FORD 6.0L POWER STROKE PROBLEMS
If you own or are thinking of purchasing a 2003 to 2007 Ford Power Stroke you should be made aware of the many problems associated with the 6.0L engine. These problems are not a matter of if they will happen but a matter of when they happen. To properly diagnose the 6.0L it will take several hours using a Ford IDS scan tool and an experienced Diesel technician.
Once the issues have been fixed the 6.0L is a good and very reliable powerful engine. The bad news is that it will cost thousands of dollars to make this happen. It is more cost effective to fix the issues all at once before they happen rather than fixing them as they happen one at a time. The money saved could be $2000 up to $4000 due to the labor cost involved for each individual repair.
THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS ARE:
- FICM = (fuel injection control module) The FICM is a computer that runs the fuel injectors, it supplies 48 volts to the injectors and when this starts to fail the 6.0L will have a hard start or no start issue, rough idle and loss of power. When replacing the FICM you must use the Ford IDS scan tool to remove the programing from the bad FICM and reprogram the new FICM and the PCM.
- FUEL INJECTORS = Deliver fuel to the cylinders, when they start to fail (usually in pairs) it can be caused by several other issues like the FICM, dirty oil (not being changed every 5K miles) low fuel pressure, mechanical failure or electrical issue. Most injector issues are noticeable at the beginning of a cold start up and will go away once the engine is warm. Signs of a bad injector are hard start, rough idle, black or grey smoke. If ignored this can cause serious engine damage. Do not ignore this issue because it goes away once the engine is warm!
- HIGH PRESSURE OIL SYSTEM = The 6.0L fuel injection system operates on oil pressure, very high oil pressure. Problems with the HPOS are oil leaks (internal in the engine) due to failed/deteriorated O-rings that are caused from excessive oil temperature (bad oil cooler) and high pressure. Ford has improved the design of the O-rings and has an updated fitting that replaces the STC. (snap to connect) The STC fitting was used in the 05-07 6.0L and has a 100% failure rate. If you still have the STC fitting on your 05-07 it is just a matter of time before it fails. Symptoms are hard start / no start, loss of power and occur mostly when engine is hot. The HPOS on the 03 to early 04 6.0L are a different design and most of the issues are caused by a bad ICP sensor (injection control pressure) located under the turbo and fails due to heat, or a failed HPOP (high pressure oil pump) and or a failed IPR (injection pressure regulator) The IPR will fail due to debris going through it caused by (not using a ford OE oil filter)
- EGR COOLER = The EGR cooler cools the exhaust gas that is recirculated back into intake manifold so that it can be re-burned for cleaner emissions. When it fails it will cause coolant to enter in to the intake manifold and be burned in the combustion chamber causing a loss of coolant and white smoke from the tail pipe. Depending on the severity of the failure the engine can hydro-lock and cause severe engine damage = bent connecting rods. The EGR COOLER only fails because of a clogged or restricted OIL COOLER.
- OIL COOLER = The Oil cooler is the cause of most the 6.0L’s problems. The Oil cooler cools the engine oil by heat transfer from / through the engine coolant, kind of like a small radiator. There are no warning signs for a clogged or restricted oil cooler but tests can be done to determine if a problem is there waiting to happen. The reason the Oil cooler gets restricted and clogs up is due to silicone sand in the coolant system. The sand is left over from the casting process of the engine block and because it was not thoroughly cleaned from the coolant passages before the engine was assembled and it gathers at the most restrictive point which is the Oil cooler. When the Oil cooler is not restricted the coolant temperature and oil temperatures should be within a couple degrees of each other, anything above a 15 degree difference indicates a problem. If the Oil temperature gets too hot it can cause gaskets and O-rings (in the HPOS )to fail and the lack of coolant flow to the EGR cooler will cause it to fail and can and will cause head gaskets to fail as well.
- EGR VALVE = The EGR valve is an electric valve that controls the flow of exhaust gas into the intake manifold. The EGR valve fails due to carbon build up on the valve or it can fail electronically. When it is bad it can cause black smoke, loss of power, no start and a fluttering noise.
- TURBO CHARGER = When a Turbo starts to fail it will have the same symptoms as a bad EGR valve. The vanes in the turbo that control boost can build up with carbon or rust which can cause an over boost condition or a no boost condition. Sometimes the Turbo can be taken apart and cleaned. Another type of failure can be bearing failure which can send pieces of shrapnel into the cylinders causing engine damage.
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