Best And Worst Years For The Ford F-250

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Did you know that the model number F-250 means something? The number represents the payload capacity of the truck. In the case of this one, it is 2500 pounds, which is very good.

The F-250 has been in the market for more than two decades. It has been loved by consumers and reviewers alike because of its amazing performance and reliability.

There are a few models that have performed worse as compared to the top dogs.

This article will be covering all of those best and worst years for Ford F-250, so you can decide which one is suitable for you.

Best Years for Ford F-250:

  1. 2021
  2. 2020
  3. 2007
  4. 2009
  5. 2013
  6. 2014
  7. 2018

Worst Years for Ford F-250:

  1. 2006
  2. 2011
  3. 2017
  4. 2001
  5. 2002
  6. 2003

This article will be getting into the details of all of the models mentioned above years.

If you are serious about buying this heavy-duty truck, it is recommended to read this article in its entirety. So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!

List Of The Best Years For The Ford F-250: What Years To Buy

Read the pros and cons of the Ford F250 trucks so you can avoid buying the bad vehicle

We will first be discussing the model years that have been proven to be the best of them all.

These models of the F-250 are the most reliable ones out there.

If you want to buy one, it is recommended to consider one from the following list.

#1 Best Year: 2021 Ford F-250

The first model on this list is also the latest one on the market, as of writing this article.

The 2021 Ford F-250 surprisingly has had no reliability complaints, which is something you don’t heat every day.

The V8 engine that it rocks under the hood is powerful and can generate a lot of power. The driving experience of the F-250 is simply amazing.

The acceleration is great, and the ten-speed automatic transmission improves the experience further.

The comfort level of the F-250 is good. It does not break any records, but the seating is comfortable enough for long rides.

#2 Best Year: 2020 Ford F-250

The 2020 Ford F-250 is another amazing option to consider. Like its successor, there have been no reliability complaints with this almost latest model.

It features the same 7.3L V8 engine, which is powerful and provides users with an amazing driving experience. It also allows for the truck to tow weights easily.

The Sync 3 infotainment system is one of the best on the market and has a user-friendly design.

As this is one of the more recent models on this list, there is no surprise that the interior is as good as it gets. It is spacious and has been designed using high-quality materials.

#3 Best Year: 2007 Ford F-250

I can guarantee that you did not expect that. Taking a massive leap back in time, coming in third place is the 2007 Ford F-250.

This model is fifteen years old at this point and has been one of the most reliable ones to be ever released.

It features a 5.4L V8 engine, which is strong and can generate an impressive 300 HP, which is plenty for most people.

Some of you might be worried that this model may lack safety features. Well, that is not true at all. There are no side airbags, but an ABS braking system and parking sensors are present.

The interior is decent, but it does look outdated compared to modern standards.

#4 Best Year: 2009 Ford F-250

The 2009 Ford F-250 is another option one must consider if on a tight budget. This absolute monster of a unit is more than a decade old, but it still performs amazingly.

It features the same 5.4L V8 engine found in the 2007 model. It is great, powerful, and perfect for those who need to tow many loads.

Ford implemented some clever design changes with this model, such as a flip-down tailgate step which can easily be concealed.

The model does not have side airbags, just like the previous one. As it does not have any major upgrades over the 2007 model, the older one is preferred because it is cheaper.

#5 Best Year: 2013 Ford F-250

Looking for something a little bit more modern?

Well, if you are on a budget but don’t want to compromise on performance either, then the 2013 Ford F-250is the one to provide you with the best of both worlds.

There were upgrades, such as the MyFord touch system, which was pretty good. This model has all the important safety features, including side airbags.

The towing capacity of this model is amazing, with the maximum number being an eye-watering 14000 pounds.

That is more than enough for most people. The only drawback of this model is that the interior looks a bit cheap due to hard plastics.

#6 Best Year: 2014 Ford F-250

Arriving in sixth place is the successor to the 2013 F-250, the 2014 model. Although it has earned one of the last spots, it is still pretty decent.

It features a powerful 6.2L V8 engine under the hood, which can produce 400 HP.

It has a towing capacity of 14000 pounds, which can be pushed to almost 17000 with a fifth-wheel configuration.

The driving experience of the 2014 F-250 is great. It provides decent handling and control. The interior is made up of hard plastics, which don’t look and feel too appealing.

It also does not bring any changes compared to the 2013 model, which is why it has earned a lower spot on this list.

#7 Best Year: 2018 Ford F-250

Finally, coming in the seventh and final place is the 2018 Ford F-250. This model is another fairly recent one.

There is one reason why it has earned the lowest spot on this list, and that is the price. It launched at a higher price, which means that the used ones are also priced higher.

