For the past few years, we are witnessing the automotive industry slowly moving away from traditional combustion engines in favor of hybridization and electrification which should eventually lead to the future of decarbonized transport. Every automaker out there is churning out EVs, hybrids, and downsized engines because they know that that is the future.
However, Ford is not yet ready to abandon the mighty large displacement engine and they are still developing some of the world’s largest engines. The 7.3L Ford V8 is likely one of, if not the largest displacement engine that can currently be bought in any new car in the world. It is truly an impressive engine, but it isn’t perfect.
The most common 7.3L Godzilla problems are associated with the spark plug wiring harness, high levels of oil consumption, issues with the timing system, and cylinder scoring. We also need to mention that the gas mileage the 7.3L gets is hilarious for a 2022 model, but that is something to be expected from an engine as big as this one.
All in all, the 7.3L is an impressive engine that is likely going to be the last huge engine we are ever going to see in a mass-production automobile. Get it while you can because these are not going to be around for much longer.
Ford 7.3L V8 – Spark plug wiring harness issues
The spark plug wiring harness is designed to connect the spark plugs to the ignition coils. This is done for the ignition coils to send current to the spark plugs in order to create a spark. Older 7.3L V8 engines in particular, but even some newer ones, seem to be suffering from misfiring that can be traced to a faulty spark plug wiring harness.
The good news is that this can be fixed relatively easily and that it does not cost all that much money to fix. The bad news is that if the wiring harness fails completely, it will not be able to send power to the plugs which will make the car totally undrivable. You can get a 3rd party wiring harness which seems to solve this issue completely.
Ford 7.3L V8 – Oil consumption issues
An engine as large as this one needs lots of engine oil for cooling, lubricating, and cleaning purposes. However, many owners have reported that the 7.3 likes to burn a lot of oil, maybe even a bit too much. This means that you should replace your oil sooner than what the recommendations say in order to be 1000% sure that your engine will not suffer from a lack of oil.
If it does, a lack of engine oil can destroy an engine completely. Your engine can overheat, it can misfire, it can stall, and it can even destroy itself entirely. Therefore, always keep an eye on the oil dipstick because you need to be 100% sure.
Ford 7.3L V8 – Timing system issues
The 7.3L V8 comes with a system called “Variable timing” which is designed for fuel saving. Given the fact that this behemoth of an engine uses lots of fuel, any system such as this is indeed a great addition. It’s safe to say that the system does play a great role in delivering better fuel mileage, but it seems like it isn’t the most reliable system out there.
The bad news is that this system is part of the car’s timing system which comprises the timing chain and the tensioner which are vital for the engine to be able to operate. Some owners have complained about these failing due to variable timing which can destroy the engine completely.
Ford 7.3L V8 – Cylinder scoring issues
Some owners have complained that the 7.3L V8 sometimes suffers from cylinder scoring which is caused by a broken piston ring. They also say that these issues can be traced to the contaminated inside of the pistons or even bad lubrication of the engine.
A broken piston ring can be a catastrophic issue, so it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. The good thing is that this issue seems to be fairly isolated, but it is severe enough for it to be mentioned in this article.
Ford 7.3L V8 – Gas mileage issues
Bad gas mileage isn’t due to a mechanical issue, but rather the fact the engine is simply too large. Ford says that you should be getting 10-15MPG from this engine, but many owners state that 5-10MPG is a much more likely scenario.
This means that the 7.3L V8 is one of the least fuel-efficient engines you can buy right now, if not the least fuel-efficient out of them all. This comes with the territory as you simply can’t make an engine as large as this one economical.
Does it make sense to buy a 7.3L Ford?
At 430hp, no one can say that the 7.3L V8 is weak, but everyone can say that 430hp for a 7.3L V8 is hilarious. For a spot of context, Mercedes came out with a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that is pretty much on par with the 7.3L V8 even though it is less than half the size.
This poses the question of does it even make any sense to buy this engine in 2022? Financially, it makes little to no sense to buy it. However, if you like it and you don’t care about efficiency, then go for it.
Is the 7.3L Ford reliable?
Even though the 7.3L V8 is too large, too weak, and too inefficient, no one can criticize it for being unreliable. Some even say that the 7.3L V8 is the most reliable Ford truck engine you can get, and I tend to agree.
If you take proper care of it and you solve all the little issues with it, you keep it in good condition, there is no reason for this engine not to be able to cross 300,000 miles.
How much can you tow with a Ford 7.3L V8?
Many people believe that the 7.3L V8 from Ford is an engine that has few upsides, but many downsides. However, one of the most impressive things about the 7.3L V8 is that it can tow 19,500 pounds which is something you certainly can’t do with a similarly-powered Mercedes 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder.