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Summary
  • The diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0275 stands for “Cylinder 5 Contribution/Balance” and applies to vehicles with engines that have six (V6) or more cylinders.
  • The powertrain control module (PCM) will log the P0275 code if it detects a problem with cylinder 5’s power contribution.
  • Common causes of the P0275 code include a faulty, dirty, or clogged fuel injector, faulty wiring, and internal engine failure.
  • A vehicle that sets the P0275 code can show symptoms like an illuminated check engine light, reduced engine power, and slower acceleration.

Your vehicle’s engine generates power through its cylinders. Each cylinder must produce the same amount of power to achieve a balanced performance. The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors how much power each cylinder puts out and makes adjustments.

The PCM will log a P0275 code if it detects that engine cylinder 5 isn’t working properly.

What Does the P0275 Code Mean?

The diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0275 indicates “Cylinder 5 Contribution/Balance.” It covers vehicles with engines that have six (V6) or more cylinders.

Engines have multiple cylinders. Each cylinder is fixed in place and has a piston connected to the crankshaft. When the piston moves, it rotates the shaft. The crankshaft transmits the energy through the gears of the transmission and to the wheels, which rotate to propel the vehicle.

6 cylinder engine 1
Your car’s PCM will log a P0275 code if it detects that engine cylinder 5 isn’t working properly.

Combustion produces hot gases that expand inside the cylinder. These gases push the piston, making it move in what is called a power stroke.

Cylinder 5 is on the same bank as cylinder 1. It receives an identical amount of air and fuel as the other cylinders to ensure it produces the same amount of power.

To find out how much power a cylinder produces, the PCM measures how fast the crankshaft turns after the power stroke. It gets the information from the crankshaft position sensor, a device that keeps track of the position or rotation speed of the shaft.

If the controller detects a problem with cylinder 5’s contribution of power, it will set the generic powertrain code P0275.

Note: The definition of code P0275 can differ according to the vehicle manufacturer. Check the appropriate repair manual or repair database for the exact code definition.

What are the Common Causes of the P0275 Code?

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0275 Code?

dirty injector
A failed, dirty, or clogged fuel injector can trigger the code P0275.

How to Diagnose the P0275 Code

The P0275 code is a generic powertrain code that can be logged by various makes and models. While it can show up in many vehicles, its symptoms and root cause can vary because of different factors. A solution that works for one case may not work for another.

If you aren’t sure about your ability to run effective diagnostic tests on your vehicle, it’s a good idea to bring it to a professional mechanic. Otherwise, you can go ahead and diagnose the issue yourself.

How to Fix the P0275 Code

Trying to fix a P0275 code can become a tough task if you don’t have the right tools and know-how to test cylinder 5 for problems. In most cases, it’s best to leave the job to professionals whom you trust.

Are you a DIYer with advanced technical knowledge and hands-on experience who prefers to test and replace your vehicle’s cylinders on your own? It’s highly recommended to consult a repair manual or refer to an online repair database.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com 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 CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Contact Center Manager and Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

William “Bill” Guzenski has produced hundreds of how-to videos for the automotive community. He’s an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician, and is affiliated with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). He loves attending race events and car shows throughout the country, as well as traveling in his 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns.

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.

File Under : OBD-II Trouble Codes
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