All Common Problems of The Ford F-150 Raptor

All Common Problems of The Ford F-150 Raptor

All Common Problems of The Ford F-150 Raptor

As the most off-road performance-oriented trim of the popular F-150 pickup truck, the Ford Raptor is for those looking for more than just your average mode of transportation.

However, as with any other mode of transportation, the Ford Raptor can also develop its own set of issues that are all important to be aware of.

So if you’re in the market for a Ford F-150 Raptor, this guide will ensure that you familiarize yourself with all its common problems as well as the possible solutions to each of them.

We’ll also be discussing the best and worst model years of the Ford F-150 Raptor to buy, so be sure to read all the way through!

What are the common problems of the Ford F-150 Raptor?

Common problems of the Ford F-150 Raptor include jerky transmission shifts, cam phaser issues, various oil leaks, various rattling noises, electronics issues, and other interior and exterior problems.

Since its initial release in 2010, the Ford F-150 Raptor has received numerous reports from owners regarding problems with just about any part that you can find on the inside and outside of the truck.

Such problems can vary from each model year of the Raptor, and they can range from faulty windshield washers to issues with more specific engine components, like the camshaft phaser.

With this in mind, we’ll be providing more in-depth explanations and solutions for all of the common problems of the Ford F-150 Raptor below.

Jerky Transmission Shifts

Jerky Transmission Shifts

When it comes to problems that concern the F-150 Raptor’s transmission, a lot of owners tend to complain specifically about the transmission being rough or jerky while shifting gears.

Jerky transmission shifts have been reported to occur mostly in 2017 to 2019 F-150 Raptor models, specifically when the owners try to switch to the transmission’s “Sport Mode”.

The jerking can also happen regardless of which gear you’re in, whether that may be any of the forward gears, reverse, park, or even getting out of neutral.

Since the commonly reported models (2017 to 2019) belong to the 2nd-generation Ford F-150 Raptor, it’s easier to narrow the problem down to its only transmission option, the 10-speed “10R80” automatic.

Ford F-150 Raptor Adaptive Learning Feature Problem

The 2nd-generation Raptor’s 10-speed auto transmission comes with an “Adaptive Learning” feature, which essentially adjusts how it applies the clutch depending on the driver’s input over time.

However, what ends up happening for some owners is that the Adaptive Learning feature fails to learn and instead defaults back to Ford’s factory settings, which is a fairly aggressive setting, to begin with.

Some owners have experienced better and smoother shifts after having either the dealership or an aftermarket shop reset the Adapting Learning feature via software like FORscan.

But unfortunately, this lasted for only a few miles before the transmission started shifting badly again.

Thus, we move on to the next possible reason why the jerky shifting still remains.

Outdated PCM Resulting in Valve Body Issues

Ford F-150 Raptor models that still experience jerky transmission shifts even after resetting the “Adaptive Learning” feature has been found to have PCMs (Powertrain Control Modules) that are outdated.

The PCM, which is basically the brain of your vehicle, is also responsible for various tasks relating to the transmission components, including the valve body.

Just like the PCM, the valve body is the brain of the transmission, and its main purpose is to correctly direct pressurized hydraulic fluid to the appropriate valves as the vehicle is shifting gears.

Outdated PCM Resulting in Valve Body Issues

In the case of Ford Raptors with jerky transmissions, outdated PCMs have caused incorrect pressure values on the transmission valve body, resulting in either aggressive or delayed shifting.

Simply having the PCM updated to correct the pressure issues with the valve body can resolve the jerky shifting, as long as the valve body itself doesn’t physically have any problems.

However, if the valve body has already gone bad, replacing it would cost over $1000 in parts alone. With that said, it’s also worth getting your valve body checked just to be sure.

Camshaft Phaser Issues

Camshaft Phaser Issues

The Ford F-150 Raptor’s engine isn’t exactly known to get a lot of issues, but when it does, it’s almost always traced back to a very specific component, the camshaft phaser.

The camshaft phaser, or cam phaser for short, is an important sprocket that’s attached to the end of the camshaft. 
The cam phaser is tasked to control the timing of both the intake and exhaust valves to ensure the proper delivery of engine power under all driving conditions.

Whether you’re driving in gridlock traffic or using the full potential of the Raptor’s engine while off-roading, any issue with the cam phaser can hamper the engine’s capability to deliver power properly.

Issues with the cam phaser have been commonly reported to happen in 2nd-generation Ford F-150 Raptor models equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.

Cam Phaser Rattling/Knocking

One of the common signs of a cam phaser issue is an audible rattling or knocking sound that can mostly be heard while idling after a cold start.

