How to Improve Mileage With a Ford 6-Liter Power Stroke Engine

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • 15w40 detergent oil

  • Oil filter

  • Fuel filter kit

  • Air filter

  • Motorcraft or Stanadyne Cetane Booster

  • Digital air pressure gauge

The 6.0L Power Stroke diesel was available in Ford trucks from 2003 to 2007 model years and replaced with the 7.3L engine. With modest horsepower and torque gains over the previous Power Stroke engine, the 6.0L also came with improved fuel economy. However, certain criteria must be present for the 6.0L to achieve the best fuel economy possible in such a powerful engine. While there is no “magic pill” to turn your diesel into a fuel sipper, several commonsense activities can maintain the best fuel economy possible.

Change the oil and filter regularly with a high quality filter, such as a Motorcraft, Wix or Napa Gold Line. Make sure to use 15w40 detergent oil that is approved for 6.0L engines. The scheduled maintenance guide calls for an oil change every 5,000 miles or 200 engine hours if the truck is operated in severe duty conditions. Using the truck in a metropolitan area, a dusty area, making frequent short trips, driving in stop and go traffic and towing all fall under severe duty criteria. Chances are, if you drive a truck in the United States or Europe, you fall into the severe duty category. Dirty oil can sludge up fuel injectors, preventing them from operating at full efficiency and robbing you of fuel economy.

Replace the fuel filters every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. A plugged fuel filter can also lead to injector damage and poor fuel efficiency.

Replace the air filter as often as necessary. Trucks operating on dusty construction sites or farms may need new air filters as often as every 100 miles, depending on the amount of idle time in dusty conditions. You can test the air filter by taking it out and dropping it on the ground, intake end down, from 12 inches in the air. If any dirt at all is displaced onto the ground, replace the filter.

Pour a bottle of Cetane booster into every other tank of fuel when you fill the truck up with diesel. Cetane is to diesel fuel what octane is to gasoline. The engine is designed to run on a Cetane rating of at least 40. Unfortunately, many fuel stations get away with selling Cetane that fails to meet that rating. Cetane booster will ensure you reach the desired rating. You can purchase Motorcraft Cetane Booster through your local Ford dealer or purchase the Stanadyne brand at most truck stops.

Set your tire pressure every two weeks. Use a digital gauge to check the tire pressure. The tires should be set to the pressure printed on the VIN sticker located inside the driver's side door frame. Do not rely on the number printed on the tire, unless you have tremendously large, oversized tires with a lift kit or other suspension modifications. Of course, the lift kit and suspension modifications will rob the engine of fuel economy, so bear that in mind as well.

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