P0087 Code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnostics, And Fixes

OBD2 trouble codes are diagnostic trouble codes used by your car’s OBD system to notify you about the issue your vehicle is experiencing. Every code identifies a particular fault that’s detected by the system.

P0087 code is triggered when there is a fuel system problem, which is usually a fault within the fuel delivery system. Although the fuel pressure issue can’t be classified as a severe one or taking a long time in fixing, it can cause frustration and affect the engine in the long run. That’s why it’s always ideal to get the issue checked and fixed correctly.

P0087 Code Definition

P0087 Generic: Fuel Rail/System Pressure – Too Low, indicating a fuel system problem.

What Does P0087 Mean?

Usually, this is a generic engine or powertrain diagnostic fault code related to all vehicles equipped with OBD-2. It indicates that there is an issue with your vehicle’s fuel delivery system. The code goes off when the ECM identifies the low pressure of the fuel through a pressure sensor.

Typically vehicles have a returnless fuel supply system which implies that the fuel pump has the ability to deliver fuel at a varying rate. This is regardless of delivering it at the same rate and using a pressure regulator to maintain the pressure.

That’s why there is a sensor called the Powertrain Control Module or Engine Control Module (PCM/ECM) which monitors that fuel pressure and notifies the user if the pressure is below the required threshold.

This code also occurs in Ford, Duramax, and Cummins.

What Are The Symptoms Of The P0087 Code?

Here is how you can identify the existence of P0087 code fault in your vehicle:

  • Performance of the vehicle suffers as it runs poorly and doesn’t respond as well when you put your foot down on the gas
  • You can feel the engine not performing up to the mark, especially during when you’re trying to accelerate the vehicle when it requires more fuel to increase the engine RPM
  • Engine misfires intermittently and refuses to run altogether stopping the vehicle
  • A poor sensor can also cause the ECM/PCM to consume additional fuel resulting in highly affected fuel economy

What Are The Causes Of P0087?

There are a number of factors that can potentially contribute to affect fuel delivery to the engine. Some of the most common ones are as follows:

  • The fuel pump has aged or damaged resulting in subpar performance
  • Fuel line is restricted due to a number of issues such as gunk, debris, poor quality fuel or fuel filter
  • One of the most common reason is a clogged fuel filter or screen which directly affects the pressure
  • Incorrect or inaccurate reading of fuel pressure sensor can also trigger P0087 code

How Serious Is P0087 Code?

P0087 can result in major drivability problems if not given due attention. It may make your vehicle unreliable and in worst-case scenarios, completely useless. If your vehicle isn’t running properly or engine is struggling while you’re trying to accelerate, you should get it checked at your earliest. In case P0087 is the underlying cause, the engine can shut off while driving, which makes the driver prone to a variety of hazards and accidents.

How To Diagnose And Fix The Code P0087

Usually, the fuel pressure screen doesn’t work until the fuel pressure sensor screen is already running. In the event that this code occurs, you should analyze and fix it first before you can direct your concentration toward anything else. Here are a few tools you will need and the process of diagnostics and repairs.

Tools You Will Need

 We use an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the P0087 code.
We use an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the P0087 code.

Diagnostics

  • Firstly, you must ensure if you are short on fuel using the manual fuel pressure tester. It is essential to have the perfect measure of fuel to pressurize the lines. Now and again, just including a tank of fuel will fix the issue.
  • Secondly, use the OBD2 scan tool to scan the vehicle to reach the present codes. Once they’re identified, you look for the freeze frame information.
  • Then, check if the engine light is on, you can inspect the vehicle for fuel leaks. Clear spills where you can see fuel dribbling, or smell crude fuel.
  • Next, you should examine the fuel lines for crimps that could discourage the progression of fuel and counteract the necessary pressurization. Some plastic fuel lines are increasingly inclined to crimping, which will lead it to fall and stop the fuel stream to the high-pressure pump.
  • After that, you should ensure that the fuel channel or filter isn’t compromised in any way, particularly on high-mileage vehicles. This issue can likewise hinder the progression of fuel.
  • Lastly, check the fuel tank for indications of harm. The outside of the fuel tank is likely to be damaged as it’s exposed, which could affect the fuel propeller inside the tank and lead to poor fuel admission of the low-pressure fuel pump.

Repairs

Once the underlying cause is identified, one or more of the following steps will be taken to fix the issue. Ensure to replace or repair the following:

  • Fuel filter screen
  • Kinked/clogged fuel lines
  • Fuel pump
  • Broken fuel pressure sensor

Common Mistakes While Diagnosing Code P0087

  • Skipping a step and not properly completing a certain test. This may lead to wrong conclusions affecting the final repairs.
  • Although, it’s a clogged fuel filter that’s the culprit most of the time, replacing it may not automatically fix the problem for all vehicles.
  • Not following all the steps resulting in mounting frustration for the vehicle owner and wastage of time as well as money on unnecessary fixes.

Tips To Avoid P0087 In The Future

  • If your vehicle isn’t running properly or the check engine light is on, get your vehicle diagnosed for issues immediately before the problem worsens.
  • Establish a routine to periodically get your fuel lines, filter, and pressure sensor checked so they don’t develop issues out of the blue.
  • Replace the parts such as fuel lines, filters, and fuel pump when their life is completed to avoid surprises.
  • Use high-quality fuel for your vehicle and ensure that you get it professionally cleaned and serviced once every month.

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