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Sudden Loss of Power in F150


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Hey Gang....   Just wanted to put this out there.   I have a 2016 F-150 as a TV for my LE2.   At 50k miles I had a fault in the module that controlled the louvers for the turbo.... at 93k I had a fault in the hill control descent feature which turn out to be a bad electronic throttle body.  Both times I got the flashing error with a bong bong bong warning and a complete loss of power.  The power steering and brakes still worked but the only option was to coast to the side of the road and attempt a re-start.  The 50k event happened when I was only about a half mile from home and was able to limp it home.   The 93k event happened once then it was ok then again until a few thousand miles later... then finally it happened continually and I had it towed to a Ford dealership.  Adding insult to injury, both Ford dealerships that I could get to were booked out weeks.  So, I was without my truck for a solid month.  Plus it was 2k the first time and 1400 just this week. 

Fortunately, this never happened while I was towing my Oliver.  But it got me thinking....    How common is this in modern trucks?   They are all controlled by computers.  You never know when some module somewhere is going to go on the fritz and strand you.   Hopefully never while you are on a trip, or while towing, especially up a mountain road with no shoulder.   

So why am I telling you all this...?    Well, I would like to know if anyone has had a similar event with their TV.. or am I the only unlucky one.   But also.... Not a bad idea to keep in mind that this can happen and you may have to get to the shoulder of the road on very short notice.  At least if you are aware that this is a possibility, you might react quick enough to prevent getting stuck in the middle of a highway or in some other really bad place. 

It's fixed for now, and we are planning a spring trip to Canada.... Hopefully no more unpleasant surprises. 

Thanks for listening,




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Gregg & Donna Scott and Missy the Westie  -    The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145     Western NC




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I just took delivery of my third F-150 and each one has had the 3.5 twin turbo engine.  Absolutely no problems with any of the three.  However, I should add that the current one only has 60 miles on it and the maximum mileage that either of the other two had was 45,000.

Hope you got the issues out of the way.  Many modern vehicles have this "limited" power "feature" built into them.  This enables you to still operate the vehicle but supposedly limits any harm that you might do to the engine or transmission until you can get the vehicle to a dealer.


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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I had a 2016 Ford Expedition as our original tow vehicle, with the same 3.5 liter turbo engine, and had the same problem with a failure of the electronic throttle control.   Cruising at highway speed (not while towing), the engine suddenly dropped in RPM and was unresponsive to any movement of the throttle pedal.   I was able to get to the shoulder of the road and the engine “rebooted” after shutting off and restarting.   I had about 50 miles to home and the problem repeated twice more, but rebooted each time after restarting and I was able to make it home and then drop the vehicle off at the local ford dealer.   So the problem didn’t leave me stranded but it could have been bad if it happened while towing.

Problems do happen now and then.  You just have to prepare for the more common problems that can be dealt with on the road like a flat tire.   And hope the other rare problems like computer glitches don’t leave you stranded.  We’ve seen Oliver owners stranded just from a flat tire because they didn’t have a decent jack to even handle a flat tire on their trailer while on the road.

And it is a good reminder of why you should stay in the right hand lane, unless passing, so you can get to the shoulder quickly if a problem happens, especially when towing.   I don’t think the problems are widespread.  All my recent vehicles are far more reliable, comfortable and better equipped than anything I owned back in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.   I owned a 1975 Chevy Nova and like clockwork every 30,000 miles it needed a new water pump, starter motor and wiper motor due to failures, and was completely rusted out by 100,000 miles.   

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Lucky you did not get my Dodge Ram.  I have had to replace two rear ends, the transmission, shocks, front end linkage parts, wiper motor, cam sensor and numerous other deeply buried enjine parts.  Finally gave up and dumped it at a bit over 110K. 

Even with highly regarded trucks, some of us win the lottery!

Only 30K on my 2021 F150 3.5 but no issues so far ... holding my breath.

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You weren't the only one, Jim. Our old Ford 6.0 diesel ate turbos for breakfast. When the high pressure oil sensor popped out of the engine on I-80 in the middle of PA with our fifth wheel in tow, spewing the entire volume of engine oil all over the truck and brand-new trailer in the process, I had enough. That truck was gone a week after we got home. It was a pretty truck, though.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:


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