Which 6.7 Powerstroke Years to Avoid & Their Common Problems

Which 6.7 Powerstroke Years to Avoid & Their Common Problems

Ford’s 6.7-liter V8 Powerstroke engine has long been used to power a lot of its trucks over the years, but not all of its model years are created equally.

In this guide, we’re going to discuss which of the 6.7 Powerstroke model years are the most problematic and should be avoided at all costs.

In addition, you will also get to familiarize yourself with the common problems that make such model years not even worth considering.  

Which 6.7 Powerstroke years should you avoid?

1st-generation 6.7 Powerstroke models from 2011, 2012, and 2013 should be avoided as they are plagued with the most issues relating to their radiators, turbochargers, injection pumps, EGT sensors, EGR coolers, NOx sensors, and glow plugs.

The 6.7 Powerstroke (also called the Scorpion) was first introduced by Ford in 2011 and now spans three different generations.

Among the three generations, the 1st-generation 6.7 Powerstroke (2011 to 2014) had the most issues. 

Despite the 2014 model year not having as many issues as the 2011 to 2013 model years, you should still be wary of the entire 1st generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke just to be on the safe side.

Common Issues of the 2011 to 2013 6.7 Powerstroke Models

The 2011 to 2013 6.7 Powerstroke models had the following issues:

  • Radiator Problems
  • Turbocharger Issues
  • Injection Pump Failure
  • EGT Sensor Issue
  • EGR Cooler Issue
  • NOx Sensor Failure
  • Glow Plugs Issue

Radiator Problems

Radiator Problems

6.7 Powerstroke models from 2011 frequently had leaking radiators, as they used radiators made before 2010 that were found to be defective.

Later model years still ran into issues with radiator leaks, but they occurred less frequently compared to the 2011 model year.

Turbocharger Issues

Turbocharger Issues

2011 and 2012 6.7 Powerstroke models that had ceramic ball-bearing turbochargers were prone to failures, so they were later equipped with turbochargers with steel ball bearings instead.

Additionally, the coolant inlets on the turbochargers of the 2011 and 2012 6.7 Powerstroke models were also prone to leaking.

Injection Pump Failure

Injection Pump Failure

The injection pump is a well-known weak point of the 6.7 Powerstroke engine, and it’s also true even in the case of newer models before the 2020 model year.

Specifically, the Bosch CP4.2 injection pump used in the 6.7 Powerstroke engine is prone to breakage due to metal components hitting against each other as air flows inside the pump.

This can lead to metal shavings getting pumped and contaminating the fuel system and engine, causing potentially expensive damages. 

EGT Sensor Issue

EGT Sensor Issue

The EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) sensors of 2011 to 2012 6.7 Powerstroke engines frequently go bad, leading to incorrect readings getting sent to the ECU and an increase in exhaust emissions.

The 6.7 Powerstroke uses a total of 4 EGT sensors in the exhaust system, but it has been reported that the middle two sensors (12 and 13) are the most prone to failures.

Luckily, Ford did offer an extended warranty for the 6.7 Powerstroke’s EGT sensors, though this doesn’t completely remove the possibility of the replacement sensor failing again.

Thus, some 6.7 Powerstroke owners either carry an extra sensor with them or choose to delete their EGT sensors entirely.

EGR Cooler Issue

EGR Cooler Issue

A common issue of the 6.7 Powerstroke is that its EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) cooler gets clogged due to too much soot buildup.

While it’s not as bad as it used to be in the older 6.0 and 6.4 Powerstroke engines, a clogged EGR cooler in a 6.7 Powerstroke can still throw some annoying symptoms your way.

Clogged EGR Cooler Symptoms

  • Higher engine temperatures or overheating
  • Illuminated check engine light (CEL)
  • Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) “P0401”
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Higher emissions

NOx Sensor Failure

NOx Sensor Failure

One of the common sensor-related issues of the 6.7 Powerstroke involved the NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) sensor, an important component in monitoring and reducing nitrogen oxide in diesel vehicles.

Whenever the NOx sensor fails, it trigger’s the ECM (Engine Control Module) to put the vehicle into “limp mode” in order to protect the engine from any potential damage.

NOx sensor failures most frequently happen in 2011 to 2013 6.7 Powerstroke engines, which is almost the entire 1st generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke itself.

To combat this issue, Ford started the “Customer Satisfaction Program 12B33”, which helped customers replace the NOx sensors while also upgrading the entire SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system until 2013.

Whenever a 6.7 Powerstroke goes into limp mode, you may notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Illuminated check engine light (CEL)
  • Limited speed and lower RPM
  • Slower acceleration
  • Transmission locked out of higher gears

Glow Plugs Issue

Glow Plugs Issue

Glow plugs are the diesel engine equivalent of spark plugs, and they’ve been known to cause issues in the 2011 6.7 Powerstroke engine whenever they break.

