P0000 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Definition

P0000- No DTCs Detected! - This is a rare code to see due to the fact it's not a valid diagnostic trouble code, so not many code reading devices display this code.

Meaning

If you own an OBDII scan tool, you’re probably already familiar with how the modern OBDII system works in your car. 

When the MIL or CEL (malfunction indicator lamp or check-engine light) illuminates on your dashboard, this means the ECU (engine control unit) has detected a fault. For most vehicles, the ECU drops the powertrain into an open loop mode (commonly referred to as “limp-home” mode).

To restore proper operation, you need to hook up an OBDII scan tool and retrieve the DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) stored in ECU memory. There are 10,000 DTC P-codes an ECU can save in its system memory, so having a specific DTC to point you in the right direction takes much of the guesswork out of diagnosing your vehicle’s problems

For these reasons, having your ECU code a P0000 is confusing because it seems to make no sense. Defined as “No Diagnostic Trouble Codes Reported,” DTC P0000 isn’t a code that should display on your OBDII scan tool.

Moreover, if there are no drivability problems and no MIL, hooking up a scan tool usually just comes up blank. Here’s the catch: there are two cases when DTC P0000 may show up, even if you have no drivability problems or an illuminated MIL.

Causes

Most of the time when you see this code it’s going to be your fault for two reasons, both of which are the result of failing to read the information on the box or product information online before you bought your scan tool:

  • Using of a cheaper or less capable scan tool (you get what you pay for)
  • Use of a scan tool that does not support your vehicle (e.g. multipurpose device that work with an OBDII scan port)

Symptoms

This is the awkward part: you may or may never experience any vehicle problems with DTC P0000 DTC. The MIL may illuminate (or not), and you may experience drivability issues (or not).

Diagnosis

Good news! If you read this trouble code and there are no other symptoms of car trouble, you are good to go ahead and continue driving the vehicle. No worries.

It’s probably a good idea to clear the code and check again later to see if it recurs. If it keeps popping up,  you may want to use a more advanced scan tool to verify it’s not an issue with your scanner.

Common mistakes

Ummmm...buying a cheap OBDII scan tool without verifying it is compatible with your vehicle’s year, make and model?

How Serious Is This Code?

That depends on whether your vehicle is exhibiting drivability problems. Since it generally means your scanner isn’t compatible with your car, you want to get it checked by a pro with a professional scan tool as soon as you can.

What repairs can fix the code

As previously stated, if your MIL is not on and your vehicle is driving just fine, then chances are the scan tool you are using is defaulting to the “P0000 – No DTCs Reported” reading. Keep calm and drive on!

On the other hand, if the MIL is on or you are experiencing drivability issues, then the problem is the scan tool you are using isn’t 100 percent compatible with your vehicle.

Additionally, while there are roughly a thousand P0xx DTCs specified by SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers), there are thousands more manufacturer-specific DTCs.

There are systems that some scan tools simply aren’t designed to handle, like the CAN (controller area network) or the hybrid controller on a Prius.

Updated your scan tool? Check for codes again. If you still come up with DTC P0000, you will need a compatible scan tool, or ask a local dealer technician if they can hook up the factory scan tool to retrieve stored DTCs.

Related Codes

Because DTC P0000 tells you virtually nothing about what may be wrong with your vehicle’s DTCs, there is a good possibility another DTC could be hiding behind it.

Without an updated or factory scan tool, you will be unable to read any DTCs in system memory.

Conclusion

If you see this DTC, try to check your vehicle again with a better OBDII scan tool, or take it to an authorized dealer/service center to get it checked for additional codes.

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