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Ford F-Series Rough Idle/Vibration Problems



  • gray888gray888 Posts: 1
    Just go to the dealer on this one. They keep records of recalls/repairs etc that the manufacturer is doing. Also, you can look up the recalls/repairs for your vehicle through edmunds or other websites.
  • macisaasmacisaas Posts: 4
    My issue just turned out to be a missfire on the 4and 8 cylinder changed the plugs and coils and voila.....
  • tomw5tomw5 Posts: 9
    I have a 2004 F-140 Lariet 4x4 with about 16,000 miles. When I first start out, I experience a vibration until I get up a little speed. On occassion, I also feel this when starting from a stop sign. Is this normal? Any ideas what could be the cause, and if I need to have it looked at?

  • sml175sml175 Posts: 2
    I was at Miller Ford in NJ and brought my vehicle in for the idle and 1100 /1600 rpm shake. I met with 3 mechanics and the manager who stated that it is due to being tuned lean. I showed them the shake points and how it was a bother but then they asked me to put it in drive and rev it up to 3k and then don to 2k and the points I showed them. Not one bit of shake!!!!! They stated that when it is programmed it is set for idle lean. :shades:
  • kcall2kcall2 Posts: 18
    I have a 98 F150 with 83K miles that is loosing or burning coolant. Uses something like one gallon in 1000 - 1500 miles.

    There is no external leaking, no white smoke from the tailpipe, no rough idle or shaking during startup or normal driving. The only indication of loss is the coolant level in the reservoir.

    The truck has been to two separate shops - one inde the other a Ford dealer - and neither can figure it out. It's in a Ford shop today in fact. Both have tried to pressure test the system with cold and hot engine with no result.

    I seem to recall that early 4.2 V6 problems like mine were intake gaskets or head gaskets developing a small crack, allowing leaking when the engine got hot, and a trickle of coolant to burn off.

    Anyone have any info on this problem? Since the truck is 11 years old, ya think it is worth the cash it will probably take to fix it, or should I just carry a gallon of anti-freeze and check the level often?

    Any answers will be appreciated.
  • mickeymouse2mickeymouse2 Posts: 161
    Coolant can disapear for a variety of reasons. Fellow mechanics sometimes forget to check the dam radiator cap for leaks when pressure testing the system. You could have a leak in the water jacket somewhere ie head gasket ect. Here is an inexpensive solution. Temporarely remove thermostat. Purchase a product called BLUE DEVIL BLOCK SEALANT. Poor this in when engine is completely cold, (very important.). Run engine at least for an hour, you can even drive around with it in there. Put your thermostat back in at some point afterwards. No need to to drain coolant out or the remaining Blue Devil. I have had excelant results with this in the field. The Blue Devil is about $69.00 a bottle but well worth it, it works!! Availible at NAPA and Autozone. Good luck.
  • kcall2kcall2 Posts: 18
    Thanks, mick. I'll give it a try as soon as I can get the truck home and let it cool off.

    I was hoping there was a product that worked to seal without a teardown and new gaskets. Had considered Barrs Leak, but as I remember, it only works on pinholes in radiator.

