P2020 – Intake manifold air control actuator position sensor/switch, bank 2 – range/performance problem

John Ingalls

By John Ingalls (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2017-03-30
Retired military veteran and former Automotive Service Department Manager

Trouble CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P2020 Intake manifold air control actuator position sensor/switch, bank 2 - range/performance problem Wiring, mechanical fault, intake manifold air control actuator position sensor/switch

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What Does Code P2020 Mean?

P2020 is a generic OBD II fault code that indicates that there is an issue with the intake manifold, the intake manifold position sensor or other associated components. The Engine Control Module (ECM) has detected that the intake manifold is not functioning properly and will normally illuminate the check engine light. The purpose of the intake manifold runner position sensor/switch circuit is control the fuel and air mixture on fuel injected engines. The circuit sets the position of the throttle body plate commonly called a flapper valve and adjusts it to adapt to engine load variations. Intake manifold position sensors are incorporated on diesel and gas powered engines depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle. Most of the cars, trucks and SUVs that display this code are 2003 or newer. The P2020 is the fault code that is associated with bank 2 meaning that the issue is affecting the engine bank opposite the #1 cylinder.

IMRC4

What are the common causes of code P2020?

  • Sticking throttle plate: A sticking throttle plate will prevent the intake manifold running sensor circuit from functioning properly. In some situations, the throttle plate, associated hardware and linkage may be cleaned and lubricated to correct the problem.
  • Sticking IMRC valve: Similar to a sticking throttle plate, the IMRC valve may also being cleaned and lubricated to correct this issue. In some circumstances replacement may required to correct the malfunction.
  • Defective or damaged intake manifold: In some circumstances, the intake manifold may be defective or damaged and require replacement. This is most common with diesel engines, but can occur with gas powered vehicles as well.
  • Faulty IMRC sensor: A faulty IMRC sensor is very common on some vehicles and the serviceability level can normally be verified with an ohm meter. You should consult the specific technical data for your car, truck or SUV to see the proper procedures.
  • Faulty IMRC actuator: A faulty actuator will prevent the sensor and valve from properly positioning the throttle plate. These components can sometimes be cleaned or repaired, but will often require replacement to correct the problem.
  • Damaged or worn wiring: Damaged or worn wiring will disable the electrical circuit and the ability of the ECM to control the intake manifold running sensor circuit. The wiring will need to be repaired or replaced to correct the issue.
  • Damaged, worn or corroded connector: Corroded connectors can be cleaned in some circumstances or it may require replacement to correct the issue.
  • Faulty ECM: A faulty ECM is rare for a P2020 error code, but it can’t always be completely ruled out.

Note: Based on the year, make and model of the vehicle and the engine configuration a new intake assembly may be required. Some intakes incorporate the sensor, valve and other components that are non-removable.

What are the symptoms of code P2020?

The symptoms will vary based on the engine configuration such as gas or diesel. The year, make and model will also be associated to the symptoms the vehicle displays.

  • Check engine light on: The ECM will detect the improper range or performance level of the intake manifold position sensor circuit and illuminate the check engine light. This is to alert you of the issue and prompt you to have the system scanned as soon as possible.
  • Engine hesitation:  Engine hesitation may occur if the throttle plate is sticking, interrupting the proper fuel and air mixture. The overall acceleration process may be affected as well.
  • Rough Idle: Intake associated problems are known to cause a rough idle due to the improper position of the throttle plate or it may be sticking.
  • Engine Stalls: Similar to the rough idle situation, the engine may stall when stopped at a red light or when attempting to accelerate.
  • Engine may not start at all: If the throttle is stuck completely opened or close this can prevent the engine from starting at all depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle. On some vehicles a loose intake duct can prevent the engine from starting as well.
  • Increased fuel consumption: Increased fuel consumption is another warning sign that will often occur with intake malfunctions. This situation affects the fuel and air mixture and the engine may receive too much fuel.
  • Fuel dripping from tailpipe: In some circumstances, the throttle plate may not open far enough or be stuck. This situation could supply more fuel then the engine can burn and the excess gasoline or diesel fuel will drip from the tailpipe.

How do you troubleshoot code P2020?

  1. You should always check technical service bulletins first to see if any known issues apply to your specific vehicle.

  2. You should check for other fault codes prior to troubleshooting the P2020 error code.

  3. Perform a visual inspection of the intake and associated components to identify obvious issues such as a loose intake duct or physical damage.

  4. Check the throttle plate to see if it moves freely and can be manually opened or closed. This is possible on most intakes, but not all throttle plates can be moved manually

  5. Locate the intake manifold running control (IMRC) valve/sensor.

  6. Visually inspect the valve for obvious defects such as physical damage.

  7. Inspect the condition of the wiring going to the IMRC valve to identify worn, damage or broken wires.

  8. Remove the connector and inspect it for corrosion issues and physical damage.

  9. Depending on the configuration, inspect the actuator and sensor.

Codes Related to P2020

  • P2015 – Intake manifold air control actuator position sensor/switch, bank 1 – range/performance problem

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