6.7 Powerstroke Turbo Failure Symptoms – Detect the Failure Turbo

The 6.7 Powerstroke engine has made its mark for its impressive performance and power. However, like with any engine, it can lose its efficiency over time due to internal issues, which affect the 6.7 engine’s life expectancy. One common internal malfunction is a failed turbocharger.

Turbocharger failures are common but can cause irreversible damage if left unaddressed. The common 6.7 Powerstroke turbo failure symptoms include poor performance and power, emission of smoke, unusual noises, oil leaks, display or error codes, and more.

In this article, we’ll look into each of these symptoms, their causes, and how to deal with them. By studying these factors, you can protect your engine and keep it running smoothly for years to come.

At a Glance – Turbo Failure Symptoms and Reasons in 6.7 Powerstroke Engines

These symptoms are not exclusively linked to the turbocharger but can be the result of other issues. Here are their possible causes:

SymptomsPossible Causes
Poor Performance6.7 engine issues due to a faulty turbocharger.
Exhaust IssuesWorn out fuel injector and oil entering the exhaust stream and causing turbo failure.
Unusual NoiseLow oil levels cause turbochargers to work harder.
Boost Pressure IssuesBuild-up of contaminants in turbine or compressor of the turbocharger.
Oil LeaksDamaged turbocharger caused oil to drip from the housing.
Check Engine Light/Error CodesIndicates issues with the turbocharger or a faulty catalytic converter which also causes turbo failure.

6 Common Symptoms of 6.7 Powerstroke Turbo Failure

To prevent failures and increased damage to your 6.7 Powerstroke turbochargers, it’s good to be aware of the signs of turbo failure. This will help you to spot the problem before it spins out of control and avoid costly repairs and replacements.

Here are the common signs:

#1 – Reduced Performance and Power

Typically, a failed turbocharger causes the engine to perform poorly. This is due to the turbo struggling to compress the air, which causes a reduced supply to the engine combustion chamber.

As a result, the engine cannot accelerate as quickly, it cannot function properly when carrying heavy loads; thus, overall lacks power.

#2 – Exhaust Issues

You might see smoke coming out of the exhaust excessively, which is another sign of turbo failure. The smoke is most likely caused by oil burning in the combustion chamber due to leaks caused by the failed turbocharger.

When exhaust issues do occur, pay attention to its color.

Black and blue smoke is linked to turbo failure. Pitch black smoke usually means over-fueling. White smoke means that the diesel fuel is not being burned properly, or passing through the combustion chamber and into the exhaust.

#3 – Unusual Noise

Malfunctioning turbochargers can make unusual whining or burring noises. Any grinding, clanking, or repetitive noises, in general, coming from the engine can indicate turbo failure.

The noises could be coming from worn-out internal parts, loose nuts or bolts, damaged bearings, etc.

#4 – Boost Pressure Problems

Turbochargers are responsible for generating boost pressure. Inconsistent boost pressure levels are a sign of turbo failure.

The fluctuating boost pressure causes low power output. On the other hand, too much boost pressure can put stress on the engine parts which eventually damage them.

#5 – Oil Leaks

Poor fuel mileage or oil leaks are another sign of turbo failure in 6.7 Powerstroke engines. Damaged turbochargers can have cracks that cause oil to drip into the exhaust system or air intake.

The oil then burns and causes heat damage as well as smoke. This can also lead to the engine consuming more oil in order to work harder, which wears it out quickly.

#6 – Check Engine Light and Error Codes

Turbocharger issues can cause the DTCs or Diagnostic Trouble Codes to show. The check engine light may also blink on the dashboard. Issues such as malfunctions and abnormal boost pressure can trigger these codes.

For example, P0299 is displayed when there is insufficient boost pressure being produced. The P0234 on the other hand, indicates over-boosting.

5 Reasons for 6.7 Powerstroke Turbo Failure

There are many reasons why turbo failures occur. These can range from poor maintenance to faulty turbochargers. Carefully going through the possible causes of this issue can help you take the necessary measures to avoid turbo failures and improve the longevity of your engine.

Here are the most common reasons linked to 6.7 Powerstroke turbocharger failure:

● Poor Filtration

Air needs to circulate within the turbocharger without interruption for it to function normally.

Intake of air can be hindered by dirty and clogged air filters, which decreases the amount of air entering the turbo housing. The reduced supply of air causes the turbocharger to work beyond its capacity, which causes failure.

Moreover, damaged intake pipes, broken oil feed pipes, manifold gaskets, breather hoses, and/or intercoolers can also abstract the airflow, which also leads to failure.

● Blocked Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions. When it is blocked with debris, dirt, carbon deposits, and other pollutants, the exhaust flow is disrupted. This causes pressure build-up which affects the turbocharger and reduces its efficiency.

This issue can be avoided by regularly having the catalytic converter inspected and services to clear out and avoid possible blockages.

● Overheating

Accumulation of excessive heat in the turbocharger housing can cause serious damage.

Driving at high speeds or towing very heavy cargo for hours on end can cause heat to build up in the turbocharger due to the excessive exhaust gases circulating it. This in return causes heat damage to the turbo, causing eventual failure.

● Oil Contamination

Dirty oil contaminated with debris, dirt, or metal particles causes damage to the turbocharger and its parts, which leads to failure. Plus, inadequate oil or infrequent oil changes can cause poor lubrication, and allow heat to build up in the turbocharger housing and as a result causes it to stop working.

● Poor Maintenance

Many pollutants can clog up the turbocharger when it is not serviced regularly. This includes carbon deposits, oil contaminants, debris, and more. Eventually, the turbocharger deteriorates in performance, which affects the engine and leads to failure.

Learn More: When To Use Engine Block Heater On Ford 6.7 Powerstroke Engine?

Tips for Avoiding 6.7 Turbo Failure

Here are a few tips on preventing turbocharger failure:

  1. Avoid Abrupt Starts: Do not race away as soon as the engine starts. The engine oil takes time to reach the turbocharger, so give your engine some time to prepare itself.
  2. Pay Attention to the Oil: Poor quality oil or old and dirty oil can cause damage to the turbo. So, keep track of oil change intervals and invest in high-quality oil.
  3. Slow Down: Driving at a high-speed puts stress on the engine, when prolonged, it overheats the turbo. Turn off the engine as soon as you finish a long run, and consider driving at slower speeds.


How do I find out if my 6.7 Powerstroke has turbo issues?

You can easily diagnose your engine for turbo issues on your own by doing a few tests. These include boost leak checks, exhaust system checks, testing the wastegate actuator and solenoid, and inspecting the turbocharger itself for visible damage.

How do I repair a 6.7 Powerstroke turbocharger?

When you are certain that your turbocharger has failed, you can take up a number of repair options. You can replace the turbo with a new one, have it remanufactured from a reliable supplier, have an expert fix it, or upgrade to a better turbocharger with more power.

How can I prevent 6.7 Powerstroke turbo failure?

To prevent turbo failures, you need to change the engine oil and filter every 5,000 miles and switch out the air filter every 10,000 miles. Always check for oil leaks and replace any worn-out components. Frequently inspect the compressor and turbine of the turbocharger to make sure it runs properly.

What are the ways to improve the 6.7 Powerstroke turbocharger performance?

There are a number of ways to improve the efficiency of your turbocharger. To name a few, you can use high-quality oil, use a turbocharger blanket to prevent overheating, avoid going past boost levels, clean the air filtration system, and have the 6.7 engine routinely serviced.

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