While it was not as common of a problem compared to other issues, there were still several reports that stated that the glow plug tips would break off and cause damage to the engine internals, resulting in engine failure.

Major Updates to 6.7 Powerstroke (2011 to Present)

From 2011 until the present model year, the 6.7 Powerstroke underwent tons of major updates, which ranged from horsepower and torque increases to upgraded turbochargers and engine internals.

6.7 Powerstroke Model YearMajor Updates
2011 (1st Generation)• Engine power output increased to 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque
2012 (1st Generation)• Steel oil pan replaced with a plastic one

• Upgraded feedlines

• Oil cooler stud removed

• Addition of second NOx sensor

• Quick-connect fittings replaced by a conventional bolt

2013 (1st Generation)• Crankcase sensor installed for the powertrain control module (PCM)

• Pressure sensor installed on the diesel particulate filter

2015 (2nd Generation)• Power output increased from 400 hp to 440 hp

• Modified EGR cooler

• Extra EGR sensor added

• Updated fan clutch

• More durable lower bearing

• Combined fuel pressure and temperature sensors

• Particulate matter sensor and module added

• New Garrett GT37 variable geometry turbocharger (VGT)

• Upgraded crankshaft damper, cylinder head, and torque converter

• Updated exhaust braking system, injection pump, and lower intake

• New nozzle injection design for bad particle reduction

2020 (3rd Generation)• Power output increased from 440 hp to 475 hp

• Improved variable geometry turbocharger (VGT)

• Redesigned pistons and lowered compression ratio (from 16.2:1 to 15.8:1)

• Split stream piston cooling jets added

• Updated cylinder head, connecting rods, and main bearing

• Higher injection pressure (36,000 PSI)

• New fuel injectors (8 injection events per combustion cycle)

• Enhanced engine block

• Upgraded 2-piece lower intake manifold

• Previous 6R140 TorqShift transmission replaced by 10R140 10-speed automatic transmission

2011 6.7 Powerstroke Updates

The 2011 6.7 Powerstroke received an engine power output increase from 390 hp to 400 hp. Its torque was also increased from 735 lb-ft to 800 lb-ft.

The 2011 6.7 Powerstroke engine initially debuted with 390 hp and 735 lb-ft of torque, but Ford decided to bump these up to 400 hp and 800 lb-ft within the same year.

This was made possible by a new engine control software by Ford, all while not even making any changes to the engine’s components themselves.

2012 6.7 Powerstroke Updates

For the 2012 model year, the 6.7 Powerstroke received a new steel oil pan, upgraded feedlines, a second NOx sensor, and a conventional bolt. The previous oil cooler stud was also removed.

2013 6.7 Powerstroke Updates

Updates for the 2013 6.7 Powerstroke engine included a new crankcase sensor for the PCM and a new pressure sensor fitted on the diesel particulate filter.

2015 6.7 Powerstroke Updates

The 2015 6.7 Powerstroke received an increased power output of 440 hp. It also had a modified EGR Cooler, an extra EGR sensor, and a new GT32 turbo.

Other updates to the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke were combined fuel pressure and temperature sensors, a new injection pump, and a new nozzle injection design.

Among all the model years of the 6.7 Powerstroke, the 2015 model year received the most numerous updates.

This is because not only was it the first model year of the 2nd-generation 6.7 Powerstroke, but Ford also had to address many of the issues that the previous generation had.

2020 6.7 Powerstroke Updates

The 2020 6.7 Powerstroke received a power increase (475 hp), an improved VGT, new pistons, a 15.8:1 compression ratio, and new split stream piston cooling jets.

Other updates to the 2020 6.7 Powerstroke were an enhanced engine block and internals, a higher injection pressure, and new fuel injectors.

By 2020, the 6.7 Powerstroke already entered its 3rd generation, and with that came more updates given to the engine.

It had 35 more horsepower compared to the 2nd-generation 6.7 Powerstroke, which was partly thanks to its improved VGT (variable geometry turbocharger).

Ford also decided to lower the 2020 6.7 Powerstroke’s compression ratio from the previous 16.2:1 to now 15.8:1.

What year 6.7 Powerstroke is the best?

2015 is regarded as the best model year for the 6.7 Powerstroke because of its overall reliability and better performance.

What year 6.7 Powerstroke is the best

2015 is the first model year of the 2nd-generation of the 6.7 Powerstroke, and it was given tons of upgrades that made it heaps better than the previous “issue-prone” 1st generation.

For starters, the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke had 40 more horsepower (440 hp) than the 1st-generation 6.7 Powerstroke (400 hp) and a newer Garrett GT37 turbocharger.

