Ford 3.0 Diesel Problems – Is This PowerStroke Any Good?

Ford 3.0 Diesel Problems – Is This PowerStroke Any Good?

June 28, 2023 0 By CarGuy

Are you planning to purchase an F-150 with the 3.0 PowerStroke and you are asking yourself what are the Ford 3.0 diesel problems? If that’s the case, you are in the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover on this topic.

Doing your own research before you purchase a car or a truck with a certain engine is always a good idea. You just don’t want to make expensive mistakes, research is a must. And luckily for you, we are here to help you out.

First, we are going to learn the common specs of the 3.0 PowerStroke, then we shall cover each one of the Ford 3.0 diesel problems and learn when and how they appear. Then we are going to discuss some other topics like reliability and life expectancy. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

Ford 3.0 PowerStroke Diesel Engine Specs

The Ford 3.0 PowerStroke is the smallest engine in the PowerStroke family. But what is PowerStroke in general?

For those people who are not into Fords, the PowerStroke family of engines is a family of diesel engines produced by Ford.

So, if you listen to the name PowerStroke, you should note that this is a diesel engine. There are much larger engines in this family, but we are primarily interested in the 3.0L.

The 3.0L is an engine used since Ford owned Jaguar and Land Rover. But for 2018, this engine was improved with new emission systems and some other refinements. But the engine didn’t receive the popularity that Ford expected. They even canceled the 3.0 PowerStroke from the F-150 lineup because of a lack of interest from buyers.

But this doesn’t mean that the engine is bad, completely the opposite. It has massive torque as low as 1,750 rpm and it is perfect for towing. So, if you are into diesel trucks you will definitely like this engine. So, let’s cover the specs.

  • Configuration: V6
  • Displacement: 3.0L
  • Cylinder Bore: 84.05 mm
  • Piston Stroke: 90 mm
  • Block Material: Graphite Iron
  • Head Material: Aluminum
  • Head Design: DOHC with 4 valves per cylinder
  • Turbocharger: Yes
  • Injection: Common Rail
  • Compression Ratio: 16.0:1
  • Horsepower: 250 hp
  • Torque: 440 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • Towing: 11,400 lbs

Ford 3.0 Diesel Applications

Now let’s cover the applications of this 3.0 PowerStroke engine:

Common Ford 3.0 Diesel Problems

Now let’s share the common Ford 3.0 diesel problems.

  • Crankshaft Bearing Failures
  • Charge Pipe Leaks
  • EGR Problems (Clogging & Flap Screw Issue)
  • Clogged DPF
  • EGT Sensor Failures
  • Fuel Injector Failures
  • Carbon Deposits

We covered the common problems, now it is time to move on and elaborate on each of these problems thoroughly and learn more about when they appear, the symptoms they develop, as well as how serious these problems are. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

1. Crankshaft Bearing Failures

One of the most serious problems with this engine is the situation when the crankshaft bearing fails.

The crank bearings are the main bearings. These bearings simply allow the crankshaft to rotate freely.

These bearings are made out of very soft metals that tend to wear out rather quickly. This issue was most predominantly on the previous generations of the 3.0L PowerStroke.

These were the years when Ford and Land Rover were one company. But reportedly Ford has beefed up these components for the application in the F-150 that was produced after 2018.

Even though many sources report on these failures, we couldn’t find credible evidence that this problem is a real thing in the modern 3.0 PowerStroke.

But you should be wary about it just in case, you just never know with these engines. Problems sometimes appear after 5 or 10 years on certain engines.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 3.0 diesel problems.

2. Turbocharger Failures

Turbocharger failures are also common on these engines. Turbocharger if you don’t know is the component that helps your engine create more power.

This turbine is essential for you to have power at your disposal at any time of the day. Whenever it starts to malfunction you will get an engine that doesn’t perform very well.

The main way for this turbocharger to fail is the case when you have an oil leak. The seals of the turbo simply fail and there will be oil seepage around the turbo and sometimes even a burning smell and low oil levels if the leak is too serious.

These failures are random. There are turbos that can last for 150,000 miles and there are some that fail at 40,000 miles like in this case. The way around this problem will be by rebuilding the turbo or replacing this component with a new one. Both cases will cost you a good penny to sort them out.

3. Charge Pipe Leaks

Another very common failure point on this engine is the charge pipe, also known as a boost pipe by many.

This pipe is an integral component of your turbocharging setup. The charge pipe is the pipe that goes from the intercooler to the intake manifold to deliver cool air.

The charge pipe can fail and whenever it does fail, will leave you without boost. So, the performance of the engine will be very poor and also you will be shown the check engine light by the computer.

Whenever this happens, the only way around will be to replace this charge pipe with a new one. What is worth noting is that this problem most often happens on tuned engines. The more boost you add, the greater the chance of something blowing up.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 3.0 diesel problems.

4. EGR Problems (Clogging & Flap Screw Issue)

Another common problem with these diesel engines is the issue with the EGR valve or EGR cooler since these models come with a big giant EGR cooler.

