P0213 OBD-II Trouble Code: Causes and Symptoms for Problems on Cold Start Injector 1

OBD Codes

By Rodney (Mechanics)

Meaning P0213 Code

A possible malfunction on Cold Start Injector 1

P0213 is a diagnostic code that occurs when the engine control module gets a signal that there is an issue with the cold start number 1 fuel injector. When this happens, the check engine light will be switched on automatically to notify that there is an out-of-range performance that is occurring in the engine.

Usually, the vehicles that can have this problem arises on its engine include Dodge, Chevy, Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, GMC, and other brands. A similar characteristic is that those vehicles will have a generic powertrain DTC (diagnostic trouble code) involving a cold start injector.

The main possibility that can happen when code P0213 is being shown is the abnormality in the functions of the cold start injector that is detected by the PCM.
Vehicles that are equipped with diesel engines are more prone to have this type of trouble code. But vehicles with gasoline engines are also not free from having this problem, especially on their injectors.

Normally, you will be able to find the cold start injector in a central position inside the engine. This is to ensure that the fuel can be delivered to all cylinders even when the engine is in a cold condition. There are also engines that have more than one cold start injector placed inside the engine. But most engines use a single injector that can be found near the intake air inlet pipe or the opening of the throttle plate.

The PCM usually determines the proper initiation of a cold start injector by measuring the temperatures of air intake as well as the engine. This evaluation is to make sure that the cold start injectors can work as they should.

A decrease in voltage is usually the first symptom in the abnormal level of resistance on the circuit. If this happens, the PCM will send the signal and the code P0213 will be shown along with the check engine light. But, some vehicles will not show the code or the light until after multiple failures in ignition cycles.

If you’re familiar with trouble codes regarding misfires or lean/rich air-fuel mixture, this code is also similar to code P0214.

Some Possible Causes of Code P0213

  • A failure on the cold start injector 1.
  • The wiring harness is shorted.
  • Electrical connections are in poor condition.

Throttle Position Sensor

The Symptoms of Trouble Code P0213

The check engine light is turned on with a failsafe mode being set. You can also notice that the light remains on until the detected faults are repaired.

  • The vehicle’s engine is running in poor condition.
  • Fuel economy is worse than usual.
  • Lean/rich air-fuel conditions.
  • You might have difficulty turning your vehicle on when the engine is still cold.

What Your Mechanic Needs to Check Regarding Code P0213

  • They need to check if any codes are present on the engine using a scanning tool.
  • They need to check the data of the freeze frame so they can determine the vehicle speed, RPM, and the temperature of the coolant when the first trouble code occurred.
  • They need to perform a test drive using the data to simulate a similar driving condition before trying to fix the trouble code.

Make sure to check the voltage of the injector if the code still appears after taking the vehicle to the mechanics.

What are Common Mistakes When Diagnosing Code P0213?

While a lot of mistakes can occur when trying to fix any code, not doing the steps in the correct order might be the most common one. To get rid of the trouble code P0213, make sure to test the cold start injector before trying to get a new one. This might save you a lot of money by avoiding buying a new injector.

How Serious is Trouble Code P0213?

Your vehicle can still be driven a few miles to a safe location after the code shows up because code P0213 is not a serious issue and also not a common occurrence. But, you will still need to get your car diagnosed and the injector repaired to prevent any further issues.

What Repairs are Needed For Code P0213?

  • Replace the malfunctioning cold start injector with a new one.
  • Inspect the connection and fix any issues with it.
  • Replace a broken wiring harness.

Diagnostic and Repair Procedures

The diagnosis for possible causes of code P0213 will require some specific tools such as a digital volt/ohmmeter or a diagnostic scanner to get a reliable result.
If additional codes appear regarding the coolant temperature or air intake temperature, then you might need to fix those codes before moving on to code P0213.

Visual Inspection

The first step to diagnosing this code is to do a visual inspection of the wiring and connectors that are used on cold start injectors. You might also have damages on the wiring due to animals or cold-weather conditions.
After that, use your scanner and connect it to the vehicle diagnostic connector to get the correct codes and freeze-frame data. Always make sure to write down all the numbers because they will be helpful in the repairing process. Refer to the manufacturer’s specifications to clear the codes. Then, do a cold start ignition process and then test drive your vehicle.

If doing those things cannot reset the P0213 code, then you might need to operate the vehicle as usual until the code is reset. Check the PCM if it enters readiness mode. If it can enter readiness mode, then you will not have to worry about the code as it will be fixed.

Step-By-Step Diagnosis

  • Follow the recommendations from the vehicle’s manual to test the cold start injector after the code is reset. If you find any failure in the process of cold ignition, a replacement might not be able to be avoided.
  • Check the voltage at the injector connector using the DVOM. If you can find a constant supply of voltage along with a consistent ground pulse coming from the PCM, then the condition of the cold start injector is all right.
  • If the process above discovers low-voltage at the connector, the problem might be caused by a defective relay, a blown fuse, or a fusible link that is damaged by heat.
  • A defective PCM or a malfunction on the circuit will usually create no pulse detected from the ground. The usage of DVOM can help you determine the exact condition of the trouble code so you can take proper actions.
  • If you cannot detect the ground pulse at the PCM connector, then the trouble code might occur due to a programming error.
  • But, if in PCM connector detect the ground pulse, then there might be between the PCM and injector has a circuit malfunction. Always use your tools to check for proper readings of resistance and voltage.
    Additional Diagnostic Notes
  • Make sure that the cold start injector can be detected by the PCM and is in proper condition before you perform any diagnostic test.
  • Be careful when you’re testing the high-pressure fuel systems.

Some Additional Things You Need to Know Regarding Trouble Code P0213

Your vehicle engines will not be able to work properly without using the cold start injector. This component will enable your ECM to maintain a proper air-fuel mixture especially when the engine is still cold.
Refer to your mechanics and always use scan tools to do the diagnostic tests for your cold start injector condition.