P2081 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent Bank 1 Sensor 1

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P2081 trouble code definition

Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent Bank 1 Sensor 1

What the P2081 code means

P2081 is an OBD-II generic code for the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit signal is intermittent for bank 1 sensor 1 to the engine control module (ECM). This means the sensor signal voltage signal return is intermittent within specification.

What causes the P2081 code?

  • The engine control module signal return for the exhaust temperature sensor in bank 1 sensor 1 is not giving a steady reading output. The signal is within specifications when it is working properly.

  • The ECM turns on the Check Engine Light if the ECM detects a voltage return that is erratic or not giving a steady voltage return.

  • The wiring or connection to the sensor is loose or making poor contact.

What are the symptoms of the P2081 code?

  • The Check Engine Light will be illuminated and the code is set in ECM memory as a fault.

  • The engine fault may be the P2081 code and also the particulate filter light may be illuminated.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P2081 code?

  • Scans codes and documents the code in the ECM

  • Diagnoses the code as per the manufacturer's pinpoint test to verify the sensor signal

  • Checks the sensor connection for loose or corroded terminals

  • Disconnects the sensor and sees if the voltage of the sensor is steady compared to the scanner readings received through the ECM

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P2081 code?

  • Clearing ECM memory codes before checking the freeze frame data of the failure

  • Failing to clear ECM codes after the P2081 codes are fixed

  • Replacing the sensor when the connector has corrosion in the connections

How serious is the P2081 code?

Code P2081 is an indication that the sensor or connector may need serviced and/or repaired. The sensor is the most common cause of erratic signals.

What repairs can fix the P2081 code?

  • Replacing the sensor after the connection is cleaned of any corrosion

  • Repairing the wiring or connection to the exhaust temperature sensor assembly

  • Replacing the ECM for an erratic circuit in the ECM temperature sensor circuit

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P2081 code

Code P2081 can be generated from loose wire connections from a harness that is not secured and the connection is allowed to flex excessively.

Need help with a P2081 code?

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