Common Information For All Powerstroke Diesel Trucks

The Three F’s… Fluids, Fuel and Filters

UPDATE:  Since this video was recorded I have discovered Archoil AR6200 Fuel Modification Complex and AR9100 Friction Modifier.  Both of these supersede all other fuel additives and oil additives that I have recommended in the past.

The AR6200 has been formulated to work in all hydrocarbon fuels including diesel, gasoline, heating oil and two cycle.  It is a fuel treatment that includes a combustion catalyst, a dispersant (removes water), a polymerization retardant, a rust inhibitor, a biocide, a lubricity agent, and a cetane enhancer.

AR9100 can be added to any engine, gearbox, or wherever friction reduction and cleaning is beneficial.  Check out additional videos on these products for more information at

The right fluids, fuel and filters are absolutely crucial for the longevity of a 6.0L engine, or any engine.  If you use the incorrect fluids in your truck, it is not going to function correctly.


What are the fluids?  They are antifreeze/coolant, motor oil, automatic transmission fluid, and differential fluid.  Finally, you should make sue you have the fluid changed correctly in the transfer case.


The Ford Motorcraft Gold Antifreeze/Coolant is the correct coolant for your truck.  They say it is 100K mile coolant; however, I would change it at 30K-50K mile intervals just to be absolutely safe.  In addition, I have become a fan of coolant filters after I started cutting open the oil coolers and watch the goo that comes out on the coolant side.  Coolant filtration systems are very inexpensive and simple to install.  Installing one can save you time and money by avoiding expensive motor replacement and/or oil coolant replacement in the future.

Motor Oil

Just like antifreeze, people have their own ideas and preferences when it comes to motor oil.  All motor oil, over the past 5-10 years, has changed so dramatically because of EPA standards that I can’t begin to tell you how good modern motor oil is.  Just the standard Delo or Rotella is much more stable than what was available 10 years ago.  Off-the-shelf motor oil is outstanding today.  The interval changes depend on how you are using the truck.  If you want to push an oil change out a little further, I would suggest doing Blackstone testing at 5K mile intervals to see if it really needs to be changed.

I have grown fond of Rotella T6 and have seen it help clean up injector issues in some cold start situations.  Hydrotex is another brand I was introduced to.  A customer brought in a truck that was using this and claimed 25K oil intervals.  The customer had an injector tip failure but still had the original set of injectors on a 250K mile truck.  Hydrotex is an industrial company and you would have to buy from a local representative.

One of the main challenges with the oil in a 6.0L is the fact that the high pressure oil pump shears the oil so brutally that it breaks down the oil quicker.  With super premium oils like the Hydrotex or Shaeffer’s, I recommend doing a Blackstone type testing.  With Blackstone Laboratories, you send them a sample of your oil and they test for metal or fuel contaminates in the oil.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

When it comes to automatic transmission fluid, there is only one choice for the 6.0L, Ford Motorcraft LV.  If you use a transmission fluid from the auto parts stores, you are going to notice shifting problems – hard shifts, sloppy shifts.  I have seen it many times.  You will think you need a new transmission.  If this happens, the solution is to buy a couple cases of the Motorcraft LV and flush it out.  The automatic transmission in the 6.0 and 6.4 are outstanding transmission.  They just don’t break, but you have to change the fluid at 30K-50K mile intervals.


One of the other places where people try to save money on the upkeep of their 6.0L Powerstroke truck is with the filters.  After market filters are available but I highly recommend that you do not use them.  The correct filters for your truck are from Ford.  When comparing the Ford filter with its competitors, the filter media is not the same.  The Napa filter and the Purolator premium filters are pretty good filters.  The problem with them, however, is their height which was adjusted to avoid patent infringement with Ford’s filters.  As a result, those filters do not sit down correctly into the reservoir.  This creates a bypass and 15-20% of your oil, maybe more, isn’t getting filtered.

The fuel filter that Ford supplies for the 6.0L is a very specifically designed and engineered piece.  Not only does it have the standard filter media inside but it also has a crucial membrane that is essential for operating correctly.  This membrane separates the water out.  If the membrane is not present because it isn’t a Ford filter, you are going to be sucking water into your injectors.


Fuel has direct affects on the fuel injection system in the 6.0L.  Cetane is basically like octane in gasoline.  It is the number that deals with the combustibility of the fuel.  The higher the cetane number, the more combustibility you have from the fuel.  Even though 40 is considered the minimum cetane rating that you can run in your 6.0L Powerstroke diesel, the fact is there is no industry standard.

There are hundreds of products in the market that claim to help improve the cetane in your diesel fuel.  The most common one is from Power Service.  It gives a little cetane boost, it is cheap and readily available.  Stanadyne is also an excellent cetane booster/supplement.  It only boosts your cetane a few points but the lubricate additives in this product are outstanding.  The best know oil fuel company in the country is Lucas.  They have a very good fuel additive.  And of course Ford has an excellent additive for cetane boosting.  If you are going to be in cold climates I would recommend that you use the anti-gel cetane booster system.  It has a couple additives in there that keep your fuel from gelling up.

What do you want to get out of your fuel additive?  We want an anti-gel, a cetane booster and a lubricant additive.  Running any of these products is better than not running the additive at all.  Additives have a certain cost involved but if you want to get the maximum life out of your fuel injectors, it is important that you consider using an additive in your 6.0L Powerstroke diesel truck.

The three F’s, fluid, filters and fuel, seem pretty rudimentary but you would be surprised how many customers do not understand this.  The 6.0L diesel engine is an incredible piece of technological advancement.  I can go on and on about the technology of this engine.  But if you don’t take care of it correctly and don’t use the fluids and filters that were designed to be used in it, you are going to have problems with the truck and it is not going to last as long as it can.

~Bill Hewitt

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