Code P0353. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Solution

The code P0353 It is defined as “Malfunction of the primary/secondary circuit of the ignition coil C”. This fault code is generic, meaning it applies to all vehicles.

A malfunction in the C ignition circuit activates this trouble code in the ECM. Combustion coil C is the one located in cylinder 3, coil number 3.

Code P0353

Ignition System Operation

Modern vehicles use an ignition system called “Coil-on-plug (COP) ignition”. This type of system consists of a single coil mounted on each cylinder, all controlled by the ECM or PCM.

Since there is one coil per cylinder, the system does not need spark plug wires, since the assembly is direct on the spark plug.

The PCM coil driver has two wires. One is for battery power to the power distribution center, and the other is the PCM coil driver circuit.

The PCM grounds or disconnects the circuit to activate or deactivate the coil. The PCM monitors the coil controller for faults.

In the case of error code P0353, that means that an open circuit or short circuit was detected in the controller circuit for coil number 3.

Depending on the car model, the injector of that cylinder can also be turned off as a safety measure.

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What is Code P0353?

If the ECM or PCM detects a problem in the cylinder 3 ignition circuit, a warning is automatically generated. code P0353in addition to activating the “Check Engine” light on the dashboard.

The code does not specify which side of the coil has the problem. The fault may be on the PCM circuit side (Primary Side) or on the spark plug circuit side (Secondary Side).

The last digit of the error code, in this case “3”, means the number of the cylinder that has the fault. This means that the P0353 code is specific to cylinder 3. If it were cylinder 4 that was at fault, it would be P0354.

Common Symptoms of Code P0353

In addition to activating the Check Engine light, common symptoms of this code are related to drivability, including:

  • Abnormal vibrations when driving.
  • Irregular idle.
  • Loss of acceleration.
  • Engine misfire may be present or intermittent.
  • Loss of engine power.
  • The “Check Engine” light activated.

The OBD-II system can stop the fuel injector in the faulty cylinder in some car models. Other fault codes related to engine ignition or injector unit difficulties may also appear.

It is important to remember that some symptoms, such as an illuminated Check Engine light or difficulty starting the vehicle, can be caused by several reasons.

These may vary depending on the affected system, and that is why a diagnosis with an OBD-2 scanner is essential.

Possible Causes of Code P0353

There are many possible factors that contribute to these error codes, and some of the possible causes are:

  • Damage or corrosion to the wiring connecting the cylinder coil pack to the PCM.
  • Faulty or corroded coil pack wiring.
  • The defective ignition coil on cylinder 3.
  • The defective spark plug in cylinder 3.
  • Faulty idle air control valve or electronic body.

How to Diagnose Code P0353

Any good diagnosis must begin by connecting the scanner to the car, to check the code and the combination of other possible codes involved.

  1. You should begin your diagnosis by using an OBD scanner to verify the codes recorded in the PCM, to begin troubleshooting the fault.
  2. Then, to check if you can duplicate the problem, clear the signals and perform a test with identical initial settings.
  3. There you can determine if the P0353 code is permanent or temporary.
  4. If you notice that the code came back, it means that it is not intermittent.
  5. To troubleshoot this error code, you should start by checking the resistance of the suspect coil pack through a resistance test.
  6. Next, you must test the condition of the spark plug electrodes.
  7. Next, you need to measure the voltage present across the coil pack.
  8. Inspect the wires connecting the coil packs for signs of corrosion, fraying, and even melting.
  9. Check the coil pack circuit to see if it is receiving a proper ground supply.
  10. Next, test the intake manifold for vacuum leaks.
  11. Finally, measure the Hertz signal sent to the coil pack using a multimeter. This step also helps you check if the PCM is sending the correct signal to the coil pack.

P0353 is a code that must be examined properly. The code may reappear if you skip the diagnostic steps and replace the parts before testing them.

A basic element like a bent connecting pin or a loose wire, for example, can cause ignition coil problems.

Common Errors When Diagnosing Code P0353

If you carry out a good diagnosis, you will not worry about errors when carrying out the repair. Generally, the most common errors are:

  • Replacing coil 3 without checking the wiring.
  • Replacing spark plug 3 without checking the coil.
  • Repairing the wiring without checking the condition of the coil.

All errors are related to skipping a step in the diagnosis, or not making the diagnosis at all. You should avoid this.

How to Fix Code P0353

Luckily, this fault code is easy to locate and in most cases easy to repair.

Below are some of the solutions you can put into practice, depending on the results of the diagnosis:

  • Replacing the cylinder 3 spark plug.
  • Cylinder 3 coil pack replacement.
  • Repair or replace any damaged wiring in the cylinder 3 coil pack.
  • Repair any form of vacuum leak, such as a cracked vacuum line or intake manifold gasket leaks.
  • Replacing the PCM.

As you’ll see from the list above, fixes can vary in complexity. So, what is the best way to fix the P0353 code? Making a detailed diagnosis that takes you directly to the fault.

Is Code P0353 Serious?

It all depends on the severity of the fault and the combination with other codes. In some cases, driving problems could occur, such as difficulty starting the car or rough idling.

You will almost certainly need to hire an expert service in this case. A rough idle caused by a P0353 code is unlikely to convince you to take your car to the shop, but sloppy idling can lead to additional engine damage.

The catalytic converter can be blocked or destroyed due to such a failure without being treated in time. Remember that one of the cylinders does not ignite, and the entire mixture from it will go unburned to the catalytic converter, affecting its function.

Furthermore, the “Non-ignition” of the cylinder directly affects the performance of the engine, since this forces the engine cylinders to work much more to replace the loss.

All parts involved, including the combustion system, coil gasket, and piston rings, are put under more stress.

To summarize, a P0353 error most likely won’t prevent you from running your car, but it should be addressed as soon as possible.


You may also be interested in Code P0352. Causes, Symptoms, Repair and Diagnosis

Error code P0353 It is a quite serious condition, on the one hand, it presents many driving problems that expose car users to safety risks.

Second, misfires are always bad for the engine as they can damage or clog the catalytic converter.

In this case, the cylinders have to work harder to run the vehicle, stressing the cylinder and all the components involved, such as spark plugs, piston rings, and coil packs, causing them to wear out faster.

If you want to know other articles similar to Code P0353. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Solution you can visit the category Fault Codes.


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