4 Ford F250 Years You Should Avoid At All Costs!

The Ford F250 has been an icon of the truck world for decades, but some model years are better than others. Here are the F250 years to avoid.  

Ford F250 Years You Should Avoid 1 4 Ford F250 Years You Should Avoid At All Costs!

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What are the worst years for the Ford F250 that I should avoid buying?

The worst year of F250 trucks is 2006, which should be avoided at all costs. Mechanical issues and reported breakdowns have created significant problems for many owners. Other years that are also not very well made are 2002, 2008, and 2011.   

As someone with extensive experience in all things cars and trucks, I often get asked my opinion of what kinds of vehicles are best to purchase. While there are a lot of great trucks on the road (the F250 is historically one of the best), there are also some real stinkers that are more trouble than they are worth. 

Due to mechanical issues, or the potential for breakdowns, these F250s can easily create headaches for owners. The last thing I want is to recommend a friend pay nearly $50,000 for a truck that spends its days in the shop more than it spends on the road. 

The Ford F250 Worst Years

Don’t get me wrong. I like the Ford F250 because it has stood the test of time and is a workhorse for the most part. 

Since its inception in 1998, the F250 has been the beast of the bunch, but let’s face it, some years are better than others. Here’s my list of F250s that need to be avoided and why they created more issues for owners than they should have. 

2002 F 250

The 2002 F-250 has one of the lowest reliability ratings according to repairpal.com, scoring a 2 out of 5 and close to the bottom of the basement of all 2002 trucks reviewed (17 were studied). 

The biggest problem with the truck is that the spark plugs tended to vibrate and blow out, causing severe engine damage. The threads of the plugs and cylinder heads were made of aluminum, which tended to wear down and create failure. 

Several reports mentioned that their gasoline engines caught fire due to fuel vapor igniting from the still-firing spark plug. (I can’t imagine what a surprise it must have been driving down the highway.) 

As anyone knows, replacing an engine can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for a truck that is no longer under warranty. Since their F250s were often used for work, many owners lost time and money in their livelihoods because they could not depend on their trucks. 

Other mechanical issues that have been tied to this truck are

  • Broken / Stripped spark plugs
  • Fuel injector leaking 
  • Head gaskets leaking like a sieve
  • Failed EGR Valve causing smoke out of the tailpipe.
  • Transmission Issues can create issues
Ford F250 Years You Should Avoid 1 1 4 Ford F250 Years You Should Avoid At All Costs!

2006 F 250 – (The Worst of the Worst)

Almost every Ford truck owner will point to 2006 as the one model year to run away from. What was the issue? You name it. 

This truck had it. While the V8 continued to blow head gaskets and spark plugs, the 6.0 Powerstroke Deisel engine wasn’t much of an improvement. The primary trouble was with the oil cooler, which sometimes tended to clog from dirt and debris. 

The clogged oil cooler created a cascading event, leading to EGR failure, which started leaking coolant, so the truck’s engine overheated and locked up. 

Other mechanical issues that have been tied to this truck are 

  • Broken back glass slide
  • Fuel Injector Failure
  • Smoke from Tailpipe due to EGR failure
  • EGR Valve sticks open, causing poor engine performance
  • The blower motor on AC works only on high

2008 F 250

Consumer Reports shared the criticism of most consumers when it rated 2008 one out of five stars. 

There are suspension issues, engine issues, and nine recalls by the manufacturer sealed its fate. A couple of primary issues seemed to plague this model year.

One of the primary issues with the truck was that the radiator on the 6.4 Deisel Powerstroke was crap. They tend to fail at any time, and if a car loses its ability to cool, it can overheat and fail. 

The trouble is that the warranty ended at 36k miles, and many owners had to pay for multiple radiators digging deep into their wallets. 

A secondary issue centered around using diesel fuel to aid in scrubbing exhaust powering the DPF. Anytime you use fuel for a purpose other than propulsion, it is bound to affect fuel economy negatively, and that is exactly what happened in the 6.4L Powerstroke. 

Other mechanical issues that have been tied to this truck are 

  • Clogged Deisel Particularite Filter
  • Sensor failure 
  • Exposed Wiring on High-Pressure Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Injector failure sends metal shavings into injectors.
  • Transmission Failure Causes problems

2011 F 250

There have been numerous complaints about this model year, but the biggest centers around a vibration in the front of the truck that causes a sudden loss of horsepower. The vibration was so prevalent that owners began to label it as the “death wobble.”

Many owners reported reducing speed or reaching a complete standstill to keep the truck from rattling their teeth out. The problem was that nobody knew how to repair it. RAM had the same issue and eventually determined the issue to be a failure of steering components, which could lead to a lack of control. 

To make matters worse, Ford never issued a recall for the fix, although a class-action suit is pending. 

Another issue revolved around the failure of the High-Pressure Oil Pump. If the oil pump fails, the engine stops in its tracks and will not restart. The HPOP is responsible for lubricating the injectors; without it, the injectors stop spraying fuel into the engine – hence the sudden stop. 

Other mechanical issues that have plagued this model year truck are 

  • Coolant Leakage
  • High-Pressure Oil Pump Failure
  • EGR failure – smoke from the tailpipe. 
  • Suspension Issues

Key Takeaways

  • Avoid F 250 model years – 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011.
  • Most Problems result in mechanical engine issues.
  • The severity of reported problems is more significant than other truck issues.