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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is kind of a continuation of the last couple paragraphs of my thread in the introduction section.

Quick facts:

I currently own (and love) a 2015 F150 Lariat with 501a package in white platinum metallic. 2.7l engine (which I love!) and just turning 60k miles. I bought it in 2018 as an off lease that was originally purchased at my small local rural dealership. I love this truck and there is nothing wrong with it.

I am looking at a 2018 F150 Lariat with 502a package in white platinum metallic. 3.0l diesel with 27k miles. This one is also an off lease which came from my dealership which is how I like to buy used trucks. The truck is immaculate both topside and underneath. The underneath part is a rarity with the nasty 50/50 salt/sand/gravel mix they put on the roads around here which is about 5 months a year.

The main reason I am interested in this truck is the fact that I told myself that if Ford every put a diesel in an F150 I would have to have one being I am a diesel fanatic.

The past few days I've been doing a lot of research online. Even though I was a truck driver (retired) I was never exposed to the new emission standards that are out there now. Very honestly it kind of scares me.

I certainly don't need a diesel as I drive an average of 5200 miles a year now. The only trailer I pull is my 8x20 car hauler with no more than 5k# gross weight - and that's only a couple times a year on short trips.

So here I am banging my head against the wall trying to justify getting this truck when I certainly don't need it. I like the idea of moving up 3 years and down 30k miles with the newer one. I will never be able to afford a new truck again in what's left of my lifetime.

So in writing this all out I am looking for a sanity check - if from nowhere else than from myself I guess. I know nobody else can really help except for maybe quelling my fears about the emissions system. One thing I have decided already if I do go forward with the purchase is buying a Premium Care ESP. The truck will still be eligible for it until July 28th (40 months from original date of in service).

The dealership just changed hands last week but the service manager who has treated me like gold for years is still there thankfully. The salesman is telling me they are waiting for the title from Ford Leasing which could take another couple weeks. This of course gives me more time to drive myself nuts with decision making.

Any thoughts/opinions - good or bad - are welcome!
 

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So here I am banging my head against the wall trying to justify getting this truck when I certainly don't need it.
I understand. Reminds me of the time I bought 3 army deuce and a half trucks I had no use for but in retrospect it was a great decision. Go figure.

So in writing this all out I am looking for a sanity check
Interesting you came here for a sanity check. Anyway, your thinking sounds just like mine on many past vehicle purchases. It sounds like you have your eyes wide open. The more I learn about these wonderful engines the more impressed I am- Ford got these thing right. I can't say they got the emissions perfect because there were multiple issues with the egr valve in the early days but I really don't remember too many problems reported here on issues with the powertrain. Generally people come here when their truck has issues, so this is a good thing.

The main reason I am interested in this truck is the fact that I told myself that if Ford every put a diesel in an F150 I would have to have one being I am a diesel fanatic.
I am not a retired driver but the rest of that sentence describes me. Welcome to you and ask any questions, we are here to help if we can. Best of luck in your decision making!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting you came here for a sanity check.
Well....I read and sometimes participate on an F150 forum for a couple years now. All there is there is a lot of hate with no basis on anything diesel there.

So I guess I was looking for some kindred spirit of sorts.

And I do have a specific question about the emissions and the diesel particulate filter. From what I understand this is where soot is gathered and where the region process happens. My question is if the DPF ever has to be replaced? Seems like this would be a failure point if there is one because of all the heat.

And yeah....another question. I read where you can do a little magic with Forscan. I do have an adapter and enjoy quite a few changes on my present truck. My question has to do with regen.

Can a regen be initiated to happen when the truck is parked? The reason I ask - my typical driving is quite limited and usually consist of 2 trips to town per month. These trips are about 40 miles and take about 50 minutes each way. All 55 mph roads with all hills and bends.

My concern is if these trips are enough to cause an automatic regeneration. If not, could I force a regen while the truck is parked in my driveway (not in the barn of course). It would seem to me that if one could do this there wouldn't be enough air flow underneath the truck to dissipate the high heat generated at the DPF.
 

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These trips are about 40 miles and take about 50 minutes each way
Those trips are enough for the automatic regen to start and complete.
Regarding DEF usage, I'm typically getting about 1,000 miles per gallon of DEF (when not towing).
I've had my 2019 XLT 3.0L Power Stroke for 2 years. I really like how the truck goes down the highway.
 

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Ah, forscan! Our site administrator @jmperlik did an excellent thread on forscan with our trucks, please take time to read it if you are interested. Just look Here

If you are good on forscan (sounds like you are) you can do a driveway regen. I did one and produced a very poor quality video on it Here @STIAJW has already addressed some of your concerns. Again, feel free to ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those trips are enough for the automatic regen to start and complete.
Thanks for this - I wasn't sure those trips would be enough. Good to know as I really wouldn't want to be bothered to do driveway regens all the time. OK once in a while.

Ah, forscan! Our site administrator @jmperlik did an excellent thread on forscan with our trucks, please take time to read it if you are interested. Just look Here

If you are good on forscan (sounds like you are) you can do a driveway regen. I did one and produced a very poor quality video on it Here @STIAJW has already addressed some of your concerns. Again, feel free to ask away.
I bookmarked the Forscan thread for future reference - being able to SEE what is going on with the regen system and have some control will make me feel much better about it all.

And have saved the video to watch later with my morning coffee - thanks!

------------

At this point I only have one more real question as of right now. This stuff comes at me in the middle of the night......

When I was at the dealership going over the truck and the potential deal, the service manager - who I know pretty well and has treated me very well over the years - mentioned in passing that this is the only F150 diesel that he has in his area. And that is why he keeps a DPF (diesel particulate filter) on the shelf.

At the time I didn't think much of the comment other than that it was good he keeps some parts for this truck on the shelf. However, after my usual overthinking of everything, I got to wondering why. Is the DPF an item that may need replaced? Doing a quick search it looks like this thing costs ~$3k!
 

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Yes, the DPF is considered a "wear" item. There are ways to kill them, like tuning your truck or excessive idling. My personal experience has been no DPF or other emissions-related failures across three different vehicle manufacturers. While my F-150 is still young, my other two vehicles have 125,000 and 185,000 miles on them. Also, while the HD pickups have $3,000+ DPFs, the last time I checked, a DPF for an F-150 would be about 1/2 that price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Yes, the DPF is considered a "wear" item. There are ways to kill them, like tuning your truck or excessive idling. My personal experience has been no DPF or other emissions-related failures across three different vehicle manufacturers. While my F-150 is still young, my other two vehicles have 125,000 and 185,000 miles on them. Also, while the HD pickups have $3,000+ DPFs, the last time I checked, a DPF for an F-150 would be about 1/2 that price.
Thanks for the info - feeling better and better.

Edit to add - I looked up the DPF for this particular truck. Tasca Ford Parts shows it for $967.98.

If nothing much changes in my life which I doubt very much it will, I can forecast how long I would probably keep the truck along with the mileage.

My goal is always to keep a truck for 10 years. It usually ends up less due to my wanting something different. I did keep my 2009 FX4 w/lux package for 9 years and had planned on keeping it a lot longer. But when doing my spring detail on the 9th year I noticed the cab corners starting to bubble underneath. I was heartbroken but ended up with my present Lariat which of course has the aluminum body.

My average annual milage is 5200 miles over the last 7 years. So if I would keep the truck to 10 years old that is adding 6 years to the 27k miles it has right now coming to 31k miles for a total of 58k miles. So the way it sounds the DPF should be fine without any problem events.

Sorry for drawing this out so much. This is how my mind works and how I have to justify a purchase like this to myself. I guess I am borderline OCD but I don't tell my docs that....
 

