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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New member here, but have been driving a 2018 F150 powerstroke for 2.5 years. Have loved it up to this point and had 38,000 miles on it. Three weeks ago, the oil pressure started showing zero with the engine warmed up and at a stand still. If placed in park or started moving again, normal oil pressure resumed. Immediately took it to dealer. They replaced the oil cooler and conducted the latest EGR recall. A week later, we started a pre-thanksgiving road trip to see the Grand Canyon. While doing 80 mph on I40 back into Flagstaff, the engine seized. Still waiting to find out what caused the seizure, but has anyone else experienced anything like this?
 

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No way to tell until a total tear down but just a wild guess is the oil filter rubber stopper was damaged, thus the low oil warnings earlier. Possibly some damage to the bearings occurred at that point but didn't totally fail until the high speed, heat and rpms at Flagstaff. Engine failures are very rare (so far) in these.

If I am right, the dealer did the right thing with the oil cooler but that can't fix scored bearings. I hate this is your first post, can you share if it is under the diesel engine warranty still? A 2018 should be unless it has extensive mileage and yours did not. Hoping for the best for you.

(Edited for my usual misspellings and such)
 

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@zottoz - let me first welcome you to the forums, but I would have rather it been on a happier note.

Sorry to hear about your engine seizing up = I can't imagine what that sounded like at 80 MPH...

Can you please clarify regarding your EGR By-Pass valve (either 18E02 or 20E04) recalls?
  1. Were you aware of either of these recalls on your 2018? Via FordPass app or recall letters?
  2. Did you have either of these recalls performed prior to two (2) weeks ago?
  3. Have you been driving for the last 2.5 years without either 18E02 or 20E04 recalls performed?
  4. Did you have your oil changed previous to the Low Oil Pressure at idle condition?
EGR By-Pass valve is one issue that could have caused prior damage if you hadn't reacted until 2 weeks ago.

The other issue that @Dunrollin is alluding to is Low Oil Pressure Message? warnings due to whoever is changing your oil not following the correct shop procedure, resulting in the "nub" of the anti-drain back stopper in the oil cooler/filter assembly being sheared off. Without this anti-drain back stopper in place, the oil pump is working harder than it should to keep the oil filter assembly full = we suspect this is having a deleterious effect on the tight clearances on lower-end bearings. Doug is assuming you might have been a victim of this based your dealer replacing the oil cooler assembly.

Anything underlined above are hyperlinks to other posts here in the forums that you should read up on to get some background and history to what I have referenced in this post. I fear that you were unaware of either of the EGR By-Pass valve recalls due to a breakdown in communication from Ford on an issue that has been well known here since the beginning of 2019.

You probably just missed the 3yr/36K Bumper-to-Bumper warranty (on either front) but good thing your PowerStroke branded engine carries a 5yr/100K engine warranty (ask for your VIN-specific OASIS report) Hopefully Ford stands behind their PowerStroke warranty and does the right thing by replacing your engine free-of-charge.

Please respond back with answers to my questions and any further questions after reading up on the topics I have provided you hyperlinks for above. Also please feedback what Ford's response is to your engine seizing up = forum members will be very interested...
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to you both for your replies. Things are running very slowly in AZ right now due to the labor shortage, so still waiting for them to start the tear down. The truck was purchased in January 2019, so everything should still be under warranty.
1. The first EGR recall was accomplished either prior to taking possession of the vehicle or shortly thereafter. (All of my records are in the center console out in AZ). The second was accomplished 2 to 3 weeks ago, like I indicated.
2. I’ve performed all oil changes myself since finding the approved oil even at a dealer is rarely possible. I had changed the oil the day prior to getting the low oil pressure indications which is one of the reasons why I took it so seriously when it came up. Where is the correct shop procedure published?
 

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See Post #46 by @Kval (Ford tech) in the Low Oil Pressure Message? thread referenced above.

The correct procedure is to place the new filter element on the shaft in the oil cooler assembly on the engine and then screw the filter cup into the assembly. Since the filter is found in the cup upon removal of the old oil filter, human nature assumes that the new filter is supposed to click into the cup and both installed onto the shaft.

