What Is The Ford V10 Life Expectancy? How Many Miles Will It Last? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (2023)

The V10 engine has been powering Ford’s E-Series vans, motorhomes, and the Super Duty trucks for over 20 years. Part of the Ford Modular Engine family, it has the most cylinders and the largest displacement at 6.8L.

Now that it has been discontinued, there are a lot of used Super Duty trucks available for purchase. To help you decide whether to go with the V10 or choose an alternative powertrain, we’ve prepared this guide that will reveal the longevity of the engine.

The V10 modular engine can last for decades and cross 250,000 – 300,000 miles with ease. The secret to its reliability is the simple design, low power output, and application in work vehicles.

How Many Miles Can the Ford V10 Last?

Ford’s V10 is not without its drawbacks, but in terms of reliability, it’s one of the best gasoline-powered engines ever made.

First, let’s look at the application – the V10 is installed in the largest Super Duty trucks, E-Series vans, and buses. These vehicles have to be extremely reliable and cross tens of thousands of miles annually, most of which will be under passenger or cargo load.

The 200,000-mile mark is often used to set the limit for the V10, but I don’t agree with this assessment. Vehicles with the V10 engine are bought as a work investment rather than a passenger vehicle, so they have to last a long time.

The low maintenance costs allow the owners to keep these vehicles for a longer period of time, and cross 250,000 – 300,000 miles easily. Many owners have reported crossing more than 300,000 miles without significant problems, a range reserved for well-built diesel engines, not a petrol-powered V10.

The secret to the V10s longevity is in its design – the engine has a 2 or 3-valve SOHC setup, no supercharger or turbochargers, and while it delivers a lot of torque, its power output is very low for a 6.8-liter engine.

The 288-362 horsepower is generated through compression of just 9.2:1, which means that the V10 is put under very little stress when running. The massive displacement helps move the heavy trucks, vans, and even busses with ease.

In this application, the engine will rarely run cold, which is also an important factor to consider.

I would go as far as to say that this V10 can last indefinitely as long as it’s regularly maintained and taken care of. After 300,000 miles, you can start thinking about a rebuild, but it’s possible for the engine to go another 100,000 miles without issues.

What Is The Ford V10 Life Expectancy? How Many Miles Will It Last? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (1)

The Common V10 Problems

All things considered, the V10 is a near-bulletproof engine. To say that it’s maintenance-dependent wouldn’t be incorrect, but if you expect any engine to cross hundreds of thousands of miles, you have to stay on top of maintenance.

From my research, I’ve only found two problems with the V10, so I decided to include two drawbacks as well to round up all the negative aspects.

Fuel Consumption

All owners of the Ford V10 trucks agree on one thing – if you’re concerned about fuel economy, don’t drive a V10. The engine is extremely thirsty and can do just 15 miles to the gallon on the highway and 10-13 MPG in the city. Towing reduces the fuel economy even further, down to 8-10 MPG.

Considering the application, high fuel consumption is expected, but you should keep the numbers in mind consider smaller trucks if they’re capable of getting the job done.

Not OBD-II Compliant

OBD stands for On-Board Diagnostics which relies on the vehicle’s computer to deliver information regarding component issues and failure. The earlier Super Duty trucks with a V10 engine do not have the OBD-II diagnostics, making it more difficult to identify problems.

Considering the simplicity of the V10, detailed diagnostics are not needed, but they would make identifying issues a lot more convenient, especially with the auxiliary systems.

Spark Plug Issues

The only engine-related problems with the V10 have to do with spark plugs. Aluminum heads on engines manufactured before 2008 suffered from stripped, missing and generally defective spark plug threads. Considering that this problem happened on engines that are now at least 14 years old, the issue was likely resolved in the meantime.

The spark-plug blowout could be caused by the aforementioned, but also by improperly torqued spark plugs. This is a known issue and requires only careful installation of the new plugs. The last problem with spark plugs has to do with fouling.

The fouling causes thread seizures and makes it very difficult to remove the spark plugs without breaking them.

What Is The Ford V10 Life Expectancy? How Many Miles Will It Last? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (2)

Rusting Exhaust Bolts

The exhaust manifold is bolted on the engine block with a series of bolts. In the case of the V10 engine, these bolts are not fit for the job, rusting through and creating an exhaust leak. Fixing the problem shouldn’t be difficult, as all you’d need is a new set of bolts and a torque wrench to secure them in place.

Benefits Of The V10 Engine

The main strength of the V10 engine is the reliability that stems from the simple design. Yes, it uses up a lot of fuel, but its robust design saves a lot of money that would go on replacement parts and more frequent maintenance.

We also have to consider the type of owner that would buy a Super Duty truck or a van – these customers need a vehicle that is extremely reliable as getting stranded on the road is not an option. Having a work vehicle capable of crossing 300,000 miles just on regular maintenance is a factor well-worth considering.

