Ford is one of the most popular brands of light-duty trucks. F150 is one of the most successful ones among them. However, many F150 users complain about an annoying grinding noise from the truck.
So, what are the reasons behind Ford F150 grinding noise?
Broken wheel bearings and faults in the IWE system are the most common reasons behind the F150 grinding noise. Other common problems behind this noise include a fault in the starter, lack of differential fluid, worn-out CV joints, and torn brake pads. To solve the issue, the leakage must be sealed with a high-temperature sealant and worn-out parts need to be replaced.
To know all the reasons in detail with their effective solution, keep reading.
Is The F150 Grinding Noise A Problem?
The grinding noise from F150 is not a problem if the noise is not very loud. Most F150 owners face these annoying grinding noises from their trucks, especially while cold start or slow driving.
However, if the noise is too loud and happens in particular situations including accelerating, turning, or braking, it can indicate problems with the truck. In these cases, the truck needs to be repaired.
Ford F150 Making Grinding Noise When Starting
The Ford F150 produces a grinding noise while starting when the starter is not fully engaging.
When the starter is not fully engaged, the flywheel or flexplate ring gear does not line up properly with the starter pinion gear. As a result, a grinding noise occurs. Here are some reasons behind the starter not engaging properly.
|Low Battery voltage
|Recharge the battery
|Faulty Starter Solenoid
|Replace the solenoid
|Faulty Starter Wiring
|Clean the corrosion from the terminal and replace the wiring
|Damaged Pinion Gear or Flywheel
|Replace the pinion gear or flywheel
Reason 1: Low Battery Voltage
If the battery voltage of your truck is low, it can restrain the starter from engaging fully resulting in the grinding noise.
- Recharge the battery of your truck.
- Check if the battery wires are connected properly. If the connection is loose, tighten them.
- Pray enough corrosion cleaner to cover the corroded surface, if the battery terminals are corroded. And wipe them away with a washcloth.
- Replace the battery If it is 3 to 5 years old.
Reason 2: Faulty Starter Solenoid
The starter solenoid is responsible for pushing the pinion toward the flywheel with the help of a plunger. When the solenoid is broken or damaged, it can’t push the plunger effectively. And the starter is not fully engaged resulting in a grinding noise.
You will find the solenoid at the top of the starter. Test the starter solenoid and if required, replace it. Here’s how you replace the solenoid.
Step 1: Disconnect the negative cable from the car battery.
Step 2: Place the new solenoid beside the damaged solenoid. Starting from the right side, remove the wires from the old solenoid one by one. And keep connecting those wires to the new solenoid. There are three wires on the starter solenoid in Ford F150. repeat the process for all of them.
Step 3: Unbolt the old solenoid from its place and keep it aside. Place the new solenoid in place and secure it by tightening the bolt using the socket set.
Step 4: Reconnect the battery.
Now, the grinding noise should be gone.
Reason 3: Faulty Starter Wiring
If the wiring that connects the starter with the battery is corroded, torn, or not connected properly, the starter doesn’t get enough power. As a result, it doesn’t engage properly.
Visibly inspect the wiring from the battery to the starter to make sure there is no tear or wear on the wires. If found, replace the cables.
Check if the wires are connected to the starter properly. If the terminal is corroded, spray some corrosion cleaner, and wipe it out with a washcloth.
Reason 4: Damaged Pinion Gear or Flywheel
If the pinion gear or the flywheel is worn out or broken, it can cause the starter not to engage properly and make grinding noises.
To inspect the pinion gear, you have to dismantle the entire starter. You will find the flywheel in between the transmission and engine. Replace them to get rid of the grinding noise.
Inspecting and replacing them requires advanced automotive technical knowledge. So, if you don’t have prior experience, take your truck to a nearby automotive repair shop and have it fixed.
F150 Grinding Noise When Accelerating
Sometimes, the grinding noise from the Ford F150 can come during acceleration. There are various reasons behind it including vacuum leak, faulty vacuum valve, bad wheel bearing, and differential problems.
|Malfunctioning Vacuum Solenoid Valve
|Replace the vacuum solenoid valve
|Vacuum Line Leak
|Seal the leak
|Refill differential fluid and replace the differential gears
|Bad Wheel Bearing
|Replace the wheel bearing
|Sticky Brake Calipers
|Lubricate the brake calipers
|Worn-Out Cv Joint
|Replace the CV joint
Reason 1: Malfunctioning Vacuum Solenoid Valve
In the Ford F150 with 4WD, the vacuum solenoid valve is responsible for controlling the vacuum pressure to the hub actuator. It is used to engage or disengage the 4WD.
