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Old 03-04-2016, 04:03 PM   #1
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Overly Concerned Newbie

I am in the research mode, waiting for DW to retire so we can see the country in an RV. I anticipate getting a used F350 SRW with the 6.7L.

I just downloaded and read the 2013 F350 Owners Manual and Diesel Supplement. SCARED THE BEEGEEBERS OUT OF ME! There are so many error codes for DEF system, particulate filter system, water in fuel, low fuel pressure, etc., etc.

I've never owned a diesel. Are they anywhere close to as much REAL trouble as the manual makes it sound??

I understand water in fuel. How often do you drain it? If the light comes on, do you stop on the side of the interstate and drain off the water immediately? Are there any real issues here routine maintenance does not address? If the water is drained every oil change, will I ever see that light?

DEF - How does a system get "contaminated" other than carelessness? How often have you had a contaminated DEF tank?

How often do you add DEF fluid? How many miles do you get between refills? The manual strongly cautions against carrying DEF in the truck or bed. They show a very low storage temp. (below 68F) If I am on a 3000 mile trip, do I buy DEF as needed along the way or can I bring some along? Where and how do you carry it?

Has anyone had problems with the DEF system sensing problems that did not exist and shutting the truck down? I have heard of them, but are they common or rare?

Any issues with the particulate / regen system? I just read a thread about having a hard time getting a complete regen. Have you had issues with this?

Do fuel filters last the expected time without low fuel pressure issues? Is changing the filters a DIY job?

I now know gas and diesel motors take different oil. If I take the truck to a quick change place, will the use the right oil or must I watch them like a hawk? What happens if the wrong oil is used?

How do you check coolant additive levels to know when to add?

There was a lot of space spent on the air filter restriction gauge. I assume this is just a simple tool to gauge air filter blockage and estimate time to replace?? The issues around rain and snow and resetting this are more to prevent unnecessary replacement due to water or snow restrictions? Is this really an issue? Is snow buildup around intake an issue?

I do not know when my wife will be able to retire. She helps the sweetest 95 year old lady. When her services are no longer needed, she will retire. It could be next week. It could be 5+ years.

I anticipate getting a used F350 SRW Lariat CC 4X4 diesel. Any suggestions on what model years are better AND WHY. What changes have been made since 2011, when, and how significant are they?

As always your comments are appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:21 PM   #2
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My son has a 2013 6.7 diesel F-250. First of all, you're smart for not getting the 6.0l or the 6.4l which may not have DEF, but are prone to some other, bigger problems. We just sold a 2002 7.3l which was the gold standard!

The only CEL he's had is when he's messed with something to modify the performance. Two days ago he took off the exhaust pipe, which looks like a ballistic missile, and put on a straight pipe with a chip to modify how the computer senses the exhaust output.

But back to your questions. Your paranoia comes through in your post and the retirement/RV combo is supposed to be relaxing. With that in mind, buy a gasser truck to relieve some of your stress. I have the Ford 6-cyl. Ecoboost in my 2014 truck and it has plenty of power.

After close to 20 years of RV'ing and 150,000 miles of travel, I believe you want to get a rig that fits your needs. Maybe even start out small with a used trailer and move up. I've always had motorhomes because there's nothing more convenient that pulling in a rest area or camp site and just walking to the back to eat or bed. Plus if the wife or kids have to use the bathroom while you're driving, there is no need to stop!

Go to RV shows and find the layout that fits you best. If its only the two of you, you may not need the 40' motorhome or the 38' 5th wheel.

