How To Clear Engine Derate (Easy Step-By-Step Guide)

Revitalize your engine's performance with our easy step-by-step guide on how to clear engine derate. Click now for essential insights, troubleshooting tips, and a comprehensive walkthrough to ensure your engine operates at its peak.

Engine derate can be a frustrating issue to deal with, causing a decrease in the power and performance of your vehicle. However, with the right knowledge and steps, clearing engine derate can be a straightforward process.

In this easy step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the necessary actions to take to clear engine derate and restore your vehicle to its optimal operation. Whether you are a seasoned mechanic or a car enthusiast looking to troubleshoot and fix this problem on your own, this article will provide you with the essential information you need to successfully clear engine derate and get back on the road with confidence.

What is Engine Derate?

Engine derate is a protective function of the ECM that limits engine power to prevent potential damage. It is triggered when the ECM detects abnormal engine conditions such as high coolant temperature, low oil pressure, or excessive exhaust gas temperatures. By reducing fuel delivery and adjusting spark timing, the engine runs leaner and cooler, safeguarding its components.

Clearing engine derate requires identifying and resolving the underlying issue causing the derate. Consulting a qualified mechanic or diesel technician is recommended for effective resolution.

What causes engine derating?

1. Low oil pressure

One of the common causes of engine derating is low oil pressure. When the oil pressure in the engine is too low, it can lead to inadequate lubrication, resulting in increased friction and heat. This can cause the engine to slow down and reduce its overall performance. It is important to regularly check the oil levels and ensure that the oil pressure is within the recommended range to prevent engine derating.

2. High coolant temperature

Another factor that can cause engine derating is high coolant temperature. When the coolant temperature rises above the normal operating range, it can lead to overheating of the engine. This can result in reduced power output and decreased fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance and monitoring of the cooling system, including checking coolant levels and ensuring proper functioning of the radiator, can help prevent engine derating due to high coolant temperature.

3. Excessive EGTs (Exhaust Gas Temperatures)

Excessive exhaust gas temperatures (EGTs) can also contribute to engine derating. When the EGTs go beyond the recommended limits, it can cause damage to engine components and reduce overall performance. This can be caused by factors such as a malfunctioning turbocharger, clogged exhaust system, or improper fuel-air mixture. Regular monitoring of EGTs and addressing any issues promptly can help prevent engine derating.

4. Fuel pressure that is too low

Fuel pressure that is too low is another common cause of engine derating. Insufficient fuel pressure can result in inadequate fuel delivery to the engine, leading to reduced power output and poor performance. This can be caused by issues such as a faulty fuel pump, clogged fuel filters, or leaks in the fuel system. Regular inspection and maintenance of the fuel system can help identify and address any fuel pressure issues, preventing engine derating.

Common Symptoms of Engine Derate

1. Reduced Power

One of the most common symptoms of engine derate is a noticeable reduction in power output. You may experience a significant decrease in the engine’s ability to generate the necessary power to propel your vehicle forward. This can be frustrating, especially when trying to accelerate or climb steep inclines. The reduced power can make your vehicle feel sluggish and unresponsive, affecting your overall driving experience.

2. Decreased Acceleration

Another telltale sign of engine derate is a decrease in acceleration. You may notice that it takes longer for your vehicle to reach higher speeds or that it struggles to pick up speed quickly. This can be particularly concerning when merging onto highways or overtaking other vehicles. The decreased acceleration can make it challenging to maneuver in traffic and may compromise your safety on the road.

3. Warning Lights on the Dashboard

When your engine is derating, it is common for warning lights to illuminate on your vehicle’s dashboard. The engine light, in particular, may be lit up, indicating that there is a problem with the engine. It is crucial not to ignore these warning lights, as they serve as an early indication that something is amiss. If you notice any warning lights, it is advisable to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to diagnose and address the underlying issue promptly.

