Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

P3461 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 8 Exhaust Valve Control Circuit Malfunction

Check Engine Light

P3461 code definition

P3461 is the generic OBD-II code for Cyl8 Exhaust Valve Ctrl Circ/Open. Cyl8 specifies that the issue is likely taking place in engine cylinder number 8. Other exhaust valve codes may accompany P3461.

What the P3461 code means

This code alerts you to a problem within the cylinder number 8 exhaust valve circuitry or other associated components. The vehicle’s ECM (engine control module) manages the opening and closing of these valves in order to facilitate the carrying of fuel vapors away from the engine. When the ECM detects that these actions fall outside of the normal parameters, an exhaust valve control circuit code will be set.

What causes the P3461 code?

One or more of several problems can cause an exhaust valve control circuit code to set:

If all other causes have been ruled out, only then should the ECM or PCM be suspected of failure.

What are the symptoms of the P3461 code?

The most common symptom of a cylinder 8 exhaust valve control circuit problem is an illuminated Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light. Other signs may include slow acceleration, reduced fuel efficiency, and a disabled variable valve timing system.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P3461 code?

Because there are so many potential causes of an exhaust valve control circuit problem, a thorough diagnostic inspection should be performed in order to avoid costly repairs to the most expensive parts. The diagnostic process will typically begin with hooking the vehicle up to an OBD-II code reader in order to check for P3461 as well as any co-existing codes. If other faults are present, they should be diagnosed and repaired in the order the data indicates they occurred.

Next your technician will do a visual inspection of the wiring and connections to rule out a short due to damaged circuitry. The exhaust valve control solenoid will be tested as well as the sensor and other related sensors.

If none of these tests yields a solution, the PCM and/or ECM will be tested for failure.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P3461 code

Oil passages should be inspected for clogs due to dirt or sludge. This step is often overlooked, but can be the culprit in many types of valve faults.

How serious is the P3461 code?

This fault can result in sluggish acceleration which could cause a dangerous situation while driving, so this code should be addressed as quickly as possible.

What repairs can fix the P3461 code?

Fixing code P3461 may require one or more of the following:

If all else fails, the PCM or ECM may have to be replaced, although this is a rare occurrence.

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P3461 code

You may see multiple codes related to the exhaust valve mechanism, and it can be a long, tedious process to test all of the wiring and components, which usually requires specialized tools for both diagnosis and repair. In addition, these codes may not set right away, or may appear intermittently, making diagnosis even more challenging. It may be necessary to clear the codes and retest the vehicle several times before pinpointing the issue and eliminating the codes. The best way to get your vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible is to contact a qualified technician for help solving the issue.

Need help with a P3461 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

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....

Related questions

Q: Failed emissions codes P0134, P0327, P3fff

The P0134 code means that the air fuel ratio sensor is not operating. Most of the time it will need replacing to correct. The P0327 code means that your knock sensor is not getting enough voltage. The P03FF may indicate...

Q: Bmw 2005. e90 320i N46, have cel on, code is p0013. Engine is stalling, consumption is higher. What do you suggest?

Hello. P0013 is the code for a malfunction of Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit B (Bank 1). It may be possible that there is an issue with the cam actuator or the Vanos oil control solenoid. If either of those components...

Q: My car shakes or vibrate at a stop

Hi there: Unfortunately, neither of those three error codes are associated with a component that is causing your vibration issue. The P0135 is related to the O2 sensor, and P0421 and P0401 are related to catalytic converter sensor issues. I...