How to Detect a Bad IPR Valve on 6.0 Powerstroke

How to Detect a Bad IPR Valve on 6.0 Powerstroke: 5 Symptoms

How to Detect a Bad IPR Valve on 6.0 Powerstroke

The five symptoms of a bad IPR valve on a 6.0 Powerstroke are the vehicle failing to idle smoothly, the engine cranks but doesn’t start, a stalling engine, a potential surging of the injectors, and poor gas mileage.

To fix these, you will first have to deduce if the problem is due to an IPR leak or if the IPR valve is not functioning at all. This will help you decide if you need to fix the leak or replace the IPR to solve the problem.

The costs associated with detecting and replacing the IPR valve are usually in the few-hundred dollar region, but if you carry all of these out yourself, you will save a good portion of it.

A bad IPR (Injector Pressure Regulator) valve alone is not likely to cause terminal engine damage. 

However, if the problem is not addressed and the engine is driven for an extended period with a failing IPR valve, it can lead to multiple other issues that can cause significant engine damage, potentially even terminal damage.

Symptoms of Failing 6.0 Powerstroke IPR Valve

Now it’s time to go over all of these symptoms one by one, which should give you a broad understanding of what you need to look out for when trying to fix IPR valve issues. 

The key here is to solve these problems as early as possible as that is likely going to minimize the damage and the associated repair costs.

The Vehicle Fails to Idle Smoothly (Rough and Unstable Idling)

The Vehicle Fails to Idle Smoothly

Rough and unstable idling is directly caused by the injectors not being able to inject as smoothly as possible because the IPR valve can’t regulate the pressure of oil consistently. 

The easiest way to tell that your idle isn’t smooth is simply by listening to your engine increasing and lowering its RPM levels even when in neutral and completely stationary.

You should also be able to see the RPM gauge running up and down the tachometer as it tries to keep it up with the engine’s RPMs. 

The Engine Cranks But Doesn’t Start

If the engine cranks and you hear the camshaft turning, but the engine fails to kick into life, an empty fuel tank is most commonly the reason why.

However, if the car was at rest for a while and the fuel tank is indeed not empty, there is a great deal of chance that your IPR can’t instruct the injectors to pump the appropriate amount of oil and thus not let the car start up. 

Even if your engine does start up after a few seconds or a few attempts, it can still point toward an IPR issue, so be on the lookout for all the other symptoms mentioned in this article. 

Stalling Engine (Car Stalling)

There are countless reasons as to why an engine might stall, but if the stall happens consistently without any obvious reasons, especially when you press down on the accelerator pedal, your IPR could be the culprit.

The IPR valve might be struggling to regulate the pressure of oil to such a severe level that it causes the engine to stop turning due to inconsistent lubrication and a substantial imbalance with the car’s injectors.

Understandably, this can cause severe damage to the internals of the engine, which is why you should not attempt to start the car up if you don’t have to. 

The Injectors May Surge

Injector surging typically happens when the car isn’t able to provide a uniform flow of fuel or oil into the engine and causes the engine to surge as well.

So, if you happen to experience a sudden unintended acceleration while cruising at a steady pace, your IPR valve might prompt the system to pump too much oil into the engine. 

If such surging happens all the time, do not drive the car as it typically leads to engine stalling, which is not something you want at highway speeds.

Poor Mileage

Last, but certainly not least, we also need to talk about poor fuel economy, which accompanies IPR valve issues to the teeth. 

When the IPR valve fails to regulate the oil pressure adequately, it leaves the fuel injectors hungry for fuel. As such, they tend to continuously intake more fuel into the combustion chamber, which leads to bad fuel economy. 

Poor gas mileage can be caused by dozens of different problems, so be sure to look for some of the other symptoms listed in this article before making any assumptions. 

What to Do When You Detect a Bad 6.0 Powerstroke IPR Valve

When detecting a bad IPR valve, you should test the system out via an IPR Valve Test which should give you a basic understanding of how to approach fixing the problem. 

With the key in its “ON” position, but without starting the engine, you should check the car’s engine cranking values. 

A “normal” or a minimum IPR duty cycle should start at around 15% when fully opened. On the other hand, if it’s fully closed, it should read up to 85%.

If the reading at the start is higher than 30%, it usually means you are facing a leak that will need to be sorted out. 

As the IPR valve is just a normal solenoid, applying 12 volts onto it should close the valve, so you can perform this test as well to see if the IPR is working at all. 

How to Solve the Problems in a Bad IPR Valve

Depending on the results of your tests, you can do one of two things:

  1. Repair the Leak
  2. Replace the IPR Valve

How to Repair 6.0 Powerstroke IPR Valve Leak

If the previous test readings show that your engine cranking values are higher than 30%, it means that there is a leak somewhere in the system.

As such, inspect the IPR, look for the leak, and figure out if the leak is repairable. 

If you are not able to repair the leak, there are multiple leak locations, or if repairing the leak can’t be done reliably, you should replace the whole thing instead. 

How to Change 6.0L Powerstroke IPR Valve

If the previous test readings concluded that your IPR can’t be saved via a normal leak repair, you should proceed to replace it entirely.

This is usually the better option as a new IPR isn’t all that particularly expensive, yet a fully-functioning one is crucial for proper engine operation. 

Be sure to purchase a brand-new IPR valve from a reputable parts shop that has the exact same part number and comes with all the necessary equipment needed. 

The tools you will need:

  • A Ratchet 
  • An Extended Magnetic Picker
  • A Socket

First, be sure to disconnect all the pipes, pigtails, and other delicate parts that could get damaged while replacing the IPR valve. Also, disconnect the injectors to keep the engine safe.

Now it’s time to attach the socket and pull the IPR out. Use a 3 to 8-inch extendable ratchet, put it into the socket, and extend it up to 5 inches to reach the IPR valve.

Pull the IPR valve out gently in order not to come in contact with nearby components.

Be sure to now place the new IPR valve with the socket and ratchet, assemble the screws, and connect it all back together.

Is replacing a bad 6.0 Powerstroke IPR valve typically expensive?

In general, you should expect to pay around $200 for a new IPR valve, which isn’t cheap, but it also isn’t catastrophic. 

You do need to keep in mind that running a faulty IPR valve could damage various other components, which would inevitably soar up the final repair costs substantially. 

The replacement costs will run you according to an hourly rate in your specific area, but if you do the replacement yourself, you will save yourself a decent amount of money.

How often should you inspect or service the 6.0 Powerstroke IPR valve?

It’s fairly impossible to predict when an IPR valve could fail, so knowing when to inspect it is anyone’s guess. Some are able to storm past 100k miles while others can fail much earlier.

It would be a good idea to check on it every few hundred miles just to be sure everything is running smoothly.

By this point, you should be well aware of how you can detect an issue with the IPR valve, so just be on the lookout for these symptoms and you will be able to react in time.

Frequently Asked Questions