    The folks on these forums are a wealth of great info!
  • wesleymwesleym Posts: 1
    I think I can help you. I have had this problem on past vehicles. I now have a 2007 Ford F150 Crew Cab and it was doing some of the stuff you were describing. I bought a set of Bilstein heavy duty shocks for this truck. I put them on front and back and the driveability improved 100%. The shocks that were removed, you could compress with one hand very easily. They had no rebound on either front or back. The Bilstein shocks are nitrogen gas shocks. They were extremely hard to compress with both hands and had terrific rebound.
    Now when you hit little bumps in the road the wheels don't jump or shake. It is extremely smooth on the highway. Drives like a new vehicle should. By the way my truck only has 7,500 miles on it. By the way new factory shocks would be of little value because they do the same thing as what you are taking off. I hope this helps you, it certainly helped me.
  • gseterrygseterry Posts: 13
    Heads up:
    Please focus on certain areas when these types of quirks develop.
    550 rpms - shake (not miss), 1100 rpms - shake, 2200 rpms - shake.
    Notice the rpms DOUBLE each time? Dead give away !
    I can just about promise it is there at 4400 too.
    This is an imbalance issue. Thrown Torque Convertor weight?
    I've built racing and industrial, gas and diesel engines for 40 years.
    I have a 85% all Light duty Ford Truck Fleet - nation wide
    Now how to get the factory on board with recognizing this and fixing it?
    Good Luck........
  • :confuse: Hi, is there anyone out there who can direct me to a good web site that can help me figure out why my 1978 f-150 400 4wd vibrates, backfires and holdsback. Just put new plugs, wires, distributor shaft, cap and rotor, and carb. Any suggestions. Has fairly new motor, with only 30,000 miles. When I reach about 30 miles an hour it begins to backfire, vibrate and hold back. Could it be timing is bad though it was just set about a year ago. Vaccum, carb? HELP!
  • sammorsammor Posts: 1
    do you have any more info on what is causing the vibration, I have a 2007 E150 in my shop with the same problem, vibration at 1800 rpm, I removed the torque converter and reinstalled the transmission and started the engine, vibration still there so it's definitely engine related. I replaced the harmonic balancer, no change. Any info would be appreciated, I think it's internal.
  • I have the exact same vibration in my 03 navigator. Anybody solved this issue yet?
  • I have the same problem. I just bought the truck used with 22,500 miles from a non-ford dealer with a 30 day warranty. So they took it to a ford dealer for diagnosis.
    They kept if for two days and took apart fuel injectors. then they replied with the truck is normal. I think their full of it and are protecting the other dealer.
    But I did sit in another F-150 on the lot with a 5.4 and it did the same thing?
    Prior to this I took it to my regular mechanic and he ran into the same problem in a Crown Victoria. The problem is in the Torque converter. sludge build up and it make the torque converter out of balance? I am also experiencing a loud lifter noise, and the truck sounds like a Diesel too?
  • I have a very similar problem, except mine exists down at the 500rpm range and is quite intermittant. I'm having trouble with any help from Ford or ownership from Ford on this issue.

    In our case, we have a rich condition, this turned out to be a broken roller cam after almost 20 hours of diagnostics. It was actually my idea to remove the valve cover. Anyway, new cam, roller lifer on bank 1. Then we developed the occasional P0012 problem, replaced VCT out of pure frustration, maybe a bit better but still there. All the work has been done at a Ford dealer because of time and weather in Wisconsin.

    Does anyone have any ideas. The truck has 90K and we started out doing a simple spark plug exchange and 100K tuneup, now $3000 later, this is nuts.

    Suggestions welcome.


  • Vibration idle very similar to others in this thread, except mine exists down at the 500rpm range and is quite intermittent. I'm having trouble with any help from Ford or ownership from Ford on this issue.

    In our case, we have a rich condition, this turned out to be a broken roller cam after almost 20 hours of diagnostics. It was actually my idea to remove the valve cover. Anyway, new cam, roller lifer on bank 1. Then we developed the occasional P0012 problem, replaced VCT out of pure frustration, maybe a bit better but still there. All the work has been done at a Ford dealer because of time and weather in Wisconsin.

    Does anyone have any ideas. The truck has 90K and we started out doing a simple spark plug exchange and 100K tuneup, now $3000 later, this is nuts.

    Actually no one from Ford has suggested the PCM re-flash. I'm going to check into this.

    Interestingly, this was not a problem before the tune-up plug change etc. Go figure.

    Suggestions welcome.


  • ...and here is yet another one for the growing list of F-150s with vibration problems. We have a 2005 Ford F-150 FX4 Lariat edition. In between 55 - 65 mph it rides like there is a tire that is out of balance. We have since put new tires, lower ball joints, tie rods, U joints, spark plugs, alignments, and even had the drive shaft rebalanced trying to fix that mysterious "HOP". We took it to Ford only to have them start fixing irrelevant things and billing us for it. We were informed that the Cam shaft phasers need to be replaced (which is causing the engine to have a ticking noise to it).... We now are starting to experience that engine shake you have read about in previous posts. When it does decide to shake, it begins around 1100 rmp's or about 45 - 60 mph. It is at its worst when there is weight in the back, or towing. For those of you who have not experienced it yet, it will scare the s*** out of you when you do exp. it. The best way I can descibe it feels like driving on rumble strips on the side of the road. Has anyone, anywhere come up with a solution to this? Any ideas? Whether or not your vehicle is is beyond me how Ford can get out of a problem that is becoming oh so common. As much as I LOVE our almost tempted to buy a Toyota at this point.........ALMOST. I would greatly appreciate it if ANYONE ANYWHERE had any insight to this problem that they can share. wits end.
  • I purchased my vehicle used, with 71,000 miles and it has a very bad rough idle and at first they claimed that it probably needed fuel injector service. I brought the truck in for service and after they hooked it up to there super duper diagnostic equipment, they determined that it needed a new electronic throttle-body. well that didn't fix the problem and so the spark plugs were replaced and that still didn't fix the problem, so now they're saying that the rough idle is a characteristic of the 4.6 engine, which is a bunch of bull. I have hired a lawyer and we'll probably go to court over this matter, but in the mean time, I have advised the majority of any potential Ford buyer to not buy a Ford product with the 4.6 engine. I will also print about a 1000 flyers and pass them out to the public,the flyer will say " 4.6 IS DEFECTIVE".
  • Hey Truckcity......check your cam shaft phasers. We have an F-150 with the same problem, however ours is a 5.4, not a 4.6. Ours too has the rough idle (also a ticking nosie) .....we have been told several times by Ford that its the cam shaft phasers causing it (its slightly out of time), we just have not had the spare $ 1000.00 to get it fixed yet. I am unfamiliar with motors, but am learning automotive real quick (not by choice) if your 4.6 is anything like our 5.4, check your cam shaft phasers.
  • ford knows about this.
    it is a technical service bulletin
    The cam phase adjuster adjusts the gear on the cam.
    also see
    the kit dose both sides and you should do both sides
    Ford quoted me about $1400
    my mechanic was $750 to $1000
    the parts kit was like $450 from ford through my mechanic.
  • hotrodeshotrodes Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2005 Ford Expedition with the 5.4 Triton and 44,000 miles on it. Unfortunately the engine has a pretty rough idle while in gear at 500 RPM's, but does not shake when in park or neutral but I also note the RPM's are slightly higher at around 550. I also note that when in park if I rev the engine I get a pretty good shake at 1100 through 1500 RPM's. While driving around at 1100 RPM I seem to feel some vibration which I thought was rough roadway but seems like no matter what the roadway surface is I feel the vibration so I assume it's the rough engine I feel when reving it in park. The prior owner had an extended warranty so upon my questioning and before I bought the vehicle I wanted the local Ford dealer to run a complete engine diagnostic test which was done. According to the technician's notes they found everything on the engine and vehicle to be working fine and no codes appeared, the actual quote is "engine operating normal". After reviewing the diagnostic test I decided to buy this vehicle as it was in such nice physical condition. However now I think I have made a mistake as the more I drive it the more irritating this engine shake becomes. What is interesting is that during this process of locating a used Expedition I did test drive a few others. On every vehicle I did notice they all had varying degrees of rough idle, however I think the one I bought is the worst of them all. In discussing this with the prior owner he said that the rough idle developed over time and was not an overnight or immediate development. So I have tried to find someone who may know if this is something that can be fixed or if the Triton V8 is simply a moter that will never purr. My concern is that if it shakes this bad at 44,000 miles what will it be like at 100,000 miles? I do note that if I'm sitting at a stop light and it's shaking if I slightly rest my foot on the accelerator the RPM's come up about 50 and it goes away, is there any thought that the engine is just simply idling too low? Can that be changed?
  • eldenejeldenej Posts: 7
    My new 2010 F-150 (now with 1400 miles driven) has had from day 1 a very noticable vibration and audible rumble (especially when the truck is cold) at engine speeds between 1220-1400 rpm. Though evident in all gears, this is most obvious in 1st and 2nd. The dealer's service department recognized the problem, but after their failure to find a cause, they declared it "normal." I asked that Ford's area tech rep take a look at it. He, too, acknowledged that "something is going on" but after failing to figure out just what, he, too, declared it"within acceptable limits." So what now? I have a truck I resent driving. Does this touch a responsive chord?
  • hotrodeshotrodes Posts: 2
    edited April 2010
    Well I have searched for clues as to what could be causing the rough idle, from vaccum leaks, to dirty injectors, nothing solved the issue. Short of replacing the entire ignition part by part, I feel as though I am resigned to living with it or sell the car.

