2018 Ford F-150 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, fuel system, engine, door latch and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

For years, the Ford F-150 has been America’s favorite truck, but it’s not immune to severe troubles. While the company claims that new models are “A Tough Performance to Follow,” we simply can’t agree. In fact, we hope that other automakers don’t follow the Ford example when building a truck. Otherwise, we will have roads filled with pickups that have faulty engines, terrible steering and defective structures.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Ford pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Ford F-150

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Vehicle Speed Control

Problems with the Engine

The engine is the heart and essential aspect to a properly running truck. When it doesn’t operate correctly, nothing goes well.

Just look at what this Edmunds user wrote. “I purchased this thing in 09/18. Right after the 5K oil change the 5.0 Coyote engine developed a “tick” sound as the dealership called it. i called a knock. They also said that the noise is typical of the 5.0. I’ve also had it in for transmission problems that they say are typical to the new 10 speed transmission. I’m not buying that either. After the 10K oil change I was going to take a short trip and decided to check the oil. It used 1 quart in 2K miles. I took it in and they said they would do an oil consumption test. Which is a pain if you drive a lot. They determined that my truck used 1.25 quarts within 900 miles. Ford has decided to replace the engine. i wonder how that’s going to affect it’s future value. They also said they will check the transmission issues after the new engine just in case that is the root cause. After all of that my dash is starting to bulge up on the passenger side, which Ford has a service bulletin out on. They are going to replace that at the time that this thing is in for the engine replacement. At this rate this thing will be a brand new truck again before I even put 15K miles on it. Can you say Heartbeat of America.”

While it’s common to find small problems with engines from time to time, no one expects to see three engine-related recalls on a pickup. That’s exactly what you get with the 2018 Ford F-150. The first one, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V278000, discusses a diesel engine’s block heater cable’s splice connector that’s damaged and leads to possible fires. On the same subject, NHTSA Campaign Number 18V894000 says that contaminants reach the block heater cable’s splice connector, which causes the damage. The final recall is labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 17V672000 and addresses how 3.5-liter engines might contain cylinder heads machined without lubrication supply holes. This problem increases the chance for a crash due to intermittent stalling. It seems that Ford offers a nice variety of engine options, but they can’t seem to get any of them right.

Problems with Electrical System

When someone thinks of the electrical system in a vehicle, most people assume it references the battery. While that’s a valid component, there’s much more that goes into the electrical system. A malfunction on any level is annoying and dangerous.

Just read this review left on the NHTSA website. “Tailgate randomly opens while driving and after driving when parked. Will also happen again repeatedly after closing. While tailgate is open after falling in open position you can hear relay clicking noises in passenger side dashboard area. Sounds like relays are constantly triggering to open tailgate. Initially though key fob was triggering problem, but isolated key fob and determined key fob is not the issue. Am concerned that items in back of bed area are going to fall out when truck is moving and cause accident or worse. Sometimes do not hear that the tailgate opened when driving. My vehicle has factory installed bed cover and cannot see if tailgate is down from inside of vehicle.”

While there aren’t any service bulletins discussing this particular concern, Ford has issued more than 40 other electrical communications. Many of these relate to issues with the infotainment system and other interior equipment. While the problems aren’t as dangerous as an open tailgate, they become a distraction while driving, which can quickly turn into an accident. Plus, you might not be able to listen to your favorite tunes while heading down the highway, which is an emergency to some people.

Problems with the Steering

When the truck’s engine decides it wants to perform and the tailgate chooses to stay shut, drivers want to experience responsive steering that keeps them on the road. Again, this is one area that Ford appeared to fail with.

One Edmunds reviewer wrote, “Buyer beware. My first truck.Traded my KFC to get a horse hauler. Big mistake. Buyer regret at 500 miles. Awful ride.Younger very bump. Steering wheel shimmys. Constant drift and need to correct leads to driver fatigue. Was pushed by dealer to accept this model and found there was no NAV. No front collision warning. I feel ashamed that I was “took” by this dealership. And now I’m stuck with it.  A beautiful uncomfortable lemon.”

