11-13-2013, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
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There are a few things you can do to help prevent water contamination. I recently had to have the HFCM replaced in my 08 F350. I bought the truck used in Feb 2013 at 68k miles and have CPO warranty coverage. I'm at 80k miles now.
The HFCM replacement was covered under warranty. The truck is bone stock and appears to have been well maintained by the previous owner but I suspect the HFCM was on its way out.
While I'm new to Ford trucks and the 6.4L PowerStroke diesel, I'm not new to diesels. I have a VW Jetta TDI and new BMW 5-series diesel (2014 535d) in my stable. I am very anal about avoiding water contamination at all costs. The BMW diesel is also a common-rail design. After logging more than 500k miles in diesel vehicles over the past 12 years, I've never had a water problem.
Here's what I do to help prevent water problems:
- I stick to fueling up ONLY at busy high volume / high turnover gas stations and truck stops along major routes. Fuel turnover is highest at these stations because it's constantly being replaced, often daily. It is the freshest fuel in the region. It is not uncommon for a busy truck stop along a major route to do more than $30,000 in diesel sales in a single day.
- I specifically AVOID that lonely diesel pump at gas stations out in the middle of nowhere that rarely or never get any diesel business, no matter how tempting the slightly lower price per gallon may be. A single tank of bad fuel is all it takes to do a lot of damage and in a worst case scenario can be done in a matter of minutes. It's not worth the risk IMHO.
- I regularly use a diesel fuel additive with EVERY tankful to help take care of water. All diesel fuel has some amount of water dissolved in it. Slugs of free water in diesel fuel is what must be avoided at all costs. My favorite additives are Howes Lubricator Diesel Treat and PowerService Diesel Fuel Supplement (white bottle). I also use the additive to help improve the fuel's lubricity.
- When I park one of my diesel vehicles and I'm not going to drive it for a while, I always park it with the tank totally FULL and topped off. This will minimize water due to condensation.
- Fuel filters are changed every 20k miles by the book or sooner if a problem shows up. No exceptions.
- The water separator gets drained once in a while. I've never found any water so far, probably due to my probably overkill steps taken to prevent water.
- I don't let the truck just sit around if I'm not using it as my daily driver. I take it out about once every 1-2 weeks and haul ar$e on the highway with it for a while.
Since getting the new HFCM installed, I've noticed the truck overall runs better. I have a little more power (stock performance) than I had before the original HFCM failure and MPGs seem to be improving. The difference is subtle and I didn't notice it until after getting the new HFCM. The original HFCM was probably on its way out when I got the truck. When it failed, the symptoms where intermittent starting problems followed by limp mode (wrench symbol). No OBD-II codes were thrown. Cycling the key 3 times before starting helped too. Fortunately from reading the forums and reading up on the issues with the different generations of PowerStroke engines, I got the truck to my local Ford dealer immediately ASAP and got it taken care of. The repair cost me $100 due to the $100 deductible on the CPO warranty coverage. It would have been an $800 repair without warranty coverage ($600 HFCM + $200 labor) = $800.
Last edited by n1das; 11-13-2013 at 04:44 PM.