Ford 4.2l V6 Engine Problems – A to Z Problem Discussion

Driving a vehicle manufactured by one of the absolute most renowned car companies doesn’t mean there will be no hassle. Especially when you are having a Ford 4.2L V6 engine, the worry is perfectly valid. That ringing any bell?

Ford 4.2L V6 engine is also known as The Canadian Essex engine made its debut in late 1996. It was similar to the 3.8l version. The main purpose of making this engine is to defeat ancient gasket problems and make it a dependable long-running motor. However, the plan didn’t work out perfectly which dogged the engine’s reputation until the engine was eliminated in 2008. 

However, compared to many Ford engines, the Ford 4.2L v6 is worth its money. Its problems are quite ordinary and have a high chance that you already know about them. If you don’t then we’re here to help you out.

5 Common Ford 4.2l V6 Engine Problems You May Face

  1. Intake manifold gasket problem
  2. Timing Cover Gasket Problem
  3. Oil Pan gasket Leak 
  4. Exhaust manifold leaks
  5. Oil pump problem

To find out each of the problems in great detail, scan through the rest of this article:

Ford 6.2 Engine Problems

1. Intake manifold gasket problem: 

This problem has been heard from the beginning of the journey of this engine. Because obsolete lower intake manifold gaskets were used for this engine before Jan. 15, 1998. But after Jan. 15, 1998, Ford used a thicker gasket which was able to create a tighter bond between engine and manifold.

The manifold gaskets are liable for sealing the manifold against the cylinder head(s). aside from sealing the engine the issues which may appear due to manifold gasket are:

  1. Engine misfires 
  2. Dropdown power, acceleration, and fuel economy
  3. Coolant leaks
  4. Engine overheating

2. Timing Cover Gasket Problem: 

The timing cover gasket problem of Ford 4.2L V6 engines is also a traditional thematic problem. The primary function of the timing cover is to guard the timing belt or chain that attaches the camshaft to the crankshaft and allows your engine valve to open and close at the right time during the internal combustion process. The cover also prevents dust from entering the engine and completes the air-tight seal. 

But when the timing cover gasket wears out your vehicle might stop running all of the sudden. It is one of the most common symptoms but not the last. The other issues that you might face because of the timing cover gasket are: 

  1. Oil leaking in the center of the car
  2. Engine runs rough
  3. Knocking sound from near the front of the engine
  4. Check engine lights turn on (If you’ve watched the famous tv series “The big bang theory” then don’t be like Penny and take the engine light on serious 😋)

Tips: This video might help you to get some tips and tricks: 

3. Oil Pan Gasket problem: 

Before going through the symptoms first let’s dig into the problem first. Every engine is made of many different individual parts and oil circulates through them. So to keep the oil inside the engine almost every part has seals between them. The oil pan gaskets are those seals that prevent oil from escaping out from the engine. 

When a vehicle continues to run, the oil pan gasket has to go through normal wear and tear. Eventually, after 20,000 to 50,000 miles the gasket will be worn out and will not be able to seal the oil. As a result, the oil will leak and if you ignore the symptoms I am gonna mention next you might damage your truck. 

  1. Noticeable oil leak underneath the vehicle 
  2. Smoke coming from the engine directly or from the exhaust pipe
  3. Engine overheating 
  4. Oil level get down than usual
  5. Again the engine warning 

Tips: Replace the oil pan gasket as soon as possible if you feel the necessity. 

4. Exhaust manifold leaks: 

The exhaust manifold leak will produce several symptoms that will indicate that your Ford 4.2L engine has problems. The most common symptom that you might notice is mostly some ticking noise. You also might notice a few exhaust fumes but that’s not that common. 

 The ticking noise that I mentioned above is gonna be heard when the engine is cold. Because when the engine heats up and it starts expelling that hot air out through the exhaust the meal on the manifold expands and closes up the imperfections on the manifold which more likely would be a crack. 

A broken exhaust stud can also be responsible for unwanted noises. Over time due to all the heat, moisture, and everything they tend to rot away, and then they will probably break. One of the studs is closest to the firewall and when that breaks there creates an air gap. When that happens the gaskets gonna deteriorate more over time as a result the ticking noise will be louder. 

