What does the P0113 OBD-II code mean?

When the error code P0113 is triggered, it indicates that the powertrain control module (PCM) has received a higher voltage signal than expected from the intake air temperature (IAT) sensor, indicating a problem with the IAT sensor 1 or its circuit. The PCM monitors air intake temperature by sending a stable 5-volts to the IAT sensor. This sensor, in turn, uses a thermistor to measure the intake air temperature. If the temperature remains normal, the thermistor will have some resistance meaning the output voltage to the PCM will be below 5 volts. A P0113 OBD-II trouble code is triggered when the voltage signal to the PCM is higher. This particular trouble code is most often associated with P0111, P0112, and P0114 codes.

The air intake temperature (IAT) sensor can be found mounted within air filter duct housing or built into the mass airflow sensor (MAF).

How serious is the P0113 code?

This particular OBD-II trouble code is considered a moderately severe issue. Generally, while this code doesn’t signify a problem that needs immediate attention, it is advisable to resolve the issue quickly, although driving for only a short period is fine. However, driving a vehicle for extended periods with a P0113 trouble code triggered can cause internal engine damage due to the engine running too lean. In addition, the P0113 code will also cause the engine’s ECM to go into a failsafe mode. 

What are the common symptoms of a P0113 trouble code?

  • Check Engine light illuminated
  • The ECM will go into a failsafe mode
  • Engine may not start as usual 
  • Engine may have pre-ignition problems from lean-burn conditions
  • Air or Fuel Mixture is too lean or rich
  • Idling poorly when cold
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Increased emissions

What are the causes of a P0113 OBD-II code?

The error code P0113 doesn’t necessarily mean that the air intake is too hot, as there are many reasons why this particular code can be triggered. However, the most common causes are:

  • A problem with the IAT sensor
  • Dirty air filter
  • Faulty MAF sensor
  • Problems with wiring/connectors
  • PCM has failed

How to diagnose a P0113 OBD-II code?

The easiest way to diagnose an OBD-II fault code is to use an OBD-II scanner or book a diagnostic check with a trusted mechanic or garage who will:

  • See if there are any technical service bulletins available for your vehicle’s make and model to see if there is a known issue for your car that can help resolve the problem.
  • Scan your system for other OBD-II codes, document the codes received and view the freeze frame data to check the conditions present when the code was triggered.
  • The fault codes will then be cleared and the vehicle re-tested to see if the code returns. If so:
  • A visual check of the wiring between the IAT and PCM, checking the connector to the sensor or shorting harness.
  • Check the air temperature when the engine is warm.
  • Test the resistance of the IAT sensor to determine if it’s defective
  • At this point, if no problems are found, perform the manufacturer’s specific pinpoint tests for the P0113 code.

How to fix a P0113 OBD-II code?

It’s always recommended to test drive the vehicle after each check/work is performed to see if the fault code clears. If the code returns, move on to the next repair. The most common repairs to resolve a P0113 are:

  • Verify the code with an OBD-II scanner, and reset the fault code. Follow this with a test drive of the car to see if the trouble code clears. If it returns:
  • Inspect the IAT sensor – it may need cleaning, adjusting or replacement (common)
  • Check the air filter to ensure good airflow (common)
  • Determine whether the MAF Sensor is defective with incorrect or no output, replacing if necessary.
  • Inspect the wiring and connectors for corrosion, short circuits, broken wires etc.
  • The final test is to check your PCM; however, this is the least common cause of a P0113 error code.

How to avoid a P0113 Code?

In the majority of intake air temperature sensor issues, it’s due to sensors shorting internally or down to damaged, shorted harnesses, meaning the problem is not possible to avoid. However, it’s always good practice to maintain your vehicle’s engine in good working order.  Servicing your car regularly, including changing oil and filters and visually checking for problems with wiring and connectors, will ensure your vehicle remains in good running order.

About Fixter

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