5 Common 6.7 PowerStroke Engine Problems

With up to 500 horsepower and 1,200 lb-ft of torque, the Ford 6.7 PowerStroke is an excellent diesel engine. However, no engine is perfect and many modern diesels have been known to be more problematic than their older siblings. Some of the most common 6.7 PowerStroke problems include the EGT sensor, EGR cooler, charge pipe, radiator, and injection pump. In this guide, we discuss these issues in-depth and examine the 6.7L diesels reliability.

6.7 PowerStroke Diesel Engine Problems

  • EGT sensor
  • EGR cooler
  • Cold side charge pipe
  • Radiator
  • Injection pump (HPFP)

A few of these problems mainly affect the older 1st gen (2011-2014) and some 2nd gen (2015-2019) engines. Ford made a number of great updates and changes over the years. Ultimately, the newest generation engines deliver great reliability. It may not quite match the reliability of the legendary 7.3 PowerStroke, but the 6.7L diesel is still a great engine.

That said, let's jump in and discuss the above 6.7 PowerStroke engine problems. At the end of the article, we circle back to overall thoughts on reliability and longevity.

1) EGT Sensor Failure

Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensors are on of the most common failures. The 6.7 PowerStroke uses 4 EGT sensors. Of course, 4 sensors means there's a lot of room for failures - especially since they're problematic in the first place. The middle sensors - EGT sensors 12 and 13 - are the most common ones to run into issues.

Ultimately, Ford made a number of attempts to remedy the exhaust gas temperature sensor issues. In 2015, Ford issued a service bulletin to update the PCM in an attempt to prevent failures from leaving you stranded on the side of the road. They also offered an 11 year or 120,000 mile extended warranty for the EGT sensors.

The service bulletin and PCM updates do help lessen the blow from EGT sensor failures. However, it's still a common problem even after replacing the sensors. If your 6.7 PowerStroke is beyond the extended warranty period then it may be a good idea to have an extra sensor or two on hand.

6.7 PowerStroke EGT Sensor Replacement

Fortunately, EGT sensors are straight-forward DIY jobs and the sensors are relatively cheap. The sensors are located on the exhaust and are easily accessible. Most will have no issue knocking out the repairs in less than 15-20 minutes. Each sensor costs about $35-50. Simply ensure the exhaust isn't too hot (or you have the proper gear) before doing the repair.

Even if your truck is under the extended warranty, it may still make sense to keep an extra EGT sensor on hand. For the price and ease of replacement, it's likely better to eat the cost rather than worrying about taking it to a shop, being left stranded, etc.

2) EGR Cooler Clogging

Issues with EGR systems and EGR coolers are common on many modern diesel engines, including the 6.7 PowerStroke. EGR stands for exhaust gas recirculation; the system recirculates exhaust gases through the engine. Exhaust gas is extremely hot, hence the need for an EGR cooler.

Problems are different and much less common than they were on the older 6.0 and 6.4 PowerStroke diesel engines. The new design on the 6.7L PowerStroke suffers from issues with carbon deposits building up in the EGR cooler core. This leads to the EGR cooler clogging and ultimately requires replacing the cooler.

EGR Cooler Replacement

A check engine light and DTC P0401 are common symptoms of 6.7 PowerStroke EGR cooler clogging. You may also notice over-heating and higher than normal temperatures. If you run into these symptoms then it's likely you have a clogged EGR cooler.

EGR cooler replacement was often a hassle on the older PowerStroke engines, but it's pretty simple on the 6.7L diesel. An EGR cooler kit costs about $200-300, and those with basic DIY knowledge should find it a simple repair that takes about 2-3 hours.

3) Cold-side Charge Pipe Failure

The 6.7 PowerStroke has two primary charge pipes: the hot-side pipe and the cold-side pipe. They may also be referred to as boost pipes or intercooler pipes. The cold-side charge pipe runs from the intercooler to the throttle body. It's known as the cold-side pipe since the air has already passed thru and been cooled by the intercooler.

Ford opted to use a plastic pipe on the cold-side, which is prone to cracking, popping off, or "exploding". The pipe can and does fail at stock boost levels, especially during high stress and high boost situations. However, failure is imminent once you tune and mod the 6.7 PowerStroke.

Charge pipe failure is often drastic and results in a large hole or the pipe fully disconnecting. This effectively means you lose boost completely and the throttle body becomes your new air intake. Point is: issues with the charge pipe may leave you stranded.

6.7 PowerStroke Charge Pipe Upgrades

Upgrading the charge pipe to a metal (often aluminum) pipe is the most effective way to prevent issues. We highly recommend replacing the charge pipe up-front before tuning and modifying the 6.7 PowerStroke.

Cold-side charge pipe upgrades are unlikely to provide any notable power or torque gains. However, it can offer small performance gains and better airflow in addition to eliminating the possibility of charge pipe failure.

4) Radiator Coolant Leaks

There isn't much to be said about radiator leaks, so we'll be quick here. There were some manufacturing defects with the radiator in early model (mostly 2011) trucks. Later models don't have the same defects, but the radiator is still one of the most common 6.7 PowerStroke problems.

The engine utilizes two radiators; the primary radiator is the one that most often has issues. A visible coolant leak by the front of the truck is a dead give-away. Otherwise, you may notice low coolant or overheating if the leak is bad enough.

Replacing the Radiator

An OEM primary radiator is made by CSF and costs about $300-400. There are some excellent radiator upgrades available that help mitigate the chance of future issues. However, upgraded 6.7 PowerStroke radiators are closer to the $800-1,200+ price point.

It's a fairly easy job to replace the radiator, but it can be a tight area to work (thanks to the secondary radiator).

5) CP4 Injection Pump Problems

Last but not least, Bosch CP4 injection pump failures are one of the most severe and concerning issues. To some extent, it's fair to say injection pump failures have been blown out of proportion. However, it's also a good issue for all 6.7 PowerStroke owners to be aware of.

The Bosch CP4 is known to fail due to metal on metal contact within the injection pump. Metal contamination in the fuel system can then do severe damage to many other components, such as fuel lines and injectors. 6.7 PowerStroke injection pump failure has led to some owners needing to replace virtually the entire fuel system.

Ford moved to a new fuel pump on the 2020+ 3rd gen engines, so it's no longer an issue. However, on the older engines with the CP4 pump, problems are severe enough that some owners opt for a Bosch CP3 conversion.

6.7 PowerStroke HPFP Replacement

Repair bills can exceed $5,000, or even $10,000, if the Bosch CP4 fuel pump fails due to metal on metal contact and damages more of the fuel system. Some sources suggest the failure rate is around the 5-7% ballpark. It's a common enough and expensive enough issue that addressing it with an injection pump upgrade may be a good idea.

Converting to the Bosch CP3 injection pump is a popular option, and there are some other great conversions and upgrades available. Though, injection pumps are expensive so it's still a $1,500+ job.

Ford 6.7 PowerStroke Reliability

Outside of the potentially severe and costly injection pump problems, the 6.7 PowerStroke is generally a reliable diesel engine. It may not be as reliable as some older diesels like the 5.9 Cummins or 7.3 PowerStroke. However, that era of simple engines with minimal emissions equipment is long gone.

Ultimately, Ford did a great job with the 6.7 PowerStroke and it has continued to become more and more reliable. The 1st gen engines - especially 2011 model year trucks - are the most problematic but still offer respectable reliability. The 2nd gen engines from 2015-2019 were a further improvement. Lastly, the newest Ford 6.7L diesel engines are very reliable and don't suffer from any major or extremely common issues.

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