Ford F-150 3.0 Powerstroke Engine Problems

The 4 Most Common Ford 3.0 PowerStroke Diesel Engine Problems

About Zach Mayock - DieselIQ

Meet Zach

Zach is one of the founders of 8020 Media and a lead writer for DieselIQ. He’s been in the automotive industry for over a decade and has published more than 400 articles for DieselIQ, TuningPro, BMWTuning, & more. His blend of automotive knowledge, writing & research skills, and passion make him an excellent resource for fellow diesel owners. His expertise goes beyond writing and includes a deep knowledge of Cummins and Powerstroke engines, as well as nearly 10 years of DIY experience. Zach is also experienced with tuning and has a wealth of technical knowledge that he brings to every article he writes.

Ford’s half-ton diesel engine, the 3.0 Powerstroke, was discontinued in 2021 due to limited demand, despite it actually having a pretty good track record for reliability. The engine does however suffer from lots of emissions related issues, frequently experiencing DPF failure, EGR cooler, and EGT sensor issues.

Reliability of the 3.0 Powerstroke is actually a bit better than Dodge’s 3.0 EcoDiesel and GM’s 3.0 Duramax, the lack of demand coupled with the performance of the 3.5 EcoBoost alternative are what led to it’s downfall.

We’re going to discuss in-depth each of the common problems with this mini Powerstroke engine and provide some overall thoughts on reliability.

Ford F-150 3.0 Powerstroke Engine Problems

Engine Specs

Engine3.0L PowerStroke
Engine FamilyFord Lion
Displacement2,993cc (3.0L)
Configuration60° V6
Bore x Stroke84mm x 90mm
Compression16.0 : 1
Block MaterialCompacted Graphite Iron
Head MaterialAluminum
Torque440 lb-ft
F-150 Towing11,400 lbs

3.0 Powerstroke Engine Problems

  • Crankshaft Bearing Failure
  • EGR Cooler Problems
  • DPF Clogging
  • EGT Sensor Failure

1) Crankshaft Bearing Failure

This issue is purely speculation based on failures in the previous generation of this engine. However, these were problems before Ford redesigned the engine to be used in the F150. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem the crankshaft bearing issues are occurring on the 3.0 Powerstroke. It’s worth the mention, though. Sometimes these failures may not show themselves for years down the road and this engine is still relatively new.

That said, previous versions of the engine did run into problems with premature crankshaft bearing failure. These are also known as the main engine bearings. Ford updated the crank and bearings for use in F150 trucks. We have seen a few rare cases of crankshaft bearing failure, but they seem very isolated and rare. However, as these engines get older and higher mileage it could be more likely for this issue to arise.

2) EGR Cooler Problems

Some 2018-2019 model year F-150’s have a known issue with the screws in the EGR by-pass valve flap. Ford did issue a recall for this, so most affected vehicles should have the fix.

Otherwise, the EGR system in general is a common problematic area on most modern diesel engines. On the 3.0 Powerstroke the likely problem in the longer run is carbon deposits on the EGR cooler core. Eventually it may become completely clogged, which requires replacement of the EGR cooler.

EGR Clogging Symptoms

  • Fault code P0401
  • CEL
  • Overheating

Check engine lights and DTC code P0401 are two of the more common symptoms for EGR cooler problems. The F-150 turbodiesel may also overheat as the EGR system can’t effectively cool the hot exhaust gases.

EGR Cooler Replacement

Another popular topic in the turbodiesel world is EGR delete. Some diesel owners delete the exhaust gas recirculation system up-front. Others choose to do it as soon as the EGR shows any problems. There are emissions concerns when it comes to deleting the 3.0 Powerstroke EGR system. However, it’s a cheap solution that prevents issues from popping up again.

Otherwise, you’ll be looking at a couple hundred dollars for a new EGR cooler kit. It’s not too challenging to DIY, but it may take a few hours of labor. As such, expect to add in another $150+ for labor if you end up at a repair shop.

3) DPF Clogging

Diesel particular filters (DPF) are another piece of emissions equipment prone to failures. DPF clogging is a common issue on diesel engines, especially without diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Ford 3.0 Powerstroke engines do, however, use DEF. This helps reduce the chances of clogging, but also introduces additional maintenance and more potential issues.

One issue some have already run into is getting stuck in the regen cycle. The possibilities for issues are endless, and unfortunately it’s just bad technology in general. Sure, it helps reduce emissions and we’re not against that. However, it’s also not the ideal situation when it causes additional maintenance and headaches.

Additionally, the DEF must be changed/refilled roughly every 5,000 miles. As with the EGR system, some owners will likely considering deleting the DPF/DEF systems entirely. The same emissions concerns exist, but some believe it’s worthwhile to avoid all the hassle.

DPF Clogging Symptoms

  • Power loss
  • Long crank
  • Fault codes
  • Hot EGT temps

If the DPF becomes too clogged it can cause a ton of symptoms and drivability issues. Turbo engines need low back-pressure post turbo to help move the hot exhaust gases out. As the DPF clogs it creates additional back-pressure. That can lead to EGT getting too hot. You’ll also notice power loss and longer cranks as the engine struggles to rid itself of exhaust gases. It can also trigger check engine lights and fault codes.

4) EGT Sensor Failure

Yet another topic involving the diesel emissions system, the 3.0 Powerstroke is prone to EGT sensor failure. Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensor problems are also common on many of the larger V8 Powerstroke engines. Issues don’t seem too common yet on this engine, but we suspect they’ll pop up more often as these F-150 diesel trucks age.

There are several sensors on the engine so it leaves plenty of room for failures to pop up. Fortunately, EGT sensor failures are very minor in the grand scheme. They run along the exhaust and are very easy to access. It’s also not an expensive replacement on the 3.0 Powerstroke.

Failure Symptoms

  • Check engine light
  • Fault codes
  • Fail emissions testing

Once an EGT sensor problem occurs the PCM should pick up on the fault. That will trigger a check engine light and fault code (DTC) indicating an issue with an EGT sensor. Check for codes P0544, P2031, P2032, P2033, P2084, P242A, P242D, and P2471 as they’re common codes. EGT sensor issues may also cause you to fail an emissions test.

EGT Sensor Replacement

As we mentioned above, EGT sensors are easy to access and cheap to replace. Most can knock this DIY out in the driveway in less than 30 minutes. The sensors are also pretty inexpensive so it’s a minor problem all around.

3.0 Powerstroke Reliability

Is the Ford 3.0 PowerStroke diesel engine reliable? We believe the engine earns slightly above average remarks for reliability. Again, it’s a new engine so more time is needed before there’s a solid answer.

However, many modern diesel engines struggle with the demanding emissions parts. EGR, DPF, and EGT systems aren’t only common problems on many Ford Powerstroke engines, but also most other modern diesel engines. Plenty of delete options are on the market to get rid of these problematic parts, but that comes at the cost of emissions testing and legality concerns.

Nonetheless, the 3.0 Powerstroke is looking to be a fairly reliable engine in its short life. A lot of reliability comes down to maintenance and turbodiesel engines can be a little more demanding. They also generally reward you with a longer service life, and the engine should survive well beyond 200,000 without any major issues.

Similar Posts


  1. Hello I’m in NewZealand and I have a 2018 F150 with the 3ltr power stroke engine and it has a broken crankshaft at 50.000 km it’s been serviced by Ford agent from new

  2. I have 12000 miles on my 3.0L diesel in an F-150.
    The F150 has been in for 2 oil leaks, they were fixed.
    Now, the oil pan or engine block is leaking

  3. I have recently purchased a 2021 F-150 3L diesel. Love it so far, but only have 9K miles on it. The mileage is great, 28-30 in the country side and I hit 34 on the interstate, on cruise at 69mph. I have lost a little mileage with the more aggressive tires and with the winter cut of the diesel (not sure which is the cause, most likely both). Currently I’m trying to find a cold air intake for the ’21. They advertise one for the ’20, but I not sure of the fit, etc. I’ve towed my camper over the Adirondack Mtns with it and it did fine, although mileage dropped to the mid-teens (as expected). DEF is barely used under normal driving, but heavily used when towing the camper or my back-hoe. It will be interesting to see about the “suspected” problems over the long haul.

    1. I have been reading through a lot of articles on the 3.0 liter. I have a 2019. Seems the best one to get is a S&B. I probably will get one. The S&B is completely enclosed, unlike the K&N which is half open that allows warm engine air in.

