What Years Are Ford Diesel Engines to Avoid and Why?

Founded in Dearborn, Michigan, United States, Ford Motor Company is an American global automaker. Ford is the name of the company’s car and truck brands. When referring to the Ford diesel engines, the term “Powerstroke” is used.

In an automobile, the engine is very much like the vehicle’s brain. Your car’s engine, should be nothing short of top-notch. However, it is best to stay away from few Ford engines due to the relatively high number of reported problems.

Stay with me as I explain to you why you should avoid certain years of Ford’s diesel engine, as well as which years are the safest for you, so that you can make an informed decision.

Ford Diesel Engines to Avoid (List of Year)

Significant flaws were found in few diesel engines, the 6L and 6.7L, when they were first introduced. As a result, buyers should be aware of the risks associated with purchasing Ford diesel engines.

  • 2003 -2007
  • 2011 -2014

Worst Years of Ford Diesel Engines:

  • 2003 to 2007

These are the worst ford engine years and the most dangerous ford diesels. Diesel engines from the model years 2003 to 2007 are particularly notorious and of such bad quality that Navistar and Ford have engaged in legal conflict. When you go to purchase one, it’s better to steer clear of these engines.

What Makes These Ford Diesel Engine Years Worth Avoiding?

There are several diesel Ford truck alternatives to choose from, but each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages to consider. Knowing the difficulties may help you in deciding which one to purchase.

2003 to 2007 Powerstroke 6.0L Problems:

From the start, the 6.0L Powerstroke engine in the Ford SuperDuty diesel truck from 2003 to 2007 has experienced serious trouble. Most of the issues are believed to be from the manufacturer’s factory.

However, one of the primary contributors to these issues was the EGR emission system. The 6.0’s are also known as “six leakers” because of their unusually large number of leaks. Oil cooler, EGR cooler, and HPOP issues are just a few of the numerous things that might go wrong with a car’s engine.

Here is a list of known problems with 6.0L Powertrucks organized by year.

YearCommon problem
2003Turbo failure(VGT vanes sticking)Leaking oil under turboFICM-related rough idle  
2004The EGR cooler’s rectangular form is restrictive.A clogged oil drain tube on the turboInternal turbo grooves are missing (VGT valves stuck)
2005The EGR cooler’s rectangular form is restrictive.A clogged oil drain tube on the turboInternal turbo grooves are missing (VGT valves stuck)O-ring failure in oil rail plugHPOP oil leaks from the STC connection
2006The EGR cooler’s rectangular form is restrictive.O-ring failure in oil rail plugTurbo failure.  
2007The EGR cooler’s rectangular form is restrictive.O-ring failure in oil rail plug  

Additionally, coolant leaks, head gasket failure, oil cooler problems, injector harness wear, and FICM harness wear were all documented on all 2003-2007 models.

2011 to 2014 Powerstroke 6.7L Problems:

Another Ford diesel engine to avoid is the 6.7L SuperDuty, which was available from 2011 to 2014. It’s not uncommon for the EGR, turbo, and emission systems to fail with this Powerstroke engine. The injection pump, ETG sensor, and cooler clogs are all problems with this engine.

The issues include-

Failure of Injection Pump

Prior to 2020, all 6.7L Power Stroke engines with an injection pump are vulnerable.

Leaks and Defective Bearings

Early versions of the oil burner may suffer from damaged glow plugs which can be fatal and leaks caused by defects in the primary stock radiator and at the turbocharger’s coolant input.

Although glow-plug failure can cause considerable engine damage, ceramic ball bearings in the turbo (2011-2012 engines) are the main cause for concern.

EGR cooler problems

Surprisingly, the EGR coolers included in 6.7L Power Stroke engines are also a source of worry. Although they do not fail as frequently as 6.0L and 6.4L coolers, the 6.7L units are prone to heavy soot accumulation.

Electrical issues

Although there have been few electrical difficulties with the 6.7L Power Stroke, a problem with NOx sensors on first-generation engines (until 2013) is prevalent and significant enough to mention in this rundown. When a sensor fails, the ECM commands “Limp Mode,” which significantly underpowers the vehicle.

Which Ford Diesel Engines Years are Safe to Buy?

  • 1994 to 2004 7.3L Powerstroke 
  • 1999 to 2003 Ford Super Duty
  • 2008 to 2010 Ford F250 or the Ford F-350

Ford trucks are among the finest in the market when it comes to diesel performance. Ford diesel trucks performed well between 2009 and 2011.

The fuel injectors on older engines are longer, so they cannot overheat. You can get a good secondhand diesel pickup truck with one of these long-lasting engines. The basic construction of a 3.0 liter Pump and the cylinder’s six bolts mean that it does not require a big amount of gasoline.

Over-engineered and over-built, the 7.3 Powerstroke engine is one of the most dependable and trustworthy diesels ever produced because of its block and internals.

7.3-liter Power Stroke V-8 with HEUI injection was used in the Ford F-250 and F-350 from 1999 to 2003. The engine has been reworked to make it quieter for the owners. Despite its age, the engine’s power remains undiminished. A car engine you can count on.

Engines with the 6.4L Power Stroke V-8 with the Siemens common rail injection system may be found in 2008 and 2010. The 550-600 hp this engine can produce is a major plus.

The downside is that the engine has to be repaired every 200,000 miles, which costs the owner additional money and time.


I’ve covered the worst Ford engines and the years to stay away from when it comes to Ford diesel engines. Diesel engines from the years 2003 to 2007 are particularly notorious and of low quality, prompting a court battle between Navistar and Ford.  

Now I am crossing my fingers that this information will help you make an informed decision about a PS purchase.

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