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

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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
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