P0561 OBD-II Trouble Code: System Voltage Unstable

Our certified mechanics come to you · 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

SCHEDULE P0561 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront
Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0561 code

P0561 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "System Voltage Unstable". 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 P0561 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

P0561 code definition

If the PCM detects an abnormal voltage reading from the battery, the charging system, or the starting system, it will store the P0561 code.

What the P0561 code means

Even when a vehicle is off, the battery supplies electricity to the ECM, which uses that power to store code histories, fuel trim values, and various other data. If the battery voltage falls below a specific level, the ECM assumes that there is a fault in the power supply circuit, and will alert the PCM to store the P0561 code.

What causes the P0561 code?

The P0561 code is most often caused by a dead or weakened battery. It may also be due to a defective battery, or one of the following causes:

What are the symptoms of the P0561 code?

Common symptoms of the P0561 code may include improper shifting, a decrease in fuel efficiency, engine stalling when idling, slow starting, and the illumination of the Check Engine Light. Low battery power may result in interior lights or other electrical components that don’t function properly.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0561 code?

In order to properly diagnose the root cause of the P0561 code, a mechanic should first perform a visual inspection of the wiring, connectors, and battery cables, and replace or repair any that are faulty. After clearing the code, the mechanic should perform a retest of the system, to ensure that this simple repair did or did not solve the issue. If the mechanic successfully recreates the failure, and the code is stored in the PCM again, they may move on to other repairs.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0561 code

The most common mistake when diagnosing the P0561 code is a hyper-focus on the battery and starter, when the alternator is often a common problem with this code. It’s important to check if the alternator is properly charging, and that the vehicle’s charging system is operating correctly.

It is also important to be sure that the P0561 code is cleared from the PCM after every repair is performed, and the system is retested. With each clearance and retest, the mechanic will be able to get closer to the true cause of the problem.

How serious is the P0561 code?

If the P0561 code is stored in the PCM, it represents a potentially very serious issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. If the charging system, starter, and/or battery are not working properly, it is unlikely that the vehicle will be operational for very long. As soon as this code is detected, the issue should be diagnosed and repaired.

What repairs can fix the P0561 code?

Repairs that can be performed to fix the P0561 code include:

Need help with a P0561 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
P0561
Check Engine Light

Fast and easy Check Engine Light is on Inspection service at your home or office.

SCHEDULE P0561 DIAGNOSTIC
Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

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

4,912

Rating Summary
4,525
187
48
28
124
4,525
187
48
28
124

Pardeep

19 years of experience
598 reviews
Pardeep
19 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Check Engine Light is on Inspection - San Jose, California
Pardeep showed up at the time scheduled. He called prior to arriving and informed me of his arrival. He trouble shot he check eengine light. Step by step he informed me of what he was.checking, and answered was all my questions. He wasted no time and got the vehicle to run long enough to determine next steps we will need to take. He never tried to bs me, or false promises (Like the dealership). He explained what he could do and what he could not, in regards to repairs ifneeded. i had a good 1st tike experience with "Your Mechanic" . Although the previous mechanic (Brock) they had assigned canceled the appoinent I scheduled; saying that they could not perform what clealy, Pardeep was able to do. Thank you Pardeep! 

Michael

36 years of experience
94 reviews
Michael
36 years of experience
Volkswagen Beetle - Check Engine Light is on - Brea, California
Michael is friendly and professional. He has lots of experience and tries his best to try and figure out what's wrong with your car.

Michael

10 years of experience
39 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Chevrolet Malibu - Check Engine Light is on - Atlanta, Georgia
I would highly recommend Michael. He was professional and helped me to better understand car trouble.

Nathan

15 years of experience
194 reviews
Nathan
15 years of experience
Hyundai Accent - Check Engine Light is on - Austin, Texas
Very Knowledgeable, quick response, and very kind! Thanks Nathan for your excellent customer service and repair assessment!

More related articles

P2749 OBD-II Trouble Code: Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor C Circuit
P2749 means a signal sent to the PCM was erratic, irrational or incorrect due to a defective valve, wiring issues, or faulty shift solenoids.
P0032 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0032 trouble code definition P0032 is the code for HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 1 Sensor 1) What the P0032 code...
P0500 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction
P0500 code definition P0500 is a general OBD-II code that indicates a malfunction has been detected in the vehicle speed sensor circuit....

Related questions

Would this result in the check engine light turning on?

The check engine light indicates that the engine controller (ECU) has detected a fault in the system that could effect the exhaust emissions. The ECU stores a trouble code to help technicians diagnose the problem and lights the Check Engine...

Sputtering when going uphill. Changed spark plugs and could and now worse

Hello, thank you for writing in. Starting with checking the spark plugs is a great idea, as these are typical symptoms of spark failure. Although the check engine light was not on before, it is now, and there are likely...

Car refuses to drive once dash lights turn on.

I would have a second opinion by a different mechanic to confirm. The Check Engine Light and Coolant Light may be an indication of another problem, and the computer may go into a failure mode and will limit throttle and...

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.

1-800-701-6230 · hi@yourmechanic.com