When the vacuum solenoid valve is broken, it will be disabled to properly control the vacuum pressure to the hub actuator. This will result in only partial disengagement of the hub end gear with the drive shaft gears.
As the gears are not aligned properly, it will cause an F150 grinding noise in 4wd.
To ensure the noise is coming from a faulty vacuum solenoid valve, accelerate while keeping the truck in 2H mode. As soon as you hear the grinding noise, put the truck in 4H mode. If the noise goes away, that means the vacuum solenoid valve is faulty.
Ford F150 grinding noise when braking is also a result of this problem.
The faulty vacuum solenoid valve needs to be replaced. The following video will help you with the process.
Reason 2: Vacuum Line Leak
To connect the vacuum pump, vacuum reserve canister, and hub actuator, there is a vacuum line. If the vacuum line is cracked, torn, or broken, it can’t transfer enough pressure from the vacuum pump to the hub actuator.
As a result, the hub is partially disengaged, and similar to a faulty vacuum solenoid valve, it causes a grinding noise while accelerating. This reason can cause the F150 grinding noise when slowing down as well.
Inspect the whole vacuum line starting from the vacuum pump to the hub actuator. If there is a minor tear or leakage, you can use a high-temperature sealant to seal the leak. It is the cheapest option.
Clean the leaky part first with a washcloth and apply the sealant so the leaky area fully covers. It will fully dry out within 24 hours.
However, if the damage to the line is significant, you may have to replace the whole vacuum line in a repair shop.
Reason 3: Differential Problem
Sometimes, the grinding noise can come from the differentials of your truck. In that case, two things can happen.
- Your car has a low differential fluid level.
- Differential gears or bearings are worn out.
The F150 grinding noise in the rear end may be caused by low-level fluid in the rear differentials. And the grinding noise in the front end can be caused by the lack of fluid in the front differential.
Here’s how to change the differential fluid in ford F150.
- 13mm Socket and Ratchet
- Drip Pan
- Torque Wrench
- 4qts of 75w-140 Gear Oil
Step By Step Process:
Step 1: Jack up the truck
Use the jack to lift the truck high enough to place jack stands under the differential.
Step 2: Draining The Old Fluid
Locate the differential cover and remove the bolts from it using a 13mm Socket and Ratchet. Don’t forget to keep a drain pan beneath it. Drain the old fluid into the drain pan.
Step 3: Cleaning And Reattaching The Cover
Clean the cover with a washcloth and scrape out the old gasket using a razor. Apply new gasket sealant to the cover and attach it into place. Reattach the bolts using a torque wrench.
Step 4: Opening The Fill Cap
Use a ⅜ ratchet and open the fill cap. Clean the bold using a washcloth.
Step 5: Refill With New Fluid
Take 4 qts of 75w-140 Gear Oil in a squirt bottle and squirt the fluid in the differential.
Step 6: Reattach The Cap
Place the fill cap into the position and tighten it properly.
If changing the transmission fluid doesn’t fix the grinding noise issue, that means the differential gear is worn out or damaged and you have to replace it. It’s a complicated process and better let a mechanic handle it. Changing differential gear will cost at least $1500 with the labor charge.
Reason 4: Bad Wheel Bearing
If the grinding noise is coming from the wheel when you accelerate the truck, it means the wheel bearing is worn out.
The worn-out wheel bearing needs to be replaced. Here is how to replace a wheel bearing in a Ford F150.
- A Axle nut socket
- A Pry bar
- A Breaker bar
- A Pliers
- A Socket wrench
- A Torque wrench, Lug wrench
- Ceramic brake parts lubricant
- Penetrating oil
- A Jack, 2 Jack stands
Step 1: Use the jack to raise the front or rear of the vehicle, depending on which wheel bearing you need to replace, and secure it with jack stands.
Step 2: Use the lug wrench to remove the lug nuts and take off the wheel.
Step 3: Remove the brake caliper and rotors. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts. In this step, inspect the brake calipers as well. Worn-out brake calipers also cause a grinding noise. So, if they are not in a good condition, replace them.
Step 4: Now, you will have access to the hub spindle. Spray some penetrating oil on the front hub spindle nut.
Step 5: Remove the cotter pin from the nut. Use a pry bar and socket to remove the nut from the spindle.
Step 6: Once the front center nut is removed, get to the back of the hub assembly and remove the three bolts using a socket wrench.
Step 7: Disconnect the wheel speed sensor cable and take out the hub assembly. Remove the cable mounting bolt and unclip a couple of clips to remove the cable. Pull the cable down through the fender well.
Step 8: Pull the bearing assembly towards you and remove the wiring from it carefully.
Step 9: Clean the spindle area with a rag and brake parts cleaner. Once it’s clean, apply a thin coat of ceramic brake part lubricant.
Step 10: Thread the new cable for the integrated wheel speed sensor following the same route as removed.
Step 11: Place the new hub assembly in the spindle. Install the three rear bolts. Use a torque wrench to attach the front center nut and reattach the cotter pin.
Step 12: Assemble the rest of the components.
Changing the wheel bearing should stop the grinding noise.
Reason 5: Sticky Brake Calipers
When the brake calipers in the wheel can’t move freely, they can cause this grinding noise in the wheel while accelerating.
Reason 6: Worn-Out CV Joint
If one of the CV joints for your Ford F150 is worn out over time, it can cause a grinding noise while accelerating.
If the problem is with the CV joints, you will notice some other symptoms. For example, grease on the inner edge of the wheel and vibration while driving.
If the Cv joint is worn out, you need to replace it. Follow the video given below to get the CV-Joint replacement procedure.
F150 Grinding Noise When Turning
The following reasons cause the grinding noise in Ford F150 while turning left or right.
|Power Steering Fluid Leak
|Inspect the whole system and seal the leaky part
|Fault In IWE System
|Inspect all the components of the IWE system and repair accordingly
|Damaged Wheel Bearing
|Replace the wheel bearing
|Torn Brake Pads
|Replace the brake pads
|Worn Out CV Joint
|Replace the Cv joints
Reason 1: Power Steering Fluid Leak
If you are facing a Ford F150 intermittent grinding noise while turning, your truck may have a leaky power steering fluid. When there is a leak in the power steering, air goes into the system, as a result, the transmission fluid produces bubbles. These air bubbles in the power steering fluid make this noise.
The leakage can be sourced from a number of components. You have to inspect the following parts.
- The power steering pump
- The power steering cooler
- The power steering reservoir
- All the hoses that connect the system
After detecting the leaky part, you have to use sealant and seal the leakage. If the parts are damaged beyond repair, replace them.
Reason 2: Fault In IWE System
Fault in the IWE system includes a leak in the reservoir, damaged solenoid, and worn-out vacuum hoses. The F150 grinding noise when let off gas is also a result of this problem.
If any of them are faulty, It will cause only partial disengagement of the hub end gear with the drive shaft gears. The misalignment causes the F150 grinding noise in 2wd from the system.
To stop the grinding noise from the IWE system, you have to inspect all the components of the IWE system. Faulty solenoids and hoses can be replaced by yourself. However, if the problem is something else, you should take the truck to a mechanic.
Reason 3: Damaged Wheel Bearing
A damaged wheel bearing can cause a grinding noise when you turn the truck.
You have to replace the damaged wheel bearing. Follow the same steps of replacing the wheel bearings mentioned above and replace them before your truck’s wheel faces further damage.
Reason 4: Torn Brake Pads
As the brake pad is in continuous contact with the rotor, over time it gets damaged. In a damaged brake, the metal part of it gets direct contact with the rotor and when you turn the wheel, it makes grinding noises.
Disassemble the entire wheel hub assembly as described in the replacing brake pads above and check the brake pads for damage. Also, inspect the brake calipers for any wear or tear. If required, replace them.
If you use low-quality brake pods, they will wear out soon and cause this noise again. Always make sure to use high-quality brake pads for your truck.
Reason 5: Worn Out CV Joint
If your Ford F150 is making grinding noise while turning along while accelerating, it’s worth checking the CV joint for wear.
Look for the other symptoms of a worn CV joint. If required, replace the worn-out CV Joint.
F150 Grinding Noise At Low Speeds
If the grinding noise occurs when you are driving at a low speed, there might be a lack of transmission fluid. Moreover, damaged differential and wheel bearings can cause this.
|Low Transmission Fluid
|Refill the transmission fluid
|Damaged Differential Bearing
|Replace the bearing
|Rock In the Heat Shield
|Clean the heat shield
|Debris In The Caliper Scraping
|Clean the caliper scraping
|Faulty Wheel Bearings
|Replace the faulty bearing
Reason 1: Low Transmission Fluid
If the transmission tank is lacking fluid, it can cause grinding noise in the transmission of your truck.
Refill the transmission fluid of your truck. Follow the steps of refilling the transmission fluid mentioned above.
Reason 2: Damaged Differential Bearing
A damaged bearing in the differential can cause a grinding noise. Especially when you drive the truck at a low speed, the gears are under more stress. So, the grinding noise will be louder.
If the grinding noise is coming from any of the differentials, and fluid refilling doesn’t work, inspect the bearing. The bearing replacement should be done by a certified mechanic.
