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Is The Ford F-150 Reliable? Is It The Right Car For Me?

red and black Ford F-150 car parked by the lake

Car repairs can be stressful and expensive. One of the worst feelings to experience on the road is when you know something is wrong with your vehicle. Major problems can leave you stranded on the side of the road and lead to repairs that strap you with a large bill. For all these reasons, reliability is one of the biggest factors that people consider when purchasing a new vehicle.

The Ford F-150 continues to be one of the most popular vehicles in American history. It sells well year after year and has a long history of being top of its class stretching back to the 1940s. But are Ford F-150s reliable? Does the F-150 have good enough reliability to meet your needs? We pulled a couple of reliability scores from reputable consumer watchdogs and go over some of the numbers behind the overall reliability of the F-150 so you know exactly what to expect if you decide to purchase one for yourself.

car and road divider

Ford F-150 Reliability Scores

For as well as the Ford F-150 sells, it does not have the best reliability scores. In fact, Ford F-150 is merely average when it comes to scores that measure the overall reliability of a vehicle.

Ford F-150 Lightning
Image Credit: Mike Mareen, Shutterstock

JD Power – 77/100

JD Power rates the F-150 a 77 out of 100 for reliability. They say that 70 to 80 is average so the Ford F-150 is comfortably average. JD Power rated the F-150 overall as a 79 out of 100 which is good but still not great. JD Power’s official guidelines for rating reliability reads as follows:

“Measures the level of defects, malfunctions, and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners. Covers the entire vehicle from engine to infotainment system. A higher rating means fewer problems.”

Unfortunately, they do not break down exactly what areas of the F-150 scored poorly and which parts scored better on the way to the aggregate score of 77.

US News – #2 Full-Sized Pickup

US News ranks the Ford F-150 as the second-best truck on the market. The F-150 finishes second to the 2022 Ram 1500 and comes ahead of the Chevy Silverado 1500. Out of the five regular full-sized trucks on the market Ford again lands above average but not the best which is a trend that continues to show through various rankings and ratings.

Ford F-150
Image Credit: Pavel Anoshin, Unsplash

Repair Pal – 3.5/5

Repair Pal is a site that tracks the average repair costs for various vehicles. They track how often, how large, and how expensive individual repairs are for vehicles of all types and keep track of that data. Repair Pal gives the Ford F-150 a score of 3.5 out of 5 which they also claim is above average but not the best. They said that the average score for reliability is 3 out of 5 giving the Ford F-150 a slight edge over the typical vehicle. Repair Pal’s score lands the F-150 at 7th out of 17 trucks that they keep data on which is in the top half but not the top five.

Total Average Score: 69/100

Doing some mathematical wizardry, we can take all of these scores and get a composite score out of 100. The average score comes out to be 69 out of 100 based on these ratings. That is in line with the trends and data surrounding the F-150. Ford’s flagship truck is not the most reliable vehicle on the road, but they aren’t inherently unreliable either. Surely a score like this will produce some unfortunate lemons but overall, the truck performs well, it just doesn’t perform amazingly.

Average Repairs and Lifespan

Despite not having the top reliability scores Ford F-150s still routinely last up to 200,000 miles. At an average of 15,000 road miles per year, the F-150 should reliably last over 13 years on the road with standard driving and good maintenance. That is a long time and can provide a reasonable return on your investment from a monetary standpoint. Some Ford F-150s can last up to 300,000 miles which would increase the lifespan to 20 years.

Repair Pal says the average annual maintenance cost for the F-150 is $788 which is higher than the average cost of $652 for all vehicles. However, the cost is significantly lower than the average cost to maintain a full-sized truck which they say is typically $936. The Ford F-150 is not prone to major issues but rather a series of small minor issues that add up. If you are worried about losing your truck to a catastrophic breakdown the F-150 rates well in terms of avoiding major repairs. Major repairs are rare for F-150s which is why the annual maintenance cost is lower than other trucks.

Ford F150
Image Credit: David French, Unsplash

Is The Ford F-150 Right For You?

All of that being said, is the F-150 the right truck for you? It depends. If your number one criterion for a truck is overall reliability and longevity then there are trucks that score better than the F-150. The Toyota Tundra often takes the top spot for overall reliability followed closely by the Ram 1500.

However, the Ford F-150 is America’s best-selling truck for a reason. It is easy to fix, easy to maintain, extremely popular, and can easily last over a decade on the road. If you are partial to Ford and are looking for an excuse to get an F-150, the reliability score should not hinder that decision. If you are looking for the most reliable truck on the road and were wondering if it was the F-150, it is not. Reliability is just one factor that goes into purchasing a truck and whether you decide to get the F-150 will depend on how important reliability is to you compared to other factors such as price, towing capacity, and passenger volume.

car and road dividerConclusion

Like most characteristics of the Ford F-150, the reliability scores are good bordering on great. If Ford could just eke out a few more points on any of their reliability scores they would comfortably be near the top spot. Instead, they are mired in the middle of the pack. These trucks are by no means unreliable but as they get on in age there is a chance that maintenance and small repairs will become more and more frequent.


Featured Image Credit: lpegasu, Pixabay

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