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Best & Worst Years of Ford F-350 – Graphs & Owner Surveys

The best years of the Ford F-350 are 2019-2020, 2016, 2014, and 2010-2012. The years you should avoid are 2003-2008, 2001, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Most issues are related to the PowerStroke turbodiesel engines, specifically the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system. 

Ford Super Duty F-350 SuperCab display.

When you need all the power, all the space, and all the towing, few can match a Ford F-350. Sitting atop Ford’s Super Duty line of heavy-duty pickups, the F-350 has been the Blue Oval’s top Super Duty workhorse since 1999 – with roots stretching back much further.

As the pickup truck segment has exploded in popularity over the last couple of decades, so too has the range of F-350 powertrains, creature comforts, and capacities. That makes now a great time to look back over 20 years of FIXD data to uncover the best and worst model years of the Ford F-350. 

Best Years



All-time reliability highs and fuel economy


Jump in reliability, low maintenance costs


FIXD Reliability Score moves up 5 points


Clean launch of 3rd-gen F-350

Worst Years



Long stretch of terrible reliability, big service bills


Powertrain updates hurt reliability


FIXD Reliability Score declines by 3 points


PowerStroke revisions drive reliability down


Struggles with 4th-gen debut

Ford F-350 Engine Reliability Score, Safety Ratings, MPG, and Value v.s. Maintenance & Repair Costs Year by Year

The first chart below, the Ford F-350 Reliability Score, is the most important factor in our ranking of the best and worst model years. It shows objective FIXD device data along with subjective owner-reported information that combines to give us a complete picture of F-350 reliability for the past 20 years.

It’s not unusual for the first year of a new generation of a vehicle to struggle with reliability issues as the automaker works out production kinks. This rings true with the Ford F-350 as 2008 and 2017, which both marked the beginning of a new generation, are both on our list of model years to avoid. 

It’s something that almost every vehicle struggles with including Super Duty competitors like the Chevy Silverado HD and Ram 3500.

From here, we normally look at published government safety scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and fuel efficiency figures per fueleconomy.gov. However, as the Ford F-350 and its competitive set are exempt from these tests, we have added details from fuelly.com where applicable. 

We also consider current market values from Kelley Blue Book (KBB), annual maintenance costs per owner-submitted survey responses, frequently encountered Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), and notable safety recalls issued by the NHTSA.

We’re aiming to provide a well-rounded picture of the Ford F-350’s reliability for would-be buyers and current owners. If you’re in the market for a car, take a look at our article on the USA’s most reliable and cheapest to repair cars in the U.S. Don’t get stuck with a lemon, use our data to help you shop.

Engine Reliability Score – Over The Years

Ford F-350 Engine Reliability Score

Looking at the Ford F-350 Super Duty Reliability Score chart above, the FIXD Reliability Score (green line) comes from the total number of CELs that have been recorded by customer-installed FIXD devices for each model year. After tallying them up, we weight this objective score by average mileage and convert it into a 1-10 scale where 10 is the best and 1 is the worst. 

As part of our customer surveys, we ask F-350 owners, “How reliable would you say your car is?” with answer options ranging from “Just Point A to Point B driving” to “I could take a cross-country trip, no problem.” After converting the response into a 1-10 scale, we create the Owner Reliability Score (gray line) on the chart above as a subjective counterpoint to the objective FIXD data. 

Usually, these two lines move somewhat in step with one another. But as you can see on this F-350 chart, owners have been consistently positive on their trucks aside from 2003 to 2008 – which happens to be a model year range we don’t recommend. 

This variance in scores is more pronounced on older F-350s, something usually associated with long-term owners becoming both sentimentally attached to their trucks and numb to the steady stream of reliability problems. You can see a dramatic example of this in the scores for the 2008 F-350, which we’ll look at closely in the relevant section below. 

This combination of objective and subjective insight is why we include both sets of data in our analysis. You can find out more about our reliability scoring process at the bottom of this article and learn about some of the most common CELs to expect from a Ford F-350.

