Fault code P226A – water in fuel warning lamp control circuit malfunction

Fault code P226A is called “Water in Fuel Warning Lamp Control Circuit Malfunction” 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 P226A

The OBD-II error P226A is a general fault code, which is defined as “faulty control circuit of the fuel water warning lamp”. But despite the general nature, the exact steps of repair may differ depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

Fault code P226A – water in fuel warning lamp control circuit malfunction

The fuel water sensor is designed to monitor the fuel that passes through it to ensure that ethanol, water and other impurities do not exceed a certain percentage. In addition, the fuel temperature is measured by the fuel water sensor and converted into a voltage pulse width monitored by the PCM.

The PCM uses these readings when adjusting and timing the engine to achieve optimal performance as well as fuel economy.

When the powertrain control module (PCM) detects a failure in the control circuit of the water-in-fuel warning lamp, code P226A is set and the control indicator on the instrument panel lights up. The fuel water indicator may or may not be illuminated because it is the circuit that is defective.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error P226A 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 fault).
  2. The water-in-fuel indicator light is on or off.
  3. Floating revolutions, as well as attempts to stall at idle.
  4. Engine stalls or fails to start.
  5. Reduced power output of the engine.
  6. Increased fuel consumption.
  7. Sometimes there may be no symptoms, except for a stored fault code.

The severity of code P226A can vary greatly, from just an illuminated malfunction light, to the vehicle shutting down or not starting at all. If this problem is not corrected in a timely manner, damage to the fuel system and internal engine components may occur.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code P226A can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Faulty fuel water sensor.
  • Broken or short circuit in wiring.
  • Fuse or fusible link blown.
  • Contaminated fuel or substandard fuel.
  • Faulty or worn fuel filter.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P226A

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P226A:

  1. Check the water-in-fuel sensor.
  2. Inspect wiring and connectors.
  3. Check fuses or fusible links.
  4. Recall where and under what conditions you last filled.
  5. Replace the fuel filter.

Diagnose and repair of problems

The first step in the P226A troubleshooting process is to review the Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) for your particular vehicle. In some cases, this can save a lot of time by pointing you in the right direction.

Check the vehicle’s records to see when the fuel filter was replaced, and visually check its condition. Since the most common causes of this code are a faulty fuel filter or contaminated fuel.

A visual inspection of the fuel can be done with a glass container. After the sample is taken, let it stand for a while, water and fuel will separate within a few minutes.

The presence of water in the fuel is a sign of contaminated fuel, a faulty fuel filter, or both.

You should then check the associated wiring for obvious defects such as scratches, scuffs, exposed wires or burn spots. Connectors should also be checked for safety, corrosion and damaged contacts.

Additional procedures may require an oscilloscope to get information from the sensor about signal pulses. Therefore, for further diagnosis of the P226A error, it is better to contact a specialized repair shop.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code P226A can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Dodge (RAM)
  • Ford
  • Hyundai
  • Jeep
  • Land Rover (Range Rover)
  • Mahindra
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Vauxhall

Fault code P226A can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P2264, P2265, P2266, P2267, P2268, P2269.


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