You know it’s a terrible feeling when you buy a brand new vehicle and it already malfunctions one day into ownership. You think that your truck is already dead, and the manufacturer disowning responsibility for a faulty truck makes things much worse. Well, that recently happened to Shelly Shields of Cochrane, Alberta (Canada) a week ago with her new 6.7L Power Stroke-powered 2017 F-450 King Ranch. She drove it off the lot of the Carstairs Ford dealership on October 14th around 6:30PM. The next morning, she left for a trip to Saskatchewan with her horse trailer in tow. Only five kilometers into the drive, something completely unexpected happened. A loud “POP” came out from under the hood, and the truck lost power. She turned around and headed home, immediately noticing flames shooting out of the tailpipe. When she got home, she unhooked the trailer and drove it to the end of her driveway in case it would blow up or engulf in flames.
Scared, Shields immediately called Carstairs Ford; within an hour, they promptly towed it back to the dealership. The mechanics told her that the turbo hose blew off and dumped un-burnt fuel into the exhaust system. They said it would take three months to replace the faulty parts, which she did not want to do. Miraculously, when all seemed lost, the dealership was able to buy the truck back and refund her.
Unfortunately, this problem is no stranger to the newer Super Duty pickups, so if you’re looking to buy a new Ford diesel pickup truck, beware! Many Ford owners can relate to this problem. Exhaust fires are common on 2008 and newer 6.4L and 6.7L Power Stroke engines. The exact causes vary slightly among different trucks, but they all have something to do with excess fuel or oil leaking into the exhaust system when the after-treatment components absorb particulate matter. That process is called regeneration, and it can bring up the exhaust to very high temperatures within only a few seconds. When excess fuel deposits enter the system, the exhaust blows flames. Ford previously recalled over 37,000 2008 Super Duty pickups with the 6.4L Power Stroke for this same problem.
Shelly Shields also owns a 2015 6.7L Power Stroke; it developed this same problem and took five months for Ford Canada to fix. However, that one was not as extreme as the 2017. Since selling her 2017 F-450 back to Ford Canada, she bought a new 2017 Cummins-powered Ram, which works much better. What happened to Shelly’s trucks is a prime example of the many costly problems caused by the after-treatment systems equipped on diesel vehicles to make them comply with emissions regulations.