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:38 PM   #3
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Diesels are not nearly as finicky as some literature can lead you to think.do you need to change the oil and filters? Yea. Do you need to be aware of fuel filters? Definitely. DEFin new trucks is nothing to worry about except the added expense of the fluid. Ford in particular has had some instances of people adding DEF to the fuel tank by mistake. If that ever happens. NEVER ever start the motor. You must drain the tank, clean it and fill with fresh fuel. A small amount of water could destroy a 20,000 dollar motor
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:02 PM   #4
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It's really not that bad. The "check coolant additive" warning is programmed to pop up approx. every 15,000 miles or so. The test is just a strip that is dipped into your coolant. A dealer can do this quickly or you can order test strip off the internet if you are your own mechanic. When the strip comes back in the "not good" range, it'll probably be time to flush your coolant anyways.

DEF is pretty easy to come by, either any auto parts store or most automotive sections at "Buy-Everything-Here" stores(Meijer, Walmart, etc...). Some truck stops even have DEF pumps along side their diesel pumps. The computer notifies me when it calculates that I have 500 miles to go or less before my DEF runs out. If you get down to 100 calculated miles, it alerts you every 3-4 miles.

Be warned, oil changes are going to be pricey between the synthetic oil and the fuel filter, but you are going more than 3,000 miles between changes. If you go to an oil change place, they should be fully aware of the difference between oil for gas engines and oil for diesel engines. Do I trust them? Not even a little bit. I've seen too many kids that didn't appear to have enough brain power to breathe without a ventilator let alone walk, talk, and change oil 'n' stuff.

Overall, I love my 6.7. It has more power stock than my old 7.3 had with a tuner. The power, especially when towing, is ridiculous. If I wasn't towing anything ever again, I might consider driving a gas truck again. Might.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:21 PM   #5
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If you are focused on Ford diesels, don't get the first-year 6.7L--2011--look for later models. Ford has one of the best stock air filters (Donaldson) available, you will not have problems with the filter restriction gauge unless you don't change the filter for over 70-80k miles--least of your concerns with the Ford diesels. And you won't be plowing snow with it, will you? Or busting snowdrifts? Then no problem with getting snow in the intake.
Please don't take your truck to a quick-change oil/lube center unless they are going to use Motorcraft filters--and yes, watch them like a hawk.
From the sound of your post, the fuel filter is not a DIY project, but yes, you need to drain the water separator every oil change and change the fuel filters every 2nd oil change--WITH Motorcraft filters--do not use after market fuel filters.

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Old 03-06-2016, 01:05 PM   #6
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Thanks to all for your responses.

RVThere The Eco Boost may be a good motor, but I doubt it will pull 15K of 5er, and I know the truck around the Eco Boost is will never support that RV.

Wing nut I trust you, but what is different on the 2012? What issues are resolved?

I know the truck will warn when I need to add DEF.. If the tank is full, how many miles will I go before the Add DEF light comes on?
I assume when you buy DEF, you put it all in the tank, only buying when and how much you need?

If I drain water every oil change, I should never see the Drain Water warning unless I get some wet fuel?

Nobody has ever had issues with contaminated DEF, DEF system problems or particulate cleaner systems?

Thanks for the great info!
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:18 PM   #7
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grashley,
From the sound of your posts, please go to thedieselstop.com and go thru ALL the posts on the 2011-2016 6.7s--there is a world of info there, and answers to just about all your questions.
As to not getting a 2011--besides the old thought, never buy the first year out--they had some probs with the shifting on the new 6-speed is mostly what I heard.
Most have said something like 6-8 fuel tankfuls to each DEF tank--not sure this is correct, but actually very little usage. Yes, you can accidentally add the DEF to the fuel tank if you don't watch what you are doing--fills are right next to each other. Just carry some with you in the trailer basement or truck bed.
You probably will never see the WIF light, as you really have to ignore draining the separator for a long time before it lights up. Drain every oil change (hint: carry a clear plastic cocktail cup to the oil change with you and have them drain into the cup--easy to see any water or sediment) and you should be just fine.
Again, please take time to look at all the Ford diesel info on thedieselstop.com
Joe
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:45 PM   #8
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WINGNUT

Thanks for the response. You answered the questions I asked. Thanks for the web site. Will go there tonite after supper.
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