How Long Do Ford F-150s Last? (8 Important Facts)

Since its debut in 1975, the Ford F-150 has integrated itself into the American consciousness, growing to become the country’s longest-lasting truck.

The F-150 is part of Ford’s F-Series, but it continues to overshadow the rest of the lineup in terms of popularity, sales, and revenue.

What really makes the F-150 tick? Is the truck as reliable as Ford and fans make it out to be? Let’s find out how long the F-150 lasts in this article.

How long do Ford F-150s last?

Ford F-150s are known for their durability, often lasting between 150,000 and 300,000 miles before requiring an engine repair. When used as work trucks with an average yearly mileage of roughly 15,000 miles, these tough vehicles can provide dependable service for a long time – often 20 to 30 years.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Ford F-150?

Going by reports from users and several independent bodies, the F-150 can deliver up to 200,000 miles before requiring expensive upgrades.

This translates to around 17 years of life expectancy if you average 12,000 miles yearly, which is common for contractors.

For a truck its size, the Ford F-150 is exceptionally built and designed to withstand rough handling. In 2018, when Consumer Reports was compiling a list of vehicles likely to reach the 200k miles mark without bank account-wreaking repairs, the F-150 was the only pickup that made the cut.

The Ford F-150 is the fifth most likely light-duty pickup truck to surpass 200,000 miles, according to a recent analysis by iSeeCars, which analyzed over 15.8 million vehicles sold in 2019.

Other well-known publications back up the F-150’s durability:

  • According to VehicleHistory.com, the F-150 is twice as likely as the typical vehicle to achieve the coveted 200,000-mile mark.
  • According to GetJerry.com, the average Ford F-150 may go between 150,000 and 300,000 miles, depending on the model year, use, and climate. Newer versions have longer lifespans and more efficient powertrains.

Meanwhile, any F-150 with 200,000 miles on the clock is already in vintage territory.

Newer generations of the F-150 feature even better engineering designs improved durability, and more efficient powertrains.

So, late-model versions of the truck will likely break the 300k mile target with little trouble for the owners, except you end up with a problematic model year.

Almost any F-150 truck will reach and even exceed 300k miles with minimal maintenance and repair expenses, but user habits matter a lot.

For people who use their F-150 as a work truck and daily driving, you may not expect the truck to last 300,000 miles considering the hauling and towing it has to do several times a week.

But you can’t go wrong with this powerful truck if you want a dependable pickup that combines efficiency and durability.

Also, read our article about the Ford F-150 and the key system.

How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Ford F-150?

You can expect rust or corrosion on a Ford F-150 at any time in its life. It doesn’t matter whether your truck is an old model with a steel shell or a new-generation aluminum build.

Several F-150 owners have complained of rust and corrosion on their trucks right after buying the vehicle.

Some people found corroded body panels on F-150s at dealerships.

If you notice paint bubbles, peeling paint, or flashy signs on the bodywork, your F-150 is likely experiencing corrosion or rust. There is even a class action lawsuit about the F-150’s rust and corrosion problem.

The suit claims that the F-150 trucks experience premature corrosion because of defects in the paint and the aluminum body. It also claims Ford knew of the problem but didn’t do enough to help customers.

Your dealership might help you if the rust problem surfaces when you are still under warranty.

Many owners of the F-150 depend on DIY solutions such as an undercoat or an entirely fresh paint job to protect their trucks from rust. You will probably need it too if you want to sell the vehicle in the future.

While Ford has addressed rust problems with its vehicles, new allegations from 2021 F-150 customers have appeared on social media and online forums.

Some owners submitted photos showing rust on underbody sections of their brand-new trucks, including the exhaust, differential, and wheel hubs.

When Car and Driver inquired about this concern, Ford replied that while some F-150 underbody steel components may exhibit symptoms of surface rust, it would have no effect on past performance or life.

Owners all around the country, even those beyond the typical “salt belt” where vehicle corrosion is most common, report that Ford dealers sent rusted 2021 F-150 pickups to them.

