Ford Diesel Engine Problems

by Bud Maxwell

In 1994, Ford Motor Company came out with the 7.3 Liter Power Stroke diesel engine manufactured by Navistar International Corporation. This engine was a winner with truck owners who found it to be highly reliable, powerful, fuel-efficient and quick off the line. But in 2003, Ford replaced its winning engine with a 6.0 Liter model, a diesel that left owners scratching their heads and seeking legal help to enforce lemon laws.

Diesel Engine Appeal

Diesel engines appeal to farmers, ranchers and anyone wanting to haul heavy loads, as the engine produces more horsepower and higher levels of torque with fuel economy usually in the low 20s, a performance claim that cannot be made by owners of gas-powered trucks. Diesel engines also routinely last several hundred thousand miles, as compared to a gas engines lucky to see two hundred thousand.

Faulty Fuel Injectors

Ford refuses to say just how many of its 2004 6.0L engines left the showrooms with problems, but the company recalled the first 66,720 sold, citing bad fuel injectors and pressure sensors. Mark Ward, master technician for Ford said, "Every customer that bought a truck built before the fifth month had to have at least one injector replaced." Ward also said, "The engine software should have been thoroughly tested before we went through these troubles."

Some Didn't Make It Home

According to complaints filed on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, some new trucks never made the drive home from the dealership because fuel injectors and turbochargers failed. Ford took an unheard of step of buying back 500 new trucks due to the fuel issues.

Lemon Laws

When a major auto manufacturer sells trucks that are so blatantly defective, it's just a matter of days until the lawyers become involved. There are dozens of legal websites inviting victimized Ford buyers to tell their story in hopes of invoking the lemon law, if your state has one. Lawyers warn truck owners not to be tricked by dealers into trading into a different model, as most laws permit you to be given a new truck at no cost.

Cost to Ford

Ford will not estimate how much the problems with its 6.0L engine has cost the company, but it did admit that warranty costs "ballooned by $500 million through the first nine months of 2005, compared with the same period a year earlier."

About the Author

Bud Maxwell is an editor and novelist who finds his tranquil lifestyle on Catalina Island the perfect setting for writing. Maxwell serves as an editor for local Catalina publications and is currently focusing the majority of his work on screenplays. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Image by, courtesy of Simon Davison