The 4 6.7 Powerstroke Years You Should Avoid
The 6.7 Powerstroke engine has become a standard for a wide range of Ford trucks, but you want to avoid specific years that this motor had performance issues.
Table of Contents
- What are the worst years for the 6.7 Powerstroke engine?
- How Long Has Ford Been Using 6.7 Powerstroke Engines?
- How Many 6.7 Powerstroke Engine Generations Are There?
- The 4 6.7 Powerstroke Years You Should Avoid
- Common 6.7 Powerstroke Issues from 2011-2014
- The Best 6.7 Powerstroke Years
- How Long Do 6.7 Powerstroke Engines Last?
- 6.7 Powerstroke Design Changes from 2015-2022
- Did Ford Fix All Issues With the 6.7 Powerstroke?
- Key Takeaways
What are the worst years for the 6.7 Powerstroke engine?
The 4 6.7 Powerstroke years that you should avoid are 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. This is the first generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke and it was known for having faulty EGT sensors, broken injection pumps, EGR cooler clogs, broken exhaust valves, radiator coolant leaks, and damaged turbos.
After extensively researching Ford automotive and maintenance forums, I have been able to gather enough information to determine which 6.7 Powerstroke years you should avoid.
My research has indicated that you should always thoroughly inspect and test drive a used vehicle before you buy it – regardless of what driver reports claim about the engine, as there could be any number of isolated underlying issues.
|Three 7.3 Powerstroke Years To Avoid!|
How Long Has Ford Been Using 6.7 Powerstroke Engines?
The 6.7 Powerstroke, often referred to as ‘The Scorpion’, is a turbodiesel engine from Ford. This is the 4th generation of diesel engines that Ford has launched, which are primarily used to power the super-duty trucks in their lineup.
The 6.7 Powerstroke has been Ford’s primary diesel engine for over 10 years.
However, it is important to note that while Ford has continued to equip their super-duty trucks with the 6.7 Powerstroke, there have been multiple variations of this motor over the years. This engine has seen a lot of updates and upgrades since it was first announced which is why there are a number of different 6.7 Powerstroke generations – with some years being considerably better than others.
How Many 6.7 Powerstroke Engine Generations Are There?
After the initial release of the 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engine in 2011, Ford has continuously strived to improve the performance of its motor with every release. While we can certainly notice some minor design changes after each year, the biggest improvements came with each 6.7 Powerstroke generation.
There are currently three 6.7 Powerstroke engine generations that you can find in Ford trucks depending on the year that you bought your vehicle.
- 1st generation 6.7 Powerstroke: 2011 – 2014
- 2nd generation 6.7 Powerstroke: 2015 – 2016
- 3rd generation 6.7 Powerstroke: 2017 – 2022+
Each generation had specific characteristics that made it stand out. Understanding the qualities and performance limitations of each generation will be essential for finding a Ford truck with a reliable 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engine.
The 4 6.7 Powerstroke Years You Should Avoid
Ford’s 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engine is rated extremely high by drivers and car critics, as it is currently considered to be one of the best motors powering super-duty trucks.
However, this was not always the case for the 6.7 Powerstroke, as this diesel engine had a very rough start in its first years.
Virtually all serious complaints that were made about the 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engine involve the first generation of the motor from 2011 to 2014. The first 4 years that this engine was in production were lackluster, to say the least, which is why I highly advise against buying any Ford truck equipped with a motor from the first generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke.
A slew of maintenance and performance issues are synonymous with 6.7 Powerstroke engines during this period and drivers experienced a number of costly repairs that you can avoid by buying a truck with a later generation of this motor. Let’s take a closer look at the worst years of the 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engine in more detail.
2011 6.7 Powerstroke
The release of the 2011 6.7 Powerstroke engine marked a big year for Ford as it is the first internal build of this motor that the company released. It is often the case that when a manufacturer launches a new engine, the first years can be problematic, as there are still potential issues that need to be worked out.
The 2011 6.7 Powerstroke failed to deliver the optimal performance and reliability that Ford boasted.
Drivers that purchased a Ford truck with this year’s 6.7 Powerstroke commonly experienced a number of issues with their engines that can be expensive to fix.
One of the first things that I noticed with the 2011 motor was that the turbo was smaller than other variations of the Powerstroke. Sure enough, this resulted in an incompatible turbo that was too small for the power of the engine causing it to break rather quickly.
Many drivers also reported that the exhaust valve would break on the passenger side of the 6.7 Powerstroke. This is a problem in and of itself, but the issue becomes worst due to the component breaking off and falling into the cylinder, which ultimately damages the glow plugs of the motor.
