2004 F350 6.0 diesel

Truck won’t start any longer, sounds like it is starving for fuel. It will run if we pull start it. What to do? Could the fuel pump under the driver side cab be out and how do I check it or could it be a relay or something else? The other day I was hauling some cattle and when I would go up a hill and accelerate it seems like it would stall out and I would decelerate and it would run. The engine has plenty of oil. If you can help I would appreciate it.

Clogged fuel filter? Sounds like you are starving for fuel for one reason or another…bad pickup in the fuel tank not allowing the pump to pickup fuel from the bottom of the tank? Something like that? How much fuel is in your tank? You might also try to drive with your gas cap off or loose…could have a venting issue creating a vacuum in the tank…thus starving it for fuel. Let us know these answers and we go from there…but it does sound like fuel starvation in some form or another

Just filled tank up 4 days ago and only has 1 huge tank. There are 2 filters, one over the engine and one down along the chassis where the pump is. Afew tanks agoI did run some of the product to kill the algae in the tank if there was any. I will check the cap and see if it is loose or tight. This is a farm truck therefore I try to keep everything tight to keep everything out. I’ll wait for your furthered diagnosis and thanks for helping me out.


MILEAGE??? The algae killing stuff, if there was any algae, will INSTANTLY plug the fuel filters, and KEEP plugging them…If you find the filters plugged, you will have to drain the fuel and clean out the tank…Marine service companies and big truck stops are equipped to handle this…

OK. I used the algae liller about 5-6 tanks ago and the truck has driven fine. If ya’ll think it’s a liter then why will run if we pull start it? Mileage 124,000

correction, if ya’ll think it is a clogged filter then why will it run perfectly after we pull start it??

You mean it will not start under “starter motor alone”…and needs to be "bump-started? Sorry I kind of forgot about that in my first post…There is a big difference between the two (starter motor start and bump start) actually…and of course. Bump starting you are making a LOT more heat in the combustion chambers facilitating starting. Which may be due to fuel contamination…i.e. weaker or diluted fuel would need the xtra assist to heat up and run…Yes of course it would…but is that what you gots?

Do a test and pull a fuel hose and fill a glass pickle jar with fuel…let it settle…take a looksie…what do you see? Any separation? Cloudyness? Evidence of water? Bec it would take a lot of extra heat to run with contaminated fuel…like if you were running already w engine hot…you could run on fuel thats pretty contaminated…but shut her down and let her cool…and good luck starting it with the starter motor alone… Know what I mean?

I suspected that the cleaner could wreak havoc on the filters…and it sounds like Caddyman knows whats up so I tend to believe him… But why would it run after the bump start? and continue to run? That wouldn’t be clogging as a suspect…For that I lean much more toward fuel instability with the clues that I have.

How bout some product to remove moisture from the fuel? An alcohol type o stuff for diesel? It could be as simple as water contamination…NO? Do that fuel in the pickle jar for us first before adding anything else to that tank. You can even buy a test strip kit to suss out if the fuel has water in it I believe…like a litmus test for the Diesel…I know they exist…look into it… Quick and easy and would tell all of us a lot. I hate to make you suspect your fuel, but…it does happen.

I’m a gear head, but not a Diesel Dog…I know all the principles involved w Diesel but dont live with one, so I dont have the skinny for you but each of my theories would hold water…we just need a Diesel dog to help us with your particulars…

Could be as simple as water in the last tank o fuel you got…Did you buy from a different or unfamiliar place? I have nearly pulled out ALL of my hair in the past due to bad fuel…I mean how often does it happen to us? Is it possible?..You bet your shorts it is…and when it strikes you need a cool head to avoid tearing apart your vehicle in the diagnostic process… Ask me how I know


I can check trhe fuel but there is no warning light that comes on telling me there is water in the fuel. The light was on when I bought the truck a year ago and relived the problem down at the fuel pump by bleeding the line. I put diesel condioner in every tank when I re-fuel. I am tending to believe the pump is actually out and at AutoZone it runs $274 and did not want to buy it and that not be the solution to the problem. I do hear the pump come on when I turn the key to the ‘on’ postion but do not know if it is actully pumping fuel… Do you know how to test the pump? I appreciate your help. Cowboy1959

Sure you can test the pump, but you need a few specialized parts… You can verify that your fuel pump is working in several ways…I dont think its your pump…bec again why would it run after a bump start? It wouldnt… You need to either pull a fuel line and test it OR put a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail…if it has a rail… Turn the key on etc… Instead of me doing all this typing…GO TO AUTOZONE DOT COM

They have the service/repair manual online for free…you can read thru it.

I still think you have contaminated fuel and i wish someone would confirm or deny my assertion on here…it would explain the difficulty in starting…and the need for a bump start… are you not in agreement with me and going now to the actual pump? Hate to see you replace an expensive part that is working just fine…

I’ll try to check the fuel tomorrow. It does idle perfectly after we pull satrt it. The reaso I went to cartalk.com was to see if there was something that I was missing. I hate spending $274 and some change on a fuel pump and it still not be the problem. Cheapest way out may be to start with the fuel test for water. Is there an electric fuel pump in the diesel tank?? Thanks again for all your help and comments.


When you turn off the key, SOMETHING makes the engine stop running. Perhaps when you turn on the key SOMETHING does not allow the engine to start again. By bump starting it, the alternator signals SOMETHING to provide fuel flow to the injectors…Sorry, but I don’t know what that SOMETHING is…

Thanks for eveyone’s help. I believe the wife and I will pull start it and let my mechanic look at it.

Hey Caddyman thats a great point and one that I totally forgot… My VW TDi had a choke out butterfly that would kill the engine…I’m not sure how Ford goes about killing their Diesels when its time to shutdown. Is it safe to say that most Diesels use the choke butterfly to shut the engine down? That seems to be the most popular one I have come across…

DEFINITELY LOOK INTO THAT COWBOY…and sorry I forgot to bring that up… Usually when they go awry you cant get the vehicle running at all…maybe thats why I didnt think of it…but it could be set up to work in a different way so Caddyman does make a great point. I will look it up on Autozone site real quick…

COWBOY…have you gone to the autozone website to log in to view the repair manual for your truck? Its FREE and LOADED with info…be silly not to do this…

Hell maybe your glow plugs are bad man? The bump start kinda eliminates the need for the plugs bec you are making so much compression heat with the bump start…

Check your fuel for contamination…and if there is none…look at your glow plugs…Forget about the fuel pump…it isnt that.