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P0262 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

The PO262 code stands for “Cylinder 1 Injector Circuit High.” What this means is that the fuel injector that is attached to the number one cylinder is not working right; in this case, there is a higher than average draw from the fuel injector.

Meaning

This is a common code that can be found in pretty much any vehicle, because fuel injectors are a common piece of equipment. The fuel injector works to add fuel to air inside of a cylinder. The heat and pressure inside the cylinder ignite the fuel, causing a small explosion which pushes the cylinder, which directly leads to the car’s forward momentum. It is vital that the fuel and air be mixed in a very specific amount. When the fuel injector starts to malfunction, it can cause problems with the overall running of an engine. The PO262 code is thrown when the fuel injector is drawing more electricity than it is supposed to, causing the cylinder to work incorrectly or not at all.

Even though this is a common code with a common part of the engine, it is important to know that the procedure for dealing with this problem can likely be different, depending on the make and model of vehicle.

Causes

There are several different issues that can lead to a PO262 code:

First, the fuel injector itself might actually be okay, but it might have an electrical connector that is malfunctioning. This can cause a problem in one of two ways; either the fuel injector begins to work incorrectly, or it still works correctly, but it appears to be malfunctioning by the monitoring system. 

Second, the fuel injector might just be dirty from engine buildup. This dirt can even lead to it being partially (or completely) plugged.

Third, the fuel injector might have an internal short, which directly leads to high-voltage draws.

Finally, there might be a problem with the electrical harness that connects the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and the fuel injector.

Symptoms

The PO262 code is usually accompanied by a handful of possible symptoms. The most common symptom of this issue is a noticeable drop in fuel economy. In addition to that, the engine of the car might start idling rough. A third possible symptom a driver might notice is the vehicle experiencing a lack of power, usually most noticeable when trying to accelerate.

Diagnosis

In order to correctly diagnose what the real cause of the problem might be, the first step is to check their manufacturer’s TSB (technical service bulletin), which might help give an idea of what the problem is.

After that, examine the freeze-frame data and check the OBDI-II scanner to see if any other codes might have been thrown. These other codes can often help to pinpoint where the problem has occurred. If necessary, clear the codes and run the vehicle again to see if the problem persists.

If the code continues to manifest, then the next step is to examine the fuel injector and the surrounding circuits, harnesses and wires, as this is usually the cause of the problem (if one exists).

A final step might be to examine the fuel itself; using a fuel such as ethanol can cause fuel injector problems in small engines.

Common mistakes

The biggest mistake people make with this code is by people who don’t take the time to check the TSBs for their particular vehicle. They might have seen this code before and dealt with it, so they think they know what to do this time around. As said above, each vehicle comes with its own situation and fixes, so taking the time to read the TSBs is a good way to avoid this sort of situation.

How serious is this?

Because this code directly relates to the drivability and efficiency of a vehicle, not taking care of the problem sooner can result in critical problems down the road. It might only be a minor inconvenience now, such as slightly higher fuel usage or an unsmooth ride, but if left untreated the problem could snowball and become very serious.

What repairs can fix the code?

The easiest way to fix this problem is to determine if the problem is a clogged fuel injector, a damaged wire, or a broken fuel injector harness.

Make sure to give the entire system a thorough inspection until the problem is located. Depending on the problem, the fix comes either by cleaning, repairing or replacing the part in question.