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.
|Bore x Stroke
|84mm x 90mm
|16.0 : 1
|Compacted Graphite Iron
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
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.
- 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.