    I know Ford sells hundred's of thousands of vehicles with these engines, maybe we are just the unlucky few, or the only people who notice it and expect more from Ford, hence why Frod does nothing about it.
  • I have a 2005 Ford Expedition 5.4 3V with the same horrible vibration. I have a normal idle of around 500-600 and the truck vibrates badly at a stop while in drive. It is amazing that no one knows an answer to this problem. I took it into Ford and they wanted over 900.00 for new Motor Mounts....I naturally declined and inspected them when I got home, they looked brand new(no cracks, stretch marks or other odd wear). This truck has 82K on it, it has never towed anything and has had all maintenance done at Ford, including all oil changes with the Ford MC Oil Filter and Ford MC 5W-20 Semi Synthetic Oil. I am also beginning to experience Diesel Sound Tick(included is a weird clanking noise at about 900 RPM [this is only at 850-950 not before or after]). This really blows Ford could give a rats [non-permissible content removed] about customer care...this is probably the 7th Ford Vehicle I owned Myself and Wife Combined...I wrote a letter and they said Thanks and they cannot help? I wasn't asking for anything free, but if they issue a TSB regarding early make 05 5.4 need the upgraded lash adjusters, then you might think they would do something since the truck falls into that .....I am stuck , but also fed up with the Vibration and don't want to pass this problem onto an innocent person either, I'm just like anyone else, 2 kids with one on the way with zero budget, trying to get around in a truck that's built ford tough, which I cannot afford to fix. Does anyone know the reasoning behind this???? Please message, PM or email y9our issues because I am going to write Ford again including letters from here.
  • Try the cam-phase adjusters.
    There is a TSB on this to replace with new ones TSB 06 19 08".
    Search truck sounds like a diesel. Dose the truck sound like diesel after it warms up?
  • enphluenceenphluence Posts: 2
    edited April 2010
    It is beginning to sound a bit like a diesel, but that is not really my concern it is a very strange rattle like sound at 550-650 RPM. Ford said its low oil pressure and the motor needs to be replaced....?? They also said prior that the motor mounts were shot, so don't really know what to say to that.

    The car has 82K and the plugs have never been changed, but everyone says not necessary.
    here are links to 2 videos I have of the car 1 is at normal idle and the other is when you stay at 550 RPM(the rattling/knocking noise)
    At Idle
    Knocking Noise 550RPM
  • bartb65bartb65 Posts: 1
    Stock tires finally wore out but ride had been smooth as silk. Bought 4 new Michelins and sometime afterward, noticed moderate to severe vibration starting about 65mph which mostly (not entirely) goes away at 80mph or so. My mechanic for 20-years has tried everything and is as stymied and frustrated as me. He has rotated, balanced, shaved (rounded), aligned, etc., to no avail. He's also checked everything else he thinks it could be. He and I finally decided to replace these tires with 4 brand new ones (also Michelin). It is less now but the vibration is still there at the same speeds. It comes and goes. It seems worse on curves. I guess I could try a Ford dealer but know that they'll recommend a ton of very expensive things and likely won't fix the problem. Anyone else have or had this problem and fixed it? I am at wits end. Thank you in advance.
  • silentflysilentfly Posts: 1
    Mine has this problem also, It has always had a loud vibration in certain rpm ranges on acceleration That has seemed to get worse Easing up on throttle makes it go away, very annoying, but on this last trip it has developed this bad shaking vibration when a load is put on the motor starting uphill. I was not towing anything but had around 700 pounds of gear in the bed I thought it was rumble strips when it first started happening. scared the crap out of me. My truck is a 2005 supercrew 4x4 with only 37000 miles. The F*^%$#@ing truck has been babied. I have never even had it in four wheel drive other than to make sure it worked. How many of us are there with this problem ?
  • noro1noro1 Posts: 1
    I have been reading about people having problems with vibration around the 1200 - 1800 RPM range & the feeling is like driving on the rumble strips on the side of the road. I have this problem too. I have a custom modified 1975 Chrysler / mitubishi LA Lancer that i have rebuild with all ford running gear. 302 Windsor 347 stroker, C4 - C10 stage 2 trans Ford 9" diff with Detroit Trutrac Centre.
    At first i thought that maybe the exhaust was touching the undercarriage somewhere. but it's not.

    The vibration is only there while driving, so i tested it out by putting the trans in neutral when the vibration starts at the 1200 RPM range & the vibration stopped.
    Now this is making me think it is the drive shaft that is out of balance.

    So I am going to get the drive shaft balanced & I will post the results here.

    I am pretty sure that this is the problem. because if it wasn't a problem with balance, the vibration would be there all the time. the vibration is only there between 1200 - 1800 RPM & then its fine one I get through that rev range. so I tend to go through that rev range as fasts as I can because I cant stand the vibration & the fact that everyone takes notice of my car, it a bit embarrassing. thats my excuse for putting my foot down in second gear anyway : )
  • hey I have a 99 f150 with a 5.4 . when I bought the truck it had that same knocking noise. and it turned out to be the passenger side exhaust manifold had rotted out. I have herd that ford has a problem with them for quite some time. it sure didnt sound like an exhaust manifold to me but it was. I was just glad it wasnt the engine. hope you figure it out.
    unfortunatly, I also have idle problems with my truck and cannot figure it out. I see alot of people have this problem.
  • mcnga100mcnga100 Posts: 1
    I have the same exact problem ( new Michelin tires also). If you find an answer, please let me know. I have vibration between 45-50 and again at 60.
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