P0173 Diagnostic Trouble Code


P0173 is a kind of OBD-II Diagnostic P-Powertrain Diagnostic Trouble Code.

It is considered generic because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles, although specific repair steps may be different depending on your car model.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a P0173 diagnostic trouble code may include:
  • The engine oil will exhibit dilution from the ECUs attempts to increase engine temperature. Some vehicles advance the fuel injection timing slightly after top center to afterburn a small amount of fuel to increase exhaust temperatures. Some of this fuel enters the crankcase. When the ECU determines the necessity to regenerate the DPF, the service life of the oil be shortened significantly
  • Faulty or damaged wiring
  • Hesitation upon acceleration
  • Engine surge
Place of P0173 in engine

Possible Causes :

  • Some aftermarket accessories and performance modifications
  • A faulty oxygen sensor. This will set a code in itself, however, a faulty oxygen sensor does not automatically condemn the sensor. The code just means that the sensor signal was not within specifications. An air leak or any of the above will cause an erroneous signal. There is a multitude of O2 codes relating to O2 performance which gives a clue to the problematic area.
  • Defective ECU strategies or components will prevent proper regeneration

Repair Processes :

If the engine displays a miss and there wasn't a code, determine which cylinder is misfiring. If the exhaust manifold is visible, spay or pour a small amount of water on each cylinder exhaust port. Water will evaporate immediately on good cylinders and slowly on the missing cylinder. If this can't be accomplished pull the plugs and check the condition. With the valve disconnected, the red voltmeter lead should be attached to the IMRC valve power wire and the black voltmeter lead connected to ground. It should be pretty close to battery voltage (12 volts). If not, then this is the circuit that has the problem.

Process Tips

Diagnostic trouble code P0173 is not difficult to diagnose and repair. Thus, it always pays to have a qualified technician to look after your vehicle should this error code arise.

Diagnosing this code requires the engine to be in good running shape, without unmetered air entering the engine. If other codes that relates to misfiring condition, lean running or air entering the engine is present, then you must first fix those error codes before P0173.

Fortunately, P0173 is a fairly common OBD code, meaning that it applies to all makes and models of vehicles made after 1996.

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