What Is Causing My Ford F150 to Overheat?

by Kristin JenniferUpdated July 17, 2023
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The Ford F-150 is a model of full-sized truck that is designed for towing and hauling high payloads. Overheating problems can potentially occur in any F-150 but are more likely to occur in older and less maintained versions of the truck. To function correctly, the engine temperature is controlled by water or chemical coolant. If the components of that process breakdown, overheating would occur.


Water or coolant is necessary to keep your F-150's engine cool. Overheating can occur at any point in a vehicle's lifetime if the coolant tank is not maintained to fullness. Coolant is pumped into the engine by a coolant pump. A hose connects the coolant pump to the coolant tank. Check the hose for damage or leaks, which may cause insufficient cooling of the engine. If the coolant tank is full and the coolant hose is OK, the coolant pump may need repair.



The radiator helps to cool the engine by releasing heat from your F-150. Radiators have several components that, if failing, can cause an F-150 to overheat. The fan shroud directs hot air out of the radiator. The radiator cap maintains a pressure rating that promotes the development of steam for heat regulation. Hoses on a radiator can crumble and leak from wear and tear. Also, if any dirt has entered the radiator, clogs could form that prevent adequate flow of coolant from the engine. Check fan shroud, hoses, caps and cleanliness as possible trouble makers in your F-150 engine.


A broken thermostat is unable to regulate the temperature of your F-150 engine. When the engine begins to get too hot, the thermostat opens to release heat from the engine. Failure to open can cause the truck to overheat.

Head Gasket

The head gasket prevents coolant from leaking into the engine cylinders or crankcase. White steam emitting from the exhaust pipe indicates that your F-150 is overheating due to a leaky head gasket.

Belts and Fans

Belts turn fans that help keep the engine cool. When belts deteriorate and break, they prevent the engine from functioning properly, causing the engine to overheat. If your overheated F-150's radiator fans are not moving, the cause is probably a broken belt.

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