You might have been hearing about Powerstrokes but are unsure of what they are or why you should mind them. Powerstrokes are diesel engines built for Ford trucks, with the introduction of the first Powerstroke in 1994.

Top Pick
DB ELECTRICAL SND0355 FORD 7.3L Diesel Starter
Our top pick for the best starter for 7.3 Powerstroke is the DB ELECTRICAL SND0355 FORD 7.3L Diesel Starter, with its unique advantage being the higher torque it provides over all other models, which makes it the fastest starter for Powerstroke 7.3L. It is also straightforward to set up and has proven durable and optimally functional under various weather conditions. Reviewers also listed it as being very durable. Also, from personal experience, it beats other starters in the same category hands down.

Starters for 7.3 powerstroke Buying Guide:

The 7.3 Powerstroke has gained recognition for its hydraulic electric unit injector systems, which, unlike other traditional options, uses highly pressurized engine oil to create fuel pressure. It does this by using a high-pressure oil pump and a low-pressure pump (lift pump), and the fuel pressures thus created can reach pressures of 21,000 psi. The 7.3 Powerstroke possesses a dry weight of 920 lb.,  with a power output of 130-475 hp, and with the Engine block made of cast iron. 7.3 Powerstrokes are generally regarded as one of the most reliable diesel engines for light trucks and can last, under proper usage, up to 20 years. The 7.3 Powerstroke engine is great for towing and other heavy-duty activities. Along with its longevity, the machine parts are almost dirt cheap (under $50, except for some features like the starter). If the 7.3 Powerstroke is maintained very well, it can last long enough but not changing the fluid or trying to increase the throughput by modifying the engine have been known to shorten its lifespan very well. But as with many systems, some things can cause your powerstroke usage experience to be less than 100%. Some of such conditions include a weak, defective, or worn out starter, a bad starter solenoid, or a malfunctioning CPS (Cam position Sensor). If you have ever been stranded by a bad starter or nearly lost your mind after checking and rechecking what could be wrong with your car which was functioning well just a while ago, only to discover that the problem is a faulty or a dead starter, then read on. Starters can be a little tricky in that they can cause problems most unexpectedly, but as with many other things, there are signs and symptoms to help you identify when your starter is about to play a fast one on you or to determine the cause of your engine's dysfunction.

How to identify a faulty starter:

A faulty or failing starter can show many symptoms along, which are:
  • Long Crank Time: If the engine is taking way longer than usual to start, then it might be a sign that you need to take a look at the starter.
  • Slow Cranking: If the engine of the powerstroke is cranking slowly, it might indicate the wear and tear of either the starter's brushes or commutator.
  • Weird Noises on startup: A loud click when you turn on the engine might be a symptom of a bad starter solenoid. Also, a harsh grinding noise indicates a loose starter motor or a worn-out gear. Either way, a noise like that means you should take a close look at your engine.
  • No Start: You turn the keys, and the engine makes a little noise, then goes back to its peaceful sleep, or the dashboard lights come on, but the engine doesn't startup. This is most likely to be a starter problem as the starter is the primary ignition agent, and most problems starting the engine can be traced back to it or the battery.
  • Smokes from the Engine: When the starter goes bad, trying to turn it on repeatedly can cause it to overheat, which might cause an electrical problem, thereby causing smoke to come out of the engine compartment. If you detect a burning smell too, then you are in for a long thing.

How to get the best starter for 7.3 powerstroke for your money:

When you are in the market for a new starter for your 7.3 powerstroke, the array of choices available might be confusing, and then getting the right fit for your engine at the best possible price is something to be considered. Here's a list of things to check while shopping to get the best possible value for your money.


One of the first things to check when buying a new starter is to check the voltage they use to check whether they are compatible with your current version of 7.3 powerstroke. The voltage label is usually on the body of the starter.


