7.3 Powerstroke is one of the best engine Ford had every build, but there is an issue with Injector Driver Module IDM of this engine. IDM fail often resulting complete shunt down of vehicle. This IDM issue is not something that happens over night, rather there are several symptom that indicate a bad IDM. These symptom include, sudden engine off and on sequence during driving, Low engine performance, poor fuel average, and display of DTC codes.
The 7.3L Powerstroke engine is arguably one of the best engines ever made by Ford. However, there are some severe issues that Ford users of this engine face from time to time. One of the most common issues is Injector Driver Module IDM failure.
The IDM, or the injector driver module, is a crucial component that regulates when and how much fuel will enter the ignition valve. So, when it stops working, so does the vehicle.
So, how can you identify you’re facing an IDM failure? In this article, we’ll discuss several 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure symptoms that’ll help you pinpoint the issue.
Symptoms To Detect IDM Failure On 7.3 Powerstroke
Here’s a list of symptoms you may encounter if your vehicle has a failing IDM. You may not experience all of these symptoms but will certainly face multiple.
Irregular Engine Performance
The IDM can not shut down randomly in a single day. A lot of the 7.3L Powerstroke users who faced an IDM failure reported that the engine continue to lose smoothness over time.
In other words, it can be described as an engine coughing. The issue will start with the engine stalling randomly while cruising at a steady pace. Then again, there can be multiple other reasons, such as poor fuel quality and poor internal combustion behind this.
If IDM is causing this, the issue will be experienced more frequently, and it will be accompanied by harsh sounds. The engine will vibrate with higher frequency, ultimately leading to lower efficiency. Some users face this due to a short circuit in internal hardware.
So, at this stage, you can narrow it down to two underlying issues. To pinpoint it to the IDM, you’ll need to perform a thorough checkup of the engine. The best way would be to look for diagnostic trouble code DTC. If the engine displays a P1316 DTC code, you can be certain of an IDM failure.
Please note that this issue can’t be fixed at home. It’s very complicated, so we recommend approaching highly experienced and skilled mechanics only.
Engine Starting and Turning Off Randomly
One of the earliest symptoms of a bad injector driver module is an engine that shuts down and turns back on randomly while drive of idling. It’s commonly referred to as the running symptom.
In this case, you’ll find the vehicle running fine and smoothly, but it’ll stop suddenly only to start in the next moment. The frequency of this incident will vary depending on the condition of the IDM.
This symptom can be seen when the IDM doesn’t get a steady flow of power, so it fails to deliver the right amount of fuel to the ignition valve. This happens especially when the vehicle is running at high speed.
One of the main challenges of identifying this symptom is its similarity to a Crankshaft Position Sensor CPS failure. The key distinction between the two is that CPS leads only to the engine shutdown but doesn’t turn it back on.
When the IDM gets corroded or suffers from moisture damage, it leads to this engine starting and turning off issue. So, it can be detected relatively easily with a simple checkup.
Engine Stops Suddenly
A damaged injector driver module may fail to deliver optimum amounts of fuel while maintaining proper timing. This can lead to random power cuts.
While the symptom itself is very simple, finding the underlying cause can be tough. There are multiple factors that may lead to this issue. One of the most common issues that may cause this is dust buildup. Other than that, short circuits, broken, damaged, or rusty parts may cause this.
The easiest way of ascertaining what’s causing this problem would be to run a DTC scan. Otherwise, visit a professional.
Engine Suffers a Complete Shutdown and Doesn’t Turn Back On
If the IDM gets way too damaged, then there’s a high chance of engine will not start until IDM is repaired or replaced. The engine will shut down and is highly unlikely to turn back on in these cases.
The main reason behind this is the IDM fails to receive any signal from the controlling unit. So, it doesn’t trigger the fuel injection process in the first place.
This is a severe issue and means that your IDM is beyond any repair. You’ll need to get the IDM replaced by a mechanic as soon as you encounter this issue.
Frequent Display of Certain DTC Codes
One of the clearest implications of an IDM failure would be DTC codes. A broken or damaged IDM can trigger multiple DTCs such as P0261, P0273, P0279, P0611, etc.
In case you encounter any of these DTCs, there’s a high chance that your 7.3L Powerstroke engine has a damaged IDM. We’d recommend seeing a mechanic as soon as you see one of these DTCs.
Poor Fuel Efficiency
Another symptom of bad IDM is the continuous poor fuel efficiency of the vehicle. If fuel efficiency of the engine remaining continuously lower than average fuel efficiency than its the sign that IDM is not working properly.
Poor fuel efficiency can also be caused by the other factors like bad timing belt or timing chain, poor engine maintenance, and poor fuel quality but these are not as much common as IDM (IDM is an electronic thing and can be effected easily by several factors as small as moisture)
1. Are All 7.3 IDM The Same?
Yes, all IDMs are the same across different vehicles as long as the engine is the same. This also means that you’ll be able to interchange IDMs of two different vehicles with a 7.3 Powerstroke engine.
2. How Do I Know If My 7.3 Injectors Are Bad?
If you face any of the symptoms mentioned above, there’s a high chance that your 7.3L vehicle engine’s injectors are bad.
3. Is Replacing an Injector Driver Module Expensive?
An IDM can be expensive to replace altogether. These can come at a price bracket of $500. This is why we recommend looking out for your engine so you can fix the IDM as soon as the symptoms start showing.
These were the major 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure symptoms that you may experience. As you can see, the symptoms can often be seen due to factors other than IDM failure. So, one must further inquire to pinpoint the actual cause.
No matter which symptom you’re facing, we’d recommend taking your car to a mechanic as soon as you can. The sooner you get the issue fixed, the lesser the cost is likely to be.