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P0087 OBD-II Trouble Code: Fuel Rail/System Pressure - Too Low

Check Engine Light

P0087 trouble code definition

P0087 is Fuel Rail/System Pressure - Too Low, indicating a fuel system problem.

This code is similar to P0088.

What the P0087 code means

P0087 is a general OBD2 diagnostic trouble code that indicates a fault within the fuel delivery system. This code is set once the ECM has detected low fuel pressure at the fuel pressure sensor.

Low fuel pressure causes the Check Engine Light to trigger by the ECM and a failsafe mode is enacted to prevent damage until repaired.

What causes the P0087 code?

  • The most common cause is a clogged fuel screen or filter
  • A failing fuel pump
  • A restricted fuel line
  • Improperly reading fuel pressure sensor will set P0087 as well

What are the symptoms of the P087 code?

  • Check Engine Light illuminated on the dashboard
  • Vehicle may run poorly
  • Loss of engine power, noticed during acceleration
  • Engine misfire
  • Vehicle may stop running

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0087 code?

  • A mechanic will begin by using a scan tool to read any codes present.

  • Once these codes are identified and the freeze frame information looked at for each code they will be cleared.

  • Next a road test will be performed under similar conditions as the freeze frame data.

  • If the Check Engine Light comes on a visual inspection of the fuel tank, fuel lines, and fuel filter will be performed.

  • Manual fuel pressure readings will then be taken at the fuel rail and compared to specifications. A scan tool will then be used to compare manual readings to what the ECM sees.

  • Lastly, the fuel pump will be tested.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0087 code

  • Mistakes are made when steps are skipped or not completed.

  • Though the most common cause is a clogged fuel filter this will not fix all vehicles and circumstances.

  • It is important to follow the steps so unnecessary repairs are not performed wasting time and money.

How serious is the P0087 code?

P0087 can lead to serious drivability issues. If the vehicle starts running poorly and having misfires it must be diagnosed ASAP to ensure safe driving. If the fuel pump is failing or the fuel filter becomes completely clogged, this may cause the engine to die while driving resulting in serious issues for the driver. A qualified mechanic should be contacted and repairs should be done to get the vehicle safely back onto the road.

What repairs can fix the P0087 code?

  • Replacing the fuel filter or screen
  • Replacing kinked fuel lines
  • Removing and replacing the fuel pump
  • Replacing a faulty fuel pressure sensor

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0087 code

A manual fuel pressure tester is needed to diagnose P0087. This allows us to check fuel pressure at the fuel rail and then use the scan tool to check what the fuel pressure sensor is reading. Both of these readings are needed to test the fuel pressure sensor.

An advanced scanner is also needed to monitor fuel pressure sensor data.

Some vehicles may not be equipped with an external fuel filter. These vehicles will only be equipped with the fuel screen that is attached to the fuel pump. These are generally replaced as one unit since the gas tank must be removed from the vehicle in most cases.

Care should be taken when test driving a vehicle with a failing fuel pump. If the fuel pump is failing it may do so when driving causing the vehicle to die while driving or not be able to be restarted.

Need help with a P0087 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.

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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