The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the US since 1981. In recent years, just under a million F-Series trucks rolled off dealer lots in America.
The F-150 is the best selling model of the F-Series family and every generation seems to get better and better.
In this article we’ll give you the full breakdown of maintenance, tune-up and running costs of this iconic pickup.
Here is the short answer to are Ford F-150 expensive to maintain:
The F-150 is not expensive to maintain. It costs around $800 to maintain an F-150 truck per year, which is lower than the annual average of $936 for the full-size pickup class. A tune-up will cost in the region of $400, this includes changing of spark plugs.
How Much is a Tune-Up on a Ford F-150?
This will vary greatly depending on where you take your truck and you can expect to pay more at a Ford dealership then your local mechanic.
You can expect to pay in the region of $400 for a fairly comprehensive F-150 tune-up that includes, but is not limited to:
- New spark plugs
- Filters changed
- Coolant flush
- Cleaning IAC valve (idle air control)
- Throttle body clean
- Transmission fluid change
Are Ford F-150 Expensive to Maintain?
Not only is an F-150 reasonably inexpensive to buy brand new, but it is also reasonably cheap to maintain, and that is one of its big selling points.
When looking to buy a new vehicle it’s important to assess the maintenance costs to ensure you’re able to properly look after your vehicle and keep it in safe working order.
Below you’ll find a complete price breakdown for some of the most common costs for the Ford F-150:
|Oil change||$124 – $138|
|Alternator replacement||$522 – $590|
|Wiper blade replacement||$60 – $90|
|Air filter replacement||$43 – $51|
|Battery replacement||$196 – $205|
|New brakes||$177 – $200|
|New tires (set of 4)||$600 – $800|
|New tire (one only)||$150 – $200|
|New spark plugs||$232 – $276|
|Tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance||$79 – $100|
|New transmission||$1500 – $3500|
|Tune-up||$350 – $450|
|Insurance||$1884 / year (average)|
Related: How Long Do Ford F-150 Last?
Oil Change Cost?
An oil change should be performed on the F-150 every 7500 miles (or every 6 months whichever comes first), however, that value may vary depending on the year. Some of the newer models will only require an oil change at 10,000 mile intervals.
The cost of an oil change should cost in the region of $124 to $138, this includes parts and labor, however does not include taxes and fees.
Ford recommends using a synthetic oil, and for that price, that is what you should be getting.
Alternator Replacement Cost?
A new alternator on a Ford F-150 will set you back between $522 – $590 for a replacement which should last around 80,000 to 150,000 miles or 5 – 10 years
Labor costs are around $100 while parts are priced between $450 and $500.
While the battery is used for starting your truck when the engines off, the alternator keeps your truck alive when the engine is running.
The alternator powers most electronic components while you’re driving around or idling and is also responsible for charging the battery of your truck while driving.
Wiper Blade Replacement Cost?
This is a relatively simple and quick fix, and you can easily save yourself a few dollars by purchasing your own wiper blades and fitting them yourself, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on this one.
Most F-150s use a 22″ wiper blade on both passenger and driver sides but be sure to double-check first.
Wiper blades for the F-150 can be picked up for around $40, and installed by yourself for free.
However, if you want a professional to fit them for you then you can expect to pay in the region of $60 to $90 for parts and labor with taxes and fees on top.
Air Filter Replacement Cost?
According to RepairPal, air filter replacement cost on a Ford F-150 is between $43-$51, not including taxes and fees.
The good news is this task, which should be performed annually or whenever the filter is clogged or dirty, is another fairly straightforward DIY.
Simply open the hood, locate and open the air filter’s housing, remove the old one, insert the new one and replace the housing cover. This will help both your car and your bank account breathe a little easier, lots of tutorials on YouTube for this one also.
Battery Replacement Cost?
According to RepairPal, the cost of a battery replacement for a Ford F-150 should cost between $196 and $205, not including fees and taxes.
Whilst there are no specific mileage recommendations for when a battery needs to be replaced, they do eventually die. In general, it’s a good idea to replace your battery once every 4-5 years.
New Brakes Cost?
F-150 brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 miles and necessary brake work isn’t a cost you can afford to skip.
