Which 7.3 Powerstroke Years To Avoid? 2001-2003! [Here’s Why]

The 7.3L bad years you should avoid are the model years between 2001, 2002, and 2003 due to common issues, such as injector failure.

These years were produced during a time when diesel engines were undergoing major changes and upgrades, leading to some of the common issues seen in these model years.

Read on to know more about what Ford 7.3L Powerstroke years to avoid, why you should avoid them, what years are actually best for you, and what to consider before purchasing a 7.3 Powerstroke engine.

7.3 Powerstroke Worst Years To Avoid

Here is a table showing all 7.3 Powerstroke years you should avoid.

YearCommon Issues
2001Injector failures, Noise, Surges.
2002Injector failures, Head gasket failures, EBPV failure.
2003Leaking turbocharger up-pipes, leaks in the housing for the fuel filter.

The legendary Ford 7.3L Powerstroke is considered the first choice for many Ford truck owners as a used diesel engine. However, certain model years are considered less reliable and require more costly repairs than others.

So, what year 7.3 Liter Powerstroke diesel engine to avoid? These model years include:

  • 2001 7.3 Powerstroke Engine
  • 2002 7.3 Powerstroke Engine
  • 2003 7.3 Powerstroke Engine

Why You Should Avoid 2001-2003 7.3L Powerstroke?

The 7.3L Powerstrokes from 2001 to 2003 are notorious for their high repair costs and lack of dependability.

These concerns can substantially impact the engine’s longevity and reliability, making it an unsuitable choice for people looking for a dependable diesel engine. The most common 7.3 Powerstroke problems for the three model years include:

#1 – Injector Failure

Injector failure is one of the most common problems with the 2001-2003 7.3L Powerstroke. These engines’ injectors are notorious for failing early, generating a range of issues.

The engine may not start or run poorly if the injectors fail. The engine may even stall while driving in some situations. Injector failure can also result in decreased fuel economy and higher emissions.

#2 – Failure Of The CPS (Camshaft Position Sensor)

The Camshaft Position Sensor is essential in determining the position of the camshaft and transmitting this information to the engine management module.

A failing CPS can cause engine performance difficulties like stalling or misfiring and, if left untreated, can cause engine damage.

#3 – Leaks In The Fuel Filter Housing

The Fuel Filter Housing removes particles from diesel fuel before it enters the engine. Fuel leaks caused by a leaking fuel filter housing can affect fuel economy and engine performance.

Furthermore, it can be a fire hazard. The fuel filter housing has been known to leak in the worst 7.3L Powerstroke engine years, so this component should be inspected regularly and replaced if necessary.

#4 – EBPV (Exhaust Back Pressure Valve) Failure

The EBPV is in charge of regulating the exhaust back pressure in the engine. A faulty EBPV can reduce engine performance and cause engine damage. The EBPV is known to fail in the 2001-2003 7.3L Powerstroke engines.

#5 – Leaking Turbocharger Up-Pipes

The Turbocharger Up-Pipes connect the turbocharger to the remainder of the engine’s exhaust system. Exhaust leaks caused by a leaking turbocharger up-pipe can result in decreased engine performance and damage.

Furthermore, it can be a fire hazard. The turbocharger up-pipes in 2001-2003 7.3L Powerstroke engines have been known to leak.

#6 – Head Gasket Failure

Head gasket failure is another major problem with the 2001-2003 7.3L Powerstroke. The head gasket is in charge of sealing the combustion chamber and keeping coolant and oil separate.

Coolant and oil can mix when the head gasket breaks, causing engine damage and, in extreme cases, total engine failure. Failure of the head gasket can also cause the engine to overheat, resulting in severe damage.

#7 – Oil Cooler Failure

Another component known to fail on 2001-2003 7.3L Powerstrokes is the oil cooler. The oil cooler is in charge of maintaining the proper temperature of the engine oil.

