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Ford’s Aluminum Body 2015 F150: Is 30mpg Worth The Risks?

I feel sorry for the decision-makers at Ford. I’m not bagging on Ford (for the record, I think they deserve a hell of a lot of credit for being so bold), but their decision to use aluminum extensively in the upcoming F150 is the result of a terrible choice.

Ford Atlas Concept Truck

Ford’s Atlas concept, a preview of the aluminum F150 set to debut early next week.

By my reckoning, Ford had only two options when it came to designing the next-gen F150:

Option #1 – Keep building the same great tried-and-true steel truck while using an increasing variety of tricks and fancy systems to squeeze out a few more MPG’s, or;

Option #2 – Take a big risk and be the first automaker to make a truck that extensively uses light-weight materials.

While option #2 is the most logical – weight loss is the best way to improve fuel economy and meet government-mandated fuel economy requirements – it’s easily the worst best choice available. I have no doubt that the first generation of aluminum F150s will be universally disliked by truck owners in the decades to come. This is not a commentary on Ford’s engineering talent. This is the inexorable conclusion I’ve been lead to based on all the available data. If you keep reading, I expect you’ll come to the same conclusion.

About 70% of F150 Owners Uncertain About EcoBoost Reliability

Last week, I wrote a quick post about the EcoBoost’s quality perception problem with Ford owners titled “EcoBoost Losing Steam with Ford Loyalists.” I talked about some EcoBoost forum comments left by (presumably) Ford truck owners that were less than positive, and concluded that Ford might have a perception problem with their EcoBoost engine family among their loyal customers.

I was (rightly) called out by one of our frequent commenters for that article, as it wasn’t heavy on data. While it wasn’t as if the conclusion I offered was relying exclusively upon comments on some forum (it wasn’t), it certainly did seem that way. SO, I invested $100 in a Google Survey and asked 200 self-identified F150 owners the following question: Do You Think The Ford EcoBoost V6 Is A Reliable Engine?

In what may be surprising to some (but not me), 70% of Ford F150 owners answered either “No” or “Maybe, I’m Not Sure.”

Ford F150 EcoBoost reliability survey

We asked F150 owners if they believe the EcoBoost is a reliable engine. Here’s what they said (click the image for the full survey results).

2013 JD Power Initial Quality Survey Results – GM Is Rising, Ford Is Falling Fast, and Toyota is Still Great

JD Power’s Initial Quality Survey is an excellent tool for evaluating the relative quality of a manufacturer’s products, especially if you look at the data they generate over a period of time.

JD Power 2013 Initial Quality Study Results

JD Power’s 2013 Initial Quality Data is Out – click the graphic to see the original press release.

For 2013, the results are in, and the big winner is GM, as both the GMC and Chevy brands finished with above-average quality. The big loser? Ford, which finished near the back of the pack…and who seems to have a growing quality problem.

Toyota, of course, maintained their record of above-average quality.

How To Make Your Tundra’s Automatic Transmission Last

How To Make Tundra Transmission Last

Automatic transmissions are generally quite reliable, but when they break, it’s not cheap. While noted transmission expert John Lombardo has said that Toyota transmissions are top-notch, nothing lasts forever.

Therefore, if there’s anything you can do to prolong the life of your transmission, you should do it. Right?

Here’s what you can do to make your Tundra transmission last as long as possible.

Search terms people used to find this page:

  • 2014 tundra turn off transmission AI

Ford F-150 EcoBoost Problems: Shuddering, Power Loss & Limp Mode

UPDATE: We’ve been told that Ford has a fix for this problem coming ASAP. See https://tundraheadquarters.com/2012/10/26/breaking-news-ford-f150-ecoboost-shudder-fix-confirmed/ for the details.

In recent months, a growing number of Ford F-150 EcoBoost owners are reporting that their trucks can shudder and stall during normal use. In severe cases, some EcoBoost F150 owners have said that their trucks have suddenly gone into “limp mode,” where the engine loses almost all power.

Reports of EcoBoost shudder and power loss are coming primarily from humid states, such as Texas and Florida.

After reading numerous Ford truck forums, talking to various auto experts, and even talking to a couple of Ford technicians, this is what we’ve learned:

  1. Ford has a growing problem here, as the number of EcoBoost owners reporting issues isn’t getting any smaller
  2. Ford’s response to this problem has only served to anger afflicted EcoBoost F150 owners

Ford F-150 EcoBoost Problems