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. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 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$20.00
Toyota$20.00
BMW$20.00
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.

trouble codes
P0272
Check Engine Light

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


YourMechanic Check Engine Light is on Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

5,606

Rating Summary
5,180
205
50
34
137
5,180
205
50
34
137

James

40 years of experience
34 reviews
James
40 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Check Engine Light is on - Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Jim was great! Arrived on time, quickly diagnosed the problem and recommended further work. Very helpful, I’ll use Jim again and recommend to family and friends.

Roberto

11 years of experience
137 reviews
Roberto
11 years of experience
Nissan Titan - Check Engine Light is on - Spring, Texas
Roberto was very thorough with his explanation of repairs needed. I will contact your mechanic for future repairs.

Matthew

32 years of experience
839 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Kia Optima - Check Engine Light is on - Yorktown, Virginia
Matthew Lerman was God Sent, and thank God for Your Mechanic,, you have my Vote Looking , Looking forward for more Business. Very Honest Guy

Robert

20 years of experience
38 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Honda Accord - Check Engine Light is on - Brentwood, California
He came earlier than on time and got the job done faster than I seen anyone else have . Solid honest hard working dude.


More related articles

P2080 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circ Range/Perf Bank 1 Sensor 1
P2080 means there is a malfunction in the circuit bank 1 sensor 1, likely due to an electrical component problem.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Exhaust System
Your Your car’s exhaust system might not be the first thing you think about when it comes to engine performance or personal safety, but it should be pretty high on that list. Your engine combusts fuel and air in order...
10 Biggest Car-Related Headaches and What to Do About Them
You You don’t want to, but if you're a car owner it's inevitable that at some point you will experience car troubles. It's also fairly certain that the machine you rely on will cause you grief when you least expect...

Related questions

Check engine light flashing on 2000 ford taurus

If the Check Engine Light is flashing, it means that continuing to drive your car could cause damage to the catalyst. You probably have a misfire and it is likely something that happened while you were changing your spark plugs....

Car overheats, antifreeze leaks

Hello. If the vehicle is leaking antifreeze, then that needs to be located and repaired first. Most of the time it comes from a crack in the radiator or the water pump, though it can also come from a number...

Needing transmission serviced.

Hi there. Your check engine light can come on for any number of reasons. If the vehicle is running fine and it just came on it may be as simple as a loose or faulty gas cap. If the vehicle...

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