P2033 – Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensor 2, bank 1 – circuit high

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By Reinier (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2018-01-05
Automobile Repair Shop Owner
CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P2033 Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensor 2, bank 1 - circuit high
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Wiring short to positive, EGT sensor

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Table of Contents

  1. What Does Code P2033 Mean?
  2. Where is the P2033 sensor located?
  3. What are the common causes of code P2033?
  4. Get Help with P2033

What Does Code P2033 Mean?

OBD II fault code P2033 is a generic code that is defined as “Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensor 2, bank 1 – circuit high”, and is set when the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) detects an abnormally high voltage in control circuit of the #2 exhaust gas temperature sensor (or in the sensor itself) that is fitted to the exhaust system of bank 1. “Bank 1” refers to the bank of cylinders that contains cylinder #1, while sensor #2 refers to the exhaust gas temperature sensor that is fitted downstream of the catalytic converter.

On all applications that are fitted with exhaust gas temperature sensors, the PCM uses input data from EGT sensors located on either side of the catalytic converter both to monitor the efficiency of the converter, and to calculate appropriate strategies to bring about a either reduction or an increase in the exhaust gas temperature.

If the exhaust has is too hot, the PCM can initiate a strategy such as disabling some fuel injectors and spark plugs (or injecting additional ambient air into the exhaust system via the secondary air injection system) to allow relatively cool air to pass through the converter as a means to protect the catalytic converter against the effects of overheating. If on the other hand, the exhaust gas is too cool, the PCM can alter the ignition timing and/or fuel delivery to increase the exhaust gas temperature as a means to increase the efficiency of the catalytic converter.

Note however that while there are many possible reasons why the temperature of the exhaust gas could exceed or fall below predefined maximum/minimum allowable thresholds, the function of the exhaust gas temperature sensor(s) is limited to indicating that the exhaust gas is either above, or below acceptable/desired thresholds.

NOTE: The root causes of the excessively hot (or cold) exhaust gas will almost certainly be indicated by other, dedicated codes that could include fuel/air metering related codes, and/or by codes relating to malfunctions of other exhaust sensors, which malfunctions can sometimes contribute to the setting of code P2033.

In terms of operation, exhaust gas temperature sensors are most commonly simple temperature sensors, or thermocouples, of the temperature reactive resistor variety that use a 5-volt reference voltage to generate a signal voltage. On most applications, the sensor’s resistance decreases as it heats up, thus allowing more current to be passed back to the PCM via a dedicated signal circuit. Conversely, the sensor’s resistance increases as it cools down, thereby allowing less current to be passed back to the PCM.

In practice, the PCM interprets the changing signal current as changing degrees of temperature, and by comparing the input data it receives from both the upstream and downstream exhaust gas temperature sensors in near-real time, it can calculate an efficiency factor for the catalytic converter. However, should a failure occur in the #2 (downstream) EGT sensor and/or its control/signal circuit(s),the PCM can no longer effectively monitor the operation of the catalytic converter, (or initiate corrective measures if required), and it well set code P2033 as a result.

Note that on some applications, the PCM will also illuminate a warning light immediately when the abnormally high voltage is detected, while on others, the fault needs to be registered several times before a warning light will be illuminated. In these cases, code P2033 will be stored as a “pending” code.

Where is the P2033 sensor located?

The image above shows the typical location of exhaust gas temperature sensors on either side of a catalytic converter. Note the presence of other, unrelated sensors that must not be confused with the exhaust temperature sensors.

NOTE: Diesel exhaust systems are fitted with DPF’s (Diesel Particulate Filters, but not shown here) whose operation and regeneration largely depend on exhaust gas temperature sensors, one of which is fitted upstream and downstream of the DPF. Moreover, advanced exhaust systems are also fitted with several other sensors, such as NOx -, oxygen- , pressure sensors, and sometimes pressure differential sensors, whose labelling or numbering in the system may vary between manufacturers.

Therefore, it is important always to refer to the manual for the affected application to locate and identify exhaust gas temperature sensors correctly. Failure to do this will almost certainly result in wasted time, misdiagnoses, and the distinct possibility that expensive exhaust components may be replaced in error.

What are the common causes of code P2033?

Note that the root cause(s) of abnormally high voltages in any sensor’s control circuit can sometimes be very difficult to find and repair. However, if other codes are present along with P2033, there is a more than even chance that one or more of the additional codes could have caused, or at least contributed to the setting of code P2033. For this reason, it is important to resolve all additional codes (including pending codes) in the order in which they were stored, since in doing so, code P2033 may be resolved as well.

Nonetheless, some common causes of code P2033 could include the following-

  • Damaged, burnt, shorted, disconnected, or corroded wiring and/or connectors
  • Short circuit between the reference voltage circuit and battery positive
  • Abnormally high system voltages, but note that this condition will be indicated by a dedicated code, or series of codes
  • Failed or failing PCM. Note that this is a rare event, and the fault must therefore be sought elsewhere before any control module is replaced

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