every time it opens or closes. Some have gone through the trouble of taking out the speaker to completely get rid of the beeping.
3. Door Lock Issues
A lot of people have had difficulties using the F-150 Lightning’s door handle locking system.
Most of the complaints usually boil down to confusion and lack of familiarity.
The current generation F-150 has a button on the door handle that locks the car. To unlock it, you just need to hold the door handle for a moment and it will automatically unlock as long as you have the key fob with you.
Some people incorrectly assume that they still have to press the button to unlock the door. If you’ve got your hand wrapped around the door handle and are pushing the button at the same time, it will seem like the door is locking and unlocking on its own.
But aside from this confusion, some F-150 Lightning owners still have inconsistent results when trying to lock or unlock the doors.
Here’s how one owner described their experience:
“Walking up to a lightning rear door and trying to unlock it with the handle seems not to work. Either front door, no problem.”
“Trying to lock the lightning with any handle is very inconsistent, and I end up giving up and using the door panel lock button.”
The back doors tend to be more finicky to unlock even if you’re doing it the right way, but it will eventually work after a couple of tries. Pushing the button to unlock the doors can also be hit or miss.
4. Apple CarPlay Won’t Connect
Issues connecting to Apple CarPlay are some of the more common problems people have reported for the F-150 Lightning.
It will often take a couple of minutes before a connection is successfully established and then there are times where it will just refuse to connect at all.
This can be especially frustrating if you use CarPlay for navigation and you just want to get in the car and be on your way. The extra delay and fiddling with the system can get old really fast.
For some people, CarPlay will work flawlessly until they get a phone or OTA update.
F-150 Lightning owners report that they get more consistent results if they try to connect to Apple CarPlay with their phone already unlocked and don’t do anything on the phone until the connection is established.
Interacting with the phone while it’s trying to connect can interrupt the process and cause a connection failure.
If the phone doesn’t connect on its own, you can force it to make a connection using the infotainment screen.
Another quick workaround you can try is to turn off the truck, open the door, then wait for a few seconds so that the truck will turn off completely. When you turn it back on, it should connect successfully.
One last option is to delete the phone from the SYNC 4 system then pair it again.
Some have also had similar problems connecting to Android Auto but CarPlay issues are more widely reported.
5. Active Air Dam Error
Several F-150 Lightning owners have repeatedly gotten error messages on the dash for the active air dam.
The F-150 active air dam is basically a spoiler under the front bumper that automatically deploys and retracts depending on your speed to improve the truck’s aerodynamic efficiency.
The ‘Active Air Dam System Fault’ error message doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s an issue with the spoiler or the actuators that move it. It’s usually caused by poor software implementation.
The error message is the result of the truck’s software detecting that the air dam hasn’t deployed after reaching 45 mph. If there’s even a slight delay in deployment, the error will pop up.
Some owners say the error eventually stopped appearing after a few OTA updates.
6. 12-Volt Battery Issues
A weak or dead 12-volt battery can cause random software and electrical issues in the F-150 Lightning.
The truck needs the 12-volt battery in the frunk to power all of its electronics and computer systems. If it’s low or not keeping a charge, you’ll experience issues such as:
- Random errors on dash
- Software bugs and glitches
- Failed OTA updates
- Truck won’t start
The F-150 Lightning’s 12-volt battery doesn’t necessarily get charged whenever the truck is plugged into the charger. It gets charged by the high voltage battery which is only turned on when you’re driving around.
It can quickly lose its charge if you don’t drive for several weeks or leave it outside in cold weather. Some batteries can also start failing early even if they’re not even a year old due to manufacturing defects.
If you have a jump pack or a spare battery, try these first to see if a properly charged electrical system gets rid of any glitches or random problems.
Other modern vehicles with lots of electronics, EV or otherwise, are also prone to these issues, so it’s not exclusive to the F-150.
7. BlueCruise Issues
A couple of owners have reported issues with the F-150 Lightning’s BlueCruise intelligent adaptive cruise control.
BlueCruise can read road signs and automatically set the cruise control to a different speed; and sometimes the sign recognition system makes mistakes. It can also go up to 5 mph higher than the speed limit, so it can seem like you’re suddenly speeding up too much.
