P0353 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil C Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction

check engine light

P0353 code definition

The P0353 code is a generic powertrain code related to the ignition system or an engine misfire. In this case, a malfunction has been found specifically in ignition coil C (or number 3) in the primary or secondary circuit. Codes related to the P0353 include:

  • P0351: Ignition Coil Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0351: Ignition Coil "A" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0352: Ignition Coil "B" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0354: Ignition Coil "D" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0355: Ignition Coil "E" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0356: Ignition Coil "F" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0357: Ignition Coil "G" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0358: Ignition Coil "H" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0359: Ignition Coil "I" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0360: Ignition Coil "J" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0361: Ignition Coil "K" Primary/Secondary Circuit
  • P0362: Ignition Coil "L" Primary/Secondary Circuit

What the P0353 code means

Currently, most vehicles equipped with an OBD-II use a coil-on-plug system for an ignition spark. Frequently, most vehicles with an OBD-II system use an ignition system with an individual coil for each cylinder. Each coil is often secured by the spark plugs. Controlled by the engine control module (ECM), each ignition coil is connected to the engine and uses a small spark plug wire or boot which insulates the high-voltage spark between the spark plug and coil.

A switched supply of battery voltage is provided to the ignition coil. A pulsing ground is supplied by the ECM, which activates the ignition spark and controls the ignition timing. If the voltage in the ignition control circuit for ignition coil C varies by more than 10% from allowed parameters, set by each automaker, a malfunction is noted and a P0353 code is stored.

What causes the P0353 code?

Several problems may cause a P0353 code including:

  • A damaged or defective ignition coil
  • Damaged, defective, or corroded ignition coil connector
  • Damaged, defective, shorted, or corroded ignition coil driver circuit wiring
  • Loose connection at coil
  • Broken connector locks
  • Damaged or defective ECM (rare)

What are the symptoms of the P0353 code?

Symptoms of a P0353 code may include:

  • A warning or check engine soon light may illuminate
  • Vehicle may be rough at idle
  • Vehicle may misfire at idle
  • Decreased vehicle performance

How Does a mechanic diagnose the P0353 code?

A mechanic may use several methods to diagnose a P0353 trouble code, including:

  • Utilize an OBD-II scanner to check for a stored P0353 trouble code
  • Visually inspect all wires and connectors for signs of damage or corrosion
  • Determine whether the engine misfire is a regular occurrence or intermittent
  • Test the ignition coil C for loose or corroded prongs.
  • Check ignition coil C for damaged or shorted wires or connectors
  • Test Hertz signal to ignition coil C, if between 5 and 20 Hertz, coil is damaged
  • Test voltage on coil driver circuit
  • Test for resistance and continuity between ground and coil driver circuit
  • Check for any damaged or defective camshaft sensors

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0353 code

Because there is a possibility a P0353 code can be stored due to a faulty ECM, be sure to completely diagnose any possible wiring faults or issues before diagnosing the ECM as the cause.

How Serious is the P0353 Code?

Because a vehicle’s safe driving operation will not likely be impacted due to faults that store a P2090 code, this code is not considered a potentially serious code. However, when this code appears, it is recommended to take your vehicle to your local service center or mechanic for repair and diagnosis as soon as possible.

What repairs can fix the P0353 code?

Several repairs can fix a P0353 trouble code and include:

  • Repair or replace any damaged or corroded ignition coils
  • Replace damaged or faulty ignition coil wires and connectors
  • Replace shorted or damaged wire to coil drive circuit
  • Repair or replace damaged ECM (rare)
  • Clear all codes, test-drive the vehicle, and rescan to see if any codes reappear

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0353 code

Some OBD-II systems will disable the fuel injector on the cylinder that is being impacted when a P0353 code is stored. Often, other codes related to the injector circuit or engine misfires will show up in a scan.

In addition, even though this code calls out a specific ignition coil, checking to ensure all coils are firmly in place and show no signs of damage is recommended.

Need help with a P0353 code?

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The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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