1998 Ford F150 Seems low power

I just got a truck and not 30 minutes off the used lot had a oil pump failure. I
took it to a Kwick Kar shop and dropped it with the instructions to look it over
bumper to bumper I dont want any problems for at least a year.

I got a call a few hours later the oil pump and oil sensor were both bad but
everything else was looked at and seems really good. So I paid a rather
large bill thinking they went threw everything and the oil pump/sensor

I picked up the truck and noticed over the next week it seems to have little
power getting over 50 MPH or climbing small hills and such. I was sick with a
bad leg my driving was limited at this time.

I took the truck to another Kwick Kar shop and asked them to have a look at
it. I got a report withing a hour the air filter was dirty fuel filter was the original
from the factory and they couldn’t get to my car for a few days and
suggested I talk to the original shop.

Went back to the original shop and they said they checked all of that but out
in the parking lot when I looked at the fuel filter and seen it was old and
slightly rusted all they could say was leave it with them a few days I have to
pay for the diagnostic again not including what they find this time.

I got pissed and left. Its a town over the cab fees alone will be $120 and
more if I stayed in a motel.

Thats a back story of this and im tired of hiring people who dont do the work
they promised.

Again it seems to have little power over 50 MPH making getting on freeways
a little scary I cant accelerate fast enough.

Im getting about 8 MPG. Its rated as a 15 MPG mid sized truck.

A few times it seems to give slight hesitation on starting and I could small a
lot of gas on a few tries.

From 1 to 10 the idle seems a little rough at a 2.

Also noticed a “rattle” sound under the hood when giving the car gas at any speed.

Any ideals will help me a lot.

You should have done that before purchasing the truck. Maybe you wouldn’t have bought it, although Kwick Kar sounds like a chain that hires less than talented mechanics.

I notice you told us nothing about this 20 year old truck. Mileage? Engine? Transmission type? Is the Check engine light on?

Don’t blame the mechanic for a fuel filter he can’t see inside. That is a maintenance item. Fuel flow could be one of this truck’s issues. One of many, I suspect. If you don’t know when the filter was last changed, change it now. Nor tell them to “make sure it doesn’t have any problems for a year”. They don’t have crystal balls as to what might break nor could anyone know what might fail on a 20 year old truck.

My “idea” is that you should find a good, highly rated, local independent auto shop to go completely through this truck to find out what is wrong with it - and there seems to be a LOT wrong with it.

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So the first shop failed to note these items on the first inspection and you trust them again? Plus they want to charge you a second diagnostic fee for problems they missed the first two times.
You need to search for a mechanic rather than a chain store.

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A little off topic here. The firm Kwick Kar ( why would you use a firm that can’t spell ) was not a name I was familiar with. A Google search showed one about 30 miles from me. The reviews that were posted could not all be true. No business is going to have that many glowing reviews.

Its a 220k 4.2 V6 Automatic. NO check engine lights

First place the truck went was that shop and they said other than the oil pump and oil sensor being bad and the oil needed to have a flush job but the rest of the truck was in good shape. But again they also said they changed all filters and spark plugs which ended up not being true it still has the original fuel filter and when I changed the air filter it was pretty black.

But I need to know the most common causes of power loss. I never had to deal much with vehicles myself that was my fathers department before he died.

Fuel filter. Got to get the tool to remove the old one.

Timing. My biggest fear is the timing is old and slipped and that I cannot do myself.

So what else could it be? O2 sensor? I have limited funds and cant afford what I could have done weeks ago if I knew the truck would still have problems.

Do you have a Check engine light on?
If so, have the codes read out and report back.
Based on your story I would not return to Kwik Kar.
You might also upload the reports you got after your two previous visits.
BTW did the oil pressure gauge drop to zero (or idiot light come on) prior to your first service?

No check engine light.

The 2nd Kwick kar referred me back to the first and told me what they didnt do.

The oil pump showed no pressure on the trip home which was 15 minutes but only when it was not moving.

The first thing that you should have done, is have the truck inspected by a good mechanic before buying it.
You also should have taken it back to the dealer when the oil pump failed.
As someone pointed out;

The first Kwik Kar missed things that the second Kwik Kar found.
Or Are both places just taking a stab at the list of repairs that make therm the most profit.

Maybe they just throw a dart at the list on the wall.

Secondly, an oil pump is constantly bathed in oil and rarely fails.
I doubt that it was the oil pump…maybe the pressure sensor.

Ask around to friends , co-workers, family, and ask who they use for a mechanic.
Someone closer to your home, would be good!!!


Would 255/70 16 tires have an effect on my power or low miles per gallon? Im use to having cars with thinner tires.

That unburned gas smell means that unburned gas is just going out your tailpipe! O2 sensors can be really far gone before they trigger a check engine light. You might see if they have ever been changed. If not I would DO IT! You are probably going to have two upstream of the cat. Change those first and see what happens. They are the most important and will impact both performance and mileage.

I agree. Take it to a competent local shop, not some chain hiring high school dropouts or whatever walks in off the street.

As far as the tires, sound like OEM size, there is a sticker in the door that will tell you the correct size.
A couple of ideas, compression check and manifold vacuum, could have some leaks.
From Wikipedia:
Ford experienced problems with this engine for the 1997 and 1998 model years. These included issuing all 1997-1998 engines made at the Essex Canadian plant with a bad front cover gasket. The lower-intake manifold had a bad reputation for cracking at relatively low miles. Ford resolved this problem by using a thicker gasket for 1999 model.
Unlikely yours would have an unrepaired/unreplaced manifold at its age. But a possibility.
Could just need some fuel system cleaners through it such as Seafoam.
The 4.2 was the smallest engine offered, don’t expect too much out of it.

If it’s a 2WD then it’s tires are the stock size. 235/70/R16 is the stock size. The 255/70/R16’s were a factory option.

A 1998 F-150 with the 4.2 liter V6 is not exactly a power house

We used to have a few in our fleet, and they were slow and a little low on power . . . and they were better maintained and had considerably lower mileage than yours

I think the used car lot simply flipped a truck that was traded in, or acquired at an auction, without even so much as looking it over

“little power getting over 50mph” . . . that could be many things, such as a clogged exhaust or a tired old engine in need of a rebuild

Exactly how did this “kwick kar” shop diagnose the oil pump failure? Often times the oil pump is blamed, when the root cause is in fact something else, such as a worn out engine.

By the way, is the oil pressure gauge reading 0 . . . ?

Did anybody bother hooking up a mechanical oil pressure gauge to the engine?

Personally, I think you’ve been had . . .

I would have taken it right back to the used car lot and asked them to please take the truck back and give back the money, even if there was some kind of “administrative fee”

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