Products suited to this guided test*
  • 20 A / 60 A DC (low amps) current clamp

  • *At Pico we are always looking to improve our products. The tool used in this guided test may have been superseded and the product above is our latest version used to diagnose the fault documented in this case study.

Multi-point injection - injector voltage and current

The purpose of this test is to monitor the injector voltage and current to determine the integrity of the injector circuit and the operation of the injector.



This test involves measuring a potentially hazardous voltage.

Please ensure you follow manufacturers' safety instructions and working practices and ensure the rated voltage for all accessories you are using meets or exceeds the expected voltage.

To avoid possible damage to your scope, you may need to use an attenuator for this test.

Scopes with a 200 V range, such as PicoScope 4x25 models, do not need an attenuator for this test.

All other PicoScope Automotive models need an attenuator on the channel input. You can use either a 10:1 or a 20:1 attenuator provided that you adjust the PicoScope software accordingly. Select from the appropriate Channel Options menu:

  • Probe > x10 for a 10:1 attenuator
  • Probe > x20 for a 20:1 attenuator


How to perform the test

View connection guidance notes.

  1. Connect PicoScope Channel A to the injector switched earth circuit.
  2. Connect the low amp clamp to PicoScope Channel B.
  3. Select the 20 A scale and zero the clamp before connecting it to the injector power supply circuit.
  4. Minimize the help page. You will see that PicoScope has displayed an example waveform and is preset to capture your waveform.
  5. Run the engine.
  6. Start the scope to see live data.
  7. With your waveforms on screen stop the scope.
  8. Turn off the engine.
  9. Use the Waveform Buffer, Zoom and Measurements tools to examine your waveform.


The orientation of the clamp relative to the wire will determine whether it has a positive or negative output. If a live waveform does not appear on your screen, or appears to be inverted, try reversing the orientation of the clamp.

Example waveform

Waveform notes

These known good waveform(s) have the following characteristics:

  • Initially, the switched-earth circuit is at battery voltage, 14 to 15 V, no current is flowing, and the injector is off.
  • When the switched earth circuit switches to 0 V, current begins to flow and the injector valve starts to open. This marks the start of injection.
  • The current increases in two phases. The change point, at around 1.5 ms, marks when the injector valve is fully open.
  • Around 3 to 4 ms after the start of injection, the circuit current reaches its peak value, which is sustained for the remainder of the injection period.
  • Both the injector voltage and current show that the injection duration is about 4.25 ms.
  • When the injector is switched off at 4.25 ms and the current flow stops, there is a spike in the waveform voltage, which peaks at about 85 V, and the injector begins to close.
  • At about 1 ms after injector switch-off, there is a hump in the decaying voltage spike.
  • The waveform voltage remains at battery positive volts until the next start of injection.

Waveform Library

Go to the drop-down menu bar at the lower left corner of the Waveform Library window and select Injector voltage or Injector current.

Further guidance

An indirect injector delivers the correct quantity of atomised fuel to the air in the inlet tract as it is drawn through to a cylinder.

A multi-point injection system has one injector per cylinder supplied by a common fuel rail. As the rail pressure regulator maintains a constant pressure, the injected fuel quantity depends only on injection duration.

The ECM uses input signals from a range of sensors, dependent on both the system type and manufacturer application, to calculate injection duration.

Indirect injectors employ solenoid-controlled valves, working against a spring force acting to close them. The valves open when sufficient current flows through their circuit. The injector valve will not open fully if there is insufficient current.

An ECM, or dedicated control module, dictates the current flow in each injector circuit by switching in and out the individual injector earth paths.

When current flows, an injector solenoid builds and stores energy until it is saturated. When the current flow stops, the stored energy is returned to the circuit, inducing a large voltage spike. The voltage spike varies from system to system; some injector circuits include a Zener diode or a resistor-capacitor combination that limits, or squares-off, its peak.

The decay of the voltage spike is sometimes momentarily interrupted by the action of the valve as its spring forces it rapidly back to its closed position. This indicates normal movement of the injector valve.

There are two types of multi-point injection system:

  • Sequential systems fire individual injectors every 720° of crankshaft rotation to coincide with the opening of each cylinder inlet valve. Injection durations range from 4 to 5 ms at engine idle.
  • Simultaneous systems fire all the injectors together in an inline engine arrangement, or each bank of injectors in a ’V’ arrangement, twice every 720° of crankshaft rotation. In these systems, less fuel is injected per injection and therefore their injection durations are reduced to around 2.5 ms at engine idle.

Diagnostic trouble codes

Selection of component related Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs):

P0200 – Injector Circuit Malfunction

P0201 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 1

P0202 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 2

P0203 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 3

P0204 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 4

P0205 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 5

P0206 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 6

P0207 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 7

P0208 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 8

P0209 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 9

P0210 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 10

P0211 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 11

P0212 – Injector Circuit Malfunction – Cylinder 12

P0213 – Cold Start Injector 1 Malfunction

P0214 – Cold Start Injector 2 Malfunction

P0216 – Injection Timing Control Circuit Malfunction

P020A – Cylinder 1 Injection Timing

P020B – Cylinder 2 Injection Timing

P020C – Cylinder 3 Injection Timing

P020D – Cylinder 4 Injection Timing

P020E – Cylinder 5 Injection Timing

P020F – Cylinder 6 Injection Timing

P021A – Cylinder 7 Injection Timing

P021B – Cylinder 8 Injection Timing

P021C – Cylinder 9 Injection Timing

P021D – Cylinder 10 Injection Timing

P021E – Cylinder 11 Injection Timing

P021F – Cylinder 12 Injection Timing

P0261 – Cylinder 1 Injector Circuit Low

P0262 – Cylinder 1 Injector Circuit High

P0263 – Cylinder 1 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0264 – Cylinder 2 Injector Circuit Low

P0265 – Cylinder 2 Injector Circuit High

P0266 – Cylinder 2 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0267 – Cylinder 3 Injector Circuit Low

P0268 – Cylinder 3 Injector Circuit High

P0269 – Cylinder 3 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0270 – Cylinder 4 Injector Circuit Low

P0271 – Cylinder 4 Injector Circuit High

P0272 – Cylinder 4 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0273 – Cylinder 5 Injector Circuit Low

P0274 – Cylinder 5 Injector Circuit High

P0275 – Cylinder 5 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0276 – Cylinder 6 Injector Circuit Low

P0277 – Cylinder 6 Injector Circuit High

P0278 – Cylinder 6 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0279 – Cylinder 7 Injector Circuit Low

P0280 – Cylinder 7 Injector Circuit High

P0281 – Cylinder 7 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0282 – Cylinder 8 Injector Circuit Low

P0283 – Cylinder 8 Injector Circuit High

P0284 – Cylinder 8 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0285 – Cylinder 9 Injector Circuit Low

P0286 – Cylinder 9 Injector Circuit High

P0287 – Cylinder 9 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0288 – Cylinder 10 Injector Circuit Low

P0289 – Cylinder 10 Injector Circuit High

P0290 – Cylinder 10 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0291 – Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low

P0292 – Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit High

P0293 – Cylinder 11 Contribution/Balance Fault

P0294 – Cylinder 12 Injector Circuit Low

P0295 – Cylinder 12 Injector Circuit High

P0296 – Cylinder 12 Contribution/Balance Fault


This help topic is subject to changes without notification. The information within is carefully checked and considered to be correct. This information is an example of our investigations and findings and is not a definitive procedure. Pico Technology accepts no responsibility for inaccuracies. Each vehicle may be different and require unique test settings.

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Guided test: Multi-point injection - injector voltage and current