The Ford Powerstroke is a powerful vehicle that is known for its reliability and longevity. They provide drivers with power and torque. Unfortunately, the Ford 6.0L Powerstroke has a bad reputation for head gasket failure. The issue is common in diesel trucks manufactured between 2003 through 2007. With the proper repairs and upgrades, you can make the truck more reliable.
What is the head gasket?
The head gasket seals the combustion area of the engine. It is positioned between the cylinder heads and engine block. It allows coolant and oil to circulate while sealing the combustion chamber.
Gaskets are often made from many layers of steel. This makes them durable so they can last longer. The head gasket ensures the pressure generated from the ignition of fuel stays inside the combustion chamber.
The head gasket also keeps the coolant and oil separated. If the fluids mix, your engine along with other components can experience severe damage.
Causes Head Gasket Failure in the Ford Powerstroke
The main reason head gaskets fail in the Ford Powerstroke is due to the number of bolts per cylinder. Earlier engines, such as the 7.3 Powerstroke, had 18 bolts. The 6.0L engine only has 10. The cylinder pressure along with the lack of securing bolts often leads to a blown head gasket.
Common Signs of Head Gasket Failure
There are several common signs of head gasket failure. The symptoms can start intermittently.
These are the most common symptoms of head gasket failure.
- Engine is Overheating: An overheating engine is one of the most common signs of a blown head gasket. When the gasket fails, gases are able to leak into the coolant or the coolant can leak into the cylinders. Continuing to drive your Ford Powerstroke with an overheating engine can result in damage to the cylinder heads and the engine.
- Truck Will Not Start: When your head gasket has failed, your car may not start. The engine may turn over, but it will not ignite. This issue happens because the engine cannot build up enough compression.
- Coolant Leaking from the Radiator Cap: When there is a buildup of pressure, the coolant can leak out from under the cap.
- Fluid Leaks: Leaking oil and/or coolant can be a sign of a failed head gasket.
- Milky Oil: When you experience head gasket failure, the oil may get contaminated. During a regular oil change, your mechanic can spot the issue because the oil will have a milky sludge. This dreaded mixture is often referred to as a “milkshake.” It is caused by coolant contaminating the oil.
- Sweet-Smelling Smoke: Head gasket failure can lead to coolant leaking into the cylinders. When this happens, white sweet-smelling smoke can come out of the exhaust.
- Gray or Blue Smoke: If the oil is able to enter the cylinders, it can produce gray or blue smoke. It will exit the vehicle through the exhaust.
- Odor Inside the Cab: The coolant can produce a strange odor that comes out of the air vents.
- A Loss of Power: An obvious loss of power can be caused by a blown head gasket. When the gasket does not seal, it allows fuel and air to be released. This can cause a noticeable loss of engine power. The engine may also run rough.
Dealing with Head Gasket Failure
If you have a failed head gasket in your Ford Powerstroke, schedule your service right away. Continuing to drive can lead to irreversible damage. It is important that you do not pull any extra weight if you are experiencing head gasket failure.
Head gasket replacement is not an easy job. We do not recommend that you try to handle the job yourself. At Diesel Pickup Pros, our ASE Certified technicians have years of experience. We have the latest diagnostic equipment and tools to get your job done right.
Choose Diesel Pickup Experts for Your Needs
If your Ford Powerstroke needs head gasket replacement or routine maintenance, contact the experts at Diesel Pickup Pros. Our ASE Certified factory-trained mechanics can provide you with dealership-quality service at a fraction of the cost. We are the most preferred center for quality servicing of diesel trucks throughout the Floyds Knobs, Georgetown, Jeffersonville, New Albany, IN; Louisville KY areas.