NHTSA Safety Score – Over The Years

Ford F-350 NHTSA Safety Rating

Typically, we would overlay published government safety scores for the F-350 against the gray line shown, which illustrates crash-testing scores for the auto industry as a whole. But as mentioned earlier, the NHTSA does not test 1-ton pickups like the Ford F-350. The same is true of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 

As of 2011, the NHTSA did start testing the Ford F-250 however. Though not an apples-to-apples comparison, you can get an idea of how Ford’s Super Duty is performing on the safety front by reviewing the chart in that article. Another approach to gaining insight into F-350 safety is digging into the IIHS’s data on driver death rates by make and model and comparing those statistics to competitors like the Ram 3500. 

It’s worth understanding as safety scores play a role in how much your insurance premium will cost. If you live in one of the states listed below, we can show you the cheapest vehicles to insure in yours. 

What Used Cars Are the Cheapest To Insure In:
North Carolina
New York

MPG – Over The Years

Ford F-350 Super Duty Average MPG

As with safety testing, the federal government exempts trucks like the Ford F-350 from fuel economy testing. This exemption for trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 8,500 pounds goes back to a time when such a vehicle was only used for commercial purposes. It would have been hard to imagine, at the time, that a regular consumer would want a truck that big for personal use.

Fortunately, there is fuelly.com, which crowd-sources fuel economy figures by having owners of vehicles like the F-350 record their fuel usage. As opposed to the laboratory environment of EPA testing, the figures from Fuelly are gathered from real-world usage. Meaning, that fuel economy will vary widely based on individual driving habits, so take these ratings with a grain of salt. 

Throughout this article, you’ll see mention of a “PowerStroke” motor. It’s a reference to the diesel-powered family of engines that Ford has been offering in its Super Duty lineup since day one. Typically more torque-rich than gas-powered engines, the PowerStroke motors also offer better fuel economy as shown above. 

Current Market Value of All Ford F-350 Years & Cost Per Year to Repair and Maintain Each

Ford F-350 Market Value vs Cost of Repairs

The above chart of Ford F-350 Super Duty Value vs. Cost of Repairs illustrates current F-350 market values per Kelley Blue Book against average annual maintenance costs collected from owner survey responses. It’s another tool used to inform our data-based rankings of the best and worst model years. 

For example, between 2019 and 2020, the F-350 showed off its resale chops with a sharp spike up over the 2018 model. At the same time, annual maintenance costs dropped, and reliability hit high points. Taken together, these data points represent a truck that is easy to recommend.

When shopping for a used Ford F-350, it’s important to keep in mind that not all vehicles are cared for equally. To protect yourself from lemons, take along a FIXD Sensor on your test drive. FIXD connects to a free app on your smartphone to tell you more about the vehicle you’re checking out, including check engine lights and other hidden issues that the owner or dealership may be attempting to hide. Click here to learn more and get FIXD for only $19.99 (regular price $59)!

Important Features Timeline

Ford F-350 Timeline of Important Features

1999 – 1st-gen F-350 debuts with a gas-powered V8 and V10, and a PowerStroke diesel

2000 – ABS added to Lariat models, base XL trim gets optional front bucket seats

2001 – 7.3L PowerStroke retuned, trailer tow package becomes standard

2002 – V10 updated with more power, 6-speed manual offered with gas motors

2003 – 7.3L turbodiesel replaced by 6.0L unit, King Ranch model debuts

2004 – Harley-Davidson model arrives with special badges and two-tone paint

2005 – Mid-cycle refresh, updated V8 and V10, standard disc brakes all four corners

2006 – Lariat models come standard with dual-zone automatic climate control

2007 – V10 is no longer available in certain states due to stricter emissions standards

2008 – 2nd-gen debuts with new 6.4L powertrain, new cabin design, and stronger chassis

2009 – SYNC infotainment system becomes optional, Cabela’s Edition offered

2010 – Axle ratio revised across the lineup to improve fuel economy

2011 – 3rd-gen debuts with standard 6-speed automatic, new gas and diesel powertrains

2012 – Tow ratings increase, AppLink smartphone integration offered

2013 – MyFord Touch infotainment system, 8” touchscreen, and Platinum trim all arrive

2014 – Carryover year with no major changes

2015 – PowerStroke motor sees increased output and more towing capacity

2016 – Optional LED warning strobe lights offered

2017 – 4th-gen debuts as 1st all-new model since 1999 with aluminum body panels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

2018 – Top-spec Limited trim arrives with adaptive cruise control, panoramic moonroof, and more

2019 – New premium 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system replaces Sony setup

2020 – Exterior refresh, new 7.3L “Godzilla” V8 unveiled, new 10-speed automatic across lineup

2021 – Adaptive steering technology added to Lariat models and above

2022 – 12” infotainment touchscreen added to the list of options

The Best Years of the Ford F-350

Ford F-350 display at a dealership.