The average cost to replace your F-150 brake pads, according to RepairPal, is between $177 and $200.
Brake pads will diminish at different rates depending on factors such as where you use your truck and your personal driving style.
Pro tip: To prolong the life of your brakes – Give yourself plenty of following distance from the car in front of you so you can coast to a nice, easy stop.
Cost to Change Coolant?
If it’s just a top-up your truck requires then this is the most basic of maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, you can pick up coolant at any gas station for a few bucks and top up to the level required.
If on the other hand, you require a coolant change, which simply involves draining the coolant from the base of the radiator and then replenishing with fresh fluids, this is going to cost you a bit more.
According to RepairPal, the average cost of a Ford-F150 coolant change is between $92 and $117 (excluding taxes and fees).
Please also read our article: Ford F-150: 8 common problems
How Much Does a New Transmissions Cost?
Transmissions on the F-150 typically last 10 – 14 years or around 150,000 to 200,000 miles, dependent on how much use and abuse they get.
The average cost for an aftermarket or rebuilt transmission for an F-150 is anywhere from $1500 – $3500.
Tire & Wheel Assembly Rotate & Balance Cost
Tire rotate ensures each tire gets worn evenly whilst balancing ensures they roll smoothly and there’s no vibration (this also helps improve your fuel economy).
According to RepairPal, The average cost for a Ford F-150 tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance is between $79 and $100 – this does not include taxes and fees.
How much Insurance Cost?
According to Finder.com the average cost of Ford F-150 insurance is $157 / month or $1884 / year (that’s is $500 above the national average).
These figures can vary greatly dependent on a number of factors such as your age, driving record and state requirements etc.
F-150 Repair Costs Compared to Similar Trucks
In this section we’ll compare the maintenance costs of the F-150 to some of its biggest rivals, according to RepairPal.
Ford F-150 Vs Chevy Silverado 1500
The number one challenger to the F-150’s reign at the top, is the Chevy Silverado 1500.
From our research we can reveal that the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150 have fairly similar annual repair costs.
The Chevy 1500 does however come out on top on this occasion with an average annual repairs total of $714 Vs the F-150’s $788.
Both share a very similar ‘severity’ percentage, the 1500 edging it slightly with 15%, that’s 1% less than the F-150. This refers to the % of annual repairs that are deemed to be urgent.
Deciding on which vehicle to choose will ultimately come down to whether you are a Chevy or Ford loyalist, however, we can confirm the repair costs are slightly less with the Silverado.
You may also be interested in our article: Chevy Silverado 1500 Maintenance Costs
Ford F-150 Vs Nissan Titan
The Nissan TITAN first came onto to scene in 2004 as an alternative full-size pickup truck.
The clear winner of the repair cost comparison here is the Titan, with an annual average repair cost of $555, that’s $233 less than the F-150.
To put that into perspective the average annual repair cost for all full-size trucks is $936 per year, and as you can see that is almost double what you might expect to pay with the Titan.
Both share a very similar ‘severity’ percentage, the F-150 edging it slightly with 15% with the Titan scoring 16%. This refers to the % of annual repairs that are deemed to be urgent.
You can find a full price breakdown of Titan ownership costs here.
Ford F-150 Vs Ram Pick-Up
In recent years there has been a fierce rivalry between the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150, both perennial favorites with American auto shoppers.
In terms of repair costs, the Ram is the cheaper option of the two with an average annual repair cost of $691, that’s approximately $100 less than the F-150.
The severity are frequency of repairs are very much the same on both trucks with the Ram scoring marginally better on both fronts.
You may also be interested in our Ram 1500 maintenance cost guide.
How Long is the F-150’s Manufacturers Warranty?
When you drive your new F-150 off the dealership lot, you’ll be covered by Ford’s factory warranty of 36,000 miles / 3 years.
This length of protection is actually quite common among car manufacturers however it is on the shorter side of warranties
You can check your warranty status by submitting your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or by logging into your Ford account, If you cannot find the VIN number, the only real way to check your vehicle’s factory warranty is to call or visit your local dealership.
Whilst your truck is under warranty it is advised you get your truck serviced at a registered Ford dealership.