• Mar 28, 2007
Our good buddy Mike Levine at Pickuptruck.com did the legwork and got in touch with Ford safety spokesperson Dan Jarvis to talk about the video we showed you yesterday that features a 2008 Ford Super Duty pickup spewing flames from its tailpipes. Jarvis confirmed that the truck in the video is one of the three pickups Ford described last week when it issued a recall to address the problem. While not entirely certain which of the trucks it is, Jarvis said it's one of the two trucks that was purchased in Canada, probably the one that was started in extremely cold temperatures (appx. minus 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit) and not given sufficient time to warm up before being driven. That situation could make short work of any engine, and the resultant blown bearing seal in the turbo that leaked combustible fluid into the exhaust system should not necessarily be considered a defective part.
Clearly, Ford is very concerned about the reputation of its new 6.4L Power Stroke, which is evident by how quickly it took action with a recall to address three isolated incidents that resulted in the same outcome, i.e. flaming tailpipes. The real issue in each case appears to be this newfangled Diesel Particulate Filter, versions of which are used not only by the Ford Super Duty, but also the Heavy Duty GMT900 and Dodge Ram pickups. Considering that all three heavy duty pickups use a process of regeneration to burn away accumulated particulates in their respective DPFs, the potential for flaming tailpipes exists in all three trucks if an unmetered amount of flammable liquid gets in there somehow. We're certainly not cutting Ford any slack here, but considering it likely sells more heavy duty trucks equipped with diesels than the other two automakers, statistically speaking this was bound to happen to a Ford first. Only time will tell if we're right and other diesel-equipped late-model pickups start getting hot under the collar.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jim I totally agree with you, If I was to spend a huge chunk of money on a vehicle, I would expect the manufacturer to make things right without sacrificing the powers I was told the truck had when I bought it. Since a large majority use their 3/4 and 1 tons to pull and haul equipment for work, days or weeks at the dealership costs money, and that tends to piss people off. Ford needs to fox this problem correctly, now that would be a BOLD MOVE!
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is a temp fix then, albeit a fix that will only kick in in 1/9000 vehicles if run hard on a -25 deg day.

      Does not sound particularly bad.
      It sounds like they are looking to fix it properly in the long term. Why is everyone claiming that the engine is a failure?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford may have issued the recall quickly, but if their solution is to "upgrade" the ECU software so that it reduces power, that's not much of a solution. How about repairing the actual problem, not fuding the ECU software to get around it? If I had just dropped ~$50k on a new truck only to have the dealer de-power it because the injectors and/or turbo are crap, I'd be pretty pissed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hupp1928- just to clarify a bit. Gases aren't getting by anything. The bearing between the compressor and turbine is supplied with engine oil. This oil is in some cases making it past the seal on the hot side, and into the exhaust, acting as the source of excess combustible.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree with the second comment, I have a Super Duty 6.0 and I live in Manitoba Canada the temperature here are one of the coldest in Canada (-40C). When I run my diesel in the cold the only thing that happens is that the injectors are a little noise. So the Ford Guy that said it is because of the cold may be stretching it a little. If you look at the guys in the video there not even waring jackets. PASZ
      • 7 Years Ago
      Any tips on how I should warm up my electric car?

      P.S. Great video! I want afterburners for my car!
      • 7 Years Ago
      @DriftPunch: a broken seal on the turbine side of a turbo would admit oil rather than fuel into the exhaust stream.

      If the leak is minor, the DPF will have to filter out more particulate matter, forcing earlier (i.e. more frequent) regeneration, reducing its longevity. Meanwhile, the turbo may also suffer (possibly catastrophic) damage.

      If the leak is large enough, the additional heat from its combustion can trigger uncontrolled regeneration and thermal destruction of the DPF, after which time the unintended afterburner effect will cause flames to shoot out of the tailpipe. Of course, a vehicle with a broken DPF and turbo seal will no longer meet emissions standards.

      Operating any type of engine - but especially a turbocharged diesel engine - in extremely cold weather requires careful driving during the cold start period. This applies doubly to brand-new engines, a fact that dealers in regions prone to cold ought to educate their customers about.

      @ItGuy: the airflow in the engine compartment and especially, across the underbody where the DPF is does depend on ambient wind strength and direction. In extreme cases, that could have an impact on system temperatures, especially during the cold start period.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #2 - not a brand new NOT BROKEN IN Diesel - You might think you know it all and you might know more about diesels that I do, but I do know that the break in period of any diesel is crucial - since the engine is under a lot of pressure (d'oh), but the seals are not set in properly yet.

      One of the KEY predictors of longetivity of diesels is proper break in period - babying it when cold and then driving it hard afterwards.

      Igor
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well said Jordan. You beat me to it and did it much more politely. :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Junk!!!

      Go on, you dyed-in-the-wool American rednecks, please ...PLEASE take out a 60 month loan on this flaming POS!!!

      ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      A quick glimpse of the license plate looks like it is in British Columbia. The ground is also wet, so there is no way it was that cold there. I smell BS with the diesel fumes!
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is absolutely no excuse for this to happen under any condition. This is not the first diesel engine stated under these conditions, it seems to be running super lean in the cold weather and the ECU is to dumb to add more fuel to make things safe.
      http://www.dpccars.com
      DPCcars
    • Load More Comments