A car is a complex machine that needs every aspect to be in perfect order. A simple miscalculation in pressure can set the whole system off balance. The part that ensures this doesn’t happen is the Exhaust Back Pressure sensor. But what happens if this part stops working?
6.0 powerstroke exhaust back pressure sensor symptoms include a burning smell, engine problems, bad fuel efficiency, and a lit-up CEL. The causes of these issues are engine overheating, bad fitting, unclean pipes, and general wear and tear.
If you’ve identified any of these issues, you need to go ahead and get your vehicle checked immediately. You can do it at home but the fix will usually require a trip to the mechanic. I’ve covered the process thoroughly in this article.
4 common 6.0 powerstroke exhaust back pressure sensor symptoms
The best course of action when you see symptoms of EBP sensor problems is to try and find the cause, this table should help. Finding the cause should help you understand the issue or find the solution.
|Common EBP Sensor Symptoms||Cause|
|Engine Issues||Improper Installation|
|Poor Mileage||Dirty Pipes|
|CEL On||End Of Lifespan|
While these issues can indicate a number of different reasons, the most likely cause is a broken EBP sensor. These 4 indicators tell you to check this component as soon as possible.
#1- Burning Scent
Perhaps the most noticeable issue, this is one that you should catch even before turning on the vehicle. The scent is very strong and hard to ignore. Don’t worry though, nothing is actually burning.
This is actually the scent of engine combustion being unregulated. Due to excessive combustion, you can literally smell the fuel burning away.
#2- Engine Issues
As the EBP sensor forms an important part of the engine, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the entire system faces a number of issues when it breaks. The most common issue is overheating.
The engine will lose account of pressure and hence, there may be too much pressure which results in too much heat. Another issue is engine stalls. The engine may suddenly stop in the middle of the road.
#3- Poor Mileage
If you notice that you suddenly need to take a lot more fuel than you usually do, it may be a sign that your EBP sensor is busted. As the sensor doesn’t have regular pressure in the system, the engine control unit does not get the signals it needs to efficiently use fuel.
#4- CEL On
Since the EBP sensor is located in your engine, any issues in it will be picked up by the CEL sensor in your car. The Check-Engine Light quickly spots any issues and lets you know with handy light on your dashboard.
Unfortunately, this symptom is the least reliable as it may indicate other issues.
Causes Of A 6.0 Powerstroke EBP Sensor Failure
The causes of the symptoms should tell you exactly what is wrong with your EBP and what steps you need to take to solve the issue. These 4 problems are usually to blame.
As with most electrical components, under a lot of heat, the EBP sensor may get damaged. If you do not regulate the level of heat in your engine, there is a chance that the sensor may get damaged. This will lead to engine combustion issues as the pressure can’t be measured.
- Improper Installation
Assembling a car is not an easy process. There is a reason why there are such few big auto brands and Ford is among the top. A factory-installed EBP sensor is unlikely to have issues.
However, if you had work done on the vehicle, there is a chance that your mechanic did not install it properly. This will certainly lead the engine to malfunction.
- Dirty Pipes
If the blowpipes have too much dirt accumulation, the sensor simply can’t read the pressure. This is the easiest cause to tackle as it seldom requires any more effort than cleaning these pipes. This should improve your fuel efficiency immediately.
- End Of Lifespan
Wear-and-tear is unavoidable. If this is how your EBP sensor got decommissioned, you should be happy. You got maximum utility from this component. In most cases, these sensors last for around 45,000 miles. That’s a lot of driving.
How To Test An EBP sensor?
The problem may not be your EBP sensor and so, you need to pinpoint this component to be sure. There are 4 ways you can do this.
1. OBD-II Scan
The simplest way to pick up an issue in the EBP sensor is by conducting a scan with your OBD-II scanner. If the process gives you the Diagnostic Trouble Code P0470, it’s an indicator that your EBP sensor is at fault.
2. Using A Pressure Gauge
Since the job of the EBP sensor is to regulate pressure, the obvious method is to check the pressure in your engine. Follow this process to do that.
- Step 1: Install the gauze in the exhaust back.
- Step 2: Start the engine and track both the acceleration and change in pressure
- Step 3: If they are proportionate, the EBP is fine.
3. Measure Temperature With Heat Gun
Overheating tends to be noticeable but sometimes, it’s nominal. If you suspect that your engine is reaching higher temperatures than usual, try scanning it with a heat gun.
Your engine should be between the range of 195 degrees to 220 degrees. If it exceeds this range greatly, you should be worried.
4. Test Other Components
This is definitely the longest process to test the EBP sensor but you could test the other components that you suspect. I recommend against this as going to a mechanic is going to save you enough time to justify the expenses.
How To Fix An EBP Sensor?
Fixing an EBP sensor is no easy task. In fact, it’s so difficult that I find it highly unlikely that you can do it yourself. The only real solution here is a total replacement of the EBP sensor and any screw-ups here will cost you dearly.
Find the best mechanic you can and wait for your car to be fixed by someone who knows exactly what they are doing.
That said, I do recommend cleaning out the pipes before heading to the nearest auto shop. Sometimes, bad maintenance can do long-term damage to your vehicle. All you need to do to reverse the damage is take care of your vehicle.
Common Misdiagnosis Of EBP Issues
You’ve been hearing me go on and on about how easy it is to misdiagnose this issue. Why do I say that? These 4 components show eerily similar symptoms of damage, hence you need to be careful and thorough.
- Fuel filter
- Fuel pump
- Intern wiring
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What Is An EBP Sensor?
The Exhaust Back Pressure sensor, as the name suggests, is a computer that measures the pressure in your exhaust and relays that information to the ECU. Without this component, there is no way to measure the pressure.
2. Is It Safe To Drive With A Broken EBP Sensor?
No. Without constant updates on the level of pressure in the system, the engine can malfunction at any given moment. In extreme cases, blow pipes may burst or connectors may leak out
3. Why Can’t I Replace The EBP Sensor Myself?
You can obviously try but you will most likely fail. This process requires a level of expertise that usually only professionals possess. Trying to fix it at home may lead to physical injuries or further damage to the vehicle.
4. How Expensive Is An EBP Sensor Repair?
The EBP sensor repair should take no more than $200. This value will differ greatly depending on the model and make of your engine. Furthermore, it depends on what your mechanic charges.
Now you are well-versed with all the EBP sensor 6.0 powerstroke symptoms. As you can tell, the causes are not out of left field so it can happen to any vehicle at any time. You need to be prepared for this.
In times like these, the quicker you act, the lesser damage your vehicle faces. Whenever something like EBP failure happens, I urge you to take your car to the mechanic immediately.