Luckily, this was an issue that Ford caught early on, which is why it is particularly common with the 2011 6.7 Powerstroke and not as much with later models.
Even quality engines may develop an issue or two like this over the years. The reason why these are red flags for the 2011 6.7 Powerstroke is that they developed very prematurely due to poor design and were consistent issues with a lot of the 6.7 Powerstroke engines from this year.
2012 6.7 Powerstroke
Ford did not make many changes to the design of the 6.7 Powerstroke for the launch of the 2012 engine.
With that said, many of the same problems that drivers encountered with the 2011 motor persisted when the 2012 engine was released.
It was challenging for Ford to catch the faults of the previous year before the launch of the 2012 motor due to most of the issues developing after more than 1 year of driving. That is why there was no update to the design of the turbo.
The small turbo did not match the power capacity of the engine, which often caused it to break on a lot of drivers.
Most people that experienced this issue were driving in high horsepower conditions. Despite the turbo being too small, this was not a major for people that used their Ford trucks for casual commuting and city driving. Instead, turbo breakdowns were common with drivers that used their vehicles for off-roading and hauling heavy payloads.
There were also a series of reports from drivers that had their EGT sensors fail, which is a key component for any diesel truck.
In addition, another common issue with the 2012 6.7 Powerstroke was that many people experienced injection pump failure.
All in all, these are very costly repairs that developed early on for a lot of drivers, resulting in the 2012 6.7 Powerstroke being a high-maintenance engine that could not compete with similar motors of the same year.
2013 – 2014 6.7 Powerstroke
2013 and 2014 were the last two years of Ford’s first generation 6.7 Powerstroke. Although the manufacturer tried to clear up some of the kinks of the first two years, they were not able to fix the major underlying problems.
Much like in the previous years, turbo breakdowns were apparent with the 2013 and 2014 6.7 Powerstroke engines. The small size and faulty components used within the design caused the turbo to break prematurely – especially when put under strain due to high horsepower.
Many drivers that purchased a Ford truck with a 2013 to 2014 6.7 Powerstroke motor also noticed that their radiator would leak coolant.
While this was a consistent problem with these motors in the previous years, I found that it was more apparent with the last two models of this generation.
Another common issue with the 6.7 Powerstroke from these years is that the EGT sensors would break early on. Out of the 4 EGT sensors on the engine, drivers often reported that they would have multiple sensors break within a short period.
Aside from the time and money that is required to resolve this issue, many vehicle owners complained that the problem would repeat itself after the sensor had already been replaced.
The ongoing faults of the 2013 and 2014 engines highlighted some key issues that Ford need to fix, which is why these two years marked the end of the first generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke motor.
Common 6.7 Powerstroke Issues from 2011-2014
I find that engine designs tend to be the most lackluster during the first few years of their production, which is definitely the case for the 6.7 Powerstroke during the 2011 to 2014 generation.
There were a lot of issues with the 6.7 Powerstroke motor in the first generation and Ford ultimately launched the 2nd generation of the engine to resolve all of the underlying problems. With that said, anyone who buys a Ford truck with the original 6.7 Powerstroke does run the risk of experiencing a number of problems with their motor.
That is why I do not recommend buying a vehicle with the first generation engine, as you could potentially encounter some unpleasant and costly repairs such as:
- Faulty EGT Sensor
- Injection Pump Failure
- EGR Cooler Clogs
- Broken Exhaust Valves
- Radiator Coolant Leaks
- Damaged Turbo
Engines are the most expensive part of your Ford truck to maintain and due to the alarming amount of consistent issues that this 6.7 Powerstroke generation had, avoiding the motor as a whole is advisable.
However, if you are evaluating a vehicle with this motor, you should keep an eye out for the most consistent issues that the 6.7 Powerstroke was known for.
Faulty EGT Sensor
Although faulty EGT sensors were more common in some early 6.7 Powerstroke years, this was still a repair that many Ford drivers ran into, regardless of the 6.7 model that they bought.
A 6.7 Powerstroke engine has a total of 4 EGT sensors. The EGT (exhaust gas temperature) sensor is designed to send a voltage signal to the engine control unit to detect temperature changes. The majority of the time that this component fails, it is not a catastrophic repair.
This is mainly an inconvenience for the vehicle owner given that the ‘Check Engine Light’ is normally triggered by it. Once the light is on, most people take their Ford truck in for an inspection and find out that the EGT sensor is simply faulty and needs to be replaced.
While it’s always a relief to find out that your engine is intact, having to deal with unnecessary visits to repair shops is never fun for vehicle owners. Faulty EGT sensors can become particularly frustrating for 6.7 Powerstroke owners given that all 4 can potentially experience this malfunction.