When the oil cooler fails, the engine oil becomes overheated, causing engine damage and potential failure. Failure of the oil cooler might also result in poor fuel economy and increased emissions resulting in terrible 7.3 Powerstroke fuel mileage.

#8 – Turbine Shaft Failure

Another component known to break on 2001-2003 7.3L Powerstrokes is the turbine shaft. Power is transferred from the engine to the transmission via the turbine shaft.

The engine may not start or run poorly if the turbine shaft fails. The engine may even stall while driving in some situations.

What Are The Best 7.3 Powerstroke Years?

Now that you know what Ford 7.3L Powerstroke years to avoid, you should also know the best model years to purchase.

The 1999-2000 model years are often considered the best 7.3 Powerstroke years. These engines have a reputation for being more dependable and long-lasting than previous and successor model years.

The 7.3L Powerstrokes from 1999 to 2000 include various modifications and enhancements that make them more reliable and durable than previous model years. Among the significant enhancements in the 1999-2000 7.3L Powerstroke are:

  • A new high-pressure oil pump increases the engine’s starting and running capabilities.
  • A novel oil cooler design that aids in the prevention of oil cooler failure.
  • A novel injector design that increases engine power output and fuel efficiency.
  • A revolutionary turbocharger design that aids in the prevention of turbine shaft failure.

Because of these modifications and improvements, the 1999-2000 7.3L Powerstroke engines are among the most dependable and long-lasting diesel engines on the market.

If you’re considering buying a 7.3L Powerstroke, these years are probably worth looking into.

What Should You Consider Before Purchasing A 7.3L Powerstroke?

There are various aspects to consider when acquiring a 7.3L Powerstroke. These considerations will assist you in making an informed judgment on the engine’s condition and reliability.

Here are some things to check for when purchasing a 7.3L Powerstroke:

● Modification History

The 7.3L Powerstroke is a popular engine for modifications, but the amount of these alterations must be known. It is critical to determine whether the engine has been modified in any way that could influence its reliability and longevity.

● Interconnecting Rods

Because the linking rods in the 7.3L Powerstroke are known to be fragile, you should inspect them before purchasing the engine. A faulty linking rod can cause substantial engine damage.

● Speed

The 7.3L Powerstroke is well-known for its speed. However, some engines may outperform others. Test drive the engine before purchasing to determine its speed and overall performance.

● Engine Condition

The engine’s condition is critical to its lifetime and dependability. Check the engine for any signs of wear and tear, such as leaks or cracks.

Considering these factors before buying a 7.3L Powerstroke, you can be confident that you are making an informed purchase and investing in an engine that will give a dependable and long-lasting performance.


Here are a few more related questions to consider.

What are the most miles ever put on a 7.3 Power Stroke?

The most miles ever put on a 7.3 Power Stroke is 1.3 million miles. This is not unusual for the 7.3 Powerstroke, known for its toughness and longevity.

Can I make changes to my early 7.3L Powerstroke?

Yes, you may make changes to your early 7.3L Powerstroke. However, it is crucial to note that some alterations, such as increasing horsepower and torque, can strain the engine and cause problems down the road.

Is the 7.3 Powerstroke the best engine ever?

The 7.3 Powerstroke is widely regarded as one of the best diesel engines. It has a reputation for dependability, durability, and longevity. However, it is crucial to remember that the 2001-2003 model years have some common problems that you should avoid.

Key Takeaways:

When it comes to diesel engines, the Ford 7.3L Powerstroke is a popular choice for many truck enthusiasts. But you should avoid the 2001-2003 models among all model years. Because they have several common and severe issues reported in many units. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • The 7.3 Powerstroke years to avoid are the 2001-2003 models.
  • These model years have some common issues, such as injector failures and EGR cooler failures, you should avoid that.
  • Repair costs for these issues can range from $3,000 to $5,000.
  • The best 7.3 Powerstroke best model years are 1999-2000.

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