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OBD Codes
Your OBD-II Trouble Codes Repair Site

P0690 ECM/PCM Power Relay Sense Circuit High

OBD-II Trouble Code Technical Description

Article by
Stephen Darby
Stephen Darby
ASE Certified Technician

ECM/PCM Power Relay Sense Circuit High

What does that mean?

This is a generic diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and applies to many OBD-II vehicles (1996-newer). That may include but is not limited to vehicles from Chevrolet, Ford, VW, Jeep, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Cadillac, etc. Although generic, the exact repair steps may vary depending on year, make, model, and powertrain configuration.


 

When a code P0690 is stored, it means that the powertrain control module (PCM), has detected an abnormality in the relay which supplies it with voltage. This particular code will be stored if power relay sensor circuit voltage exceeds the maximum allowable parameter.

The PCM power relay is used to apply battery voltage safely to the appropriate PCM circuits. It is a contact type relay that is activated with a signal wire from the ignition switch. This type of relay typically uses a five-wire design. Constant battery voltage is applied on one wire; ground on another. A third circuit carries a signal from the ignition switch and a fourth supplies voltage to the PCM. The fifth wire is the power relay sense circuit. It is used by the PCM to monitor power relay voltage.

If the PCM detects a high voltage condition on the power relay sense circuit, a code P0690 will be stored and a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) may be illuminated.

A typical PCM powertrain control module, opened up:
P0690 Powertrain Control Module

What is the severity of this DTC?

A P0690 should be categorized as severe and addressed accordingly. It may result in a a no start condition and/or a variety of drivability issues.

What are some of the symptoms of the code?

Symptoms of a P0690 trouble code may include:

What are some of the common causes of the code?

总裁俱乐部appCauses for this code may include:

What are some P0690 troubleshooting steps?

A diagnostic scanner and a digital volt/ohmmeter (DVOM) will be required to diagnose a code P0690.

A source of reliable vehicle information will also be necessary. From it you will glean diagnostic flow charts, wiring diagrams, connector face views, connector pin-out charts, and component locators. You will also find component and circuit testing procedures and specifications. All this information will be needed to successfully diagnose a code P0690.

Connect the scanner to the vehicle diagnostic port and retrieve all stored codes and freeze frame data. Make a note of this information as it may prove useful if the code proves to be an intermittent one.

总裁俱乐部appAfter recording all pertinent information, clear the codes and test drive the vehicle (if possible) until the code is reset or the PCM enters readiness mode.

总裁俱乐部appIf the PCM enters readiness mode, the code is intermittent and will be even more difficult to diagnose. The condition, which caused the P0690 to be stored, may need to worsen before an accurate diagnosis can be reached. On the other hand, if the code fails to reset and there are no drivability symptoms exhibited, the vehicle can be operated normally.

总裁俱乐部appConsult your vehicle information source for technical service bulletins (TSB) that replicate the code stored, vehicle (year, make, model, and engine), and symptoms exhibited. If you find the appropriate TSB, it may yield helpful diagnostic information.

If the P0690 code is immediately reset, proceed with a visual inspection of system related wiring and connectors. Harnesses that have been broken of unplugged should be repaired or replaced as required.

总裁俱乐部appIf wiring and connectors appear functional, use your source of vehicle information to obtain the appropriate wiring diagrams, connector face views, connector pin-out charts, and diagnostic flow charts.

Once you have the relevant information, test all system fuses and relays to make sure the PCM power supply relay is being supplied with battery voltage.

If constant (or switched) voltage is not present at the power relay connector, trace the appropriate circuit back to the fuse or relay from which it originates. Repair or replace defective fuses or fusible links as required.

If power relay supply input voltage and ground are present (on all appropriate terminals), use your DVOM to test relay output performance at the appropriate connector pins. If power supply relay output circuit voltage is not adequate, suspect that the relay is defective.

If PCM power supply relay output voltage is within specifications (on all terminals), test the corresponding relay output circuits at the PCM.

总裁俱乐部appIf a relay output voltage signal is discovered at the PCM connector, suspect a defective PCM or a PCM programming error.

总裁俱乐部appIf there is excessive relay output voltage signal discovered at the PCM connector, you have a circuit shorted to voltage.

Related DTC Discussions

Need more help with a P0690 code?

If you still need help regarding the P0690 trouble code, please post your question in our FREE car repair forums.

NOTE: This information is presented for information purposes only. It is not intended as repair advice and we are not responsible for any actions you take on any vehicle. All information on this site is copyright protected.

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