Despite being a better version than its predecessor, Ford 6.4 has some problems that put you in trouble. One of them is probably the short life of exhaust back pressure sensor. Just as you cross around 90 to 100K miles with the engine, the pressure sensor can fail. And how would you detect it?
Well, overheating, loss of power, loss of fuel economy, production of excess soot, and engine failure are some of the common 6.4 Powerstroke EBP sensor symptoms.
Although you can deal with these hints through some quick steps, it’s a must to find out the main problem and fix it. Here I’ll talk about them.
6.4 powerstroke exhaust back pressure sensor symptoms
Anything wrong with the exhaust back pressure system in 6.4 will alert you with some pointers. Here are five of the common failing Ford 6.4 EBP sensor symptoms.
It’s one of the common 6.4 exhaust back pressure sensor symptoms.
If engine needs to generate more power to dispel gases, EBP sensor in 6.4 Powerstroke drives the engine to run hot. This results in overheating of the turbine and exhaust valves which leads to further damage to the components. Moreover, a failing EBP sensor can cause the engine to heat up sooner.
The increased temperature also affects the EGR cooler. Typically, EGR helps keep the temperature steady. However, faulty sensors can interrupt it. Either the cooler may run faster or stop working. And since the commands are warped, the heat gets trapped inside.
What To Do?
- Allow the engine to cool down. So park the vehicle at a safe place.
- Inspect the gasket by opening the radiator, but make sure the cap is cool to touch. Replace it if damaged.
- Add coolant if necessary.
#2- Sudden Loss Of Power Or Horsepower
Damaged 6.4 Powerstroke EBP sensor can send inaccurate signals to the ECU causing excess back pressure at the exhaust. As a result, it prevents gases from expelling out of the cylinder. This makes the piston do the job instead. It removes the gases by providing extra pumping work.
Although the impacts of pumping losses are insignificant at lower speeds, the piston works harder to drive out the gases at higher speeds. Consequently, it limits the net power and horsepower at the crankshaft. However, if you continue to drive at low speed, it can end up blocking diesel particulate filter (DPF).
The failure of sensor can also clog catalytic converters with improper fuel mixtures. It may affect mufflers and alter internal piping which can result in airflow restriction.
What To Do?
- Clean or replace the catalytic converters and fuel filters if clogged.
- Inspect the mufflers and change them if damaged.
- Get the DPF cleaned professionally with chemical cleaner if blocked.
#3- Loss Of Fuel Efficiency
If you notice a substantial change in the fuel system, it indicates clogged EBP sensor.
As I mentioned how the presence of excess back pressure triggers piston to put extra energy to push gases. Not only does it decrease the power output but increases fuel consumption too which in turn lowers fuel economy.
All these happen due to clogged EBP sensor in 6.4 Powerstroke. It sends wrong signals to the ECU which results in excess fuel being used. And it’s easy to determine that through low mileage.
However, you can improve the fuel economy to a certain extent by following these methods.
What To Do?
- Consider using low-restriction mufflers if necessary.
- Consider getting cat-back exhaust systems that come with mandrel-bent pipes.
- Change to long tube headers if necessary.
#4- Soot, Burning Smells, And Black Smoke
These 3 are all interconnected with each other.
If 6.4 Powerstroke EBP Sensor is affected, ECU would give wrong commands to the system. It can produce soot and debris surpluses in the DPF and exhaust pipe resulting in excessive back pressure.
And when there’s too much EBP trapped inside, it prevents exhaust from expelling the gases. This leads to the burning of the extra soot and other debris that’s followed by a strong smell.
However, damaged oil plugs and oil leakage can be culprits too. If any of these two happens, it can allow oil to leak into the exhaust system and give off burning smells. So, you have to check the prime reason first.
Faulty sensors also prevent the ECU from delivering turbo boost pressure. And this can end up with black smoke too.
What To Do?
- Remove the soot and debris using specialized cleaners.
- Change the oil plug if damaged.
- Repair engine oil leaks if there are any.
#5- Continuous Engine Failure
Engine failure is one of the most unwanted 6.4 Powerstroke exhaust back pressure symptoms. Blocked or corroded sensors can be the reason here.
