Ford Power Stroke Diesel Problems

by Thomas West

Power Stroke refers to V-8 diesel engines produced by Navistar for Ford from 1994 to the present. The 7.3 liter engine was produced from 1994 to early 2003. The 6.0 liter was made from late 2003 to 2007. The dual-turbo 6.4 liter Power Stroke was introduced in 2008 and is still in production. The Power Stroke is still a popular engine choice with owners who need a reliable workhorse. However, the Power Stroke is not completely problem-free.

Hard Starting

If your Power Stroke becomes hard to start, the starter itself could be the culprit. The brushes wear prematurely in some trucks due to the strains of turning over a high-compression diesel engine. Replace the starter with a new or rebuilt one from an auto parts store, or you could save some money and take the starter to a repair shop and have the brushes replaced. If your Power Stroke does not start at all, or if it stops running and will not restart, have the camshaft sensor checked. You can be proactive, however, and replace your camshaft sensor every 100,000 miles. Purchase your sensor from a Ford dealer, as the aftermarket replacements have a reputation for quick failure or not working at all.


Power Stroke engines are known for developing leaks. Leaking coolant on a Power Stroke can often be traced to the water pump. The seals on the water pump shaft deteriorate over time and coolant will leak from the water pump's weep hole. If neglected the water pump could eventually fail, causing catastrophic damage to your engine. Replacing the water pump is the most desirable solution to remedy the problem. Adding StopLeak or a similar product to the radiator is not recommended as this could clog or restrict passageways in the cooling system. Leaking diesel fuel may be coming from the fuel petcock located on the fuel filter housing. If you notice fuel leaking on the ground at the front of your Power Stroke engine, the problem most likely is that the two small "O" rings located in the petcock have worn out. Replacement petcocks are available from your Ford dealer, but the "O" rings in the petcock are replaceable and can be purchased from a hydraulic shop for a few cents.


Verify that a reputable shop has done the work if a Power Stroke engine has been modified. Some owners have added modifications such as aftermarket computer chips that promise more horsepower and torque from their engines. Beware of these vehicles unless you can verify the vehicle's drive train has been beefed up to take the extra strain that comes with more power.

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