7.3 Powerstroke Bad Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor Symptoms

The EBP sensor’s main task is to monitor the exhaust back pressure helping PCM to keep things under control.

As the sensor is located at the exhaust manifold, it is normal that exhaust soot clogs it over time.

In this article, I have listed and described the 7.3 exhaust back pressure symptoms to keep an eye on them without much hassle.

Signs of A Bad 7.3 Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor

The most obvious signs of spotting a bad 7.3 EBP sensor are decreased fuel economy and poor performance of the engine. 

However, there are other symptoms too by which you can realize that the sensor has gone bad. 

Symptoms of a Bad 7.3 Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor:

Here, the symptoms will help you understand how to detect a bad 7.3 exhaust back pressure sensor. 

1. Error Codes

An obvious way to find out bad 7.3 exhaust back pressure sensor, you can use AE software. 

Read the pressure readings, and you would immediately know whether there is a problem or not. 

Suspecting something is wrong, you can take out the EBP sensor and tube. A carbon-clogged pipe will confirm your suspicion. 

Also, don’t forget to see the error codes shown by the PCM. Here, let me tell you some common codes and their meaning related to the EBP sensor issue. 

  • P0470 means a biased sensor and open signal return.
  • P0471 indicates a plugged, stuck, or leaked hose.
  • P0472 suggests having an open or grounded circuit, and a biased sensor.
  • P0473 causes circuits to short to 5v, and a biased sensor along with PCM.
  • P0475 means an open/grounded circuit, open/shorted solenoid, and a failed PCM.
  • P0476 error code indicates failed or stuck EPR control, EBP fault, and EPR circuit.
  • Lastly, you can see the P0478 code when there is a plugged sensor line, stuck butterfly, or restricted exhaust.

2. Noticeably Low Fuel Efficiency 

Another certain symptom is noticing very high fuel consumption. Compared to the previous engine performance and mileage, you will realize a huge difference. 

If the valve gets stuck somehow, it can affect the overall performance of the transmission. Reduction in power, less powerful acceleration, and hard starting are the results of becoming an EBP sensor faulty.

3. No Power While Starting

You have got a clue from the last point. According to some Ford owners, their trucks don’t start in the cold weather. 

After letting it warm up for 20 or 30 minutes, things get back to normal. This problem is not seen in the summer season. 

Those who are having severe issues can unplug the sensor and try to run the vehicle. 

Indeed, it will take longer than usual but it can solve the issue for the time being. 

Another situation was mentioned in the forums. Some people felt like having no authority over the acceleration. 

It is like dragging or driving in the 2nd gear although you are not. 

4. Excessive Smoke or Soot

Another possible situation is seeing excessive smoke or soot from the exhaust pipe. 

It doesn’t occur when the combustion is proper. But the exhaust pressure valve becomes faulty and things go bad when the sensor becomes faulty.

In the end, it causes black smoke and soot coming out of the exhaust which is a clear warning for checking the sensor.

5. Loud Irritating Noise

In cold temperatures, truck owners face another problem besides hard starting. 

While accelerating lightly or maintaining the speed, it sounds like a bad vacuum leak. 

But putting down the pedal accelerating aggressively, the annoying sound goes away. 

Pro Tip: Some online communities may suggest that seeing engine lights turning on is another symptom of having a bad EPB sensor. But that doesn’t happen. 

Even if you see engine lights while experiencing the above symptoms, it will mean that some other parts are also not functioning properly. 

What to Do When You Detect A Bad 7.3 Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor?

As there is no possible way to repair a faulty sensor, you have to replace it. 

Indeed, it is possible to clean the existing one and see whether it solves the problem or not. Otherwise, replacing is the only solution.

Tip: To remove buildup on the sensor, you can use a shot of air inside the EBPS tube. Use a small pipe cleaner for cleaning the sensor. Be careful because a small puncture in the diaphragm of the EBP sensor can make it non-functional.  

Now, you can understand that taking the help of a mechanic adds another 100 bucks or so to the installation budget. 

Easily replace the bad one with a new EBP sensor at home using some basic tools. Follow the steps below and save some money. 

  • As the EBPS sits right in front of the high-pressure oil pump, you have to remove the plastic engine cover to gain access.
  • After that, carefully remove the electrical connection and the sensor. For removing the sensor, you have to use a 9/16″ open-ended wrench to hold down the bolt and a 1″ deep socket to turn it. 
  • Now, you will notice that the other end of the tube connects to the exhaust manifold at the passenger side. Here, use a 5/8″ flare nut wrench for safe and easy removal.
  • Finally, repeat the whole process in reverse mode to install the new sensor.  

Is Replacing A Bad 7.3 Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor Expensive?

The same EBP sensor model fits both Ford 7.3L and 6.0L diesel engines. Amazon has a good online deal that you can check out. 

Adding both part and labor costs, it should not cost you more than 200 bucks. 

Doing the installation by yourself makes the whole process a lot cheaper. Follow the instructions or see some online videos, and save some money. 

How Often Should You Service The 7.3 Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor?

As the tube tends to clog up easily, you have to regularly clean it.

If you think that cleaning is a hassle and you don’t have the time, you can buy new ones spending only 40 dollars.

It takes a small screwdriver that fits the inlet of the sensor to clear the dirt. 

Check the tube every 3 or 4 months and ensure the EBP sensor’s proper functioning. 

Final Thoughts

I hope that you can remember bad 7.3 exhaust back pressure sensor symptoms. And, replace the existing one easily at home. 

Don’t forget to clean the EBPS tube with a solvent before the installation. But never use any chemicals on the sensor.

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