Your vehicle will not directly tell you when something goes wrong with the system. It will send you a hint in the form of a code that may require knowledge and skills to understand.
One such code is the P0122 code that generally triggers when the input voltage from your car’s throttle position sensor is too low. This can be a worrisome situation and needs attention.
The job of this sensor is to help the engine control module track the throttle’s position. In simple words, it tells about the position of the throttle. When the sensor malfunctions, your vehicle will go into the failsafe mode.
In this article, we’ll talk about the P0122 OBD 2 code and have a look at some of the main symptoms of it. Moreover, we’ll also highlight how you can identify and solve this problem.
Let’s get started:
What Is the P0122 OBD2 Code?
P0122 is a diagnostic trouble code, more commonly known as DTC, that applies to OBDII vehicles. It’s a generic code that applies to a number of brands and models, including Toyota, Jeep, Honda, and Chevy; however, the technique involved in repairing may vary based on the model make, and year of the vehicle.
As mentioned earlier, a P0122 code indicates poor voltage to the throttle position sensor (TPS) A. The usual voltage limit is between 0.17 and 0.20 volts.
The PCM will display this code if the signal value goes below .17V. However, the range often varies from vehicle to vehicle. Nonetheless, in most cases, it is around .2 volts. It is best to refer to the manual to get the correct figure.
The job of the TPS is to monitor your throttle’s movement. The throttle generates specific voltage whenever it opens. The amount of voltage generated depends on how far the throttle moves when opening. The more it opens, the higher will be the voltage.
This voltage data is transmitted to the ECM from the TPS to help the system gauge the overall performance of the vehicle.
The TPS comes with two circuits, one is called ‘A’ and the other is called ‘B’. They both have different ranges. This code has nothing to do with the B circuit.
P0122 OBD2 Code: The Symptoms
The symptoms depend largely on the manufacturer. However, in most cases, your car’s failsafe mode will get activated whenever there is a problem with the A sensor.
When this happens, your engine will cut power to the actuator and as a result, there will be restrictions on how far the throttle can go when it opens. Hence, the overall performance of your engine will be limited.
These were some of the most common symptoms of the P0122 code but these are not the only signs. You may notice some other changes in your vehicle including:
- Illuminated CEL
- Rough idling
- High or low or idling
- Poor acceleration
- Engine surges
Some other symptoms may be present as well. However, we must mention that these symptoms are not exclusive to the error code. They may often indicate other problems.
P0122 OBD2 Code: Causes
The P0122 OBD2 code may appear due to a variety of reasons including:
- Faults with the TPS
- Poor wiring
- Badly mounted TPSF
- Faulty computer
- Short circuits
How To Identify The P0122 Code
You will need to invest in an OBDII scanner in order to identify or diagnose the code.
There are a number of OBDII scan tools out there. Pick an option that supports this function and is compatible with your vehicle.
Most OBD2 diagnostic tools are easy to use. You may choose a wired or Bluetooth device and scan for error codes that will display on the screen or the app you’re using to perform the function.
How a tool works or performs the job depends on the make and model, hence it is important to choose the right automotive diagnostic tool.
The code is pretty easy to identify and most scanners will only take a few seconds to display the codes. Some tools are able to provide definitions and tips on how to solve the problem, but you will not need to count on it since we have covered all that you need to know about the P0122 code.
How to Solve the P-122 OBDII Code
Assuming you have scanned your vehicle with a scanner and received a TPS related code (P0120-P0124), it is time to move to the next step. However, most experts will recommend looking at the freeze frame information to find more about the code.
Next, perform these tasks one by one:
- Check the TPS: Have a look at the sensor and make sure it is properly installed. It should be correctly and securely mounted. The sensor needs to be rotated when installing, otherwise, the code may trigger. Hence, have a look at it and make sure that the inside of the sensor comes into contact with the throttle’s rotating pins. Otherwise, it will not operate properly.
- Check Connections: The next step is to recheck all the connections and ensure they are secure. If the scanner found more codes then take steps to clear them. This will most probably solve the problem, so take out your vehicle and go for a drive. If this doesn’t work then move to the next step.
- Inspect Wiring: This process can be tricky, so be careful. Go through the surrounding wires and replace wires that appear corroded or damaged. Also, make sure the wires are not rubbing on to anything. Similarly, have a look at the connectors as well. They can get damaged as well and may need to be replaced.
Using a Multimeter
If the above-mentioned steps do not solve the problem, then you will need to use a multimeter to calculate the voltage. Do this if the readings from both the sensors (A and B) do not match.
If the voltage is too low then replace the sensor. This portion can be tricky, hence it may be a good idea to go to a professional.
P0122 OBD2 Code: Frequently Asked Question
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the P0122 trouble code:
Can this code be serious?
Yes, it can be a serious problem and needs immediate attention. Since the code can trigger your car’s failsafe mode, you will begin to have difficulty in operating your vehicle. Running your car in such conditions can damage it even more. Plus, it may even put you at risk. Hence, it is important to get the problem solved before you go behind the wheel.
What if I do not see symptoms?
Then it might be an intermittent issue. This usually happens due to the wiring. The problem arises when the wiring gets into contact with the surrounding.
Can I scan my car without an OBDII scanner?
No, you cannot. You will need a supported scan tool to do the job.