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Manufacturers torture new engine designs. They put them through grueling slogs in the Mojave Desert, freeze their internals in frozen wastelands, and throw every type of weather event imaginable straight at their radiators. On top of that, the engines spend hundreds of hours being tested on dynos.
It's this punishing testing that allows designers and engineers to rework the formula until the best combination of parts is nailed down. Still, issues arise and can turn into massive headaches for the consumer. Enter Ford's 6.2-liter V-8 engine, a motor used in the company's Super Duty lineup as well as in a few F-150s, including the last-generation Ford SVT Raptor, which has been fairly reliable. While Ford's 7.3-liter big-block dubbed Godzilla is the center of attention for the newer trucks, there's no denying that the used truck market is booming.
For those looking for a new or used Super Duty or F-150 with the 6.2-liter V-8 engine installed, The Drive's informational team put together this handy reliability guide for all the problems and issues you need to watch out for.
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What Makes a Reliable Brand?
Reliability depends on a host of variables, but the two biggest structural supports are the development and manufacturing of a vehicle. When auto manufacturers spend the time and money developing a car and its manufacturing line, a car tends to last longer. Hastily designed, poorly manufactured, and cheaply constructed materials will all reduce a car’s longevity and reliability.
There’s also a work ethic variable that cannot be ignored. Honda and Toyota’s cultures of reliability over all embody that ethic and have thus kept each company’s legendary reliability in the minds of consumers for decades. Lexus spent 15 years creating the perfect paint, for instance. Add longer-than-normal warranties and good customer service, and it’s easy to see why these Japanese companies have enjoyed their strong standings for so long.
Yet, once a car leaves the dealership lot, outside factors impact a car’s durability.
What Impacts a Car’s Reliability
The short answer is you. The longer answer is a car’s reliability and longevity are inextricably tied to how you take care of your vehicle, your maintenance schedule, your conservative or brash driving habits, and whether or not you live in climates where extreme weather could affect the car’s construction.
Preemptive maintenance like regular oil changes, fluid flushes, tire rotation, and fuel system cleaners along with keeping the exterior and underside of your car clean will increase the life expectancy of your car. Keeping it out of the harsh desert or tropical sun as well as away from the rust-inducing salted roadways of winter will also extend its life.
Keeping the Mario Andretti driving antics to a minimum will help keep your brakes, engine, tires, and chassis happy for far longer than making every trip to the grocery store the Indy 500.
Is the Ford 6.2L Engine Reliable?
Any engine is reliable as long as it's taken care of properly and respected. Conversely, it can be a total headache if neglected and abused. In other words, it's not fair for us to make a blanket statement that the Ford 6.2-liter V-8 is rock solid or a total pile without considering a specific engine's experiences.
To better assess its reliability, however, we've assembled several data points from numerous sources to present you with as much information as possible. Let's start with common problems, as told by comments listed in the Ford's Car Complaints archives.
Common Ford 6.2 Engine Problems to Look Out for
As with other car brands, not all Ford models are built to the same exacting standards as the reliable vehicles mentioned above. Here’s a quick rundown of problematic Ford offerings with the 6.2-liter engine, including the issues, customer complaints, and repair costs that will help you make the best decision when purchasing your next car.
Ford’s 6.2-liter V-8 engine could begin to burn off some oil after you cross 100,000 miles on the truck’s odometer. However, that tends to only occur when owners stretch service intervals past the recommended 5,000-mile oil changes.
Oil changes don’t cost much, at most you’ll be out $40 to $50 each oil change plus a quart here and there if you don’t service the truck every 5,000 miles.
Water Pump Failure
One repeated issue many consumers have found with the 6.2-liter V-8 engine is that the water pump can fail. When that happens, your truck can overheat and cause further damage besides the broken water pump.
A water pump for Ford’s 6.2-liter V-8 engine costs $75 to $150 minus labor if you get a professional to install it.
Spark Plug Removal and Replacement
Ford’s 6.2-liter engine uses 16 spark plugs, two per cylinder. This is to better control the spark and ignition, as well as better fuel economy, performance, and emissions. However, Ford’s service manual is very specific about the spark plug removal and replacement method. If done improperly, it can lead to catastrophic engine failure or an engine maligned with issues from then on.
Common Repair Costs
Spark plug replacement only costs a DIYer their time and the price of spark plugs, which is roughly $50-$100 depending on the plugs used. However, if you screw up the process, you could internally damage the engine, and that is going to get pricey fast.
Q: How many miles will a 6.2-liter V-8 Ford engine last?
A: That’s a tricky question that depends on a host of variables, the biggest of which is how the owner takes care of the truck and its engine. If you treat your truck right and routinely service it, your 6.2-liter can last up to 500,000 miles. If you treat it like an ordinary work truck and beat it up, it won’t last long.
Q: Does the Ford 6.2 have cylinder deactivation?
A: Ford’s 6.2-liter V-8 engine does not have cylinder deactivation. It’s classified as a heavy-duty engine and is used in Ford’s Super Duty lineup. As such, cylinder deactivation would not prove useful.
Q: What kind of gas mileage does the 6.2-liter V-8 get?
A: Depending on your driving style, you can hope to return an average of 14 to 15.5 mpg, or 490 to 542 miles per tank.
Q: Should I buy a Ford powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine?
A: As with any used car purchase, it all depends on you. If you ensure that your used truck has been well maintained and that the 6.2-liter V-8 engine is in sound working order, you won’t have any big issues. That said, if you shoot from the hip and buy something sight unseen, you may run into very costly repairs. Always do your homework and get a used car or truck inspected by a certified, reputable mechanic.
More Information on Ford’s 6.2-Liter V-8 Engine
The Drive has put together a few more resources you can use to educate yourself on Ford’s 6.2-liter V-8 engine: