7.3L starting issues - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:14 PM
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7.3L starting issues

Hey, so I'm having issues with my 7.3L starting, I'm hoping some of you guys have ideas.

My truck is an 02 with 212k on it, and a Banks Big Hoss package (in case that matters). I am having issues with the truck starting, and the issues are worse when it's cold outside. Initially, I thought it might be the glow plugs, so I replaced those (and they needed replacing) and the injector/plug harnesses, as well as the fuel pump. They helped a little, but if it is between 20-30 degrees out, without the truck plugged in, it just will not start, no matter what. Plug it in for about 45 minutes to an hour, and it will start, though it takes a couple of tries. Oddly enough, the other day, when it was in the teens out and I forgot to plug it in, I thought what the heck, I'll at least try (well after thinking, you dummy, why didn't you plug it in last night...) - and it started! BUT, two separate days now, in the afternoon leaving work, when it is 52+ degrees out, it won't start without about 5-6 tries. Also, twice in the last month, the glow plug light has come back on once the truck started up and stayed on all the way home (about a 30 minute drive), but didn't do it again once I shut the truck off and started it back up right away.

What might this be? I don't even know where to start on these things, this is my first diesel.

Thanks for any help you can provide!
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:30 PM
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Coupla things, first you should be posting in the 7.3 Forums (either General or Motor Problems) to get the best response from the most amount of people...

Next, the Glow Plugs are only 1/2 the system you can have problems with. If the Relay (GPR) isn't working right, and they often don't, your plugs might not even be coming On.

Here's a good link on how to check everything -> Troubleshooting GPR & GP's


For the best Cold Start results (say under 35F) here's what I would follow;

Forget the WTS light, it's not in any way connected to the GP system.

Over 20F, wait a Full min, with the key On, before you crank.

Under 20F, plug the block heater in for 3hrs (get a timer so it comes on before you leave in the morning) and wait 1-1/2 to 2 mins before you crank.

If you're routinely under 20, and especially if it's in the single digits, you will see a big improvement if you use a 5W-40 Synthetic motor oil (that 15W is pretty thick in those temps)

And this all assumes the Batteries/Cables/Starter are all they should be so the starter is getting you full speed engine rpm AFTER the load from running the plugs.

Make sure the GP system is fully functional, follow the guidelines above, you shouldn't have trouble...
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