Trouble CodesGM OBD Trouble CodesGM Code 43

CODE 43 - Electronic Spark Control Fault

Trouble Code 43 indicates that there may be a malfunction in the Electronic Spark Control (ESC) circuit.

ESC is used to sense spark knock (pinging) and retard the timing to eliminate it. A knock sensor (located at the rear of the engine block) sends signals to an ESC module which then signals the ECM that knocking is being detected. The ECM will retard the timing by as much as 20 degrees in 1 degree increments. A loss of knock sensor signal or loss of ground at the ESC module will cause the signal at the ECM to remain high. The ECM will act as if no knock is present, and may possibly result in engine damage, if there is detonation.

Loss of the ESC signal to the ECM will cause the ECM to constantly retard the timing to its maximum. This results in sluggish performance and a Code 43.

The conditions for setting this code are:

  • Engine is running
  • ESC input signal has been low more than 2.23 seconds


Typical causes for this code include:

1) Open or shorted knock sensor
2) Loose knock sensor
3) Excessive mechanical noise within engine
4) Improper or incorrectly installed PROM or CALPACK in the ECM or defective ECM
5) Intermittent open in the EST line to the ignition module


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