IDM Failure Symptoms on Your 7.3 Powerstroke Engines

The operation of injectors relies upon the IDM (injector Driver Module) and when it goes bad, the engine might stop all of a sudden then restart again, might not start at all, struggle to reach higher speeds, consume more fuel than necessary, etc. 

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through the 8 most common 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure symptoms. Plus, in the end, we’ll also be guiding you on what causes the IDM to fail, how you can prevent it, and how much it would cost to replace or repair the IDM. 

At a Glance: Bad IDM Symptoms on 7.3 Powerstroke

SymptomsPossible Causes
Engine RunningCorroded injection module causing IDM malfunction.
Power CutBad IDM causes the injectors to fire at the wrong time.
Engine Running Rough  IDM is unable to energize the injectors.
Engine Not StartingBad IDM causes the injectors to fire at the wrong timing.
Lack of PowerMalfunctioning IDM not being able to control the injectors.
Low Fuel EconomyCheck the Engine Light On
Excessive Black SmokeFaulty IDM injecting more than needed fuel into the combustion chambers.
Check Engine Light OnThe ECU detecting IDM malfunction.

8 Most Common 7.3 Powerstroke IDM Failure Symptoms

A bad IDM in 7.3 Powerstroke can lead to several engine problems, but here we’ve highlighted the most common ones.

1. Engine Running 

Running refers to when an engine suddenly stops and then restarts again. This is the most common symptom of a bad IDM. When the injector module gets damaged or starts to corrode, the IDM malfunctions and causes the engine to stop and restart. 

Many people confuse this with CPS failure symptoms which is wrong. If the CPS goes bad, the engine will struggle to start or might not start at all. But it won’t stop and restart all of a sudden.

Here are some reasons behind sudden engine stop and restart –

  • Lack of fuel 
  • Worn-out timing belt
  • Bad alternators
  • Auxiliary serpentine belt issue
  • Bad MAF & oxygen sensor

2. Power Cuts 

Another common symptom of IDM failure is frequent power cuts. The engine will suddenly stop and might not start for a while. There could be many reasons behind this including a bad IDM.

When IDM fails, it can’t fire the injectors immediately after receiving the signal and that’s what leads to power cuts. The IDM could fail due to short circuits, dust buildup, natural wear and tear, etc.

Apart from a bad IDM, the other reasons for sudden power cuts are:

  • Bad fuel pump
  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Fuel line blockage 
  • Faulty ignition coil
  • Loose battery connection
  • Drained Battery

3. Engine Running Rough

When the engine doesn’t respond to the acceleration well, or the engine is less smooth, that’s called an engine running rough. And when the engine runs rough, in some cases, it makes some unusual noise as well. And a bad IDM can be the reason behind it. 

Engine shows this symptom when there is a short circuit in the IDM and it can’t function properly. As a result, the fuel injectors don’t fire at the right time leading to roughness. 

Some other reasons why the engine runs rough are –

  • Bad ignition coil
  • Clogged fuel injectors
  • Blocked fuel filters
  • Vacuum leaks

Read More: Does a diesel engine have spark plugs?

4. Engine Not Starting

In some cases, the engine might not start at all and one of the major reasons behind that is, a bad IDM. When the IDM is unable to energize the injectors properly, the engine doesn’t start.

However, the insufficient voltage supply to IDM can be also a reason behind that. Other common reasons for that are –

  • Fuel delivery issues
  • Ignition problems
  • Weak battery
  • Loose battery connections
  • Faulty engine components

5. Lack of Power

If you feel like the vehicle isn’t showing power as it used to do before without any apparent reasons, then it’s time to take a deep look at the engine. Because this could be a sign of major engine problems. And it’s a common sign of a bad IDM. 

IDM is responsible for controlling the injectors. When it malfunctions, the injectors get out of control and inject fuel at the wrong time. This causes the engine to struggle to reach higher speeds. 

