The F-250 is a heavy duty truck with a 3/4 ton capacity as opposed to the 1/2 ton of the F-150. The Super Duty won't be redesigned until after 2004. The ride is stiff and bouncy. Ford's new 6.0-liter diesel packs some real punch and is fairly quiet and free of vibration. Stepping into the cabin is more difficult because of the high floor.
Alerts
There are 10 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
NA
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
NA
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
NA
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
NA
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
NA
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
NA
2008
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2001. ESC not available, standard from 2011.
Model Summary
The F-250 is a heavy duty truck with a 3/4 ton capacity as opposed to the 1/2 ton of the F-150. The Super Duty won't be redesigned until after 2004. The ride is stiff and bouncy. Ford's new 6.0-liter diesel packs some real punch and is fairly quiet and free of vibration. Stepping into the cabin is more difficult because of the high floor.
Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
regular cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 5.4-liter V8 (260 hp)
  • 6-liter V8 turbodiesel (325 hp)
  • 6.8-liter V10 (310 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Ford F-250 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"This diesel engine is the one built by a contractor. The head bolts stretched and the entire engine had to be rebuilt. $12,000 out of pocket expense. Ford has a law suit against contractor but that doesn't help our major out of pocket expense"

Don W., TX (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"The engine locked and I had to replace it in it's entirety"

Florena C., MD (2004 Ford F-250 XL 5.4-L V8)
Head gasket

"The egr failed. This put coolant in the intake. This blew the headgaskets. I had to rebuild the engine. I "bullet proofed" it for $7000. Added oil to air heat exchanger, bullet proof egr, studs, etc"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Turbo or supercharger

"Turbocharger had to be rebuilt (was sticking)"

Anonymous, NV (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Turbo failed causing the engine to surge. It needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Replaced the turbocharger three times"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Carbon buildup causing turbo to catch. It was able to be cleaned and not replaced. Mechanic said I needed to drive it harder once in a while to keep carbon from building up?"

Charles B., UT (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"had turbo replaced & repaired twice since"

Anonymous, NL (2004 Ford F-250 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Rusted turbocharger cause serious loss of engine performance"

David P., TX (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"replaced variable vein turbo"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Have replaced turbo three (3) times so far. Replaced just this month with an aftermarket unit as Ford doesn't make quality parts. Ford should have replaced with a quality new part free of charge. Will never buy another Ford. We spent almost $8,00"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Had to replace turbo. EGR valve needs replaced often. EGR and Oil cooler needed replaced, Fuel injection control module needed replaced"

Roger Z., WI (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Turbo charger variable vanes stick frequently"

Anonymous, UT (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"ABS light came on immediately following repair of rear brakes"

John E., RI (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

"The ABS light come on from time to time. My mechanic isn't sure the fault code in the computer is correct so we're waining for the light to come on and stay on"

Daniel B., CA (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Calipers

"Rear caliper came apart"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"calipers drag, needs periodic caliper service to allow rotors to turn without disc drag"

Anonymous, AB (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"worn,"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Normal routine brake wear

"noise and vibration from front right brake rotor"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Ford F-250 Harley-Davidson 6.8-L V10)
Regular brake failure

"Brake line broke while driving and brakes went out. All brake fluid drained out. Was able to pull into a parking lot, add enough brake fluid to get to repair shop...but it was scary"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.8-L V10)
Rotors

"Caliper failure destroyed the rotor"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Over heating, Atlanta Ga. Braking. Warped rotors"

Lynn M., GA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"egr control valve was sticking and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, WY (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"EGR valve failed while towing 28 foot trailer. The intake manifold "coked" up an had to be removed from the engine to clean"

David C., MA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Replaced the EGR valve three times. Subsystems (oil cooler, egrcooler, etc) too many times to count"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Known issue with the 6.0l Diesle engine to have EGR valve plug up and/or fail due to carbon build up requiring continuos attention"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Engine surged at speeds over 40mph. Engine would stop running at idle. Replaced EGR valve has stopped symptoms so far"

Millard F., CO (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"egr failed 3 years after we purchased the truck--repairs by a ford dealership were about $2000"

Anonymous, SD (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Fuel injection system

"FICM failure Evidently so rampant that my mechanic keeps a LOANER on his bench While the customers part is sent out to be rebuilt"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"had to replace fuel injector control module. Cylinder 1 injector circuit low"

Anonymous, OR (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Needed to replace O2 sensor"

Anonymous, MT (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"compressor cylinder was scraping bits of metal from the cylinder walls and apparantly this was causing lower and more inefficient operation and increasingly less cooling"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.8-L V10)

"AC clutch fell off and had to be replaced"

Robert R., IL (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Same comments that I wrote under the refrigerant problem"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 6.8-L V10)
Blower (fan) motor

"vacuum lines broke"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Refrigerant leaks

"All I know is that some seals somewhere were leaking"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.8-L V10)

"Dealer installed a rebuilt A/C unit because of leaks 2 years ago. This April the dealer installed another rebuilt unit because of leaks again. This time the unit was under the 2 year Ford parts warranty and it was installed at no cost"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 6.8-L V10)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Normal battery replacement"

Peter D., CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)

"corrosion of the cable"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Had batteries that were on warranty that to be replaced"

Anonymous, MT (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Engine harness

"Harness that goes to oil pressure sensor failed. It's way down in the guts of the engine so intake had to be removed. Very expensive!!!!!"

