OBD-II Trouble Code P0650: Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Control Circuit Malfunction

P0650 code definition

The P0650 code is a generic powertrain code related to computer output circuit issues, such as an internal computer failure. In this case, it means that a malfunction has been found in the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) control circuit (also known as the check engine light).

What the P0650 code means

A code P0650 will be stored when the engine control module (ECM) or other supporting control module has detected a fault or malfunction with the control circuit of the malfunction indicator lamp.

A vehicle’s malfunction indicator lamp tells the driver when there is a potential problem with the vehicle. When this lamp is not working properly, the driver may not be aware of problems that are present, or become present, during operation.

What causes the P0650 code?

Several problems may cause a P0650 code including:

What are the symptoms of the P0650 code?

Symptoms of a P0650 code may include:

  • Check engine or warning light may illuminate
  • Service engine soon lamp may not turn on when a problem is present
  • Service engine soon lamp may be on when no problems are present
  • There may be no symptoms aside from a stored P0650 code

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0650 code?

A mechanic may use several methods to diagnose a P0650 trouble code, including:

  • Utilize an OBD-II scanner to check for a stored P0650 trouble code
  • Check to see that the lamp turns on for a few seconds when vehicle is started, and turns off shortly after
  • Check if the bulb is burned out
  • Ensure bulb is seated correctly with a proper electrical connection
  • Visually inspect wiring and electrical connections for signs of damage or corrosion
  • Separate connectors and check for bent pins, broken terminals, or other signs of corrosion
  • Check for burned out malfunction indicator lamp fuse
  • Use a digital volt/ohmmeter to check for shorts to ground or open circuits

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0650 code

It is recommended to always diagnose and repair trouble codes in the order in which they appear, as subsequent codes may be a symptom of a problem higher up. This is often the case for a P0650 code, which may simply be a symptom of a larger problem.

How serious is the P0650 code?

Because a vehicle’s safe driving operation will not likely be impacted due to faults that store a P0650 code, but you may not be correctly notified of other more serious problems, this code is considered a potentially serious code. When this code appears, it is recommended to immediately take your vehicle to your local service center or mechanic for repair and diagnosis.

What repairs can fix the P0650 code?

Several repairs can fix a P0650 trouble code and include: * Replace damaged or burned out bulb or LED * Properly seat bulb for correct electrical connection * Replace damaged or corroded wiring and related electrical connectors * Straighten bent pins and repair or replace damaged terminals * Replace burned out fuse(s) * Replace damaged or defective ECM (rare) * Clear all codes, test-drive the vehicle, and rescan to see if any codes reappear

Some vehicle makes and models may require multiple failure cycles before a trouble code is stored. Check your service manual for specific information regarding your vehicle’s make and model.

Because of the complicated electrical circuitry that could be involved with repairs related to a P0650 code, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional.

Need help with a P0650 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.


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