Ford Mustang GT Coyote 5.0 Engine Problems: The 4 Most Common Problems

5.0 Coyote Mustang GT Problems & Reliability

The 5.0L Coyote engine is a member of Ford’s modular engine family, which is available in the 2011-present F150 and Mustang GT models. While the Coyote engine has been updated numerous times, some common issues persist across all Coyote engines.

However, these are generally reliable engines. As a result, it may not be entirely accurate to classify these as truly widespread problems. Regardless, we will discuss a few of the most frequently encountered issues and concerns with the 2011+ Coyote engines in this guide.

Common 5.0 Coyote Problems

  • Engine Tick
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Oil Pan & Oil Pan Gasket
  • Interior Rattling

Again, Ford’s 5.0 Coyote engine is a dependable unit in general. Some may argue that we are nitpicking over these common issues. We believe it is critical to emphasize that just because we list these common issues does not mean you will encounter them.

We’d like to discuss the most prevalent issues, but that does not mean they affect the majority of Mustang GTs. Additionally, reliability is a difficult subject to broach. A portion of it has to do with how the car is maintained, driven, and so forth. Some of it is simply luck of the draw.

Moving on, the four most common Coyote 5.0 issues you’re likely to hear about are engine ticking, automatic transmission issues, oil pan gasket leaks, and interior rattling. The engine tick is a touchy subject, so let’s leave it at that for the time being. We’ll take a look below. Automatic transmission problems have been extensively documented and discussed across a wide variety of Ford models.

While the oil pan and oil pan gaskets are partially speculative, they make the list for a reason. Finally, this is ostensibly a guide to common engine problems.

However, given how frequently owners mention or complain about interior rattling, we felt it warranted a brief discussion at the conclusion. Additionally, there is little else to discuss engine-related issues. The 5.0 Coyote is off to a good start.

1) 5.0 Coyote “Type Writer” Engine Tick

This is not a pleasant subject to discuss, write about, or think about, so bear with us. To begin, there appear to be numerous variations on the engine tick. Ford engines have long been known to make ticking sounds. Often, it appears as though this has no real or discernible effect on engine longevity.

Certain Ford engines continue to tick for the majority of their lives and can reach 200,000+ miles. It is, however, a somewhat unique discussion regarding the 2018+ Coyote 5.0 engines. Why 2018+ examples of Gen 3 Coyotes? Let’s take a look at some of the significant changes made to the 2018 engines.

  • Direct injection (DI)
  • Plasma arc cylinder liner

Are 5.0 Coyote Direct Injectors to Blame?

These are just a few of the updates for the 2018 Mustang GT model year. Both of these factors, however, may help to explain why engine ticking noises are frequently discussed on these models. It is well-known that the injectors in DI engines make audible clicking noises.

As BMW enthusiasts, we are very familiar with injector clicking, which is completely normal. However, when the N54 was newer, it was common to find forum threads from owners inquiring as to why their engine ticked.

Often, it was simply the injectors, but people were unfamiliar with the noises due to the fact that the technology was new for BMW gasoline engines at the time.

There appears to be more going on with the 2018 Coyotes than just direct injectors. While some may believe their Mustang GT makes a ticking sound, this is actually the normal direct injector clicking. That is the point we are making.

True engine tick is not caused by direct injection. Some, on the other hand, may be mistaking normal direct injection sounds for engine ticks.

As a result, this issue may be exaggerated (which the internet is capable of doing on its own, even without the assistance of noisy injectors).

Is Piston Slap to Blame for the Ticking?

Regrettably, this appears to be the most likely suspect. Plasma arc cylinder liners are used in the Gen 3 Coyote engine. It is possible that this liner is causing minor clearance problems, resulting in the piston lightly slapping against the cylinder wall. Certain owners have had their engines replaced due to cylinder wall scoring, which supports this theory.

If this is true, there may be cause for concern as these engines reach 100,000 miles or more. Piston slap can gradually erode the cylinder walls, resulting in cylinders losing some compression. That is just one of numerous internal issues that piston slap can cause over time.

However, there are still far too many unanswered questions. Why do certain older Generation 1 and Generation 2 5.0 Coyote engines exhibit the same ticking issue? Does this imply that it is not a piston slap?

Or is piston slap still to blame, but this time it is unrelated to the plasma liners? Will we see an increase in premature engine failures as more 5.0 coyote-powered Mustang GTs exceed 100,000 miles?

5.0 Coyote Type Writer Tick Summary

Ford acknowledged the ticking and issued a bulletin in response. They did not, however, address the underlying issues. Ford stated that it is normal, which only adds to the confusion.

If this is normal, why do some engines tick while the majority of others do not? The situation is somewhat tangled, and there are no definitive answers. Nonetheless, we believe the problems are not as widespread as the internet would have you believe.

5.0 If it’s piston slap, coyotes ticking could have serious consequences down the road. Engine ticking, in our experience, is not normal and typically indicates a problem.

However, we believe that should not deter anyone from purchasing a Mustang GT. At the same time, we believe that prospective owners should be aware of the situation. Apologies for the lengthy topic, but we’ll make up for it in the following ones.

2) 5.0 Coyote Transmission Issues

We apologize, but Ford automatic transmissions are abysmal. They’ve never had a particularly good reputation for transmissions. Simply conduct a search for “Ford transmission problems,” “Ford transmission recall,” or “Ford transmission settlement,” among other terms.

You will not discover encouraging results. They will, however, be primarily targeted at Fiesta and Focus models. Regardless, Ford transmissions have a long list of issues, and the 5.0 Coyote is no exception.

