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P0300 VW/Audi Fault Code: Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
When you receive a P0300 code on your Volkswagen or Audi, it will read out “Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected”. This means that more than one cylinder is misfiring. Each cylinder is accompanied by a spark plug and an ignition coil to create engine combustion. A misfire occurs when a singular cylinder fails to achieve full ignition or combustion causing the timing of ignition to be off. Most of the time a P0300 VW code is a quick fix of changing the ignition coils and spark plugs, but if that doesn’t do the trick, then it could be a daunting task to diagnose. This code is not specific to an engine and can occur to any Volkswagen or Audi engine.
Common codes accompanied by P0300:
It is very common to have any of the following fault codes listed below alongside the P0300 engine code. A Volkswagen or Audi engine can have anywhere from 4-10 cylinders. Many have 4, such as the common EA888 engine, but some can actually have 10, such as Audi’s 5.2 V10 engine. As you can see below, the number at the end of P030X or P03XX indicates which cylinder is experiencing a misfire.
- P0301 VW/Audi – Cylinder 1 misfire detected
- P0302 VW/Audi – Cylinder 2 misfire detected
- P0303 VW/Audi – Cylinder 3 misfire detected
- P0304 VW/Audi – Cylinder 4 misfire detected
- P0305 VW/Audi – Cylinder 5 misfire detected
- P0306 VW/Audi – Cylinder 6 misfire detected
- P0307 VW/Audi – Cylinder 7 misfire detected
- P0308 VW/Audi – Cylinder 8 misfire detected
- P0309 VW/Audi – Cylinder 9 misfire detected
- P0310 VW/Audi – Cylinder 10 misfire detected
Can you still drive with a P0300 VW/Audi Fault Code?
The short answer to this question is yes, but it is not recommended. This code is not the most severe as some others make it out to be. However, we don’t recommend completely ignoring it because it is moderately severe enough to affect engine function. Our advice would be to get an OBD-II scanner, if a P0300 and a P030X code pop up, take it to a shop within a week, or order a set of spark plugs and ignition coils to DIY ASAP.
P0300 VW/Audi Symptoms
Symptoms that come along with a P0300 fault code can be a long list of things, as you will see below.
- Check Engine Light (CEL) or Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) illuminating or flashing
- Rough idle
- Poor engine acceleration/hesitation
- Engine power loss
- Rough engine performance
- Difficulty starting the engine
- Car dying at a standstill
- Increased consumption of fuel
Causes of P0300 Engine Code for Volkswagen’s or Audi’s
- Worn out spark plugs or spark plug wires
- Failing or faulty ignition coils
- Clogged or failing fuel injectors
- Low fuel pressure
- Vacuum leaks
- Camshaft and/or crankshaft sensors
How to Repair a Volkswagen or Audi with a P0300 Engine Code
Before getting into the guides below, we want to preface that all of the replacement parts and DIYs are for a Volkswagen/Audi 2.0T engine because it is the most popular VW/Audi engine. Again, the majority of the time when this DTC pops up, it is a couple of failing or worn-out ignition coils or spark plugs. However, if this doesn’t alleviate the fault code, it could get quite complicated to diagnose after that. See below for diagnosis and replacement tips.
Replace All Spark Plugs or Splug Plug Wires
Spark plugs supply a spark that ignites the Air/Fuel mixtures creating engine combustion. So needless to say, functioning spark plugs are important to an engine. If you happen to have a tuned vehicle, you may experience engine misfires more often on OE spark plugs. We advise using 1-step colder spark plugs for upgraded engines because as the engine produces more power, the hotter it gets. Sometimes OE spark plugs can’t sustain the increased heat.
Replacing spark plugs isn’t the toughest DIY to perform, but you will have to have the proper tools and proper spark plug gapping. A good rule of thumb is to change these every 40,000 miles on stock engines or 20,000 miles on tuned engines. Lastly, we highly suggest replacing all the spark plugs at once to ensure future short-term misfires don’t occur.
Volkswagen/Audi Spark Plugs: Purchase Here
DIY Difficulty: Easy
Replace All Ignition Coils
Ignition coils transform the battery’s low voltage into the high voltage needed by the spark plugs to create a spark in the combustion chamber. Ignition coils, like spark plugs, are very important ignition parts for a functioning engine. If one or more ignition coils or failing, the engine will have difficulty starting or not starting at all. Like spark plugs, tuned vehicles will go through OE ignition coils quicker and could be a good idea to go with performance ignition coils depending on how much power the engine is putting down.
Replacing ignition coils isn’t the hardest thing to do with the proper tools. Again, we highly advise replacing all ignition coils to avoid short-term misfires. Usually, ignition coils have a 60,000-mile shelf life, but this is shortened on tuned engines. If you plan on replacing spark plugs every 20,000 or 40,000 miles, you may as well replace the ignition coils with them.
Volkswagen/Audi Ignition Coils: Purchase Here
DIY Difficulty: Easy
Replace the Clogged or Failing Fuel Injector
Fuel injectors pump fuel into the engine’s cylinders activating combustion. Without a single functioning fuel injector, the engine’s AFR’s will be thrown off causing a rough idle and dampen engine performance. Unlike the ignition coils and spark plugs, there’s no need to replace all of the fuel injectors at once. However, more times than not, if there is one clogged fuel injector, there is a high likelihood the others are clogged. So it isn’t a bad idea to replace all the fuel injectors at the same time. Replacing fuel injectors is a difficult task to DIY, which is why it’s a relatively expensive replacement at a shop.
Volkswagen/Audi 2.0T Fuel Injector Kit: Purchase Here
DIY Difficulty: Difficult
Check for Vacuum Leaks
Probably one of the most difficult diagnoses is vacuum leaks. Vacuum hoses create suction and bring air into the engine. If there is a leak, it would lead to lean AFR conditions and cause a multitude of problems with an engine. Vehicles that were produced longer than 2 decades could have brittle vacuum hoses, which would lead to them breaking down and causing vacuum leaks. If you are lost and not sure where to start with vacuum hoses, it may be best to take your vehicle to a mechanic.
Replace the Camshaft Sensor
A camshaft sensor monitors the cams speed and position. Without a functioning cam sensor, the engine timing will be off causing poor shifting, increased fuel consumption, lean or rich AFR conditions, or the engine not starting. This isn’t the easiest DIY because of the location of the sensor, but if you know where it is, it is fairly straightforward. If the P1340 fault code is popping up along with a P0300 code, there is a good chance it is either the cam sensor or crank sensor.
Volkswagen/Audi 2.0T Camshaft Position Sensor: Purchase Here
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate
Replace the Crankshaft Sensor
A crankshaft sensor monitors the crankshaft, engine valves, and pistons. If the crank sensor fails, it can cause engine stalls, engine vibrations, or the engine not starting at all. Replacing the crankshaft sensor isn’t too hard if you happen to know where it is located. Like the cam sensor, if a P1340 code pops up along with a P0300 code, there is a good chance it is a cam or crank sensor failure.
Volkswagen/Audi 2.0T Crankshaft Position Sensor: Purchase Here
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate
P0300 Volkswagen/Audi Conclusion
We hope the information above has alleviated the P0300 code. To reiterate, you can drive on this fault code, but we wouldn’t advise driving on it for more than a week. The majority of the time, it is as simple as replacing all of the ignition components and you are moving on. If changing the ignition components doesn’t do the trick, it could be the fuel injectors, vacuum leaks, or camshaft/crankshaft sensors. Lastly, if none of the fixes above work, it may be time to take it to the shop to get some professional help. If you are needing assistance with finding guides or replacement parts for another engine, let us know in the comments below and we will assist in any way we can.