P0087 – Is Your Fuel Pressure In Check?

Have you started experiencing engine hesitation and low power lately? And you diagnosed the code P0087? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic when it comes to this issue.

Having a problem like this is something that nobody wants because not only that you will get a check engine light but you will also face a lot of trouble while driving the vehicle. Resulting in poor engine work and terrible driving experience.

The car will be sluggish and slow to respond, it might even stall at some point and have trouble starting. All this is because of the P0087 code. This is why you need to put up your sleeves and jump into diagnosing and fixing this problem.

Only by doing this, you will be able to overcome this problem. And frankly, you can do it, this is a problem that does not require too much mechanical knowledge. It only requires a little bit of ingenuity and a troubleshooting mindset. And that’s why we are going to help you out.

First, we are going to cover the basics of car diagnostics and learn what tools you will need for this work. Then we will cover the P0087 code meaning. After that, we will discuss the causes for this error as well as the symptoms. And after that, we will move into diagnosing and sorting out the problem. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

P0087 Code

Now before we dive into the definition and meaning of the P0087 code, let’s first familiarize ourselves with car diagnostics in general. I bet that there are a ton of people who are reading this and do not know the basic stuff when it comes to diagnostics and wants to learn. This is why this chapter is dedicated to them.

Nevertheless, modern cars are really complex and implement a ton more components than cars back in the day. Not only mechanical components but also electronic components such as sensors, solenoids, and a ton of different electrical circuits.

These components often break and are the cause of the check engine light and other symptoms. But sometimes they are really useful because they tell us that there is a problem with our system.

Namely in this case when we have a problem with the fuel delivery in our car. Your car’s PCM has collected a ton of data from different sensors and deemed that there is a problem with the fuel system. So, it decided to show the check engine light and warn us to check this issue.

In order to check issues like this, you will need to make a connection to this PCM. And the only way you can do this is to connect an OBD2 scanner to the OBD2 port of your car. With this scanner, you will get the right information that you need. And that is the trouble codes. Which in our case is the P0087 code.

Then you can move on to diagnosing the problem and try to understand the issue. And in the following chapter, we are going to cover precisely that.

P0087 Fuel Rail System Pressure Too Low

Now let’s elaborate more on the problem, which in our case is the P0087 code, let’s learn more about the definition of this code as well as other things such as why it appears and how serious it is.

The basic definition of this code is “P0087 Fuel Rail System Pressure Too Low”. So, what does this mean in the first place?

Well, this is a situation when you have low fuel pressure in the fuel rail. This is a generic trouble code that appears in every vehicle out there. But why this code appears?

Well, the PCM which is the Powertrain Control Module that is observing the work of the engine and transmission has noticed a certain abnormality in the fuel delivery system of your car.

Fuel needs to be delivered to the injectors at a factory-specified pressure. So, if there is not enough pressure in the fuel rails, you will get a code like this.

What is important to note is that this is a serious issue, an issue that cannot be ignored because the work of your engine depends on the proper fuel rail pressure.

So, the seriousness of this problem is really high and you need to sort this problem out as soon as possible if you don’t want to end up with a stalled engine because of low fuel pressure in your engine.

In order to overcome this problem with the P0087 code, you need to study the causes as well as the symptoms that will be noted when you experience a problem like this. This is why in the following chapters, we are going to cover precisely that since the understanding of this problem depends on knowing these possibilities of the P0087 code.

Causes For The P0087 Code

Now first let’s cover the causes of this problem with the P0087 code. Why does this code appear in the first place and what are the different possibilities when it comes to solving the problem?

Knowing these possibilities will basically tell you where to look. Solving an issue without knowing where to look is like you are solving the problem blindfolded. This is why you need to pay attention to these causes and then move on to sorting out the issue. So, follow along.

1. Clogged Fuel Filter

The prime suspect for the P0087 code is a problem with the fuel filter. As you probably know, fuel is not that clean. So, there is a need for filtration to be done before it enters the injectors.

Mainly because a dirty fuel could easily damage your injectors. The injectors will fail far quicker if you run dirty fuel, especially on a direct injection engine.

That’s why the fuel filter is there to keep your fuel clean. But the downside is that these components get clogged up.

So, when this fuel filter gets clogged, it could prevent the fuel flow and cause low fuel pressure in the system. That’s why this is the first component that you want to check.

Replacing it every 50,000 miles or sometimes less will guarantee that you don’t have an issue like in the case with the P0087 Duramax.

2. Weak Fuel Pump

The second very probable cause for the P0087 code is a situation with a weak fuel pump. As you probably know, in the rear of the fuel tank there is a fuel pump that extracts the fuel from the gas tank and is pushing into the fuel lines.

So, what can happen is that this fuel pump can malfunction and cause problems like in our case with the P0087 code.

Basically what happens is that the fuel pump can get clogged or weaken over time and not deliver as it should deliver from the factory. So, the low fuel pressure sensor will notice this and will alert you by showing you the check engine light. That’s why you need to further investigate this issue if you want to overcome this problem.

