The primary problems with these Ford diesel engines is coking. More specifically both turbo and EGR coke buildup. The increase in emission standards in combination with the low sulfur diesel fuels created a perfect storm of poor efficiency in combustion. The EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve often becomes stuck from this coke buildup. The EGR valve failure can lead to a variety of other emissions related malfunctions but the most common is perhaps the EBP (Exhaust Back Pressure) sensor showing a fault.
The EGR can be taken out and soaked in carburetor cleaner (as recommended by Ford’s own technical service bulletin) and this will sometimes result in proper functioning. Upon cleaning if the valve does not move freely simply replace it.
Another result of engine coke buildup is failure of the turbo charger. This repair can be very costly if the turbo needs replaced. The good news is approximately eight out of ten can be repaired. This repair is not for the DIY mechanic as it requires disassembling a turbocharger by a trained qualified technician. The variable design that provides the always on boost is also the fundamental flaw when it comes to coking issues. The turbo has vanes in it that allow boost to build even before the throttle is depressed and these vanes get gummed up with residue. Additionally the exciter ring often builds up with rust.
There is no real preventative measure to prevent this coke buildup. The diesel mechanics I spoke with all suggested that driving the vehicle hard regularly will blow most of this buildup out. It seems the highest frequency of repairs is seen in vehicles that are not driven regularly. Ford had a technical service bulletin to this effect at one time as well.
Any car or truck engine including gasoline engines can build up similar deposits called carbon deposits if the vehicles are not driven on the highway regularly. While driving like ”grandma” is one way to not overburden your engine, for those of us who do, it is important to get it on the highway and run it hard for 50 miles, blow the carbon out.
Better fuels help eliminate coking and carbonizing. Regular maintenance to your injection system is one way to lower your odds of having a problem. Have many of you have heard of coking? Learn more about engines in our blog, that is the purpose. Buy engines from GotEngines.com. Call us at 1-866-320-1065.