Taking into account FIXD and Owner reliability, fuel efficiency, and F-350 owner survey responses, we’ve come up with this list of the best Ford F-350s. Pertinent recall information and notes about common DTCs are included as well. 

NOTE: The 2002, 2009, and 2018 Ford F-350s are not included in the rankings below due to insufficient data.

2020 Ford F-350 display at a dealership.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 9-10/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $40,667-$45,522

Fuel Economy: 11 mpg (gas) 14-16 mpg (diesel) 9-11 mpg (E85)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $500-875

Safety Rating: N/A

Between the all-time reliability score highs, tremendous resale values, below-average annual maintenance costs, and relatively high fuel economy figures, it’s easy to say the 2019 and 2020 Ford F-350 are the best of the best model years. 

It’s all the more impressive considering Ford unveiled an all-new 7.3L “Godzilla” V8 gas-powered engine, revised the 6.7L PowerStroke turbodiesel, AND implemented a new 10-speed automatic transmission across the lineup. Normally, this sort of wholescale powertrain updating is fraught with reliability gremlins. But these late-model F-350s buck that norm.

Owners cite the comfortable seats, easy-to-use entertainment system, and strong stereo as high points. These aspects are helped by the available massaging front seats, 8” touchscreen interface, Apple and Android integration, and B&O 10-speaker audio system. 

All of those amenities also help drive an uptick in these owners saying they primarily use their F-350 for luxurious driving. 20 years ago, this level of luxury was unheard of in any pickup truck, but particularly in the heavy-duty segment. 

A main driver of F-350 sales success is the mighty PowerStroke diesel family of engines that offer huge output figures and towing capabilities. However, these motors also lead the way on commonly encountered CELs. Four of the most common DTCs on the 2019-2020 Ford F-350 are related to the DEF system.

DTC P249E means this system, which reduces levels of NOx in the exhaust, is malfunctioning. DTC P221C is triggered when the DEF pressure line heater is on the fritz. Last but not least are DTC P2200 and P20EE, which pop up when those NOx levels are outside acceptable parameters due to the DEF system not doing its job. 

If you see DTC P0401, it means the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve is not working properly. Replacing one costs between $300 and $400. DTC P0303, another common trouble code, indicates a cylinder misfire and may lead to replacing the spark plugs.

There were 4 recalls issued for the 2019 F-350 and one of them, for an improperly welded front axle, affected nearly 10,000 vehicles. Of the 2 recalls on the 2020 model, an issue with improperly assembled seat back recliner mechanisms was the most significant as it impacted some 639,000 vehicles. 

Any Ford dealership should fix recall-related work free of charge on a Ford vehicle up to 15 model years old. You can use this NHTSA VIN tool to find out if your vehicle has any outstanding recalls. 

2016 Ford F-350 Super Duty aerial shot on a sandy highway
This AI-generated image may not accurately represent all aspects of the intended subjects whether a person or object.


FIXD App Engine Reliability: 8/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $18,272

Fuel Economy: 11 mpg (gas) 13 mpg (diesel) 12 mpg (E85)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $1,125

Safety Rating: N/A

Towards the end of 3rd-gen production, the F-350 saw an increase in its FIXD Reliability Score. This isn’t unusual for models towards the end of a given generation as the automaker has had time to iron out any persistent reliability problems. 

We also like these F-350s for the low recall count, below-average maintenance costs, and purchase value. Per KBB, these Super Dutys decline in market value versus the 2015 model. But with relatively low average odometer readings of 139,000 miles and solid reliability, these trucks represent an excellent value for would-be buyers. 

Those buyers will be happy to know that current owners rate reliability 10/10 and more than 25% of them expect their F-350 to run beyond 200,000 miles. Only 44% think their Fords are expensive to repair, which is well below the 66% average for this metric. And the seat comfort, entertainment system, and stereo all rank highly by those owners. 