Ford clearly didn’t take these concerns seriously. They issued Service Bulletin #SSM 47638 which discusses steering wheel vibration, steering pull and vehicle drift. Their solution is to inform customers how the lane departure system works. Now, owners are expected to believe that these unsafe conditions are part of the safety systems designed to prevent accidents. If that were true, these systems wouldn’t be as popular as they are, considering they might be the very reason someone gets into an accident.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

This automaker is known for vehicles that are “Built Ford Tough,” but the F-150 structure screams otherwise. There have been far too many complaints related to the body to report on, but here’s a noteworthy one.

This reviewer on Edmunds wrote, “The 2018 was 8th F150 that I have owned since 1988.  I have been a fan until this one.  At first it was great.  7000 miles later and its being bought back by Ford.  It has been in the shop 4 times because the doors were frozen closed all winter long.  It was in the shop 2 times because the reverse sensors would not work in the rain.  Now the transmission is making a clunking sound when it shifts.  Ford has agreed to buy it back but that process is a f#$%^& nightmare.  They have the worst customer service that I have ever experienced.  It gets worse.  The reacquired vehicles division is outsourced to a company called Concentrix and its employees make Ford’s terrible customer service seem great.”

In Service Bulletin 18N03-S6, Ford addresses how some trucks have defective doors that allow water inside which freezes latches in cold temperatures. The fix is listed as installing new sealing to the doors to prevent water intrusion. Aside from this complaint, there were several structural recalls on these trucks as well. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V568000 talks about how the front seat belt pretensioner can deploy in an accident and lead to a fire. There’s also NHTSA Campaign Number 17V598000 which documents how rivets might be missing at the roof rail attachment which reduces the structural integrity.

All in all, it doesn’t appear that the structure of the F-150 is strong in any way. It’s hard to believe that anyone would want to tow or haul heavy weights with a truck that’s so unreliable. The truck could rip apart with all the holes and crevices it contains.

Problems with the Fuel System 

Finally, we take a look at the fuel system on this truck. After all, it must have a decent delivery system for it to contain such great capability.

One NHTSA user stated, “No power when accelerating from a stopped position and in motion. High-pressure fuel pump cracked and bolt securing the pump was sheared.”

This complaint may relate to the recall for the fuel system. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V392000 addresses trucks with the 3.5-liter GTDI V6 engine that has defective welds on the high-pressure fuel pump assemblies. Because of the defect, the welds fracture which leads to a fuel or oil leak. Owners must have a new fuel pump installed with proper welds. What we’ve seen is that very little on this truck performs as it should. After all the data has been analyzed, it’s difficult to see what Ford thinks is the  “Tough Performance to Follow.”

What Should You Do If Your 2018 Ford F-150 is a Lemon?

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Ford pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Jim

    I purchased a used 2018 f150, with the 5.0 engine. This truck had 40000 miles and ran fine, didn’t have any problems. Here lately the motor has started knocking, you can hear it at an idle. I might be making something out of nothing, but when I read articles about this truck I don’t get a warm and fuzzy. Since I purchased this truck used Im sure that ford will not talk to me,

  • Nick G

    I had a 2018 F150 with a GPS that would tell me to turn into a pond, farmers fields & woods. Ford worked on it a dozen times. Finally, the dealer gave me a partial refund on the GPS cost. I traded it for a 2020 F150. This GPS is just as bad. Nothing can be done with it. I wonder if they told the buyer of the 2018 about it.

  • Loel P

    My 2018 F150 has has the cold start rattle, Ford attempted to fix the issue and it came back. I was told Ford will come out with a fix. It have been over 6 months and no fix.
    My dashboard instrument will go wacko on a cold day and while driving it will activate the up hill and traction happened to me and my wife while driving the kids to school. Safety issue.
    My steering wheel is not centered and while driving the truck will steer to the left. I have video of the cold start engine rattle along with the dash board flickering. I just keep getting the run around.

  • Gary C

    My 2018 f 150 knocks at an idle when decelerating and accelerating dash is warped on passenger side and the radio works when it wants to . The dealer reprogrammed the computer and says it’s all fixed and says the knocking noise it makes is normal and fords says they can’t do anything else . There fix didn’t fix anything and now the dealer won’t return my phone calls.

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).