Common Problems: Ford 7.3-Liter Power Stroke Diesel

Ford’s 7.3-liter Power Stroke diesel engine is legendary. Available in 1999 to 2003 Super Duty F-250 and F-350 trucks, it has been known to last over 500,000 without any major problems. But as these engines build up the miles, there are common problems that owners have with them. Hey, nothing lasts forever. Some of these problems are to be expected once you get into the 200,000 or 300,000 miles club. 

The good news is that a number of these 7.3 Power Stroke issues can be handled by DIY owners. And because of that, some components should be replaced regardless of whether they’re acting up if you happen to have a free Saturday on your hands. Generally, with proper maintenance your 7.3 should soldiers on for another 100,000-plus miles or more.

7.3 Power Stroke Cam Position Sensor

Power Stroke
2000 Ford F-250 Power Stroke | Ford

The Cam Position Sensor or CMP is probably the most common issue with older 7.3-liter diesel engines. But the good news is that they’re cheap and easy to replace, just don’t buy gypo sensors. Get a genuine Ford replacement. When a CMP fails the engine won’t start. 

To determine if your problem is the CMP see if the tach moves when you crank the engine. If it does then your CMP is working. Otherwise, replace it. And they’re cheap enough that you can buy a spare and keep it in your truck just in case.

Injector Pressure Regulator Valve

A common problem is with the Injection Pressure Regulator Valve or IPR. These electromagnetic valves regulate oil pressure going to the fuel injectors in an HEUI system. They tailor individual injector sprays based on the engine’s needs.

Seals can get damaged or worn out, causing them to stick. The sensors that control the pressure can also wear out and the exposed wires leading to it can sometimes become damaged. However, they’re easy to replace, situated in the valley of the high-pressure oil pump. However, Diesel IQ cautions not to use thread sealer because there is an orifice in the threads that need to remain open. 

Injector Driver Module

The Injector Driver Module or IDM is easy to access, located on the driver’s side fender of the Super Duty. Power Stroke’s IDM is what switches the injectors on and off. It gets its commands from the Powertrain Control Module or PCM. 

The main problem is over the years water can contaminate it, causing failure. They cause rough running and sometimes a no-start situation. There are shops around the country that can rebuild and also upgrade them.

7.3 Power Stroke Under Valve Cover Harness connectors

F-250 Power Stroke
2000 Ford F-250 Power Stroke | Ford

The UVCH connectors typically become loose or start shorting. This can make the engine seem like the timing has slipped, and in some cases causes sputtering. Once you remove the valve cover look to see if the wires have loose or burnt connectors. If you do remove your valve covers replace the gasket. You can usually get valve cover kits that include the connectors. 

Fuel filter clogs

Another common issue that is easy and cheap to fix. It usually manifests itself as a loss of power or hard starting. The filter should be replaced on a regular basis.

Injector Control Pressure sensor

The ICP sensor controls the pressure necessary to move the fuel to the engine. Oil in the sensor can cause stalling, a rough idle, or sputtering. An easy way to determine if your ICP sensor is failing is to unplug it. If the problems are gone, then replace them. Either way, make sure you plug it back in after testing. 

RELATED: Legendary Ford 7.3 Power Stroke Diesel: The Good and Bad