F150 Grinding Noise When Accelerating? 8 Reasons And Solutions To Fix It!

F150 grinding noise when accelerating
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When you hear noises while operating a vehicle, it is never a good sign, but a grinding noise? That might make you feel chilly. Always send your car to a shop for repairs so that a skilled mechanic can check it and provide you with an accurate diagnosis of the issue.

Under the brand name Ford, Ford Motor Company has been manufacturing a variety of light, medium, and heavy-duty pickup trucks since 1948. One of the most popular varieties of this model series is the light-duty F-150. One of the most well-liked pickup trucks in the US is the Ford F-150, which is presently in its thirteenth generation.

What if your F150 makes grinding noise when accelerating? If you hear a grinding noise from your car while it accelerates, the issue is probably with the IWEs malfunctioning vacuum solenoid valve or check valve, leaky hub actuator vacuum lines, worn transmission gears, a broken CV joint, a bad wheel bearing, sticky calipers, a worn engine mount, or a differential issue.

If you are experiencing F150 grinding noise when accelerating, then you are not alone. In this article, you will get to know the causes and solutions to fix it. Stay tuned !

F150 Grinding Noise When Accelerating? 8 Reasons And Solutions To Fix It! 

Finding the cause of the grinding noise could be challenging, especially if you’re attempting to solve the problem independently without any prior knowledge of the situation. Anything that rotates or spins, including parts or systems, can make grinding noises.

Any rotating part that is malfunctioning or has had one of its components damaged in some way has the potential to make a grinding noise.

To avoid these minor grinding noise worries turning into a bigger problem later on, getting this handled and fixed as soon as feasible is crucial. 

Below is the few causes for your F150 that makes grinding noises when accelerating.

Malfunctioning vacuum solenoid valve

The IWE (Integrated Wheel End) consists of a front hub assembly, a front drive shaft, a lock hub actuator, and a vacuum solenoid valve.

In the case of the ford F150 with the 4WD, when you put the gears in 4H, the vacuum pressure to the hub actuator is released. Thus, the hub actuator is moved into the gear and locks the drive shaft end gear with the front hub end gear thereby engaging the 4WD. 

When you put the vehicle in 2H, the vacuum pressure is applied to the hub actuator that engages it to the drive shaft end and the hub actuator is moved out of gear, thus disengaging the 4WD.

The vacuum solenoid valve gets the driver input through the vehicle ECU and either allows or blocks the vacuum pressure from the vacuum pump to the hub actuator depending on the drive mode selected (4H or 2H).

During the 2H mode, a vacuum line is established between the vacuum pump and the hub actuator. But in 4H mode, the ECU applies 12V to the vacuum solenoid to block the vacuum pressure. 

The ford F150 grinding noise happens when accelerating especially when there is a malfunctioning vacuum solenoid valve. The ford F150 uses a vacuum from the vacuum pump to disengage the hub from the gears.

But when the vacuum solenoid valve malfunctions, less vacuum will be applied to the hub actuator and this causes partial disengagement of the hub end gear with the drive shaft gears instead of complete disengagement. The partial hub disengagement causes your ford F150 to make a grinding noise when accelerating.

To confirm that the issue is due to malfunctioning IWE, you may put the selector in 2H mode, the moment when you start experiencing the grinding noise when accelerating, put the vehicle to 4H selector mode.

If the grinding noise goes off in 4H mode, then it confirms that noise is due to the partial disengagement of hubs in 2H mode caused by a malfunctioning vacuum solenoid valve. If the IWEs are not staying completely unlocked, you would hear your F150 making grinding noise when accelerating. The IWE hub gears would be fully engaged in 4H mode hence there won’t be grinding noise.

If the grinding noise is happening for a long time, then you might have damaged the IWE. Hence replacing faulty vacuum solenoid valve alone may not be sufficient, you may need to replace the IWE as well as for a fix.

Vacuum Leak

The ford F150 would make a grinding noise when accelerating also when there is a vacuum leak in the vacuum line connected to the IWB’s hub actuator.

A vacuum line is connected from the vacuum pump to the hub actuator via, a vacuum reserve canister. Any crack, leak, or break in the vacuum line would cause the same effect as the malfunctioning vacuum solenoid valve.

A leaky vacuum line would apply less vacuum pressure to the hub actuator and this causes partial disengagement of the hub with the drive end gears hence the F150 hub actuator makes noise when accelerating.

You would notice this grinding noise, especially when accelerating on an uphill, where the engine vacuum may not be sufficient to compensate for the vacuum leak caused by a partially broken or leaky vacuum line.

This is because while driving an up gradient, the system vacuum will be lowest due to wide open throttle plates and the vacuum levels will be at its maximum at low throttle inputs like in normal driving. Hence the need for driving on steep gradients to troubleshoot the problem.

You need to thoroughly inspect the vacuum line starting from the intake system to the vacuum reserve canister and the line to the hub actuator. 

People often think of bypassing Ford F150 4X4 actuator instead of thoroughly inspecting the vacuum circuit and fixing it. But bypassing the actuator has an impact on fuel efficiency due to continuous 4WD engagement.  

Hence replacing the vacuum lines is a cheap fix to get rid of the grinding noise when accelerating in your ford F150.

Worn transmission gears

The part of your car’s transmission that controls how much engine power is sent to each wheel is in charge of doing this.

The planetary gear arrangement in your car is to blame for the grinding sound you hear when you accelerate quickly. The wheels of your car will always be moving at the same speed as the engine, thanks to this technology.

Because of this, if your wheels and engine are not in sync with one another, it would cause the grinding sound, substantial damage can be done to your gearbox. You may hear this grinding sound while you accelerate or when your car is in a particular gear.

If the transmission is the cause of the grinding noises, it will probably be too late to fix the transmission; you will need to replace it.

Even though we all like to be independent, do not attempt to fix or replace your transmission on your own. Transmissions are sophisticated pieces of machinery that should only be repaired or changed by qualified specialists.

Differential Problem

The differential, a part of the vehicle’s powertrain, takes engine power and distributes it to each wheel so that the wheels can rotate at various speeds.

If your car’s differential system makes noises like grinding or whirring, it may indicate that the gears inside are worn out and no longer perform as intended. You may become aware of it when you quicken your pace or make a turn in your car.

Do you have a 4A or 4H transfer case? With 4A (torque on demand) the front diff is usually turning even in 2H. Several users had a similar grinding/rumbling that ended up being a failed bearing in the front differential.

I would recommend checking the condition of differential fluid in the front, rear diff and transfer case. If there is an abnormal amount of metal in there, then you have all reasons for the grinding noise when accelerating your ford F150. Replace the differential fluid and see whether the grinding noise goes off.

If the differential is found to be the cause of the grinding noises you are hearing, you will need to replace it. Conversely, if the differential sounds more like it is whirring than grinding, it may be low on fluid. Differential fluid is used to lubricate gears to stop them from rubbing against one another, producing an audible noise as the vehicle moves.

Bad wheel bearing 

When the car accelerates, a worn-out or broken wheel bearing could make a grinding sound.

This may affect your car’s steering and handling, making it harder to maneuver and resulting in uneven tire wear. You’ll likely hear a grinding sound as you accelerate or turn the wheel.

Your vehicle’s powertrain, CV joints, and wheel hubs may have issues due to worn wheel bearings. It could also result in the wheel bearings seizing, which would put you and your passengers in a dangerous situation.

If the wheel bearing is the issue, then the worn out part must be replaced with a new one. If you are familiar with autos, you can complete this task independently.

Sticky calipers

Another potential cause of the grinding sound coming from your car is due to sticky brake calipers.

It can be challenging to determine whether the dry or unlubricated caliper bolts are to blame for the grinding sounds or anything else.

Ensure that the caliper is not sticking and rubbing against the brake disk during running. The sticky caliper would also make a grinding noise while accelerating.

Worn-out CV Joint 

It’s conceivable that one of your car’s CV joints has failed if you hear grinding, clicking, or knocking noises when you accelerate.

If you do nothing, your car may become immobile in the park, which is a problem if you want to go anywhere. Another sign that your CV joints aren’t working properly is grease on the inside edge of your tires.

The CV joint may cause the vibrations you experience when driving. You are more likely to lose control of the car as a result. The grinding noise also could be due to a failing front driveline U-joint.

You would need to inspect all CV and U joints in your driveline and replace with a fresh one when it starts to wear out.

Damaged engine mount 

If there is a grinding noise while you accelerate, your engine mount can be the source of the issue.

If the engine mount rubber or mounting bracket is damaged, then there is tendency of the engine to rock and vibrate while the vehicle is running.

The engine excitation forces would resonate and vibrate violently if the engine mounts gets damaged whose sole purpose is to isolate the chassis frame  from the engine vibrations.

The motor mount’s looseness could impact your car’s serpentine belt. As a result of the belt rubbing against the surrounding parts, more damage may happen.

It could end up resting on other components and harming them if the engine is loosened from its position or completely comes loose, which would be a costly issue to fix. 


It’s important to pay attention to any unusual sounds you hear while driving. especially if it is a loud, jarring grinding sound.

The ford F150 that makes grinding noise when accelerating typically happens due to issue in moving parts especially the worn-out transmission or differential, a bad wheel bearing, CV or U-joints.

It can also be related to malfunctioning IWEs vacuum solenoid valve and vacuum leak in the vacuum lines connected to hub actuators.

Either carry out the required repairs right away or call a mechanic. The sooner you address a problem that is typically indicated by a grinding noise when accelerating, the better off you will be. Otherwise, it’s possible for your F150 to break down unexpectedly.

Happy Motoring!








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