Roger Z., WI (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"ICP sensor on back side of '03 early '04 engines has been known to fail and leak oil. replaced sensor and wiring harness pigtail several times. This is due to location of sensor getting a lot of heat from engine. Late '04 moved ICP for more reliable"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"Spark plug blew out and had to be rethreaded and a new spark plug installed"

Peter D., CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"In one year alone, I have had to replace the wheel hub 4 times, and now I had to replace the manual locking hubs, and solenoid and I STILL have problems with just the drivers side 4x4"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)

"the vacuum to place in 4wd failed and was not listed under extended warranty"

Greg B., NC (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.8-L V10)

"Universal join went out and destroyed the transfer case"

Anonymous, MO (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Driveshaft or axle

"Continuing with the rust issue, the front four wheel drive, drive shaft actually broke in half due to the extensive rust. Again, this vehicle has very low mileage and has never been involved with heavy work"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)

"Universal join went out"

Anonymous, MO (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Wore out prematurely"

Anonymous, PA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Power steering leaks

"Steering became very noisy and started to become stiff. Power steering hose had developed a small hole"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"After 2 successive right hand turns and an incline the steering would lock up"

Anonymous, WA (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.8-L V10)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Had a leak in the power steering pump/journal requiring replacement"

Anonymous, WA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"The drag link from the steering box to the other components failed"

Donald S., DE (2004 Ford F-250 XL 5.4-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"This was the first time I've had to replace the serpentine belt and the pulleys. I figured it was due"

Florena C., MD (2004 Ford F-250 XL 5.4-L V8)
Engine computer

"Computer has a system to limit OBD-II evaluations, masking HPOP and EGR failures, initially caused by casting sand left in motor from manufacture. This is a well-documented series of failures in the Powerstroke 6.0 Diesel motors. It cost nearly $3000"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"Stalling, backfire,missing , when going up hill"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 6.0-L V8 diesel)

"trouble light comes on when no need to"

Anonymous, NL (2004 Ford F-250 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Oil leaks

"Has been dripping oil the past 3 years. Finally gave up on having gaskets replaced as they leak again within a few months"

Roger Z., WI (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"trim work paint fading"

Stephen H., MA (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.8-L V10)

"paint peeled in a area on the bed of pickup - about size of baseball"

Dwight C., NM (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)
Rust

"This is a very low mileage and well maintained vehicle operated by strictly one person. The entire vehicle is rusting away, frame and body. Anyone that observes this vehicle is amazed at the extensive rust"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)

"rust thru at rear wheel arches, cab corners, and heavy rust on undercarriage"

Stephen H., MA (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.8-L V10)

"Truck bed fenders are rusting so there are holes in the metal"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.8-L V10)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Seal under turbo failed. Also very expensive"

Roger Z., WI (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Overheating

"Oil cooler had restricted coolant flow requiring replacement"

Anonymous, UT (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Water pump

"Failed in a somewhat atypical way (intermittent belt squeal, no leaks)"

Anonymous, OR (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Was not shifting properly. Replaced wiring harnesses inside transmission to correct problem"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Slipping transmission

"slips and grinds shifting into overdrive..just waiting to have the thing completely go out and have to replace it"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Ford F-250 XLT 5.4-L V8)
Transmission leaks

"gasket went out between engine and transmission"

Ronnie H., FL (2004 Ford F-250 XL 5.4-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Y pipe caused smell and turbo lag"

Donald A., MO (2004 Ford F-250 Harley-Davidson 6.0-L V8 diesel)
Exhaust manifold

"Axle seal on passenger side failed causing gear lube to leak out near wheel"

Donald S., DE (2004 Ford F-250 XL 5.4-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"replaced torque convertor when replacing seal"

Ronnie H., FL (2004 Ford F-250 XL 5.4-L V8)

"Lockup failed. Then overheated the trans. Rebuilt with billed torq converter. $4000"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Radio

"Volume will go to full-blast on its own. Turn it back down and within seconds, it will blow your ears out. It does this constantly"

Don W., TX (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"This was not the fault of the truck, but the driver was backing into a bank fairly often and bent the tailgate. It was repaired several times, but finally needed replacement"

Ferne F., CA (2004 Ford F-250 XL 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"compass and trip computer stopped working"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Ford F-250 Lariat 6.0-L V8 diesel)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

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