ford f150 hesitation and missing while driving [Diagnosing]

Isn’t it terrifying to have sudden hesitation or miss while driving down the road? The engine hits you with a bang, giving you almost a heart attack afterward. But hey, before you take your truck apart for a fix, you need to check the little things first.

In most cases, the Ford F150 Hesitation and missing while driving may be for a mass air flow sensor wiring error. It can also be a problem with spark plugs,  ignition coils, fuel injectors, fuel filters, and even oxygen sensors. A defective throttle position sensor, or MAF can also cause it.

Today, let’s get into the dos and don’ts of fixing the F150 hesitation problem and the missing while driving. If you don’t want to go through all the mumbo jumbo, just peek at the solution table below. 

ford f150 hesitation and missing while driving [Diagnosing]

8 most common reasons for Ford F150 Hesitation And Missing While Driving

To diagnose why your Ford F150 is hesitating or misfiring, you need to open the hood and dig into it. There are few things that could be the culprit. Let’s see how you can diagnose them:

ProblemsPossible Solution
Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor ConnectionFix The Connection or change the sensor
Dirty Or Faulty Spark PlugsChange the spark plug
Ignition CoilsChange the Ignition coils
Fuel InjectorsInjector replacement
Weak Fuel Pump and Clogged Fuel FilterClean the filter, else replace it
Leaking Vacuum HoseFixing any leaks
Bad Oxygen SensorChange the oxygen sensor
The Bad Throttle Position SensorReplace it

Loose wiring of the mass air flow sensor

First off, check the connections of the mass air flow sensor wires. You need to fix a loose or broken wire. Sometimes, you need to get a new mass air flow sensor as well.

Low engine oil level

Check the engine’s oil level and quality. If you find it to be low and too dirty, your engine might hesitate. So, change or fill it up.

Dirty air filters and exhaust

Get your hands dirty cleaning the filters and exhaust. A clogged air filter and exhaust can reduce the amount of airflow to the engine, casing it to go lean. 

Clogged fuel filter

A clogged fuel filter isn’t too great either, especially in newer F150 trucks. Supposing that you have intermittent hesitation, it’s probably a clogged fuel filter.

Spark plug problem

Open the cylinder head and expose the spark plug. It is a metal rod that protrudes from the top of the engine and has a threaded end. When the spark plug is broken, get it changed. 

Leaking air hose

Air leaks ain’t pretty. Turn on the car and inspect the air flow. The hose may leak out, causing a air intake to work harder. You will face a rough ideal here for sure. 

Bad ignition coils and fuel injectors

Bad ignition coils and fuel injectors induce misfires, hesitation, and a rough idle. You need to open the hood and manually inspect the problem. 

Bad oxygen sensor, throttle position sensor, or any other sensor

For any bad sensor diagnosis, connect a computer to your truck. Now, enable the diagnosis mode application such as Inforcar, OBD2, or any other one you have. The computer will notify you about the faulty sensor. 

How To Fix The Hesitation And Missing While Driving problems?

Turns out, a fix to the hesitation and missing while driving isn’t a single one. You need to go rampaging layer by layer, before you hit the sorce of the problem. Here are some steps to help you troubleshoot and fix the problem: 

  • The MAF sensor measures the amount of air flowing into the engine. If the wires MAF sensor is not working properly, it can cause the engine to run poorly. Unplug the wiring from the socket and put it back in. Reconnect any broken wires. 
  • Now, check the fuel system for leaks or clogs. If the fuel system is clean and free of debris, check the spark plugs and wires. Worn or damaged ones needs a replacement pronto.
  • The third step is to check the air filter and vacuum leaks in the intake manifold or hoses leading to the air filter. 
  • If there are no leaks, the next step is to check the throttle body. Clean it and get any dirt and debris out.
  • Now, connect a diagnostic interface like an OBD2, to your F150 can check for a faulty sensor. They are the oxygen sensor, MAF sensor, throttle position sensor, etc. Replace the faulty sensor. 

Note: You need to get your hands dirty. But hey, it’s all worth it. If you can’t get the darn problem fixed, then it’s probably because the engine’s too old. You need a mechanic to fix the problem. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why Does My F150 Hesitation When I Accelerate?

When you accelerate, your Ford F150 may hesitate due to worn-out electrical throttle response, faulty transmission, or even for a lean air-to-fuel mixture. However, a bad or loose connection with the mass air flow sensor can make your truck hesitate.

2. What Causes Intermittent Engine Hesitation?

Intermittent engine hesitation is generally caused by a misconnection in the mass air flow sensor. It can also happen due to dirty or old sparks, faulty or clogged fuel injectors, and even a weak fuel pump. 

3. What Would Cause My Truck To Hesitate?

If your truck hesitates, the most common reason is an improper fuel-to-air mixture, dirty fuel filter, low fuel flow, fuel injector, and fouled spark plugs. You can check the mass air flow sensor connections first, as the wiring may end up shortened sometimes. 

End Note

What most people do is, they start inspecting everything there is to it, without checking the Mass Air Flow connections. The truck simply won’t run smooth if the computer can’t determine the airflow increase or decrease. 

Afterwards, go for the spark injectors, and clean all the dirty filters and fuel injectors. 

If you are still having a rough time, get a mechanic to look it up. 

Read more Ford F150 fixes guide in these posts Ford Remote Start Not Working 2 Beeps – [Here’s The Repair!], Ford F150 Won’t Start No Clicking Noise – [Easy Diagnosis & Fix]

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Mahir Ahmed


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