Ford Motor F-350

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FORD F350 Super Duty, Beautiful but Deadly, a Service Nightmare.
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Rating: 1/51
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- In '06 I came late to the game, bought a low-mileage (17k) '04 6.0L super duty F350 dually long-bed, full double cab & great ground-effects and interior upgrade CENTURION package. Beautiful truck.

My biggest mistake was to have the FORD dealer in Riverside CA install a KELDERMAN airbag system on all 4 corners seeking a softer ride when empty. The KELDERMAN system is excellent, but the installation and service was a nightmare, failed in 3 months. $4K for system, $2K to install, $750 for a 3-month in repair, which turned out to be a failed relay at the compressor (they installed it upside down & water fouled the relay connector.)

Soon, both front tires of low mileage had catastrophic failures 3 months apart, major down-time for body damage & repairs to wiring & sensors, twice. $500 deductible twice, 4 months with no truck. Ride quality remained very rough throughout, which, in frustration, I cured myself with 4 adjustable RANCHO shocks. I removed all tires of that brand & invested in 7 brand new MICHELIN top of the line 80k mile warranty tires - $1500. This improved things, but only long enough to get me out in the middle of a long highway in Nevada with a fully loaded 18' box trailer. That's when I discovered that the dealer tech had routed the wiring and the air lines to the front end directly above the turbocharger.

While tie-wrapping to the under-side of the factory wiring device that routes the OEM wiring around the turbo, he caused the mounting to become loose so that the entire wiring loom sagged and rested directly on the turbocharger unit. I became aware of the situation when the air lines included with the wiring melted through and blew out, leaving my front airbags flat. It took quite a while, but I was able to re-route some lines to get all bags on one system and get off the desert. I returned it again to the dealer & after 4 days I got the call that it was ready. I looked under the hood and discovered that the tech had simply taped the melted wiring, again tie-wrapped it under the OEM wiring harness, and the whole thing was still resting directly on the turbocharger! The manager I had been working with refused to get up and go even look at the issue until I sat in his office and informed him I would not leave until he did. I then got 1 bolt in the OEM harness support, raising it up off the turbo, and the same taped melted wire, but at least they put it over the top of the support at my insistence.

I have moved too far from Riverside CA to take it back to the dealer again, but at 85k vehicle miles I have replaced both front tires 3 times, worn to the steel mesh on the inner edge, almost new on the outer edge. When I had it in for alignment the last time, they came out and got me & demonstrated how badly gone all 4 front ball joints are - impossible to properly align. They also pointed out that when the dealer installed the airbag system, he had seen-alled off all but 1 leaf of the front springs, and had severely cut into the one remaining leaf with the saw-all, both in front of and behind the U-bolts. The one remaining damaged spring leaf is now in an upside-down smile (frown) shape, on both sides of the front end. This caused the axle to impact the cross-member frame support under the engine, which they cured by cutting-torch - removed most of the center of the cross-member support. Now the front axle doesn't hit the support, but it comes very close to the oil pan. I also discovered that the rear leaf springs had been cut so the leaf could not contact the over-load stop, rather than raising the position of the stop.

After all the money invested in this truck's suspension, I have now been advised by 2 different FORD specialists not to drive this vehicle because it is extremely dangerous to myself and others on the roadway.

I have also had to become a pseudo diesel mechanic by default due to the extreme expense of keeping this thing running. When it first failed to start while a long way from home, it cost me a new FICM + installation and 4 extra days off work. I then began reading the horror stories on-line while researching cures for the multiple issues that began to deteriorate both the ability to reliably start the engine, even in warm weather, and the lack of power until FULLY warmed up.