How to Clear Engine Derate

To clear engine derate and restore your engine to full power, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • Identify and resolve underlying issues: Before attempting to clear the derate code, it is crucial to address any other error codes that may be causing the reduction code to appear. Correct and remove these error codes to ensure the underlying problems are solved.
  • Clear the derate code: Once you have resolved the underlying issues, you can successfully clear the derate code. However, it is important to note that attempting to clear the code before addressing the underlying problems will not permanently erase the code. The derate will only clear temporarily.
  • Restart the engine at full throttle: After clearing the derate code, you may now start the engine at full throttle. This step confirms that the system is operating normally.
  • Monitor for confirmation: If the repair is confirmed within 30 minutes of restarting the engine, the engine will return to normal. However, if the repair is not confirmed within this timeframe, the engine will lower again. In such cases, you must either unlock the restart counter or address the problem again to clear the derate code.
  • Ensure error-free operation: If no errors are detected within the 30-minute monitoring period, the engine will continue to operate normally. However, it is essential to regularly monitor the engine’s performance to prevent any future derate issues.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively clear engine derate and ensure the normal operation of your engine. Remember to address any underlying issues and monitor the engine’s performance to maintain optimal functionality.

How to Fix Engine Derate

If you’re experiencing engine derate in your vehicle, it’s important to address the issue promptly to restore normal operation. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix engine derate:

  • Repair the underlying problems: Identify and address the root cause of the derating issue. This may involve troubleshooting and fixing any faulty components or systems that are triggering the derate. By resolving these underlying failures, you can permanently clear the derating codes.
  • Remove fault codes: Once the underlying problems have been fixed, it’s crucial to remove any fault codes associated with the derate. This can be done using diagnostic tools or by consulting a professional mechanic.
  • Reset the counter: Resetting the counter to zero will allow the engine to restart at full power. This can be done through the vehicle’s onboard computer system or by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Restart the engine three times: After resetting the counter, restart the engine three times to ensure normal confirmation functionality. This will help verify that the derate issue has been successfully resolved.
  • Check for repair confirmation failure: If there is a failure in repair confirmation, wait for 30 minutes and then restart the engine. This is necessary as the engine may have derated again due to unresolved issues.
  • Use an inducement counter: If the engine continues to operate normally after the 30-minute wait, use an inducement counter to restart the engine. Allow the engine to run for another 30 minutes without detecting any errors. If no errors are detected during this duration, the engine will resume normal operation.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively fix engine derate and ensure your vehicle operates at its full potential. It’s important to address derating issues promptly to prevent further damage and maintain optimal performance.

Safety Precautions

When fixing an engine derate, it is important to follow safety precautions to ensure the well-being of yourself and others. Here are some safety measures to consider:

  • Wear protective gear: Prioritize your safety by wearing appropriate protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask to protect yourself from any potential hazards.
  • Disconnect the power source: Before starting any repair work, make sure to disconnect the power source to prevent any accidental starts or electrical shocks. This includes disconnecting the battery and any other power sources connected to the engine.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area: Engine repairs can release harmful fumes and gases. Ensure that you are working in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any toxic substances. If necessary, use exhaust extraction systems or work outdoors.
  • Use proper tools and equipment: Always use the correct tools and equipment for the job. Using improper tools can lead to accidents or damage to the engine. Additionally, ensure that your tools are in good condition and properly maintained.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines: Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for repairing the specific engine derate issue. Adhering to these guidelines will help ensure that you are following the correct procedures and using the appropriate techniques.
  • Work with a partner: If possible, have a partner assist you during the repair process. They can provide an extra set of eyes and hands, making the task safer and more efficient.
  • Keep the work area clean and organized: Maintain a clean and organized work area to minimize the risk of accidents. Remove any clutter or obstacles that could cause trips or falls.
  • Avoid working on a hot engine: Allow the engine to cool down before starting any repair work. Working on a hot engine can result in burns or other injuries.
  • Follow proper lifting techniques: When lifting heavy engine components or tools, use proper lifting techniques to avoid strain or injury. Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs.
  • Seek professional assistance if needed: If you are unsure about any aspect of the engine derate repair or if the issue seems complex, it is best to seek professional assistance. They have the expertise and experience to handle the repair safely and effectively.

