What the OBD-II code p0087 means

Fault code P0087 – a step-by-step guide to diagnosing and fixing it

The meaning of error code P0087 – Fuel Rail/System Pressure Too Low
P0087
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P0087: meaning, causes, repairs

The meaning of fault code P0087

DTC P0087 is triggered when the engine control module detects that the fuel pressure is too low, according to the pressure sensor readings. The sensor is usually located at the centre of the fuel rail on direct injection engines. The data it transmits directly affects the ignition timing. Some injection systems require a high amount of pressure to deliver the fuel to the cylinders.

Possible causes

  • Car fuel pump failure due to a broken plunger or oxidised contacts in the component’s electrical connector. The pump mechanism has an average service life of 50,000 km.
  • Blockages in the fuel lines. This can occur when incompatible fuel additives are used or contaminants have accumulated.
  • A clogged fuel filter or pump strainer caused by water contamination or dirt, as well as the products of corrosion.
  • Fuel leaks due to worn injectors or damaged seals and lines.
  • A faulty fuel rail pressure sensor or pump driver module. This may be caused by electrical faults, such as short circuits and corroded wires, or mechanical damage.
Symptoms of the P0087 fault

  • Activation of the engine’s emergency operation mode
  • Difficulty starting the vehicle
  • A lack of power during acceleration
  • Engine misfires
  • Stalling or jerking while driving
  • Increased fuel consumption due to a faulty sensor or leak
  • Black smoke coming from the exhaust system
  • Activation of the check engine light
Recommended repairs

  • Firstly, you will need to perform a diagnostic scan to identify the possible cause of the error. You can do this using an OBD2 scanner. It should bring up a list of DTCs which are related to the fault. This may include codes which indicate lean or rich fuel conditions, such as P0171, P0172, or P0174. P0190 or P0191 mean that there could be a problem with the monitoring device’s circuit.
  • The sensor, pump relay and other electrical components can be tested using a multimeter. It may be necessary to clean the electrical contacts and treat them with a specialised spray to improve the conductivity.
  • Check the fuel lines and injectors for signs of damage and leaks. You may see drops of fuel or smell it. Make sure that there are no crimps in the lines as this will restrict the flow of fuel. Replace these parts if necessary.
  • Buy a new fuel filter or fuel pump strainer if it is clogged or is scheduled for a replacement. External components usually need to be replaced every 20,000 miles.
  • Check the fuel tank for external damage. This will need to be repaired to prevent problems with the propeller inside.
  • Make sure that there is enough fuel in the tank for pressurisation. If the leaks have been fixed you can fill up with fresh fuel.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the code “P0087” mean?


It indicates that the pressure readings in the fuel delivery system are too low.

What causes this?


This fault is commonly caused by leaks in the fuel line and injectors, a bad fuel filter or pump, and pressure sensor faults.

Can I still drive my car if this occurs?


Continuing to drive while the vehicle is in this state would not be wise as it could cause significant driveability issues. If the engine is running rough and misfires are occurring, this is a sign that the engine requires immediate attention. A failed pump could cause the engine to stop while driving, increasing the risk of a road accident.

Cars the fault code P0087 is most commonly found on

Fault code P0087 - Fuel Rail/System Pressure Too Low can occur with any car but is most often found on the following cars:

  • Peugeot: 3008, Partner, Boxer
  • VW: Crafter, Touareg, Passat
  • Mercedes: Sprinter, W204, Vito
  • Ford: Mondeo, Focus, Kuga
  • Citroen: C4 Picasso, C Crosser
  • Audi: Q7, A4, A3

If you get the code P0087 on your car, make sure that the diagnostics are carried out correctly and the error is still relevant. Check for symptoms associated with the problem and explore options for resolving it.

What to do if the fault code p 0087 appears

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