The Legendary Ford F-250 Powerstroke Is a Good Used Diesel Pickup Truck

The first generation Ford F-250 Powerstroke diesel pickup truck is one of the best trucks out there. Ford trucks have a workhorse reputation and in terms of heavy duty pickup trucks, it all started with Ford’s first generation super duty line. Trucks from this generation, which ran from 1999-2007, are great examples of a good used diesel pickup truck.

1999 Ford Super Duty
1999 Ford Super Duty | Kelley Blue Book

A heavy hauling pickup truck is often the second or third vehicle you own. It’s often a vehicle reserved for the purpose of towing. For most people a good used truck is far more budget friendly than going out and financing something in a more recent model year. These first gen super duty Powerstrokes are tough and ready for heavy duty work, even once they’ve gotten into high milage territory.

The 7.3 liter Powerstroke is the most reliable

According to the 7.3 liter Diesel engine is the most reliable Powerstroke of them all. One reason is that it was in production before certain regulations were put in place for diesel engines. Therefore, the absence of emissions controls on the engine makes it far less complicated. This contributes to the reliability of the 7.3 liter Powerstroke found in models such as the 2000 Ford F-250 diesel pickup truck.

dash view of a 2000 Ford F-250 7.3 liter Powerstroke diesel pickup truck
2000 Ford F-250 | Kelley Blue Book

“Robust, iron parts, conservative power and low engine speed are the key ingredients for any diesel engine lasting forever—and if a 7.3L has gone unmodified yet been well maintained its entire life, 400,000 to 500,000 miles is virtually guaranteed.”

The Driving Line

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The fuel injection system on these engines has a reputation for durability. The fuel injectors last a long time, and the engines are difficult to overheat. These long-lasting engines makes for a very good used diesel pickup truck. According to, the 7.3 liter Powerstroke is reliable because its design is simple and only uses 6 bolts per cylinder. Another reason trucks with these engines are durable is that they feature a fixed geometry turbo and an oil cooler that is located externally.

How much can the F-250 tow?

If you are looking for a good used diesel pickup truck, it’s likely that you want it to tow a heavy load––at least from time to time. These trucks tow quite a bit. But what is the max tow capacity for a truck like the first generation F-250 Powerstroke? According to Vehicle History, the 4×2 7.3-liter diesel version can tow up to about 14,000 pounds.

press photo against a white backdrop gold Ford F-250 diesel pickup truck
2000 Ford F-250 | Kelley Blue Book

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So, if you need your used diesel truck to work hard, this model is not likely to disappoint. Not only is this F-250 reliable, but it’s also strong. You basically can’t go wrong with a used first gen F-250 Powerstroke. Even a beater that’s been ragged on a bit can still handle some hard work. They are even more reliable if you can find one with the 6-speed manual transmission––according to owner comments on this diesel truck forum.

front grille of a gold Ford F-250 pickup truck
2000 Ford F-250 | Kelley Blue Book

Is the F-250 7.3 liter Powerstroke a good used diesel pickup truck?

Yes, the Ford F-250 7.3 liter Powerstroke is a good used diesel pickup truck. They are often known to drive into very high mileage territory. However, regular maintenance is always key. Once you buy your used pickup, be sure to keep up with oil changes and other basic maintenance. If you do, you’ll likely have a very long lasting truck in your crew. There is a reason why trucks as old as the 2000 model year go for up to around $15,000.