What Is P1280 Code On 7.3 Powerstroke: How To Fix

Ford 7.3L Powerstroke notifies users about engine difficulties through a bunch of DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes). The P1280 code is one of these trouble codes. 

If you’re getting the DTC P1280 & don’t know what it means, this article is for you. I’ve discussed everything from top to button (symptoms to solution) in this article. 

What is P1280 Code Means On 7.3L Powerstroke?

P1280 is one of the DTCs of the Ford 7.3L engine. By definition, this error code P1280 means Injection Control Pressure Out Of Range-Low. 

This code appears when the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) detects a problem with the ICP (Injection Control Pressure) sensor. Most of the time, you’ll find your ICP sensor flooded with oil all around as this code pops up. 

However, this can be a confusing trouble code sometimes. Even after replacing the ICP sensor & IPR (Injection Pressure Regulator), you may still face the error code P1280. 

If that’s true in your case, consider getting expert help without making any delay. Follow the next segment to spot this error code through symptoms only. 

Symptoms Of Getting The P1280 Code On A 7.3

Like every other DTCs of Ford 7.3, the DTC P1280 also shows a few symptoms on its arrival. Expect to have the P1280 error code if you’re noticing the following symptoms:

  1. Check Engine Light (CEL) is Turned On
  2. Surge On Start-Up
  3. Sluggish Driving Experience 
  4. Other ICP Related Issues

That’s all about the symptoms of the P1280 error code.

The Causing Factors Of The Error Code P1280

This error code is a common code for most 7.3L Powerstroke engines. Though it appears for several reasons, let me name some of the most obvious ones: 

  • Faulty Injection Control Pressure (ICP) Sensor 
  • Poor Electrical Connection Of ICP Sensor Circuit 
  • Faulty Powertrain Control Module (Rare Case)

You may have other issues as well & it’s common with the error code P1280. 

How Serious Is Code P1280 On 7.3L Powerstroke?

The DTC P1280 can cause severe damage to your engine if you don’t take proper steps within time. From engine surging to engine failure, everything is possible with this error code. 

That’s why you shouldn’t risk your 7.3L engine ignoring this code. You may not get any symptoms besides the CEL, but fix it to free up the engine light for notifying you of future errors. 

How To Solve P1280 Error Code On 7.3L Powerstroke?

Solving the P1280 error code is very straightforward. Make sure you’ve proper equipment such as:

  • 16mm Wrench 
  • Screwdrivers Kit

If you’re ready with the equipment, let’s get started with the fixing methods of the DTC P1280. 

Check Injection Control Pressure Sensor 

You’ve to access the ICP sensor first before doing any inspection. You’ll find the ICP on top of the driver’s side. It should be located just behind the alternator. 

To access the ICP sensor, follow the steps mentioned below: 

  • Step 1: Remove the serpentine belt from the alternator. 
  • Step 2: Remove the alternator unscrewing the top three bolts only.

Now you can access (can see & use Wrench) the ICP sensor. Your next job will be checking the ICP sensor’s health. 

You’ve to unplug the ICP sensor while the engine is running. If you notice any difference in engine sound, then your ICP is in good condition & all you need is cleaning it up. 

On the other hand, if you don’t notice any difference even after disconnecting the ICP sensor – your ICP sensor is bad & needs a replacement. 

Replace The Injection Control Pressure Sensor 

You’ll have to replace the ICP sensor if your engine is not responding (via sound effect), even if you unplug it. Follow the next steps-by-steps guide to replace the Injection Control Pressure (ICP) sensor:

  • Step 1: Remove the alternator following the method mentioned above. 
  • Step 2: Clean the sensor surroundings thoroughly. 
  • Step 3: Unplug the ICP sensor cable.  
  • Step 4: Now, use your 16mm Wrench to access the ICP sensor. Gently use the Wrench & pull off the ICP sensor. 
  • Step 5: Place your new ICP sensor & you’re all set. 

Replacing the ICP sensor can fix the error code P1289 without any issues (most of the time). However, you will need professional help if the DTC stays even after doing everything mentioned above. 

How Much Does It Cost To Solve The Error Code P1280

The cost depends on various factors. If you’ve solved the code by just replacing the ICP sensor, it will cost you around $100 to $300.

Warning: Don’t make a fool of yourself getting cheap $15-$20 ICP sensors online. They are just trash. 

If luck isn’t in your favor, you may still face the error code even after replacing the ICP. In that case, the auto shop will charge you $75 to $150 per hour for fixing the error code. 

Common Mistakes While Solving The P1280 Code

Beware of these common mistakes mentioned below & you should be okay solving the error code:

  • Not Replacing The ICP Sensor Before Replacing The PCM
  • Not Having Correct Screwdriver For Removing The Alternator

Additional Comments To Consider Regarding The P1280 Code

The P1280 code is truly a confusing DTC of Ford 7.3. You may even get improved engine performance just by removing (not replacing) the ICP sensor entirely. 

However, that won’t solve the code for you. You’ll have to figure out what’s causing the DTC to appear even after doing everything related to the ICP sensor. If you fail, consult experts. 

Conclusion 

I hope this article was helpful enough to know the DTC P1280 properly. This is a moderately easy-to-solve code anybody can perform most of the time. 

If you’re solving the error code P1280 on your own, make sure to get a quality ICP sensor for your 7.3. Buying a cheap ICP sensor can result in greater damage to the engine.