Ford V10 Application

The V10 has a displacement of 6.8 liters, more accurately 412.5 cubic inches, and has the same bore and stroke size as the 5.4L V8, which isn’t surprising considering that it’s built on a modular platform.

The legendary 7.5 V8 (460) engine was produced from 1972 to 1997 but it was in desperate need of a replacement.

The 2-valve V10 took its place as the large-displacement engine and had a successful production run from 1997 to 2005, making its way in E250-450 vans, F53 motorhomes, Ford Excursion, and F250-F550 pickup trucks.

ApplicationProduction YearsPower Output
Ford E250-E450 Vans
F53 Motorhome
1997-2004305 horsepower
420 lb-ft torque
Ford F250-F550 Trucks
F53 Motorhome
1999-2004310 horsepower
425 lb-ft torque
Ford Excursion2000-2005310 horsepower
425 lb-ft torque
Ford E350 & E4502005-2019305 horsepower
420 lb-ft torque

The updated 3-valve non-VCT V10 engine offered greater performance and improved fuel economy. It took over from the 2-valve in 2005 and was produced until 2019, powering Ford Super Duty trucks, F53 and F59 stripped chassis, as well as New Flyer and Blue Bird Vision buses.

What Is The Ford V10 Life Expectancy? How Many Miles Will It Last? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (3)

It was offered in several power configurations, from 288 horsepower up to 362 horsepower in the most powerful version.

ApplicationProduction YearsPower Output
Ford Super Duty2005-2010362 horsepower
457 lb-ft torque
Ford F450-F550 Chassis Cab2005-2019288 horsepower
424 lb-ft torque
F53 & F59 Stripped Chasis2005-2019320 horsepower
460 lb-ft torque
F-650 & F-750 Super Duty2012-2019320 horsepower
460 lb-ft torque
Blue Bird Vision2011-2021362 horsepower
457 lb-ft torque
New Flyer2004-2013305 horsepower
390 lb-ft torque

Ford V10 Specification

Despite being in production for 23 years, Ford’s V10 engine has remained unmodified, with the valve changes and different power configurations being the only differentiating factors. The following table shows the engine’s specification in its most powerful, 3-valve setup.

TypeSpecs
Displacement6.8 liters
AspirationNaturally Aspirated
ConfigurationV-shape, 10 cylinders
OrientationLongitudinal
CamshaftSOHC
Cylinder HeadAluminum
Cylinder BlockCast Iron
Camshaft DriveChain

FAQs

What Is The Ford V10 Life Expectancy? How Many Miles Will It Last? - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (4)

Is the Ford V10 a good engine?

Considering what it’s designed to do, the V10 is an excellent engine. Yes, it uses up a lot of fuel, but it’s near-perfect in terms of reliability and longevity.

How many miles per gallon does the V10 get?

The economy has a lot to do with the weight of the vehicle the engine is supposed to power. The best fuel economy you can expect from a Super Duty truck is 16 MPG on the highway, but anything above 10 MPG is not bad. With a full load or a trailer, the gas mileage drops below 10 MPG.

Why are V10 engines bad?

The spark plug and exhaust manifold bolt issues are the only real problems with the V10, but the reason why people dislike it is the bad fuel economy. Still, those that know what this engine is meant to do have no problems fueling it up.

Are V10 engines still made?

Technically, the V10 is still around as it’s equipped in the Blue Bird Vision school buses, but I’m not sure whether the company has a stock of these engines, or if they’re still being produced. As far as commercial vehicles go, both the F-Series trucks and E-Series vans have stopped using the V10 engine in 2019.

What kind of mileage does a Ford V10 RV get?

Ford’s Motorhome gets between 6 and 10 MPG when equipped with the V10 engine. The gas mileage may seem like it’s very bad, but this is expected of a large-displacement gasoline engine. The dieseldo better in this application, reaching up to 14 MPG.

How much torque does the 6.8L V10 engine generate?

The V10 engine generates a lot of torque, with 425 lb-ft being the average output. The highest output of 460 lb-ft is reserved for the Ford Super Duty trucks.

Are V10 engines fast?

Ford’s modular V10 generates at most 362 horsepower, which is low considering the displacement. Combined with the weight of the vehicle it’s supposed to power, the engine is all but fast. By design, it’s not meant to set-top speed or acceleration records, so don’t expect high performance from it.

Summary

Ford’s V10 is one of the most reliable engines you can get in a heavy-duty truck or a van, but it comes with high fuel consumption. If you’re prepared to fill it up and maintain it regularly, this V10 will not fail you for years, if not decades.

Get more useful insights from these posts:

Ford 5.4 Engine Life Expectancy

Ford F-150 XLT vs Lariat: What Are The Differences?

How Much Does A Ford F350 Weigh?

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