P0361 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil K Primary / Secondary Circuit Malfunction

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

Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0361 code

P0361 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Ignition Coil K Primary / Secondary Circuit Malfunction". 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 P0361 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

P0361 code definition

The P0361 trouble code is defined as Ignition Coil K Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction.

What the P0361 code means

Almost all modern engines rely on a COP (coil on plug) ignition system. This means that each cylinder has its own coil. The PCM (Powertrain Control Module) has control over these coils. By having this coil right over the spark plug, there is no need for spark plug wires in these engines.

Two wires are assigned to each coil. One of these wires is a battery feed and is typically from the power distribution center. The second wire is the coil driver circuit and comes from the PCM. To activate or deactivate the coil, the PCM simply has to ground or unground this circuit. The PCM also monitors this setup to check for any errors. If it detects an open or short in the driver circuit for the #11 coil, the P0361 code will be stored.

What causes the P0361 code?

There are a handful of common problems that may trigger this code:

  • The COP driver circuit is open, grounded or shorted
  • The connection at the coil is loose
  • The connector locks or is broken
  • The COP coil is faulty

There is always the off chance that the PCM is faulty too, but this should be the last possibility a mechanic looks into.

What are the symptoms of the P0361 code?

At the very least, when a vehicle’s PCM stores the P0361 code, the Check Engine light should come on. Otherwise, the engine may misfire or experience intermittent performance levels (e.g. acceleration may be choppy).

On some vehicles, the OBD-II may even disable the affected cylinder’s fuel injector to avoid further problems.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0361 code?

This code is diagnosed by a mechanic with an OBD-II scanner. A qualified professional should also note any related codes that may have been stored too. After resetting the OBD-II fault codes, the mechanic will want to take the vehicle on a road test (if possible) and watch the sensor’s live data while driving.

Once the drive is over, they should also run a scan to see if the P0361 code comes back. If it does, the mechanic will then need to check for any electrical wiring, connector or sensor issues.

The technician will most likely need to use a Voltmeter in AC hertz scale to see if the #11 coil produces an Hz reading between 5 and 20.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0361 code

A lot of technicians misdiagnose the problem and assume that a tune-up will be enough to get the vehicle back up and running. While a tune-up may be long overdue, a thorough diagnosis should be performed first to make sure the true reason behind the problem is understood.

How serious is the P0361 code?

Any problem that causes the engine to underperform should be looked into right away before it turns into a bigger issue. While it’s not necessarily dangerous, it will most likely make driving difficult.

What repairs can fix the P0361 code?

Depending on the nature of the problem, a qualified technician will have to do one of two things. The first thing would be to simply replacing the #11 ignition coil if they picked up a Hertz signal.

If that wasn’t the underlying problem, then most likely, the mechanic will need to examine the wiring and replace or repair any that have become frayed or are otherwise damaged.

Finally, though rare, there could be an issue with the PCM. Again, its wiring is most likely responsible for a bad reading if nothing else is.

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0361 code

It’s worth noting that wildlife is often responsible for some of the problems with the wiring that we mentioned being responsible for triggering this code. Once the vehicle is repaired, the owner should find another place to park on cold day as critters are most likely attracted to the engine’s heat.

Need help with a P0361 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.

P0361
trouble codes
Check Engine Light

No more waiting rooms! Our mechanics will come to you to diagnose and fix the P0361 code.

SCHEDULE P0361 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

5,170

Rating Summary
4,765
197
50
27
131
4,765
197
50
27
131

Fred

16 years of experience
364 reviews
Fred
16 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz E500 - Check Engine Light is on - Conroe, Texas
Fred was very friendly and thorough to get to the root of the issue. Even when he could not find a fault to why my engine light was on, he went above and beyond to make absolutely sure that the concern was minimized. Turns out, all that needed to be done was a reset but his diagnostic to address my issues was very intricate and appreciated.

David

17 years of experience
37 reviews
David
17 years of experience
Chevrolet Cruze - Check Engine Light is on - Aurora, Colorado
David was on time, professionalisms & honest! I would definitely request him again and pass along to friends/family.

John

18 years of experience
18 reviews
John
18 years of experience
Dodge Ram 1500 - Check Engine Light is on - Memphis, Tennessee
Demonstrated good integrity. Advised me when work I thought needed done was unnecessary and was helpful in identifying issues that needed to be addressed

Robert

21 years of experience
17 reviews
Robert
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Check Engine Light is on - Fort Worth, Texas
Robert did a good job working on my car and letting me know what's needed to keep my car driving smoothly.


More related articles

B1914 OBD-II Trouble Code: Air Bag Crash Sensors 1 and 2 Circuit Short To Ground
B1914 means there is an issue with one or more of the sensors in the air bag system, likely due to a faulty sensor or defective wiring.
P0043 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit Low (Bank 1 Sensor 3)
P0043 P0043 code definition P0043 stands for low circuit voltage for the heated oxygen sensor bank 1 sensor 3. This code can be seen with P0044 and P0042. What the P0043 code means The definition of P0043 is low voltage...
P0570 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cruise Control Accel Malfunction
P0570 code means that the PCM has identified a malfunction with your vehicle’s cruise control often due to defective cruise control or blown fuses.

Related questions

increased engine over load message.

Hi there. The message is coming on for the catalytic converter overheating. A misfire or leaking injector will cause the catalytic converter to overheat as raw fuel enters the exhaust system. Check the engine for a misfire and see which...

Temperature gauge sits on cold always

This is a common issue on this generation of the Chevy Malibu. This could be any one of a few problems. This could be a result of a bad BCM (Body Control Module). This is a module in your car...

Misfire, loss of power, CEL comes on... Replacing ignition coils did not fix

Hello. The numbers you have provided did not yield any results through my search. If the part numbers are different, and the ends are physically different, then they may very well be different coils or it may just be an...

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