P0272 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 4 Contribution/Balance Fault

Our certified mechanics come to you · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0272 code

P0272 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Cylinder 4 Contribution/Balance Fault". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation. Our certified mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to perform the Check Engine Light diagnostic for $114.99 . Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.0 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.

Cars Estimate Credit towards follow-up repair Earliest Availability
Ford $114.99 $20.0
Toyota $114.99 $20.0
BMW $124.99 $20.0
SCHEDULE P0272 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

P0272 code definition

The definition of problem code P0272 is that there is a contribution/balance problem with cylinder #4.

What the P0272 code means

This code means that the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) has identified that the reference voltage in cylinder #4’s fuel injector is out of range. Basically, every make and model has an acceptable range for this voltage that is predetermined by the manufacturer. If the voltage becomes an unacceptable amount – either too high or too low – this code gets stored. Of course, the problem is much bigger than that. If a fuel injector is not getting the power it needs, that means that its corresponding cylinder isn’t being given the fuel it needs either.

This will mean a leaner mix of fuel. The PCM reacts to this by trying to create a richer mix in the rest of the engine. Although this presents a temporary solution, fuel efficiency will automatically suffer. Likewise, cylinder #4 needs to work harder because of its lean mix, which will mean the cylinder head heats up and can eventually become damaged.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The longer this problem is left alone, the worse the ramifications will be.

What causes the P0272 code?

There are a few issues that could be behind P0272. Obviously, the fuel injector could be damaged. It could also just be in need of a good cleaning.

Another common reason is faulty wiring or connectors that run to cylinder #12’s fuel injector. If it isn’t being given enough power, it can’t possibly perform as it’s supposed to. It’s also possible that the PCM is mistaken, though this is extremely rare.

What are the symptoms of the P0272 code?

The Check Engine Light will probably come on too, but in some models, the problem must happen more than once before this will occur.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0272 code?

A mechanic will diagnose this trouble code by doing some combination of the following:

  • Using an OBD-II scanner to retrieve all the codes that have been stored by the PCM
  • Inspecting the fuel injector for the #4 cylinder
  • Check the wiring and connectors for any signs of damage
  • Testing the fuel injector for the #4 cylinder (it might look fine on the outside and still underperform)

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0272 code

One very common mistake a lot of mechanics make when diagnosing the P0272 code is simply replacing the fuel injector before doing a comprehensive review of the entire setup and/or using the OBD-II scanner to see what other issues may be relevant. Even though the fuel injector may have been broken, if other codes are stored, the next fuel injector may soon stop working correctly too.

How serious is the P0272 code?

This is a code that should be treated seriously as the engine will not work correctly until it’s addressed. At best, the engine will be unreliable and filling the gas tank will cost more. In the worst case scenario, though, the engine will actually become damaged because cylinder #4 is overworked. Repairs would be extremely expensive.

What repairs can fix the P0272 code?

If other damage to the engine has occurred because this problem was allowed to persist, repairs will be more extensive.

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0272 code

Cleaning out the fuel system every year will keep this kind of problem from returning. If the owner lives in a colder environment and the code was logged because of damage to the wires, it could be because wildlife is attracted to the engine’s warmth and getting inside when the vehicle is parked. In the future, the owner will want to park indoors and/or away from nature.

Need help with a P0272 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.

Check Engine Light
trouble codes
P0272

No more waiting rooms! Our mechanics will come to you to diagnose and fix the P0272 code.

SCHEDULE P0272 DIAGNOSTIC
Get a $20 credit for the follow-up repair

Recent Check Engine Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(7400)

Rating Summary
6879
249
58
41
173
6879
249
58
41
173
 at YourMechanic

David

13 years of experience
393 reviews
David
13 years of experience
Chevrolet Malibu L4-2.4L - Check Engine Light is on Inspection - Marietta, Georgia
He explained everything to me in detail on what I needed to know about my car. Definitely recommend him for getting the job done.
 at YourMechanic

Raymond

37 years of experience
402 reviews
Raymond
37 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.2L - Check Engine Light is on - Las Vegas, Nevada
Raymond did a great job however I was charged for two hours labor and he was only here less than 45 minutes. should I expect this on future appointments with your mechanic ?
 at YourMechanic

Shane

17 years of experience
217 reviews
Shane
17 years of experience
Volkswagen EuroVan V6-2.8L - Check Engine Light is on Inspection - Austin, Texas
Arrived on time. Explained the issues he found and how he will fix it. I have parts on order and will schedule an appointment to have Shane install the parts when they arrive.
 at YourMechanic

Kanstantsin

19 years of experience
51 reviews
Kanstantsin
19 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-4.6L - Check Engine Light is on Inspection - Littleton, Colorado
Kanstantsin arrived early. Was very courteous and professional. Will highly recommend to anyone. Thank you Kanstantsin.


More related articles

P002A OBD-II Trouble Code: "B" Camshaft Profile Control Circuit/Open
Diagnostic Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P002A What the P002A code means Engines operate by way of a system of moving parts that open the intake valves (for allowing gas into the cylinders) and exhaust valves (which carry the vapors away)....
P0380 OBD-II Trouble Code: Glow Plug/Heater Circuit “A” Malfunction
P0380 means there is a problem with the glow plug heater circuit which may cause the vehicle to have a difficult time starting and exhaust smoke.
P0642 OBD-II Trouble Code: Sensor Reference Voltage “A” Circuit Low
P0642 means there is an abnormally low voltage reading within the "A" circuit often due too a faulty engine control module or other malfunctions.

Related questions

My Mitsubishi Lancer 2005 has a limp mode issue - the car does not erase trouble codes permanently (even by debugging or terminal disconnection)
I see the note where you have previously replaced several components on the transmission already. Do you recall the brand and warranty of these components? If the parts you replaced are still under warranty, you may be able to get...
VTC problem - 2008 Infiniti FX50S
The engine control system uses the engine oil pressure to control the variable intake valve timing on this model. If the engine oil is low or very dirty it can trigger this type of fault and cause the system to...
In limp mode following a catalytic convertor repair. Have driven 70 mIles in limp mode.
The only purpose of the catalytic converter is to reduce exhaust emissions. The converter is within the exhaust system and functions as part of the vehicle's emission control system. Excepting only an unusual circumstance where the converter is physically plugged...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com