5 Symptoms To Detect IPR Sensor Failure On 7.3 Powerstroke + Fixing Guide

Injection Pressure Valve (IPR) is what controls the oil pressure in a 7.3 Powerstroke. In case of a failure, it bleeds off more injection pressure leading to an unsuccessful ignition. I’ve seen the consequences of a failed IPR closely, where the engine could run extremely rough, stall, randomly surge, or not start!

Many think IPR is a sensor, but let me tell you, it’s not. It’s an electromagnetic regulator valve that works together with the ICP (Injection Control Pressure) sensor. It works as a part of the feedback cycle in the Powerstroke to –

  • Regulate the pressure of the oil arriving from the High-Pressure Oil Pump.
  • Tailor the injection pressure of the injectors when the oil moves across them.

What happens due to an IPR failure? Here I’ve summarized the symptoms for you:

7.3 Powerstroke IPR Sensor Failure SymptomsExplanation
Crank-no-startThe engine cranks but isn’t ignited.
Engine StallThe engine suddenly stops turning or even working at all.
Rough idlingEngine rises and falls at idling and tachometer needle jump weirdy.
Random SurgeIrregular surging and overheating occur.
Bad MileageMileage drops.

How serious are they? And how to fix them? Continue reading the article to know more.

7.3 Powerstroke IPR Sensor Failure Symptoms: (5 Symptoms To Detect)

The failure of the IPR valve or the ICP sensor could show up same symptoms because in both cases, the injectors will have inadequate pressure to start or operate the engine properly. Similar to the IPR failure, the IDM failure also interferes with the ignition process. You can learn about the 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure symptoms in this article here.

You’ve had a glance at the bad 7.3 Powerstroke IPR Symptoms. Now, let me guide you to some more details below.

#1. Engine Cranks but Won’t Start

You may notice your engine isn’t starting after turning the crankshaft even though there’s enough fuel. It’s referred to as the hard-engine-start, where the engine will crank but won’t start. Don’t let the usual reasons like the low battery or blocked fuel fitter fool you by making you overlook an IPR failure.

Diagnose the IPR or ICP to see if that’s causing poor pressure in the injector, which as a result, is unable to ignite the engine.

#2. Engine Stalls

A damaged IPR valve could cause your vehicle to stall, meaning the engine could suddenly stop turning or even working at all. It could repeatedly happen when the IPR valve is unable to maintain pressure as the injectors lose power. It’s risky to get your vehicle stopped on a busy road, so make sure to check the IPR valve.

#3. Rough Idling

If you notice uneven behavior in your engine like it’s rising and falling at idling, then it’s probably because of a bad IPR valve. You could even see your tachometer needle moving crazily even though you haven’t accelerated.

A poor idling can interfere with the cooling system, steady rotation rate, and some electrical operations as well. In such cases, check the IPR valve as it may need replacement.

#4. Random Surging and Overheating

Random surging is a symptom that the combustion process in the 7.3 Powerstroke isn’t doing fine. You might see a dramatic speed change in the engine even if you’re driving steadily. It could even cut out at times while you’re approaching a stop.

So there are probably some issues with the injectors or the IPR that regulate the injectors requiring your attention. Random surging could also lead to an overheated engine and cause damage to different engine parts.

#5. Poor Mileage

A faulty or clogged IPR could cause a hungry engine, resulting in poor mileage. Your truck may have high fuel pressure, but the injector could still lack the fuel. A failed ICP sensor could also cause the issue. So if you see your mileage dropping down drastically, make sure to inspect the IPR and ICP sensor.

how to Diagnose the IPR & ICP Sensor In 7.3 Powerstroke?

Let me tell you, IPR is not solely responsible for actuating the injectors in the 7.3 HEUI system to fire combustion. It does that in conjunction with other components such as the ICP sensor, HPOP, and the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

However, it’s generally a faulty IPR valve or ICP sensor that disturbs the module from functioning properly.

I’m often asked how to know if the above symptoms are actually because of the IPR or ICP and not for some other parts. The answer is you’ve to diagnose them in the following ways:

1. Get a Scan Tool and Diagnostic Equipment.

Since Powerstroke engines are electronically controlled systems, you’ll need a scan tool (I like the inexpensive ODBII that also comes with a free mobile app) and diagnostic equipment. The diagnostic equipment will reposition the IPR remotely during different duty cycles to ensure it’s functioning properly.

2. Check Your Oil

I always advise doing the basics first, checking the oil level and the base oil pressure. It’s important in 7.3 because the oil’s being used as a hydraulic fluid for the injectors.

3. Unplug the Injection Control Pressure Sensor & Look for Code

A faulty ICP just like the faulty IPR could cause low injection pressure. See if it’s showing weird readings, like whether it reads too high or a zero. Even if it’s showing a good reading, unplug it to default the PCM and look for the code P1211 with the scan tool.

This code indicates “ICP Higher/Lower Than Desired” in 7.3. The parameters that trigger the code are “ICP 410psi Higher Than Desired for 7 Seconds” and

“ICP 280psi Lower Than Desired for 7 Seconds”.

There could also be other High-Pressure Oil System problems triggering the code, including a Failed/Sticking IPR. So if you see the code, the IPR or ICP may have some problems that need your attention.

