When your car fails to start or develops any other drivability issue, it sends a cold shiver down your spine. The feeling gets worse when you have an emergency to attend to. If you are impatient, you could take your car to the mechanic shop without first understanding the problem. This could cost you a lot, as the mechanic shop attendant could overprice the service. Therefore, knowing the different problems that can occur in your Ford is the best thing. Each problem is usually defined by a specific code shown in the OBD II system.
Code P00C6 is one of those codes that can be produced in your Ford. This article will describe everything you need to know about this code, helping you avoid overpaying for its service. It will also tell you how to fix it, enabling you to resolve it yourself.
What does code P00C6 in Ford mean?
This code is shown in the OBD II system when starting the Ford vehicle. Its definition is “Fuel Rail Pressure (FRP) – Engine Cranking – Pressure Too Low.” It means that the pressure supplied by the fuel pump is too low to cause the fuel injectors to open or to ensure that the fuel is completely burned during combustion. During cranking, the Power Control Module (PCM) activates the starting circuits, which activate the fuel pump. If the fuel pump works, the fuel in the tank is enough, and the static pressure is within the required range, the PCM will make the engine crank. However, this only happens when all the other components in the fuel system, such as the Piston, work. If the PCM detects that all these conditions are not met, code P00C6 will be produced.
Symptoms of code P00C6
Like any other code, this code is accompanied by symptoms. These symptoms may be present in other codes; hence you should not fully rely on them to indicate a problem with the fuel pressure. Below are the symptoms you will likely observe in your Ford vehicle when there is code P00C6.
1. Illuminated check engine light
As mentioned above, the low fuel pressure will make the engine not start. Anything that affects the engine will always make the check engine light illuminate.
2. Engine misfire
The engine needs an optimal air-fuel mixture ratio to function well. If the fuel pump pressure falls within the required range, less fuel than needed will reach the combustion chamber. As a result, the air-fuel mixture ratio will be affected, resulting in engine misfires.
3. Additional codes
Since code P00C6 indicates low fuel pressure, it will likely be accompanied by other codes which indicate a particular component in the fuel system is bad. For instance, you may get code P0193, which indicates that the fuel pressure sensor has malfunctioned.
4. Engine will not start
If the PCM detects that the fuel pressure is too low to make the fuel injector work efficiently, it won’t allow starting procedure to move past the cranking stage. However, in some cases, the PCM will also stop the cranking process.
How serious is code P00C6?
Since insufficient fuel pump pressure will affect the starting process, code P00C6 is a serious code that needs immediate fixing. Remember that you will damage the engine cylinders if you keep starting your Ford vehicle without fixing this code.
Causes of code P00C6
Code P00C6 can be caused by several issues touching the fuel system. They include.
1. Bad electrical connection in the fuel pump
The fuel pump has an electric motor that spins to create the required fuel pressure. This electric motor is powered by voltage from the battery when the engine is off. However, the electric motor is powered by the alternator when the engine is running. As such, cables connect it to the battery or the alternator. These wires can get faulty due to corrosion and electric shorts. Nevertheless, sharp objects in your Ford can cut these wires, making them defective.
2. Leaking fuel system
If the hoses and gas tank wear out, they will start leaking. A leaking fuel system will result in low fuel pressure. Fortunately, it is easy to diagnose a leaking fuel system. You only have to check if there are puddles of petrol under your Ford vehicle.
3. Malfunctioned fuel pressure sensor
The PCM relies on information transmitted by the fuel pressure sensor to determine whether the fuel pressure is at a significant level. Therefore, if the fuel pressure sensor malfunctions, the PCM will indicate code P00C6. Many things can damage the fuel pressure sensor. But the most common ones are vibration and exposure to water or fuel vapors.
4. Clogged fuel filter
Many things can clog the fuel filter. They include dust, rust from worn-out fuel tank, moisture, and sediments present in fuel. When the fuel filter is blocked, the fuel that reaches the fuel pump will be low. This will make the fuel pressure fall below the minimum level. In some cases, those things can block the fuel filter completely, hence not being able to start the car.