How Long Do Ford F-150s Last Compared to Similar Trucks

Compared with trucks in its class, the F-150 lasts long. Let’s compare the vehicle to other pickups:

Ford F150 vs. Dodge Ram 1500

Here is a table comparing the F150 and Ram 1500:

Attribute

Ford F-150

Dodge Ram 1500

Durability and Mileage Can last over 300,000 miles or more than 20 years. Can last over 300,000 miles or more than 20 years.
Longevity with Maintenance Many drivers have used it for over 20 years with no major repairs, emphasizing regular maintenance. Many drivers have used it for over 20 years with no major repairs, emphasizing regular maintenance.
Reliability and Maintenance Ease Surveys indicate Ford pickups, including the F-150, are considered more reliable and easier to maintain than their Dodge counterparts. Survey results suggest Ford trucks are more reliable and easier to maintain.
Safety Ratings Ford trucks, including the F-150, generally have better safety ratings. Not specified, but Ford is noted to have better safety ratings.
Popularity The F-150 is more popular compared to the Ram 1500. The Ram 1500 is a great truck but not as popular as the F-150.
Maintenance Importance Regardless of the choice, diligent servicing is crucial for decades-long performance. Regardless of the choice, diligent servicing is crucial for decades-long performance.

Also, check our article to know “Where are Ford F-150s made”?

Ford F-150 vs. GMC Sierra 1500

Here is a table comparing the F150 and Sierra 1500:

Attribute Ford F-150 GMC Sierra 1500
Durability and Mileage Can deliver 300,000 miles of painless service with proper maintenance. Most GMC trucks, including the Sierra 1500, easily last over 200,000 miles.
Longevity with Maintenance Both trucks can provide decades-long service with proper maintenance. Most GMC trucks, including the Sierra 1500, are known to last over 200,000 miles with proper maintenance.
Reliability and Maintenance Ease The 2020 F-150 received a 4.5/5 reliability rating from J.D. Power, indicating high reliability and ease of maintenance. The Sierra 1500 received a 3.5/5 reliability rating from J.D. Power, making it somewhat less reliable compared to the F-150.
Popularity The F-150 is generally more popular compared to the Sierra 1500. The Sierra 1500 is a powerful truck but may be less popular than the F-150.
Maintenance Importance Proper maintenance is crucial for both trucks to achieve optimal performance and reach their mileage potential. Proper maintenance is crucial for both trucks to achieve optimal performance and reach their mileage potential.

F-150 vs. Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Here is a table comparing the F150 and Silverado 1500:

Attribute Ford F-150

Chevy Silverado

Durability and Mileage Can last over 300,000 miles with proper maintenance. Most Silverados will last 20 years or over 200,000 miles with no major technical issues.
Longevity with Maintenance Both trucks are built to last, providing decades-long service with proper maintenance and hauling heavy loads. Most Silverados are durable and can last over 200,000 miles with proper maintenance.
Reliability and Maintenance Ease The F-150 generally has higher reliability and lower maintenance costs. The Silverado has above-average maintenance costs and lower reliability compared to the F-150.
Fuel Efficiency 20mpg city and 24 highway MPG. The Silverado has lower fuel efficiency.

Ford F-150 vs. Toyota Tundra

Here is a table comparing the F150 and Toyota’s Tundra:

Attribute

Ford F-150

Toyota Tundra

Durability and Longevity The F-150 is also durable, but specific longevity details are not provided. The Toyota Tundra is known for being one of the longest-lasting full-size trucks on the market.
Overall Truck Performance The Ford F-150 is considered a better all-around truck compared to the Tundra. The Tundra has a powerful V8 engine but has sub-par towing capability and only one engine option.
Engine Options The F-150 offers a broad range of engine choices. The Tundra comes with one engine option, limiting choices for buyers.
Interior Comfort and Driving Experience The F-150 boasts a more comfortable cabin and enhanced driving comfort. The Tundra, while reliable, may not provide the same level of interior comfort and driving experience as the F-150.
Affordability The F-150 may be priced higher compared to the Tundra. The Tundra is a more affordable choice.
Reliability Ratings Ford F150 has a predicted reliability score of 77 out of 100. The Tundra enjoys stellar reliability ratings, better than the F150.