To date, in addition to the frustration and expense of the suspension nightmare, I have replaced the ICP sensor, conveniently made of plastic and placed directly under the TURBO on the rear of the engine ($650), the FICM, all 8 glow plugs, and invested $350 in a computer based diagnostic tool in an attempt to keep up with the maintenance requirements of this truck. Many expensive oil changes, a variety of costly fuel and oil additives constantly, fuel from the high-end stations or truck stops and hundreds of hours scouring the internet, watching the videos, getting professional diagnostics and lots of friendly advice from the best pros I can find, and the best prospect of ever even hoping to have a reasonably reliable vehicle comes down to some form of the “bullet-proofing” process, which will run me from $2500 if I do all the work, up to 5 or 6 times that to have it done under warranty by professionals. That does not include the suspension replacement I am now faced with.

What was FORD thinking?? Maybe they were just tired of having return customers and needed a lot of negative word of mouth help in that effort.

At this time, it takes me a minimum of ½ hour to leave the parking lot after work on a warm summer day, double that in colder (anything below 70) weather. The routine involves hundreds of key on, key off, key on/key off's to force the glow plugs to warm up the engine cylinders enough to fire the fuel. Then when it does fire it won't idle on its own without holding the pedal to the floor until it quits popping, sputtering & belching clouds of black smoke while mis-firing violently for up to 5 minutes before it dies. After an average of 3 of these sessions, it has warmed up just enough that it will idle at WOT anywhere from 400 – 2200 rpm until it gets warm enough for the PCM to try to reinstate a few more of the injectors, and the turbo to decide it will function to add some Oxygen to the mix.

I guess my question is, does FORD really give a **** about any of our lives, and will it be closer to $20k or more like $30k to get this thing road-worthy?
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FoDaddy19 on 04/17/2014:
The 6.0L Powerstroke had several design flaws. You really do have to get it bulletproofed (new head bolts, EGR delete, etc.) The older 7.3L models were miles ahead in terms of reliability. The 6.4L models were significantly better than the 6.0L, but they were saddled with emissions gear that reduced their fuel economy (only 2-3 MPG better than the gas models), the newer 6.7L models are solid.

Your complaints about the engine are warranted, but the complaints about the aftermarket air suspension are not Ford's fault, it's an aftermarket modification.
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Ford doesn't stand behind product
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APPLETON, WISCONSIN -- My ford diesel quit running with 70,000 miles. It said cleaning exhaust filter and then stop safely now and died. Took to L & S Truck Center in Appleton, WI where they changed exhaust sensor. Vehicle ran after but L & S stated another code showed that exhaust temp was at 1700 degrees, but still ran. Ford reps told them to take motor apart. After two and a half weeks Ford stated that they wouldn't warranty. Even though L & S is heard on my voice mail stating that its warranty issue. Because we run a premium oil Ford won't warranty the motor. I never gave authorization to tear down motor nor do they have anything in writing. They want $24,500 to repair my truck. It has been three weeks today and my truck is still in pieces. Ford won't speak with me about issue.
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dan gordon on 10/21/2010:
what yr is this 70000 mile Ford. How long was the warranty. Most vehicles with over 70k are well beyond a warranty.
BmCarson on 01/28/2011:
most 6.4 diesel engines only need the 3rd exhaust sensor replaced on the DPF then they should run fine. It doesn't make sense they would say to tear it apart. Hotline engineers and platform engineers go from least intrusive to most intrusive diag approaches. If your is under 100,000mi it should've been warranty. I suspect a miss communication between the SM and the tech is to blame or they found out you had a chip in it...
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Truck wanted to drive itself
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My husband was 150 miles away from his truck with the keys in his pocket when he received a call that his truck was trying to crank itself. Because of this weird incident it burned the starter up, so there goes 200+dollars to get just the part. When my husband got back into town, he opened the truck door and the radio was blaring and no key in the ingnition, so what the heck???? We called Ford and they act like they have no idea what could have happened or offer no assistance in telling us what we need to do. I am so fed up with Ford!
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madconsumer on 04/12/2010:
what year is the truck?
Hugh_Jorgen on 04/12/2010:
You expected them to diagnose this over the phone? What did the Ford dealer say the problem was when you took it to them?
PepperElf on 04/12/2010:
it's not always easy to troubleshoot over the phone
unless you're specifically working in a call center where they have scripts for you etc
YunkaG on 04/12/2010:
First Toyotas controlling themselves - now Ford trucks. This is getting eerie.
Skye on 04/12/2010:
I was just wondering, who was 150 miles away, that called your husband, telling him truck was trying to start itself.

This sounds like a Stephen King story. Crazy and very scary.
GenuineNerd on 04/12/2010:
Did this truck have a remote starter installed? Perhaps someone else's remote starter (or door lock) button activated the starter on that is possible for two or more vehicles to have the same remote code, out of millions of vehicles.
Starlord on 04/13/2010:
Skye, you are very close. Stephen King wrote a story that was made into two movies about the same time. One, a great movie, was 'Maximum Overdrive." Pat Hingle was great as Bubba, the owner of the Dixie Boy Truck Stop. The other movie, 'Trucks,' was not released, but it escaped. I have seen better acting in high school plays. Trucks was a poor imitation, and an insult to Mr. King.
MRM on 04/13/2010:
I, too, had liked the movie, Maximum Overdrive.
sickofjunk on 04/14/2010:
The truck is a 1999 F350 Super Duty. My husband was 150 miles away and the guy at our car lot was the one that called and told him what was going on, and he had no keys to get into the vehicle. As for us explaining it over the phone, we had no other choice the vehicles starter was burnt up and would not crank, we had heard of other Fords doing this and called to see if there was some sort of a recall or something; however everyone wanted to act as if we were making this up.
JL Saturn on 06/23/2013:
My F-250 SuperDuty Diesel has just done the same thing, although I wasn't 150 miles away. I was in my house and when I walked out and found it doing this. I put my key in and turned it on, not trying to crank it, but it started anyway. I turned it off and it started trying to crank itself again. I had disconnect both batteries to keep it from burning up the starter. So, I don't know where to turn now.
Jake B. on 06/24/2013:
I have a 2000 F-350 7.3 that did this. We have it in the shop currently but what they say is that there was water in/on the computer and fuses. I would check for a leak or ways water could get to it
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Paint bubbling
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WHITE MARSH, MARYLAND -- I have a Ford F350 which is now 2 years old with 20,000 miles and I have taken great care of it. Recently when washing it I noticed that the two passenger doors are rusting from under the paint. When I took it back to AL Packer for the warranty to make repairs on it they said that it is not covered. I do not understand if Ford has bad workmanship on there vehicles that it would not be covered. The dealership said I have a paint and rust warranty however;it would need to rust all the way through. This does not make any sense to me knowing that I have paid 40,00 dollars for a truck which is rusting away! The dealership thinks that's OK. I beg to differ.
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Skye on 04/09/2010:
When I lived on Long Island, I saw that all the time on cars, whether they were new or old. All that heat, humidity and salt water, was a killer for vehicle paint jobs.

Still, nobody wants a 2 year old vehicle, looking like that.
i_am_canadian on 04/09/2010:
But he's in Maryland though and apparently nowhere the ocean. Vehicles in Canada get brutally punished from our climate too, but I rarely see something like that happen on a relatively new vehicle. 40,000 dollars for a truck, I think your'e entitled to a fresh paint job at their expense.
Skye on 04/09/2010:
There are beaches in Maryland. We used to visit cousins in Maryland. Maryland gets its share of heat, humidity and salt water.
crumly paint problems on 04/13/2010:
I am the owner of the truck and we are nowhere near the ocean hear in whiteMarsh Md.
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Bad diesel engine
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KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA -- Beware of the Ford 6.0 diesel engines and stay away from fords in general. I have had several problems with ford over the last 30 years but one expects some problems with American cars right?

I started having engine problems after 47000 miles in June of 08. the dealer kept the truck for over 11 weeks. During which they called and said it was ready only to find out when I got there it was not. The second time the engine started acting up was February of this year(09).

I was in Dallas Tx. working and took it to the dealer there. They replaced an enjector per the report. although I was there during the work and the service manager did not mention the injector.

