I've had this 2006 F250 since 2010 and I've put 75K on it since purchase with very little issues. I'm a contractor and the truck has been used as a daily driver as well as a tow rig to move equipment to sites.
Recently the truck hasn't been used nearly as much. I've been doing some work out of town that hasn't required the truck and my family has been with me so we've taken the family vehicle. Long story short, the truck sat for a few months. I kept a trickle-charger hooked up so the batteries stayed fresh.
The other day, I needed to move my skid-steer and a tractor to a different site. I fired up the truck and everything seemed quite normal. I drove the truck without the trailer for about 15 miles, then hooked up to my 24' equipment trailer with a small Kubota tractor and mower, not a lot of weight for the tow rig. I had to haul the tractor to a site about 60 miles away, 50 of which was highway.
Everything seemed fine until I was about 5 miles from the site where I was headed. The truck seemed to shudder and I was losing power. I slowed down a bit and proceeded and it seemed to pretty much clear up by the time I arrived at my destination. I spent about 2 hours at the site before heading out with an empty trailer in tow. The truck was running fine. Once I was about 1/2 way back up the interstate I started to lose power and was barely maintaining 55 mph. I pulled off to the side and the engine kind of sputtered and died. I started thinking it was perhaps an issue with the fuel after sitting through a very rainy summer; I started off the day with 2/3 tank of fuel and I was now pushing 1/4 tank. I cycled through the ignition a few times in an attempt to push some fuel and it started back up when I cranked it. I managed to limp to the next exit where I topped off the tank in hopes of it being contamination in the bottom of the tank. Once I started back up after the refuel, it seemed to be running better, a little rough perhaps, but markedly better. As I proceeded back home it ran okay, not as strong as usual, for about 5 miles then started to lose power. I was only able to maintain 55 mph with the empty trailer still in tow. I stopped near home and picked up some fuel filters from the parts store; they were out of the Motorcraft filter, so I bought the duralast brand they had in stock...
When I got home I changed the filters and there was some minor gunk in the primary filter, the upper filter was dirty but the bowl was spotless. After cycling the key about 8 times, I started it up. It ran rough for a few minutes before sputtering and dying! I cranked again and it was firing here and there but would not restart. By this time it was late and I went to sleep. This morning first thing I went to another parts store and got a set of Motorcraft filters, replaced the obviously quite different Duralast filters. I cycled the key a few times again, cranked it and she started! I noticed it was idling a bit rough but I figured I was just cycling through some air bubbles so I let her sit and idle for 20 minutes or so.
I unhooked the trailer and took it out to the interstate and ran WOT up to 75ish mph. It had plenty of power and acceleration, but seemed to have a bit of a shakiness to the motor. It definitely was idling rough still. I have a Torque Pro program on my phone so I pulled the codes (I had cleared them after the filter change debacle). What I had was a P0275 (cylinder 5 contribution balance/fault) code. Torque Pro says this is a "gray code" that can only be cleared by the ECU after a certain number of cycles with no fault.
Does this mean I have a faulty #5
injector? Are there other potential causes that I should check? I added 16 oz of Diesel Kleen to the roughly 26 gallons of fuel in the tank. If it is an injector replacement I'm looking at, is this something I should attempt myself? I still have a skid-steer I need to move about 120 miles, and I need to move it soon...
Thank you in advance!