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Diagnostic Trouble Code Descriptions


Time:2013-11-21 Click:3809

Each specified fault code has been assigned a description to indicate the circuit, component or system area that was determined to be at fault. The descriptions are organized such that different descriptions related to a particular sensor or system are grouped together. In cases where there are various fault descriptions for different types of faults, the group also has a “generic” description as the first code/message of the group. A manufacturer has a choice when implementing diagnostics, based on the specific strategy and complexity of the diagnostic.


Where more specific fault descriptions for a circuit, component, or system exist, the manufacturer should choose the code most applicable to their diagnosable fault. The descriptions are intended to be somewhat general to allow manufacturers to use them as often as possible yet still not conflict with their specific repair procedures. The terms “low” and “high” when used in a description, especially those related to input signals, refer to the voltage, frequency, etc. at the pin of the controller. The specific level of “low” and “high” shall be specified by each manufacturer to best meet their needs.


For example, in diagnosing a 5 V reference Throttle Position Sensor (TP Sensor), if the input signal at the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) is stuck at near 0 V, a manufacturer has the flexibility to select from either of two codes - P0120 (Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit) or P0122 (Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Low Input), depending on the manufacturer's diagnostic procedures. If the input signal at the PCM is stuck at near 5 V, a manufacturer has the flexibility to select from either of two codes - P0120 (Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit) or P0123 (Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit High Input), depending on the manufacturer's diagnostic procedures. If the input signal at the PCM is stuck at 1.5 V at idle instead of the expected 1.0 V, the manufacturer has the flexibility to select from either of two codes - P0120 (Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit) or P0121 (Throttle/Pedal Position Sensor/Switch A CircuitRange/Performance Problem), depending on the manufacturer's diagnostic procedures. The root cause of thehigher than expected TP Sensor voltage may be either a faulty TP Sensor, corrosion in the TP Sensor connections or an improperly adjusted throttle plate. Identification of the root cause is done using thediagnostic procedures and is not implied by the DTC message, thus allowing the  manufacturer the flexibility in assigning DTCs Change requests.

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