Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

P0085 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Valve Control Solenoid Circuit Low (Bank 2)

check engine light logo

P0085 trouble code definition

P0085 is in reference to the exhaust valve control solenoid circuit bank 2.

This may be seen with P0084 and P0086. There are bank 2 and bank 1 solenoids.

What the P0085 code means

P0085 is a OBD2 generic code that means the ECM has detected a fault in the solenoid control circuit for bank 2 exhaust valve. This code is triggered when the ECU tries to control the variable valve timing system and sends a signal to the bank 2 solenoid The solenoid performance is found to be out of range with high voltage in the circuit.

When the Check Engine Light is set the ECM puts the vehicle into a failsafe mode, this disables the variable valve timing.

What causes the P0085 code?

  • ECM not operating properly
  • Open or short in the wiring harness
  • Poor electrical connection
  • Bank 2 exhaust valve control solenoid failure

What are the symptoms of the P0085 code?

  • Symptoms are usually minor with P0085. Once the ECM triggers the Check Engine Light to be illuminated on the dashboard the car is put into a failsafe mode. This failsafe mode prevents further damage from being done to the vehicle.

  • WIth the failsafe mode active the variable valve timing system will be disabled resulting in poor gas milage and slower acceleration until repairs are performed.

  • The vehicle should have no difficulty driving home or to a repair facility once the Check Engine Light is seen.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0085 code?

Qualified Mechanics should have little trouble diagnosing P0085. Steps must be followed in the proper order and none should be skipped:

  • OBD2 scanner hooks up to vehicle and checks for all of codes present.

  • Freeze frame data associated with the codes are noted for use on a test drive.

  • The codes are then cleared.

  • The vehicle is taken on a test drive under similar conditions noted from the freeze frame data like engine speed, load, operation time, and temperature.

  • If code is found to come back on the test drive, a visual inspection will be performed. The technician will look for damaged or shorted wiring, disconnected or broken connectors, poor electrical connections.

  • Next, the technician will use the scan tool to monitor solenoid operation.

  • If the solenoid tests okay, an ECM test will need to be performed. Manufactures have specific test for every model.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0085 code

  • The most common mistake made when diagnosing P0085 is skipping steps and not following the order provided. This causes improper diagnosis and may lead to unneeded repairs.

  • The solenoid is the most common cause of failure, but it must be tested before it is replaced.

How serious is the P0085 code?

  • Any DTC that triggers a failsafe mode can be an issue. With the variable valve timing the driver may experience poor gas milage and lack of power when accelerating.

  • In some cases symptoms may not be noticed other than the Check Engine Light.

What repairs can fix the P0085 code?

  • Replacing the ECM
  • Repairing or replacing the harness wiring
  • Replacing bank 2 exhaust valve control solenoid
  • Fix poor electrical connection

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0085 code

A professional level scanner is a critical tool for diagnosing P0085. These scan tools tell technicians all the information to test components and view voltage, ohms, temperature and any other relevant data. These also let us see changes in values over time which helps with intermittent faults.

P0085 is indicating the bank 2 solenoid. This code is only seen on vehicles with a V configured engine with two engine banks. It is important to make sure the right sensor is being looked at. Bank 2 is generally the passenger side of the engine. The exhaust valve control solenoid is usually found near the exhaust manifold.

Need help with a P0085 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...

Related questions

Q: Car does not start. Check Engine light on.

There could be several reasons behind why your Honda Civic will not start. A simple test you can try first yourself is to turn the key to the ON position (do not start the car) and see if the Check...

Q: Engine fault reduced power

It sounds like you could have a sticking boost pressure actuator. Unfortunately, YourMechanic does not work on your model vehicle. I suggest having the dealership take a look at it.

Q: The engine loses power after accident, warning lights on

The engine computer will need to be tested to see the codes received. There is a problem in the system that is causing the computer to go into failure mode and limit the throttle opening. Considering the fact that you...