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  • The P0003 stands for “Fuel Volume Regulator Control Circuit Low,” which means the powertrain control module (PCM) has detected that your fuel volume regulator’s voltage readings are below the normal range. 
  • A malfunctioning fuel volume regulator, electrical wiring issues, and PCM failure are possible causes of the P0003 code. 
  • An illuminated check engine light, difficulty starting your vehicle, and an enabled “limp mode” are common symptoms of the P0003 code.

Your vehicle is equipped with essential systems that work together to keep your vehicle running as it should. The automotive fuel system, for example, is made up of several components. One of the crucial components of this system is a fuel pump.

It is sometimes unavoidable for engine components such as your fuel pump to fail. Thankfully, modern vehicles are equipped with on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems that usually alert you if something goes wrong with your engine components.

P0003 is a generic diagnostic trouble code related to the operation of the high-pressure fuel pump found on certain vehicles.

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fuel pump
The fuel pump is one of the crucial components in a vehicle’s fuel system.

What Does the P0003 Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0003 stands for “Fuel Volume Regulator Control Circuit Low.” Although rare, it’s not impossible for your scan tool to retrieve this code. The P0003 code is commonly seen on common rail diesel (CRD) engines, and gasoline direct injection (GDI) equipped vehicles.

Code P0003 simply means that your powertrain control module (PCM) has detected that your fuel volume regulator’s voltage readings are below the normal range.

Many owners have reported p0003 for the following makes: Ford (especially on a Ford Ranger), Peugeot, Dodge, GMC, and BMW.

Note: Although P0003 is a generic code, its definition may vary depending on the vehicle manufacturer. We recommend checking a repair manual or repair database for the exact code definition.

More About Fuel Volume Regulators

The role of a fuel volume regulator (also known as a fuel volume control valve) is to regulate the amount of fuel entering the high-pressure pump. An automotive fuel system is composed of several components such as the fuel tank, fuel injector, lines, and filters. High-pressure fuel systems are equipped with a high-pressure fuel pump. 

The role of a high-pressure fuel pump is to provide fuel pressure at the fuel rail so the fuel injectors can deliver the fuel as needed for engine power requirements. P0003 is set when the PCM detects that the fuel volume regulator circuit voltage is below the specified limit for the current operating state.

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For more information that can help you come up with a proper DIY fix for P0003, read our advanced technical discussion about common rail fuel injection systems.

fuel pressure regulator 4
The role of a fuel volume regulator is to regulate the amount of fuel entering the high-pressure pump.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0003 Code?

P0003 is a generic code. However, the triggers of this code may vary depending on the type of vehicle you own. Here are some of the possible causes of this code:

  • Malfunctioning fuel volume regulator
  • Electrical wiring/ harness issue in your fuel volume regulator
  • PCM failure
  • Blown #74 fuse (common on Power Stroke engines)

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0003 Code?

Here are the common symptoms related to the P0003 code:

  • Check Engine Light
  • Difficulty starting your vehicle
  • Limp mode” may be enabled
  • Lack of engine power
  • Stalling
  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Decreased engine performance
  • Vehicle won’t start

How to Diagnose the P0003 Code

Diagnosing the P0003 trouble code can be tricky. If you’re not well-versed with auto repair, it is best to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop and have the problem diagnosed by a mechanic.

See also  P0004 Code: Fuel Volume Regulator Control Circuit High

If you really want to diagnose this code yourself, here’s a video to help you understand this code better:

How to Fix the P0003 Code

P0003 is a generic trouble code that may appear in various makes and models. However, diagnostic and repair procedures may vary depending on the specific vehicle you own. For example, repair procedures for P0003 in a Ford may be different from a P0003 code in a Chevy.

Again, if you’re not equipped with the DIY auto repair skills, it is best to leave the job to a professional. However, if you’re determined to fix this code yourself, you can use online auto repair sources and guides to help you identify the repair steps that are compatible with your vehicle. To help you with your car repair, you may also get an ALLDATA single-vehicle subscription.

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About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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