Most Common 7.3 Powerstroke IPR Sensor Failure Symptoms and Causes

Every engine requires a specific fuel pressure to operate properly and an IPR sensor is what regulates that. And when the IPR sensor goes bad, it leads to many engine problems.

The most common symptoms of IPR failure in 7.3 Powerstroke include the engine struggling to start, significantly reduced power, rough idle, excessive smoke, etc.

In this guide, we’ve focused on the most common 7.3 Powerstroke IPR sensor failure symptoms, potential causes of IPR sensor failure, and preventive measures to take. Thus, if you own a 7.3 Powerstroke-powered Ford vehicle, continue reading till the end.

At a Glance – 7.3 Powerstroke Bad IPR Symptoms

SymptomsPossible Causes
Hard Engine StartingFaulty IPR sensor providing inaccurate fuel pressure
Rough IdleIncreased fuel pressure due to IPR sensor malfunction causes the engine to consume more fuel
Reduced PowerWeakIPR sensor delivering an inadequate amount of fuel to the combustion chambers
Engine StallingExtremely low fuel pressure due to IPR sensor malfunction
Excessive SmokeInaccurate IPR sensor delivering more than needed fuel to the combustion chambers
Decreased Fuel EfficiencyCheck the Engine Light On
Check Engine Light OnThe ECU detecting abnormality in IPR sensor functioning
Surge & OverheatingIncomplete combustion process due to faulty IPR sensor

You May Like to Read: 7.3 Powerstroke VS 6.7 Powerstroke.

8 Common 7.3 IPR Sensor Failure Symptoms

When the IPR goes bad, it can show various symptoms. But here we’ve enlisted 8 most common ones.

1. Hard Engine Starting

Engine starting hard refers to the engine cranking but struggling to start. And it’s one of the most common symptoms of a bad IPR sensor.

The IPR sensor is responsible for regulating the fuel pressure in the engine. And most of the engine operation depends on the accuracy of the fuel pressure. 

Therefore, when there is an imbalance in the fuel pressure, this causes the entire engine to act weirdly.

When the IPR sensor malfunctions or goes bad totally, it can’t control the fuel pressure anymore, leading to insufficient fuel delivery to the injectors, resulting in a hard start.

However, apart from a bad IPR sensor, there are some other reasons too that cause an engine to start hard. And they are –

  • Clogged air filter
  • Low fuel pressure
  • Compression and timing problem
  • Failed starter
  • Battery issues
  • Bad ignition system

2. Rough Idling

If you find the engine shaking or being a bit bouncy, that’s called rough idling of the engine. It’s another common symptom of IPR sensor failure.

The IPR sensor regulates the fuel pressure and when it goes wrong, the correct fuel pressure isn’t maintained. And wrong fuel pressure would create an imbalance in the combustion process, resulting in uneven firing, leading to rough idle.

Here are some other issues that can lead to rough idling –

  • Bad fuel injectors
  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Malfunctioning fuel pump
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Bad spark plugs

3. Reduced Power

Do you feel that your vehicle is struggling to climb hills? Or not responding to the acceleration as well as it used to before? This could be a symptom of a bad IPR sensor. 

When the IPR sensor doesn’t function well, an adequate level of fuel isn’t provided to the combustion chambers which leads to power loss. Some other causes of power loss are –

  • Clogged catalytic converter
  • Low engine oil
  • Loose cables

4. Engine Stalling

If your vehicle stops all of a sudden, that could be alarming. Not only is it a symptom of major engine issues, but also it would be pretty dangerous if driving on highways. Engine stalling can be a symptom of a bad IPR sensor.

When the sensor stops working, the fuel pressure dramatically drops and that’s what causes the engine to stall. Some other common causes of engine stalls are –

  • Bad fuel pump
  • Dead alternator
  • Dead battery
  • Imbalanced air/fuel mixture
  • Clutch release issues

5. Excessive Smoke

Another common scenario is when the IPR sensor goes bad, the exhaust system releases a high amount of black smoke.

This happens when the combustion is incomplete therefore the excess fuel remains unburned and gets expelled through the exhaust system. This is what leads to excessive black smoke coming from the exhaust.

