Glow plugs are basically the spark plugs of a diesel engine. From the Ford F-250 Super Duty to the Ford Excursion, to really, any diesel-powered vehicle, you will likely feel it if you have a glow plug wear out.
If it is more than one, you might even have some trouble getting your truck or car to start. Replacing glow plugs in a diesel vehicle powered by a 6.0 Powerstroke engine is not a difficult job and doesn’t take a long time to do.
Replacing glow plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke engine can cost anywhere from $215 to as much as $275, but a good estimate is around $245. You should keep in mind that there are many different factors that may impact the overall cost of the repair. Those factors include the brand of glow plugs you choose to buy as a replacement and the mechanic or service garage that you choose to take your vehicle to for the repair.
Driving a vehicle with bad glow plugs will dramatically decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Since the repair job is not that expensive, it is very cost effective to have your glow plugs replaced as soon as you are aware that there is a problem with them.
- What Is a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
- How Glow Plugs Work
- How Often Should Glow Plugs Be Replaced?
- When Do You Replace Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
- How Much Does it Cost to Replace Glow Plugs on a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
- How Much Does It Cost to Replace One Glow Plug?
- Is It Difficult to Replace Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
- Is Replacing Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine Worth It?
- Can I Drive With a Bad Glow Plug?
- DIY Glow Plug Replacement in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine
- Does Replacing Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine Improve Performance?
- Signs That You Have a Bad Glow Plug
- Can You Test Glow Plugs?
- Should All Glow Plugs Be Changed Together?
- How Many Glow Plugs Are In a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
- Related Guides
- Why Do Glow Plugs Fail?
What Is a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
The 6.0 Powerstroke Engine was developed by the Ford Motor company.
It can be found in the Ford Super Duty trucks made from 2003 until 2007, the Ford Econoline vans made from 2003 until 2010, and the Ford Excursion SUVs made from 2003 until 2006.
The engine uses a variable-geometry turbocharger and intercooler. It is capable of producing 325 hp.
How Glow Plugs Work
Glow plugs work the same way that spark plugs do, except you will find glow plugs in a diesel engine. Diesel fuel is less combustible than gasoline, so glow plugs are needed because they can handle a higher temperature than the spark plugs of a gasoline-driven engine can.
Another difference is that glow plugs are only needed during the ignition process, and then they are no longer used. This means that they do not need to be changed as often as a spark plug would because they receive less wear and tear.
When you turn on an engine using glow plugs, the plugs have a heating element that heats up using electricity. This heat helps to support the ignition of the diesel and air mixtures in the engine.
How Often Should Glow Plugs Be Replaced?
Glow plugs have a fairly long life span. You will likely need to replace them about every two or three years.
When Do You Replace Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
You should replace glow plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke engine at around 100,000 miles. This is why you will find this service is often featured in 100,000 mile service tune ups offered by service garages.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace Glow Plugs on a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
Ford produced three vehicles that commonly have this engine. For the Ford Super Duty Trucks, glow plug replacement cost is usually around $275. For the Ford Econoline vans glow plug replacement cost is usually around $370. For the Ford Excursion SUVs glow plug replacement cost is usually around $250.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace One Glow Plug?
A single glow plug costs about $12. The cost to replace a single glow plug would be fairly minimal with any mechanic and would be looked at by many people as a do-it-yourself job.
Is It Difficult to Replace Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
It is not difficult to replace glow plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke engine. It is a quick job and often the first mechanical job that people try in a DIY fashion.
The most difficult aspects of this job are having the correct tools and maneuvering to get to the glow plugs to pull them out and replace them.
Is Replacing Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine Worth It?
Replacing glow plugs on a 6.0 Powerstroke engine is a very worthwhile project because you get a great return on your investment. Ultimately it is cheap and easy to replace glow plugs.
Bad glow plugs (if your vehicle is still running without them) will really drop your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and the cost of bad fuel efficiency adds up really fast. Changing bad glow plugs usually pays for itself pretty quickly.
Can I Drive With a Bad Glow Plug?
In most cases you can drive with a bad glow plug, if your truck or van will start. Because glow plugs are only involved in the ignition of the vehicle, once the vehicle has started, it shouldn’t be a huge problem to drive with a bad glow plug.
However, bad glow plugs often mean that a vehicle won’t start, and this is especially true when it is cold outside. If the vehicle won’t start, obviously, you will not be able to drive it.
If you do decide to go ahead and drive with bad glow plugs, you will not get as good of fuel efficiency as you usually do. You will also notice dark smoke from your exhaust when you first start out driving.
DIY Glow Plug Replacement in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine
Many people choose to replace their vehicle’s glow plugs themselves. It is a good first-time mechanical project, however, you should never work on a vehicle if you do not feel comfortable doing so or do not have the proper tools for the job.
The job itself is very quick and involves removing a few bolts, pulling out the old glow plugs and replacing them with new ones. It is generally advised to replace the harness at this time as well.
The harness snakes along with the glow plugs and is simple to replace also. The harness is inexpensive, but keep in mind that an older used harness is likely to break when you replace your glow plugs anyway.
For this reason, it is recommended to just plan on replacing it with glow plugs. Once the glow plugs have been replaced and the new harness is added, you simply replace those few bolts that you initially removed and the job is done.
Here are the main steps for replacing glow plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke engine:
- Disconnect the battery and glow plug module.
- Unplug the ICP and position loom inside.
- Unplug and remove the harness (make sure to reconnect this one first when you reassemble).
- You will need a 12” extension with snap on 10mm half deep swivel and a ⅜ ratchet
- Loosen bolts and the dipstick tube (but leave the dipstick in for an easier install).
- Remove the existing glow plugs by pulling them out (do not pull on the wires, use pliers if they are stuck).
- Replace the glow plugs with new ones.
- Replace the harness.
- Replace the bolts that you removed.
- Reconnect the glow plug module and the battery.
Does Replacing Glow Plugs in a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine Improve Performance?
Yes, replacing bad glow plugs will enhance the performance of your 6.0 Powerstroke engine because you get better fuel efficiency and a smoother ride (especially when first starting out on the road).
Signs That You Have a Bad Glow Plug
If you have a bad glow plug, it may keep your ignition from fully turning over because there isn’t enough power. However, if you can still get the engine to come on, there are several signs that you are dealing with a bad glow plug, and they include:
- Dark Exhaust Smoke
- Poor Acceleration
- Check Engine Warning
Can You Test Glow Plugs?
Yes, glow plugs can be tested by using a 12-volt test light to connect to the positive battery terminal and removing your glow plugs one at a time.
Should All Glow Plugs Be Changed Together?
Because the main cost of the job is labor cost, it is significantly cheaper to change all of your glow plugs at once.
If you do the job DIY, there is no necessary reason to change out glow plugs that are still working correctly except to save yourself the time and trouble in the future. Generally if one has gone bad, the time frame for the others is nearly up as well.
How Many Glow Plugs Are In a 6.0 Powerstroke Engine?
There are eight glow plugs in a Powerstroke Engine.
Why Do Glow Plugs Fail?
If you are having a problem with your glow plugs failing much more often than they should, there are a few reasons this can happen:
- Carbon Build Up: Make sure to use the right carbon reamer when changing glow plugs.
- The Glow Cycle is too Long: The problem here may lie in your relays.
- Glow Relay Stays On: This means that the relay will have to be replaced.
- Fuel Injectors Have an Incorrect Spray Pattern: Too much fuel from the fuel injectors could easily burn out your glow plugs.