You don't get to buy a new starter every day, so now's not the time to be cheap and go for a low end, dubious starter. It is advisable to buy a quality starter as they usually justify their cost later in usage. However, authentic quality comes at a price, so be prepared to shell out some cash to secure a good and reliable starter.


Its longevity goes hand in hand with prices. When selecting a starter, do your research before entering the shop or surfing Amazon to order. We have prepared a top list of the best 7.3 Starters for Powerstroke. It is advised to read up on them to study their pros and cons before making a final choice.


With the many starters in the market, you must make sure to get your engine's perfect fit.

TOP 7 Best starters for 7.3 powerstroke 2021:

To aid you in your buying, we have prepared a compilation of the top-selling Starters for 7.3 Powerstroke for you to make your choice. Our top pick being the DB ELECTRICAL SND0355 FORD 7.3L Diesel Starter.

1. The DB ELECTRICAL SND0355 FORD 7.3L Diesel Starter

Weighing just over 25 pounds and using a voltage of 12, this starter maintains a high uni-directional torque faster than others in the same category. Additionally, its extreme durability has been confirmed by numerous reviews DB Electrical SND0355 Ford 7.3L Diesel Starter Replacement For Powerstroke: photo
This is an excellent choice, it cranks the engine at speeds over 790 rpm, which is almost twice the speed of stock models, and it justifies its price by lasting longer over constant usage than others in the same category. Its shape makes it rest a little bit on the cross member, but you have nothing to worry about there as it fits just right. Check Price

2. Rare Electric's High Torque Starter

Retailing for less than DB Electric's starter, it has been praised by buyers as "a beast" it is shaped a little differently from other popular starters. But notwithstanding, its performance is satisfactory. High Torque Starter With:top pick Ford F-Series: photo
Its sound is a bit loud, but that's because of the high torque it has, and instead of the bolts stock models have, it comes with just two bolts. Setting it up is intuitive; I didn't have to google or look up anything to install it. The shape can be a bummer, had to bend the battery power cable to make it fit snugly. But the speed is very satisfactory. Check Price

3. DB Electrical SMT0024 Starter

With a price range of $94-$98, the SMT0024 is a great steal for the money, as it is compatible with a whole lot of engines. Also, with its long-lasting quality brushes, the SMT0024 saves you money. DB Electrical SMT0024 Starter: photo
This particular starter works perfectly well and is compatible with many models of the 7.3 Powerstroke. Also ridiculously easy to set up for something that has served and can serve for up to 10 years of usage. It starts at once in normal weather conditions but can take some seconds to fire up in cold weather. Overall, an excellent starter for the price. Check Price

4. DB Electrical SFD0106

With a price ranging between  $128 to $175, the SF0106 fits the bill as one of the most expensive in this category. Nevertheless, it justifies its price bill with quality magnets that make starting your engine a breeze. It provides great torque even to old vehicles. DB Electrical SFD0106 New Starter For Ford: photo  
Something common to new starters is the speed, and this one is no exception. When buying, the warranty attracted me, but I couldn't get to use or test the warranty as the starter was superb on the first try, didn't give me any problems to install, started almost immediately, the noise nearly blew my ears off, but after some usage, I guess it adjusted and reduced. Great buy. Check Price

5. DB Electrical SMT0018

This starter makes the list because of its sheer ease of installation, ranking as one of the easiest to install. The SMT0018 is reliable and affordable, coming in at a range of $94 to $124. This starter Is resistant to grime and moisture, and instead of using cheap parts like aluminum or steel, DB built this with copper and nickel contacts to ensure quality. DB Electrical SMT0018: photo
Compared to the others, the SMT0018 makes very little noise and fits nicely into its compartment, had to use old bolts to install it as it didn't come with enough bolts. The flywheel slipped out a couple of times and didn't engage some times when I started it. One thing I can say about this starter is that after some years of usage, the cranking speed didn't reduce. Neither did its performance go down, but maybe that's because I maintain it very well. Check Price