A large percentage of 2016 F-350 owners primarily use their trucks for outdoor and off-road work. It’s worth noting that the FX4 package available on these models came with fuel tank skid plates, Hill Descent Control, and Rancho dampers – all in the name of off-road prowess. But if you seek serious trail chops, be sure to check out the Tremor setup that arrived in 2020. 

The DEF system is still a bugaboo on these 2016 F-350s as DTC P20BA is the most frequent cause of a CEL. It’s triggered when the reductant heater is malfunctioning. DTC P228F will light up if the ECM detects overly high fuel pressure for the direct injection system. If you see DTC P00BD, look for an issue with the Mass Airflow (MAF) sensor. 

There were only 3 recalls issued by the NHTSA on the 2016 Ford F-350. Of those, a problem with the driver’s airbag not deploying properly was the most significant as it affected over 300,000 vehicles. 

2014 Ford F-350 driving on a sandy highway, aerial shot
This AI-generated image may not accurately represent all aspects of the intended subjects whether a person or object.


FIXD App Engine Reliability: 6/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $12,868

Fuel Economy: 13 mpg (gas) 13 mpg (diesel) 10 mpg (E85)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $958

Safety Rating: N/A

Going on 10 years old, the 2014 Ford F-350 impresses with a 5-point improvement in the FIXD Reliability Score over 2013 models. Owners rate their trucks a 10 on reliability, fuel economy is on the high side for gas-powered motors and annual service bills come in more than $200 below average. 

It’s a winning combination bolstered by excellent driver visibility per nearly a quarter of 2014 owners. As with many of these F-350s, the entertainment system and stereo are both cited as positive ownership features. These Super Dutys also rank highly for use primarily as a family vehicle, which makes sense given the big-time backseat legroom of 42” on crew cab models. 

Two of the three most common DTCs on the 2014 F-350 are P0420 and P0430. Both are triggered by a faulty catalytic converter, replacement of which can hit $2,000. Be sure to check out our DTC P0420 DIY guide for tips on how to save money on this costly repair.

Fortunately, DTC P04DB, which is one of the most common causes of a CEL on the F-350, is a lot less expensive to deal with. It indicates an issue with the crankcase pressure sensor, a component that costs between $90 and $120 to replace. 

There were 6 recalls for the 2014 F-350, half of which were related to a PTO pressure switch leaking oil. The total number of vehicles impacted was only about 100. 

Logo of the car manufacturer Ford in a parked vehicle.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 3-4/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9-10/10

KBB Value: $6,858-$8,964

Fuel Economy: 11-13 mpg (gas) 12-14 mpg (diesel) 10-11 mpg (E85)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250-$1,500

Safety Rating: N/A

Relative to the rest of the F-350s on our list of best model years, the 2010-2012 trucks have low FIXD Reliability Scores. However, 2011 marked the launch of the 3rd generation and loads of powertrain changes which didn’t impact reliability as the FIXD figure moved from 1 in 2008 to 4 by 2012. 

On top of that, owners were impressed by reliability, diesel fuel efficiency increased by 2 mpg in 2011, gas motors saw a 2 mpg fuel economy uptick in 2012, and the introduction of E85 compatibility on the 3rd-gen F-350 meant owners had more choices than ever when it came to filling up the tank. 

Annual maintenance costs are a mixed bag. Owners of 2010 F-350s say their trucks are cheap to repair, which is backed by low average bills of $250 per year. But 2011 owners disagree with 67% saying their F-350s are expensive to keep on the road, which correlates with annual maintenance costs of nearly $1,400. 

Highlights include the more than 25% of owners of all three model years that expect their F-350 to run past 200,00 miles. Half of the 2012 owners are impressed with the amount of cabin storage, which aligns with the flow-through center console and lockable storage bins under the front and back benches introduced with the new model in 2011. 

The list of frequently encountered DTCs on the 2010-2012 F-350 ranges from P1000, which is triggered when the diagnostic system is unable to run through its checklist, to B124D, which means a tire pressure sensor is on the fritz. DTC U0253 means the ABS module needs a software update and DTC B10F1 pops up when it’s time for a new ignition switch, which runs between $150 and $300. 