By following these safety precautions, you can ensure a safer working environment and minimize the risk of accidents or injuries while fixing an engine derate.

Can you drive in derate mode?

Yes, it is possible to drive in derate mode, but it is not recommended for extended periods. When your engine is in derate mode, it means that its power output has been reduced to prevent overheating or further damage.

While you can still operate the vehicle, it will have limited performance and may not function optimally. It is important to address the underlying issues causing the derate and resolve them as soon as possible to restore your vehicle to normal operation.

Troubleshooting Tips

1. Checking for Loose Connections

When troubleshooting and clearing an engine derate, it is important to start by checking for any loose connections. Loose connections can cause communication errors between various components of the engine system, leading to derating issues. Inspect all electrical connections, including wiring harnesses, sensors, and connectors, ensuring they are securely fastened. If any loose connections are found, tighten them appropriately to restore proper functionality.

2. Verifying the Diagnostic Tool’s Compatibility

Using a diagnostic tool is crucial when troubleshooting an engine derate. However, it is essential to verify that the diagnostic tool being used is compatible with the specific engine model and manufacturer. Different engines may require different diagnostic protocols or software. Ensure that the diagnostic tool is up-to-date and supports the necessary features to accurately diagnose and clear derate codes. This will help avoid any potential compatibility issues and ensure effective troubleshooting.

3. Seeking Professional Assistance if Needed

Although there are forums available for further information or assistance, in some cases, troubleshooting and clearing an engine derate may require professional assistance. If the underlying issues causing the debate are complex or if the troubleshooting steps are not yielding satisfactory results, it is advisable to seek help from a qualified technician or mechanic. They have the expertise and specialized tools to diagnose and resolve more intricate engine problems. Professional assistance can save time, prevent further damage, and ensure a thorough resolution to the debate issue.

How to Maintain a Lower Engine Derates?

To maintain a lower engine derate and ensure optimal performance of your vehicle, it is important to follow these steps:

  • Regularly inspect and clean the air filter: In most cases, a dirty air filter can limit the engine’s performance. Make sure to check the air filter regularly and clean or replace it as needed. This will ensure that the engine receives the required amount of air for optimum power.
  • Check the fuel filter for debris: A clogged fuel filter can also lead to engine derates. Inspect the fuel filter for any debris or contaminants and clean or replace it if necessary. This will help ensure that the engine receives clean fuel, allowing it to generate enough heat for proper operation.
  • Monitor and address fault codes: Fault codes can indicate underlying problems that may lead to engine derates. Use a diagnostic tool to identify and address any fault codes. Repairing the underlying failures and clearing the fault codes will help prevent derating issues.
  • Reset the engine counter: Resetting the engine counter to zero can help restart the engine at full power. This can be done through the vehicle’s onboard computer system or with the help of a professional mechanic.
  • Restart the engine multiple times: After resetting the counter, restart the engine three times to confirm its functionality. If the engine continues to derate, it may indicate a failure in the repair confirmation process.
  • Use an inducement counter: If the engine still derates after repair confirmation, use an inducement counter to restart the engine and wait for 30 minutes. If no errors are detected during this duration, the engine should resume normal operation.

By following these maintenance practices and addressing any underlying issues promptly, you can maintain a lower engine derate and ensure that your vehicle operates at its optimal performance level.


In conclusion, maintaining regular engine maintenance is crucial to prevent engine derate and ensure optimal performance of your vehicle. By promptly resolving engine derate issues, you can avoid potential damage to your engine and costly repairs down the line. Following the easy step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can effectively clear engine derate and restore your vehicle to its full power.

Remember, taking proactive measures to address underlying problems and removing fault codes will not only improve the longevity of your engine but also enhance your overall driving experience. So, don’t wait until engine derate becomes a major issue, take action now and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained engine.

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