which 6.4 Powerstroke Years To Avoid? 2008! [Here’s Why]

After the monumental failure of the 6.0 Powerstroke, Ford launched the 6.4 Powerstroke in 2008. The engine lasted all two years before being discontinued. The 6.4 Powerstroke included 3 models. They are:

  • The 6.4 Powerstroke 2008
  • The 6.4 Powerstroke 2009
  • The 6.4 Powerstroke 2010

Among these, the 6.4 Powerstroke year to avoid is 2008.

While all three of the 6.4 Powerstroke had some problems, 2008 takes the cake when it comes to the sheer number of problems. This is the last Ford Navistar produced before Ford ended the relationship between the two companies. The issues that the 6.4 faces are manifolds. Some of them include clogging of the PDF, issues regarding the oil cooler and acceleration of the vehicle, fragile pistons, radiator, up-pipe leaks, etc.

Some other issues that users have reached out to me about are contaminated fuel, poor mileage, etc. There are other problems as well, which I will discuss below.

Which 6.4 Powerstroke Years To Avoid
6.4 Powerstroke Years To Avoid

Worst 6.4 Powerstroke Years: most Common problems

Ford and Navistar had a working relationship for over three decades before the production of 6.0 Powerstroke. The disastrous performance of the aforementioned engine and the much-publicized lawsuit between the companies then made Ford think about its design and test results. After discontinuing the 6.0, Ford introduced the 6.4 Powerstroke in a bid to improve upon the previous mistakes.

All in all, it can be said that Ford succeeded in making a reliable engine for its diesel trucks. But even then, the first year of the 6.4 was plagued with some issues. This made this the 6.4L Powerstroke year to avoid. What are these problems? Let’s take a look:

1. Clogging Of The DPFs

The function of the DPF is to decrease emissions. But things turn south quickly when they are clogged. When a DPF clogs up, the efficiency of the engine, as well as the turbocharger, goes down drastically. When that happens, the engine cannot remove the exhaust gasses properly, which puts stress on different components of the engine and causes power to cut off unexpectedly.

2. Problems Regarding The Oil Cooler

The Oil cooler’s job is to keep the temperature of the engine oil to a minimum so that the engine doesn’t overheat. When the 6.4 Powerstroke’s oil cooler fails, the engine temperature will go up fast. Replacing the oil cooler that is clogged is the only way to resolve this issue, which will cost you a lot.

Change your 6.4 Oil cooler (cab-on) for about $500 with my 69 step system! >> Check out the video below:

3.  Issues With The Acceleration

One of the problems with the 6.4 Powerstrokes that irks the drivers the most is its issues regarding acceleration. When the acceleration of a truck is inconsistent, it causes the driving experience to be unenjoyable. There are two issues with the acceleration of the 6.4. First, whenever drivers try to accelerate, the truck lets out unreal amounts of smoke. Second, sometimes the engine goes dead silent just as the driver is about to accelerate.

4. Fragile Pistons

Some drivers have complained about the fragile pistons of a 6.4 Powerstroke which cracks easily. The blame for this fall squarely on Ford’s shoulders as the design of the pistons causes this issue. The pistons are made from materials that are not supposed to last very long, which creates a lot of problems later down the line.

5. Radiators Having Leaks

Yet another fault in the design causes the radiators of the 6.4 diesel engines to leak. A truck engine is a place that vibrates very much. So, the radiator has to be made of something that can withstand this vehement shaking. But Ford designed their radiators to be made of plastic, which is not renowned for its durability under extreme circumstances.

When the radiator of the 6.4L engine has leaked on it, the coolants inside it slowly spill out. This makes the engine temperature soar and causes engine failure. There is only one way to deal with a leaking radiator, replacing it with an aluminum one.

6. Up-pipe Leaks

Yet another component of the 6.4 Powerstroke engine that can’t withstand the extreme heat and vibrations of the engine is its up-pipes. But this is not due to any fault from Ford, rather it happens as the engine ages and miles are racked up. When the leaks appear on the up-pipe, it causes soot to be deposited in the engine.

