What Year Is The Most Reliable Ford F-250?

The Ford F-250 has been a work horse of the working man since 1955 (or 1954, somewhere around there).  This truck is known for power and heavy duty hauling. With years as Ford cranks out these trucks from their factory, some year models are just not as good as others, but then there are the gems, the ones that stand out from the crown, proving themselves for years to come with their reliability and dependability.

The most reliable years for Ford F-250 is 1999 and 2013, with 2000, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2018 coming in second. This is based on over 2400 reviews by Ford F-250 owners and 4 different ratings, so you can be sure that this information is as accurate as possible.

Does this make the other years bad? Of course not, it just means that if you want the most reliable F-250 truck, and you can choose what year to get, I would choose one of those years. Each truck will be different, being used trucks and all, so make sure to evaluate each on its own merit. The year may be good but the truck can still be trash, so do your diligence.

I did extensive research for this article to find the most reliable f-250 truck, read countless reviews, analyzed data and sifted through consumer feedback to bring you the most accurate information. So lets dive in deeper and talk about the details that I found.

What Year Is The Most Reliable Ford F-250?

As you can see below there is a lot of data recorded in this table. This data came from multiple sources and after putting it all together into a table I was able to compare the years to determine the most reliable years. There are 2 star ratings that I pulled in, one from Consumer Reviews and one from Cars.com. Both are 5-star type of reviews so I averaged them out based on how many people left the reviews to get the final numbers.

Consumer ReviewsJ.D Power RatingCars.com ConsumerConsumer ReportTotal
YearStarsReviewsReliabilityRatingReviewsReliability StarsRating

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Fraction Of A Rating Makes The Difference

2013 Ford F-250

There isn’t a whopping difference in the year models of these trucks in terms of reliability, but a fraction of a rating. They all live within the 4.1 to 4.6 but with the amount of people that left these reviews says a lot about the confidence of these numbers. This also tells me that these trucks are pretty reliable, as all the years are rated in the 4-star rating.

Ford F-250 Reviews

Ford F-250 Reliability Details

What is reliability? It is knowing that this truck will last a long time without worrying about it braking down. It is depending on it that it will be there fully working and ready to do the job you need it to do.

New trucks are mostly reliable, with an occasional lemon coming off the line that keeps having non-stop issues, but for the most part you can rely on a new truck. It’s as they get older is when the dependability starts becoming more important. The older the truck gets, the more chance of things wearing out, breaking and etc.

The Ford F-250 is known for being reliable for the most part, but lets take a look at the details about what it takes for this truck to be reliable.

Ford F-250 Repair Costs

No matter how reliable a truck is, there will be times when something brakes. Even small things can cost a bunch if you don’t know how to fix it yourself, or don’t want to. The Ford F-250 is more expensive to own than an average full size truck. The annual repair cost for it is $1200 compared to an average full size truck annual repair cost of about $900.

I guess the cost of having a heavy duty truck is expected to be more than an average truck so just like gassing it up, or should I say dieseling it up, is more expensive so the repairs would be too.

Ford F-250 Unplanned Shop Visits

On the same topic, things will happen as you drive your Ford F-250 and unexpected repair will be required. F-250 owners report that they have to take the truck in for unexpected shop visits an average of 0.4 times per year. An average full size truck goes in about 0.3 times a year, so this is close to average.

Out of those shop visits, about 22% of the time the issue is a severe or major that will cost a bunch. That still looks very low. Just think, you have a heavy duty machine running like a Swiss watch. If you nave an unexpected issue at some point that didn’t give you a warning light or some kind of a heads up, well 22% chance this issue will be costly.

Famous Ford Reliability

Ford trucks are generally known to be reliable and for that reason have been America’s best-selling truck for over 40 years. They are known for their durability, the extreme power they can produce and the versatility that they can provide, from being a soccer-mom mobile to a heavy duty contractor work horse.

The Ford’s robust frame can handle the heavy loads that it may be depended on with towing, the powerful engines that have the strength to push the heavy loads along. The Ford F-250 has been and continues to be refined and improved making each new generation better than the last.

With the latest models, probably in the last 4 to 5 years, these trucks have been heavily relying on electronics and computers, which brings a lot of convenience and benefits can sometimes be its biggest compromise to reliability and cost of repair overall. This is why it is important to get the extended warranties on the new trucks to make sure that any serious issues are working well and will continue to last for years down the road.

Consider These Factors When Buying A Used Ford F-250

When buying a used Ford F-250 considering the truck’s age, mileage, and maintenance history are your top priorities to make sure the truck will be reliable. In reality of course, like with anything, doing your due diligence gives you a better chance at getting what you want but doesn’t guarantee it. Same with this, you do the best you can to get a reliable truck and then hope it turns out that way for you.

Consider The Truck’s Age

Buying an old truck does not always mean a bad thing. Sometimes it is just what you need. When it comes to the age of the truck, you should determine what the purpose for the truck will be, which will allow you to figure out what year range of a truck you should get. If you are just going to use the truck for an occasional Home Depot run or going fishing, this will not require a new truck, you can get away with pretty much any age truck at this point.

If you are in need of a truck for some serious heavy duty work, or for a business, it is best to get a newer truck, which will give you more years of service. Although it is not necessary to get a brand new truck, getting one will mean you can get a good warranty on it that will cover any issues for many years down the road.

Buying a late model truck used will give you a new-ish truck but without any warranties. That means anything that might happen to it will have to be repaired at your own cost. This is why buying new makes more sense in this case.

Consider The Truck’s Milage

Lots of miles doesn’t always mean the truck is not reliable. Some trucks with over 200,000 miles on them are still running like new because they have been taken care of their entire life. It’s amazing what a little regular maintenance will do to the longevity of a truck.

In average under 100,000 miles is considered the desirable milage for any vehicle. With trucks, it is still very well acceptable to have one with up to 150,000 miles. When you are faced with an F-250 with over 150,000 you should start paying more attention other signals, like maintenance records, look of the engine and transmission, to make sure it is not greasy, check the oil color – it should be amber, not black. Check the Carfax report for any other signs of abuse.

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Consider The Truck’s Maintenance History

Like I touched on above, if you have a truck with higher milage and the owner hands you maintenance records, it is already a great sign. Majority of them will have no records except for some miracle a receipt from their last oil change.

Newer trucks are more likely to have a maintenance record so if you have one it is always a good sign.

If there is no maintenance record available, running a CarFax report will sometimes show a record of dealership maintenance visits. Other wise you have to rely on your own instinct and some evidence of maintainance.

  1. Look at the engine on the sides and under the truck to make sure there is no grease or grime on it.
  2. Look at the transmission under the truck and look for the same. Leaking oil, especially where the transmission meets the engine.
  3. Check the front (if it’s a 4×4) and the rear differentials for any leaks. Check area where the drive shaft goes into the differential too.
  4. Check the oil color to make sure it is amber color and not black.
  5. Check other fluids, like power steering and brake fluid.
  6. Check to make sure there are no warning lights or messages on the dashboard.

If all these things check out, you have good chances of s decent truck on your hands.

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