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ford power stroke diesel questions

themailman1themailman1 Posts: 95
I was wondering if anyone could help me. I want a f 250 ext cab 4x4 diesel auto tranny but have heard mixed opinions about some questions I have. I drive 64 miles a day round trip[ to work 5 days a week, add another 100 miles minimun a week for other travel and then 2-3 300 mile trips out hunting and add a few more for vacations. I have had my tundra for less than a year and have 21k and counting and have added another 3-4 k on my 4runner which I have had for 6 months. Would it be a good idea to get the diesel and have one truck for everything? I don't haul very often but I do do occassional side jobs out of my truck( I am an electrician).Keep in mind I don't care about the frequency of oil changes/ anti freeze changes and additives, it is about the same for that truck as for my 2 trucks now. I also four wheel and this truck would get a lift and bigger tires(not too much), and I would possibly plow with it in the future. Any help or suggestions? I want to keep away from the ford gas engines, v8 not enough power, and we have a v10 in the truck at work and I would'nt get that engine. Any help?Sorry so long.


  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Posts: 2,728
    If what you really want is to save money, get rid of the pathfinder and drive the wheels off the Tundra. Just make sure you are saving enough to replace it. I would say to keep the pathfinder over the tundra except an SUV isn't practical for your occupation, you need a truck. A PSD is fine, but you'll suffer on depreciation unloading the tundra at this time, also paying sales tax again, higher insurance, and if you financed before, you won't have much equity because the interest is loaded up front. Don't worry about the miles. Worry instead about continuing to save for the next one, even after the note is paid.

    I suspect this really isn't about saving money, although you are looking for some justification to abandon the tundra and pathfinder and get into a PSD. You could be fooling only yourself. If you can afford the tundra, you won't worry about the miles you are putting on it. More expensive vehicles always cost more per mile than cheaper ones, no getting around this. My brutally honest $0.02
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    The PSD, or any diesel for that matter, is more expensive up front. And, I will agree with quad about higher priced vehicles costing more per mile to own. But, he is comparing apples to oranges and is probably not allowing for the differences between the two beasts. He is my take on the situation.

    Typical gas powered truck:
    Cost to purchase - appr. $25,000: Cost of oil changes every 2,500 miles (doing them myself) - appr. $600: Expected repairs - appr. $2,000: A grand total of appr. $27,600: If you put 150k on this truck and it is worth $0 at the end, the cost per mile to own this truck is 18.4 cents per mile.

    Typical diesel powered truck:
    Cost to purchase - $35,000: Cost of oil changes every 5,000 miles (doing them myself) - appr. $1,800: Expected repairs - appr. $4,000: Grand total of appr. $40,800: If you put 300k on this truck and it is worth $0 at the end, the cost per mile to own this truck is 13.6 cents per mile.

    In the scenario above, I didn't even get into the fuel savings of the diesel.
  • Hey thanks for the feed back. I am really confused on what to do, I realize I will probably loose money on the tundra but I would make about a grand on the 4runner cause I got it for cheap and did 90% of the maintainence myself(sell it outright). The gas prices are starting to rise but I have not seen the diesel prices so I can't compare. As for insurance it would be the same for my 2 trucks as compared to 1 truck and the sales tax and other misc. fees would be the only bad thing as well as the starting over of the term(4 yrs left on my tundra). THanks for the help guys.
  • lwittorflwittorf Posts: 96
    Diesel is higher priced here in Wa. the ps takes 12 quarts of oil plus a 12-15$ filter, fuel filters,up front cost dosen't add up unless you are going to use it for heavy work. I had a 96 ps e-xcab auto 4:10 ratio got 16-18 mpg excellant power ride& driving but just to expensive to use as a car.Don't claim to have all the answers but that is what I found out from having one.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    If you only use one as a "car" and get a new one every few years, the diesel is not an option. You really need to run one at least 100k to 150k miles to break even. After projecting current mileage trends, my truck will have approximately 300k miles on it come time for a new one.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    Of all the comparos I've ever seen, that's the silliest!!!

    Why are you halfing the oil change intervals on the diesel??? Especially with the PSD, the oil changes are even more critical than a gasser.

    Did you factor in the interest on $4600 over 5 years that the "average" truck owner will pay for the diesel??

    The repairs on ancillary items will not be in line with a gasser. Water pumps on a PSD are $700 vs $100 for a V10. Injectors are 3X's the amount.
    You have coolant additives, a few more and expensive filters.

    $0 value @ 150K for a gasser??? LMAO!!!

    If you buy the diesel because of the better high altitude hauling, for its obnoxious smells or sounds, for its sluggish off the line performance(PSD and cummins) more power to you.

    If you buy a diesel because of some perceived value advantage......Enron comes to mind.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    No, I did not factor in the interest on the extra $4,600, in fact, I did not factor in any interest. The $0 end value is for illustration only and represents worst case scenario, a person can argue end value from now 'till the cows come home and still not know what that value will be X number of years down the road. You may think the PSD needs oil changes every 2,500 miles, but repeated oil analysis has shown that 5,000 miles is fine. No one can accurately estimate repair costs over the life of a vehicle, those were ESTIMATES, what the average person can EXPECT to pay over the life of the vehicle. A neighbor of mine handles extended warranty claims. They tell me my estimates are in the ballpark. I'm sorry if you don't like diesels, roll up your windows. And I did not buy my truck for its drag strip performance. As far as value goes, this truck should outlast two gassers. It would cost me much more for the two gassers than it cost for the one PSD.
  • jdtopperjdtopper Posts: 58
    '00 350 CC 4x4 LWB SRW because I knew I wouldn't be buying another vehicle anytime soon and I wanted a truck that would not limit my horizons. It will pull/carry anything I am likely to need and will go anywhere I am likely to want to go, except into my garage...;-). I plan to keep it till the wheels fall off.

    For the diesels, oil changes certainly cost more - hey, there's 4 gallons of oil in that engine - but they are less frequent (5k miles instead of 3k) so it comes a little closer to averaging out. It certainly is not as bad as modvptnl makes it sound, and there is a 100k mile warranty on the diesel engine/drivetrain. I've put 41k miles on mine since May of 2000, and so far have spent about $1k on maintenance at the dealer...and not a penny of it went for engine problems. If I'd done my own work, it would have cost me less, but I think I'll stick with Ford maintenance at least until it runs out of warranty.

    My driving is about the same as what you stated. Diesel fuel generally costs about the same, or less, than the cheapest grade of gasoline and the diesel gets about 25% better mileage than equivalent gasoline units. I get 16-17 mpg combined mileage and 19 mpg on strictly highway miles. You won't get that kind of efficiency from ANY gasoline powered one-ton pickup. There are a lot of half-tons that can't match it. The extra cost of my engine will be more than paid for by the time I sell it.

    From your post, you hunt a bit. If that takes you high up in the mountains, you will REALLY appreciate all that turbocharged simply can't be beat. The only gas engine that Ford makes that has a prayer of giving similar performance is the V10, and frankly, the V10 is a distant cousin when loaded or towing, especially at altitude. It just can't cut it above about 7,000 feet, loaded.

    You might give some thought to a Crew Cab...I didn't like the looks at first, but I find that the extra interior space is way more useful than I ever anticipated. I wouldn't give it up now...
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    ....are you guys claiming the gassers need more frequent oil changes????? The PSD is VERY susceptible to contaminated oil due to its fuel injection system. While I do change my oil on the V10 @3000 miles, I would probably do the same with a diesel. Put another way, 5k on synthetic in my gasser would not cause me any worry.

    Mullins, I agree with your first paragraph in post #8 more so than your last post. As far as warranties go, check out the surcharge on an extended warranty for a'll choke on the cost difference.

    Jd, didn't we go through this before?? (if not I apologize)The 100,000 mile warranty is NOT on the powertrain...just the diesel motor.

    Currently(in Vegas) diesel is more expensive than the regular I can run in the gasser.

    Pulling max loads at altitude a diesel cannot be beat.
  • Hi All
    Got a neighbor runing a long bed. It keeps leaking oil.Dealership can't find a thing.
    It's a '98 4X4. Any ideas?
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    The dealership not being able to find the leak doesn't surprise me. Back in '95, my wife and I bought a Cougar. Within 10k miles the engine developed a small oil leak around the front crank seal. It wasn't a huge leak, but it was enough to sling oil all over the front of the engine. I took it to the dealer to have it fixed, under warranty of course. They said there was no leak, that I had spilled oil everywhere when I changed it. I am WAY to anal about things like that. I asked them to put the ultra violet dye in the oil. They refused, saying there was no leak. I jumped up and down and became a very annoying squeeky wheel. They consented, cleaned up the front of the engine and put in the dye, took them maybe 5 minutes to do this. I drove the car home, had my wife drive it the next day. When I got home that night, I pulled out my UV light and guess what, the front of that motor lit up light a Vegas show. When I took it back to the dealership, they fixed it no questions asked. I sure your friends is outside of the warranty, but my guess is the mechanic at the dealership is lazy and doesn't want to look for the leak. My assessment here is based on a comment made by the mechanic in my situation. He said "You can spend all day long chasing oil leaks that don't exist." DON'T EXIST!!!!!! Just how in the hell did that oil get there in the first place??? If it's not under warranty, I would find a new mechanic. Just my $.02 worth.
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  • bwarner1bwarner1 Posts: 2
    I have a "97 F-250 Power Stroke crewcab which expells white smoke upon start up and lasts for a few min. The dealer has been no help, which is not unusual. They say everything checks out fine but I don't remember that much smoke in the past. Has anybody had this problem or am I being too particular?
  • bwarner1bwarner1 Posts: 2
    I have a "97 F250 Power Stroke which is my first diseal. I tow a 30.5 foot travel trailer with no diffulity and I travel to work only 5 miles. According to some people this truck may be more expensive to operate but the expense is well worth the reliabily and power. Several of my cousins and friends have Power Strokes and would not give them up for any size gas engine. A gas engine will beat you off the line, but bet your donuts, you'll leave them far behind on that hill and they'll be stopping at more filling stations than you. Somethings in life are worth the extra money and the Power Stroke is one of them.
  • quikbenquikben Posts: 1
    I have a '99 F250 7.3 Super Duty that started smokeing,only on start up, at about 96,000 miles. Then the white smoke was present at startup and idle. I took the truck to the dealership when the SES light came on and the truck lost power! At the dealer they were quick to diagnosis and replace a bad injector
    But when they started the truck it still the had a small amount of smoke and it did not have full power on the test drive! When they did a pressure check they found the #7 right rear clyinder with low compression, under 100 psi normal 350 to 400 psi.
    They said the problem was most likely a broken ring.
    I got a new engine because I was just under 100,000 miles.
    My next truck will be a GM with a gas engine!
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Congratulations on the free new engine!!! Sounds like you found that one out just in time. You won't get that kind of service out of GM at 96,000+ miles.
  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    With the amount you drive, a gas truck will cost you more just for fuel! A PSD should run way over 200 K before major work, with your new engine, you should have plenty of time to weigh the pro's and con's of various new trucks.

  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    That is what I am counting on. My Powerstroke, at current driving levels, will have approximately 300k miles on it when time for a new one. No gasser I know of would make it that far. And, considering the truck only cost $6,000 more, it's almost like getting two trucks for the price of one. I am hoping that good preventative maintenance will do it.
  • I finally got one.Picked it up thursday.A 2002 ford f250 psd auto 4x4 reg cab.My dream truck.This thing is so awesome.I cna t wait to break it in so I can actually use the throttle,not that you have to use it all that much.Just awesome.Later Nick
  • I just bought my first diesel, a '99 F250 PSD and so far I love it. At some fuel stations I see the diesel fuel labelled as "Diesel 2" and others just "Diesel". Is this the same stuff but just advertised differently? If not, should I be using one or the other?
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    First off, only buy fuel from the busiest truck stops in your area. That way you are assured of fresh fuel, and fresh fuel is very high on the important list. These truck stops will(should) change between No. 1 and No. 2 Diesel depending on the time of year. No. 1 Diesel is for winter/cold weather use and No. 2 Diesel is for summer/warm weather use.

    Most likely what you are seeing is just labeling on the pump. But you might want to ask someone at the station of your choice.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    I am considering the new 6l V8 diesel in a crew cab configuration with 6 3/4 bed. Has anyone heard any details about this new motor?
  • y2k4my2k4m Posts: 9
    is it worth the cost? The Ford parts guy was really trying to sell me one, but everything I saw in my truck info said "don't do it". My thoughts are if it's such a good deal (to increase hp and mileage) why isn't Ford doing this at the factory? Feedback is welcome.
    '02 F350 CC Lariat SWB 4X4
  • lariat1lariat1 Posts: 461
    Generally when you install a "chip" upgrade in the ECM for a diesel it increases the exhaust temperatures which can cause damage if the temperatures get to high, not to mention the added wear and tear of more Hp and Torque.
  • y2k4my2k4m Posts: 9
    I did some more searching on-line and found limited info. (always better to get it from the source). It appears that you do get more hp, but as you said it raises the temperature which will shorten the life of the turbo. Bad trade off in my opinion. Thanks again for the reply!
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    You can put a mild chip in your truck without significantly affecting the life of the engine. But get a pyrometer along with that chip. A pyro is a gauge that shows the exhaust gas temperature. It allows you to monitor the temps in realtime so you can alter the way you are driving at that moment in order to keep the temps down. Noboby that I have ever talked to has had any trouble with their EGT's when using a mild chip. It seems only those who run the wilder ones that have trouble. Stay with a reputable chip maker that has considerable diesel experience. Right off the top of my head I can think of four manufacturers that would be good choices; Banks, SuperChip, Western Diesel and Hypertech. IMO, Banks and Western Diesel would be the best of the four, but the other two are excellent companies and they have a tremendous number of chips out on the road. My recommedation: Drop about $500 for a mild chip and a pyro. You won't be sorry. If you are concerned about the warranty, buy the Ford chip. There's no way they could void your warranty if you were using their product installed by their technicians.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Sorry lariat1, I meant to address that last post to y2k4m.
  • bmaigebmaige Posts: 140
    I have seen posts in which people say a PSD should run 300,000 miles, but "should" and "will" are two different things. Is there anyone out there that has a PSD with over 100,000 miles on it? How about 200,000? 300,000? What expenses, other than normal oil and filter changes have you experienced?

    I would like to know the actual experiences of owners. Right now I am in a quandry as to whether to go with gas or diesel, and if there are cases of these engines lasting as long as some say they "should" it would be a "nobrainer" for me. I drive a truck long and tow heavy loads on occasion with it, but not enough to warrant the additional cost of a diesel for that alone.

    Also, I've heard of a 100,000 mile engine warranty. Ford's specs don't show it. Is that a Ford or International warranty--or does it not even exist?

    I would appreciate any help anyone can offer on these questions.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    If you don't keep the coolant treatment up on the powerstrokes, you will have cavitation problems...

    I only got 180,000 out of my last ford diesel. This was before it was readily known about the coolant issues.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I am on my first PSD, a '99 F-350. I have nearly 109k miles on it. The only repairs made to date are a broken clock spring in the steering column, not PSD related, and the infamous turbo bolts that fall out. The bolts were fixed under my Ford powertrain 100k mile warranty at 97k miles. Other than that, only routine maintenance. Like markbuck said, keep up with the coolant treatment. Check it everytime you change the oil and adjust as necessary. I would guess that most early PSD deaths are caused by cavitation and the resulting pinholes in the cylinder walls. Just do the maintenance, use good fluids and filters, and use common sense when operating it, and the thing will last you a long time.
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