Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. P3461 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 8 Exhaust Valve Control Circuit Malfunction

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

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.


More related articles

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....
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...

Related questions

Q: Misfire caused bad o2 sensor?

As you may know the oxygen sensors which are part of your emissions system read exhaust gases to determine whether or not the appropriate amount of oxygen is present in the exhaust. Based upon this reading, this information is relayed...

Q: My Check Engine Light is on and the machine said I have an exhaust leak

She is correct. There is a lot of pressure coming from your engine; in fact, it's actually fire when the exhaust comes out at the beginning. You will need to have the exhaust manifold replaced because it's not good for...

Q: Were is the code p0001

Hello. P0001 is the code for an issue with the fuel volume regulator circuit. This code is set off when the computer detects that there is an issue with the electric circuit that goes to the vehicle's fuel pressure regulator....