6 common 6.0 powerstroke vgt solenoid symptoms (fix guide)

The VGT solenoid is a critical component of the 6.0 L Powerstroke engineered to increase boost production for enhanced turbo response. However, like with most electrical parts, the solenoid may fail from time to time. And when this happens, you will spot different 6.0 Powerstroke VGT solenoid symptoms.

Some common symptoms of a faulty VGT solenoid are lower boost than average, black smoke under load, turbo surging, hissing sounds, turbo-spooling too little, and the appearance of different diagnostic codes.

Want to learn more about the 6.0 L Powerstroke VGT solenoid symptoms and their causes? Stay right here to find out this, including how to eliminate all these symptoms.

6 common 6.0 powerstroke vgt solenoid symptoms (fix guide)

6.0 Powerstroke bad vgt solenoid symptoms

There are several symptoms to watch out for if you are unsure whether the VGT solenoid is bad. These include:

#1- Low boost

A bad VGT solenoid in the 6.0 Powerstroke engine will cause a low boost at high engine speeds. When the VGT solenoid has a reduced boost, you may have difficulty maintaining high speeds or experience slow accelerations.

#2- Turbo surging and whistling

Another symptom of a bad VGT solenoid is the turbo surging, especially as you go down on a better surface road and drive at a higher speed. Sometimes, this may be accompanied by whistling noises. In other instances, the surge may be mild and occurs when the engine is dead cold.

#3- Turbo is not spooling up

Sometimes, the turbo may not spool up or will spool a little when you press the accelerator due to a bad VGT solenoid. This may occur due to a boost or exhaust leak, leading to inadequate exhaust gasses to spool up the turbines.

#4- Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs)

If your vehicle’s 6.0 Powerstroke VGT solenoid has electrical issues, you can tell it with the help of codes. For example, a P0046 code may appear if the VGT solenoid has a circuit issue.

#5- Excessive black smoke

A malfunctioning VGT solenoid valve may lead to black smoke during acceleration. You should look for black soot on the exhaust’s firewall.

#6- Hissing sound

When the boost leak is too much, you may hear a hissing sound besides experiencing a low boost. In most cases, the hissing is usually on and off and occurs mainly when idling.

how to test vgt solenoid 6.0 powerstroke Symptoms

If you still have doubts about the VGT solenoid being faulty despite the apparent symptoms, you should measure the solenoid’s resistance. Here is how to do it.

  • Step 1: Unfasten the connectors

Start by removing the electrical connector, so you can easily access the male pins to measure the solenoid’s coil resistance.

  • Step 2: Get the multimeter

Next, get your digital multimeter and place the red and black probes on the two male pins across the solenoid.

  • Step 3: Take the readings

After that, check the readings on your multimeter. If the VGT is okay, you should get a reading between 3.42 and 4.18 Ohms. Meanwhile, the engine oil temperature should be at 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, if your Ford 6.0 Powerstroke VGT solenoid is terrible, the readings will be out of the above range. This is to mean the symptoms are accurate.

What Causes The 6.0 Powerstroke VGT Solenoid Symptoms?

So then, what is the cause of all VGT solenoid symptoms in the 6.0 Powerstroke engine? Let’s find out.

Leaking Exhaust And Boost

The most common cause is a leaking boost or exhaust leading to under boost and slow turbo spool. You can find the leaks between the driver’s side bellows on the y-pipe and the exhaust manifold.

Loose Or Broken Vgt Solenoid Connector

Over time, the VGT solenoid connector often becomes brittle and cracks since it is made of plastic. When this happens, this may lead to sudden power loss and reduced boost.

Dirt And Rust Build-Up

If rust, soot, and carbon accumulate in the turbine housing, you may experience VGT solenoid symptoms like turbo not spooling.

The Solenoid Is Not Plugged In

If your 6.0 Powerstroke VGT solenoid is not plugged in, you may get symptoms like lots of black smoke. This happens when the tiny tabs that lock the solenoid in place snap off.

Read also >> 5 Common IPR Valve/Sensor Failure Symptoms 6.0 Powerstroke

Will Cleaning The 6.0 Powerstroke VGT Solenoid Help Get Rid Of The Symptoms?

Yes, but only when you clean the turbo. This is because cleaning the 6.0 Powerstroke VGT solenoid is not advisable as you might damage it. That said, you can carefully clean the solenoid electric connector.

You can also clean the exhaust back pressure (EBP) sensor, including the tube to the sensor. However, this is only if these components are carboned up. In addition, you should clean the O-rings of the solenoid and the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve.

Can Replacing The VGT Solenoid Eliminate The Symptoms?

Yes, if the resistance reading is outside 3.42 and 4.18 Ohms. Check out these steps to replace the VGT solenoid of your 6.0 Powerstroke engine.

  • Step 1: Disconnect battery cables and brackets

Start by removing the negative battery cables to avoid shock. Then, locate the VGT solenoid connector and remove it. Next, get an 8mm 12-point socket and unfasten the single bracket securing the solenoid.

  • Step 2: Remove the old VGT solenoid

Next, twist the solenoid side-by-side straight outwards to dislodge the O-rings on the solenoid valve. Since the solenoid will be masked in motor oil, use a clean rag to hold it.

  • Step 3: Install the new solenoid

Push the new solenoid inside the bearing housing. Then, install the single bracket to secure the solenoid in place. Next, put back the electrical connector and connect the negative battery cables. If the connector has dirt build-up, clean it before putting it back.

frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Without further ado, let’s quickly check out some commonly asked questions about VGT solenoid symptoms in the 6.0 Powerstroke engine.

Why learn about the 6.0 L Powerstroke VGT solenoid symptoms?

Knowing these symptoms enables you to detect a bad VGT solenoid quickly. Consequently, this helps you replace it before it causes severe damage to your engine.

What is the primary cause of VGT solenoid symptoms in the 6.0 Powerstroke?

It is leaking. The cold side pipe is made of plastic and is prone to cracking over time, causing air leaks.

VGT TURBO PROBLEMS AND FAILURES 6.0 AND 6.4 POWERSTROKE >> Check out the video below:

key Takeaways

All the above bad vgt solenoid symptoms will appear due to a faulty solenoid. However, these symptoms differ from one vehicle to another. Having said that, knowing their causes makes it easier to eliminate the symptoms.

But overall, replacing the solenoid is the most effective solution to these symptoms.

Who Worked on This post?



Anderson is an experienced auto mechanic with over 10 years in the industry. He is skilled in diagnosing and repairing a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to trucks and SUV

Syed Ahmed


Syed Ahmed has been working as an auto mechanic editor for the past five years. He has a background in mechanical engineering and a love for all things automotive

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