Ford F-150 vs. Nissan Titan

Here is a table comparing the F150 and Nissan’s Titan:

Attribute Ford F-150

Nissan Titan

Durability and Longevity Both the Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan can last 300,000 miles with proper maintenance and conscientious use. The Nissan Titan is solidly built and can last 300,000 miles before major faults start occurring.
Overall Truck Performance The F-150 combines powerful performance and impressive reliability. The Titan is a cheaper alternative with a beastly V8 engine and features desired by truck enthusiasts.
Engine Options The F-150 offers a range of engine options. The Titan features a beastly V8 engine.
Interior Comfort The F-150 has a cushier cabin, making it more suitable for taller drivers. The Titan has lower headroom, which makes it ideal for shorter drivers.
Affordability The F-150 may be priced higher compared to the Titan. The Titan is noted as a cheaper alternative to the F-150.
Popularity The F-150 is popular for its performance, reliability, and American macho style. The Titan is a solidly built truck but may not be as popular as the F-150.

How Reliable is a Ford F-150?

Ford F-150s are some of the most reliable trucks on the planet. For instance, J.D Power rates the F-150 an impressive 4.5 out of 5 for its 2020 reliability rating.

The organization also ranked the F-150 at the top of its 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study, making it the most dependable full-sized truck on the market.

Meanwhile, RepairPal scores the F-150 a 3.5/5, ranking it 7th out of 17 trucks which isn’t that bad for a truck its size.

Check some really interesting statistics for the Ford F-150 here.

The 2020 Consumer Reports reliability rating scores the F-150 an above-average 57 points, placing it behind competitors such as:

  • Dodge Ram 1500
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Nissan Titan

Some of the biggest issues with the thirteenth generation of the F-150 are the new aluminum body parts which boost fuel efficiency because of their lightweight but may lower cosmetic longevity due to their susceptibility to corrosion.

That said, the F-150 is still one of the most reliable trucks that can carry cargo, and your kids, and also deliver decent off-roading adventures. It offers an impressive lineup of engines and provides an exceptionally quiet and comfortable driving experience.

Plus, the operating and maintenance costs are pocket-friendly, although the vehicle is one of the most expensive in its class.

The Best and Worst Years for Ford F-150

First, make sure you get the best overview of each engine before choosing a model. We have a full overview of all Ford F-150 engines here.

The 2012 model year takes home the unwanted award of the worst iteration of the popular F-150 truck.

Extensive problems dogged this model year, and it attracted hundreds of negative reviews on sites like carcomplaints.com and official transportation agencies.

Owners started experiencing multiple issues with the vehicle as early as 50,000 miles.

Unfortunately, most had to correct the problems out of pocket since a lot of them occurred outside of the warranty period.

Owners of the 2012 Ford F-150 reported several engine-related problems including misfiring, loss of power while driving, ticking noise in the engine, and several others. Many people also experienced brake problems.

Some drivers of the 2012 Ford F-150 complained of the Advancetrac warning light coming up frequently. They also reported intermittent brake failures, which required replacing the braking system’s vacuum pump at low mileage.

According to the NHTSA there have been 1587 complaints about power loss issues.

Users experienced window issues and transmission problems among others. For a single model year, it seems the 2012 F-150 was cursed to cause misery for many of its unlucky buyers.

The 2014 model year of the F-150 is probably the best if you are looking to buy a pre-owned version of the truck. It features best-in-class performance metrics, and impressive safety records, and comes with a dizzying amount of technological features.

The 2014 Ford F-150 delivers all the performance and comfort of the latest model years for a fraction of the price.

It is free of many problems that dented earlier models’ reliability and is not too old to have racked up the miles. If you are looking for the sweet spot when shopping for a used F-150, the 2014 model year is arguably your best bet.

What About Recalls for These Models?

The Ford F-150 has a very long production history, so it is not surprising the truck has over 140 recalls.