The 3rd time was June 10th 09. The dealer in Kissimmee fl. Mullinax ford said they replaced the same #6 injector as well as the # 8 injector and an egt valve.
That afternoon when I picked it up it ran poorly.

The tech. said to bring it back and when I did they found that the # 6 cylinder and some kind of bolt in it and they denied the claim with 60000 miles on the truck.

This is the reason the American auto industry is soon to be no more.


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To Many Times Broke Down
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FORD COMPANY -- Since I bought this truck, I only drove it 1500 miles when it start leaking oil, then when I reached 3000 miles check engine light went off, and a lot of noise start coming out the trans. And the dealer didn't find anything wrong with it (that's what they said ). They said it was part of the noise that diesel vehicle make. Then it reached 4000 miles check engine light went off and the same noise start coming-out of the transmission or the shaft.

But every time I take this vehicle to the dealer, they hold it from 2 to 4 days and lose days of work because my job depends on my truck and I lose money.
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MarshPeep on 04/11/2008:
Try another dealer.
MRM on 04/11/2008:
Purchase a Jeep Commander on your next vehicle. But hey, different strokes, for different folks. (Old Fart, stop imitating my favorite quote)!
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annoying alarms, all day long
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HOOD COUNTY, TEXAS -- Clay Ford should have to listen to alarms in his office, all day long, every day. The annoying "key in the ignition" alarm and the "put on your seatbelt alarm". They should go off at regular intervals, interrupt his cell phone calls, business calls, and annoy his peers as well. Only then will he realize how annoying it really is to actually use a truck on a farm, totally away from civilization, behind lock gates in pastures and fields.

I have listened to it for a year and a half now. The dealers claim there is absolutely nothing that can be done about these things since "its in the chip." Hence, FIRE the idiot designer who did this, then let me tar and feather him. People who actually use their trucks to do work should design them. Not some designer who lives on pavement and never sees a pasture.

Never. NEVER again, will I drive off of a car lot with a vehicle that has audible alarms again, unless they are disabled. The dealer won't even tell me how to get to the speaker to cut the wires. There is no longer a door switch to tape shut. The sensors are somehow located internally inside the door at the latch.

Mr. Ford should also try to complain. Call his own company and listen to a whole laundry list of recordings and punch buttons only to find out that the office is closed anyway. TAke off of work and call the next day during "normal business hours" ohly to find out that the call is useless anyway.

His deigners obviuosly live in cities, on paved streets, and have never spent hours in pastures. Fire them all.
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Slimjim on 12/16/2005:
Have a Lincoln and know what you mean by the intermittent seat belt alarm. Since seat belt laws are in practically, if not all states, it’s a tough debate. I wear my belt, but if I didn’t want to, I’d try clipping it first, then literally just sitting on the lap belt with the shoulder restraint behind my back. Never actually tried it, so can’t say whether you would feel it under you or not.
Anonymous on 12/16/2005:
You can solve this problem. Go back in time. Get an old tractor or a mule. You are not ready for modern machinery on a farm.
hoodCOUNTY on 12/29/2005:
LOL. I've got several old, and new, tractors a caterpillar, back hoe and other toys. They don't annoy me and I can actually take business calls in them. You probably wear jeans like my wife wears and live on a 1/4 acre spread.
EMTguy on 01/22/2007:
Go in the Owner's Manual and read the section on disabling the Seat Belt Minder. Ford makes it tough to find and do, but you have to turn the key to on, wait for the belt light to go out, turn the head lights on an off, buckle and unbuckle the belt four or five time and turn the lights on and off again in 60 seconds. Takes some dextrity, but it can be done! I did it.
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Shame On Me
Posted by on
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I paid 36,000 for a pick up that runs most of the time. The dealer can't find the problem, my diesel mechanic doesn't even want to look at it anymore. Some times it runs fine and when you least expect it your stuck on the side of the road.

The dealer just says its bad fuel, but the same fuel goes in my other diesels.

When will Detroit learn that they can't keep turning out poor quality.

When will we learn that we can't by from Detroit.

Hate to say it but this is my last American Truck.
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