Cold Start Problems - at 55 Degrees - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:25 AM
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Exclamation Cold Start Problems - at 55 Degrees

I understand that 55 isn't COLD, but here in lies a lot of the issues. I have searched the web a bit and cannot seem to find my particular issues.

2000 Ford F-250 7.3L, 2WD

This problem has been a constant problem for several YEARS now and I've yet to figure out the issue. I'm from Texas but have lived in Virginia for about a year and when the temp gets into the 50s in either location, the truck begins to have issues starting, or more accurately, staying running. When the temp gets colder, the problem gets worse.

Description of what happens - I turn the key, let the glow plugs warm, when the light goes off - I crank the engine. It will most often start right away. It will run for as long as it takes to drive a mile or so, then it will start to have a knocking sound and I can put my foot to the floor and it will not do anything. If I'm stopped at a stop sign at this point, it will not move, but engine will remain running. If I'm in a parking lot and have let the engine run a few minutes and just try to rev it, then it will start to rhythmically rev (like a slow pulse). It will need to do this for a few minutes. If I'm driving down the road when all this happens I will lose all power and truck will stall. After a few minutes of letting it sit and run and possibly rev it some - it will run great... until it sits for a few hours and I'm right back where I started, perhaps not quite as bad.

If truck does stall, I have to turn and hold the key over for a while as it tries to crank faster and faster until it does and I give it fuel.

Engine light is on but when I've taken it to be scanned it shows an error and tells us nothing.

Sometimes engine check light does not come on immediately and rather I ride down the road until the issues start, I can feel the engine cut somewhat as usual, but then it will suddenly have about 1 second feeling like it has nitrous in it - then cuts - then engine light comes on and it runs like a champ.

Batteries have been replaced once a year or two due to necessity. Alternator replaced <1 yr ago. Fuel Filter replaced often. Water seperator emptied often. Fuel additives change nothing.

Took it into a diesel mechanic back last fall/winter. They replaced the engine oil cooler and I'm not sure, but it seemed to help - maybe just psychological.

Also - that new alternator seemed to help it run much better in general too, but just in general - not related to this issue.

I know VERY little about engines, so keep the suggestions simple, but I'm sick of dealing with this every year.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:55 AM
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Change your CPS heres a link Genuine Ford 7.3L Diesel Cam Position Sensor (CPS) - Blue, Id almost bet it has something to do with it. Super easy to change just a 10mm bolt right by the front of the engine right next to the crankshaft.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:56 AM
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Thank you. I think it has been done but I'll try it. My local Ford dealer has a motorcraft one in stock. I'll let you know.

Anyone else have any input??
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolank270 View Post
Thank you. I think it has been done but I'll try it. My local Ford dealer has a motorcraft one in stock. I'll let you know.

Anyone else have any input??
It doesnt matter if its been done. The CPS is one of those parts that can go wrong at any time and will cause the weirdest issues. Its usually the first go to thing when a 7.3 is acting up just to rule it out. Most guys carry a spare in the glove box just in case
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:41 PM
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Ok, changed the CPS today. I purposefully did not drive the truck all day before I replaced it and then tried to drive it once the new one was in. It did not fix it and actually stalled out completely on me and took even longer than normal to get started again. I would like to reiterate that once the truck goes through all the issues in the first 5-15 minutes, it seems to run fine until it sits for a while then it starts all over depending on how long its been sitting.

Tomorrow it will do the same thing - I'll try to take a video of the entire process and post it to youtube. Repair shops don't seem to want to listen to me long enough to explain whats happening. They just want to go down their checklists, so I'm appreciative of the advice.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:45 PM
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Diagnosing a 7.3 no start
Check this out. It will help lead you in the right direction when your checking things
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:37 PM
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to me the maf come to mind...maf might be dirty and gets to cold and when the engine heats up the air coming in it registers a bit better. but im a begginer with diesel so dont go buy a new one because of me
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by the black lemon View Post
to me the maf come to mind...maf might be dirty and gets to cold and when the engine heats up the air coming in it registers a bit better. but im a begginer with diesel so dont go buy a new one because of me
No MAF on a 7.3l so nope and what you are describing is the Air Intake Temp sensor ,

my gamble is the ICP sensor, is there oil in the plug? if so it is going bad or has gone bad,

(from google)

after you check the ICP, check the IPR(not sure on details on how to check it, but there should be something on here about it)

last would be the EBPV and Map sensor

Last edited by alaskan155; 11-16-2013 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:01 PM
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do yourself a favor and find a powerstroke diesel specialist that has the proper equipment to scan for codes. it sounds like the first guys you took it to hooked up a regular obd2 scanner and got an error. you need to find someone with the proper equipment and leave it with them to be able to read live data when it starts acting up.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:24 AM
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then how does computer know how much fuel to inject? has a bunch of maps and goes off the temp?
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