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Ford 6.7L DEF tank Heater - Excessive failure rates - P20BA

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Ford 6.7L DEF tank Heater - Excessive failure rates - P20BA

  #1  
Old 02-09-2018, 10:27 AM
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Ford 6.7L DEF tank Heater - Excessive failure rates - P20BA

I am a current over of a 2012 F-350 6.7 King Ranch, with 67,000 miles. While the 2012 has been much more trouble-free than my previous (2005 F-250 6.0L), it has had a few minor issues, with the most current being rather frustrating.

Before the deleters jump-in and suggest removal of the DEF / DPF components, let me stop you by saying I am not interested in this approach. I enjoy my clean and quiet truck, and do not have the desire to change that at this point.

My truck has thrown the P20BA code associated with the failed DEF tank heater. After clearing the code several times (as the service procedure directs), it has repeatedly and immediately returned, indicating a confident failure of the reductant tank heater.

While going through the troubleshooting process, I have learned of several other 6.7 owners that have had the exact same issue. Further internet /forum searching has made it seem that this is a all too common occurring failure. In my case (and each of my friend's cases) the issue occurs just outside of warranty coverage, requiring a ~ $1,200 out of pocket repair expense.

I recently learned that one of my friends with the same issue went to a dealer where they agreed to replace the broken component out of goodwill. Unfortunately my dealer would not oblige with the same courtesy.

It seems that this issue is far too commonly occurring, and (almost conveniently) occurring just out of warranty coverage. It seems unacceptable that this component is regularly failing at ~60-80k miles, and at the owner's expense. Further, given that it is a emissions control component, it's a little off-putting that it is not covered under an 80k or 100k mile emission's warranty.

I reached out to Ford Customer service on this issue for insight but thus far I have not received a response (to my multiple inquiry attempts).

So i'm wondering, how persistent and repeating must a failure occur to become a documented recall, extended warranty (such as the EGT sensors) or class action item? What authority enforces such recourse? I can't imagine that the Automaker does it out of their own good will...
 
  #2  
Old 02-09-2018, 10:57 AM
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Prior to purchasing my extended warranty, with 64,000 miles on my '13 I had the same issue. The dealer I took the truck too covered it under the emissions warranty no questions asked. Now that was in 2016, Ford may have changed it's stance on that. However I would push the issue and let them know that you are going to contact the appropriate government agency and inform them that Ford is not covering an emissions system fault under the federally mandated warranty.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:55 AM
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The emissions warranty ends at 50k that covers that component. I had it fail a few months ago at 64k and bought a new heater for $160 from RockAuto (Dorman 904372). I paid under $100 to have it installed.

Also, if you have a 2012, the 5yr/100k engine warranty should be expired by now.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
Also, if you have a 2012, the 5yr/100k engine warranty should be expired by now.
Touche, For some reason I was thinking it was 6 yr / 100k

Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
The emissions warranty ends at 50k that covers that component. I had it fail a few months ago at 64k and bought a new heater for $160 from RockAuto (Dorman 904372). I paid under $100 to have it installed.
I hear you, and I am mechanically proficient enough to perform the repair myself if I chose to do so. Around here you can't get an oil change for $100. Dealer quoted $1,200 for the total repair. Wholesale cost on the ford part is only ~$330 IIRC.


It certainly seems like a emissions control component, that renders the vehicle inoperable should be covered under the EPA mandated 8yr / 80k mile warranty.

Regardless, my main point here is it seems that there there is an excessive failure rate with this particular component. A situation very similar to the EGT sensor campaign.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Slowlearner View Post
Touche, For some reason I was thinking it was 6 yr / 100k

It certainly seems like a emissions control component, that renders the vehicle inoperable should be covered under the EPA mandated 8yr / 80k mile warranty.

Regardless, my main point here is it seems that there there is an excessive failure rate with this particular component. A situation very similar to the EGT sensor campaign.
It's 5/50k not 8/80 for over 8500# GVWR. See the warranty guide.

