2004 Ford 150 Spark Plugs

Image of 2004 F150 Sparkplug

Image of 2004 F150 Sparkplug

I took my 2004 Ford 150 truck into a shop to have it serviced for a 100,000 mile scheduled maintenance. This entailed replacing the spark plugs. The shop manager called me back later that evening and said he was going to need the truck through the next day. I told him that was Okay. He called me later that day and said that one of the spark plugs broke and pieces of ceramic and electrode from the plug fell into the cylinder.

He informed me that he didn't know if they were going to be able to get the pieces out without taking off the heads. He also said that there was an 18 page Factory issued TSB (technical service bulletin) out on those type of spark plugs Ford was using and there was a lot of documentation from dealerships and shops having problems with that specific spark plug.

He's now had my truck for the last 3 days and said they can't get the pieces out and they have to take the heads off. He wants to charge me $1100 to do the work. He also said this will include both sides and he's splitting the costs. I don't feel like this is right.

It was not my fault that the spark plug being used is documented as being faulty and broke. He said that he talked to a few Ford dealership service managers and they told him that it was 100% of the customers responsibility if something like this happened. Is that so? If so, how? I feel like I'm being raked over the coals, but have no choice.

What's your take on this situation? Isn't Ford responsible for the parts they are installing. If they put out a 18 page TSB, how can they not be responsible? I'm very confused and pissed off about the whole situation. Thanks in advance for your input.

Complaints about broken Ford Spark plugs on the consumers affairs website.

Tools for dealing with the broken spark plug problem.

Comments for 2004 Ford 150 Spark Plugs

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Mar 28, 2014
Ford Spark Plugs
by: Jack (Slidell,La)

Ford is one big joke when it comes to changing the plugs,I got the tool and it didn't work. now I have spend more money getting 4 plugs. No more fords for me i may try Dodge.

Sep 07, 2012
Ford spark plug isssue
by: Anonymous

I own a Ford F150. I have read many articles and postings about blown spark plugs or broken plugs. I worked in Dealerships as a master mechanic. I performed many repairs on vehicles out of warranty up to cam shafts in chevy engines. This is an engineering mistake. Ford does not want to stand up for its products. I don't know about you but I am just about to get a new truck and Toyota (which is mostly American made not like ford and Chevy) is looking better all the time.

Aug 14, 2011
No charge for broken plugs
by: Anonymous

I work at a dealer that does the tune on the 5.4 three valve engine for 399 and comes with an injector and emissions service, no additional charge for broken plugs, and have never had one that you had to remove or replace head unless someone else messed it up first.

Dec 04, 2010
ASE and Chrysler Master Technician
by: John

The reason Ford put out an 18 page TSB about the 5.4 L spark plugs is to cover their butts. This problem should be corrected with a recall to repair and correct the problem by Ford at no cost to the customer.

Many companies are using 100,000 mile spark plugs now. The problem is that any spark plug left in an aluminum head has a good chance of seizing in the head.

Jul 02, 2010
Might as well add their other stunt they pulled
by: Anonymous

In 1994 I bought a brand new truck off the lot. Had two gas tanks. While under warranty the fuel pump went bad and caused the gas to pump from one tank to the other.....causing one to empty and the other to overfill and leak.

We were told we let it run out of gas.......well, DUH! After getting stuck with the issue, years later I learned they had a recall for this exact same problem. Get this. The recall was through 1993.

They didn't give a rat's hiney that my truck was doing the same thing and got the ol' "F.U." So, I quit buying Fords until this 2005 Ford F150 hunk of junk! Their warranty sucks. Their customer service sucks. They do not care about customer satisfaction or loyalty.

For the years in between I bought all GM's. I may have had issues with those vehicles....American made vehicles are just plain CHEAP! But....GM ALWAYS TOOK CARE OF MY CARS WITH A SMILE AND FOUND A WAY TO KEEP ME FROM PAYING AND GETTING IT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY.