Let me guess how you have been doing this...?

Only question I have is whether the engine failure was due to:
  1. 20E04 not being done in a timely fashion
    • EGR By-Pass valve failure w/broken shaft & thrust washer ingested
    • 20E04 was announced in Nov 2020 (=12 months of driving)
      • I had 20E04 done exactly a year ago this week
  2. Lower-end bearing failure from Low Oil Pressure due to sheared anti-drain-back stopper
Given Low Oil Pressure symptom was recent (day prior), the engineer-in-me is betting on the former, but like @Dunrollin stated, we probably won't know unless Ford tears the engine down.

Good news on Jan 2019 purchase, as 3yr/36K Bumper-to-Bumper starts on date-of-purchase and not date-of-manufacture. You must have bought end of January 2019, as FSA 18E02 was like 3rd week of January of 2019 w/Stop-Sale on all new vehicles.
 

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When you say seized did the engine issue any warnings prior to the event? I have the oil cooler issue presently and I'm still waiting for the dealer to schedule the replacement. This issue shouldn't cause a catastrophic engine failure as it only pertains to the oil in the filter assembly which ofcourse is a small percentage of the oil in the truck. I suspect that the prior oil cooler job was faulty and/or the EGR issue could cause the engine to seize. Having said that I'm certainly not a Ford technician.. just a fellow 2018 PS owner. I sure hope it gets resolved to your satisfaction.
 

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The correct procedure is to place the new filter element on the shaft in the oil cooler assembly on the engine and then screw the filter cup into the assembly. Since the filter is found in the cup upon removal of the old oil filter, human nature assumes that the new filter is supposed to click into the cup and both installed onto the shaft.
There is a lot of confusion on this and Dunrollin cleared it up, filter in engine then screw the lid on. I just make sure to oil the bottom of the new filter now too so hopefully not break off rubber tit!
 

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Yeah the proper and only way to replace the oil filter is to place it on the oil cooler FIRST and then thread the plastic oil cooler canister onto the oil cooler. The key is NOT to spin the filter when it's on the oil cooler this is how the anti-siphon valve (aka "tit" or "nub") gets damaged.
 

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2. I’ve performed all oil changes myself since finding the approved oil even at a dealer is rarely possible. I had changed the oil the day prior to getting the low oil pressure indications which is one of the reasons why I took it so seriously when it came up. Where is the correct shop procedure published?
It may not have any bearing on this seized engine, but what oil where you using? Reason for asking is a friend inherited a beautiful dealer-serviced VW TDI diesel from his mother, he did his own changes, used incorrect oil, resulting in camshaft failure. Again, not accusing, not starting a best oil fight either, just curious?
 

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The key is NOT to spin the filter when it's on the oil cooler this is how the anti-siphon valve (aka "tit" or "nub") gets damaged.
Only way I think that is possible is to oil the heck out the new filter. Inside and bottom, pick the smoother side for the bottom. It will spin no matter what, but maybe fresh oil will minimize any damage? Just my 2 cents
 

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I may be missing something but if you put the filter in first and let the plastic cover engage, I’d think it would turn anyway. That filter is hard as **** to get out after use. And when that dry filter is against the “tit”, it’s gonna soak up any leftover oil. I can’t fathom it NOT turning whether it’s put in first or in the cover. Inserting it into the cover first would keep it from engaging until the last few turns. Regardless, another stupid design. If it were my design, I would assume that everyone that pulls it out and it’s stuck in the cover. Would gather that that’s the way it should go back in. Knowing this, have clearance from the “tit” so as not to be a concern.
 