Here are some other reasons for reduced engine power –

  • Lack of engine oil
  • Low-quality fuel
  • Clogged filters
  • Bad pumps
  • Worn-out engine components

6. Low Fuel Economy 

Reduced fuel mileage is a symptom of some major engine issues including a bad IDM. When the IDM goes bad, the injectors fire at the wrong timing which enables the engine to consume more fuel leading to poor fuel mileage in 7.3 Powerstroke.

7. Excessive Smoke

If you see a high amount of black smoke coming through the exhaust pipe, that could be a sign of a malfunctioning IDM.

When IDM malfunctions, the injectors can inject more than needed fuel into the combustion chambers, which remain unburned. And that can result in excessive black smoke coming out from the exhaust pipe.  

8. Check-Engine Light On

It’s a common symptom of most of the engine issues. Every vehicle now comes equipped with a PCM or ECU which monitors all the engine operation.

And whenever they detect any abnormality in the engine operations, they trigger the check engine light to let the person inside the vehicle know that something is wrong with the engine.

Read More: Ford 7.3 Powerstroke Engine Rebuild Cost.

What Are Some Common Causes of IDM Failure in 7.3 Powerstroke?

The IDM in any vehicle can go bad due to various reasons, but here we’ve focused on the most common ones –


Every engine component comes with an expiry date. Therefore, with use, they start to degrade and IDM is no exception. With proper care, an IDM can last between 100,000 – 150,000 miles and after that the IDM not functioning properly ain’t surprising. 


The IDM is exposed to high temperatures as it’s located in the engine compartment. Therefore, if the engine gets overheated, that can damage the IDM and cause it to stop functioning. 


One of the most common causes of premature IDM failure is corrosion. Once moisture enters the IDM, the components corrode pretty soon leading to IDM malfunction. 

Voltage Fluctuation

A sudden spike or drop in voltage can severely damage the IDM. Plus, any kind of electrical issue whether it’s loose connections or worn-out wiring, such issues highly contributes to the IDM failure. 

How to Prevent 7.3 Powerstroke IDM from Going Bad?

Though it’s not always possible to save an IDM from going bad, here are some preventive measures you can take to save it from premature failure –

  • Keep the battery and the charging system well-maintained, and regularly check on the battery condition, terminals, and the charging system.
  • Make sure the IDM is properly grounded according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. 
  • Ensure the IDM is always protected from excessive heat by allowing adequate airflow around it.
  • Look for leaks and seal them so that moisture can’t enter the system. 
  • Make sure to use high-quality fuel that meets or exceeds Ford’s recommended specifications.
  • Replace the filters according to the manufacturer’s suggested intervals.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace or Repair IDM in 7.3 Powerstroke?

Undoubtedly, the IDM is a costly engine component. However, we can’t give the actual cost since it depends on many factors such as the product quality (aftermarket or OEM), availability of the product (importing can cost more), and lastly the labor rate in your state. 

That being said, we can give you a rough idea. An OEM-quality IDM can cost between $2,900 – $3,500. And the labor cost could be between $100 – $500 (depending on the state). All together you’re looking at anywhere between $3000 – $4000.

Similarly, the repair cost also depends on the labor cost, availability of the parts, and the price of the damaged part. Therefore, it’s hard to even give a rough cost of repair. 

Video: change your IDM on your 7.3 Powerstroke


Can an engine start without IDM?

The IDM (injector driver module) is an integral part of the engine, therefore, the engine can’t run without it.

How do you test an IDM?

You can run a diagnostic scan which will show any problem in codes. And for injectors, you can run an injector buzz test. P1316, P1271, P1272, etc. indicate IDM issues.


Many people often confuse the 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure symptoms with some minor engine problems. And that could cost them a lot. Whatever the issue is, when you notice any abnormality in the engine that you can’t figure out, pay a visit to the nearest mechanic as soon as possible. That might save you from spending a handsome amount. 

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