What Does P0401 Code on 6.0 Powerstroke Mean? How To Fix

There is no doubt regarding the performance of modern-day vehicles. But, high-performing vehicles don’t mean there is no issue with them. And in most cases, you will come to know the issue with the different vehicles with the help of the Onboard Diagnostic (OBD) system.

The p0401 code on the 6.0 Powerstroke simply means an issue with your vehicle’s Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve. Moreover, this is one of the most common DTC codes users experience due to insufficient exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) flow.

Don’t worry. It is possible to fix the DTC code no matter how extreme. There’s no exception regarding the code p0401 on your Powerstroke engine vehicle. We will let you know the cause, symptoms, solution, and cost of fixing the code below. 

Keep reading. 

What Does p0401 Code Mean On 6.0 Powerstroke?

The p0401 code on powerstroke 6.0 indicates a problem with the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system. Moreover, the code occurs when your vehicle’s powertrain control module or (PCM) identifies insufficient Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) flow.

Now, you may wonder what the problem is with the insufficient Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). The leading role of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is that it allows the burned combustion gas to go back into the intake manifold. 

In turn, it reduces nitrogen (NOx) from mixing with the environment. However, if this happens, the combustion gas temperature will be lower and this will help the engine run smoothly. 

On the other hand, the combustion gas temperature will increase due to the malfunction of the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system. So, simply put, insufficient Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is not good for a vehicle.

It’s also essential to consider the environment’s welfare when driving a vehicle.  PCM is designed to detect codes related to climate and human health.

Nevertheless, each character of the fault code bears a certain meaning. If we break it down, it means: 

  • P= Powertrain 
  • 0= Generic code (Standardize OBD2)
  • 4= It represents the part ( Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.
  • 01= It indicates the specific fault code. Here is the issue of insufficient Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). 

How Serious Is Code p0401 On 6.0 Powerstroke? 

The most hazardous part about the code p0402 on the 6.0 powerstroke engine is that it seriously affects the environment. As you know, malfunctions in the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system cause the nitrogen oxide to mix with the environment rapidly. 

Too much nitrogen oxide combustion is harmful not only to the environment but also to human health. Furthermore, the code p0401 is directly connected to the vehicle’s engine. If there is a malfunction in the EGR, the combustion temperature will increase.

Obviously you know how bad the overheating engine is for vehicles with powerstroke 6.0. In addition, the issue of hard engine acceleration is another outcome of the code P0401. Besides, in most cases, you may find the issue of rough engine idling and bad fuel economy. 

If you keep the code unfixed for a long time, it can damage some of the other essential parts of your vehicle.

What Causes Code p0401 On 6.0 Powerstroke?

There are different types of causes behind the code of p0401. However, as the problem with the code is related to Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), it is more likely that the ERG system has become faulty. Some other causes of the code p0401 Powerstroke 6.0 are:

  • Clogged EGR valve. 
  • Insufficient vacuum supply to the EGR system.
  • Problem with the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) 
  • Burnt or corroded wire
  • Faulty connector

Other Symptoms Of Getting p0401 Code On 6.0 Powerstroke

The check engine light is the most common symptom you can notice with the code p0401 on a 6.0 powerstroke. 

Moreover, you may also see some familiar causes due to other fault codes. Engine overheating? Yes, this is another frequent cause too. Some of the other symptoms are:

  • Engine idle
  • White smoke comes from the engine.
  • Vehicle difficult to start
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Major engine performance issue

How To Fix p0401 Code On 6.0 Powerstroke?

Before fixing the problem, you need to think about whether you have the confidence to perform the task on your own. 

On the other hand, if you don’t know enough about the vehicle’s parts, you should go with the mechanic. Now, let’s know how you can DIY the troubleshooting code p0401 on Powerstroke 6.0. 

1. Scan and Clear the Code

First, you need to verify the code using the OBD2 scanner. Here, what you need to do is to plug the OBD2 scanner into the OBD system in your 6.0 powerstroke vehicle. Then, if the scanner shows the code p0401, you must clear the code.

Test drive the vehicle. If the code no longer appears, you are all done. On the other hand, if the code reappears, go to the steps. 

2. Clean or Replace the EGR Valve

Before considering replacing the powerstroke 6.0 engine EGR valve, you should try cleaning both the EGR valve and the EGR pipe at the same time first. According to the users, in most cases, a clogged EGR valve causes insufficient EGR flow. 