Fuel pumps can get really expensive and they are not something that you want to replace. But sometimes like in this case with the P0087 Duramax code it is essential to do so if you want to sort out this problem. Now let’s move to the next probable cause.

3. Bad High-Pressure Fuel Pump

The third probable cause for a P0087 code is a bad high-pressure fuel pump. If you didn’t know, diesel engines such as the Cummins and the Duramax have secondary high-pressure fuel pumps.

So, when you are dealing with trucks with these types of engines you can get a P0087 Cummins and P0087 Duramax code. This code will also be present in direct injection cars that work on gasoline but use direct injection.

These high-pressure fuel pumps are pushing the fuel at really high levels of pressure. So, when they are not working well, this will be quite noticeable and could harm the performance of your vehicle.

Not to mention that they are also really expensive to replace and could cost a whole fortune. This is why you don’t want to be dealing with this issue with your car. Now let’s move on to the next probable cause for this code.

4. Obstruction In The Fuel Line

The fourth most common cause for the P0087 code is probably the obstruction in the fuel line. Fuel lines can get obstructed over a long time of use.

Especially if the car has more than 200,000 miles and has been through a lot. Debris is collecting on these fuel lines and basically reducing the flow of gasoline inside them.

Imagine that they are also not that thick, they are only a few fractions of an inch thick and can easily get clogged up. Especially if you are a victim of some maleficent people who pour something into your fuel tank such as sugar to ruin your engine. Anything is possible nowadays, there are really strange people. So, watch out for these things as well.

5. Kinked Fuel Line

The fifth probable cause that we are going to cover when it comes to the P0087 code is a situation with a kinked fuel line. Although a strange situation, fuel lines can end up being kinked.

The fuel lines are usually made out of soft aluminum metal that can easily get damaged under some circumstances. Imagine that you drive over uneven terrain and you accidentally go over a big rock or something similar.

The fuel line can get pushed and you will basically not be able to get the proper fuel pressure. Or sometimes the fuel line can completely collapse as in some GM vehicles built between 2000 and 2004.

So, be wary of these situations and try to avoid them. That’s how you will never have trouble with the P0087 code.

6. Bad Fuel Pressure Regulator

Another component that could fail and cause the P0087 code is the fuel pressure regulator. This device as its name implies serves the purpose to regulate fuel delivery.

So, whenever this device fails, you will experience issues like the low fuel pressure symptoms and other issues caused by this bad regulator. So, this component should be one of the top priorities.

7. Bad Low Fuel Pressure Sensor

The last cause that we are going to cover when it comes to the P0087 code that is really highly probable is the problem with the bad low fuel pressure sensor.

This fuel pressure sensor basically monitors the fuel rail pressure. So, this small component could create a ton of issues in your car and cause error codes to appear.

So, when you are performing your diagnostics, it is worth you check this component as well. Later on in the chapter, where we will diagnose this problem, we are going to cover this component in detail and we will learn how you can diagnose it.

Now before that, let’s move to the symptoms of low fuel pressure. Knowing the symptoms is also going to help you when it comes to diagnosing this problem.

Symptoms Of Low Fuel Pressure

As we covered the probable causes for the low fuel pressure and the code P0087, now we can move on to the symptoms of low fuel pressure.

Knowing these symptoms will really help you out while diagnosing this issue on your car because even without codes, you will be able to tell what is happening in your engine. So, without further ado, let’s cover them.

1. Check Engine Light

The first symptom in our list of symptoms of low fuel pressure that you are going to notice when you have low fuel pressure is the check engine light. Behind this check engine light, there could be a ton of things. But if you diagnose a P0087 code you are on the right track since you know that the pressure is low.


The next thing you will want is to check the other codes that you have. Mainly because these fuel pumps are connected to the computer. So, if they are faulty, you will get a message represented as a DTC code connected to them.

That’s why you need to get all the codes, and then learn everything about them before you jump to conclusions. But more on the diagnostics later on in the article.

2. Lean Fuel To Air Mixture

The second in our list of symptoms of low fuel pressure is the lean air to fuel mixture that will be present. If you didn’t know, a lean situation is when the air to fuel mixture is more parts air and fewer parts fuel.

In ideal situations, there should be 14.7 parts of air per 1 part of gas. So, when you have low fuel pressure, there will be too much air and too little fuel situation. Bad situation if you are asking me.

So, if you diagnose a P0087 code, this will be one of the consequences of this situation

3. Poor Acceleration

The third in our list of symptoms of low fuel pressure and the error code P0087 is poor acceleration. The engine will not have enough fuel and will run lean.

So, you can expect that the acceleration will be somewhat terrible. The car will feel slow and really unresponsive. So, if you notice something like this, you might be having low fuel pressure.

4. Engine Stalling

Another in our list of symptoms of low fuel pressure and the P0087 Cummins is the situation when the engine stalls. The engine simply does not get enough fuel from the fuel lines and the engine dies.

This can be attributed to a ton of causes as we mentioned in the previous chapters like the clogged fuel filter, bad fuel pump, or something else. More on this we are going to cover in the next chapters where we will learn how to diagnose the code P0087.

5. Engine Hesitation

The last in our list of low fuel pressure symptoms and the cause for the P0087 code is the situation when the engine hesitates.


You will notice how the engine doesn’t respond when you press on the throttle and suddenly starts to surge forward and this could be even dangerous in some situations. So, you need to be aware of this symptom and try to sort the problem out. And in the next chapter, we are going to cover precisely that.

How To Diagnose & Fix P0087?

Now let’s dive into diagnosing this stuff and sorting out the P0087 Cummins code. Although we are going to focus on the Cummins, this guide will serve even if you run a Duramax or any other type of engine since all the components are basically the same when it comes to fuel delivery. It doesn’t mind if you run a gasoline or a diesel car.

Nevertheless, when it comes to this problem, you should try to solve it methodically. And by this, we mean investigating the different codes that appear with the main code in our article.

You will need to check the fuel pump in the fuel tank, the fuel filter, the high-pressure fuel pump if you run a direct injection on your car as well as the high-pressure fuel pump regulator and the fuel pump pressure sensor.

Most of these issues are caused by either a clogged fuel filter that is located on the fuel line or possibly a bad fuel regulator or high-pressure fuel pump.

Remember, focus on the other codes as well, and based on that you can jump to conclusions. Refer to the guy in the video that we attached.

And if you don’t get other codes along with this P0087 code, your best bet would be to replace the fuel filter for starters and if that doesn’t help, move on into troubleshooting all of the components that we mentioned in the causes section. All of them are possible reasons why you are dealing with this issue.

Cost To Fix The P0087 Code

So, what is the cost to fix the P0087 code? Well, this greatly depends on the problem. If you have a problem with the fuel pressure regulator or the fuel filter or a fuel line, then you will go for the cheapest route and not pay more than $150 to $250 to sort this out.


But if there are bigger problems than this, you can expect to pay a ton more money than this. A high-pressure fuel pump or a fuel pump in the gas tank can cost a ton of money to be replaced. Between $1,000 and $2,500 to be more precise.

Facts about Code P0087 – Fuel Rail/System Pressure Too Low

  1. P0087 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that indicates a fault within the fuel delivery system.
  2. The code is usually triggered by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) when it detects the pressure inside the fuel rail or fuel system to be below the minimum levels.
  3. Common symptoms of P0087 include an illuminated check engine light, reduced fuel efficiency, poor vehicle performance, and a misfiring engine.
  4. Driving with an active P0087 code is not recommended, as it can cause severe drivability issues and lead to costly repairs.
  5. DTC P0087 can be triggered by a combination of issues, including a clogged fuel filter or fuel screens, a weak or bad fuel pump, a faulty fuel pressure regulator sensor, a restricted fuel line or hoses, or electrical problems.
  6. Mechanics diagnose P0087 by connecting the engine to an OBD-II scan tool, performing a road test, and measuring the manual fuel pressure readings at the fuel rail.
  7. Repair costs for P0087 can range from $50 to $2000 depending on the severity and root cause of the issue.
  8. The fuel system in car stores and supplies fuel to the engine for combustion, and consists of several components, including the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, and injectors.
  9. The fuel rail is a critical component that supplies fuel flow to the injector system and is monitored by a fuel pressure sensor.
  10. Most vehicles have two fuel pumps, including a low-pressure pump that moves fuel from the gas tank to the high-pressure fuel pump, which compresses the fuel and forces it through the fuel injector for combustion.

Conclusion To P0087

In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the P0087 code, we learned what this code is all about and why it appears. As we noted, this is because of low fuel pressure in the fuel line.

Then we have covered the causes why this could happen and the symptoms that there will be present. Then we learned more about the diagnostics process and the costs involved in this.


Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

P0087 What Does It Mean

This is a trouble code that indicates that you are having a low fuel pressure in the fuel rail. This condition can be attributed to a number of different things such as the fuel regulator, fuel pump, fuel filter, etc.

How To Check Fuel Pressure

Checking this is only possible with advanced OBD2 scanners that can read the values that each component is producing. Performing something DIY without the proper equipment can be really difficult unless you are a professional that knows how this is done.

What Causes Low Fuel Pressure

Low fuel pressure is often caused by a bad fuel pressure regulator, bad fuel pump, clogged or damaged fuel lines, and clogged fuel filter. Or even a bad fuel pressure sensor. You need to check all these components before you make a conclusion.

Will A Bad Fuel Pump Throw A Code

Yes, it will definitely throw a code. More precisely the P0087 code is very often associated with this problem. There will be other codes as well depending on if there are faulty components like the fuel pump or something else.

How Do You Fix Code P0087

Fixing this code is not easy. First, you need to diagnose the problem and then move on to fixing it. And for this, you need to perform computer diagnostics and check different components and see how they perform. The fuel pump needs to be checked, as well as the fuel filter and the fuel pressure regulator.

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