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Comprehensive 6.0L Powerstroke Maintenance Guide & Service Schedule

Guide to 2003-2007 Ford Superduty Diesel Maintenance

If you own a 6.0L Powerstroke, the chances are you’re going to experience some common issues associated with these trucks. It may not even be your fault. There are just design flaws that make issues inevitable on the 2003-2007 6.0L Powerstroke. Without proper maintenance, you can count on experiencing issues more frequently. The problems are also likely to be more severe. More severe repairs means more money out of your wallet. The cab frequently needs to be raised to perform engine service work on these trucks, so you’re looking at some outrageous labor charges. By following our comprehensive 6.0L Powerstroke maintenance guide and service schedule, you can save yourself headaches and keep more money in your wallet.

6.0L Powerstroke Service

The Complete 6.0L Powerstroke Maintenance Guide & Service Schedule

6.0L Powerstroke Service Schedule

When it comes to your 6.0, you’re going to need to perform maintenance more frequently than what your owner’s manual calls for. The oil and oil filter need to be changed every 5,000 miles like clockwork. I also believe coolant should be changed way more frequently than the owner’s manual calls for as well. If you don’t have a coolant filtration kit, I would change the coolant every 20-30,000 miles to be on the safe side. The cooling and EGR systems on the 6.0 are very susceptible to coolant breakdown which can lead to premature part failures. I strongly recommend investing in a quality coolant filtration system like the Sinister Diesel Coolant Filtration System. It will help you preserve the quality of your coolant and drastically reduce the amount of problems.

Change Oil5,000 miles8,000 km
Change Oil
5,000 miles8,000 km
Change Fuel
10,000 miles16,000 km
Replace Air
Check Filter restriction
gauge. Replace
as necessary.
Check Filter restriction
gauge. Replace
as necessary.
Flush Cooling
Every 40-50,000 miles
or once a year.
64-80,000 km or
once a year.
Replace Auto
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Manual
60,000 miles96,000 km
Change External
transmission filter
30,000 miles48,000 km
Change internal
transmission filter
30,000 miles48,000 km
Replace Transfer
Case Fluid
150,000 miles240,000 km
Replace Rear
Differential Fluid
100,000 miles160,000 km
Replace Front
Differential Fluid
100,000 miles160,000 km

9 Things You Should do every time you service your 6.0

Every time you perform 6.0l Powerstroke maintenance, you should follow the checklist we provide below. It includes both OEM recommendations and our recommendations on what you need to keep track of to keep your truck operating smoothly. You can often identify problems early if you are vigilant.

The 6.0L Powerstroke Service Checklist:

  • Check all of your fluid levels
  • Check your Degas bottle For Leaks/Cracks
  • Look for any signs of coolant leaks
  • Check for blow-by
  • Inspect your air filter and replace it if necessary
  • Check All tires and tire pressure
  • Inspect all boots and hoses
  • Check all suspension and steering components
  • Check your battery(s)

6.0L Powerstroke Fluid & Oil Capacity Guide

Before you order any oils or fluids for your truck, you need to know the proper 6.0L Powerstroke Fluid and Oil Capacity. The chart below shows how much fluid you’re going to need to make sure your truck has the right amount of fluid or oil to operate properly. The numbers shown should act as a guide. You always want to fill oil or fluids according to the dipstick or measuring devices your truck has. Never exceed the full or max levels on the dipstick or any reservoir. I recommend purchasing slightly more than what is called for, just in case you spill some.

Oil/FluidCapacity – QuartsCapacity – Liters
Engine Oil15 Quarts /w filter14.2 Liters
Auto Transmission Fluid17.5 Quarts16.6 Liters
Manual Transmission Fluid5.8 Quarts5.5 Liters
Transfer Case2 Quarts1.9 Liters
Coolant27.5 Quarts26 Liters
Front Differential Fluid
(Dana 60)
3 Quarts2.8 Liters
Rear Differential Fluid
Sterling 10.50″
Dana 80
Dana S110
Dana S130
See Below
3 Quarts
3.5 Quarts
6.98 Quarts
6.98 Quarts
See Below
3.3 Liters
4.0 Liters
6.6 Liters
6.6 Liters

Use Motorcraft and Ford OEM Parts and Filters

Be careful when selecting filters and oil for your 6.0l Powerstroke. The best fluids and filters are Motorcraft or Ford brand. There are plenty of knock-off brands that don’t fit properly, offer poor lubrication qualities, or result in inferior filtration. They’re cheap, but the problems aftermarkets fluids and filters can cause aren’t worth the risk. Everything you need to service your 6.0L Powerstroke is in the chart below.

6.0L Powerstroke Fluids, Oil, and Service Parts

You’re going to need to some parts for 6.0L Powerstroke Maintenance. Ford and Motorcraft OEM part numbers are found in the chart below. If you’d like to purchase Filters, Oil, or Service parts for your 6.0L Powerstroke, click on one of the affiliate links below. I’ve linked most of the parts found below to amazon where you can take advantage of free shipping if you are a Prime member! Buying parts through our links also helps support our website and we receive a small commission! Thanks for your support!

Part TypePart #
Engine OilFor temperatures above 10 degrees
Fahrenheit: 15W40
Motorcraft 15W40
Shell Rotella T4 15W40
Shell Rotella T6 15W40
Engine Oil FilterFord: 3C3Z-6731-AA
Motorcraft FL-2016
Oil Filter CapFord: 3C3Z-6766-CA
Motorcraft EC-781
Fuel FilterFord: 3C3Z-9N184-CB
Motorcraft FD-4616
Engine Air FilterFord: 4C3Z-9601-AA
Motorcraft FA-1778
CoolantMotorcraft VC-7-B
Automatic Transmission Fluid
For TorqShift 5R110W Trans
Motorcraft Mercon SP ATF
Manual Transmission Fluid
For ZF
Motorcraft Mercon V
External Transmission
Motorcraft FT-145
(Re-Use your O-Ring)
Internal Transmission
Motorcraft FT-144
Transfer Case FluidMotorcraft Mercon V
Front Differential FluidSAE 80W-90
Rear Differential Fluid
Sterling 10.50″
Dana 80
Dana S135
Dana S110
Dana S130
See Below *(May need to add Additive)*
SAE 75W-140
SAE 75W-90
SAE 80W-90
SAE 75W-140
SAE 75W-140
Glow Plugs
See Below
Ford 3C3Z-12A342-AA (Motorcraft ZD-12)
Ford 4C3Z-12A342-AA (Motorcraft ZD-13)
ThermostatFord 3C3Z-8575-AA
Motorcraft RT-1169
EGR Valve
See Below
Motorcraft CX-2467-RM
Motorcraft CX-2466-RM

What to do if Something on your 6.0 Breaks

While yes, 6.0s experience problems more frequently than most diesel trucks, they get a bad name because of inadequate mechanics. A lot of mechanics diagnosing these trucks are “Parts changers” and don’t discover the root of the problem. You can spend thousands of dollars more than you need to and be back at the shop next week having the same problem. Find a good diesel shop that is trustworthy and make sure they diagnose the problem correctly the first time.

If something does break, you can address Common 6.0l Powerstroke problems by replacing failed parts with aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts for the 6.0 often address the shortcomings of the OEM parts and you will experience significantly less problems with them. There are some really good aftermarket companies that specialize in fixing the 6.0L Powerstroke.

Check out our other 6.0L Powerstroke Resources

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Founder of Diesel Resource and a complete diesel head. Has a little bit of problem buying too many trucks. Learn more about him by checking out his truck.