5 Symptoms To Detect CPS Failure On 7.3 Powerstroke (Easy Fix)

Cam Position Sensor or CPS is a key component in 7.3 Powerstroke diesel engine trucks like any other vehicle. It tracks the relative speed and RPM of the engine as well as sets the ignition timing. So, the consequences of the 7.3 CPS failure or malfunction will be catastrophic. Now the question arises, are there any failure symptoms of the 7.3 cam position sensor?

The 7.3 Powerstroke CPS failure symptoms include engine stalling, hard start, increased fuel consumption, engine not starting, inconsistent acceleration, etc are most frequent. And there are several other signs too. When you find any cam failure warning, diagnose it soon to know why this is happening. If the cam sensor is really bad, you can fix it by replacing it, either recalling the part or purchasing a new one.

This article will explain the different symptoms of a faulty 7.3L cam sensor, its solutions, replacement hacks, and costs. Keep reading and know the right way to troubleshoot the 7.3 CPS failure symptoms on your own.

7.3 powerstroke cps failure symptoms – easy Diagnosis

Ford 7.3 Powerstroke or Legendary 7.3 diesel engine CPS may fail over time either for normal wear, accidents, power problem, or sensor faults. 

Common ProblemsPossible Solutions
Low fuel economy and power (Sluggish rides)1. Clean a clogged filter
2. Seal the transmission fluid leak
3. Replace the CPS
4. Check for any 6-speed transmission problem
Long crank1. Changing the CPS
2. Clean a clogged filter
3. Cleaning dirty or corroded battery terminals
4. Fixing the starter
Not running smoothly1. Fuel injector and spark plug replacement
2. Cleaning clogged and dirty filter
3. Changing the CPS
4. Sealing all fluid leaks
High Output alternator fails1. Fix the alternator overcharging problem
2. Replace the CPS
3. Fix the wiring between the alternator and CPS
Engine misfires or shakes excessively1. Replace the spark plug 
2. Check the wiring with the battery to the spark plug
3. Clean or replace a faulty coil or fuel injector
4. Replace the CPS

A bad CPS will cause the car to go nuts. Starting from a rough idle to all the way to engine failure. You ain’t safe from nothing. Diagnose the problem pronto, else your engine is in big trouble. 

Here are almost all the problems you can face due to a 7.3 powerstroke CPS failure: 

#1- Rough idle

An engine needs three things to run, that is fuel, air, and spark. If any one of these is missing or not working properly, the truck will have a rough idle. A rough idle is the most common problem due to a truck’s Crankshaft position sensor. The only way to fix it is by replacing the CPS.

#2- Low fuel economy and power (Sluggish rides)

After a rough idle the second more common problem is low fuel economy or the driving feels sluggish. If your fuel economy is taking a nose-dive , change the CPS as soon as possible. The CPS can also damage the spark plug if you don’t resolve it. 

#3- Long crank

The crankshaft position sensor will monitor the position plus the rotation speed of the crankshaft. Turns out, a faulty CPS will increase the cranking time when starting the engine. So, if you ever face longer cranking time, check the CPS before doing something crazy with the engine. 

#4- Not running smoothly

All of a sudden you may find your truck stops or run erratically. A broken CPS may cause the problem. 

#5- High Output alternator fails

As the CPS tells the engine computer where the crank is in its rotation, its failure can cause your alternator to fail as well. The computer will lose its noodle and won’t know when to fire the spark plugs or inject fuel into the cylinders. 

#6- Cranks up but no start

If the truck cranks up, but doesn’t start, then you’re in for big trouble. Sometimes, the problem is in the CPS. But it can also be due to the battery, spark plug, and even the engine itself. When changing the CPS doesn’t work, try replacing the battery terminals or the spark plug as well. 

#7- Tachometer will not move on extended cranking

Here you can face a few problems like a problem in the ignition system, a faulty tachometer, or a gone rogue CPS. A bad CPS combined with corrosion can prevent contact between the wires and terminals. Thus, the tachometer will not move on extended cranking. 

#9- Engine misfires or shakes excessively

Due to a broken CPS, the truck’s computer won’t know when to fire the spark plugs, which will cause engine misfiring or even shaking. To fix this problem, you must tighten all the connections of the fuel, air, and spark first. And then replace the CPS.

How to Fix 7.3L CPS If It Has Any Failure Symptoms?

If you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms in the cam sensor, you should do the following things to solve the problem.

  • Step 1: Take the car to a mechanic to check whether the cam sensor is okay or not.
  • Step 2: If the sensor is okay check the other possible parts like injectors.
  • Step 3: When you’re sure that the fault is on CPS. Buy a new CPS and replace it soon.

CPS failure may happen suddenly, so it’s recommended to keep a replacement 7.3 CPS in the jockey box so that you can change it immediately in need of essence. 

How to Replace 7.3L Cam Position Sensor?

The replacement process includes detaching the old CPS and installing the new one. The basic steps to replace Ford 7.3L CPS are as follows-

  • Step 1: First of all, detach both negative cables of the battery for safety as you’re going to work with the 7.3L electrical system for safety.
  • Step 2: Now, disconnect the winding belt It’s important as this’s a tad difficult to access the sensor as it’s located in a tight space. Without removing the winding belt, you can take apart the CPS in an alternative way that is by using a 3-inch socket extension and a 10mm socket. Even you may also access the sensor from the bottom side.
  • Step 3: After that, detach the sensor’s connector by lifting upwards on the locking side and pulling downwards on the passenger side.
  • Step 4: Remove the cam sensor holding (10mm) bolt. So, you can use a 3/8-inch drive socket and a 10 mm socket as they fit this tight space well. Sometimes rust may form there. So, you may apply rust removal spray or grease to loosen the bolt.
  • Step 5: It’s time to remove the CPS itself. To do that, you have to twist the sensor with a pulling force outward. A 20-inch prybar will be handy here. So, the old sensor is now removed.
  • Step 6: After removing the old sensor, let’s install the new 7.3L camshaft sensor. Before that, you can put a small amount of engine oil on the outside of the sensor to insert it easily.

Now install the cam sensor then bolt and torque. While installing the sensor, the small seal ring of the sensor may bump sometimes so do it slowly. After installing the sensor connect the negative battery cables.  Then start the vehicle on a trial basis to be sure everything is fine.

Pro Tip: While removing the sensor, the wiring strap may break sometimes from the cable holder that retains the water tube. If this happens, replace it too with a zip tie.

The following video illustrates the 7.3 cam position sensor replacement process in detail.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace CPS 7.3 Powerstroke?

When you’ve confirmed that CPS is bad or going to be failed, replace it soon. 7.3 camshaft sensor replacement parts are available below $25 to $40. So, they are pretty affordable. But if you take the vehicle to the automobile repair shop, you may pay $100  in total to replace the CPS, including the mechanic cost.

Ford 7.3 cam position sensor replacements are available in three different colors. Their part number, color, and price are shown in the table below.

Part NumberColorPrice
F7TZ-12K073 or F7TZ-12K073-ABlack$25 to $30
F7TZ-12K073-BGrey$35 to $40
F4TZ-12K073-CDark grey/purple/blue$25 to $30

7.3 Cam Position Sensor Recall

Ford Motor released Recall 07S57 for 7.3L diesel engines for the camshaft position sensor. It is sanctioned by NHTSA to correct the deficits of the CMS. The recall already covers more than 1.17 million vehicles since April 2007.

According to the recall notice, it covers model 1997-2003 F-Super Duty, E-Series, and Excursion vehicles with 7.3L diesel engines.

cPS failure related (FAQs)

The important part of the article is already covered above. However, you may have more queries regarding Ford 7.3L CPS failure symptoms. Let’s know their answers too.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Powerstroke CPS?

The life expectancy of a Powerstroke CPS is around 10 years or 150,000 miles. However, this varies depending on how well the truck is maintained and how it is driven. Roads where you need to crank up the engine too much like hill tracts, or broken roads will damage the CPS faster. 

What Is A CPS On A 7.3 Powerstroke?

A CPS is the device which tells the powertrain control module where the piston is in its firing order. It basically works to produce an electrical signal that corresponds to the position of the crankshaft. 

Where Is The CPS Located On 7.3 Powerstroke?

The CPS on the 7.3 powerstroke is located at the front of the right-hand cylinder head under the air intake tube. To expose the CPS, all you need is to remove the air intake tube from the throttle body. 

What are the 7.3 CPS bolt size and torque specs?

7.3 cam sensor bolt size and torque spec are 10mm – M8x1.25x15mm and 18 lb/ft respectively.

Can I drive with a 7.3 CPS problem?

Yes, you can drive with a bad 7.3L camshaft sensor. But this is not safe for the engine in long term practically. This will require higher fuel consumption as well as poor engine performance. And driving in this condition may worsen the problem.

Final Words

The cam position sensor continuously monitors the cylinder that is at combustion stroke. This message is transferred into the engine’s powertrain control module (PCM). So, if the 7.3L cam sensor is damaged the whole process will be interrupted.

So, whenever you see any symptoms of CPS failure diagnose the problem soon. If the cam sensor is the culprit recall or purchase a new one to replace it. We hope, this article will help you to solve the 7.3 Powerstroke CPS failure issue successfully.

Want more powerstorke related articles like this? Here are other articles links you might like:

7.3 Powerstroke Low Fuel Pressure Symptoms (Easy Solution)

IDM Failure Symptoms On 7.3 Powerstroke (Easy Solution)

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Mahir Ahmed


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