Q: Shaking noise when the truck idles, worse when it first starts

asked by on October 29, 2015

My 2008 Ford F-150 with 60k miles was making a rattling noise on startup. I thought it might be the timing chain tensioners, so I had those along with the VCT valves replaced by a mechanic. Now when I start the truck, it sounds like a diesel engine, and when it's idling it makes that loud rattling noise the entire time. I hooked up my scanner and it's throwing off timing codes. I'm at a loss for what to do. How can I fix this for good?

(Answer assuming it is a 5.4 Triton Engine)

This complaint is one of the most common I have heard over and over again for the Ford F-series trucks with the 5.4 Triton engine and covers many other years besides just the 2008. The 5.4 Triton engines have major issues with the cam phasers and timing chain tensioners causing rattling, knocking noises along with several drive complaints. In your case you ask: ‘How can I fix this for good?’ Well after thinking about that question for a while, my answer would have to be nothing can be fixed for good, but only fixed right the first time. To fix your problem you will have to first diagnose it properly. Contact YourMechanic for a qualified mechanic to listen to the noise and verify the problem is with the cam phasers and not the previous repair done incorrectly. If the previous repair was done correctly, then continue to replace your cam phasers. If timing of the cams were not set correctly, then you will have to have it set up correctly with new cam phasers installed as well. Once this is done change your engine oil and filter with 5w20 oil and clear any check engine codes. Start engine and noise should be gone. A side not to consider: if your tensioners came apart and particles got into your oil pan then, the oil pump intake screen may have got clogged with this debris from the tensioners and caused a loss of oil pressure. Check with the mechanic who did this job and see if this was the case. The bottom line you should have the cam phasers replaced first, then adjust the timing chain and tensioners as needed.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

No start anti-theft light blinks a code 1-6

Your anti-theft light is blinking due to the theft system is activated and will not allow the vehicle to start. The code 16 is not something that is used by mechanics in the field but was used by engineers in...

I hear a rattling sound.

I have a strong suspicion that a timing chain guide has failed inside your engine. This is a pretty common occurrence with your particular vehicle. The timing chain guide are made of plastic and over time they get brittle and...

Where is the crankshaft position sensor location?

The crankshaft position sensor is located on the driver side of the engine and in the back by the transmission on the engine. If you need further assistance with your crankshaft position sensor, then seek out a professional, such as...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford F-250
When When it comes to large, heavy-duty pickup trucks, the 2012 Ford F-250 only has two competitors – the Chevrolet Silverado HD and the Dodge Ram 2500/3500. Though the F-250 doesn’t outperform the Ram in the towing department, it certainly...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford F-450
The The 2012 Ford F-450 is a serious truck with major towing and hauling capacity. What it lacks in gas mileage, it more than makes up for in durability, suspension, power, and torque. Plus, with a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission,...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If Your Kid's On the Soccer Team
If If you are a soccer mom (or dad), you know that you need a lot of space to transport your budding World Cup contenders, along with their gear. From time to time, you can also expect to be bringing...