Should I Buy F150 with 100k miles? She’s just getting warmed up


Ford F150 is not only the best-selling truck in the US but the best-selling vehicle. They can clock up to and over 300k miles. At 100k miles the F150 is just warming up! Read on to find out what to look for in a truck with high mileage.

A well-maintained Ford F150 is very capable of covering 300k miles and more, without needing major repair work. A well-maintained F150 with complete service history and 100k miles has at least another 10 years of service life remaining and is worth buying.

Looking to buy a truck is a big commitment. It would be great to be buying a new truck but the reality is most cars are bought used. And the average age of cars on the roads is 12 years old. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of an F150 with 100k miles.

Ford F150 on dirt trail

Expected F150 Mileage

Ford F150 is the best-selling truck in the US. They sell on average 700,000 units each year. That’s a whopping 1.3 trucks a minute! Their popularity is no accident. F150 is built for reliability. Most trucks are feeding a family. They are part of a workforce, moving machinery, tools, and staff from A to B on a daily basis.

When a truck is bought, it needs to earn its keep. And an F150 does this by being able to go on and on. 

The average mileage is 10-12 thousand miles per year. This could be slightly more for a utility vehicle however, it may not be the main family car and so not used every day of the week. Due to this the mileage may even out over the year. In saying this an F150 with 100k miles should be in and around 10 years old. If you see F150s with 100k miles at only five or six years old they have been working hard and I would steer clear.

With any vehicle, it’s important to check how it has been treated over its lifetime. The service history is top of the list when it comes to a truck with 100k miles.

Maintenance Record

At 100k miles certain things may be amiss. In saying that truck owners can be a little fanatical about looking after their beloved F150s. As I see most trucks feed a family, so no truck on the road results in no income. The only way to combat this is regular service checks.

So when going to view any prospective F150, ask to see the service history. If it’s a private seller, read their body language. If they are reluctant to give details, walk away. In a dealership, be conscious that salesmen are there to do a job and that’s to sell vehicles. Paper doesn’t refuse ink, the service history doesn’t lie. If there isn’t one, walk away.

If the history is available, take the truck for a proper test drive. Not just around the block, but out on the highway. If it seems promising organize for a cold start test drive. 

A truck with 100k miles should drive well but unless you have a lot of mechanical know-how I would advise that you have an auto technician to look over it.

Problems at 100k miles

The F150 that you are looking at could only be ⅓ to ½  way through its lifecycle that doesn’t mean that it will be perfect.

You could be paying $15-$20k for a 10-year-old F150, and if you haven’t done your homework you could need a loan just to complete some repairs.

There are certain things either you or your technician should be looking for:

Spark Plugs

With the introduction of long-life spark plugs, you don’t hear as much about them anymore. Back in 2004 – 2008, the F150 plugs were designed to last for 100k miles. They had been redesigned to be two pieces and recommended to be cleaned of carbon at 30k miles. Many F150 owners didn’t realize this and drove on. At 100k miles the spark plugs are not encased in carbon and break in half when you try to remove them. This is a very expensive job to fix, so check if they were cleaned at 30k miles or near to it.

Head Gasket Problem

In the 2009 -2014 F150s there were head gasket problems to deal with. The head gasket contains the combustion and also ensures that coolant and oil never meet. However, during these years the head gasket began to separate – the seals became compromised due to age, and oil began to leak, and burn. It was thought that the gasket may not have been fitted properly in the factory, but because the problem only started to arise after 150k miles, long outside warranty.

It is a fixable problem using a strong sealer but still a huge job. It won’t be in the service history at 100k miles but it’s certainly a job to keep in mind possibly down the line.

Other items that need to be checked, but not necessarily specific to F150s are brakes, suspension, belts, radiator, and any engine codes that may be showing. Either you or your auto tech should bring an OBD scanner.

The suspension is particularly important as you don’t know how much towing your truck has done in the past or how much weight it has been carrying day today.

Previous Owners

It’s always good to do a background check on a used vehicle. There are several websites that offer this. I recommend  VinAudit (links to VinAudit). This will tell you if the truck has been in a wreck, how many owners and if there’s finance due.

Lots of owners are generally not a good thing. It’s hard to get a clear view of service history when many people have been involved. One or two owners suggest they have looked after it. (but not always!) 

If the truck has been used as a grocery, errands run, vehicle, it probably has high years but low mileage, then all the better. It hasn’t worked as hard as a true utility truck. But these are few and far between.

The other thing to check is where the truck has lived. Is it from a salt state? You may be from a salt state and know what this does to the underside of the truck. It can literally eat the metal away, so it is really important to check for this.

Comparing the F150 to other trucks with 100k miles

Comparing the F150 to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the RAM 1500. They have a lot in common. The cost is comparable. The Ford is rated as a comfortable ride with a powerful engine. The Silverado is also rated as comfortable and powerful but has an atrocious turning circle, which when out on a job is definitely a necessity. The Silverado also has limited internal storage space. The Silverado and the GMC Sierra are in reality the same truck with different badges.

The RAM is more stylish internally but lacks in power, as 2011 has only 5-speed transmission. 

The F150 has the best towing capacity at 14,000 pounds. The Silverado is a close second at 13,400 pounds with the RAM bringing up the rear at 12,750 pounds.

So why choose the Ford over any other truck? As I said at the beginning, the F150 is the best-selling truck in the US. Selling the F150 since 1975, and in its 14th generation, that’s a lot of research and development. They are built to last. They are reliable and manufactured with building America in mind.

A 2012 Coyote F150 was recently sold with 326k miles on the clock. It not only had its original engine but also original transmission.

In Conclusion

700k customers a year can’t be wrong. A 10-year-old F150 with 100k miles can run as sweet as a new one if it has been maintained properly. At 100k miles it has the ability to go on for many more years to come, so definitely a good buy!

You may like these articles also:

Are Ford good trucks?

Are Ford reliable trucks?

Why does RAM have a bad reputation?

Are cars cheaper in Texas?

Is CarMax cheaper?

Should I buy a used RAM?

John Cunningham

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty years, I use my knowledge and experience to write articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of classic car ownership, from tires to roof aerials and everything in between.

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