Here’s one owner’s experience from the Lightning Owners forum:
“I just took delivery two days again, cruise was set at 35 and all of a sudden blue cruise jumped it to 59 mph out of the “blue”.
“I had to turn that off, it can’t distinguish between a normal speed limit sign and one for trucks or buses. So driving I-90 near Chicago it would read 70, 65, 60.”
Try turning off the sign recognition in the settings first if you want the truck to maintain the speed you’ve set on the cruise control.
Similar issues have also been reported with the Mustang Mach-E so it’s not limited to the Lightning.
8. Charging Schedule Issues
Some owners have complained about the truck’s charging system not following the preferred charge time and charge level settings they’ve set up on the FordPass app.
This could be caused by a communication issue between the FordPass app and the SYNC software in the truck. A reset or battery disconnect may fix it if it’s a connectivity issue.
Software issues can also cause communication issues, so try updating the FordPass app and make sure you have the latest version.
The preferred charging settings can also be location based, so if the truck’s GPS location is inaccurate the set charge times are not followed.
Many owners simply set it to charge when plugged in and set the charge limit manually to make charging more predictable.
9. Sound from Battery Cooling System
Some F-150 Lightning owners have noticed a sound coming from the truck even if it’s just parked and not charging.
This is usually just the battery cooling system’s fans and pumps running in the background to keep the battery temps down.
It’s more noticeable when DC fast charging because the battery heats up more and needs to be cooled down faster.
10. Clicking From Wheels at Slow Speed
There have been multiple reports of F-150 Lightnings making a short metallic clicking when driving at slow speeds.
Here’s what one owner on the F150 Lightning Forum had to say:
“Mine clicks too. Very faint and can only hear with windows down. But it’s there. I feel no mechanical vibration or shudder. Just the audible click.”
The clicking can be heard from either the front or rear wheels.
The noise immediately goes away as soon as you speed up. Some owners also only hear it when one-pedal driving or auto hold is enabled, but others hear it all the time, no matter what mode they’re in.
This typically affects early models and there haven’t been any major failures associated with the clicking.
Owners who have taken their trucks to the dealer say that it was fixed by replacing one of the CV axles, also known as halfshafts. The same issue has also been reported in the Mustang Mach-E.
Ford has updated the half shaft design in the trucks that have been repaired, but they haven’t released a TSB (technical service bulletin) at the time of writing.
11. Wiper Motor Recall
Early models of the Ford F-150 Lightning are affected by the widespread wiper recall that includes about half a million 2021 to 2022 -150 trucks in total.
Trucks built after August 2022 are not included in the recall.
According to Ford, the wiper motors in affected trucks have a higher tendency to fail. This causes a safety issue because it affects visibility.
It’s also the number one complaint on the NHTSA website for the 2022 model:
“Twice I have been driving my 2022 Ford F150 and I have tried to turn the wipers on when it started raining, and the wipers did not move.”
At this point in time, new wiper motors should be readily available and you shouldn’t wait more than an hour to get it fixed if your truck is affected by it. Recalls are also free since they’re a safety issue so it shouldn’t cost you more than just a few hours to get it done at the dealer.
Ford F-150 Lightning Pros & Cons
- Up to 580 hp on tap
- Can do 0 to 60 in 4 seconds
- Excellent range from extended battery
- Good towing capacity
- Loaded with tech and features
- Can be used as a power source; Has multiple outlets
- Connectivity and software issues
- Poor range when towing
- Only 230 miles from the standard battery
What Do The Reviews Say?
“The 15.5-inch touchscreen on premium models is awash with features, from driving modes to electronic payload scales. The Lightning also offers the F-150’s existing Pro Power Onboard feature that consists of household-style electrical plugs that you can use to power tools and other electronic devices.”
“Handling isn’t the strong suit of any pickup truck, but the Lightning proved friendly and stress-free on both twisty roads and the open highway.”
“The Lightning features a fully independent rear suspension, which delivers a smoother ride and is a definite upgrade from the standard leaf springs on the regular F-150.”
“Our test truck was the top-of-the-line Platinum trim, and it rang in at more than $90,000 as-new. That’s definitely a lot of money, but you can spec out a standard F-150 to nearly the same amount. “
What’s the Resale Value of a F-150 Lightning?
Here’s a quick look at used car pricing on Edmunds at the time of writing. Prices quoted are for the XLT trim level: