How to Prime the Fuel System on a Ford Power Stroke

by Allen Moore
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The Ford Power Stroke diesel line of engines has a rather finicky fuel system. In the event you run out of fuel, replace the fuel filters or perform any other work on the fuel system, you will need to prime the fuel system prior to starting the engine. If you do not prime it first, you run the take the risk of running down your batteries and burning up your starter motor. Once you have concluded you will need to prime the system, follow these simple steps to get your diesel running once again.

Step 1

Fill the reservoir of the main fuel filter with diesel fuel and close it tightly with the wrench or socket. Make sure you replaced the old o-ring if you replaced the fuel filter.

Step 2

Get into the cab and turn the ignition key to the run position, the position just prior to cranking the starter over, and let the key sit there until you hear the fuel pump engage and shut off.

Repeat Step 2 five times and then crank the engine over. It should catch within a few seconds and start running. Be careful not to let the starter crank for more than 20 to 30 seconds, as it may burn up.


  • In the event you accidently fill your diesel fuel tank with gasoline, it is best to not start the truck and have it towed to the nearest service center, where they will need to drain the fuel tank. If you do not realize your mistake until the engine is running, shut it off and have the tank drained and the fuel filters replaced immediately. Running a diesel engine for a prolonged period on gasoline will lead to injector damage and failure. While putting gasoline in your diesel truck may be embarrassing, don’t compound the issue by ignoring it until it’s too late.

Items you will need

  • Diesel fuel
  • Large box wrench or socket
  • Ignition key

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