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The ignition coils are components that play a critical role in your engine’s operation. For combustion to occur, the engine needs to create a spark that will ignite the air-fuel mix in the combustion chamber. These coils supply the spark plugs with high-voltage electricity necessary for ignition.

A potential problem in the ignition coil circuit’s operation may cause your vehicle computer to log the P0353 code. Here’s a quick overview that can help you understand what this code means, what are its common causes and symptoms, and how to fix it.

spark plug inspection
Ignition coils supply the spark plugs with high-voltage electricity necessary for ignition.

What Does the P0353 Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0353 stands for “Ignition Coil “C” Primary/Secondary Circuit.”

Most modern engines feature a Coil On Plug or COP ignition system. With this type of ignition system, each engine cylinder has a dedicated coil that sits on top of the spark plug. When the PCM determines the need to fire the spark plugs, it grounds the ignition coil circuit to activate the coil.

This DTC refers to an electrical problem with Ignition Coil “C” (which is the coil located at the #3 cylinder) or its circuit. The P0353 code may trigger from an issue detected from the primary (computer) side or secondary (spark plug) side of the circuit.

For an advanced, technical understanding of the primary and secondary windings of ignition coils, you may read our discussion here.

To ignite the air-fuel mix inside the combustion chamber, the ignition coil/s must transfer enough power for the spark plugs to fire. The coils draw power from the battery, multiply its voltage, and supply high-voltage electricity to the spark plugs. Failure of these ignition coils to operate reliably will ultimately result in poor vehicle performance.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0353 Code?

Here are some common problems to look out for when diagnosing the P0353 code:

  • Defective Ignition Coil(s)
  • An issue with the ignition coil control circuit
  • The PCM has failed or has software in need of an update

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0353 Code?

Here are some common symptoms associated with a defective or malfunctioning ignition coil circuit:

ignition coil replacement
Failure of ignition coils to operate reliably will ultimately result in poor vehicle performance.

How to Diagnose the P0353 Code

Identifying the underlying cause of the P0353 code can be difficult, especially if you’re not confident with your automotive knowledge. In most cases, it would be best to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop and seek the help of a professional to get an accurate diagnosis.

Here are some videos that can give you an idea about how you might diagnose this trouble code:

How to Fix the P0353 Code

The P0353 code is a generic trouble code that may apply to various makes and models. While vehicles from different manufacturers may share common symptoms, the steps for diagnosis and repair of a code P0353 in Ford may not apply to a code P0353 in Toyota vehicles.

If you’re an advanced DIYer who’d like to fix this code on your own, it will be helpful to refer to a repair manual or get factory vehicle repair information from an online subscription service.

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About The Authors
Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician
Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Technical Reviewer at

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

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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.

File Under : OBD-II Trouble Codes Tagged With :
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William Roseburgh

Toyota SR5 has a misfire every once in a while like you just turned the engine off and then back on mostly on open road, replaced the coil and it runs much better but still does it sometimes, have new plug wires to put on but not sure that’s the problem.

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