      1. Robert – the 3.0 Pstroke is turbocharged and has an intercooler so the slightly hotter IATs really don’t matter at all. Open air intakes have greater increases in airflow which means bigger power gains. Closed boxes prevent a bit of engine noise but are restrictive compared to open air and therefor flow less. Open intakes might have IATs 1-2 degrees higher but it really doesn’t matter because the turbo heats the air up so much anyways which is then cooled via the intercooler.

  4. i have a 2019 f150 with the 3.o diesel and while i like the engine overall on occasion the is a serious drop in fuel economy accompanied by the smell of a very hot exhaust. Mileage back and forth to work is around 28-30 mpg but it will drop to 19-20 mpg when i can also smell the exhaust. i’ve measured the temp just behind the muffler at 170 degrees on regular days and on the bad days it around 365 degrees. Often just shutting it off and restarting will fix the problem Dealer is stumped and of course it won’t do it when they have it. Just wondering if anybody else has had this problem and found a fix.

    1. Tom. I’m not familiar with the details of the Ford 3L emissions system, but what you are describing sounds very similar to an active regen cycle. DPF systems often require regen cycles to prevent buildup on the filter. Since high enough EGTs aren’t always achieved, active regeneration needs to take place. “During active regeneration, diesel fuel is injected into the exhaust stream. The fuel flows over the oxidation catalyst (DOC) which oxidizes the fuel and creates heat. This heat then burns the soot into carbon dioxide.”
      So simply put, the emissions system might be shooting unburn fuel into the exhaust system to raise the egt’s and clean the emissions components. This is more likely to happen when you are taking lots of short trips with low egt’s. It might be worth looking into as a possible cause of your random high egts.

      1. It’s a common problem with every vehicle it’s just more noticeable and problematic for truck. But you normally don’t have any problems until you are towing or have head problems. It was a common practice while bulletproofing the 6.0 to reroute the cooling system to run rear to front. The front has fans and air to help keep it cool versus the rear has nothing. Some motors come from the factory with the option to the thermostat to the back by simply unbolting a plate and move it to the front where the thermostat was installed. I would start out with egr, def and dpf delete and rerouting the coolant lines. I would also install a oil catch can before adding any performance parts

  5. I faced a problem here in my country Jordan. I bought a Ford F150 2018 3.0 and my turbo broke down, and I can’t find the turbo here in my country and it’s broken and I don’t know what to do

  6. I bought a used 2018 F150 with the 3.0 and love the fuel mileage. 22 in town and 24 on the interstate. I bought it with under 30.000 miles put 10,000 and the engine oil evacuated on the interstate. It is currently in the shop getting the engine replaced. I have not gotten any diagnostics from the mechanic but will ask to speak to them when the project is complete. I was told all of the recalls were completed before I bought it but looking back I don’t think they did any of them. I am on the fence about keeping it but am leaning towards driving it for the next 10 or so years. Long story longer, I plan on doing a full delete when the 60,000 mile powertrain warranty runs out. I look forward to the increase in power and fuel mileage but mainly the decrease in “emission” problems.

  7. I have 110 thousand miles on my 3.0 powerstroke 2018 f150 diesel platinum.

    No issues with the engine or emission system
    I’m taking it to 200 thousand miles with original timing belt

    The engine is heavy duty and will go many miles

    1. I’m at 125k with my 2019 King Ranch. I am starting to research the timing belt 150k replacement, so far I’ve been quoted 31hrs of labor and 10hrs of labor at 2 different Ford Dealerships but I’m keeping this truck for at least 200k.

      1. Frequent oil changes and the timing belt should be okay, just listen for any rattling or noise from the chain.

  8. 2020 3.0 xlt 4×4 6″ bed.
    Just put it in for a bad tensioner pulley. AC tensioner. 59k miles. Other than that it’s been a good truck. She do like the DEF fluid when your towing anything of any weight. But still gets 24mpg’s on 34″ tires and pulls great when that pulley ain’t singing.

  9. 2018 Ford f150 3.0 power stroke with 70k+ miles and had loss of oil pressure and a knocking sound on the engine. Lost power and after noise started engine light when on. Any recommendations

  10. 2018 KingRanch 4×4 CrewCab Short bed 3.0 mini stroke. 138,550 many highway miles. Just replaced 3rd tensioner pulley (that’s 4 counting original). EGR/DEF eliminated and have a program that increased hp by 140. 26-27 mpg on cruise at 79 mph. Other than tensioner issue, Love It. Keep up with maintenance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *