Has your 3.5 Eco boost started making a very annoying rattling noise? Does it usually happen on cold-start after the truck has been standing for a few hours? This phenomenon is synonymous with Gen 2 F150s with mileage close to 30000 mi or more.
The good news is that it’s not catastrophic and there is a quick explanation and DIY solution to your problem, so keep reading.
The F150 rattle is a known issue and Ford should repair this if your truck is still under warranty. Now, let’s look at the solution in more detail and what DIY fix you can try to prevent the cold-start rattle.
Table of Contents
Why Does My F150 Rattle When I Start It – DIY SOLUTION
The next section explains in a bit more detail what happens with the cam phasers then we look at a quick 6-second DIY fix and later what real-world Gen 2 F150 Owners have to say about the rattle noise.
F150 Rattle – Cam Phasers
What are Cam Phasers and what job are they designed to do? Cam phasers are located in the head and are designed to lock at base timing after shutting down.
Why is this important? It’s important because this allows time for oil pressure to build in the heads on the next cold start. How does this happen? The oil pressure unseats the locking pin and the PCM (Power Control Module) can then control the phaser position via the VCT solenoid.
What happens when the phasers don’t lock properly? When the phasers don’t properly lock, they rattle until there is sufficient oil pressure to fill the VCT unit.
Quick test: How to Perform the Extended Cranking
You can force the engine to build sufficient pressure by holding the gas pedal to the floor and simultaneously turning the key for about 6 seconds. Do this after a few hours of the truck standing or at the first start-up in the morning. By depressing the gas pedal and starting the ignition, it will swing the starter without allowing the engine to start.
What does this do? It will allow the engine to build enough oil pressure. After about 6 seconds, let off the gas and turn the key again. If you don’t hear the startup rattle then the problem is confirmed to be your cam phasers.
Cause Of The F150 Rattle
I’ll simplify the technical explanation regarding the rattling noise issue.
There’s a pin that wears out too soon due to the PCM calibration. During a cold start, this pin engages the phaser at base timing. Oil pressure, controlled by the VCT solenoid, unseats the pin, allowing the phaser to adjust timing. If the pin is worn, it causes the phaser to rattle until oil pressure fills the cavities.
F150 Rattle D.I.Y Fix
- By carrying out the above DIY process, you are simply masking the issue by allowing or forcing the engine to build oil pressure before it starts.
- This eliminates the rattle noise, temporarily.
- As mentioned previously, Ford is aware of the problem and released a TSB to rectify all vehicles under warranty.
FORD F150 Owner Experience/Feedback
F150 Owner Experience/Feedback #1
F150 Owner Experience/Feedback #2
F150 Owner Experience/Feedback #3
To conduct extended cranking, simultaneously press both brake and gas pedals and start the engine using the start/stop button for around 6 seconds. Engine cranking continues as long as the gas pedal is pressed. Upon releasing the gas pedal, the engine should start without rattling.
For vehicles without keyless start, follow the brake/gas pedal procedure and turn the key while holding it. Release the gas and key to start the engine normally.
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