At this point, you will start noticing an exhaust fumes smell. Now obviously exhaust fumes are a safety issue so you should deal with it ASAP. Now let’s quickly see some of the symptoms that you might face: 

  1. Unnecessarily engine noise
  2. Burning smell from the engine bay
  3. Vibrating Gas Pedal 
  4. Exhaust Fumes in the Cabin 
  5. Noticeable decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency

5. Oil pump problem:

An oil pump is an integral part of a vehicle’s engine performance. It sucks oil out of your oil pan and pumps it through your oil filter onto the bearings. Many drivers may never need to change their oil pump, but it’s important to identify the symptoms.

The most common scenario that it might create is turning the check engine light or oil light on. Often drivers ignore that light. But you have to understand one thing very clearly that if the oil light is on then this isn’t happening randomly. It is an indication that the oil pressure is low and you have a problem with your oil pump. 

There could be a leak, your engine could be burning oil, etc. To satisfy your doubt you check the dipstick and add some oil. If the light remains the same then it might be something else. The other common symptoms are: 

  1. Low oil pressure 
  2. Increased engine operating temperature.
  3. Valve Train Noise
  4. Unusual oil pump noise

5 Other Common Problems:

Despite these 5 common problems, there are also some other Ford 4.2l v6 engine problems that you might encounter. Those problems include rear main seal leak, rough downshift, suspension problem, whining noise from the rear end, etc.

1. How reliable is the Ford 4.2 V6?

Answer: Compared to 4.6 V8 and 5.4 it is much more reliable than others. As the other engines have every type of problem. The early models have the spark plug blow out the problem, the later models have the spark plugs get stuck in the cylinders, and so on. But this one has a lot fewer issues.

2. How much oil Ford 4.2 V6 can hold?

Answer: 6 Quarts.

3. How to make Ford F150 4.3 faster?

  • Remove extra weights
  • Always use higher octane gas  
  • Install turbocharger or supercharger
  • Install a cold air intake
  • Change exhaust system
  • Maintain regularly by professional

4. How long does Ford 4.2 v6 last?

On average any engine lasts up to 150,000 to 300,000 miles before you need to rebuild the engine. Now the longevity totally depends on you. If you maintain it will serve you long

5. Should you buy a Ford 4.3 V6 after 200k miles?

The straightforward answer is ‘No’. You should never buy a truck with more than 200k on it. Because it will not be worthy. 

Final Thoughts:

Considering all the problems, the facts confirm that the Ford 4.2l motor will be unable to convey a smooth performance constantly. In any case, on the off chance that you keep it in standard check and tackle the previously mentioned circumstances carefully, it is ensured that you will be happy with your Ford’s service.

From there hopefully, now you know what are the issues of your Ford 4.2l v6 engine and how to distinguish them. Making a quick move will help you a ton. Be that as it may, disregarding can be hopelessness later on.

Best wishes on your journey with your Ford!

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Mahir Ahmed


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

7 thoughts on “Ford 4.2l V6 Engine Problems – A to Z Problem Discussion”

  1. Great information. I have a 2005 F150 that has the 4.2 and I’m getting P0172, P0174, P0175 and P0303. It has 196, 143 miles. I’m not a great mechanic (73 y.o. Guy), especially since I don’t have the space to work on it. I may end up finding a true mechanic (not looking for guys that have nuts, bolts and parts left over and don’t understand the importance of a torque wrench). It’s not easy finding a good reliable and honest shop. If you have any personal knowledge with Jasper remanufactured engines or any reliable engine remanufacturees, I certainly appreciate it. Any idea what a turn key job for R and R on this engine, that toowould be great. Again, thanks for a great article.

  2. Great article. I just purchased a 1999 f-150 with 180,000 miles on it. It had two broken exhaust manifolds and was wondering about other issues.

  3. I got a 99 Ford f150 got the 4.2 l V6 and right there where the thermostat is and the hose right up above it on a manifold there’s a pipe that goes into the manifold and it’s got a water hose that connects to it mine is leaking there I’m going to have to replace it do you think they make the part or get the part I’m going to have to take the top part of it off the manifold on the top it sits on the top of the manifold and you got to injectors and all that underneath of it just to get to the pipe and take it out and try to put another one in it I tried to stop leaking and I know better than I use these quick remedy s*** I just hope Ford does carry that little pipe looks like about 6,.7 in tall and it has a little hose baby 3/8 a little bit bigger it goes to it but water goes down through it do y’all know if Ford does carry that part. When I take them top part off I’ll be able to get to it and work to it. Out and clean it up and build up and put some sealer down and knock another one back into it


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