Has the Powerstroke caught your eye? This Ford diesel engine is packed with power. Whether you’re considering a purchase or have driven a Powerstroke for years, you might have concerns about longevity. You want to make sure you’re getting a good value, so just how many miles can you expect from this engine?
We’ve compiled a useful guide that doesn’t just give you the life expectancy of the engine, but also tells you how to get the most mileage out of your Ford Powerstroke diesel truck.
These numbers are only estimates. For example, a well-maintained 6.0L or 6.7L engine can last up to 400,000 miles! If you want to know how to get the most out of your engine, we’ll give you some pointers.
Changing your oil regularly is essential for engines, but do you know why oil changes are so important? There are a few reasons. The first reason is that your Powerstroke engine comes equipped with an HPOP (High-Pressure Oil Pump). Dirty engine oil running through your pump will push metal debris through your systems which will damage your fuel injectors. This makes regular oil changes even more vital for engines like the 7.3L and 6.0L Powerstroke.
The second reason is that old oil wears down the engine’s turbo bearings, drastically cutting its life expectancy. If the turbo wears down too much, it’ll result in too much play, and your turbo might even explode.
The third reason is that dirty oil can cause your engine to lock up. This isn’t just a major inconvenience, it’s also incredibly expensive to fix.
As you can see, there’s a solid case for making regular oil changes. This step is the single most important step you can take in extending your engine’s lifespan! Oil should be changed every 5,000 miles on the 7.3L, 6.0L, and 6.4L Powerstroke engines. If you have a 6.7L Powerstroke engine or any newer truck, you’ll get oil change notifications on your dashboard.
If you have a 2010 or later engine and you’re using standard oil, you should use 15/30 weight or 10/30 synthetic oil.
Regularly changing your fuel filter helps your engine reach its full potential. Your engine’s fuel injectors serve as its heart, and when fuel is clean they’ll protect your engine and operate at max efficiency. A clean fuel filter helps these systems work their best.
We recommend using OEM fuel filters from Motorcraft or Racor. If you’re using the 7.3L or 6.0L Powerstroke then you should change your fuel filter every 15,000 miles. If you’re putting strain on your engine and driving in severe conditions, then change your fuel filter every 10,000 miles.
If you’re using the 6.4L you can change your fuel filter every 20,000 miles, or 10,000 under severe conditions. If you drive a 6.7L Powerstroke, then you should change your fuel filter every 22,500 miles, or whatever your instrument cluster suggests.
If you have the 6.0L Powerstroke engine you might run into issues with the cooling system. These engines were built with a sand cast mold and over time, sand residue from the mold will clog the engine’s oil cooler.
The oil cooler is found in the valley of the motor, and it’s here that the heat from the oil is transferred over to the cooling system. Unfortunately, this oil cooler clogs easily, which restricts flow and causes higher than normal oil temperatures, which often leads to EGR cooler failure. This issue can have a significant impact on your engine’s longevity.
Fortunately, this serious problem has an easy fix. By installing a coolant filter kit, a high flow oil cooler, and an upgraded tubular EGR cooler you can avoid costly engine repairs. All three of these parts are sold individually or as an easy-to-install complete kit.
Another problem that comes with the 6.0L Powerstroke is head gasket failure. All 6.0L drivers will experience it at some point. The inevitability of head gasket failure comes even faster if you have a performance tune. Unlike the 7.3L Powerstroke engine, which uses eighteen head bolts per cylinder, the 6.0L Powerstroke only uses ten bolts.
How do you prevent your engine from undergoing catastrophic damage? Looks for signs of an issue: check for coolant expulsion around your coolant pressure cap or check your coolant expansion bottle for residue.
Sometimes a gasket problem is misdiagnosed as a failing EGR cooler, so be careful. Although this presents a problem for your truck, it’s still safe to drive. Still, avoid putting extra stress on your truck and don’t pull any heavy loads. If you see signs of a problem, be sure to take it to a shop for diagnostics ASAP.
You can prevent gasket issues by installing a brand new head gasket kit with upgraded Powerstroke 6.0L head studs. TrackTech offers competitively-priced studs that are the strongest in their class. They can be bought separately or featured in Mahle head gasket kits.
There are plenty of other factors that can cut the lifespan of your engine short. For example, if you own a 2003 or newer truck, then the EGR valves can cause your oil to get dirtier.
And on 2007 and newer trucks, the particulate filters may cause excessive back pressure, or the emission control systems can ignite your engine fuel and create higher than normal temperatures.
In addition, any of the “3 T’s” can shorten the lifespan of your Powerstroke. These include heavy towing, oversized tires and performance tuning.
Every truck owner wants to get the most out of their engine’s performance. If you’re using the steps we’ve suggested and buying high-quality diesel truck parts from ProSource Diesel, you’ll be using your Powerstroke to the fullest.