Some other common causes of excessive smoking are –

  • Leaking head gasket
  • Worn-out pistons
  • Faulty fuel valves
  • Defective coolant system
  • Worn-out electrical wires

6. Decreased Fuel Efficiency

In some cases, a faulty IPR sensor can increase the fuel pressure which will lead to increased fuel consumption. As a result, the 7.3 Powerstroke’s fuel mileage drops significantly. Sometimes it’s the clogged fuel injectors that cause the fuel economy to drop. 

7. Check-Engine Light On

The very first symptom you would see if your IPR sensor is malfunctioning is the blinking check engine light.

Every vehicle now comes with an ECU which monitors all the engine’s operation. And whenever it detects something unusual, it triggers the check engine light to let the driver know that something is not right. 

8. Surging & Overheating 

When there is something wrong with the combustion process, the 7.3 Powerstroke might randomly surge and get overheated. The speed might increase all of a sudden without any reason and suddenly might stop. 

If you experience random surging once, then make sure to pay a visit to the nearest mechanic. Otherwise, it can cost you a lot. 

Video: How to diagnose your truck’s IPR | Symptoms of bad IPR

How to Diagnose IPR Sensor Issues in 7.3 Powerstroke?

Here are some steps you can follow to find out IPR sensor issues in 7.3 Powerstroke:

Step 1 – Inspect Visually 

Take a look at the IPR sensor and its wiring harness. Try to find out any damage in the wire, check if the connections are tight, look for corrosion, and make sure the sensor is plugged in properly, and there is no sign of damage on the sensor itself. If everything looks fine, then move on to the next step which is scanning for error codes.

Step 2 – Running Through Scanner

Using an OBD-II scanner or any other diagnostic tool that is compatible with your vehicle engine will point out all the issues in the engine. If there is any problem in the engine, the scanner or the diagnostic tool will show some codes. Each code indicates different issues. 

The error codes for IPR sensor issues are –

  • P2290
  • P2285
  • P2286
  • P2291
  • P2292
  • P2293

Step 3 – Check the Fuel Pressure

Take a fuel pressure gauge and measure the fuel pressure of the vehicle. If there is something wrong with the IPR sensor, the fuel will either be low or high. Otherwise, the sensor is working fine. 

Step 4 – Test the Voltage 

Go through the user manual and find out the correct IPR sensor voltage for the vehicle. After that, take a multimeter and measure the voltage. If the voltage meets the manufacturer’s recommended range, then the sensor is working properly. Otherwise, it’s malfunctioning. 

What Causes the IPR Sensor to Go Bad in Your 7.3 Powerstroke Engine?

An IPR sensor can go bad due to various reasons but the most common reasons are:

● Wear & Tear 

With time, the IPR sensor can wear out which is very normal and happens with many engine components. And that can cause the sensor to malfunction or stop working entirely. 

● Contamination 

The IPR sensor regulates the fuel pressure, and it’s exposed to fuel. Therefore, if the fuel is contaminated with metal particles, dirt, sludges, and debris, that can be damaging to the sensor. 

● Electrical Faults

The proper voltage flow of the IPR sensor can be disrupted if the wiring is damaged or corroded, and the connections are loose. And this disruption can lead to sensor malfunction.

● Overheat

If the engine gets overheated pretty often, that can damage the IPR sensor quickly since the sensor is located in the engine compartment. 

● Wrong Installation 

When the sensor isn’t installed properly that can cause the sensor to malfunction. 

How Much Does it Cost to Replace or Repair an IPR Sensor in 7.3 Powerstroke?

The cost of repairing or replacing an IPR sensor or any other engine component depends on a couple of factors which are, product quality (OEM or Aftermarket), availability of the product, and labor cost. 

However, to give you an idea we can say that, replacing an IPR sensor in 7.3 Powerstroke can cost you between $250 – $400 (including the labor cost).

But it’s hard to give something like that in case of repairing since it depends on the part that needs repair and the labor cost. However, depending on the state and level of expertise, the labor cost should be between $150 – $250.


Is it safe to drive with a bad IPR sensor?

It’s not at all safe to drive with a malfunctioning IPR sensor as the vehicle might act weird all of a sudden in the middle of the highway. 

Can you bypass an IPR valve?

Yes, an IPR valve can be bypassed by removing the 2 mounting bolts. However, this should be done by an expert. 

Will a bad ICP sensor cause no start?

An ICP sensor that has gone bad totally can cause the engine to not start at all. 

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