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Ford F-Series Powerstroke Diesel Problems



  • Hi,
    I have a 1997 7.3 Diesel F-350 crew cab truck. I have a problem with it. At times it will die out while i am driving and won't start back up. The "wait to start" will flicker inconsistently and the second relay on the driverside under the hood clicks with the flickering of the light. In this relay area there are four relays that are all the same so i changed them around and the relay second to the way still clicks. Also, while this is happening there is a click in the engine on the passengar side top end which clicks but not as often and last there is a solenoid which when clicks, the engine wait to start engine light blicks twice and is ready to start.
    I did have the camshaft sensor changed with Ford dealership so it's not that.
  • Hi,
    I have a 1997 7.3 Diesel F-350 crew cab truck. I have a problem with it. At times it will die out while i am driving and won't start back up. The "wait to start" will flicker inconsistently and the second relay on the driverside under the hood clicks with the flickering of the light. In this relay area there are four relays that are all the same so i changed them around and the relay second to the way still clicks. Also, while this is happening there is a click in the engine on the passengar side top end which clicks but not as often and last there is a solenoid which when clicks, the engine wait to start engine light blicks twice and is ready to start.
    I did have the camshaft sensor changed with Ford dealership so it's not that.
  • cowboy9cowboy9 Posts: 161
    Now when they are cold they will smoke some. If it didnt clear up after a mile or two then I would worry.
  • cowboy9cowboy9 Posts: 161
    Guess I should have ask what color of Smoke, Black it good, Blue usually means oil is getting into your Exhaust and White the Turbo is starting to wear out.
  • The smoke is definately white in color. How can I determine if it is the turbo?
  • gerlad1gerlad1 Posts: 22
    I am a shade tree mechanic and definitely not a diesel mechanic although I have worked on my 2004 6.0L more than a few times. I thought white smoke meant that there was coolant leaking into the combustion chamber? oil coover ? or EGR cooler? These are typical failure points.
    I have a turbo boost gauge on my truck and it is not difficult to check the turbo boost and either it is boosting or not. Any mechanic should be able to easily check that out. Or so I would think. Kinda the reverse of a intake vacuum gauge on a gasoline engine. I also have an exhaust gas temperature gauge. 150,000 miles on truck. Amazing to me how many folks just pull off the highway and shut down their diesel engines--there goes the turbo. Takes mine about 2-4 minutes to cool down enough for me to shut down the engine after running on the highway.
  • Most of the posts I read are negative probably because anyone that has an issue is more passionate than someone that has a truck that is running great. I bought an 03 6.0L new. The truck was built in January. I knew better than to buy a first year motor but I needed a truck for my business. After 3 sets of injectors and a couple of sets of hubs I finally have it running right for the last 150,000 miles. However the first 200K were rough and put a dent in my wallet. What I find to help is using fuel improver (Lucas, Texas oil refinery, and others) and blowing the carbon out of the EGR when it starts running rough. I also use An injector cleaner fairly often. The truck now runs great and I average 16 Hwy and 11 towing a 7000 lb trailer. I also change my brake pads when they show 50% wear. I have not had to do anything to my brakes except change pads in the last 120,000 miles. . I hope Ford gets it right on their own diesel. If Toyota ever brings the Hilux to USA they will take over the market.
  • jamnuttjamnutt Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    I don't know if anyone here has found out yet, but the white plumes of smoke & loss of power are due to the faulty fuel cells installed by ford. This problem is known as delaminizing. This occurs when the coating inside of the fuel tank flakes off and contaminates the fuel delivery system. If the vehicle stalls, and it will, you can wait 15 minutes or so and restart. The only fix is to replace the fuel delivery system. Victim,2000 E-350 / 7.3
  • chips4chips4 Posts: 1
    Hey you're not alone. EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation, which is a fancy way of saying that the engine sucks exhaust gases in before the turbo and pumps them into the intake, thus inducting the exhaust gases back into the cylinders to be burned again by the engine. This reduces emissions to comply with Federal laws that were put into effect back in 1998 that demanded manufactures make their vehicles burn cleaner. It's a good idea in theory, but wreaks havoc on the engine. Just like the Government!

    Because diesels by their nature burn so dirty and create so much carbon, pumping 1,200 degree exhaust into the engine would cause melt downs. The cooler is supposed to cool down this gas, but ends up doing nothing but getting plugged with carbon and if left unchecked will force carbon into the fuel injectors, and give you another $4,000 bill. This problem can be avoided by bypassing the cooler all together.

    So by plugging the cooler, you can not only eliminate the cooler from being used, thereby eliminating and chance of it getting plugged, and create a much more efficient, cooler running, more powerful engine. Now your intake will be taking in clean, fresh, cool air free of any exhaust gases.

    Unless you live in California, do it ASAP and save yourself a world of headaches down the road. Depending on where you live, I highly recommend taking your truck to Bill Hewitt down in Georgia. The cost of him going through your truck and bullet proofing your engine is a heck of a lot cheaper than pumping EGR coolers, turbos, and injectors into your truck. His website is

    Hope that helps!
  • have you checked your fuel injection control module (ficm). your injector has two sets of coils. low and high side. during start up the ficm needs to send 48 volts to the high side of the fuel injector. if the module is going bad it will not send the needed voltage to actuate the coil thus very hard start with extreme rough idle along with surging ,sputtering, and sounding like its about to die out. i just went through this several weeks ago and after replacing it made a world of difference.if indeed your ficm is going out you will have trouble codes that will not always throw a check engine light.reading your description of start up sounds i would lean toward this being your problem.
  • 7.3 Diesel has oil leaking on top somewhere, anybody have any idea what to look for, does not appear to be coming from the air charger or turbo. Seems to be towards the front of the motor.
  • kenh3kenh3 Posts: 1
    Probably loose or worn connection from battery to starter
  • mod24mod24 Posts: 1
    My 99 has 180k miles on it. Starts fine and runs fine after it warms up. If I start it and don't allow it to warm up for about 10 minutes , it will run rough and eventually die,then after cranking for a while it will crank and run rough until it warms up.
    Does not show a code CONFUSED !!!!! HELP ????
  • Does anyone have any idea why a 97 7.3 diesel would idle rough and have no power until it warmed up? It has a code PO236 for Turbo Boost Sensor A Circuit Performance. Thanks
  • acodaacoda Posts: 1
    Hello everyone, I have just started reading through this. I have a few things to add and a problem maybe you call can help with.

    I have a 96 F-250 Extend Cab. Recently it began to give me problems blowing the #31 Fuel Line heater fuse over and over. In the process of getting it back to the yard it also took out my head gaskets. After some length of time, It was in actuality the fuel heater coil inside the fuel filter that become desoldered enough to arc and short the area. I replaced the head gaskets and had to replace the main harness with one from a late year truck.
    My truck was manufactured prior to Feb of 96. The truck I borrowed the parts from was manufactured after Feb of 96. According to ford the build date is very specific in terms of the fuel filter harness but not the master harness.

    I borrowed the Fuel Filter housing from the newer 96 and bought a new harness from the master to the filter housing itself (My companies cost at ford $45.00) Upon completing that nightmare, I had to refill the oil reservior to get it to start. It has been a week since then. Currently my truck (350k miles on body and frame 140k on trany and new crate engine from FORD) will not start without a shot of starting Fluid. On cold mornings when the truck is plugged in it still requires cycling the glow plugs three or four times followed by a shot of fluid. This usually requires two or three repeats to get it started and running.

    From everything I have read here I can check the Cam position sensor, When I had it diagnosed it threw a oil code and one about ehaust leak. The exhaust leak has been fixed(tightened the brackets surrounding the turbo and replaced the flat o-ring between the flanges.

    Any ideas on what is making this truck such a pain in the A$$ to start? Thanks for your time.
  • I am replying to your message about oil leak. I have a 02 f250 7,3 diesel with same problem. It is not from air charger or turbo it is the high pressure oil pump which is located right under the fuel filter housing if it same problem. What mine does is leaks out on the center head the it drains down back of motor and comes out the inspection pan for transmission which at first thought it was rear main seal. Then i changed rear seal and did not fix it so i talked to local mechanic at ford garage and he explained to me where to start looking and sure enough it was high pressure oil pump. Now what goes bad is o-rings in the lines. There is 3 of them line 2 on top 1 on bottom. You can change o-rings in top 2 but the bottom 1 you have to change the whole pump and all. My truck has 318000 and is the only problem i ever had with it.
  • I have 1995 ford f-350. I'm wondering if it is the oil cooler is leaking inside. no water in the oil.
  • After a year and a half of intermittant surging, faltering and stalling and 3 trips to Ford dealers with no fix, I got a fix for my 2004 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel. I spent hours searching this forum hoping for the answer but didn't find it. Hopefully this will help one of you out there with these symptoms. The engine would run fine all day on the interstate pulling my 12,000# RV trailer. Then when I got in town running at slow speeds it would begin to idle fast, then would surge sometimes making me put it in neutral so I wouldn't smack the guy in front of me at a light. Then after the surge it would begin running rough like it was firing on less than 8 cylinders. On occasion it would just quit. The problem never set a code and Ford could not figure it out, though they replaced injectors a throttle body and several other sensors. My warranty ran out in August so, after 3 stall incidents in traffic a few weeks ago, I took it to a local mechanic who immediately diagnosed it as an intermittant ICP Sensor in the injector system. After a year an a half of wondering when this truck would quit on me, I now have my truck back running perfectly. I gladly paid the $349 to get the truck running right again. I hope this helps one of you out there who, like me, is condemned to own this 6.0 Power Stroke. By the way a "power stroke" is what you get when the engine quits on the roll while pulling 12,000#'s of trailer and you're trying to steer it out of traffic.
  • Looking for help with diagnosing an issue that has started with my 1997 F250 PowerStroke Diesel.
    When coming to a complete stop it feels like it doesn't want to stop - have to put into neutral then into drive when able to go (ie at stop lights, stop signs) More often than not the truck will stall and completly shut down. Have replaced upper fuel filter - but truck drives great - until I have to stop and depress brakes - when depressing brakes it's like it doesn't want to stop - any ideas what is going on?? Only happens in drive, not reverse - when taking off from a stop it acts like i'm taking off in 3rd gear, but it's an automatic. thanks.
  • Hey all I am new to this site. We are having issues with our 04 F250 6.0 Powerstroke. The problems started this past weekend. It started sucking air, lost power and was blowing a lot of black smoke. Any suggestions?
  • My dad has a 96 f150 5.0 auto 4x4 196,000 miles, and a few months ago it started doing as you explained, but it started not as bad just stalling once in awhile, then it began to stall everytime you put it in drive, but not reverse. At first we thought it was the engine making it shift eraticly. Then we talked to a trany guy and he said it was a torque converter lockup soleniod making it lock the torque converter up like a clutch, which causing it to stall unless giving it alot of gas, then it would go. That didn't work, so everyone said the torque converter so we changed that, which didn't fix it, which makes sence because it doesn't stall in reverse.

    The solution was taking it to our local transmission guy which right away after looking at it said the vavle body was leaking fluid to the torque converter lockup. So he seggested a rebuild. Which after he took it apart found that clutch packs for 3rd and 4th gear were burnt from driving the truck in that condition(which caused more money) and a gasket on the vavle body was leaking locking the torque converter up all the time. After changing these parts it shifted beautiful.

    So I suggest to stop driving, only move it if nessecary, and to take it to a shop. Unless you have experiance with transmissions. They can tell you if the problem is in the trans. And if the problem is in the trans I would suggest letting the shop take it out and rebuild the entire thing, because it's only a few hundred more, and if anything happens they have to fix it before you take it back. That happen to my dad, we put the trany back in after getting it rebuit and i guess the reverse vavle he replaced failed and burnt the reverse clutches up, and this wkend we had to pull it back out and take it when the shop's open again to have that fix, but no charge. so that's a lesson we learned.

    I hope this helps and let us know what you find. Zack
  • They found out what was wrong, they said there is wiring under the vavle covers and something was bad there.
  • It sounds like your torque converter is bad and locking up. I would check the fluid and add or change of needed, also maby stop by a locol trany shop they will usually test drive and do simple diag for free. But until them I would drive as little as possible to avoid further damage to the trany.
  • If the torque converter was bad and locking up then it would do it in reverse. I'll bet the valve body will need rebuilt.
  • How many miles on the truck?
  • i was goin down the road and my truck suddenly died, the Wait To Start light in the dash wont come on and the truck just turns over and wont start. im thinkin its the GP relay but im not sure dont want to spend money on something i might not have to on. need help fast
  • found out it was my bowl heater that started to short out and was blowing a fuse in the cab, unplugged the heater and the truck starts up fine, its gunna cost over $550 to fix including labour, atleast the mechanic was nice enough to come to my place to have a look at the problem. :shades:
  • hello i have a unique problem that is different than any i have read here please help! my truck dies in several different situations such as shutting the doors, a bump in the road and sometimes it dies just for the heck of it and sometimes it drops to an idle and has no throttle response for a few seconds and then takes off . the truck runs fine when running and it always gives a service engine soon light when this happens and in the beginning it would not start until the service engine soon light went out but now sometimes it will re-fire with the light on i have been through a recall at which time they changed the cam sensor and befor the recall i had already changed 2 cam sensors with no result i only have 90.000 miles on it. i also have a intermittent batt light that comes and goes sometimes with the same bump in the road or the doors closing and sometimes i dont get a batt light for quite some time, the whole thing is unexplainable, sure with the door shutting and the bump thing i think elec connection but then sometimes a bump and the doors have nothing to do with it i have tried the "tap test" on the relays under the hood and have found nothing wrong as many of you know the ford mechanics are just parts changers and not real mechanics so i am trying my best to find the problem with out having to ring a service managers neck and save myself alot of money for my problem to still exist. i do have performance upgrades but i dont consider Banks performance upgrades as cheap junk as they know more about fords than does ford i use my truck for towing my race trailer i dont have the extreme upgrades everything i have is to enhance towing performance i hope someone here has or is familiar with the mysterious dieing problem as discribed. i read earlier on here about perhaps something like an ICP sensor on the fuel injection which sounded like a possibility except for the bump in the road thing or even a relay some guy said that was located near the kick panel on the passenger side now something like that i could see would be affected by a slamming door but sometimes it doesnt matter what door. somewhere there is a real real mechanic that can diagnose this in a heart beat, i myself am very mechanical and can handle the repair but i need a place to start
  • leighvleighv Posts: 1
    edited December 2010
    check alarm wires and fuses. also there is a fuel shut off breaker on diesels. make sure u did not put gas in tank. depending on mix they will run for little wile.some stations have green on unleaded.look for the stuiped stuff 1st.i also had a alt.go bad on me that worked most of the time.i had it on the read good for 5 min. then nothing
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