The DEF system, as ever, is a trouble point on these F-350s with DTC P20BA triggered by a faulty DEF reductant heater. DTC P0703 shows up when there is an issue with the “brake switch B circuit” and DTC P0446 pops when the Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system vent control valve is acting up. Fortunately, this latter issue is usually corrected by simply tightening the gas cap. 

Of the 11 recalls for the  2010 F-350, 10 were related to oil leaking from the PTO pressure switch, an issue that affected a couple hundred trucks. The same issue was responsible for 9 of the 11 recalls on the 2011 F-350 and for 12 of the 17 recalls on the 2012 truck. There was also a problem with the transmission shifting unexpectedly on the 2012 F-350 in a recall that impacted about 16,000 vehicles. 

The Worst Years of the Ford F-350

Ford Super Duty F350 truck display at a dealership.

Working with the same information to determine the best Ford F-350s, we’ve compiled a list of model years to stay away from. You can expect worse reliability and bigger maintenance bills with these poor-performing F-350s. We are starting from the absolute worst and progressing to the “best of the worst”.

2005 Pickup truck Ford F-350 in the city street.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 1/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 6-8/10

KBB Value: $4,397-$5,833

Fuel Economy: 8-12 mpg (gas) 12-15 mpg (diesel) 

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $750-$2,125

Safety Rating: N/A

The early aughts saw a long road of terrible reliability for the Ford F-350. From the middle of 1st-gen production in 2003 to the first year of 2nd-gen production in 2008, the FIXD Reliability Score sat at 1, the lowest possible rating. It was also one of the few times that the Owner Reliability Score dipped below 9.

Granted, this period saw all manner of powertrain changes that tend to wreak havoc with reliability. For example, the 7.3L PowerStroke was replaced by a 6.0L unit in 2003, the Torqshift 4-speed automatic was replaced by a 5-speed model the same year, both Triton gas motors were updated in 2005, and the PowerStroke was again replaced in 2008 by a 6.4L unit. And average mileage leans into big numbers from a low of 160,000 to an all-time time high of 225,000 on 2004 models. 

So, there are ample reasons for these reliability struggles, which, at the end of the day, make it easy to select the 2003-2008 Ford F-350 as the absolute worst model years. On top of this, market values dip into 2003 and then stay fairly flat. Annual maintenance costs move around over this period but the 2004 F-350 has the dubious honor of an all-time high for this metric of $2,125. 

The 2005 model year presents a pointed example of why it’s important to evaluate both reliability scores if you’re in the market. That year, the objective FIXD Reliability Score measured 1/10 while the subjective Owner Reliability Score came in at 8/10, a 7-point swing.

Digging into the data, we can see that 75% of 2005 F-350 owners think their truck can handle at least a 500-mile jaunt, if not a full-on cross-country road trip, without issue. However, the data also shows that these 2005 Super Dutys have a DTC tally 53% higher than the 20-year average. So, they are objectively unreliable. 

Tellingly, the percentage of 2003-2008 owners who think their F-350 will make it past 200,000 miles is below average every year – except 2005. As usual, the stereo and entertainment system rank highly per owner surveys, but those owners also generally find their F-350s expensive to repair and in some cases, have uncomfortable seats.

Something that isn’t surprising about these early F-350s is that the large majority of owners in each model year report primarily using their trucks for towing and hauling. This makes sense when you consider that 20 years ago, Ford was marketing these Super Dutys specifically for that purpose. The personal luxury barges we see today came later. 

Two of the most commonly encountered DTCs over this period, U1900 and P0603, are related to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). DTC P0603 is triggered when the PCM has failed a self-testing protocol, an issue that is often corrected by charging the battery. But, DTC U1900 could mean you’re on the hook for a new PCM entirely, a job that costs between $1,000 and $1,500.

If you see DTC P2285, it means the Injector Control Pressure (ICP) sensor is malfunctioning. DTC P0299 is also related to the ICP sensor, specifically for an error between the values for expected and actual exhaust back pressure. When the ECM detects an issue with the fuel injection pump actuator, it will trigger DTC P0528.