7. Contaminated Fuel

Fuel gets contaminated when it mixes with too much oil. When that happens, the oil loses its ability to lower the engine temperature. Also, it can’t lubricate the engine properly. When the fuel is contaminated, the engine’s internal components are worn out quicker than they were supposed to. This causes the engine to malfunction and wear out fast.

Read also >> 6.0 Powerstroke Years To Avoid & Which One To Choose

Read also >> Worst 7.3 Powerstroke Years To Avoid And Why

8. Poor Mileage

Fuel choices are made by the driver based on how good its economy is. So, it’s devastating to find out when they can’t get good mileage out of their fuel because of the engine. That is exactly the case with the 6.4 Powerstrokes. When the truck is driven through heavy traffic or is driven slowly, the engine requires more fuel. The more the frequency of such events, the worse the mileage will get. There is no solution to this problem that is legal, so resolving this issue is a great headache.

9. Clogging Of The EGR Coolers

EGR coolers’ function is to cool down the exhaust gasses as those are introduced back into the engine. When the EGR cooler gets clogged up, it can’t cool the gasses down enough, causing the engine to overheat. Although Ford had this exact problem in 6.0 Powerstroke, they didn’t resolve this issue. The best way to deal with this issue is to install a Coolant Filtration System.

10. Chafing Of The HPFP Wires

The HPFP or the High-Power Fuel Pump has wires in it that can be subjected to chafing. This occurs when the engine vibrates so much that the pump cannot take it and exposes the wires. As soon as the chafing starts, the risks of the HPFP being shorted grow and grow. When that happens, the repairs can cost a lot.

11. Leaks In The Front Cover

As the engine ages, the risk of the front cover having leaks goes up. A leaked front cover results in coolants entering the crankcase, which is a big no-no. The area of the front cover that is most susceptible to damage is the one surrounding the water pump. It is believed by many that cavitation leads to these leaks.

12. Clogged Up Fuel-Water Separator

The fuel-water separator of the 6.4 has to be drained regularly. Failure to do so will result in the water and fuel mixing up and producing a sludge-like substance. This substance is responsible for the drain valve, not opening.  As a result, water can’t go out of the engine and go into the fuel system of the engine causing rust which leads to deterioration.

Which Is The Best 6.4 Powerstroke Year?

In its short lifespan, the 6.4 Powerstroke has had its fair share of problems. But not every 6.4 engine is bad. There are better 6.4 diesel engines than bad. Among the three, the best 6.4 Powerstroke year is 2010. Ford corrected a lot of its mistakes in the 2010 6.4 Powerstroke before replacing it with the 6.7 Powerstroke.

6.4 Powerstroke Years To Avoid related (FAQs)

1. What Is The Life Expectancy Of A 6.4 Powerstroke?

The lifespan of any engine depends not only on its design but also on how it’s maintained and how often it is serviced. In general, a 6.4 Powerstroke lasts from 150000 to 200000 miles. But if the engine is well taken care of, it will surely last a lot more.

2. Is 6.0 Or 6.4 Better?

Usually, when two engines come face to face in any comparative analysis, there are upsides to both engines. But that is not the case when the 6.0 is pitted against the 6.4. The abject failures of the 6.0 led Ford to rethink its ways and introduce the 6.4. Also, having the title of the most unreliable engine of all time does the 6.0 no favors.

Final Words

The 6.4 is a reliable Powerstroke engine in general. In the three years, it was in production, other than the 2008 model, it garnered much praise. The problems in the 2008 engine make it the 6.4 Powerstroke year to avoid. It has fragile parts that are prone to frequent leakage, oil and coolant issues, and exhaust gasses that are not cold enough among other issues.

The best year of the 6.4 Powerstroke is 2010, which is also the last 6.4 Powerstroke year.

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Mahir Ahmed


I'm the guy responsible for ensuring honest, informative, accurate and helpful guide to the reader.

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