But more than anything else, the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke addressed so many issues that the previous generation had by either upgrading or replacing the common weak points of the engine.

Why is the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke the best?

Many owners consider the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke the best because it received a lot of upgrades that fixed the common reliability issues from the previous generation.

Such upgrades included an extra EGR sensor, a modified EGR cooler, and an updated injection pump.

Aside from these three updates, the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke also switched to a single large Garrett GT37 variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) from the previous twin-compressor GT32 turbocharger.

This new turbo, together with the various other engine upgrades made, resulted in an increased power output of 440 hp from the original 400 hp. 

Additionally, Ford made use of an IROX coating for the lower main bearing. Not only did it reduce friction and wear on the bearing, but it also helped with improving fuel efficiency while reducing CO2 emissions.

Why is the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke the best

Overall, all of these changes made the 2015 6.7 Powerstroke perform better and become more reliable, thus being called the best model year for the engine.

Should you buy a used 6.7 Powerstroke?

You should avoid buying a used 6.7 Powerstroke from 2011 to 2013, as these are the model years that were prone to a lot of problems.

If you want to buy a used 6.7 Powerstroke, you should go for the ones made from 2015 and up, as these have the best reliability due to upgraded parts.

Aside from the model year, there are still some other things that you should consider when buying a used 6.7 Powerstroke engine.

Things to Consider Before Buying a 6.7 Powerstroke Engine

  • Routine maintenance for diesel engines will be more expensive compared to gasoline engines.
  • The turbocharger is the most likely part to fail on the 6.7 Powerstroke.
  • Despite being more fuel-efficient, refueling diesel engines such as the 6.7 Powerstroke will cost more.
  • Any attempt to delete the EGR, DPF, or DEF system can cause problems in the long run.

How many miles will a 6.7 Powerstroke last?

The Ford 6.7 Powerstroke engine lasts an average of 200,000 to 300,000 miles (322,000 to 483,000 km). Some owners are even able to reach 400,000 miles (644,000 km) with their engines.

The 6.7 Powerstroke is known to last for over 200,000 miles easily, given that you follow all of the recommended maintenance intervals that Ford recommends for the engine.

Compared to other Ford Powerstroke engines, the 6.7 Powerstroke sits right in the middle in terms of average lifespan.

Powerstroke EngineAverage Lifespan
7.3L V8400,000 to 500,000 miles (644,000 to 805,000 km)
6.0L V8200,000 to 300,000 miles (322,000 to 483,000 km)
6.7L V8200,000 to 300,000 miles (322,000 to 483,000 km)
6.4L V8150,000 to 200,000 miles (241,000 to 322,000 km)

Is a 2011 6.7 Powerstroke a good engine?

The 2011 6.7 Powerstroke is notorious for not being that good of an engine reliability-wise, especially when compared to later model years of the 6.7 Powerstroke.

2011 is one of the worst model years for the 6.7 Powerstroke (along with 2012 and 2013), and this is because of the numerous problems that it commonly ran into.

The 2011 to 2013 “problem years” make up almost the entire 1st-generation 6.7 Powerstroke production run (2011 to 2014), thus, it’s recommended to buy the newer-generation engines instead.

What are the generations of the 6.7 Powerstroke?

The 6.7 Powerstroke has three different generations that were produced from 2011 to 2014 (1st generation), 2015 to 2019 (2nd generation), and 2020 to the current model year (3rd generation).

6.7 Powerstroke GenerationModel Years
1st Generation2011 to 2014
2nd Generation2015 to 2019
3rd Generation2020 to Present

How reliable is the 6.7 Powerstroke?

The 6.7 Powerstroke is one of the most reliable diesel engines that Ford has ever made, just as long as you avoid buying the 2011 to 2013 model years that frequently had issues.

As a Powerstroke engine, the 6.7-liter V8 “Scorpion” variant is actually the best engine out of all the Powerstroke engines used by Ford through the years.

Compared to the older 7.3-liter, 6-liter, and 6.4-liter Powerstroke engines developed by Ford and Navistar, the in-house-built 6.7-liter Powerstroke had the best performance and produced the least emissions.

Save for the earlier 2011 to 2013 model years, the 6.7 Powerstroke is still holding up really well to this day with even more updates for its 3rd-generation models (2020 to present).

Which Ford vehicles use a 6.7 Powerstroke?

The 6.7 Powerstroke is used in Ford F-series Super Duty trucks such as the F-250, F-350, and F-450, and “medium-duty” trucks such as the Ford F-650 and F-750.

The 6.7 Powerstroke engine is also used to power chassis cab versions of the Ford F-350, F-450, and F-550.

Which Ford vehicles use a 6.7 Powerstroke