P2263 – Turbocharger (TC) boost pressure/supercharger (8C) boost pressure – performance problem

Reinier

By Reinier (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2020-08-10
Automobile Repair Shop Owner

Trouble CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P2263 Turbocharger (TC) boost pressure/supercharger (8C) boost pressure - performance problem Mechanical fault

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What Does Code P2263 Mean?

OBD II fault code P2263 is a generic trouble code that is defined as “Turbocharger/Supercharger Boost System Performance”, and is set when the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) detects that the turbocharger/or supercharger boost pressure either exceeds or falls below a specified or desired value given the current operating conditions.

Since forced induction with a turbo-, or supercharger is a cheap and effective way of increasing engine power without a concomitant fuel consumption penalty, most car manufacturers have resorted to adding turbochargers to small-capacity engines to boost engine power. However, for forced induction to be effective, the amount of air a turbocharger can force into an engine at any given point must be controlled precisely both to prevent engine damage, and to extract the maximum benefit from the compressed intake air.

By compressing the intake air, more air can be forced into the cylinders, which means that higher volumes of fuel must be injected into the cylinders to maintain air/fuel mixtures in which all of the fuel is combusted using all of the air, with the higher fuel/air mixture volumes being what produces the additional power.

However, since the volume of air an engine requires changes with engine speed, and injectors can only inject limited volumes of fuel, turbochargers are fitted with complex electronic control systems that control the speed of the rotating parts as a means to control boost pressure, or with simple mechanical mechanisms that allow excess boost pressure to escape into the exhaust system. Regardless of design specifics though, the purpose of all boost control systems is to maintain boost pressures at optimal levels to increase engine power, while preventing engine damage, at the same time.

In modern applications, the boost pressure is monitored by a dedicated boost pressure sensor that provides the PCM with exact information on actual boost pressure values, engine speed, and other parameters such as ignition timing settings. The PCM uses this information to control the amount of exhaust gas that drives the turbocharger to adapt the turbochargers’ speed to the current operating conditions.

Thus, if the boost pressure sensor registers a boost pressure value that does not agree with the pressure the PCM deems as appropriate for the current conditions, it recognizes that it cannot control the boost pressure effectively, regardless of the cause of the difference between the actual and desired boost pressure values. When this happens, the PCM will set code P2263 and illuminate a warning light.

It should be noted though that most modern boost control systems/modules are capable of performing boost pressure-related diagnostics independently of the PCM, and while this adds several layers of complexity to modern engine management systems, this capability has the advantage over older designs that it increases the reliability, efficiency, and accuracy of boost control systems.

Where is the P2263 sensor located?

The image above shows a typical turbocharger fitted with a simple vacuum operated boost pressure control mechanism, which is indicated by the red arrow. In designs like this, engine vacuum operates an actuator that opens a simple mechanical “trap door” in the turbine side of the turbocharger to allow excess drive (exhaust) pressure to escape into the exhaust system as a means to control the turbochargers’ speed, which in turn, controls the ultimate boost pressure the turbocharger develops.

In more advanced designs, the PCM controls the boost pressure by controlling the drive pressure directly. Put in another way, the PCM limits the amount of exhaust gas that can enter the turbo as a means to control the turbochargers’ speed, and therefore, the boost pressure the turbocharger can develop, as opposed to controlling the boost pressure after the fact.

What are the common causes of code P2263?

Most common causes of code P2263 are similar across all applications but note that actual causes are largely determined by the type of boost control system in use on the vehicle. Typical causes could include one or more of the following-

  • Defective, worn, or damaged rotating components in the turbocharger/supercharger
  • Damaged, burnt, shorted, corroded, or disconnected wiring and/or connectors in the boost-pressure control system
  • Defective or faulty boost control sensor(s)
  • Faulty or leaking turbocharger wastegate or supercharger pressure relief mechanisms
  • Defective or faulty exhaust back pressure sensor(s)
  • Leaking or defective exhaust manifold and/or exhaust manifold gaskets/seals
  • Leaks in induction system tubing/ducting
  • Broken, split, or dislodged vacuum control lines
  • Clogged or dirty air filter element
  • Dirty, degraded, or contaminated engine oil that contributes to excessive mechanical wear of turbocharger/supercharger seals and bearings
  • Restrictions anywhere in the intake system/ducting
  • Outdated and/or corrupted PCM software

What are the symptoms of code P2263?

Most causes of code P2263 are largely similar across all applications, and could include one or more of the following-

  • Stored trouble code and illumined MIL (CHECK ENGINE) warning light
  • Note that depending on both the application and the nature of the problem, multiple other codes relating to boost-control functions may be present along with P2263
  • Engine power loss throughout the engine’s operating range, but note that the degree of power loss at any point does not necessarily correlate to the variation between actual and desired boost pressures
  • Poor acceleration
  • Fuel consumption may increase dramatically
  • Engine may stall upon hard acceleration
  • In cases where code P2263 sets as the result of excessive boost pressure, the PCM or other control module may initiate a fail-safe or limp mode to prevent serious or even fatal engine damage
  • Depending on the nature of the problem, mechanical noises that might be present may or may not vary with engine speed
  • In some cases, and depending on the nature of the problem, excessive smoke and exhaust emissions may be present, which could result in catalytic converter failure

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