Fault code P06BC – cylinder 4 glow plug circuit range/performance

Fault code P06BC is called “Cylinder 4 Glow Plug Circuit Range/Performance” 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 P06BC

The OBD-II P06BC trouble code is set when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has detected a glow plug control circuit performance range mismatch for cylinder #4. To determine the location of cylinder #4 for your model, refer to your vehicle’s manual.

Fault code P06BC – cylinder 4 glow plug circuit range/performance

The glow plug is installed in the cylinder head very close to the point that initiates combustion, or “hot spot. When the engine control computer determines that the engine is cold using the oil and transmission sensors. It decides to help the engine start using glow plugs.

Starting too long will cause the glow plugs to melt because they produce heat due to high resistance and glow red hot when activated. This intense heat is quickly transferred to the cylinder head. Which allows the combustion heat to persist for the fraction of a second needed to ignite the incoming fuel to start.

If the PCM detects a voltage level in the glow plug control circuit of cylinder #4 that is not as expected. Code P06BC will be stored, and the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) may illuminate.

Symptoms of vehicle malfunctions

The main signal that an error P06BC has occurred is the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is also known as the CheckEngine Light.

It can also be warning signs such as:

  1. The “Check engine” control lamp on the control panel will illuminate (the code will be stored as a fault).
  2. Other related trouble codes, such as ignition misfire, may also be present.
  3. The engine is difficult to start in cold weather or when it has been idle long enough to cool the block.
  4. Lack of power until engine warms up sufficiently.
  5. Vibration and jerking when accelerating.
  6. Engine may be louder than normal when starting.
  7. Black smoke may be observed when starting.

If only one glow plug fails, symptoms will be minimal because the engine usually starts with one faulty glow plug. But in cold conditions, you are more likely to experience the listed problems associated with the P06BC fault.

Factors that can cause this error code

The error code P06BC can mean that one or more of the following problems have occurred:

  • Defective glow plug of cylinder No. 4.
  • Open or short circuit in glow plug control circuit.
  • Plug connector is damaged.
  • Glow plug control module is defective.
  • Blown fuses may also be the cause.
  • Sometimes a faulty PCM module is the cause.

How to fix or reset OBD-2 code P06BC

Some suggested steps for troubleshooting and fix the error code P06BC:

  1. Read all stored data and error codes with an OBD-II scan tool.
  2. Clear the error codes from the computer memory.
  3. Test-drive the vehicle to see if error P06BC appears again.
  4. Visually inspect the wires and connectors for damage.
  5. Inspect the fuses, replacing the blown one if necessary.
  6. Check the glow plug.
  7. Test the engine control module (PCM).

Diagnose and repair of problems

Check the glow plug by disconnecting the connecting wire. Take a voltmeter and set it to the “ohm” measurement. Place the red wire on the glow plug terminal and the black wire on the ground.

In most cases, the range should be 0.5 to 2.0 ohms (check the data against the factory service manual). If outside the acceptable range, replace the glow plug.

Check the wire going to glow plug #4 by placing the red wire on the tire wire and the black wire on the side of the glow plug. The resistance should be the same, 0.5 to 2.0 ohms. Accordingly, if it is higher, replace the wire to the glow plug from the tire.

Check the wires for loose, cracked or missing insulation. Connect the code scanner to the OBD port under the dashboard and turn the key to the “on” position with the engine off. Clear the codes. Do a test drive to make sure that the problem with error P06BC is gone.

On which vehicles does this problem occur most frequently

Fault code P06BC can occur on different vehicles but there are statistics on which brands this occurs most often. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Audi
  • Chevrolet
  • Citroen
  • Dodge (RAM)
  • Ford
  • GMC
  • Peugeot
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen

Fault code P06BC can sometimes be found with other errors. The most common are the following: P06B9, P06BA, P06BB, P06BD, P06BE, P06BF, P06C0, P06C1, P06C2, P06C3, P06C4.


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