​7 Symptoms to Detect 7.3 Powerstroke IDM Failure

​7 Symptoms to Detect 7.3 Powerstroke IDM Failure

One of the common problems of a 7.3 Powerstroke engine is an IDM (injector driver module) failure, but many owners are not aware of the symptoms caused by it.

Luckily, we’re familiar with all of the common symptoms that start popping out whenever an IDM fails on a 7.3 Powerstroke, and we’ll be discussing them in detail right here.

You can expect to see info on what actually causes the 7.3 Powerstroke IDM to fail and how to deal with its symptoms properly, so be sure to read all the way.

Symptoms to Detect 7.3 Powerstroke IDM Failure

These are the common symptoms that you should look out for when a 7.3 Powerstroke’s IDM is failing:

  • Sudden start and restart (running symptom)
  • Trouble starting
  • Sudden loss of power
  • Complete shutdown
  • Engine running rough
  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Error codes

We have also provided a more detailed description of each of the aforementioned IDM failure symptoms below.

Sudden Start and Restart (Running Symptom)

One of the most common symptoms of a failing IDM on a 7.3 Powerstroke engine is that the vehicle suddenly starts or restarts as you’re driving along.

This is also commonly referred to as the “running symptom”, where the vehicle will initially stop running all of a sudden and then start back up again on its own.

A lot of people have been quick to assume that this is a CPS-related (cam position sensor) issue because of the similarities in symptoms, but this is not the case.

If it was CPS-related, then the engine would simply shut off but would not start on its own again.

While CPS issues are due to unsynchronized cylinder combustions, IDM issues such as the running symptom are mainly caused by moisture damage or corrosion on the injector module itself.

Sudden Start and Restart (Running Symptom)

Furthermore, how often the running symptom occurs is usually proportional to how damaged the IDM is, so be sure to get it looked at and possibly replaced by a professional right away.

Trouble Starting

Apart from causing a sudden stop and restart, an IDM failure on a 7.3 Powerstroke can also cause the vehicle to not start at all.

This is because the IDM has become unresponsive at this point, resulting in difficulty getting the fuel injectors to fire up properly on engine start-up due to a dead signal.

In order to properly start the engine, the IDM needs to be working correctly to be able to send high voltage signals to the injectors.

Additionally, problems with starting can also be traced back to a faulty IPR (injection pressure regulator) valve or an ICP (injection control pressure) sensor.

Trouble Starting

The best way to make sure that the starting problem is properly diagnosed is to have it checked by an authorized professional.

Sudden Loss of Power

Once a 7.3 Powerstroke’s IDM fails, you may experience a sudden loss of power while you’re driving along normally.

A sudden loss of power may make it difficult to maintain your current speed, go up steep inclines, and tow or haul heavy cargo.

Sudden Loss of Power

This may also eventually lead to the engine stalling out completely because the IDM is unable to get the injectors to supply the appropriate amount of fuel.

Due to the nature of this IDM failure symptom, it can also be connected to the very common “running symptom”, in which the engine initially stalls but starts back up by itself.

Complete Shutdown

A complete IDM failure on a 7.3 Powerstroke can cause the engine to completely shut off on its own, making it one of the worst IDM failure symptoms that you can experience.

The main explanation for this is that the IDM is already damaged to the point that it’s unable to send signals to the vehicle’s PCM (powertrain control module) to tell the injectors to work.

Once the injectors are out of commission, there will eventually be no fuel left in the cylinders for the combustion process, thus completely shutting off the engine.

At this point, you should have the entire IDM replaced as soon as possible by an authorized mechanic before it starts causing damage to other components.

Engine Running Rough

Even if the 7.3 Powerstroke engine is able to keep running despite an IDM failure, you could still experience it running rougher than usual.

Other signs that come with an engine running rough include increased vibration, loud and even knocking noises, and a decrease in overall engine performance.

Here’s a video representation of what a 7.3 Powerstroke can sound like when it’s running rough.

Owners also report that the vehicle tends to rock back and forth while driving, which can be traced back to the injectors misfiring due to the IDM failing and not sending out the right signals.

However, a rough-running engine can be a symptom of other issues not related to the IDM, such as improper oil retention or improper internal combustion.

To completely rule out other potential causes and narrow it down to just the IDM failing, you need to get the help of a mechanic that can run a full diagnostic scan of the engine for you.

If the mechanic manages to get an error code named “P1316”, then that will be your confirmation that it’s an IDM failure that’s causing the engine to run rough.