Some model years like 1997, 2001, and 2000 model years have the most recalls, although most of them are probably off the road now.

Below is a list of the recall numbers of the model years:

Model Year No. Of Times Recalled
1977 6
1984 1
1985 1
1986 1
1987 3
1988 2
1989 4
1990 5
1991 6
1992 10
1993 14
1994 14
1995 7
1996 7
1997 26
1998 18
1999 18
2000 18
2001 20
2002 11
2003 12
2004 16
2005 14
2006 14
2007 7
2008 2
2009 3
2010 1
2011 6
2012 4
2013 3
2014 6
2015 13
2016 13
2017 15
2018 15
2019 6
2020 8
2021 16
2022 11
2023 4

Ford F-150 Model Year List

Ford’s F-Series is in its 14th generation, with the F-150 in its ninth iteration. The truck has been in production since 1975, making it one of the longest-serving full-sized trucks.

Below we outline the production years with their generations:

  • 1975 – 1979 (First Generation)
  • 1980 – 1986 (Second Generation)
  • 1987 – 1991 (Third Generation)
  • 1992 – 1996 (Fifth Generation)
  • 1997 – 2003 (Sixth Generation)
  • 2004 – 2008 (Seventh Generation)
  • 2009 – 2014 (Eighth Generation)
  • 2015 – present (Ninth Generation)

Are Ford F-150s Expensive to Maintain?

The F-150 is cheap to maintain. According to RepairPal, it costs around $788 to maintain an F-150 truck per year, which is lower than the yearly average of $936 for the class.

Your expenses will depend on location, service provider, model year, driving habits, and manufacturing defects.

You can even lower maintenance and repair expenses if you DIY most of the tasks and only take the more serious procedures to the shop.

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

Brake pads on F-150s are rated to last between 30,000 to 60,000 miles but have been known to deliver up to 70,000 miles.

The longevity of your brakes depends on the terrain, driving habits, maintenance culture, the age of the vehicle, and model year, among others.

How Long Do the Tires Last?

It depends on the brand fitted to the truck from the factory, but stock F-150 tires wear rapidly.

That said, you can get up to 20,000 miles on your stock F-150 tires, especially if you rotate them at every oil change.

How Long Do the Transmissions Last?

Except if you end up with a problematic model year, Ford F-150 transmissions can last around 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

However, your driving and maintenance habits will ultimately determine the longevity of your truck’s tranny.

Excessively aggressive driving can cook the transmission oil and cause life-shortening wear.

Skipping periodic maintenance will also make this important component die prematurely.

How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?

Information from Ford shows that spark plugs on an F-150 can last 100,000 miles before they require replacement.

However, trucks that are used as a workhorse or experience a lot of idling may need fresh spark plugs as early as 60,000 miles.

What About Insurance Cost?

According to finder.com, it costs an average of $157 per month or $1,884 a year to insure the Ford F-150.

This figure is about $500 above the national average of $1,318 for full-sized trucks. However, your actual insurance expenses depend on several factors, including driving records, location, and vehicle trim among others.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Ford F-150

Here are tips to help your F-150 truck age gracefully:

Maintenance Task

Recommendation

Change the Oil Every six months or 7,500 miles (whichever comes first). Use recommended oil. Install a fresh oil filter for older models. Check the owner’s manual when in doubt.
Monitor Fluid Levels Regularly check engine oil, coolant, windshield washer fluid, and transmission and brake fluids.
Balance Your Tires Regular balancing for a smooth ride and extended suspension longevity.
Rotate Your Tires Rotate tires whenever changing oil to ensure even wear, longer-lasting tires, and early identification of misalignment issues.
Change Air Filters Replace the engine filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Earlier replacement if used on dirt roads or farms. Improves engine performance and longevity.
Know How to Maintain Your Truck Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules to ensure optimal performance, prevent costly repairs, and enhance the truck’s longevity.

Sources

VehicleHistory: How long do Ford F150 engines last?

RepairPal: Ford F-150 Reliability Rating

Ford Class Action Says Trucks Experience Premature Corrosion

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