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P0362 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil L Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction

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P0362 code definition

The P0362 code means that the PCM has registered a fault in either the primary or the secondary circuit of one or more ignition coils; this fault specifically pertains to the electrical circuitry that allows the individual coils to communicate with and be controlled by the PCM.

What the P0362 code means

The ignition system in a vehicle uses ignition coils in each cylinder. The ECM controls the ignition coils, causing them to work with the spark plug to create a spark for ignition. If the ignition coils do not respond to an on or off command, the ECM alerts the PCM to store the P0362 code.

What causes the P0362 code?

Most often, the P0362 code is caused by a faulty ignition coil. However, there may be other causes, including:

  • Shorted or open electrical wiring between the ignition coil driver circuit and the PCM.
  • Corroded or faulty connector for the ignition coil.
  • Open or shorted ignition coil harness.
  • In rare cases, a faulty PCM or ECM.

What are the symptoms of the P0362 code?

Some of the symptoms of the P0362 code may include engine misfire, choppy acceleration, and decreased engine performance. The Check Engine Light will be on, and there may be other codes stored in the PCM related to the injector circuit or the cylinder where the malfunctioning coil is located. It’s possible that the fuel injector may be totally disabled in the affected cylinder.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0362 code?

After an OBD-II scanner verifies the P0362 code, a technician should inspect of all the wiring, connectors, and other electrical components, looking for damage, corrosion, loose connections, or other faults. Any damaged elements should be replaced, reconnected, or repaired. The mechanic should then clear the code and retest the system. If the code returns, the mechanic will then move on to other possible repairs.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0362 code

In many cases, the symptoms that can manifest with the P0362 code lead technicians to believe that the vehicle needs a simple tune up, and do not perform a thorough diagnosis of the issue. Tune ups only address the symptoms, and may not prevent the issue from returning.

How serious is the P0362 code?

If an OBD-II scanner has detected the P0362 code, it indicates a serious problem that should be addressed right away. If left unrepaired, this code could indicate a malfunction that will eventually lead to engine failure.

What repairs can fix the P0362 code?

In order to fix the issue causing the P0362 code, a mechanic will likely go through a standard set of repairs. They include:

  • Replacing a faulty coil.
  • Repairing or replacing shorted or open electrical wiring between the ignition coil driver circuit and the PCM/
  • Replacing a corroded or faulty connector for the ignition coil.
  • Replacing an open or shorted ignition coil harness.
  • In rare cases, replacing a faulty PCM or ECM.

It is important to clear the P0362 code from the PCM after each repair is performed, and retest the system. In the event that the code does not return, it is probable that the mechanic has fixed the issue causing the problem. By performing this test after every repair, the mechanic will know exactly what the problem was, and will be better able to diagnose and repair the issue again should it ever be a problem in the future.

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0362 code

In many cases, damaged circuits in the ignition coil circuit are caused by wildlife crawling into the top of the engine to seek warmth or shelter from bad weather. It’s a good idea to keep a vehicle in a garage, or covered, to prevent this from happening.

Need help with a P0362 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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