The F-350 makes up part of Ford’s Super Duty lineup.
Offering impressive features, massive tow and torque figures and a comfortable cabin, it’s ready to be put to work.
Although the F-350 is “Built Tough”, its had its share of problems over the years, we’ll cover these in this article…
Table of Contents
1. Death Wobble
The most commonly reported problem with the Ford F-350 is often referred to as the ‘Death Wobble’. Although this problem dates back to 2005 it seemed to peak for the 2017 and 2019 model years.
The Death Wobble is when the vehicle shakes violently and becomes extremely difficult to control leaving owners fearing for their life.
The problem is usually at its worst when travelling at speed or over bumpy roads.
Here is what owners have experienced:
- Hit a bump in the road and the steering wheel started shaking uncontrollably
- Front end vibrating at speeds over 40mph
- The steering wheel shaft is rattling and shaking
Here’s one F-350 owners account:
“While on highway, experienced an uncontrolled suspension vibration commonly know as the death wobble. It required me to slow down to 25mph on the highway to stop the uncontrollable vibration. This led to a chaotic situation with cars and trucks around me at the time.”
If you encounter the Death Wobble, the first thing you should do is slow right down or even completely stop the vehicle.
Online you will find a wide range of solutions for this issue ranging from having the steering aligned to changing the dual steering damper to tightening up the track bar joints at the axle.
However Ford has not offered a solution and this is most likely because there is no one-size-fits-all fix.
A class action lawsuit has been filed in 2019 and currently, there have been no recalls for this issue.
Here’s one owners success story:
“I’ve had a 17 F350 and now a 2020. The 17 felt a little loose in the steering from day 1 and would have a little steering wheel shake with the more aggressive bumps. I replaced the stock steering stabilizer with a Fox version which cured all the issues. The 20 on the other hand has tight steering, no drift and no shake. A real pleasure to drive. I’m not sure what Ford did to make it better but it certainly worked.”
2. Sunroof Leaking
A commonly reported F-350 problem and Ford trucks in general is that the sunroof leaks, this issue has been reported on models as old as 2006 although it seems most prevalent on newer models with the panoramic roof.
The panoramic roofs are known for leaking – although lots of owners have reported no issues so its a bit of a gamble, here’s one owner’s account:
“My business partner and I purchased 2 new 2017 Super Dutys with the lariat ultimate packages. My trucks moonroof leaks in the front and water drips through the overhead console. His leaks in the rear and drips water on the back seat. These leaks happen when in rains not in the car wash. My truck is currently in the shop at the dealer and they are trying to fix the issue, at this point they have had my truck for a week. Fingers crossed but i do not have a good feeling about this.”
In many instances a leaking sunroof on a Ford F-350 can be caused by clogged drains. You will need to locate where the drain comes out by opening the front doors and looking in between the fender and leading edge of the doors – you should see the drain outlet. From that point you can blow air backwards to unclog it.
Drain outlet location will vary depending on model year.
However, clogged drains aren’t always the cause and many drivers have been unable to find a solution, and you’ll find similar problems with the F-150 too.
A number of Ford truck enthusiasts will adivse you to steer clear of carwashes if you have a moonroof.
3. PCV Oil Separator Issues
A common F-350 problem is that inside the PCV there is a small spring desisgned to make the valve open and close – this spring is known to break easily.
This is a common issues with 4th Gen F-350 models, thats 2017 – 2020.
The positive crankcase ventilation, or PCV, system is essentially an emission-control devices.
The sympoms of this problem is an oil leak, usually about the uper oil pan gasket.
This is caused by excess pressure build up insinde of the crankcase.
The most common fix is to buy and install an unpgraded kit which is sold for the PCV oil separator.
To diagnose: Open the oil cap whilst the engine is running and you should hear the sound of pressure being let out. Don’t do this without safety glasses.
4. Drive Shaft Fracture
Driveshaft fractures are a common problem for 2017 – 2022 Ford F-350s. This was due to underbody heat and noise insulators that may loosen and contact the aluminum driveshaft, causing it to fracture.
This affected models equipped with gasoline engines and aluminum driveshafts.
A drive shaft is a rod-like part that transmits torque from your vehicle’s engine to the wheels, it runs the length of the vehicle.
This problem is fairly serious as it can cause a loss of control should the driveshaft touch the ground.
Ford recalled nearly a quarter of a million heavy-duty pickup trucks in the United States due to issues with the drive shaft. The fix was to repair the drive shaft as required and properly attach the underbody insulators.
The recall affected certain F-250 and F-350 models, from model years 2017 to 2022.
To see if you’ve been affected you should contact your dealer or run a VIN check on the NHTSA website.
A number of F-350 owners have reported a knocking noise coming from their engine, this problem has mostly been reported on the 2016 models although it has been reported on more recent models too.
5. Engine Ejects Spark Plugs
Spark plugs ejecting from the engine head is a common phenomenon on the Ford F-350.
This is a known issue with the V8 engine and mostly affected models from 1999 – 2008.
The symptoms include:
- Tapping and knocking noise
- Engine misfires
- Check Engine Light ON
One owner had this to say:
“Spark plug blew out of my Ford F-350. Caused extensive damage and a small fire.”
It is thought that this is caused by the threads on the cylinder head being too short and soft.
Pressure from combustion overwhelms the spark plugs and ejects them destroying the threads and damaging the cylinder head.
In most instances, the spark plug port threads will need fixing and possibly the replacement of the cylinder head and cylinder head gasket.
Fortunately, Ford has updated the design of its models to prevent this from happening.
6. Turbo Hose Blow Off
This problem is very easy to diagnose as its very loud and very sudden and will likley make you jump when it happens – this is a very common problem for nearly all years of the F-350.
Essentially this occurs when the turbo kicks in, and the build up of pressure is followed by a loud POP and a sudden loss of power.
The plastic housing located between the intake and turbo hose is known to get brittle, dry and crack.
Once that happens the pressure from the turbo getting sent into the intake causes the hose to blow off.
This causes the loss of pressure in the turbo system – and you are then pulling unfiltered air.
Simple enough fix – simply replace the plastic housing thats become damaged, you can find an aftermarket one that will likely not suffer from the same issues.
We don’t recommend trying to fix the cracks as along term solution.
7. Air Bag Failure
A known fault with the 2016 Ford F-350 was that dust could interfere with the electrical connections to the airbag and cause it to not deploy.
The most common symptoms of this problem are:
- A popping or clicking sound coming from inside the steering wheel
- Loss of illumination and use of the switches on the steering wheel
- Horn not working
- Airbag warning light ON
Ford recalled over 310,000 Super Duty trucks in total including the Ford F-350.
To see if you have been affected by the recall, run a VIN check on your vehicle on the NHTSA website.
8. Cab Squeaks
Although not the most serious problem it is undoubtedly one of the most irritating – numerous F-350 owners have complained of cab squeaking noises and considering the price of a new F-350 it is inexcusable.
Here’s what owners had to say:
“At 2,800 miles I’m starting to develop some cab squeeks and rattles that are becoming pretty annoying”
“Me TOO. MY 2017 CC has too many rattles, seat squeaks/grinds”
Aside from cab squeaks another common squeaking issue is due to the front leaf springs – owners describe their truck sounding like an old ship when they hit a speed bump which compresses the front springs.
The cab squeaks are something of a mystery on the newer models, if its really driving you crazy we’d suggest having a chat with your dealer about it.
9. Front Brake Rotors Warped
A very common issue with the F-350 is front brake rotors that warp under very little mileage.
The symptoms associated with this are:
- Steering wobble
- Brake noise
- Brake pedal vibration
- Steering wheel vibration
- Shake upon braking
Here’s an owners account:
“Front brake rotors warped in what seems like very little mileage. Result: steering wobble and hopping about under braking. On the first truck, I turned the rotors and they were warped again within 30K miles.”
If the rotors are warped they will need to be replaced, it might be worth investing in some upgraded parts though and avoiding the OEM parts.
Ford F-350 Model Years With the Most Problems
The most problematic years are:
- 1999 – 1,057 problems
- 2000 – 799 problems
- 2017 – 681 problems
And the least problematic years are:
- 2022 – 13 problems
- 2021 – 28 problems
- 1998 – 31 problems
Source: Car Problem Zoo
Ford F-350 Pros and Cons
If you’re considering a Ford F-350 as your next car you might be wondering what its strengths and weaknesses are…
- Massive torque and tow ratings
- Very comfortable
- Quiet cabin
- State-of-the-art tech both inside and out
- Excellent off-road “Tremor” package
- Not the best driving manners at highway speeds
- Some cabin pieces are a bit cheap
- Top trims are eyewateringly expensive
- Lifted models are more difficult to get in and out of
- Cabin not as nice as Rams
Ford F-350 Reliability Compared to Similar Cars
Consumer Reports rankings detailed below is based on the model’s last three years, the Ford F-350 sits somewhere in the middle, with a poor score of 33/100.
|Make & Model
|Consumer ReportsReliability Score
|Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
|GMC Sierra 2500HD
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500
|GMC Sierra 1500
|Ram 1500 Classic
Source: Consumer Reports
Ford F-350 Used Value
We’ve taken a look on Car Gurus to gauge the resale value of a Ford F-350, below are typical asking prices for each model year.
According to Car Edge, a Ford F-350 will depreciate 19% after 5 years and have a 5 year resale value of $67,449.
Note: Used model prices will vary depending on trim level.
Source: Car Gurus
What Do Owners Like and Dislike About the Ford F-350?
Based on owner feedback from the Kelley Blue Book site here are what real-life owners love and hate about the Ford F-350.
- Tows and hauls Great
- Lots of power
- Very reliable
- Great all around
- Stiff seats
- Price too high
- Parts availability
- Interior design
“If you want the best of the best when it comes to your truck, this is it. Opt for the Platinum model, even if just using it for towing, the extra features take it from a great truck to an amazing truck. The power folding steps and massaging seats are great.”
Source: Kelley Blue Book
“It’s a beast. Tows like crazy. Very reliable. Very roomy. Hauls camper with no trouble. Decent fuel mileage for a full size truck.”
Source: Kelley Blue Book
“Over all I love this truck, it’s comfortable and is amazing for towing…”
How Reliable Are Ford Cars?
According to a recent report from Consumer Reports, Ford are ranked the 18th most reliable car manufacturer out of 28 brands, with a score of 44/100.
Source: Consumer Reports