6. DB Electrical SND0038

With a price tag of $104, you can't go wrong with the SND0038, built for adaptability and diverse temperatures, almost perfect for everything. Weighs just 5.44kg and features a high-efficiency gear reduction design complete with shock-absorbing design. DB Electrical SND0038: photo
DB Electricals products are great, and this one didn't disappoint. They shipped it a day earlier than I expected, and its performance beat the old starter's hands down. The price was affordable and cheaper than the SND0355. It starts immediately (except one time when it didn't). So far, nothing to complain about it yet. Check Price

7. Rareelectrical M8T50071

Here is another notable starter from rare electrical and comes with a price tag of $115, which is less than the previous one from Rare Electricals. With a mounting range of 88.90 and 3 mounting holes, the M8T50071 is compatible with a lot of models of power strokes. Rareelectrical M8T50071: photo
Check Price Spins fast enough but sometimes takes more than one turn of the key to starts. I think Rareelectricals went overboard with the number of bolts they sent me (3 more than I needed). Overall, a great starter. Also, for a couple of times, it does not start immediately when I turn it on, had to wait for a little to try again, and it started

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Where is the powerstroke relay located?

The Powerstroke relay is responsible for managing current to the glow plugs and is typically located inside the relay control panel.

Powerstroke relay: photo faq

Why does powerstroke no-start no crank?

Many things can cause this, some of which are;

  • a dead battery
  • a damaged CPS (Cam position sensor)
  • a malfunctioning Injector system
  • a bad starter.

The point is there a lot of things that can cause this particular problem. Be sure to check all the above before taking it up with your auto mechanic.

You can also watch the video about Ford 7.3L Powerstroke Starter Replacement Procedure:

Why does my exhaust sound as loud as a jet?

The most common problem that makes exhausts sound like this is an aged or frayed back pressure valve. This usually happens in cold weather.

What is CPS on a 7.3 powerstroke?

CPS (Camshaft Position Sensor) is a system on the 7.3 Powerstroke that detects the camshaft’s revolution to signal to the truck that the motor is running well.

In other words, it counts the number of times the camshaft turns and says to the truck, “Okay big guy, everything is working fine down here, keep running.” A common symptom of a faulty CPS is that the truck completely fails to come on or a non-moving tachometer.

Are all the available 7.3L starter similar?

No, they are not. The 7.3L starters differ in design and compatibility with different Powerstroke engines’ models even though they all look similar and the underlying principles and mechanisms they work through are the same.

My engine doesn’t start well on Cold days?

 A lot of engines do have problems starting in the morning, as the cold might prevent proper ignition. It is recommended to get starters listed on this list as they are, with the exception of some, immune to this problem.

What to do about a faulty Starter

Most times, salvaging a faulty starter is possible. To tell if your starter is dead or plain weak, it is recommended to bench test it.

Here’s a quick guide on bench testing.

Get a battery and keep the starter in a vice to hold it securely. Then connect the blue wire of the battery to the engines’ battery starter motor and do the same for the red wire, only this time you are connecting it to the binding stud of the starter motor.

When you do this, if the starter doesn’t start cranking but makes a weird sound or the pinion gear rotates very slowly, then that’s a sign that the starter is faulty, else if none of these happen, then your starter is perfectly fin,e and you should check other parts of the vehicle to find out the culprit.

Starter Pinion gear

If you don’t have the necessary tools to perform bench pressing, you can take it to the local auto mechanic or any auto shop around and have them bench press it for you. If the starter is certified dead or irredeemably damaged or weak, Congratulations, you are now in the market for a new starter.


A bad starter is not the end of the world and certainly shouldn't spell the end for your 7.3 powerstroke. You can either spend your time mooning over it or get into the market for a new one.  We have prepared a comprehensive guide to bring you the highest quality starters. Compatible with your 7.3 Powerstroke engine without breaking the bank or making the wrong choice while shopping. Some of the items listed sell out fast, don't waste time. Shop now.