4. Check the IPR Valve

To check the IPR, use a guide to locate it and remove it using a special IPR removal tool (like an IPR wrench). Or, get a professional to remove it for you. Then check if the debris or oil in the pilot valve is making the IPR sticky and trapping its motion. Also, see whether the worn or damaged external O rings are causing issues with the IPR valve.

3 main Causes of IPR Sensor Failure

Here I’ve listed a few reasons that cause the IPR to fail.

  • ICP sensor

A faulty ICP sensor can disturb the whole module, including the IPR valve. Without the right ICP reading, the PCM can’t determine the amount of oil pressure to inject into the injectors. So there won’t be enough injection pressure to fire ignition.

  • Debris

Debris or oil in the IPR valve can stick inside and trap the motion. As a result, it can’t function properly. The debris in the piston area or the lack of lubrication there can also cause the IPR valve to fail.

  • Damaged O Ring

The O ring stops oil leakage or escape. But it can corrode or get damaged over time, which can cause a problem with your IPR valve.

What To Do When These Symptoms Appear In 7.3 Powerstroke?

After noticing any of the symptoms like rough running, crank-no-start, stalling, or poor mileage, immediately diagnose IPR and ICP sensor and do the following tasks as I say to resolve the issues.

Solutions to the Problems

  • If there’s debris in the valve, clear it using a combination of screwdriver motion, solvent, and compressed air. Also, clean the actuator body and piston area. Finally, lubricate them using a thin solvent or oil.
  • Examine the O ring of the IPR valve and see if it’s worn or damaged. Although you can replace them, it’s wise to replace the complete IPR valve in such a case.
  • Now, if the issue is with the ICP sensor like it’s showing the code or the engine starts after unplugging it, then you should replace it with a new one.

What If You Drive With IPR Sensor Failure Symptoms?

There are some failed parts that you can’t continue driving with, such as a failed IPR, ICP, EGR, and IDM (read 7.3 Powerstroke IDM symptoms here).

So I strongly discourage you from driving with IPR failure symptoms. Possibly, you won’t be able to start the engine because of a crank-no-start issue. Even if you manage to start, issues like engine stalling or rough idling can make your drive risky.

It could suddenly stop on a busy highway leading to potential accidents that could cost your life. Driving with a damaged IPR can also cause engine overheating or damage to different parts of the vehicle like the electrical systems or cooling system.

Is IPR Failure A Serious Issue For 7.3 Powerstroke?

Whether it’s an IPR or an ICP sensor failure in the 7.3 Powerstroke, you’re likely to face rough running or a no-start situation. Since these could be damaging to your vehicle and also risky for your life, the IPR failure causing them is definitely a serious issue.

IPR Sensor Failure related (FAQs)

If you still have some queries, check out the FAQs answered below.

What is the minimum pressure reading required in the ICP sensor to start the 7.3 Powerstroke?

A minimum pressure reading of 500 PSI in the ICP sensor is required to ignite and start the 7.3 Powerstroke.

Is IPR valve replacement costly?

Since an IPR valve can cost around $150 to $300, it can’t be called cheap. Plus, you may need an additional installation cost unless you want to do it yourself.

Where is IPR Valve located?

The location of the IPR valve is on the back of HPOP, which lies underneath the fuel filter assembly in the center of the engine.

7.3L Powerstroke IPR Issue – Solved >> Check out the video below:

Take Away

So what has been the takeaway so far? Let me help you. A faulty IPR valve could severely damage your engine or engine parts. So respond as soon as you see any of the 7.3 Powerstroke IPR sensor failure symptoms listed above. Also, keep an eye on ICP sensor failure as it can lead to the same consequences.

Whether it’s a crank-no-start, stalling, or any other issue, diagnose the IPR valve easily using a scan tool. Thanks to the electrical-controlled system in the Ford Powerstrokes, which can tell you the problem is actually with the IPR valve and not with other failed parts.

I’ve discussed some inexpensive and easy ways to get rid of the problems. But at most you might need to replace the IPR valve, and trust me it’d still be a fair deal!

Who Worked on This?

Syed

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I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is helpful for our reader.

Mahir Ahmed

Writer

I'm the guy responsible for ensuring honest, informative, accurate and helpful guide to the reader.

1 thought on “5 Symptoms To Detect IPR Sensor Failure On 7.3 Powerstroke + Fixing Guide”

  1. My ICP sensor went bad, rough surging idle so I unplugged the pigtail and the engine stumbled for a second then sounded alright. I then drove from Seattle all the way across the state, across North Idaho and down through Montana to west Yellowstone and then into South East Idaho. Just over a 1000 miles of driving truck did just fine even over some gnarly passes and I was pulling a 32 foot travel trailer that was maxed out on the trucks alleged tow/haul limit. But wait! Besides the super bad oil leak- (have to add 5 gallons over 800 miles) I drove it in that condition back to seattle but this time traveling through Boise to Portland and up to my destination. Then I still never fixed the truck, did maintenance that was needed besides adding oil every other other day. You can definitely tell where I park. And it continued to run pulling trailers for work ect for well over a year and half going on two years without the ICP sensor. I have never had hard starts unless it’s really cold, never stalled or seemed to lack power and i pulled more weight then manufacturers stated specs (excavator and not a mini , and lowboy paver, Kubotas 95 skidsteer that i thought was going to break the truck every time. Nope she’s still going

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