Will the F-150 Lightning Be Reliable? (What We Know So Far)

While it has only been on the market for a short period, it is only natural to wonder about the Ford F-150 Lightning’s reliability among new owners. 

Truck reliability is a hot subject, especially since most are utilized for demanding duties and have a greater lifespan than other vehicles. 

Given the high price tag of electric cars, it’s important to investigate the Ford F-150 Lightning’s reliability to determine its level of dependability with the initial models.

Here’s Why The F-150 Lightning Can Be Considered Reliable:

The Ford F-150 Lightning continues to gain popularity for its dependability, as suggested by early data. It is crucial to note that some users have experienced issues such as winter range decreases and rare software anomalies. Despite these reservations, the F-150 remains a trustworthy vehicle. 

Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Concerns

Let’s start with one of the most pressing issues every EV enthusiast is concerned about – the battery. 

The battery and its price of replacement are critical in electric cars such as the Ford F-150 Lightning since practically everything else is dependent on the battery’s health. 


Depending on the dealer, the Ford F-150 Lightning battery change currently costs over $30,000 for either the basic or extra-long range battery.

While being a hefty price, is this a serious problem? No, not always. 

To put this in context, Ford sold 15,617 Lightning trucks after the previous year. With a few notable exceptions, there have been only a handful of battery replacements found on various online sources. 

Furthermore, reputable websites such as CarComplaints.com indicate no complaints about this vehicle concerning its battery.

Also, given that all Ford F-150 Lightning trucks come with a legally mandated 8-year, 100,000-mile guarantee that explicitly covers the battery, your concern regarding the Ford F-150 Lightning battery is most likely purely subjective.

Payload Management & Overloading

While the Ford F-150 Lightning is a competent and versatile vehicle, exceeding its payload capacity can have negative effects on both performance and safety. 

The vehicle has onboard payload scales that depend on suspension sensors to help users manage their cargo weight appropriately.

However, as users got familiar with these scales, some limits have emerged. 

One significant limitation is that the scales display weight in 200-pound increments, making exact measurements problematic. 

If you’ve ever had to transport a large load, you know how aggravating this constraint can be when dealing with goods that require precise weight distribution.

Furthermore, the system is set to disable the scale mode if the vehicle is overloaded. 

This safeguard is meant to keep users from exceeding the payload capacity of the vehicle since doing so might jeopardize safety and performance. 

However, it could prove annoying for customers who are unable to utilize this tool when attempting to identify the exact excess weight.

It’s worth noting that automakers often advertise cargo capacity with a safety margin built in. This implies that surpassing the stated capacity by a tiny percentage may not result in immediate safety concerns. 

Although it might be inconvenient, it is always best to follow the manufacturer’s standards and exercise caution when adding cargo near the maximum payload limit, especially because you risk jeopardizing your vehicle’s performance.

In practice, understanding the cargo capacity and working within its limits is critical for maintaining your Ford F-150 Lightning’s safety, performance, and lifetime. 

Having said that, Ford has acknowledged these limits and aims to improve the system through software upgrades in the future, offering customers an improved experience.

Other F-150 Lightning Reliability Concerns

Aside from the battery, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded eight recalls for the F-150 Lightning, covering concerns like loose wheel nuts and a malfunctioning windscreen wiper motor. 

Interestingly, the NHTSA reports 91 complaints about Ford F-150 Lightning dependability, but these include both petrol and diesel F-150 trucks. 

Some concerns also mention engine issues, which, obviously, the Lightning does not have.

Consumer Reports has also voiced concerns regarding the dependability of the F-150 Lightning, particularly in comparison to similar vehicles. It is important to emphasize, however, that this does not always reflect a lack of dependability, but rather a detailed judgment.

On another note, while not a direct reliability concern, there has been a considerable uproar surrounding the Ford F-150 Lightning’s drastic loss of range in winter conditions. 

Some owners have reported a significant reduction in range, with predictions dropped by 50% or worse. However, this issue is not limited to electric vehicles; petrol and diesel vehicles suffer from decreased range in cold weather as well.

While many owners of electric vehicles rely on the advertised range and may be startled by such a reduction, it is critical to remember that the “estimated” range might differ greatly from the “actual” range. 

To help owners mitigate this concern, Ford even published a press release with cold-weather performance advice.

Read Also: 5 Reasons the Ford F-150 Lightning is so Expensive

F-150 Lightning Challenges Faced By Ford

The new electric F-150 Lightning signals a turning point in the automobile industry, and not only for Ford. 

For more than four decades, the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America. That said, the debut of an electric version of this popular truck has become a significant step toward transforming the automotive industry.

A shift into an electric vehicle producer has been nothing short of transformative and the company has begun this reorganization journey under the leadership of CEO Jim Farley. 

Ford’s commitment to electric cars has been obvious since the company’s restructuring, as they spend substantially in the EV sector while making deliberate sacrifices in the petrol division. 

Nonetheless, Ford confronts a number of challenges on its electrified path.

It will be an uphill battle to expand the charging network for the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E to compete with Tesla’s Supercharger network. 

This is extremely important considering it is vital to the success of the F-150 Lightning because it ensures that charging infrastructure is accessible, dependable, and convenient.

The most difficult issue, though, may be persuading traditional American truck consumers that an electric F-150 is a viable replacement for the famous gas-powered vehicle they’ve known and loved for years. 

Overcoming skepticism and gaining purchasers’ hearts is a mission that Ford must do with expertise and creativity.

Improvements & Updates Incoming

Recognizing the necessity for improvement, Ford has come up with a plan to overcome certain limitations exposed by customers of the F150 Lightning. 

Firstly, Ford intends to improve the payload limitations by addressing the 200-pound interval restriction. This modification will offer users more specific payload information, enabling load control to be more effective.

In addition, Ford intends to eliminate the annoyance caused by the truck’s locked scale mode when it is overloaded. This next Over-The-Air (OTA) update will allow customers to use the scaling mode even if the device is overloaded. 

This implies that customers will soon be able to use the scaling mode even when the cargo is overloaded, allowing them to make educated decisions and ensure safety when handling cargo.

These changes are expected to make load management substantially more effective and adapt to the unique demands of users.

Furthermore, Ford is revising its software approach. 

The company is switching to Android Automotive and Google services in collaboration with Google. This transition is necessary in order for their electric vehicles to provide updated and user-friendly software experiences.

Ultimately, as Ford’s electric vehicle options grow, drivers can expect an even more smooth and connected driving experience.

Read Also: 4 Electric Cars with Android Auto (With Pictures)

The Bottom Line

The Ford F-150 Lightning marks a turning point for Ford and the automotive industry as it initiates a substantial transition towards electrification. 

While preliminary data indicates good reliability, it is critical to recognize that time will be the final judge of the Ford F-150 Lightning’s long-term dependability.

The road to a full reliability investigation is continuing for every new vehicle, especially one that is as innovative as the F-150 Lightning. 

I believe this is an exciting journey for Ford, faced with new opportunities and challenges; and F-150 Lightning owners play an important part in outlining this narrative.

So, if you are an honored owner of a Ford F-150 Lightning and have thoughts, worries, or experiences with its dependability, please share them in the comments section below. 


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