These components can clog up after some mileage is added to the vehicle. This is the case because these diesel engines create a lot of carbon deposits. The more carbon, the worse this situation with the EGR cooler will be.

This is why manual cleaning is often recommended to be performed in order to avoid problems in the long run.

Symptoms associated with this component can be the check engine light, poor engine work, and limp mode.

What is interesting to note is that this EGR cooler has a flap and this flap is held by screws. What can happen is that some of the screws can fall off and end up in the cylinders. And this issue has happened on some engines.

More on that, you can check the video that we attached, as well as you can read more on it in the following link.

5. Clogged DPF

Another very common problem with these 3.0 PowerStroke engines is the DPF. The DPF for those who don’t know is the diesel particulate filter.

The diesel particulate filter has the special purpose of preventing pollution. It traps some of the NOx particles and the soot that is released from the engine.

What can happen is that this DPF can end up clogged up. And these DPFs tend to clog if you don’t regenerate them.

Many people don’t do this regeneration process and end up with a clogged DPF. Ford diesel regeneration, you need to give the truck a good run for the money in order to clean these particles.

This should be done on the highway at 3,000 rpm for at least half an hour. There the DPF will regenerate.

If the DPF clogs up, you will have to remove it and then clean it manually which can be a real pain to do.

Now let’s move on to the next Ford 3.0 diesel problems.

6. EGT Sensor Failures

This 3.0 diesel engine has some extra emission features and implements an EGT sensor. This is the exhaust gas temperature sensor that measures the temperature of exhaust gases at various points of the exhaust flow.

What can happen is that the sensor can frequently fail and annoy a lot of owners. Whenever it fails, it will trigger the check engine light and can make you fail the emissions testing.

Luckily this EGT sensor is not that difficult to access and is fairly inexpensive to replace it. So, if you have this problem, better sort it out quickly.

7. Fuel Injector Failures

Fuel injector failures are also one of the Ford 3.0 diesel problems. This engine uses direct injection and as we all know, direct injection uses special injectors.

These injectors can end up leaking or clogging up. There are ways around this problem and this will include replacing them or rebuilding them. There are shops that rebuild these injectors.

The important thing is to react and solve this problem quickly before it gets worse and leaves you stranded. Since the engine will not like this type of work.

8. Carbon Deposits

Carbon deposits are another common problem with the Ford 3.0 diesel. Carbon deposits and diesel engines go hand in hand.

This is the case because diesel does not burn clean and can clog up the intake of the engine rather quickly. Why the intake?

Well, the EGR system redirects exhaust gasses into the intake, so it is no strange thing that these gasses will carry a lot of soot that will accumulate on the intake manifold.

In extreme cases, the way around this problem is to replace the intake manifold with a new one.

Ford 3.0 Diesel Reliability

When it comes to the Ford 3.0 PowerStroke reliability, we can only say good words for this engine.

Maybe it is not one of the newest designs, but most importantly is that Ford fixed the common problems with the main bearings that troubled the previous version of this engine.

The new 3.0 PowerStroke does not have many issues and it is definitely worth your attention if you want to get something more fuel efficient that has good towing capability.

Ford 3.0 Diesel Life Expectancy

The lifespan of this engine should be at least 300,000 miles. This is a diesel engine and the lifespan of diesel engines is quite long.

So, we honestly think that concerning the block and the engine internals, you should not worry a lot when it comes to mileage. Diesel engines last a lot more than gasoline engines and you can expect the 3.0 diesel to perform in the same fashion.

Ford 3.0 Diesel VS 3.5 EcoBoost

These two engines offer similar performance. But our vote goes to the 3.0 diesel. Why is this the case?

Well, because of the overall longevity. For a truck engine, diesel does a much better job. Diesel engines are a lot stronger and will last double or even triple the mileage compared to gas-powered engines.

So, our vote goes for the 3.0 PowerStroke and not only that, but this engine is also more efficient than the 3.5 V6 EcoBoost.


Overall, the 3.0 PowerStroke engine is a decent engine with not many serious issues. This engine can be pushed really hard as every diesel truck engine should be.

This is why if you want something fuel-efficient and also very capable, this engine will be the perfect option for you. There are also some Ford 3.0 diesel problems but these problems are not that significant and they can be easily sorted out.


What Is The Ford 3.0 PowerStroke?

The 3.0 PowerStroke is a V6 diesel engine that was introduced in 2018 and offered until 2021 in the Ford F-150. Now this engine is canceled and is not included in any Ford model. We strongly hope that Ford will reintroduce this engine in the F-150 lineup.

What Are The Ford 3.0 Diesel Problems?

This engine does not have any serious defects. Most of the issues are common diesel problems like carbon deposits, injector failures, EGR issues, and DPF problems.

Is The 3.0 PowerStroke Reliable?

Yes, the 3.0 PowerStroke is a really reliable engine, this engine will easily last for 300,000 miles or so with no major issues. If you maintain it well, the engine should easily outlive any gas-powered engine that Ford can offer.