There truly is much to love about this truck. And, there are countless articles online and in print touting this truck as well. But, If you’re wondering “Does the 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Hybrid have problems?”, the answer is “Yes”. In fact, we do an in depth long term review of our own (not a media issued) 2021 F-150. In addition to that review, we decided to post a specific list of the 10 things we hate about the truck. Yes, the F-150 Hybrid is a reliable truck, but we do have our set of complaints. Read on to determine if the 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Hybrid would be a good deal for you.
1. The Ford F-150 Android Auto Is Barely Functioning
This particular problem is extremely aggravating and frankly, an actual safety hazard. Our truck has the Sync 4 with Navigation with the B&O speaker system. It’s included with the newer batch of Sync 4 systems and has the wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto. A blog post by FordAuthority.com touches a little on the issue, however our issue is a little different than they describe.
Spotty On/Off Sound
Here’s what happens to us with our Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G. At least once during any trip, and often times constantly, the connection is spotty. The sound simply cuts in and out, regardless of which app is being used. Whether using Apple iTunes, SiriusXM (app version), Tidal, Youtube Music, etc, it happens. It happens when the phone is plugged in and on wireless projection, or unplugged using wireless projection. It happens whether the phone is rebooted or not.
Even more, every 2 or 3 songs on iTunes, the system doesn’t play what is playing on the phone. Everything’s just quiet. Sometimes you’ll be riding in silence for about 2 minutes before you realize there’s nothing going on with the stereo, but you see on your phone the music is playing. To remedy the problem temporarily, we typically have to reset the Sync4 power button for a brief second. When the power’s pushed back on, the system will finally audibly play whichever song was supposed to be playing. But, you will have missed those first 2 minutes. We would need to hit repeat on the song if we liked and missed that particular song that much.
Then, it happens again. We need to do the same routines for a quick fix. But sometimes, the power button trick doesn’t work either. That fix routine is attempted, and nothing comes back. Resetting the bluetooth on and off, wifi on and off, etc, nothing plays.
Fiddling with Radio dials and Cell Phone While Driving
So, we drive and fiddle with the wires. We turn on and off bluetooth, WiFi, reboot phones – all while driving. After also hitting Sync 4 power buttons, etc, we find ourselves wandering in the road lanes. Eventually we find out that the ONLY way to reset the system is to pull the truck off the road. We’ve got to shut off the entire truck off, open the door to reset everything, and restart the truck. Then, it makes sound again, but then 3 songs later, the spotty bluetooth and WiFi begin again. $65,040 is the price of this 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Lariat.
If reading this section was irritating and somewhat confusing, imagine dealing with it in person while driving. If you’re shopping for a new truck and considering the Ford F-150 with Sync 4, you’ve been warned.
2. Oil Filter Is Inconveniently Located in the Ford 3.5 Ecoboost
I knew I entered a grumpy adulthood once I started to use the “We put a man on the moon…” expression. But really, its true. We put a man on the moon… don’t we think by now we can design a great engine AND be able to perhaps place the most swapped engine part in a engine’s life (the oil filter) in a place that is easily accessible to the human man and woman, without requiring the performer of the maintenance to have to do a contortion of their hand and arm, in an area that they cannot see once the arm and hand is shoved in there? It requires a steady hand (and an ability to feel and imagine in your head what’s going on in that space) to be able to tightly keep the oil filter wrench or tool from slipping off the awkwardly angled oil filter.
The oil filter is placed under the engine, but in the forward area. It’s above a series of beams and parts. After one pulls off an old oil filter, the separation from the block would create a massive oil mess once it is removed. Ford seems to be aware of this goofy location. They created a slide system that collects the drips, and funnels the oil eventually to a place where the human and the oil catch can will receive it.
There Has to Be a Better Way.
I’ve had plenty of engines whose oil filters were on top of the engine. If not on top, it’s easily accessible on the bottom side of the engine. Our 2020 Ford Mustang Ecoboost was right in the open on the bottom. We aren’t engineers, and don’t claim to be, but we did put a man on the moon. It seems incomprehensible that this is the ONLY place doable to place the oil filter. We just cannot stand the oil filter location of this 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost 3.5 Ecoboost engine. $65,040 is the price of this 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Lariat.
3. F-150 Still Has An Exterior Whip Antenna, even in 2021
Here’s a factoid for you: The first vehicle to have an antenna embedded into the windshield was the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix. I will emphasize….1969. The reality is, windshield antenna technology has been around for 52 years. The Ford F-150 needs to accept this 52 year old trend, and play along.
Taking off and putting back on this antenna every time I go through a car wash is completely unnecessary. I fixed our problem by installing a stubby antenna. Which I should never have had to do. $65,040 is the price of this 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Lariat – and I’m fiddling with an antenna.
4. This 2021 F-150 Double Honks When Keys Are Left In The Running Vehicle
I understand the point of this feature. Our 2020 Ford Mustang did this as well. It’s to remind the driver they may have left the engine on and running with the keys in the vehicle. This seems to be unique to Ford. I’ve researched the forums and found no one with a fix. It appears the feature (or function) cannot be disabled in the SYNC 4 settings.
If one request may be made to Ford? Please allow us to turn this feature on and off, and make our own decisions. We should leave the nanny features to the government to require them, which they will faithfully do, year after year. They don’t need your help on that end, Ford.
5. The Pedestrian Sounder Function of the Powerboost Hybrid is Atrocious
This safety feature of electric vehicle warning sounds, or function, warns those unsuspecting pedestrians of a vehicle traveling at low speeds in all-electric mode. We understand the law and why it’s needed. I just hate it, because it sounds like a person blowing a leaf blower from a distance as you travel with the windows down in low speeds. It also succeeds in bringing attention to those unsuspecting oedestrians, because they certainly look at whats making the noise. Only when they look, it appears they are simply looking to see if there is something wrong with that new 2021 Ford F-150 that is making the noise. It truly does sound like something is wrong with the truck, and I can tell that some of the pedestrians seem concerned for me and my Ford. It can be quite embarassing at times.
6. The Powerboost Hybrid Has a Rough Engine Idle While in Park
With this 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Hybrid engine, the vehicle is often in battery only mode when at idle. I’d estimate it is at least 90% on battery mode, and 10% or less running with engine on to charge the battery when needed. As the battery depletes it power, the engine needs to turn on to generate the power it needs to idle at battery again.
The engine only needs to come on for a minute or two to recharge the hybrid battery, and you can even select in the SYNC 4 system if you want a more aggressive charging time (which means a higher idle RPM) in order to recharge the battery faster in idle situations.
Trukbed’s issue is that no matter which option you choose, normal or aggressive, when the engine comes on and idles, its rather startling, and seems like a rough idle. I would compare the rough idle to what my older cars felt like at idle when there was a potential engine problem.
Nothing’s Actually Wrong With The Engine
However, we are aware there is nothing actually wrong with this engine. It is just the way this charging system works. It seems to Trukbed, without being engineers ourselves, that there should be a smoother way of idling to charge the hybrid’s battery.
To describe the feeling when the enginie turns on: You are sitting in a very quiet cabin….typing a blog of 10 things you cant stand about the 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost…the engine suddenly turns on. The entire truck jolts a tad, reminiscent of how a 1970 Firebird rocks it’s body when the V8 is revved. The engine is then somewhat loud, and sounds like its missing. But you can watch the RPMs, and it is consistent and looking just fine. When driving, there is no issue going into and out of battery from engine, and vice versa. So, this is weird. And we hate it.
7. 2021 F-150 Powerboost Hybrid Braking Feels Herky-Jerky and Tight
We cannot find what this 2021 Ford F-150 requires from us to be able to brake all the way to a stop without some tightness, and a herky jerky (not a technical term) feeling, virtually every time I come to a full stop.
We used to have a 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid, and the brakes in that vehicle were tight and herky jerky as well. At this point, I am attributing this weird braking feeling to what results from hybrid power charging braking systems. I was aware when we purchased this hybrid truck that the same braking tightness and herky jerky feeling could happen again, but I suppose I had wished the technology would have improved since 2013. Apparently it hasn’t. And we hate it.
8. Traditional Rear Leaf Suspension in the 2021 F-150 Is Rough and Jumpy
The 2021 Ford F-150 has a traditional rear leaf suspension. Leaf springs are excellent for heavy duty needs: they allow for greater payloads due to the immense support between the wheels, axles and truck’s chassis.
There are definite advantages to leaf springs, which is why many heavy duty trucks and industries still use them. But, leaf springs come with disadvantages. Due to design and purpose,leaf springs can only move vertically, and other ranges of motion are limited. This results in a very jumpy, rough and bumpy result of the truck’s bed when going virtually any and every road imperfection. In this truck, even going as slow as you can over say, a school’s tiny and aggressive speed control bump, the truck’s rear end provides a jolt of vibration reminiscent of riding in one of my lowered Audi’s back in the day. I am not as young anymore, and I understand that trucks mostly need leaf springs, but I hate it.
Conversely, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is the first, and only F-150 that will be offering an independent rear suspension. We just cannot wait to drive it! But as for now, we hate the roughness of the rear leaf spring suspension.
9. The Upper Dashboard Storage Does Not Lock in the 2021 Ford F-150
We aren’t referring to the regular glovebox, but the closable storage area above it. Simply put, it just doesnt have a way of locking. We at Trukbed just dont get it. Didn’t we put a man on the moon? There should’ve been a lock on that storage space. The complaint is as simple as the ability would be to honor the request. We beg of Ford, because we hate it.
10. Ford Trucks are Still Issued Hard Plastic Interiors
For those of you who feel the urge to say, “Hey come on, it’s a truck!”, I get it. It IS a truck. But it’s not my stepdad’s old fill sized 1978 Chevy Pickup. Our truck is a $65,040 luxury trimmed 2021 Ford F-150.
Hard plastics aren’t just a Ford problem in their pickups, which allow for excuses. These materials are also in their sedans – and sedans aren’t purposed for dirty work. Ford’s been improving in their interior game, however, plastics are still rather, well, plastic feeling. As other manufacturers have proven, tit is, and has been possible, to fashion plastics and synthetics in such ways that put off a more refined appearance and touchable surfaces, without overtly revealing that it’s all still just….plastic.
We think Ford should up the ante, if on no other vehicles, the interior surfaces of the higher trimmed F-150’s being they are the proud best seller of not only their own product line, but all other vehicles sold in the world. They are the examples most seen and experienced by every human being on earth improving the interior feeling and aesthetics, we think, would do them well in the long and short run.
These are the top 10 things we at Trukbed hate about our $65,040 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Hybrid Lariat. We still recommend the truck as a good buy overall… The 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost Hybrid is in fact a good deal. But, we really do hate these things.
What do you think? Is Trukbed too picky? Too demanding? Or do you agree? Do you have any tips, tricks or fixes for any or all of our gripes? Please let us know in the comment sections below!
1 thought on “F-150 Powerboost Problems | 10 Annoying Issues for 2021”