What Can Go Wrong With the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR System?

Written By Dieselmatic on Dec 29, 2022

The 7.3 Powerstroke engine is a reliable and durable engine that has been used in Ford trucks for decades. However, like any engine, there are certain components that can fail or malfunction over time. One of these components is the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system.

The EGR system is designed to reduce emissions by recirculating a portion of the exhaust gas back into the engine. This helps to lower the temperature of the combustion process, which in turn reduces the amount of NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions. While the EGR system is a critical component of the 7.3 Powerstroke engine, it is also prone to failure and can cause a range of issues if not properly maintained.

Sensor failures

The EGR system also has a number of sensors and actuators that can malfunction or fail. The EGR position sensor, for example, is responsible for telling the engine control module (ECM) the position of the EGR valve. If this sensor fails, it can cause the EGR system to malfunction and lead to increased emissions and reduced engine performance. Similarly, the EGR vacuum regulator solenoid is responsible for controlling the flow of exhaust gas into the engine. If this component fails, it can cause the EGR system to malfunction and lead to increased emissions and reduced engine performance.

EBPV Failure

One of the most frustrating problems with the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR system is EBPV (Exhaust Back Pressure Valve) failure. The EBPV is designed to regulate exhaust back pressure and is controlled by the ECM. If the EBPV fails, it can cause a range of issues including poor fuel economy, reduced power, and a check engine light.

Carbon buildup

One common issue with the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR system is carbon build-up. As the exhaust gas is recirculated back into the engine, it can leave behind a build-up of carbon on various components, such as the EGR valve and exhaust manifold. This build-up can cause the valve to stick or malfunction, leading to reduced engine performance and increased emissions.

Clogged or leaking EGR cooler

The EGR cooler is responsible for cooling the exhaust gas before it is recirculated back into the engine, but it can become clogged with debris or soot over time. This can lead to reduced engine performance and, in some cases, engine overheating.

If it starts to leak, it can cause the engine to overheat and lead to reduced performance. This issue can also be caused by a faulty EGR cooler gasket, which can cause the EGR cooler to leak exhaust gas into the engine.

Sticking or leaking valve

One of the most common issues with the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR system is the EGR valve sticking. The EGR valve is responsible for controlling the flow of exhaust gas into the engine, and if it becomes stuck, it can cause the EGR system to malfunction and lead to increased emissions and reduced engine performance. This issue can be caused by a number of factors, such as carbon build-up, a faulty EGR valve gasket, or a malfunctioning EGR position sensor.

The EGR valve can also develop leaks over time which similarly cause exhaust gas to escape into the engine rather than being recirculated back into it. This can lead to reduced engine performance and increased emissions. 

Up pipe leaks

Up pipe leaks in the turbocharger are another issue that can occur with the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR system. The up pipes are responsible for carrying exhaust gases from the exhaust manifold to the turbocharger. If the up pipes leak, it can cause a loss of power and a decrease in fuel efficiency. Symptoms of an up pipe leak include a drop in boost pressure, a loss of power, and a check engine light.

Bent push rods

Finally, bent push rods are a problem that can occur with the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR system. The push rods are responsible for transferring motion from the camshaft to the valve train. If the push rods become bent, it can cause issues with the valve train and ultimately lead to engine failure. Symptoms of bent push rods include a rough idle, a loss of power, and a check engine light.

This includes replacing the CPS, UVCH, and fuel filter housing on a regular basis, as well as regularly checking for leaks in the up pipes and the EBPV. Additionally, it is important to watch for any signs of bent push rods, as this can be a costly repair if not addressed promptly.

Final words

The EGR system in the 7.3 Powerstroke is an important component of the engine that helps to reduce emissions and maintain proper engine performance. However, it is prone to failure and can cause a range of issues if not properly maintained. To prevent these issues from occurring with the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR system, it is important to regularly maintain and service the engine. By keeping the EGR system in good working order, you can ensure that your 7.3 Powerstroke engine runs smoothly and efficiently.

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December 29, 2022

What Can Go Wrong With the 7.3 Powerstroke EGR System?

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