P0303 should not be ignored, and can be a threat to the drivability the Nissan Frontier. The nice thing about P0303 is that it’s a cylinder specific trouble code, which makes diagnosing the problems simpler than P0300, which means that the cylinders are randomly misfiring.

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It will often be accompanied by codes P0301, P0302, etc…. These particular codes indicate that there is a misfire in one of the other cylinder’s as well.

Fixing P0303 should be considered a high priority. Unlike a lot of the OBDII codes, this code has to do directly with engine combustion. Driving with a misfire can damage the vehicle’s catalytic converter. The engine is also not firing all of the fuel, so raw fuel is also passing through cylinder 3 into the exhaust. Mileage may suffer as well when your Frontier has P0303.

Nissan Frontier P0303 Definition

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P0303 is a cylinder specific misfire code, which means that Cylinder 3 is misfiring and causing the code. An important thing to understand when finding the location of cylinder 3 is that it’s going to be the 3’rd cylinder in the firing order of the vehicle, and not the 3’rd cylinder that you might see when looking at the engine.

Frontier P0303 OBDII Code Symptoms

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The P0303 trouble code will trigger the Frontier’s service engine soon light. The vehicle itself may begin to run rough. It depends on how serious the misfire is, and how many cylinders the engine has. The vehicle may produce excess vibration, especially at lower RPM. Fuel mileage will suffer (often not drastically). You may smell raw gas coming from the tailpipe. The vehicle may backfire.

P0303 Trouble Code Diagnosis- Nissan Frontier

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There are quite a few things that can cause the P0303 trouble code to trigger the Nissan Frontier . Here are the most common problems that will throw the code. They are presented somewhat in order from most to least likely to be causing the code:

Cam or Crank Sensors– This one is very unlikely, but it does happen. If the ECU is not getting the right signal from these sensors, the vehicles timing is not going to sync up and it’ll misfire. Low Compression– If you have a leaking head gasket, bent valve, cracked head, etc.. that would cause compression to not be as high as it should, you’re going to get P0303. You should also feel the vehicle is down on power as well.

Most Common P0303 Fixes

If you follow the items listed above you should be able to fix the P0303. Here’s how to go about it:

Inspect and test the parts of the ignition system around the cylinder to determine whether or not you need to replace the coil packs, plugs, or wires. Most of the time that’ll be it. You can always reset the trouble codes and swap the coil pack, wire, and plug from cylinder 3 to another.

If you get a different P030X code, you’ll know that one of those three components is bad. Go ahead and replace them or have them tested. It’s an easy, and cheap method of determining if your ignition components have gone bad.

After that you would want to test the fuel injection system. There are links above that’ll show you how to do that. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to do a compression test and see if you have a leak in that cylinder.

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Is P0303 a Serious Concern?

P0303 is cause for concern and left unfixed can leave you stranded or make the vehicle virtually underivable. Fixing the problem causing the code to fire can save you time and money and keep your Nissan Frontier from breaking down. Quick action may also save your catalytic converter from going bad. Good luck diagnosing the issue. If there is anything that you would like to add please leave a comment below.