Blew a motor in a Yukon.......got another with not a dime out of pocket. Other trivial things and the service department was always so pleasant and quick to get it taken care of without costing me. I usually buy extended warranties. I never heard the words: "If it is covered under warranty" or "It's not covered under warranty" in their service department.

My father worked for Ford. All I ever heard in their service department is "If it is covered under warranty" and "It isn't covered under warranty." I heard it said to others and I always see unhappy customers there and stressed service people because they are always disappointing the customers. Just going into their service department and seeing the frustration is enough to wake you up.

Jul 02, 2010
This is FORD!
by: Anonymous

I quit buying Ford years ago because they plain and simple do NOT back up their defects. I am having the same problem. My Ford F150 is now tied up at the mechanic's with two broken spark plugs. Sleeves left in.

They know of this problem and SCREW THE CUSTOMER after all we pay for these vehicles. I gave in after years and bought the Ford F150 for the Triton motor. What a mistake. Should have stuck to my guns and not gone back to Fords!

My first issue, I put a lot of miles on my vehicle. It would have normally been under warranty except for how quickly I rack up the miles. I took a trip from Michigan to Mississippi and on the way back the truck DIED in the middle of the night in a little "hodunk" town in the middle of a storm on a bridge with no shoulder. I was in the extended warranty......but......NO Tow TRUCK AVAILABLE.

Had to wait for a cop to show up and get me a tow truck that I had to pay for. Dropped it off at the dealer....oh ya, it was the weekend......no rentals and no dealer. Got stuck in a motel which I had to pay for until someone could come and get me (two nights). I was in southern Indiana. So, turns out the wires to the computer were rubbing against the steering column bracket and caused so many error messages the computer shut down.

The cost for repair.....$246. My deductible.....$250. So, I paid. Not to mention the motel and the tow truck. So, I called the customer service at good ol' Ford and get basically a "F.U." No one cared that this was a defect. They screwed me every which way they could because it was out of warranty. Normally, a normal person would still have been in warranty but I put a lot of miles on my vehicles. It was a defect! Not a driver's fault!

So here I am realizing that I am stuck with another piece of Ford JUNK. This will be my last! They screw the customers! I could care less if they go out of business and would be PLEASED to hear of it. They deserve it!

Jun 28, 2010
Real sad
by: Anonymous

I am real lucky. I have heard about these Ford products. My daily drivers are cast iron. They are old and not to thrifty, but they are tough. I feel for you and your Service man. It is only part his fault and not much of yours.

I blame FoMoCo. When they went to CAD design, none of those guys worked on cars. You want to bet that the guys that designed the cast iron fords didn't work on their own cars? Best of luck.

Mar 21, 2010
5.4 fords
by: Glen

I presently own a 351 ford in a 1995 van it has 386000 mi on still runs like new but my newer van used for my business is a Chevy. I heard all about 5.4 ford nightmares and that is what ford uses in there vans so I bought a Chevy. Always like gm better anyhow there harder to find makes one wonder is this why there are so many used fords for sale?

Mar 19, 2010
broken ford spark plugs triton V8
by: Mark

First of all I feel for you and completely understand your frustration. I added to your submission a link to the consumer affairs page were you can add your story as well as a link to the special tools that should be used when performing spark plug replacement on a 2004-2007 Triton v8.

First off you should have been warned about the possible problems before the maintenance was started. They are aware of the issue and should have given you the option not to poke the Bea-hive.

If the engine was running good, you may have been able to put off the repairs, traded the vehicle or at-least done some research before you proceeded.

Also the experience of the technician in dealing with this issue is [very important]. First you soak the plugs in the best penetrating oil you can get for over an hour. Then you use the special spark plug socket for the Triton engine.

If the plug breaks you use the special design removal tool! Nothing is guaranteed to work but Failure to follow all these steps can lead to increased chances of cylinder head removal.

If this was a newbie tech that worked on your vehicle and he did not use the recommended procedures then the dealer should provide more assistance.

I would gather and document the information about the warnings provided and the procedures used to remove the plugs. You can provide this information to Ford customer service and ask for additional assistance. Make them aware that the way they handle this for you will determine the future of your continued support of their products!


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