The 6.4 Powerstroke is a beast of an engine that can be found on the Ford Super Duty trucks between 2008 and 2010. The engine was quite a milestone for Ford as far as reducing emissions was concerned. However, there are some 6.4 Powerstroke problems that have adversely affected its reputation.
These problems include a leaking radiator, oil dilution and mixing with fuel, and DPF troubles. There are some components like the pistons and the exhaust pipers that are susceptible to cracking. Other than this, the EGR and oil coolers are also known to clog easily.
To discuss these issues in a bit more detail, the following piece looks at these issues in depth:
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Common 6.4 Powerstroke problems
The following are the most commonly reported 6.4 Powerstroke issues by its owners:
The radiator of the 6.4 Powerstroke can become damaged and this can cause the water in it to leak out. The reasons for this are vibration from the engine and poor fastening. The water losses can lead to the truck overheating, which can cause other problems to occur as well.
There are several problems related to the 6.4 Powerstroke’s oil. The first one is oil dilution, and this can be evident when changing your truck’s oil. You’ll be surprised to notice that there’s a larger quantity of oil than what you originally filled your truck with. This dilution brings about accelerated wear and tear.
Another issue that can happen with the oil is when fuel gets mixed into it. In this engine, the oil and fuel mix together in order to improve the combustion process. However, some fuel remains in the oil and this too can cause damage to the engine.
There are a number of components in the 6.4 Powerstroke than can get cracked. The first is when one or more of the pistons get cracked. This can be a pricey repair and if you don’t get it checked out soon, it can get even pricier. It is a feature in the engines that have a lot of miles on them.
Secondly, the exhaust pipes can also face the same issue. Exhaust leaks are commonplace in the trucks with this engine and these can cause significant power losses. One or both of the pipes can get damaged due to one of several reasons.
Emission systems are said to have ruined the reliability of many diesel engines and the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is a major culprit for this. There are several DPF problems that one can encounter in the 6.4 Powerstroke engine as well. (Note: This was the first ever Powerstroke to use a DPF.)
The first one is clogging and this can ruin the truck’s performance. Then, some users also complain about their truck’s DPF leaking, which is bad for the emissions. Finally, the DPF system utilizes sensors and they can malfunction, or even fail.
EGR problems are commonplace in Powerstroke engines. The 6.4 can have a clogged EGR cooler that has been plugged by used up coolant. Eventually, the cooler will have to fail and this is the case for both the coolers for this engine. This is also an issue in the 6.0 Powerstroke.
Then there’s the clogging of the oil cooler, which is also due to the coolant not breaking down when it should. The oil will hence start to heat up and the EGR system won’t receive a proper flow of coolant. This can also ruin the engine as time passes by.
Is the 6.4 Ford diesel any good?
Yes, the 6.4 Powerstroke is a brilliant engine with a lot of power. This means that it is able to get a great towing capacity, even for today’s era. Furthermore, this engine is highly tunable and its horsepower can be increased even further. This is a major reason why enthusiasts love to own it.
As far as efficiency is concerned, this engine did do fine when it was released more than a decade ago. If you’re worried about your fuel bills (especially in this day and age), then a truck with this engine may not be the one for you.
Is the 6.4 Powerstroke a reliable engine?
Not really. This engine suffers from the problems mentioned above on a large scale. If you buy it for tuning purposes, it is bound to get even worse. When you compare it to other engines from its time, the 6.4 Powerstroke doesn’t do well.
Sure, all engines have problems but this one tends to gets even worse with high mileage. So, if you are still planning on buying one to enjoy its performance, be careful. Try your best to get one that has been maintained properly and even better, it isn’t tuned up.
If you truly want to make this engine more reliable than its reputation makes it out to be, then you should replace the faulty parts with aftermarket ones. They’ll do better than the components that Ford originally fitted to the engine.
How long will a 6.4 Powerstroke last?
Despite the issues mentioned above, a 6.4 Powerstroke manages to cross 150k miles on average. It can easily do 200k if you take care of it and get its scheduled maintenance done on time. According to experts, this engine can even get to 375k miles without the need for an overhaul.
Thomas is a retired Motor Mechanic, a Father and a Grandfather. He writes from his 20+ years in the automotive industry to help you find and solve anything related to Car repairs, Maintenance and Care.