P0671 Code: Meaning, Causes, + Diagnosis

P0671 is a somewhat rare diagnostic trouble code.  It’s generic (which means it has the same meaning for all vehicles made for the 1996 model year and up).  But, it only applies to vehicles with diesel engines.

P0671 is typically caused by a bad glow plug or wiring issue.

P0671 Definition: First Cylinder Glow Plug Circuit

P0671 Definition

Here’s the definition of P0671, broken down:

Cylinder 1 Glow Plug

Diesel engines don’t use spark plugs. Instead, they use glow plugs.

Glow plugs heat up the combustion chamber before you start the vehicle.  Once it’s started, the heat and compression are enough to keep the engine running (diesel engines have higher compression ratios than gas-powered motors).

The PCM (powertrain control module) uses data from the engine and transmission temperature sensors to determine if the engine is cold enough to warrant the use of the glow plugs.


In the case of P0671, the code means that the circuit that provides power to the glow plug is faulty.  That’s it.  It doesn’t specify if it’s open, short, low, or high voltage. 

P0671 Symptoms

There will be noticeable symptoms with P0671, although one bad glow plug is usually not enough to bring a modern diesel engine down.

  • Check engine light with P0671
  • Hard start
  • The feeling of a “misfire” until the engine warms up
  • No start
  • Low engine power until the engine warms up
  • Diesel smell from exhaust 

If the engine starts, let it idle and build heat before driving it.  You want enough heat in there that cylinder 1 starts to fire on its own.  While the engine may run and drive ok once it’s heated up, it’s still dumping unburned fuel into the exhaust until it does.

P0671 Diagnosis + Causes

P0671 Diagnosis

While P0671 refers to a circuit issue, it also can be caused by a bad glow plug as well.

1. Determine if the glow plug is bad

There are a few ways that you can tell if the glow plug is functioning properly.  If they are easy to get to, you can do the “swap test.”

Remove the glow plug from cylinder 1.  Then, swap it with another glow plug (whichever is easiest to access).  Once you do that, use your scanner to clear the OBDII memory.

With the vehicle cold, go ahead and fire it up. Wait for the check engine light to come back on. 

If the code stays P0671, you know there is a wiring issue, and you’ll need to troubleshoot the harness. 

If the code changes to P067X (X being the cylinder with the bad glow plug), replace the glow plug with a new one, and you’re done.

You can also use a test light to determine if a glow plug is bad. Here’s how to do it.

2. Check the Wiring Harness

Now that you know you don’t have a bad glow plug, it’s time to check the wiring harness.  

Check it for damage (think cracked wiring, bad ground, or loose connection at the glow plug).  The glow plug wiring harness has fusible links, so if the harness is hot on one side of the link, but not on the other, you’ll need to replace it.

If it all looks fine, you’ll need to get an OHM meter and check the resistance at the glow plug.  You’ll need to look up the resistance for your exact engine and model year of vehicle.


P0671 is usually pretty easy to track down.  Good luck fixing your vehicle!