Fault code P0313 – misfire detected with low fuel

Fault code P0313 is called “Misfire Detected with Low Fuel” but in different programs it may be called differently. This fault designation applies to all vehicles equipped with OBD-II.

Technical description and explained code P0313

OBD-II error code P0313 is a generic error code that is defined as “Low fuel level ignition skip detected”. It is set when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects ignition failure in one or more cylinders. When this occurs, the fuel in the tank remains below the minimum allowable level.

Fault code P0313 – misfire detected with low fuel

The suction point on the fuel pump is sometimes above the fuel level, causing the fuel pump to “suck in” air. This causes intermittent interruptions in the fuel supply to the injectors.

However, code P0313 is in the group of ambiguous errors, which in practice can be set even if the fuel tank is full. Air-fuel imbalance is most often caused by large vacuum leaks, which cause unmeasured air to enter the engine.

In practice, the solution to this fault often depends on whether other codes are present. If they are present, the repair steps required to resolve them depend entirely on what additional codes are present.

For example, if the fuel level is not known to be low, but codes that relate to low fuel pressure are present. The fault is clearly related to problems in the fuel system, not low fuel levels in the tank.

Therefore, code P0313 can have many possible causes other than low fuel level. However, other possible causes will almost certainly be indicated by fault codes that relate to specific problems. In these cases, this code is set as a reaction to other problems.

Note if other codes are present. One or more of them may cause the PCM to run in a fail-safe or emergency mode. Especially if there is a possibility that ignition skips could damage the catalytic converters.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error P0313 has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.

It can also be warning signs such as:

  1. Check engine control lamp on the control panel will light up (the code will be recorded in the memory as a malfunction).
  2. The engine stops or starts badly.
  3. Floating revolutions, as well as attempts to stall at idle.
  4. Jerking/missing ignition at idle or under load.
  5. Poor acceleration.
  6. Increased fuel consumption.
  7. Reduced engine power output.
  8. Fuel odor coming from the exhaust.

Failure P0313 is considered serious and should be eliminated as soon as possible. Continued driving with ignition timing issues can cause costly damage to the engine and catalytic converters.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code P0313 can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Low fuel level, below fuel pump suction level.
  • Fuel pump failure.
  • Faulty or worn spark plugs.
  • Worn or damaged ignition leads.
  • Coil failure.
  • Faulty oxygen sensor.
  • Damaged fuel injectors.
  • Vacuum leakage.
  • Low fuel pressure.
  • Faulty camshaft position sensor.
  • Faulty crankshaft position sensor.
  • Plugged exhaust gas recirculation pipes or valve.
  • Clogged catalytic converters.
  • Faulty air flow sensor.
  • Throttle position sensor malfunction.
  • Leaking cylinder head gasket.
  • Low engine compression.
  • Poor fuel quality.
  • Sometimes the cause is a defective PCM module.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P0313

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P0313:

  1. Use the OBD scanner to make sure there are no other errors. If they are present, it is recommended that they be corrected first.
  2. Check the fuel level.
  3. Inspect for loose connectors on ignition coils or damaged wiring. Also look for loose engine ground wires. This can cause accidental ignition misses. Tighten or correct if necessary.
  4. Check the condition of the spark plugs and their wires. Worn and old spark plug wires are common causes of accidental ignition skips. Replace plugs and wires if necessary.
  5. Fuel pressure should be measured. Low pressure can cause intermittent ignition failures in several cylinders. When the pressure is below specification, the engine does not receive the correct amount of fuel and begins to lean the mixture. The fuel pump or pressure regulator may be the source of the low pressure.
  6. Make sure the fuel injectors are working properly and are activated. Occasional ignition skips may be a sign of faulty or clogged fuel injectors, which need to be replaced. Also make sure that the fuel injector wiring is intact and properly connected.
  7. If the ignition system and fuel system are checked, you can perform an engine compression check and a leak check to see if there are any mechanical problems causing the ignition skips.

Diagnose and repair of problems

Sometimes there are no symptoms when a P0313 fault is detected. The easiest thing to do in this case is just reset the code and see if it comes back. And of course check the fuel level in the tank.

If you see a problem in the form of irregular idling or engine jerking, check all the wiring and connectors leading to the cylinders. Next, it’s worth checking the plugs, wires, and coils.

In some cases, a failed catalytic converter is the cause. If you smell rotten eggs in the exhaust, the catalytic converter should be replaced. Faulty fuel injectors, also should not be overlooked.

Accidental ignition skips, can be due to depleted fuel. This, could be due to a vacuum leak in the intake manifold or air getting past the airflow sensor. Also due to an exhaust gas recirculation valve stuck in the open position.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code P0313 can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:

  • BMW (320i, 325i, 330i, 525i, 530i, E39, E53, E83, X3, X5)
  • Citroen (C3, C4, C5)
  • Ford
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Opel (Astra, Corsa)
  • Peugeot (206, 307, 3008, 308, 508, Partner)
  • Renault (Duster, Fluence, Logan, Megane, Sandero)
  • Rover

Fault code P0313 can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P0004, P0091, P0102, P0103, P0117, P0135, P0136, P0140, P0171, P0174, P0267, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P0306, P0430, P0491, P0492, P1082, P1083, P1085, P1093, P2096, P2098.


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