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Since you are (in your words) borderline OCD, two things that I do when looking for Fords:
1.) Go to the dealer and ask them to pull the Oasis report. This is a complete dealership service history. They are no longer allowed to show it to anyone but the current owner, but most service advisors will at least describe the general service history of the vehicle. I don't care that much about routine maintenance (which may or may not be performed at a dealer), but I am very interested in problems that are closed with a "could not duplicate" or if there are numerous unscheduled visits.
2.) Definitely pay for a CarFax if the dealer does not offer it for free. There are plenty of free histories out there, so you can use those for comparison. I look for trips to dealers that are less than 3,000 miles apart, and for key items like "fuel system serviced" or "long block replaced". Some service reports are super-specific; others are very vague, perhaps intentionally so. These days, cars are totaled for even minor accidents, so those rarely concern me but accident histories can be a negotiating tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Since you are (in your words) borderline OCD, two things that I do when looking for Fords:
1.) Go to the dealer and ask them to pull the Oasis report. This is a complete dealership service history. They are no longer allowed to show it to anyone but the current owner, but most service advisors will at least describe the general service history of the vehicle. I don't care that much about routine maintenance (which may or may not be performed at a dealer), but I am very interested in problems that are closed with a "could not duplicate" or if there are numerous unscheduled visits.
2.) Definitely pay for a CarFax if the dealer does not offer it for free. There are plenty of free histories out there, so you can use those for comparison. I look for trips to dealers that are less than 3,000 miles apart, and for key items like "fuel system serviced" or "long block replaced". Some service reports are super-specific; others are very vague, perhaps intentionally so. These days, cars are totaled for even minor accidents, so those rarely concern me but accident histories can be a negotiating tool.
Thanks for this.

I do have the printout of the Oasis report here in front of me. Over the years the service manager has been very good to me and gave it to me without my asking when he knew I was looking at the truck.

The printout shows numerous recalls performed (I will list them if anyone wants) and only 1 entry that was a customer concern which was water in the driver door panel.

I also have the CarFax printout the salesman gave me again with my asking. No entries there.

Service was not performed at the dealership. The previous owner (lease) was the owner of a small local trucking outfit (~20 trucks) with its own shop. I can only assume that maintenance was done at his shop and can only hope the correct oil etc. was used. By the detailed looks at the rest of the truck it certainly looks like it was very well cared for.

Whenever buying a used vehicle or equipment I always do an oil/filter change right away for peace of mind. It is soon ready for its 30k service which will include fuel filters and air filter. I am going to attempt to have the Ford shop do both these maintenance services as part of the deal.
 

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One of the most significant vulnerabilities of these 3.0L diesel engines is not installing the oil filter per the Ford service manual. Briefly, it seems intuitive to put the replacement filter element in the plastic oil filter cannister prior to screwing the plastic cannister into the top of the engine. WRONG!!!
The oil filter element needs to be placed firmly in place onto the aluminum "post", and then the plastic cannister screwed down over the filter.
Do take time to read the threads about low oil pressure resulting from a dislodged oil drain back "stopper" caused by improper oil filter installation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One of the most significant vulnerabilities of these 3.0L diesel engines is not installing the oil filter per the Ford service manual. Briefly, it seems intuitive to put the replacement filter element in the plastic oil filter cannister prior to screwing the plastic cannister into the top of the engine. WRONG!!!
The oil filter element needs to be placed firmly in place onto the aluminum "post", and then the plastic cannister screwed down over the filter.
Do take time to read the threads about low oil pressure resulting from a dislodged oil drain back "stopper" caused by improper oil filter installation.
Excellent info - thanks!

Yet another reason to do my own maintenance.

My 2.7l has a certain way to do the oil filter also. You are supposed to remove the filter before draining the oil - then install it after the drain is complete. I always wondered if even the Ford shop did it this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As time goes on waiting for the title to come to the dealer, I have probably talked myself into and out of buying the truck a dozen times. Man, I drive myself nuts with stuff like this!

Had to make a grocery run this morning - an every 3 week deal - and had to go by the dealership. It was pouring rain and they weren’t open yet.

I noticed that the wheel wells were undercoated but never looked underneath. I had to know if the entire undercarriage was undercoated also. Got down on my knees in the pouring down rain to find…yes! The entire underneath is in fact undercoated and looked just beautiful!

Where I live rust is a huge issue. Now I have an aluminum body but that doesn’t help the undercarriage. On my 2009 FX4 I had multiple issues with rust. It’s just starting on my present 2015 Lariat.

This fact alone is what May push me over the edge to pull the trigger.

Only thing I can’t figure out. Why would someone leasing a vehicle spend the money for a complete undercoat like this?

It’s a Lariat 502a (heated steering wheel which I desperately need)
It’s white
It’s a diesel
It has a bed liner
It has a tonneau cover
It only has 27k miles

Just part of my “pros” list.
 

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Was just reading your thread an thought I’d jump in.
Buy the truck! Have the dealership make sure that it’s up to date with all the recalls and preventative maintenance.
Read everything you can on this site and if you haven’t yet download the Coffee table book Ford put out on this engine. Like you I do all my own service. This site has been a fantastic resource for those “stupid questions “ that pop up while you do your services.
That said I made the jump from a Cummins Ram back in January and I haven’t looked back once. This F150 diesel package is as close to perfect as I have found. It drives well. Tows my boat very well. Just this past March I dragged my boat an gear from my home in southern New Jersey to Marathon key Fla. 4400 mile trip. I was blown away how well this “small” engine preformed. I drive 12 miles to work ( one way) all back roads . I’m averaging a real world hand calculated 26.7 mpg. On the highway I regularly see 32-34 mpg. With my boat 14-16mpg. My old Ram hit 16 around town and 22 highway and 12-13 towing.
Buy the truck. The modern emission system are almost un noticeable. Yes you have to put in some DEF fluid from time to time. But otherwise you just drive it. Oil changes and fuel filters. No spark plugs ! Ok there is an air filter too. But you get my point.
Buy the truck and enjoy it.
Yes, I did buy the max extended warranty for mine. I’d recommend you do the same. One less headache. If my last Ram was half as good as this package has been I would have never switched. And I was a diehard MOPAR / Cummins guy since 1990.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the great post!

This site has been a fantastic resource
I agree. There is so much hate on the F150 forum I usually read about this engine it's crazy. And it's all unfounded - like the most recent comment about having to change out the timing chain.

I was talking with the service manager yesterday (had an exhaust leak looked at) and he talked more about these trucks. It is a very rural area with a very small family owned dealership. He said he has only 2 of these trucks out in the wild but with both all he sees is regular maintenance.

He also told me that he reads a lot on forums - including this one! He said he likes to keep up on the happenings of all Ford vehicles. Says it keeps him ahead of the curve when something is going on.


Buy the truck and enjoy it.
I plan to at this point - just waiting for the dealership to receive the title from Ford Leasing.

Yes, I did buy the max extended warranty for mine. I’d recommend you do the same.
That is already planned in my budget for the purchase. I have until August 28th to buy it before it is out of the window (41 months since in service date?). I have one for my present truck which I also bought used as an off-lease) and enjoy the peace of mind. I made out with this one as they are about to change out the evaporator which entails removing the entire dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Y’all probably think I decided to pass on this truck. Not the case at all, yet…

I talked with the salesman yesterday - still no title for the truck from Ford. My comment was that if he could have sold me the truck, in the meantime he probably would have sold mine plus maybe another or two trades all from this original purchase.

Oh well - certainly the opposite of an impulsive purchase for sure.

At least I’ve done all my research now - about everything here and on the internet and just about every YouTube video. I know I will buy it when the time comes but one thing concerns me now. In the meantime I am putting miles on my truck (not much) and feel he might try to work my trade price down because of that.

I’m ready to buy but also ready to walk if need be.
 
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