It’s good to clean the EGR valve if your vehicle is after 70,000-90,000 miles of usage. However, to replace the EGR valve on your vehicle, you need to follow the steps below. 

  • Step 1: Open the hood of your car.
  • Step 2: Use a wrench to remove the screw underneath the EGR valve. 
  • Step 3: Unbolt the side bolt of the EGR valve that holds it in place. 
  • Step 4: Use a small hammer to tap on the EGR valve to displace it. 
  • Step 5: Pull out the valve using your hands.
  • Step 6: Look for a little diaphragm inside the valve and pull it out using vacuum pressure. 
  • Step 7: While vacuuming inside the EGR valve, check whether the diaphragm is working. If it doesn’t work, you need to replace it. 

But, if the diaphragm inside the valve works, the EGR valve is suitable for cleaning. You can use a hand-held vacuum pump to check the EGR valve.

  • Step 8: You need to apply the carb cleaner to the EGR valve and pipe. Moreover, you can use any kind of solvent in this regard and spray it gently. 

This will remove excessive carbon deposits from the EGR tube. After spraying the clean, keep the EGR valve soaking for 5-6 hours and insert it back into your vehicle. 

Next, when replacing the valve, pick the appropriate EGR valve for your car. 

3. Repair or Replace EGR Valve Damaged Wiring

Sometimes, the 6.0 powerstroke EGR valve wiring can be damaged or worn out. In this case, you should check the wiring and repair or replace it based on its condition.

4. Replace the Faulty Vacuum Line

Most of the time, leakage in the EGR vacuum line causes the EGR valve to malfunction and there is insufficient flow. Furthermore, it reduces the 6.0 powerstroke engine’s efficiency as well. 

However, in this case, you need to replace the faulty or damaged vacuum line so that the EGR valve can function smoothly. The higher idling speed of your vehicle is the most common cause of EGR faulty vacuum lines. 

5. Check the Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

This is the last thing you should check. The faulty PCM can also cause the code p0401 to occur on powerstroke 6.0. Moreover, synonyms of PCM failure match with the code p0401. 

In this case, it is essential to repair or replace the PCM. However, checking the PCM of your vehicle needs a specialized tool. So, it’s better to take your car to the mechanic.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix 6.0 Powerstroke p0401 Code?

The fixing cost of the code p0401 on powerstroke depends on the issue causing the problem. However, if you go with the mechanic to resolve the DTC code, you will pay around $100-$300 for labor costs. The EGR valve replacement takes a long time.

You can have the crab cleaner clean the EGR valve at around $15-$20. Furthermore, replacing the EGR valve will cost about $250-$400. To replace the PCM, you need to pay between $700 and $1,600.

Can You Drive Your 6.0 Powerstroke With Code P0401?

If you don’t feel irritated about the engine idling and hard acceleration, you may drive your 6.0 Powerstroke with Code P0401. But, you can’t expect to drive your vehicle smoothly for a long time.

Furthermore, as there is a human health concern related to the code, you may not allow your car to drive in this situation. You may never want to see any further damage to your car. So, it’s better not to drive your car until you fix the code. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here, we have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions by 6.0 Powerstroke users related to code p0401. You can also have a decent idea of some points as answers to the questions efficiently. 

What Other DTC Codes Are Related to P0401 on the 6.0 Powerstroke?

The p0400 is another most common code related to the code p0401. Some of the other codes are p0402, p0403, p0404, p0405, p0406,p0407,p0408, etc. 

When to Check the Issue of Insufficient Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Flow?

The best time to check the issue of Insufficient Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) flow is when the engine light comes on. Moreover, if you find rough idling of the car engine or smoke coming out of the engine, you should check (EGR) for insufficient flow. 

How Long Can You Drive With P0401 Code?

Well, whenever you discover the code, you should try to fix it as soon as possible. However, if you badly need to start your car and reach somewhere urgently, you can drive your car for some time. But, this is not recommended. 

Conclusion

Whenever you feel something unexpected happening with your vehicle, it’s essential to check the Diagnostic Trouble Code, or DTC. Once you verify the code, it’s essential to determine what causes the problem.

Regarding the p0401 code on the 6.0 Powerstroke, a faulty EGR valve often causes the issue. That’s why you should check the EGR system after verifying the code.

However, you may need some advanced tools to fix the DTC code. If you can’t manage the code, don’t try anything fancy. Instead, get help from the mechanic to discuss the details of the cost. 

So, don’t be worried about the code p0401 and try to fix it ASAP.

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