Other common causes of a CEL on these F-350s include DTC P1000, which trips when the diagnostic system cannot complete its standard list of checks, and DTC P0528 for a problem with the “brake switch B circuit”. If there is a leak in the intake or intercooler on PowerStroke models, you may see DTC P132B and if one of the glow plugs isn’t heating up, keep an eye out for DTC P0678.

This wide array of engine-related DTCs correlates with several of these early F-350s having a high percentage chance of expensive repairs due to engine problems. Every one of them aside from the 2008 model has a 50% chance or greater of this occurrence. As well, the 2003, 2006, and 2008 F-350s all spend 3 days or more in the shop each year.

As for recalls, the 2003 F-350 received 3 including one for loose battery grounding studs that impacted 84,000 vehicles. Of the 3 recalls for both the 2004 and 2005 F-350, a problem with malfunctioning steering column switches was common in both model years. 

This multifunction switch issue was also the most impactful of the 4 recalls on the 2006 F-350 with some 26,000 vehicles affected. There were 3 recalls for the 2007 model and 9 recalls on the 2008 F-350. Of those 9, a problem with Continental tire belt separation was the most significant as it impacted nearly 400,000 vehicles. 

2001 White classic american Ford F-350 tow truck at the interurban road.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 1/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $6,537

Fuel Economy: 9 mpg (gas) 14 mpg (diesel) 

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $1,208

Safety Rating: N/A

The 2001 Ford F-350 is on par with its 2003-2008 stablemates with a pathetic FIXD Reliability Score but avoids “worst of the worst” honors by bagging a higher Owner Reliability Score, lower repair bills, and better KBB market values.

That’s not to say these very old Super Dutys are worth looking at, they’re just marginally better than the absolute worst models. For example, even though the stereo system on these old workhorses ranged from 2 speakers and an AM/FM radio to 4 speakers and a CD player, owners seem to like the way it sounds. 

Those owners also help these trucks earn that workhorse reputation as 36% report mostly using them for towing and hauling as Ford intended. But even though these F-350s average 192,000 miles, a below-average contingent of owners do not expect to see 200,000 miles.

When it comes to problems, two of the most common causes of a CEL on the 2001 F-350 are the coil-on-plug assemblies. These components perform the function of both the ignition coil and spark plug wire set, but when they go, you’ll see either DTC P0300 or P0310. Expect to pay between $55 and $165 for a new set, a cost that will vary depending on whether your truck has 8 or 10 cylinders. 

DTC P0174 is triggered when cylinder bank 2 has too much air or not enough fuel, an issue that usually leads to a new fuel pump for between $450 and $600. This aligns with the high percentage chance of a $500+ repair on the 2001 F-350 being related to the fuel system. 

The NHTSA issued 6 recalls for the 2001 Ford F-350. Of those, a problem with overheating cruise control deactivation switches was by far the most serious as it affected 1.2 million vehicles. 

2013 Cargo truck Ford F-350 in the city street.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 1/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $14,420

Fuel Economy: 14 mpg (gas) 14 mpg (diesel) 12 mpg (E85)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $750

Safety Rating: N/A

Midway through 3rd-gen production, the Ford F-350 took a 3-point reliability dive with the FIXD Reliability Score dropping from 4 to a bottom-of-the-barrel 1. There are no obvious changes to this model that would explain this and the market values move up while annual maintenance costs move down. But with reliability that poor, we’re for sure going to give this truck a thumbs down. 

Owners approve of driver visibility and seat comfort on their 10-year-old Super Dutys. But repair expenses are seen as being too high and the sound system is largely seen as “trash”. These older F-350s do start creeping into family vehicle territory, which coincides with available amenities like heated rear seats and a moonroof to keep all occupants comfy. 

DTC P00BD is the most common cause of a CEL on these F-350s. It’s triggered when the MAF sensor registers too much airflow. If DTC P10F1 pops up, expect to pay between $150 and $300 for a new ignition switch. And when the ECM detects overly high fuel pressure, you may see DTC P228F.

The 14 recalls issued for the 2013 Ford F-350 sounds high, but keep in mind, 12 of those were for PTO pressure switches leaking oil. In total, this problem only impacted a couple hundred vehicles.