This cam phaser “rattle” tends to occur when there is not enough oil to lubricate the cam phaser when you first fire up the engine, resulting in the metal components rubbing against each other and causing the rattling sound.

To combat this, Ford has actually issued an updated tune for the affected models that essentially increases the duty cycle so that more oil is fed to the cam phaser during engine startup.

Cam Phaser Gets Stuck

Another more serious type of issue with the cam phaser is that it can completely get stuck and not rotate at all, severely affecting the engine’s performance in the process.

Some owners have been able to trace this specific issue to a locking pin that got stuck and prevented the cam phaser from rotating normally.

Getting the pin fixed or replaced will be the simple remedy to this issue, which would be the most ideal situation considering a cam phaser for the Ford raptor costs about $1,200 to replace out of warranty.

Various Oil Leaks

The Ford F-150 Raptor has been known to develop oil leaks from various components under the hood, which can vary from the oil pan to the turbochargers themselves.

Oil Pan Leaks

Leaks coming from the oil pan have been a long-time issue with the Ford Raptor lineup, as reports of leaky oil pans have been present in even the 2010 model year of the 1st-generation Ford Raptor.

The main culprit to the leak is simple enough, and that would be the oil pan itself being made of plastic material that’s susceptible to all sorts of factory defects or improper sealing procedures.

Oil Pan Leaks

While Ford has since then switched to an aluminum pan for the 2018 model year, several owners have had to go through multiple plastic oil pans that were all provided under warranty.

This is a clear sign that settling for another plastic oil pan, even if it’s under warranty, just won’t cut it, and switching to a metal one will be undeniably better in the long run.

Oil Pan Leaks

However, the two main caveats to getting the newer metal oil pans are that they will not be covered by warranty and that some Ford Raptor model years may require modifications in order to fit them correctly.

The metal oil pan itself will cost a little over $100 depending on the shop, though the total cost can rack up to over $600 depending on what’s needed for your specific Ford Raptor model’s oil pan conversion.

Oil Leak Due to Excessive Blow-By

Another common source of oil leaks on the Ford F-150 Raptor stems from the fact that its turbocharged engine has a tendency to produce too much “blow-by”, a mixture of combustion gasses and oil and fuel droplets inside the crankcase.

To combat blow-by, a PCV valve (positive crankcase ventilation valve) sucks up the mixture of gasses and droplets from the crankcase and redirects them back into the engine via the intake system.

Oil Leak Due to Excessive Blow-By

However, since the Raptor’s turbochargers produce too much blow-by, it can start coating the crankcase, the PCV valve, and the intake system with oil and fuel when the mixture eventually condenses.

This, together with too much pressure buildup inside the crankcase that the PCV valve can’t handle, will inevitably lead to oil leaks.

This is where an “oil catch can” comes in handy, which the Ford Raptor doesn’t come with from the factory.

Luckily, there are a lot of catch can kits out there that are made for the Ford F-150 Raptor, and you can see how these kits are installed in the Raptor’s engine bay below.

These oil catch can kits will cost between $200 and $400 in parts depending on the exact product and model year application.

Various Noises

As with how things can go bump in the night, so can various noises be heard in the Ford F-150 Raptor that may signify that something’s not right.

Such commonly reported noises on the F-150 Raptor have been associated with different suspension components, the turbo wastegate, and the driveshaft slip yoke.

Suspension Noise (Shocks and Control Arms)

The Ford Raptor has a set of “FOX Shocks”, which are basically high-performance shocks that are known to make the ride quality harsh over time and make excessive clunking noises.

Suspension Noise (Shocks and Control Arms)

This has been reported by owners of Raptor models as early as 2010 and as new as 2019, all of which have FOX-branded shock absorbers.

While some amount of noise is to be expected from the FOX shocks, it’s recommended to have them rebuilt regularly to maintain proper ride quality, which costs around $670 or more for all four shocks.

The upper control arms on the F-150 Raptor have also been reported to make some rattling noises after only a few thousand miles of driving.

This is because the factory upper control arms are equipped with ball joints that are too weak, and such weak ball joints are the real source of the rattling noise.

Simply replacing the factory upper control arms with uniball upper control arms will provide better durability for that part of the suspension and remedy the noise issue.

Suspension Noise (Shocks and Control Arms)

A set of uniball upper control arms for the F-150 Raptor will cost from $850 to over $1,500 depending on the product you go for and the specific model year of the truck.

Turbo Wastegate Rattling Noise

The F-150 Raptor’s turbo wastegate is commonly known to make a rattling noise over time, but luckily, the problem isn’t exactly as bad as it sounds.

The sound itself actually comes from the wastegate actuator linkage being too loose, making it rattle during cold starts or while getting on the gas.

There are actually two main ways to remedy this, the first one being a complete DIY job that simply requires you to get a small extension spring from your local hardware shop and connect it to both the linkage and an anchor point on the turbo.

Turbo Wastegate Rattling Noise

The second way is to refer to a specific Technical Service Bulletin released by Ford regarding this issue, though the downside is that it only covers 2017 models with the 3.5-liter V6. 

Driveshaft Slip Yoke Noise

Another common noise complaint for the Ford F-150 Raptor comes from the driveshaft slip yoke, which is known to develop squeaking and clunking noises after being exposed to the elements enough.

Driveshaft Slip Yoke Noise

The best way to make the noise go away is to simply have the driveshaft slip yoke lubricated with oil in order to minimize the friction on the metal parts that cause the noise in the first place.

This is especially recommended if you frequently use the F-150 Raptor for off-roading, as dirt, water, or any kind of debris can accumulate on the driveshaft slip yoke and cause it to squeak when moving.

If the noise from the yoke still remains even after getting lubricated, then it may have already been damaged over time. 

At this point, the only real solution is to have it replaced, which will cost a little over $120 for a genuine OEM part.

Issues with Electronics

The Ford F-150 Raptor can run into different issues with its electronics, such as corrosion in the wiring harness and difficulty starting the engine due to a faulty fuel pump fuse.

Corroded Wiring Harnesses

Despite the fact that the F-150 Raptor is a performance-oriented truck, the wiring harnesses that Ford equipped some earlier models with leave a lot to be desired due to their tendency to corrode easily.

This is pretty counterproductive when put on a truck that was built to go off-road and probably gets a little bit wet in muddy terrain, and it all comes from the fact that the wires used are just too thin to handle moisture properly.

Unfortunately, unless the corroded wires are part of the engine wiring harness, other wiring harnesses may not be covered under Ford’s warranty. 

With that said, we recommend contacting your local dealership for your specific wiring harness issue to clarify if it’s under any sort of warranty.

Difficulty Starting Due to Faulty Fuel Pump Fuse

One specific electronic problem that has plagued early Ford F-150 Raptor models from 2010 to 2014 is that the engine doesn’t start because of a faulty fuel pump fuse, which is marked as the #27 fuse (in yellow) in the fuse box.

Difficulty Starting Due to Faulty Fuel Pump Fuse

Upon closer inspection of models that exhibit this issue, the #27 fuel pump fuse’s plastic has melted all over its metal prongs, rendering it unable to receive any current.

Thankfully, Ford’s TSB about this issue states that there is a relocation kit available for purchase (Part #EL3Z-14293-A), which allows the #27 fuse to be relocated to a suitable empty fuse slot with a higher load capacity.

To achieve this, it’s recommended to relocate the #27 fuel pump fuse to the empty #70 slot instead, which will be the 8th fuse slot from the left on the bottom row of the fuse box.

To look at a more detailed tutorial of the whole process, we also recommend watching the video below.

Other Interior and Exterior Problems

Faulty Panoramic Sunroof/Moonroof

The panoramic sunroof on the Ford F-150 Raptor is known to become faulty without apparent reason, though it has been later found out that the parts and mechanisms used are just inherently fragile from the factory.

Faulty Panoramic Sunroof/Moonroof

Specific issues of the faulty sunroof can include the lid getting stuck if moved too much, squeaking or rattling noises when the sunroof is closed, the sunroof seals being prone to water leaks, and failing to open at all.

Faulty sunroofs are such a common occurrence for the pickup truck that even owners of other F-150 trim levels (Non-Raptors) also experience them.

Ford has issued two separate TSBs to address both the glass lid getting stuck and the squeaking and rattling noises, though these only cover 2015 to 2019 F-150 models and did not specify if they also apply to Raptor models.

If you experience any sort of problem with the Raptor’s panoramic sunroof, your best bet is to take the vehicle to the dealership or a trusted auto mechanic for a proper diagnosis of the sunroof.

Windshield Washer Failure

Windshield Washer Failure

The windshield washers of the Ford F-150 Raptor as well as other F-150 trims are known to fail because of a clog in either the water lines or nozzles.

Though it’s more common for the nozzles to get clogged first due to them being located outside the vehicle, outside debris can also end up in the water lines or hoses, making it even harder to unclog the system.

In cases like this, you can try poking the nozzles with a needle to see if it unclogs. If the clog is within the water lines, it can be unclogged by using a compressed air gun to blow the debris out.