Reason 3: Rock In The Heat Shield
If the heat shield of your car has accumulated debris or rock, you can hear a grinding noise from it.
Follow this process:
- Locate the heat shield. It is located near the exhaust system in the Ford F150.
- Look for any visible debris, such as rock, dirt, or other materials that may have accumulated on the heat shield.
- Use a wire brush or a stiff-bristled brush to remove debris from the heat shield. Make sure to brush gently to avoid damaging the heat shield.
Reason 4: Debris In The Caliper Scraping
If any debris or a foreign object is lodged in the brake caliper scraping of your Ford F150, it will scrape against the brake rotor. As a result, you will hear grinding noise especially while driving at a lower speed.
If you don’t address the problem soon, it can even cause damage to the caliper, rotor, or brake pads.
Remove the debris from the caliper to get rid of this noise. The following video will help you with the cleaning process.
Reason 5: Faulty Wheel Bearings
If the wheel bearing is broken, damaged, or sticky, it can cause loud grinding noise when you drive the truck at a low speed.
Replace the wheel bearing following the same process of replacing the wheel bearing discussed above.
F150 Grinding Noise When Cold
Sometimes the grinding noise can be very loud when the truck is cold. The reasons behind this are given in the table below.
|Faulty Timing Chain
|Replace the timing chain with proper tension and alignment
|Worn-out Main Bearings
|Replace the main bearing
|Worn-out Cam Caps
|Replace the cam caps
Reason 1: Faulty Timing Chain
If your 2007 Ford F150 makes grinding noise when it’s still cold after starting the engine, the fault might be in the timing chain. The timing chain might not be properly adjusted or tensioned.
Although the timing chain doesn’t wear out soon, over time, it can be worn on your truck timing chain.
You need to inspect the timing chain and the gears around it. Check if the chain is properly tensioned and the alignment is correct. Also, inspect if the chain is worn out. If required, replace the timing chain.
Reason 2: Worn-out Main Bearings
The main bearings are responsible for supporting the crankshaft and allowing it to rotate smoothly. If the bearing is worn out, it can cause a grinding noise in your truck.
The main bearing needs to be replaced. The bearing replacement is a very complicated process. So, you should take the car to a mechanic shop. It will cost you around $350 to replace the bearing.
Reason 3: Worn-out Cam Caps
The cam caps or cam bearing, are responsible for supporting the camshaft and keeping it in proper alignment. When they wear out, they can cause the camshaft to move out of alignment. It can result in a grinding noise.
The camshaft cap needs to be replaced after inspection.
All three components of inspecting and identifying are very complicated. So, if you are not experienced with these, you should take the car to an automotive repair shop. If you still want to give it a try, the following videos might help.
This video will help you with the whole process.
There are three more parts to this video. You have to follow the other parts as well.
F150 Grinding Noise When Driving
Due to some other reasons, you may hear a grinding noise from the Ford F150 truck while driving normally.
Reason 1: Damaged Water Pump
When you are driving the truck for more than 100,000 miles with the same water pump, the pump might be damaged. Over time, the bearing inside the water pump is worn out and makes a grinding noise while moving.
The water pump has to be replaced. This video might help you with the water pump replacement process.
Reason 2: Bad Alternator
The alternator in Ford F150 typically lasts around 100,000 miles of driving. After this time, the bearings inside can wear out over time.
If the bearings wear out, the pulley that the alternator uses to spin can become loose and start to make a grinding noise when you turn the truck.
To prevent the grinding noise from the alternator, you have to replace the alternator. The alternator of the Ford F150 may cost you around $520 to $580. And as a labor charge, you need around $90 to $110 depending on your region.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is It Ok To Drive With A Bad Wheel Bearing?
No, it’s not okay to drive with a bad wheel bearing. It is very dangerous. A damaged or worn-out wheel bearing can potentially cause damage to the hub or the suspension. If left unchecked, a bad wheel bearing can also cause the wheel to come loose while driving.
Why Is My F150 Making A Rattling Noise?
The rattling noise from the Ford F150 can be caused by a loose heat shield, faulty water pump, and worn-out suspension. Moreover, faulty sway bar links, and broken struts or strut mounts can cause this rattling noise.
How Do You Fix Noisy Bearings On F150?
To fix the unusual noises from the bearing in Ford F150, you can apply lubricant to the bearings. However, this will only temporarily reduce the noise. To get rid of the noise for good, you must replace the bearings.
There goes every possible reason for the F150 grinding noise. Hope this article will help you to find out the exact problem. And following this article, you should be able to solve the problem.
It’s important to address if any unusual noise occurs in your truck to prevent further serious damage.
That’s all for now. Have a great day.