What Does the Engine Code P0506 Mean?

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If your vehicle is showing engine code P0506 this indicates a problem with your engine idle control system. This may cause your car to stall. Do correct the problem immediately as losing power and stalling out can cause serious accidents. In addition, idling problems can lead to engine damage.
Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) can alert you to problems with your vehicle, but you may need some help in reading them. If you have an OBD-II code reader, it can help you identify what problem is causing your check engine light to come on. Then, you’ll need to understand the meaning of each code so you can evaluate the problem and find the solution. 
That’s why car insurance app Jerry has put together this guide to help you understand the specific cause(s) of a P0506 engine code and what you can do about it. 
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What does the engine code P0506 mean?

Essentially, a P0506 code means that your vehicle is not idling correctly, and your idle RPM is lower than expected. Today, most cars and trucks have electronic throttle controls (ETC), which determine the engine’s idle speed. If you see this code, you may have a problem with your ETC.

How much will it cost to fix?

It will generally take about 1 hour of labor to diagnose the P0506 code, which will cost you somewhere between $75-150/hour for labor at most repair shops. 
 After the problem has been diagnosed, your mechanic should explain exactly what is causing the P0506 code and what parts and how much time will be needed to fix it. While some problems may be fairly easy to address, others require more intensive labor.  
Costs vary for professional services. For example, replacing a bad idle control valve costs between $150 to $500. However, if your throttle body needs cleaning, this process typically costs between $226 to $300

What can cause the P0506 engine code?

A variety of issues can cause a P0506 engine code. They include:
  • Bad/defective idle control valve or motor
  • Vacuum leaks (intake manifold leak)
  • Dirty throttle body
  • Bad/defective power steering pressure switch
  • Internal engine problem

Common symptoms of the P0506 engine code

A driver will likely notice when their vehicle has a problem with idling speed. Common signs include:
  • Check engine light comes on
  • Rough or unpredictable idling
  • Car does not idle when it’s cold
  • Stalling when the car comes to a stop

How serious is the P0506 code?

Because of the risk of losing power and/or stalling out, you should fix the problem immediately

Can I fix the P0506 engine code myself?

Most fixes require a knowledgeable professional. This is particularly true if your vehicle has an electronic throttle control (ETC), which newer cars have. 
A professional mechanic will likely look to see whether there is a bad vacuum hose or problem with the intake manifold or EGR valve. If they do not see any problems in those areas, they will test the idle air control valve to see whether it’s functioning.
In addition, they may inspect the throttle body to see whether grime has built up over time. If it has, the throttle body can be cleaned. Or, there might be a problem with the vehicle's catalytic converter.
Again, assuming the P0506 engine code has been triggered by an actual problem and not just a faulty sensor, most repairs will require a professional to diagnose the cause and fix it.

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