As the pressure gets trapped in the exhaust system, it leads to lack of circulation, and that causes the engine to fail and brings it to an unexpected halt. Although it may revive again after a while, the problem can occur repetitively.
Not just that, the impurities in the fuel can also cause engine failure. It can fail the catalytic converter allowing the tailpipe to be piled up with more pressure, triggering the engine to overwork, and end up with damages.
Moisture leaking into the sensor can corrode and fail it as well which can lead to engine destruction.
What To Do?
- Take a look at Check Engine Light to detect the actual problem.
- Change the catalytic converter if fails.
- Get it replaced by a technician if it’s severe.
Causes And Fixes Of 6.4 Powerstroke EBP Sensor Symptoms and problems
There are three major reasons behind the failing 6.4 Powerstroke EBP Sensor. This table will guide you on how you can deal with them.
|Change the sensor
|Debris and Clogging
|Clear up the blocked parts.
The EBP sensor in 6.4 can fail due to different issues. Then again, these issues caused by other reasons can lead to failure as well.
Let me explain those Ford 6.4 exhaust back pressure sensor problems and solutions.
problems #1- Physical Damage
Sometimes the EBP sensor can be faulty due to design defects. Other than that, different reasons can harm the sensor.
One is when the exhaust system is affected. It can happen due to condensation, moisture, or liquid getting into the exhaust. Besides corrosion, it can result in bent connecting rods and engine failure.
Engine components can cause damage to the exhaust pressure too. This includes emission control devices, mufflers, and resonators. If any of them functions unusually, it may produce excess back pressure and affect the sensor indirectly.
Not just that, EBP sensor can also fail due to extreme operating conditions.
However, you have to check which part of the system has failed and how severe the damage is. The next step will be to have it repaired or replaced accordingly.
problems #2- Debris And Clogging
I previously mentioned that a clogged sensor can lead to different problems. And the main reason is the buildup of soot and other waste that takes place over time. If the exhaust pipe, converter, and DPF are clogged with debris, the ECU receives wrong signals from the sensor. And it results in restricting back pressure circulation.
Cleaning up the clogged areas will be different. You can do it yourself or take an expert’s help.
- For the DPF, use high-pressure, compressed air to clean it. Make sure to disconnect the sensor from the electrical connector.
- When it comes to the exhaust pipe, clean it with soap and water using the brush.
- To deal with a clogged catalytic converter, use specialized cleaners. Make sure to use quality fuel additives every 3,000 miles. This helps decrease contaminants and prevents the risk of clogging.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Causes High Exhaust Back Pressure In 6.4?
Anything that obstructs the exhaust gas flow can cause high back pressure in the system.
The prime issues here are the plugged catalytic converter and problematic muffler and exhaust pipe. These put restrictions on the flow and result in surpluses of back pressure.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace 6.4 Powerstroke EBP Sensor?
The cost to replace 6.4 Powerstroke EBP Sensor can range from $100 to over $200 including labor fees.
However, it depends on the price of the sensor and service charge. You can get OEM sensors at around $45 from online sites and around $110 from part stores. It takes from 10 minutes to 1 hour to change the sensor. And the tech may charge around $35 to $45 for that.
Can You Drive With A Faulty Exhaust Sensor In 6.4 Powerstroke?
Yes, you can drive with a bad exhaust backpressure sensor depending on certain situations.
As long as the engine doesn’t fail, it’s okay to continue driving. But note that you will experience loss of power output, a decrease in speed, and an increase in fuel consumption. All these will end up damaging the engine even more.
What Does An Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor Do?
An Exhaust Back Pressure Sensor measures the pressure of exhaust gases from the cylinder. It works to monitor the restriction level of DPF and manage output systems like EGR valves.
Anything wrong with the exhaust system will lead you to several issues. Engine overheats, soot accumulates, power decreases, and the engine fails. These are what happens when 6.4 Powerstroke EBP sensor goes bad.
However, you can prevent these problems if you keep it well-maintained. It’s a must to check the sensor regularly and see whether the pressure is circulated properly. In case you’re an expert, using a pressure gauge will do. The scale should read up to 100 kPa or more so you get the proper measurement. Such equipment may cost around $170.
However, you can get it checked through an expert.
Hope now it’ll be easy for you to deal with the problems. But if you think that the damage is severe, I’d suggest you changed the sensor.