It's hard to say what Ford's stance is on this failure at a given mileage. It is an electric heating element so they do get fatigued over time. Not to mention it's submerged in Urea.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
It's 5/50k not 8/80 for over 8500# GVWR. See the warranty guide.
Looks like im getting a crappy homework grade

Originally Posted by jetskier View Post
It's hard to say what Ford's stance is on this failure at a given mileage. It is an electric heating element so they do get fatigued over time. Not to mention it's submerged in Urea.
Agreed.... What do you think is a reasonable life span for such a component?

In my experience glow plugs generally last beyond 100k miles, and they are subject to combustion temperatures (yes, i'm am intentionally being argumentative )
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Slowlearner View Post
Agreed.... What do you think is a reasonable life span for such a component?
I'm a structural engineer. I'll leave that to a material engineer to answer scientifically. Caustic environment vs high heat. I venture to think the small coil of wire in the tank heating element would fail faster than the solid thicker rod used in the glow plugs.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:36 PM
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If this is the part that you need to replace, I would give it a shot if I were out of warranty. This doesn't look that tough to replace but maybe I have the wrong part.

Bruce...
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:03 PM
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You might think the dirt/ dust would have been clean off the tank first. +/- 7:28 mark a small amount of debris falls into tank. Doesn't look like a hard job just time consuming.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:10 PM
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I thought the same thing. Might pay to wash or wipe the dirt off the top of the tank before tearing into it, once the DEF tank is dropped.

bruce...
 
  #11  
Old 02-09-2018, 01:20 PM
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Guys, I appreciate the help. But the intent was not to figure out how to fix the problem, i'm quite clear on that.

I'm trying to highlight what appears to be an excessively failure prone component that myself and hundreds (if not thousands) of other people have had to deal with.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:28 PM
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You have to remember, forums tend to magnify the number times a similar problem may have occurred. Hypothetically, you take 500 of these problems (actual count in forums is unknown to me and many might be duplicates) and then you have a million trucks or even 500,000 trucks over the 2011-2016 model years that equates to gnat's ***.

I think you are wanting coverage after the warranty so you don't have to pay for what might not be as common of a problem as you seem to think.
 
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:46 PM
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Iím with Larry on this one.
 
  #14  
Old 02-09-2018, 10:32 PM
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As a Ford dealer tech (and owner of a 2016 truck himself), I see many of these trucks coming in for regular service. While I have personally replaced my share of line heaters and tank heaters, the relatively small number of these types of failures is not widespread enough to warrant a Field Service Action from Ford unfortunately. I can also tell you I see these types of failures coming in, only during the colder ambient temperatures. I surmise that it's because DEF will freeze up if/when it gets cold enough. Knock wood, I haven't encountered this failure yet on my own truck. For what it's worth, i also refill my DEF during every oil change, using only fresh DEF from an unopened container that's been stored at room temperature if it helps. I see some guys keeping jugs of this inside their trucks from time to time. While during the spring and summer months this wouldn't be an issue, I would think during the winter months this wouldn't be advisable, especially the ones who keep them in the bed of their trucks exposed to extreme cold temperatures. Remember, even when parked if the DEF temperature gets cold enough, the glow plug controller will automatically turn the DEF heaters on.
 
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:04 AM
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I have one solution for you it's not a guarantee but so far on my brother's truck which is a 2013 with 163000 Miles he has had no reductant heater issues my 16 was going strong at 66,000 till the engine chewed itself apart but that's another story. When you're in a cold climate and you allow the DEF tank to do a countdown they reductant heater gets very hot I always keep my tank full every 3000 to 4000 miles I use 2.5 gallons like clockwork I use Ford's official spout that doesn't allow the tank to overfill. I have never allowed the truck to give me a countdown my 16 never had a problem and my 17 will never have a countdown I will always add the fluid every 4000 miles and it always seems to work out perfect at 2.5 gallons hence the heater is never sitting in open-air getting hot it is not controlled by a thermostat it goes on or off my brother agrees and thinks his truck has gone so long with no failure ??? time will tell . It can't hurt to keep that heater cover in DEF
 

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