While some Mustang GT automatic transmissions are more durable than others, none are completely trouble-free. While we’re primarily concerned with automatic transmissions here, it’s critical to note that manual transmissions are not without their own set of issues.

Prior to 2011, manual transmissions were highly regarded. Manual transmissions mated to the Coyote 5.0 lacked the performance of the MT82.

Unfortunately, none of the Mustang GT models are immune to transmission problems. The real focus, however, is on the 2018+ 10r80’s ten-speed automatic transmission. We don’t want this post to be entirely negative, and as with all car problems, the 10r80 issues are almost certainly exaggerated. Therefore, let us begin with the positive.

The 10r80 is an excellent transmission in general. While ten gears is a little excessive in our opinion, it does an excellent job of keeping the 5.0 Coyote in its power band. Additionally, it is a quick, crisp transmission. There have, however, been some issues and complaints thus far. As with the MT82, the 10r80 is the subject of several lawsuits.

10r80 Transmission Problem Symptoms

  • Clunking sounds
  • Jerky shifts
  • Missing gears
  • Hanging gears / slow shifts

Clunking or unusual transmission sounds, jerky shifts, missing or hanging gears, and/or slow shifts may all indicate a problem with the 10r80. However, not everything is bad. Certain owners were able to resolve their concerns by having the dealership reset the power-train control module (PCM). This indicates that certain transmission issues may be caused by software.

On the other hand, clunking or unusual transmission sounds typically indicate a genuine mechanic issue. It makes sense that if you hear clunking, something is wrong with the physical components.

10r80 Transmission Replacement

Fortunately, the majority of Coyote 5.0 engines equipped with the 10r80 transmission should still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Of course, modifications to the powertrain, such as tunes or bolt-ons, may void your warranty.

If you’re having transmission problems, the dealership will almost certainly attempt to reset the PCM first. For some, this appears to be the solution. If this does not resolve the issue, you may require a new transmission or a rebuild of the existing transmission.

Hopefully, any defective transmissions will be repaired during the warranty period. It’s still worth noting as these ten-speed Mustang GTs age. If these issues are not resolved during the warranty period, they may result in costly repair bills down the road.

3) 5.0 Coyote Oil Pan & Oil Pan Gasket

Okay, as promised, we’re going to speed things up a little bit, so this section will be brief. Issues with the oil pan and oil pan gasket may be speculative. It’s worth noting, however, that 2018+ Coyote 5.0 models include a plastic oil pan. This is not a formal test, but the video below illustrates the concept.

As demonstrated in the video, the plastic oil pan is quite durable. It’s probably not an issue for the majority; unless you’re constantly bottoming out the car. Although plastic expands slightly when heated, this could have an effect on the gasket’s ability to properly seal the oil pan over time. Additionally, Ford previously used problematic plastic oil pans.

Another factor to consider is our personal experience living in cold climates with snow and ice. Our 2007 335i’s underbody panel is made of plastic and is far from the thickness or durability of the 5.0 oil pan.

Nonetheless, it’s a fairly thick, sturdy under-body panel. As a result of years of driving in Colorado, the panel was completely destroyed. You’ve got the larger trucks dropping chunks of ice from their wheel wells that ping their way beneath the car. Additionally, potholes caused by icy conditions and accumulated ice lumps do not help.

While this has nothing to do with the 5.0 coyote oil pan, the point is that repeated abuse may cause problems. One rock, one large pothole, or one chunk of ice, for example, will not cause significant damage. Years of abuse, on the other hand, may take their toll on the plastic oil pan.

4) 5.0 Interior Rattling Problems

Again, we’ll keep it brief, particularly given that this is completely unrelated to engine/power-train issues. However, this is good news because it means there isn’t much else to discuss regarding the 5.0 Coyote’s reliability.

Additionally, there is not much to discuss regarding Mustang GTs and interior rattling. It’s one of those things where you just have to listen carefully and track down the source of the rattle.

Depending on the precise cause of the rattle, various solutions may be available. You may need to exercise some dexterity in order to resolve the rattling. Some people choose to slide foam, cardboard, or similar materials behind rattling panels.

Otherwise, it could simply be a loose bolt or screw. It’s a little infuriating when new cars begin rattling so soon after purchase. However, the interior of the majority of cars develops rattles over time, and some owners choose to simply live with it.

5.0 Coyote Common Problems & Reliability Summary

Taken together, the 2011+ Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote engine is a reliable performer that does not suffer from many common issues. Keep an ear out for ticking engine noises, but keep in mind that you may be hearing the direct injection systems.

Individuals with true ticking issues may experience decreased longevity if something goes wrong severely enough to cause internal damage. It is a possible issue, but it has been grossly exaggerated.

Ford does not have the best reputation when it comes to transmissions, and none of the Mustang GT models are immune to transmission problems. Again, transmission failures are not as prevalent as some may believe. On 2018+ models, the plastic oil pan gasket was an interesting addition, but any issues are purely speculative.

Finally, we included interior rattles, as this is a common occurrence. Additionally, we ran out of material to write about actual 5.0 Coyote powertrain issues. However, we believe it is necessary to add one final note. All automobiles and engines are susceptible to a variety of failures.

Certain aspects of 5.0 Coyote reliability are dependent on maintenance, how the car is driven, and how it is modified. At other times, it may simply be a matter of luck. Nonetheless, the Mustang GT’s 5.0 Coyote engine is a strong performer and a reliable performer.

What is your opinion of the 5.0 Coyote? Please leave a comment and inform us!

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