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P3481 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Cylinder 11 Deactivation/Intake Valve Malfunction". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation. Our certified mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to perform the Check Engine Light diagnostic for $79.99. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.
P3481 is the OBD-II trouble code for Cylinder 11 Deactivation/Intake Valve Ctrl Circuit/Open. Cylinder 11 specifies that the issue is likely taking place in engine cylinder number 11. Other codes in the P3400 series may also present when P3481 is set.
Some vehicles with larger, more powerful engines than are typical have a feature which automatically shuts down half the cylinders, depending upon the driving conditions and load weight. This helps reduce emissions, increase fuel efficiency, and allows the engine to run more smoothly.
The engine communicates with the PCM (powertrain control module) in the form of voltage signals. When the computer receives a valve deactivation signal from cylinder 11 which falls outside of the predetermined parameters, code P3481 will set.
Any of the following conditions may trigger this DTC:
The Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light will likely come on, and you will be unable to run the vehicle in lower modes. Emissions may increase and fuel efficiency may be compromised.
Your technician will follow a prescribed set of steps, which may include:
Carrying out a thorough inspection of all involved components is critical to making a correct diagnosis. Restricted oil passageways are often overlooked as a cause of a fault in the cylinder 11 deactivation/intake solenoid circuit. In addition, sometimes the mass airflow sensor is to blame, particularly in diesel engines.
You may be tempted to ignore a Check Engine Light or cylinder deactivation circuit code because the vehicle will typically still run. But when the deactivation system doesn’t work as it should be, fuel economy and emissions will suffer, and the engine could be affected by being forced to constantly operate on all cylinders. It’s best to address this problem as quickly as possible in order to prevent future damage.
A deactivation/intake valve malfunction may be resolved by:
This type of fault typically occurs in diesel vehicles with larger engines. These vehicles may require a specialized scanner which can reveal much more detailed information about the trouble code than a typical OBD-II scanner. Expensive software is also sometimes required to access the data from the scanner.
Depending upon the source of the DTC, the entire engine may need to be disassembled in order to clear oil passageways of clogs. This is a major undertaking for which most driveway mechanics are not equipped. Consulting a professional could save you a considerable amount of time and hassle in repairing DTC P3481, because they have the proper tools and expertise to work with engine problems on larger vehicles.
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.