P0642 OBD-II Trouble Code: Sensor Reference Voltage “A” Circuit Low

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

Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0642 code

P0642 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Sensor Reference Voltage “A” Circuit Low". 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 $114.99 . Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.0 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 $114.99 $20.0
Toyota $114.99 $20.0
BMW $124.99 $20.0
SCHEDULE P0642 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

P0642 code definition

The P0642 code indicates that the sensor reference voltage “A” circuit is too low compared to the manufacturer’s specifications, as detected by the powertrain control module, or PCM.

What the P0642 code means

The PCM or one of the supporting control modules has detected that there is a voltage reading that is too low in a particular area of the circuit related to one of many vehicle components, including climate control, proximity alert, traction control, turbo control, cruise control, anti-theft features, fuel injection control, antilock brake control, and others.

What causes the P0642 code?

Most of the time, the P0642 code is caused by shorted or open wiring or connectors between the supporting control modules, or from the control modules to the PCM. Other causes may include:

  • Faulty engine control module (ECM)
  • Open or shorted electrical components from the engine sensors
  • Open or shorted ECM harness
  • Shorted sensor on 5-volt circuit
  • Loose or disconnected ground wires in the PCM input circuitry
  • Internal malfunctions in the PCM

What are the symptoms of the P0642 code?

In addition to the presence of the P0642 code in the PCM memory, the vehicle may not be able to start. Starting may be difficult, and the engine may run roughly. Fuel efficiently may decrease, the engine may misfire, and the driver may notice an overall decrease in engine power. The Check Engine Light will be illuminated, but it may take several drive cycles to do so.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0642 code?

After an OBD-II scanner verifies the P0642 code, a technician should visually inspect all the wiring, connectors, and other components related to the PCM and the supporting control modules. Any damaged elements should be replaced, reconnected, or repaired as necessary. The technician should clear the code from the PCM after ensuring that all electrical components are working properly, and perform a test drive. If the code returns, the issue requires more in-depth repair.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0642 code

In many cases when the issue is related to communication between control modules, other codes will appear in the PCM. These are typically a result of the faulty connection causing the P0642 code, and do not actually require repair. However, it is common for these issues to be diagnosed and repaired first, which does not solve the underlying issue.

How serious is the P0642 code?

If an OBD-II scanner detects the P0642 code, it is important to have the vehicle inspected and repaired right away. A miscommunication between control modules will affect the drivability of the vehicle, and decrease the overall engine performance. In order to ensure that the vehicle remains operational, it’s important to address the issue causing the P0642 code right away.

What repairs can fix the P0642 code?

In many cases, the cause of the P0642 code will be repaired during the initial diagnosis, because the electrical components are the most likely issue when this code is stored. However, there are other repairs that may need to be made to solve the root issue present. These include:

  • Replacing faulty engine control module (ECM).
  • Replacing or repairing open or shorted ECM harness.
  • Replacing shorted sensor on 5-volt circuit.
  • Replacing a PCM that shows signs of internal malfunctions.
  • Replacing any control modules that are malfunctioning.

When replacing any control modules, the new modules will have to be reprogrammed. If the mechanic skips this step, it is likely that many codes will be stored over the next few drive cycles. A PCM that is not properly programmed can make the vehicle enter a no start condition.

It is also important that the P0642 code be cleared and the system be retested after every possible repair. This process narrows down the root cause of the issue until the correct repair is found and performed.

Need help with a P0642 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.

Check Engine Light
trouble codes
P0642

No more waiting rooms! Our mechanics will come to you to diagnose and fix the P0642 code.

SCHEDULE P0642 DIAGNOSTIC
Get a $20 credit for the follow-up repair

Recent Check Engine Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(7400)

Rating Summary
6879
249
58
41
173
6879
249
58
41
173
 at YourMechanic

David

13 years of experience
393 reviews
David
13 years of experience
Chevrolet Malibu L4-2.4L - Check Engine Light is on Inspection - Marietta, Georgia
He explained everything to me in detail on what I needed to know about my car. Definitely recommend him for getting the job done.
 at YourMechanic

Raymond

37 years of experience
402 reviews
Raymond
37 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.2L - Check Engine Light is on - Las Vegas, Nevada
Raymond did a great job however I was charged for two hours labor and he was only here less than 45 minutes. should I expect this on future appointments with your mechanic ?
 at YourMechanic

Shane

17 years of experience
217 reviews
Shane
17 years of experience
Volkswagen EuroVan V6-2.8L - Check Engine Light is on Inspection - Austin, Texas
Arrived on time. Explained the issues he found and how he will fix it. I have parts on order and will schedule an appointment to have Shane install the parts when they arrive.
 at YourMechanic

Kanstantsin

19 years of experience
51 reviews
Kanstantsin
19 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-4.6L - Check Engine Light is on Inspection - Littleton, Colorado
Kanstantsin arrived early. Was very courteous and professional. Will highly recommend to anyone. Thank you Kanstantsin.


Related questions

Whats wrong , engine codes p0605,p0842,p0642, and p0401 thrown twice , light front end damage wothout airbag deployment
Hello, thank you for writing in. If the vehicle was in a wreck, the issues are likely independent from each other. One issue seems to be a powertrain control module electrical malfunction. This could be an issue with an input...

More related articles

P0277 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 6 Injector Circuit High
P0277 P0277 code definition This code means that there is an injector circuit malfunction affecting cylinder six. What the P0277 code means When this code appears, the ECM (engine control module) has reported that either the resistance of voltage for...
P2753 OBD-II Trouble Code: Transmission Fluid Cooler Circuit Low
P2753 means the transmission cooler control is malfunctioning usually due to a bad valve or sensor or other electrical issues or problems.
P0757 OBD-II Trouble Code: Shift Solenoid B Stuck On
P0757 code means the PCM has registered an irregularity within the shift solenoid B often due too hydraulic blockages internally or malfunctioning.

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