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2015 Ford F350 - needs a new engine

2015 f350 with 6.2 gas v8, 114k miles, regularly maintained, ran good with no problems, all of a sudden started missing bad, took it to the dealer and am told piston number 1 has a hole in it and it needs a new engine, naturally out of warranty, how can a modern expensive engine go this bad all of a sudden, very disappointed

Did the truck have a check engine light on? For how long?

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Not until it started running rough, everything was normal including the way it ran


Greg & Donna

There’s got to be more to the story here.

You don’t have any “tuner” add ons, right? There was a guy on here several years ago that “reprogrammed” the computer on his nearly new Ford truck, blew the engine, and also the factory warranty.

At the very least, I’d take the truck to another shop for a second opinion. Go from there.

Good luck.


Should be pretty easy to verify the hole in the piston with a borescope . . .

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Many years ago, a friend had a 1960 Buick Electra 225 and a piston cracked. The dealer removed the oil pan and cylinder head on the bank of cylinders with the cracked piston, removed the piston, honed the cylinder wall, installed a new piston and put the engine back together. It would seem to be that the same procedure could be done today at less cost than a new engine, or am I out of touch with the times?

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It is a MAJOR ordeal to remove the oil pan on this engine, if it’s installed on the truck

Now if the engine’s already on an engine stand . . .

Common causes of piston damage

  • Pre-detonation (pinging) due to carbon buildup (hot spots) in the cylinder, ignition timing problem, wrong grade or bad gasoline, something causing overly high compression, ping sensor malfunction, etc.
  • Overheating, often due to cooling system problem, or overly lean air/fuel mixture, low oil level, etc
  • Engine load beyond the rated limit (for example trying to go too fast up long, steep uphills, w/a heavy load, or some problem with the drive train after the engine).
  • Debris got in cylinder, for example faulty spark plug, or during repair a bolt or nut got into the spark plug hole, sucked in through the throttle valve, etc.
  • Faulty piston , occurred at time of manufacture.

How it happened on your truck, don’t know. In the most recent Hot Rod to the Rescue (Hot Rod magazine Oct & November issues), they show how to fix a problem like that. In that case it was caused by a nut from the air cleaner ass’y getting sucked into the engine through the carb and not realizing it. If it is just one cylinder that’s damaged, doable w/out replacing the engine. But a somewhat expensive repair…

@db4690. I guess I am really out of touch with the times. I didn’t realize that pickup trucks were also difficult to do major repair work. The only pickup I ever owned was a 1950 Chevrolet 3800 one ton.
I miss the old days when one could drop the pan, pull the cylinder head, use a ridge reamer to cut the ridge off the top of the cylinder, push out the pistons, rough up the cylinder walls with crocus paper, send the head to a machine shop if it was an OHV engine, other wise poke the valves out of the block, clean up the ring lands and fit new rings, put it all back together with new spark plugs and you could get another 30,000 to 40,000 miles out of the engine.
If you didn’t want to go the sloppy patch route I described, you could order a factory rebuilt engine from Sears for about $250, get out your block and tackle and install the engine and get another 60-70,000 miles out of the truck.

I dare say this might be a Ford-specific issue

There is a cross member directly under the oil pan

According to my source, it’s possible to remove the pan with the engine installed, but it involves lifting the engine sky high

On the gm full-size trucks in our fleet, removing the oil pan with the engine installed typically isn’t such an ordeal

Something else just came to mind . . . op’s engine has overhead cams, so removing pistons is considerably more work, versus an old school push rod V8, for example

In most cases a hole in the piston is caused by detonation.
If this is the case you should have heard a subtle ratting at times; especially under hard acceleration or climbing a hill.

Engine compartments are a lot more crowed than your Chevy with the I6
and more difficult to get to.
On my totally stock F150 4X4 with the Coyote 5.0, I need a stepladder to check the oil!

Didn’t notice anything till pulling away from an intersection. It has been a great truck till now

Correct, that is what they told me they did, but no explanation as what caused it

On late model vehicles with 4wd, overhead camshafts, etc, it can be quite a bit of work to access the engine block and heads for repairs. On some late model Ford trucks it actually takes less time to remove the body from the frame and do repairs than to work in the engine bay. Here we are pulling heads on a Ford pickup.


@asemaster Thank you for the picture and explanation. I forgot about the complexity that four wheel drive adds to a pickup truck. I guess I am out of touch with the times.

In the case of the Ford pickups, it’s not 4wd but the design and shape of the body that makes engine repair difficult. But here’s a Ford pickup we had recently where you could pull the head without leaving the driver’s seat.

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The Ford truck forum thinks the 6.2 is very reliable, some issues with the oil pump reported by a fleet mechanic, nothing like this.

I have zero knowledge about this engine, but I can see that you are going to have a very significant set of decisions to make about what to do next. In order to do that you need to get some detailed information about the costs you will have to pay and the alternatives. The dealership where it is now will give you their assessment and estimates, but they will undoubtedly also want you to consider trading your truck for a new one, where there is profit to be made. Before you make that choice I think you should seriously consider having your truck towed to an independent shop that knows trucks well for their exam and estimates. Armed with that info you can spend a few days reviewing the situation, maybe even talking to other dealers about buying a different brand truck elsewhere, and then make some hard choices.

Through all of this it is possible you will learn what really happened and maybe how you can get some help from Ford for the repair costs. I sure would like to know, and so would other readers of this forum.

Considering the truck has 114K miles, why do you figure Ford would do that . . . ?