Meaning of P0201 Generic OBD2 Code
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The technical definition of P0201 code is: Injector Circuit Malfunction in Cylinder 1
This means the ECU is detecting a fault in the injector or related wiring in cylinder #1. This type of code is mostly associated with other engine misfire codes like P0200, P0202, P0203, etc.
The ECU will generally check and monitor the voltage and resistance on all the fuel injectors. Once the onboard computer verifies the voltage or resistance of the injector circuits and injectors are out of range, it will instantly trigger the check engine light.
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What are the causes of P0201 Fault?
Based on my personal experience, the presence of a check engine light and P0201 code is most likely attributed to a failing or bad fuel injector, specifically in cylinder #1. And even though a faulty injector is most likely the culprit, it is also important to check all related wiring. Test your fuel injector with a noid lite or multimeter or mechanic’s stethoscope!
The wiring harness may be frayed, or there’s a broken wire inside the wiring harness. It is relatively easy to blame this dtc on a bad injector, especially if you consider the harsh symptoms when such a problem is evident. But it is always wise to check the resistance of the injector before buying a new one. Other mechanics might tell you it is better to replace all the fuel injectors to avoid the same problem later on, which actually makes sense if you drive an older or high-mileage vehicle.
What are the symptoms of P0201 OBD-II code?
Since the P0201 code is related to a bad injector or faulty wiring, the symptoms are incredibly noticeable and hard to bear.
- hard starting
- rough engine misfires
- poor acceleration
- general feeling of sluggishness
- Check engine light will illuminate glaringly in the console.
And if the problem is really bad (such as when zero fuel is being injected inside cylinder #1), the engine will refuse to start, even after cranking repeatedly. Once the check engine light is triggered, the ECU will enter into failsafe mode until the problem is fixed.
How much does it cost to fix P0201 DTC?
Replacing the fuel injectors won’t come cheap. Depending on the type of vehicle, replacing all the injectors will cost $500 to $1000 dollars or more for a complete set. If you have an older car, you should seriously consider replacing all the fuel injectors to avoid having the same problem later on.
But if the P0201 code is traced to a wiring problem, the problem can be remedied using a basic wire splicer and some electrical tape and can cost maybe $50-$100 including shop labor. However, you will need to peel off or open the wiring harness to find the faulty or shorted wiring.
Of course, you can save money by following the correct diagnostic procedures. Refer to the owner’s manual or service manual of your vehicle to know more. The basic procedure is to confirm the operation of the fuel injector in cylinder #1 before ruling out a wiring problem.
Fuel injector cleaner may fix this code as well.