F250 V10, couple of easy questions

Bob W

Basic Member
Dec 31, 2000
Browsing Autotrader recently, window-shopping for a big, older, bright red truck. Naturally the F250 jumps out at me, the nicest red color, great styling, and perfect size.

A couple that seemed especially appealing were equipped with the V10 gasoline engine (I definitely do not want diesel). But I know very little about the engine.

Anyone own one of these or use at their work? How's that engine for reliability? Any idea what sort of mileage it can get while highway traveling? What's the longevity like?

Mostly I'm just curious, but I will need a 'new' truck someday since my F150 is starting to rust after 16 years and 200,000 miles.
a V10?

i sure hope someone else is going to pick up the fuel bill on that gasguzzler.
Why not a diesel?The new diesels get good fuel mileage and they're very easy to get more HP out of without hurting the fuel mileage.
a V10?

i sure hope someone else is going to pick up the fuel bill on that gasguzzler.

That's why I'm asking. My current truck (5.0 V8) gets about 13mpg, and always has, highway or city. 13.1 on a bad day, and 13.8 on a good day. I'm definitely hoping for something a bit better or at least as good.

The new F150 trucks are advertising around 18mpg. That would be quite an improvement for me. But, even as nice as they look, they're ridiculously expensive. $8000-$15000 for a used F250 compared to $40,000 and up for a new F150 (saw a nice one on the lot with a sticker price of $48,000).

Thirty-thousand dollars buys a lot of gas. ;)
Why not a diesel?The new diesels get good fuel mileage and they're very easy to get more HP out of without hurting the fuel mileage.

I've been around diesels quite a bit a job sites. New and old, Dodge-Ford-Chevy... They sound like crap, they smell, and they're a *&^% to start in the winter. Yeah, yeah, Volkswagon is doing 'wonderful' things with diesels in Europe... but trucks are still the same. :p
I had a V-10 F-250 for many years, never gave me any trouble, plenty of torque to tow etc. IF i were going to rack up BIG miles on one, I would opt for the diesel ONLY if I could find a 7.3, which they tapered off in 03.

Ive driven a few of the F-250's with the 5.4 and it sure felt a bit anemic to me, and I wasnt even towing!
Here's a beautiful example:

I drive a '03 E250 with a 5.4 V8 as my company truck i get about 13mpg and put on about 30,000 miles a year. I also pull alot of trailers with it usually 5-10k pounds and the 5.4 did good but is starting to lose power now that i am about to hit 200k on it.
A couple of our trucks have the V10 and they get 9-11mpg but have more power than the 5.4 if you will be pulling.
With a big high horsepower engine, I can beat a smaller engine a lot of times in pure gas mileage with better driving technique. If you do jack rabbit starts and hard stops, a big gas engine will be pretty expensive for a commuter vehicle. However if you drive conservatively, the big gas engine is basically working at just above idle versus the smaller engine pulling harder to get power with decreased MPG.

I had an old F-150 with a 460 V-8 that beat my friends with 302 V-8's in similar pickups. With my Tundra, I put headers, Cold Air Intake, dual exhausts, etc. on and beat the smaller V-8's in MPG even though I have the towing package with the lower geared rear end. The 6-speed transmission helps MPG though with highway speeds being a little over idle (out west 80MPH ~1700 with my larger tires). The nice thing is that when I need the power, it is there with lots of torque to pull hard with a heavy load.
I had an old F-150 with a 460 V-8 that beat my friends with 302 V-8's in similar pickups.

Not surprising at all. The 5.0 is really underpowered for the local driving conditions (elevation, higher speed limits, and long steep climbs); plenty of times I have to flog it and still can't achieve the speed limit. It's just too weak of an engine for a vehicle of this size. :grumpy:

Still, I think we've gotten our money's worth out of it. Seventeen years old and 200,000 miles... We bought it used about ten years ago when it only had 100,000 miles for $12,000. :)

Now she's starting to rust away, the side is bashed in, and there's a new radiator leak.

I'll be looking at F150 trucks too, both older ones like the '95 and the 2004 and newer. The in-between (ca. 2000) F150 isn't appealing at all.
I had a 2000 F250 with a V-10 until recently. I think the best mileage I ever got on the highway was 14mpg and that was with a very good tailwind; 11-12 was more typical.

One thing you should be aware of is that the V-10 has had problems blowing out spark plugs. The earlier models only had about 3 full threads in the Al head to hold the plugs, and I think they added more when they went to the 3-valve head. My truck was trouble free until a just a little over 100k miles and then it blew out two plugs in two weeks. In both cases the threads were OK and I was able to re-install them but I never trusted it after that and sold it soon after. If you google ford v10 blown spark plugs you'll find plenty of posts from people who experienced the same thing.

If I were to buy another F250 I'd definitely opt for the diesel. The plug issue left a very sour taste in my mouth.
hmm, I have an 03' 250 with a V10. I get about 13mpg/15hwy.

never had a plug problem, it's a great truck:)

Why would anyone make an engine that has only 3 full threads in aluminum to hold in a spark plug?
One thing that amazes me, practically every F250 advertised has between 100,000 and 200,000 miles. People seem to drive these things forever.
the V10 is not the only one with the plug problems. We have 4 different fords 2 with the 4.6 and 2 with the 5.4 that have blown plugs out. We then have the aluminum heads relined with steel sleeves.
We have had several Ford modular motor trucks over the last several years and aside from one v10 blowing up because the moron used the wrong oil, they have been rock solid motors.

You dont want a F250 with the 5.4L. I have one. I love the truck, but it is gutless and gets around the same mileage as the V10. Several people (including 2 dealerships) have noted the same thing.

Right now, normal driving, mileage is around 11. If I take it really, really easy...it creeps up closer to 12 (but not quite there...) In the winter, with the crap gas, it drops to around 10. This is a stock 2006 F250, not pulling anything, empty weight around 7600lbs.

We have a few V10s as well, and they get right around the same mileage, perhaps half a mpg less.

I got 18mpg ONCE in my 2004 F150...and I think it was a fluke. Normal was right around 13.8-14.4. The 5.4 had a lot more zip in the smaller truck though.

People seem to love the newer Powerstrokes. After my Dad had major issues with a 97 7.3 liter, he has never trusted a Ford diesel since. (Says they have basswood pistons and a rubber crankshaft.)
The prior generation Ford diesels were poor performers from my limited experience. The new motor this year seems like a giant leap forward.

However, with diesel being ~40-50 cents/gallon more expensive and an ~$8K motor premium, the gas V-10 engine option is tempting.