Description of DTC code P0381

Diesel vehicles are equipped with the glow plug system, which provides heat when starting the engine during low temperatures. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) monitors the coolant temperature and the glow plug voltage. This makes it easier to warm up the plugs before and during the engine starting process.

In case the PCM finds a problem in the circuit controlling the spark plug, the DTC P0381 OBDII code will be stored, and the Check Engine light will activate.

Symptoms of fault code P0381

  • MIL light ON.
  • When the weather is cold, the engine has a delay during start-up.
  • Excessive smoke coming out of the exhaust.

Causes of OBD2 P0381

Reasons for setting the P0381 OBD2 fault code:

  • The glow plug may be in bad condition.
  • The Glow Plug Control Module (GPCM) may be faulty.
  • The glow plug wire system may be damaged.
  • The spark plug circuit connectors may be incorrectly tightened.
  • The glow plug relay may be defective.

Possible solutions of the DTC code P0381

To solve the P0381 OBDII error code problems, take into account the following suggestions:

  • Check all the electrical components of the glow plug. Check wires, connectors, and others for corrosion or damage that may prevent proper operation. If you find some defects, repair or replace them as necessary.
  • Look up the system relay design specifications in the vehicle information source, Then, test the circuits with a DVOM. If the results do not match the specifications, you should repair them.
  • If the glow plug indicator does not light, it may be due to an open circuit or faulty relay.
  • If the glow plug indicator stays on, the power circuit is shorted. But if the indicator is working properly and this code is still set, you should replace the glow plug. To test the glow plug, remove it from the engine and ground it. Then, you must apply 12 volts to it. If the glow plug glows, the glow plug is in good condition.

Codes related to P0381

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