5. Low fuel level in the tank
Sometimes what causes code P00C6 is low fuel volume in the fuel tank. This happens when you have driven the car for a long distance without refilling the tank. It can also happen when the fuel tank leaks.
6. Faulty fuel pressure regulator
The fuel pressure regulator maintains the fuel pressure in the fuel system. If more fuel pressure is needed, the fuel pressure regulator allows more fuel to enter the engine. It normally fails due to a blocked fuel line. If it malfunctions, the fuel pressure will either be less, necessitating the relay of code P00C6.
7. Blocked fuel pick-up tube
The fuel pick-up tube is installed in the fuel tank. It is responsible for pulling fuel from the back of the tank. Since it’s exposed to fuel, contaminants such as dust and debris can block it. If all the fuel moves to the back of the fuel tank and the fuel pick-up tube is blocked, the fuel pressure in the pump will be low.
How to fix code P00C6
Code P00C6 can be fixed by resolving the above issues. Below are the ways in which you can fix the code.
1. Fix the electrical connection in the fuel pump
To check if there is an electrical connection issue, use a digital multimeter to measure the voltage reaching the fuel pump. The fuel pump usually uses a voltage of 12.5 to 13.0 when running. If the multimeter reads a voltage below that, there is a problem with the wires. Check if there is any corrosion by observing if they have a white substance at the terminals. If they do, use a screwdriver to scrub off the corrosion. Similarly, if you spot that the wires are cut, replacing them is the only option to get rid of code P00C6.
2. Fix the leak in the fuel system
Spotting puddles of fuel under your car can be terrifying. But it shouldn’t be, as the fuel system leak can be repaired. You only need to identify the source of the leak and smear epoxy putty on it. However, if you want the leak to disappear permanently, close it by welding it.
3. Replace the fuel pressure sensor
The only option for a faulty fuel pressure sensor is to replace it. But you first need to diagnose if it’s faulty. You can do so using a digital multimeter. However, you also need to get its correct voltage from the car manual. A typical fuel pressure sensor will have a reading of 0.5 to 5 volts. The fuel pressure sensor is bad if the multimeter reads a voltage outside this range.
4. Clean the fuel filter
While it’s possible to clean a clogged fuel filter, sometimes the debris and other contaminants have damaged it completely. Therefore, the best thing to do is to remove and examine it. If you notice that it’s still in good condition, cleaning it with a special fluid may eradicate code P00C6. Removing and cleaning it is usually straightforward; hence you don’t need many technical skills.
5. Check and top up the fuel level
If you have been driving for a long distance and you notice code P00C6 in the OBD II system, the first thing to do is check the fuel level. Topping the fuel up will eliminate the code if the fuel is too low. However, you must also examine the tank to ensure it is not leaking.
6. Replace the fuel pressure regulator
The easiest way to diagnose a bad fuel pressure regulator is by using a pressure gauge. To perform the test, connect its Schrader valve to the pressure gauge and idle your car. If the reading you get from the pressure gauge differs from what is in the car manual, the fuel pressure regulator is faulty. Unfortunately, a malfunctioned fuel pressure regulator cannot be repaired in modern Ford vehicles. The good news is that modern fuel pressure regulators are cheap.
7. Unblock the fuel pick-up tube
You can quickly notice if the fuel pick-up tube is blocked. To check it, pass air through it. The fuel pick-up tube is clogged if the air doesn’t come out on the other side. Unfortunately, unclogging the fuel pick-up tube is problematic since it is usually soldered to the fuel pump. Hence, you will have to take the car to a mechanic shop to unclog this tube.
Code P00C6 indicates that the fuel pressure is below the required level. Issues with the fuel system, such as a bad electrical connection in the fuel pump, a clogged fuel pick-up tube, a leak in the fuel system, a defective fuel pressure sensor, etc., typically cause it. This code can be troubling as it causes issues such as illuminated check engine light, engine misfire, and hard start. Therefore, it should be fixed immediately. Fortunately, most of the parts that cause it can be repaired without necessarily replacing them. This saves you the cost of new components.