The windshield washer can also stop working due to other issues such as:
The washer pump not workingA blown wiper motor fuseA short in the wiper motor wiring harnessa failure in the washer switch

To narrow it down to these issues, you can try testing the windshield washer in a quiet place with the engine turned off if you can hear the washer motor working.

If you don’t hear the motor turn on, then it’s worth checking the above-mentioned components one at a time before you actually commit to replacing any single one of them.

“My Ford Touch” Infotainment Issues

The Ford Raptor’s “My Ford Touch” (MFT) infotainment system has been riddled with multiple known issues, which are most prevalent in the 1st-generation model.

As its name suggests, the MFT infotainment has a touch screen that displays all of the navigation, audio, Bluetooth, and phone call features.

“My Ford Touch” Infotainment Issues

However, the issues don’t necessarily lie in the touch screen itself, but more in how laggy the entire system is to any of your inputs.

This experience of lag can be evident in the navigation being slow to respond, the audio sometimes freezing, phone calls not ending on the infotainment right away, and difficulty connecting Bluetooth devices.

While there are lots of aftermarket modifications out there that are marketed to be able to fix the laggy infotainment system, it would still be better to have the entire system undergo a software update from the dealership itself.

Faulty Air Conditioning

The air conditioning system on the Ford F-150 Raptor, particularly in 1st-generation models, is quite prone to issues with actually providing cool air inside the vehicle.

Faulty Air Conditioning

As you can imagine, this can be quite an annoyance when you live in an area that constantly gets 100-degree heat outside.

In the case of the 1st-generation models, the absence of cool air has been linked to bad AC compressors, which is actually the most common culprit in vehicles exhibiting AC cooling problems.

Faulty Air Conditioning

If we look into one of the most common reasons why AC compressors go bad, it’s most likely because they’ve been running with not enough refrigerant or the refrigerant has completely run out.

If the AC compressor runs, then simply refilling the system with refrigerant is all you need to do to get that cool air blowing inside the cabin again.

The worst case scenario would be that the AC compressor is already damaged beyond repair, so you would have to replace it with a new one, which costs about $125 for 2010 to 2014 models.

What are the worst years of the Ford Raptor? (Years to Avoid)

Ford F-150 Raptor models manufactured in 2009, 2012, and 2014 are considered the worst years of the truck due to having the most reported problems.

Among the three years, 2012 received the most complaints in terms of engine and transmission-related issues, making it the worst of the lot.

Ford F-150 Raptor models produced in early 2009, 2012, and 2014 all belong to the 1st-generation model, which still had the “SVT” prefix in its name.

What are the worst years of the Ford Raptor? (Years to Avoid)

Raptor models from this generation are already known to be a bit more unreliable compared to the newer generations, but the 2012 model is what really takes the cake due to how major and downright expensive its issues can be.

2012 Ford Raptor models are known to have jerky transmission shifts and even delayed acceleration when putting your foot down, which is actually similar to what happens to even some newer models (2017 to 2019) minus the delay.

Apart from delayed acceleration, the 2012 model can even exhibit rough acceleration, which was traced back to an issue with the spark plugs.

While bad spark plugs are a relatively inexpensive part to replace, their effects on other engine and fuel system components can quickly rack up expenses if not dealt with right away.

Then there’s the widely-known problem of the Ford F-150 Raptor’s plastic oil pan, which is very prone to leak oil in just about any Raptor model (and even non-Raptor F-150 trims) made before 2018.

With all of these things considered, it’s safe to say that if you want a reliable F-150 Raptor, you should definitely avoid the 2012 model and look elsewhere.

Which Ford Raptor model year has the most recalls?

The 2022 Ford Raptor model equipped with 37-inch tires has received a recall due to having lug nuts that are below the required torque specifications, which affected about 1,519 units of the model.

Which Ford Raptor model years have the least problems? (Best Years)

The 2020 model year of the Ford F-150 Raptor already addressed most of the problems that the previous years had, making it the least problematic model year for the pickup truck.

Which Ford Raptor model years have the least problems? (Best Years)

By 2020, Ford has already fixed the majority of the Raptor’s problems that kept annoying owners since day one.

The 2020 model already disposed of its old plastic oil pan setup in favor of a more durable and less-likely-to-leak aluminum oil pan, which is already a big improvement considering how crucial maintaining proper oil levels can be.

Ford has also equipped it with better and more rigid roof braces this time, which is contrary to the 2018 model that received complaints of missing rivets, making its roof quite questionable in terms of safety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)