P0109 Trouble code definition
Manifold Air Pressure (MAP) Barometric Pressure Sensor Electrical Circuit Intermittent Malfunction.
What the P0109 code means
P0109 is the code for a problem with the MAP circuit sensor having intermittent voltage input signals to the Engine Control Unit (ECU). This means the voltage input to the ECU is too erratic, which means that it is not in the correct range, or it changes to on and off preventing proper engine operation to work with inputs from the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) and Throttle Position Switch (TPS).
What causes the P0109 code?
The MAP circuit voltage input to the ECU being too erratic may have several causes:
The source of the problem is the sensor sending improper voltage information to the ECU.
The most common problem is a bad MAP sensor.
The wiring or connector may be bad or have a bad connection or wiring. It could be too close to higher voltage consumption components, especially alternators or ignition wires causing fluctuating voltages. A poor electrical ground can cause problems also.
The sensor itself may be simply operating out of range from age, fatigue, or damaged parts of the sensor components internally.
MAP sensors must operate within specific ranges to send correct signals to the ECU. This ensures proper engine operation and smooth power output
What are the symptoms of the P0109 code?
P0109 code will be usually preceded by the Check Engine Light coming on the vehicle dashboard display. The vehicle will most often not run well, idle poorly, accelerate erratically, run rich and backfire because the MAP sensor and throttle position sensor are not operating together.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0109 code?
P0109 is diagnosed with an OBD-II scanner compatible with the vehicle. A qualified technician should then reset the OBD-II fault codes and road test the vehicle to see if the code and or Check Engine Light comes back on. He can observe this by watching it live on his scanner while driving.
If the code comes back, then the mechanic will need to do a voltage test with the key on using a multimeter and verifying there is 5 volts input to the MAP sensor and a minimum of .5 to 1 volt with throttle closed. With the engine running at idle, it should have minimum 1 volt on the input to the ECU and then increase smoothly with engine speed and load. the voltages should not fluctuate at idle or steady engine speed. If the MAP Sensor input voltages to the ECU fluctuate erratically, then it is most likely the MAP sensor is bad and needs replacement. The technician must check the wiring and connector to make sure it is not simply a loose or weak connector causing the fluctuations.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0109 code.
Diagnostic errors are largely due to not following the code’s diagnostic procedure. First, follow the test procedure in the diagnosis to ensure there is the correct voltage to the sensor and from the sensor to the ECU. The technician must verify the voltage output of the MAP Sensor is in the correct range and smoothly fluctuates with the engine speed and has proper voltage. Idle voltage is normally 1 to 1.5 volts and full throttle is usually around 4.5 volts.
Do not buy a new MAP Sensor or ECU unless it is clearly at fault.
How serious is the P0109 code?
The P0109 code will result in very poor running of the engine and requires immediate attention. It is necessary for technician to check it out as soon as possible. The MAP sensor issue can cause excessive fuel consumption, rough operation, backfire, ignition miss and difficulty starting in certain circumstances, and can cause other damage including the engine internally if continued to be driven. Occasionally, if no problems are found, reset the fault codes and then retest.
Often times, if the Check Engine Light came on immediately at start up, then the OBD- II system can be reset and the vehicle will operate normally.
What repairs can fix the P0109 code?
Verify the code with a scanner. Reset the fault codes and perform a road test to see if the Check Engine Light comes back.
If the Check Engine Light comes back, check the MAP sensor voltage, which is normally 5 volts in and 1 to 4.5 volts out to the ECU along with the electrical connector and wiring. Disconnect the electrical connector and then reinstall to ensure a fresh electrical connection. Then check the voltage output on the MAP sensor to see if it is in the correct range and not changing erratically. Check the grounds to ensure they are secure and clean.
At this point, if the readings and wiring are normal, it is best to to determine if the MAP sensor is defective and if it has incorrect output, then replace the MAP sensor. If all checks are good, then a final test to determine if the ECU is bad must be done.
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0109 code
Many vehicles with mileage over 100,000 have momentary sensor problems that usually occur during start up or prolonged stress situations on the drive train. If the Check Engine Light comes on and the vehicle seems to be operating normally, the OBD-II system can be reset using the scanner and the problem may not reoccur. This is why it is important to verify the fault and reset it before doing any repairs.
Need help with a P0109 code?
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as P0109 OBD-II Trouble Code: Manifold Air Pressure (MAP) Barometric Pressure Sensor Electrical Circuit Intermittent Malfunction and was authored by John Nelson.