Poor Fuel Efficiency

Another common sign of an IDM failure on a 7.3 Powerstroke is that your fuel efficiency will become worse.

Poor Fuel Efficiency

Whenever an IDM fails, the injectors will lose their bearings on what is considered the appropriate amount of fuel to use at a certain time, which can also cause them to send too much fuel into the combustion chamber.

Hence, this will cause the engine to burn and use up too much fuel that’s necessary for the combustion process, which is sometimes described as “running too rich”.

Error Codes

There are tons of possible error codes that can pop up when running a full diagnosis on a 7.3 Powerstroke, but there are only a few that point to a potential IDM failure.

The most direct code relating to the IDM itself is “P1316”, which simply means to check your IDM for issues.

Aside from P1316, we have listed other possible error codes and what they mean that may indicate an issue with the 7.3 Powerstroke IDM below.

Error CodeMeaning
P0261PCM (powertrain control module) has detected low voltage from cylinder #1’s fuel injector.
P0267PCM (powertrain control module) has detected low voltage from cylinder #3’s fuel injector.
P0273PCM (powertrain control module) has detected low voltage from cylinder #5’s fuel injector.
P0279PCM (powertrain control module) has detected low voltage from cylinder #7’s fuel injector.
P0282PCM (powertrain control module) has detected low voltage from cylinder #8’s fuel injector.
P0611PCM (powertrain control module) has detected a performance issue with the FICM (fuel injector control module).

As you may have noticed above, almost every single error code has something to do with each cylinder’s individual fuel injector. This is because it’s the IDM’s job to ensure each injector receives the minimum required voltage to fire up properly.

In the case of error code P0611’s description, “FICM” is another name used interchangeably with “IDM”, so both of them still refer to the same module that controls the injectors.

What causes 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure?

There are several different reasons that can cause the 7.3 Powerstroke IDM to fail such as damaged parts, rust, short circuits, overvoltage, and dust buildup.

Damaged Parts

Even with the hood closed, your vehicle’s engine bay components are still exposed to the elements, which includes the IDM.

With this considered, the IDM itself can fail because of physically damaged parts, which is actually one of the main reasons why it fails.

Short Circuits and Overvoltage

The IDM is an electronic component with a circuit board, so it also runs the risk of short-circuiting or overvoltage.

Short Circuits and Overvoltage

Once this happens, the IDM will be unable to handle the extra voltage (overvoltage) or the electrical current going down the wrong path (short circuit), resulting in overheating and eventual failure.


Rust is also a common reason why the 7.3 Powerstroke IDM fails, and the way it accumulates on the module itself is due to prolonged exposure to moisture over time.

Thus, it’s worth checking your IDM from time to time to make sure that it’s not getting corroded because of a wet engine bay, as it really shortens its lifespan.

Dust Buildup

If you haven’t cleaned your engine bay in a while, then chances are that there is already a lot of dust buildup on the IDM.

Over time, dust buildup can make the IDM malfunction and eventually fail, so make sure to regularly clean your engine bay of dust or any sort of debris to avoid this.

Can you drive with 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure?

It’s still possible to drive with a 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure.  However, there is a high chance that the engine would suddenly stall as you’re driving, making it very risky to do so.

Whether or not you have confirmed that your vehicle’s IDM has failed, you should never ignore the symptoms that have already started showing up.

This means that you should avoid continuing to drive the vehicle. If you’re going to continue driving it anyway, at least drive it to the nearest trusted mechanic.

The worst-case scenario is that the engine could suddenly stall in the middle of your drive and potentially cause an accident.

Can you drive with 7.3 Powerstroke IDM failure

What to Do When 7.3 Powerstroke IDM Failure Symptoms Appear

When you start noticing symptoms of IDM failure, the best thing to do is to get your vehicle checked by a professional right away. They will know whether or not an IDM replacement is needed.

Unsurprisingly, the best course of action to take when you start to notice IDM failure symptoms on your 7.3 Powerstroke is to have it checked by a professional mechanic, as there’s a chance that they can also be not related to the IDM.

In order to narrow down the root cause of the symptoms to just the IDM, a digital scanner such as an OBD2 scanner is needed in order to check what kind of error codes will pop up from the PCM (powertrain control module).

What to Do When 7.3 Powerstroke IDM Failure Symptoms Appear

If the mechanic is able to confirm that the IDM has completely gone bad via the codes and by physically checking the component, then the only choice is to replace it entirely.

Frequently-Asked Questions