Among all the diesel engines, the 7.3 Powerstroke Starter delivers pretty impressive performance. It is a reliable engine that can run for a long time if properly maintained. With accurate modifications, it can perform really great.
However, this engine can often become troublesome when it stops working. Through extensive research and gathering the opinions of people who have had lots of experiences with their 7.3 Powerstroke going dead once in a while, we have been able to find out the common problems of this engine.
The 7.3 Powerstroke Starter Problems can be classified into 2 categories – problems with electrical parts and problems with fuel.
1. 7.3 Powerstroke Problems With Electrical Parts
A 7.3 Powerstroke won’t start despite cranking over and over if it doesn’t have sufficient voltage for its Engine Control Module (ECM). If the battery power is low, it may not let the low plugs get adequately warm to make the Powerstroke fast enough to start.
Engine Control Module (ECM)
Speaking of the ECM, if it runs out, your engine will stop right away.
Injector Driver Module (IDM)
One of the 7.3 Powerstroke problems shows up when the IDM fails to work. Misfiring, not starting, and shutting off are the symptoms that should warn you about its failing condition. Damaged wire, moisture, and water can also cause the module to stop working. This eventually puts the engine in a no-start condition.
Injection Pressure Regulator (IPR) Valve
The IPR valve is the main part of the high-pressure oil system of a 7.3 engine. Its position is beside the High-Pressure Oil Pump (HPOP) in the engine. The function of the valve is to prevent the oil from flowing toward the injectors.
If the valve’s solenoid becomes damaged or loose, it will not be able to create sufficient oil pressure on the injectors. Therefore, the Powerstroke will not be starting any longer.
Cam Position Sensor (CPS)
CPS should not create a starter problem until the Powerstroke engine has run 100,000 miles. The initial starter problems should include sudden shut-offs and slow starts that consequently disable the engine.
Often, when the truck rests for some time, its engine may fire again with a poor-performing CPS. You can see how poor its condition is by checking the tachometer when you try to start the Powerstroke.
It is recommended that you keep a brand-new CPS reserved because it is expected that the existing CPS will fail after the engine crosses 100,000 miles.
Injector Control Pressure (ICP) Valve
If an ICP is damaged, it can cause a starter problem for the 7.3 Powerstroke engine by making it run immensely rough. What damages the ICP is the contamination of oil inside the wiring.
You can check if something is wrong with the valve. To do that, unplug the valve’s wiring harness and bypass it. If you see that the Powerstroke is running smoothly after unplugging the connector, you can be certain that the ICP is not doing well.
However, don’t drive your truck to check the valve in a situation like this.
2. 7.3 Powerstroke Problems With Fuel
If the fuel filter is blocked, it will disable the Powerstroke and limit its power when it runs.
If everything is fine with the electrical parts, check if the lift pump is down while the 7.3 is cranking. You will need another person for this. Then, take a gauge and verify the fuel pressure with it. The reading is supposed to be around 65 psi.
If the injectors remain unlubricated or not regularly lubricated, they will create a starter problem for the 7.3 engine.
If this element faces an electrical short or its fuse no. 22 blows, it will knock the ECM offline and stop the engine. Keep some extra fuses for fixing this kind of problem.
Low-pressure and High-Pressure Oil Pumps
Accurate levels of oil and pressure are about 1 inch from the inspection window top and 500 psi respectively. Accuracy should always be maintained. LPOP less than 100 means underload and less than 50 indicates a serious situation. HPOP should be considered poor performance if the pressure cannot reach at least 500 psi.
7.3 Powerstroke Starter Issue and Solution
Though the 7.3 Powerstroke is a pretty impressive diesel engine, it comes with some drawbacks too. Hopefully, after going through this article, you’re aware of the possible 7.3 Powerstroke starter problems and how to solve them.