Ford issued a service bulletin to address a driveability problem in EcoBoost trucks, caused by condensation on the intercooler (a sort of radiator for the high-pressure air being forced into the engine by the turbocharger). Read about it here and here.
Read here to find out why some EcoBoost owners don’t like changing the oil in their trucks.
Posters in this thread talk of noisy steering that clunks when the truck is driven over uneven surfaces. In some trucks, a replacement steering rack fixes the problem, but in others, the replacement is just as bad as the original part.
Other things to watch for include transmission leaks (addressed through a service bulletin that advises the replacement of a transmission fluid pump and oil pan gasket), bad catalytic converters, and the already noted poor EcoBoost performance, which Ford apparently knows about and addressed with a service bulletin.
Many drivers complain of poor shift quality from the six-speed automatic transmission, especially when shifting from first to second, and vice-versa. A thunk/thump sound at take-off is caused by an inadequately lubricated driveshaft slip joint.
The centre brake light is the known cause of a water leak into the cabin.
2012 Ford F-150. Click image to enlarge
This thread discusses what sorts of noises are considered normal in the F-150′s 4WD system.
Here’s an interesting thread about F-150s that, if allowed to coast, will maintain 15 mph (about 25 km/h) on a flat road, instead of slowing to crawl speed.
Crash test performance was strong: the F-150 scored a “good” rating in the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) moderate overlap front and side impact tests, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave this truck its five-star ratings all around (up to 2010; the F-150 hasn’t been tested under updated test procedures introduced by NHTSA in 2011).
Ford builds a good pickup, and this latest F-150 is no exception. The EcoBoost V6 has had some teething problems, so, while it’s a great engine, it’s worth approaching a used one with a certain amount of caution. If a 4WD truck is on your radar, be aware of the mechanical complexity it adds, and the related potential for mechanical problems, as well as its negative effect on fuel economy. Shop for a truck that comes with complete service records, and take any truck for a thorough test drive to see if you notice any of the quirks noted in this review.