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Q: How long and what is the process to replace a fuel pressure sensor?

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Truck runs great when engine is cold, upon reaching operating temperature, under full throttle acceleration, engine cuts off momentarily. After troubleshooting with my OBDII bluetooth scanning tool, fault P0088, indicating high rail fuel pressure. common causes are fuel pressure sensor or fuel pressure regulator or possibly kinked fuel lines . I have a spare fuel pressure sensor and thinking of replacing it. All fuel filters recently replaced. No fuel leaks present and no fuel lines appear to kinked. Since fuel pressure is pretty cheap at $40,00 and being a do it yourself, I was thinking of replacing it first and see results. The process of replacing this sensor appears to be moderately difficult, as I heard it is located under the passenger side valve cover. I would like to attempt to replace it.

My car has 35000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: A professional mechanic would require rough...

A professional mechanic would require roughly 5 hours. (If just the regulator is replaced that takes about 1 hour). Some parts, as noted below, cannot be re-used, you need a precision inch pound torque wrench, FSM instructions (and TSB updates if applicable; procedure was changed in 2007 for instance) and the system has to be bled when done.

Below is partial list of steps, copied and pasted directly from the service manual:

1. Disconnect battery and put protective material in front of the charge air cooler (CAC) or damage to the CAC may occur.

2. Remove air cleaner assembly.

3. Disconnect the oil drain tube from the crankcase vent oil separator.

4. Loosen the air cleaner outlet tube clamp and detach the air cleaner outlet tube from the turbocharger.

5. Remove the bolts, the crankcase vent oil separator and the air cleaner outlet pipe as an assembly.

6. Remove and discard the crankcase vent oil separator press-in-place gasket. (To re-install, tighten to 13 Nm (115 lb-in).

7. Disconnect the PCM electrical connector (BE SURE BATTERY IS DISCONNECTED FIRST!) and retainer. Disconnect the in-line electrical connector and position the engine wiring harness on the engine.

8. Remove the pushnuts and the glow plug module heat shield.

9. Disconnect the high-pressure fuel injection pump electrical connector and detach the retainer from the glow plug module bracket. Disconnect the glow plug module and the exhaust gas recirculation temperature (EGRT) sensor electrical connectors, detach the wiring retainer and position the wiring harnesses aside.

10. Remove the nut and position the ground strap aside. To install, tighten to 13 Nm (115 lb-in).

11. Remove the engine wiring harness bolt. To install, tighten to 13 Nm (115 lb-in).

12. Remove the heater supply tube nut. To install, tighten to 13 Nm (115 lb-in).

13. Remove the bolts and the glow plug module bracket. To install, tighten to 13 Nm (115 lb-in).

14. Remove the nut and position the transmission fluid indicator tube aside. To install, tighten to 8 Nm (71 lb-in).

  • Warning: Do NOT disconnect the glow plug electrical connector before dislodging the seal from the valve cover or the wiring harness may be damaged.

15. Using an appropriate tool, dislodge the glow plug wiring harness seals from the valve cover.

16. Disconnect the glow plug electrical connectors by pulling on the glow plug wiring harness tee above the seal. Remove the glow plug wiring harness.

17. Remove the nut and position the crankcase ventilation drain tube aside.

18. Disconnect the wiring harness retainer from the valve cover stud.

19. Disconnect the wiring harness retainer from the generator bracket.

20. Disconnect the A/C pressure switch electrical connector. Position the harness aside.

  • Warning: Do not bend or flex the heater supply tube or damage to the tube may occur.

21. Remove the stud bolts, bolts and the valve cover. Remove and discard the valve cover gasket. To install, tighten to 9 Nm (80 lb-in).

  • Warning: Contact with exposed fuel injector wiring, if energized, may result in electric shock.

Use care when working on or around energized fuel injector wiring. Fuel injector wiring supplies HIGH VOLTAGE to operate the fuel injectors of course, you disconnected the battery though.

22. Disconnect the fuel rail pressure (FRP) sensor electrical connector.

  • Warning: Fuel injection equipment is manufactured to VERY precise tolerances and fine clearances (think space shuttle). To prevent fuel system damage, it is essential that absolute cleanliness is observed when working with these components. Always install fuel system caps on any open orifices or tubes.

23. Remove the FRP sensor. To install, tighten the FRP sensor in 2 stages.

  • Stage 1: Tighten to 7 Nm (62 lb-in).
  • Stage 2: Tighten an additional 40 degrees.

24. Bleed the high-pressure fuel system.

If you feel like this job may be too overwhelming or run into any issues, consider YourMechanic to get it done. One of our mobile technicians can come to your home and replace the fuel pressure sensor at your own convenience.

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