 Logo of the car manufacturer Ford in a parked vehicle.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 4/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $23,867

Fuel Economy: 11 mpg (gas) 13 mpg (diesel) 10 mpg (E85)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $1,125

Safety Rating: N/A

As 3rd-gen F-350 production wrapped up, Ford revised the PowerStroke engine for more output – as in 860 lb-ft of torque – to enable more towing capacity and of course, compete with its cross-town rivals. That rivalry cost the 2015 model 2 points in the FIXD Reliability Score compared to a 2014 model and earned it a spot on our list of model years to avoid. 

Though Ford cited benefits to fuel economy with the updated PowerStroke motor, our Fuelly figures point to a slight decline. But, market values improved this year, days spent in the shop each year stayed low, and maintenance costs were flat. As such, the 2015 F-350 lands closer to the “good” end of our worst model year rankings. 

Something that did transpire as a result of the upgraded pulling power is that half of 2015 F-350 owners primarily use their truck for towing and hauling, which is nearly 10 percentage points higher than average. Unfortunately, half of those owners also say cabin storage is the pits, which is more than 8 times the average for this metric. 

The DEF system returned for problematic duty on the 2015 model, with 2 of the 3 most common DTCs on these F-350s related to that system. DTC P20E8 means the DEF pump isn’t making enough pressure. DTC P20BA – which is also one of the most common causes of a CEL on all F-350s – is triggered by a faulty DEF reductant heater.

When there is an issue with the crankcase pressure sensor, you may come across DT P04DB. Replacing this sensor runs between $90 and $120. There were 3 recalls issued by the NHTSA on the 2015 F-350. Of those, one for a transmission calibration error affected about 4,000 vehicles. 

2017 Ford F-350 display at a dealership.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 7-8/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 10/10

KBB Value: $33,495

Fuel Economy: 11 mpg (gas) 14 mpg (diesel) 10 mpg (E85)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $1,100

Safety Rating: N/A

2017 was year one of 4th-gen F-350 production, an occasion that brought the first all-new Super Duty since 1999. Highlights included loads of high-strength steel, aluminum alloy body panels, revised gas and diesel motors, and an updated 6-speed automatic transmission. 

More potent than ever, these late-model F-350s also struggled with reliability out of the gate as is so often the case with the start of a new generation. It’s not all bad news as new advanced safety systems debuted, the PowerStroke models saw an improvement in fuel efficiency, and market values spiked by $15,000 over the prior year. 

This is why the 2017 Ford F-350 is our pick for “best of the worst”. It has some strong points, but considering how the objective reliability score dropped, we would recommend looking at a later model year like the 2019 or 2020 truck. 

Owners like the seats in their 4th-gen F-350s, which is no doubt helped by cabs that were 3 to 6 inches longer than the prior models, depending on the configuration. But illustrating how subjective these owner survey responses are, a relatively large group of those owners also think there’s not enough interior storage space. 

Ford debuted a host of new technologies with its latest F-350 including the Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System. It consisted of 7 cameras that enabled a 180-degree view in front of the grille, a birds-eye view from overhead, and a Trailer Reverse Guidance System with a jackknife warning. This lines up with 50% of 2017 owners noting they primarily use their Super Duty for towing and hauling. 

Typical causes of a CEL range from DTC P24D1 for a problem with the particulate matter sensor to DTC P0087, which indicates the pressure in the fuel rail system is too low. If you see DTC P0170, it means there’s something amiss with the air-to-fuel ratio in the combustion chambers. 

One more reason the 2017 F-350 lands on our list of worst model years is the 15 recalls, which is relatively high. A particularly worrisome recall was for fracturing driveshafts that impacted some 247,000 vehicles. 


Several years of the Ford F-350 have a relatively high percentage chance of an expensive repair ($500 or more) being related to the engine. Both the 2003 and 2005 models come in at 60% for this metric with the 2006 and 2007 close behind at 50%. All come in far higher than the 34% average over 20 years and all are also on our list of worst model years.

Across 20 years of data, the likelihood of a $500+ repair being transmission-related is 11%. However, the 2001 model comes in at 28% for this metric and 2006 hits 33%. No surprise we don’t recommend either of these F-350s. Regardless of what year your truck is, all of this highlights the importance of having an automatic transmission service performed on schedule.

Diesel powertrains are renowned for durability, which surely drives the relatively high average mileage of 173,000 miles on a Ford F-350. The 2004 model comes in with the single-year highest odometer reading of 225,000 miles, so we can say that 175,000 miles is considered high mileage for an F-350.

This would allow for about 50,000 miles of driving before the powertrain calls it quits. Also, only 4 out of 20 model years do we have data on show this kind of mileage, so it is a good indicator. And if your F-350 is showing these kinds of numbers, rest easy knowing 25% of your fellow owners expect their truck to hit 200,000 miles and beyond.

The 1-ton pickup truck segment is rarified air with competition limited to the Chevy Silverado 3500 and Ram 3500. But keep in mind a Silverado 2500 and Ram 2500 are also very capable heavy-duty trucks. If you prefer the Blue Oval, alternatives include the F-250, the F-150, and the midsize Ranger pickup trucks, or the giant-sized Expedition SUV.

What do owners of the Ford F-350 like to use their car for?

Frequent Use Categories: How Useful? (Out of 5 Stars)
Family Vehicle **
Lots of Driving (travel/long commute) **
Hauling/Towing *****
Office on Wheels *
Sport/Fast Driving *
Luxurious Driving *
Outdoor/Off-Road **

A Note About Data and Information Sources

This article has many details about the Ford F-350’s reliability; here’s what we used for our assumptions and recommendations.

  • FIXD Reliability Score & Data: Engine reliability information is captured via the FIXD App

The FIXD Reliability Score is calculated using the number of DTCs per year, weighted by mileage. This is then turned into a scale of 1-10 for easy graphing. 

This is an objective score.

  • Owner Reliability Score & Data: This data is the result of surveying Ford F-350 owners who use FIXD. 

The Owner Reliability Score comes straight from owners of the Ford F-350.  

This is a subjective score.

To determine the Owner Reliability Score we ask each car owner:

How reliable would you say your Ford F-350 is?

a. Just point A to point B driving

b. A Daily Commuter

c. Good for a 100-mile road trip

d. Good for a 500-mile road trip

e. I could take a cross-country road trip, no problem

From here we translate their answers into the Owner Reliability Score:

a. = 2

b. = 4

c. = 6

d. = 8

e. = 10

Keep in mind, owners may think their car is more or less reliable than it actually is. 

One potential problem is that people often buy the same make or model they are used to when they go car shopping, just a newer year.

Ford, for instance, has a number of consumer loyalty awards for the Ford F-Series, Ford Mustang, and Ford Expedition.

Car owners may be so loyal to the make or model they currently own that they would have trouble accurately comparing their cars’ reliability to others. 

It’s for this reason that we ask car owners a question that is relative to mileage rather than relative to other cars. 

Still, be mindful of the accuracy of these Owner Reliability Scores, people’s perceptions and unconscious blindspots can skew data. 

We suggest looking at both the FIXD Reliability Score and the Owner Reliability Score for this reason.

  • KBB Value: Average private-seller valuations as supplied by Kelley Blue Book (KBB), based on a Ford F-350 with typical mileage for that respective model year.
  • Fuel Economy: Mileage-per-gallon estimates according to the EPA MPG on fuelly.com
  • Annual Maintenance/Repair: Upkeep expenses as reported by surveyed Ford F-350 owners
  • Safety Rating: Crash test data collected and reported by NHTSA. We average all ratings for each year to come up with a simplified, average safety score. This makes it easier to look at on a graph.


  1. Ford F-350 model-specific information. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://www.edmunds.com/  
  2. Ford F-350 model-specific recall information. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls    
  3. Ford F-350 model-specific information. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://www.auto-brochures.com   
  4. Ford F-350 model-specific information. Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en.html 
Profile Picture of Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his old Cherokee and sweet Mitsubishi Starion, which led to a degree in mechanical engineering and a job at Ford as a vehicle dynamics engineer. His writing infuses that automotive background with sales and marketing experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he enjoys digging into some of the more technical mechanical systems under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.


About the Author

Niel Stender

Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his old Cherokee and sweet Mitsubishi Starion, which led to a degree in mechanical engineering and a job at Ford as a vehicle dynamics engineer. His writing infuses that automotive background with sales and marketing experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he enjoys digging into some of the more technical mechanical systems under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

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