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P0380 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Glow Plug/Heater Circuit “A” 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 for $70.00. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $30.00 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.
The P0380 trouble code notes an issue with the glow plug heater circuit A.
The P0380 code is a standard OBD-II trouble code suggesting an issue within the glow plug heater circuit. When the powertrain control module (PCM) detects a variation in the voltage from the “A” area of the glow plug heater circuit that is more than a 10 percent variation from the expected output, the P0380 code will be detected. This code is associated with numerous other glow plug trouble codes.
Many things can trigger the P0380 code. Some of the more common issues include:
When the P0380 trouble code is triggered, it will likely be accompanied by the check engine soon Warning Light, as well as the globe plug indicator Warning Light. The vehicle also may have a difficult time starting, may be excessively noisy during start-up, and may produce white exhaust smoke.
The P0380 code will be diagnosed using a standard OBD-II trouble code scanner. A professional mechanic will use the scanner to observe the freeze frame data. Using the freeze frame data, the mechanic can learn more about the P0380 code, and search for additional codes (it is common for the P0380 code to be accompanied by other glow plug trouble codes). The technician will then reset the trouble codes and restart the vehicle, to see if the codes return. If the codes do not return, it is assumed that they are intermittent and that the glow plug heater circuit is in working order.
If the P0380 code returns, the mechanic should inspect the wires, connectors, and fuses around the glow plug heater circuit. Any loose or open wires, corroded or damaged connectors, or blown fuses should be replaced. Following replacement, the trouble codes should once again be reset, and the vehicle restarted, to see if the issue has been resolved. If it has not, the mechanic will remove the glow plug in the A area and test it, as well as the relay. If needed, the components will be replaced, and all remaining trouble codes should be addressed as well.
The most common mistake when diagnosing the P0380 code comes from a failure to properly follow the OBD-II trouble code diagnosis protocol. Mechanics should always follow the proper protocol in order, which includes addressing numerous trouble codes in the order in which they appear.
Failure to follow the proper protocol can also result in the glow plug or relay being replaced when the wires, connectors, or fuses were the actual issue.
A detected P0380 code is unlikely to render a vehicle as unable to operate, but it will keep the engine from running properly.
The most common repairs for the P0380 trouble code include:
While blown fuses in the glow plug heater circuit are commonly associated with the P0380 code, they are usually the result of a deeper issue. If a blown fuse is detected, it should be replaced, but it shouldn’t be assumed to be the only issue or the cause of the P0380 trouble code.
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