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P0269 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder Number 3 Contribution/Balance Fault

Check Engine Light

P0269 code definition

Cylinder Number 3 Contribution/Balance Fault

What the P0269 code means

P0269 is an OBD-II diagnostic trouble code which indicates that the engine control module (ECM) detected the cylinder number 3 having low contribution to the running of the engine; low power. The crankshaft sensor sees no crankshaft acceleration for the number 3 cylinder when it is supposed to fire.

What causes the P0269 code?

  • The number 3 cylinder injector is not spraying in enough fuel or no fuel at all.

  • The number 3 injector is open or shorted electrically and may have other codes present.

  • The fuel pressure is low or has low volume due to a clogged fuel filter or defective pump.

  • The compression in number 3 cylinder is low due to rockers, lifters, cam, rings or cylinder head gasket problems.

  • Engine mechanical problems may require additional diagnostics to pinpoint problems.

  • The injector O-ring seals are leaking compression around them. This would have compression blowing out around the injector.

What are the symptoms of the P0269 code?

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0269 code?

  • Scans codes and documents the freeze frame data in order to verify the problem

  • Clears the engine and ETC codes to verify whether the concern comes back

  • Runs an injector electrical self test following the test procedures

  • Checks the fuel pressure and volume to specifications for the vehicle

  • Performs a crankcase pressure test as required during pinpoint testing

  • Checks cylinder compression compression and repairs as needed

  • Tests the entire engine compression for a balance problem in the engine

  • Checks the injector O-rings and seals then replaces the injector

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0269 code?

  • Failing to verify whether the code returns after scanning and deleting the code.
  • Failing to check fuel pressure and fuel volume during diagnosis before replacing the injector.

How serious is the P0269 code?

A misfiring cylinder can cause the engine to run lean on the failed cylinder if it is an injector or fuel pressure and volume related problem. The engine may blow black smoke if it has low compression in the cylinder and the injector is still pumping in the fuel to the cylinder.

What repairs can fix the P0269 code?

  • Replacing the injector if it has failed the tests (new injector seals should be installed)

  • Replacing the fuel filter and fuel pump if they fail the fuel pressure testing

  • Repairing the engine for low compression in the cylinder if the compression in the cylinder is below specifications when compared to the other cylinders

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0269 code

Code P0269 is triggered when the crankshaft sensor does not get an acceleration of the crankshaft from cylinder number 3 power stroke, which indicates that the cylinder is not contributing to engine power. The lack of cylinder acceleration is interpreted by the ECM as a cylinder misfire in a diesel engine. The code is used in mostly diesel engines.

Need help with a P0269 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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