The good news is that Ford caught onto this issue early on, which is why they offer an extended warranty on EGT sensors for the first generation 6.7 Powerstroke engine.
Injection Pump Failure
One of the most common problems with the 6.7 Powerstroke from the first generation is that the injection pump would fail.
After numerous reports surfaced of failed injection pumps, it was uncovered that the issue was connected to the model of the pump.
The Bosch CP4.2 injection pump is used on the 6.7 Powerstroke, as well as a number of other similar engines, which all experienced the same issue. Injection pumps failed due to debris passing through the fuel system.
When the metal debris makes contact with the pump, it can permanently damage it, which is a costly repair that can be anywhere from $250 to $750+.
Unfortunately, the injection pump failure can actually be connected to a much larger issue. If the damage from the failed injection pump is severe, it can potentially affect the lines, regulators, as well as the injector.
This implies that you will have to replace the entire fuel system. While repair costs for this can vary depending on how much damage there is, you can expect it to be upwards of $10,000 in extreme cases.
ERG Cooler Clogs
ERG cooler clogs were a common problem with all 6.7 Powerstroke engines from the first generation. This issue became apparent with the engine due to an update that Ford made to the motor attempting to resolve issues that they had with other engine types.
Ford was successful in fixing many of the issues that the other engine models experienced, but the design did cause other problems to arise.
Many drivers noticed that their Ford engines would start to overheat without any clear indication of why the problem was occurring. Overheating combined with the engine code P0401 meant that the ERG cooler was clogged.
Unfortunately, replacing the ERG cooler was not as easy with the first generation 6.7 Powerstroke, which results in a more expensive and tedious repair. That is why many Ford truck owners who encountered this issue found it easier to simply remove the component altogether.
Broken Exhaust Valves
A lot of complaints about broken exhaust valves surfaced with the first generation 6.7 Powerstroke. I find that this issue can be particularly troublesome due to it causing bigger problems if left untreated.
When Ford designed the early variations of the 6.7 Powerstroke, they used a poor material for the engine’s exhaust valves, causing them to break quite easily. Fixing this can already be tedious for a lot of vehicle owners, as it is clearly attributed to a design flaw.
However, what often happens when the exhaust valve breaks is that the component ends up damaging the glow plugs. Identifying the source of the issues at first was challenging, given that all logic pointed to the glow plugs breaking independently.
Once it became clear that the glow plugs breaking were directly connected to the exhaust valves, resolving the problem became much easier. With that said, broken exhaust valves are most common with the 2011 6.7 Powerstroke engines.
After identifying the problem during the first year that the engine was released, Ford redesigned the 2012 motor to prevent the exhaust valves from breaking.
Radiator Coolant Leaks
The first years of the 6.7 Powerstroke were notorious for having coolant leaks from the radiator. These engines are designed with two radiators, but the problem appears to be particularly common with the front radiator rather than the rear.
Many drivers noticed that their trucks would start to heat or have low coolant, which is normally a telltale sign that the radiator is leaking. Ford would eventually fix this issue with later generations of the 6.7 Powerstroke.
However, any vehicle owner who bought a 6.7 Powerstroke in the first years that the engine was in circulation, runs the risk of having their radiator leak. The best solution to either resolve or avoid this issue is to replace the radiator altogether with a more reliable model.
Damaged turbos were one of the most consistent issues with all first-generation 6.7 Powerstroke motors. The 6.7 Powerstroke has a solid 390hp behind it and 735lb/ft of torque, which makes it a very powerful engine overall.
While these specs are great, Ford made a critical error by designing this motor with a turbo that was too small for the power of the engine. Ford truck owners that pushed their engines found out the hard way how expensive it can be to replace a turbo – with some repairs costing upwards of $1,000 to $2,000.
In addition to the turbo simply being too small for the 6.7 Powerstroke, Ford also designed it with a faulty component – a ceramic bearing. This part ended up being too fragile for the engine and it would easily break over time.
The Best 6.7 Powerstroke Years
After the many faults of the 1st generation 6.7 Powerstroke, it became clear that the early years of this diesel engine were not up to par. With various design flaws and malfunctioning components to resolve, Ford decided to go back to the drawing board and revamp their approach.
Ford launched the 2nd generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke in 2015 and it is considered by many drivers and car critics as being a near-perfect engine. Virtually all faults of the previous years had been fixed and new improvements were initiated to enhance the performance of the motor further. These are the best years of the 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engine.
- 2nd Generation 6.7 Powerstroke: 2015 – 2016
- 3rd Generation 6.7 Powerstroke: 2017 – 2022
It’s safe to say that if you buy a Ford super-duty truck with a 6.7 Powerstroke from any year between 2015 and 2022, you will be in good hands. Since Ford fixed the issues of the original generation, the 6.7 Powerstroke has climbed its way to the top – ranking as one of the best super-duty diesel truck engines that money can buy.
How Long Do 6.7 Powerstroke Engines Last?
The 6.7 Powerstroke has received mixed reviews, but when you look at the improvements that Ford made with the later generations of this engine, it is safe to say that this is a superior diesel motor.
Over the years since its initial launch, the 6.7 Powerstroke has built a reputation as being one of the most reliable and powerful diesel engines that you can equip a super-duty truck with. However, given what we know about the first generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke, many people on the auto market are wondering just how long a 6.7 Powerstroke engine will actually last.
While mileage can vary from motor to motor, you can expect to get an average of 250,000 miles out of a 6.7 Powerstroke engine. This is widely considered to be one of the most reliable diesel motors on the market and the solid average lifespan is a major indicator of that.
With that said, maximizing the mileage of any engine is all about routine maintenance and care. Drivers that look after their 6.7 Powerstroke motors should not have any issues reaching the 250,000-mile mark.
However, well-maintained 6.7 Powerstroke engines can easily see figures that are upwards of 300,000 – 400,000 miles.
On the other hand, 1st generation 6.7 Powerstroke engines are not as easy to predict. Since there are a number of maintenance issues that the early models of this diesel engine are known for, estimating the lifespan of the motor is not as clear. If mechanical issues are caught early on and resolved, even the 1st generation 6.7 Powerstroke can potentially last 250,000 miles.
6.7 Powerstroke Design Changes from 2015-2022
The 1st generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke had a number of different issues that ultimately sabotaged the reputation of the motor in many ways. However, Ford redeemed itself with flying colors by targeting the faults of the original 6.7 Powerstroke so that they can release a top-notch motor for the following model years of the engine.
After assessing all of the serious issues that the 6.7 Powerstroke was known for, Ford made some big changes to the 2nd generation, which ultimately became one of the best super-duty diesel engines ever made. That is why the latest releases of the 6.7 Powerstroke are considered to be low-maintenance engines that rank very high for safety reliability, and of course – power!
Ford was able to achieve this by fixing the issues with the first 1st generation and enhancing other specs of the motor to make it even more reliable. These are some of the design changes of the 6.7 Powerstroke from 2015 to 2022:
- Improved injection system
- Enhanced engine block
- Lower compression ratio
- Improved turbo design
- Improved cylinder head design
- Redesigned ERG cooler flow
- Larger crankshaft damper
- Added DPF outlet sensor module
Once the 2nd generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke was out, drivers rarely experienced any consistent maintenance issues with their vehicles. Naturally, occasional faults were caught, but they were generally isolated incidents and not tied to ongoing mechanical issues.
Did Ford Fix All Issues With the 6.7 Powerstroke?
Ford’s ambitious approach to fixing all serious issues with the 1st generation 6.7 Powerstroke did not go unnoticed. Virtually every design flaw was resolved and the engine’s reputation grew exponentially as a result when the 2nd and 3rd generation motors were introduced.
However, it is worth mentioning that very few engines out there are ‘perfect’. While the majority of engine repairs that Ford trucks experienced with the 1st generation 6.7 Powerstroke from 2011 to 2014 were fixed, there were a couple of maintenance issues that were still apparent with the following components:
- ERG cooler flow
- Fan clutch
- Crackshaft damper
The only consistent issue that Ford was not able to resolve with the 2nd and 3rd generations was the ERG cooler flow. Ford did make design changes to the ERG cooler flow, but some issues persisted with later generations.
Luckily, Ford has continued to release the 6.7 Powerstroke diesel engine with their upcoming super-duty truck lineup, which implies that we likely see more improvements to these areas in the coming years.
Although a few common issues still exist with the latest 6.7 Powerstroke engines, virtually all major problems were cleared up – making the 2nd and 3rd generation 6.7 Powerstroke a top-of-the-line diesel motor that is safe and dependable.
- Avoid buying 6.7 Powerstroke engines from these 4 years: 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
- 6.7 Powerstroke engines from these years are prone to experiencing maintenance issues such as faulty EGT sensors, broken injection pumps, EGR cooler clogs, broken exhaust valves, radiator coolant leaks, and damaged turbos.
- The best 6.7 Powerstroke years are 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
- On average, a well-maintaned 6.7 Powerstroke engine can last 250,000+ miles.