The 2018 Ford F-250 is a great option to consider if you are looking for a beefy truck but don’t want to shell out money for a new one.

The driving experience is great, and the adaptive steering helps improve the experience.

The infotainment system has been upgraded with the Sync 3 interface, which is responsive and easy to use.

List Of The Worst Years For The Ford F-250: What Years To Avoid

Now that we are done with the top models of the truck, the article will be diverting its focus towards those models that one should not consider.

Although reliability-wise, the Ford F-250, has not had a terrible past, it is still recommended to avoid these models.

#1 Worst Year: 2006 Ford F-250

The model that has been complained about the most is the 2006 Ford F-250.

It is more than a decade old and was plagued with various issues, most of them related to the engine and the suspension system.

The suspension was not stable and would result in the vehicle shaking while driving. When talking about the engine, there were many serious issues.

The EGR cooler was known to fail frequently. There were also reports of the engine stalling while driving, which is dangerous.

Some unfortunate owners also complained about spark plugs breaking in their respective heads. All in all, this model was and still is a headache to own.

#2 Worst Year: 2011 Ford F-250

The 2011 F-250 came five years later, and it also had many problems. No real changes had been made to improve the suspension system.

The truck would wobble a lot while driving, making the experience less enjoyable. Shock failure was also common on this model of the truck.

Although there were no engine issues reported with the 2011 Ford F-250, there were transmission issues.

Shifting would be hard and rough, making the driving experience much poor. The fuel pump was also known to fail on this model, which is expensive to replace.

This model is another one that must not be considered unless you are looking to spend a lot on repairs.

#3 Worst Year: 2017 Ford F-250

The 2017 Ford F-250 is the newest model on this list.

Many of you may be surprised to see it here. It had many issues, with the suspension and the steering being the most problematic ones.

A decade went by, and still, the wobble issue of the F-250 was not fixed. It was still present in this model, which was unexpected.

The steering wheel also had the issue of wobbling. There is a decent chance that both of these problems are connected. The wobble means you will not have proper control over the vehicle.

The 2017 F-250 model also had structural problems. The tailgate would open at random intervals, which means cargo may fall off.

#4 Worst Year: 2001 Ford F-250

These final models are the oldest ones on this list. The 2001 Ford F-250 had many issues, which helped it earn a spot here.

There were engine issues, with the common problem of spark plugs blowing in the cylinder heads. The truck would also shut down when traveling at low speeds.

The transmission system of the 2001 model was also not reliable. Many problems were reported, with the most common ones being leaking fluids and losing all gears.

These problems meant that the truck would be useless unless the system was replaced. And transmission issues usually cost thousands of dollars to fix.

#5 Worst Year: 2002 Ford F-250

Some improvements were seen a year later, with this 2002 Ford F-250.

The spark plugs blowing was still not resolved, but the stalling problem had been fixed, which is why this model has earned a better spot.

The 2002 F-250 had a rusting issue. This is serious because rust can compromise the vehicle’s structure, which means its lifespan will be significantly reduced.

The electrical system was also prone to issues. The battery would die quickly, prompting a replacement. Gauges would also stop working at times, which is annoying and frustrating.

#6 Worst Year: 2003 Ford F-250

Coming in sixth place is the successor to the 2002 Ford F-250, the 2003 model. This model had some unique issues, such as the spark plugs not staying in their respective places.

They would jump out, which would cause the engine to stop working. There were also reports of oil leakage, which is very annoying.

The final issue on the 2003 Ford F-250 was related to the transmission. The system would fail, which can only be fixed by replacing it entirely.

Although the 2003 model has won against other years of the Ford F-250, it is not necessarily good.

If you get the issues that people commonly face with this model, you can expect to pay a lot to get your vehicle in working condition.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Ford F-250?

Now that the article has covered all of the top and worst years of the Ford F-250 truck, I thought it would be sensible to include all of the common problems that owners have faced over the years.

I urge you to read this section in its entirety.

1. Spark Plug Blowout

Perhaps the most common issue, which has been plaguing the F-250 owners over the years, is the blowing out of the spark plugs.

Well, the spark plugs would be loose, which would result in them not working properly and sometimes even blowing. The models that saw this issue mostly were the 2001 to 2003 ones.

You may be wondering what could cause this issue. Well, many things can result in this. If the spark plugs have not been replaced for quite some time, they can get loose due to vibrations.

The threads can also be damaged, which can cause them to not be installed properly. All it takes is a strong enough force, and the plugs blow.

The only way to fix this issue of the spark plugs blowing or slipping is to get them replaced on time. If that does not solve the issue, then the threads on the engine are at fault.

There are many fixes available, and you have to see which one will work best for you.

2. Wobble While Driving

Many unfortunate Ford F-250 complained that their trucks would wobble violently when driving.

It would continuously shake, which would lessen the driver’s control over the truck. This problem is perhaps the only one on this list that was not fixed for more than a decade.

So, what could be the main reason for this issue? Well, again, many factors can play their roles in this issue. Mostly, the wobble is due to a misaligned steering wheel.

As the F-250 has been designed for use in rough terrains, it is common for the steering wheel to get out of alignment.

Uneven tire pressure can also cause this problem. If the pressure is too low in one tire, then the vehicle will not balance itself.

If you have the wobble issue, which many F-250 owners call the death wobble, it is recommended to get your vehicle professionally diagnosed.

The only thing you can do before the diagnosis gets the tire pressure leveled. If that does not fix the issue, a professional will help you.

3. Transmission Failure

Although this is less common on the F-250, it has happened enough times that it has earned its very own spot on this list.

Transmission failure is always seen in a generation of a vehicle. The F-250, by Ford, is included among those vehicles.

In the case of this truck, these issues were present in the generation that was in production in the early 2000s.

Transmission issues are usually slipping gears or failure of the system entirely. There are no other issues.

So, what could cause them?

Well, the transmission fluid may become contaminated or could leak, which would result in it being too low after some while.

There have been reports that the torque converter can also cause this issue. The same goes for the solenoid, which can cause the gears to slip.

Transmission system failures are those whose repairs cannot be delayed. If you do, you can expect to pay thousands of dollars to get your vehicle back in usable condition.

Whatever the fix, no matter how much it takes, you should get the problem repaired as soon as possible.

If the cost is too high, it is also recommended to replace the entire engine with a known good one.

Related: What Are The Ford F250 Transmission Problems?

4. Unexpected Engine Failure

Finally, coming in the fourth and final place is a problem that can only be fixed by replacing the entire engine.

Many unfortunate Ford F-250 complained that their trucks’ engines would fail. There can be many reasons which can play their role in this.

If your engine suddenly dies while driving, there is a decent chance that it is due to overheating.

You should check coolant levels and make sure that there are no leakages. Engine failure can also be due to low oil levels.

As there is no lubrication between the components, not only does it attribute to unexpected engine failure, but it can result in the lifespan is considerably shortened.

You should always keep the oil levels in check and replace them every six months.

Here are the engines that Ford F-250 has the issues with:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Year Did F-250 Body Style Change?

As of 2022, the F-250 is in its fourth generation.

This one was introduced in 2017 and received a minor facelift in 2020. The third generation was in the market for five years, from 2011 to 2016.

The second generation lived the shortest, from 2008 to 2010. The first generation, the one that started it all, was in production from 1998 to 2007. It received a facelift in 2005.

Q2. How Long Do F-250 Diesels Last?

The diesel-powered truck can last much longer than its gasoline-powered counterpart.

You can expect the diesel variant to last for 500000 miles easily, which is excellent. However, the gasoline one is expected to drive for more than 350000 miles.

That is also pretty decent. The truck has been designed to last more than a decade with heavy usages, such as towing or off-roading.

All you need to do is keep up with the maintenance at all times.

Q3. What Year Did F-250 Go Aluminum?

There are many reasons the Super Duty was shifted to an aluminum body. This was tested with the F-150 back in 2015, with Ford making the change for the F-250 in 2017.

As the manufacturer uses military-grade steel, it is stronger and keeps the vehicle’s overall weight much lighter, allowing for improved control and handling.

Combined with the steel frame, the aluminum body ensures that the F-250 will have excellent structural integrity.

Q4. Which Is Better Ram 2500 or Ford F-250?

The winner among the two is the beloved F-250. Let me explain.

The engine can produce up to 65 more HP than the one in the Ram 2500. The cargo space of the Ford is also bigger than the Ram.

Even the towing capacity of the F-250 is better than the Ram 2500. All in all, it does come close, but the Ford F-250 beats the Ram 2500 in all regards.

Q5. What Makes An F-250 A Super Duty?

Ford has given those trucks the title of Super Duty that can handle intense workloads.

Well, the F-250 is the one that leads the pack. It was designed with off-roading and towing, and hauling in mind.

This means that it is extremely powerful. It is perfect for heavy-duty tasks and is up for any challenge you throw at it.

These trucks are also more rugged, which means they can take a beating better than offerings from other competitors.


I hope this article helped you decide which model of the F-250 will be suitable for you.

With the Ford F-250 being entering its second decade, many people aim to get used ones, which are cheaper and can be more reliable than the newer models.

As we saw in this article of the best and worst years for Ford F-250, many recent models have been proved to be unreliable.

But out of all of them, 2021 takes the lead. It has had no reliability issues and is also packed with the latest features, making it better on the road.