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Agreed, a bad design, counter-intuitive, no "fix" on the horizon by the manufacturer and the potential for severe engine damage. I agree with mascrappo, oil best you can before installing. It is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It may not have any bearing on this seized engine, but what oil where you using? Reason for asking is a friend inherited a beautiful dealer-serviced VW TDI diesel from his mother, he did his own changes, used incorrect oil, resulting in camshaft failure. Again, not accusing, not starting a best oil fight either, just curious?
I was using motorcraft F150 diesel oil
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When you say seized did the engine issue any warnings prior to the event? I have the oil cooler issue presently and I'm still waiting for the dealer to schedule the replacement. This issue shouldn't cause a catastrophic engine failure as it only pertains to the oil in the filter assembly which ofcourse is a small percentage of the oil in the truck. I suspect that the prior oil cooler job was faulty and/or the EGR issue could cause the engine to seize. Having said that I'm certainly not a Ford technician.. just a fellow 2018 PS owner. I sure hope it gets resolved to your satisfaction.
No issues prior to the event. We were on a drive from Kansas to Arizona with zero issues up to that point. I operate heavy equipment for a living and so am very accustomed to looking for possible symptoms leading up to a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi all, received this update this morning from the Flagstaff Ford dealer:

“Looks like the pistons made contact with the heads, damaged the valves. Engine will need to be replaced.”

I don’t think it was EGR or oil cooler related. Received that after I had gone to sleep last night, so waiting to get answers to the myriad of questions I have as to how the pistons made contact with the heads.
 

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Timing is usual suspect and this engine does have a very long rubber timing belt, that a few members have voiced their long-term ownership concerns over. Yours only had 38K miles on it (scheduled replacement at 150K miles) so I hope & pray it didn't slip.

Please keep us up-to-date with what Ford finds, as this is not good news...
 
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Hi all, received this update this morning from the Flagstaff Ford dealer:

“Looks like the pistons made contact with the heads, damaged the valves. Engine will need to be replaced.”

I don’t think it was EGR or oil cooler related. Received that after I had gone to sleep last night, so waiting to get answers to the myriad of questions I have as to how the pistons made contact with the heads.
Thanks for keeping us informed. I wasn't expecting that! The most common way for valve-piston contact is a broken or slipping timing belt. These are interference engines so if the belt is off at all bad things happen. I am guessing that can be diagnosed by removing injectors and inserting a tiny camera to view the carnage.

Sounds like your dealer is on the ball and taking care of you.

(ETA: jmperlik and I typed similar responses at the same time. We are both concerned about the timing belts!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay got a response back when asking about timing and/or valve being stuck.

“Bottom of engine is seized, we can not even turn engine with everything removed. Can not tell for sure what failure was due to, it was so catastrophic. First one we have seen do this.”

I could make lots of guesses, but that’s as much as the mechanic was willing to say with regards to the actual cause. On the plus side, Ford is sending a completely new engine that should be installed before the end of the month hopefully. Wish there was more insight I could get for myself and you as to what the problem was, but my hope is that it‘s a one off type event. Good luck all.
 

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Hmm, can't even turn the crank = really seized up! Would lean more towards crank bearings now, but don't believe the nub/stopper could have caused all of this unless maybe it somehow got sucked in and blocked a passage...? This is what I am personally hoping for, as this might force Ford to get-off-their-asses and redesign the anti-drainback rubber stopper in the oil cooler in this engine.

The older brother of this engine (JLR version) is known for crankshaft failures so that is also a possibility, even though they hardened the crankshaft in the F150 version of the engine.

You indicated you handle all of your own oil changes and use the F150 Diesel Oil (WSS-M2C214-B1 Specification)
  • Which F150 Diesel Motor Oil are you using?
    • SAE 5W-30 F150 Full Synthetic Diesel Motor Oil (XO5W30QFA)
    • SAE 10W-30 F150 Diesel Motor Oil (XO10W30QFA)
  • Did you add all 6.5 US quarts?
  • Did you check dip stick after fill?
By no means questioning your DIY abilities or experience but rather trying to get to the bottom of your engine failure, because this is a first we have heard of (not caused by the 18E02 or 20E04 EGR By-Pass Valve recalls) and you definitely have the attention of everyone here!

My personal opinion is that you did nothing wrong and this is a one-off catastrophic failure caused by loss of bottom-end lubrication (reasons unknown) w/top-end piston & valve damage being collateral damage from the bottom-end locking up at 80 MPH.

Good to hear that Ford is sending a new engine and installing free-of-charge under warranty.

Please keep us posted.
 
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