car sensors

P0110 Trouble Code – Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor Circuit Malfunction

In OBD2 Trouble Codes by Magnus Sellén1 Comment

car sensorsWhat Does the P0110 Code Mean?

The P0110 code is generated when the powertrain control module (PCM) detects a malfunction of the circuit with the intake air temperature sensor.

The IAT sensor (intake air temperature) works like a thermistor and measures the air temperature by determining the air resistance. Normally the IAT sensor is located in the intake air duct, but on some vehicles, it can also be found in the intake manifold. The IAT sensor provides important information to the PCM, which it uses to control things like the air-fuel ratio, ignition spark timing, and other similar characteristics. It is generally a two-wire sensor with a 5V reference wire from the PCM and a ground wire.

The resistance of the sensor changes when air flows over the sensor and this change in resistance affects the 5-volt supply to the sensor. When the air is cold, the resistance increases, and a higher voltage signal is generated. When the air is warm, the resistance decreases, and a low voltage signal is generated. The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors this change in resistance and if it detects a deviation outside the normal operating range, error code P0110 is generated.

ProblemSymptomsCausesSolutions
P0110 Trouble CodeCheck engine light illuminates

Engine’s performance drops

Erratic acceleration

Trouble when starting the car

Drop in mileage

Engine backfire
Faulty IAT sensor
Dirty or contaminated IAT sensor

Wiring or connection problem

Dirty air filter

Damaged mass air flow sensor

Short circuit in the wiring
Replace faulty IAT sensor

Service or clean the IAT sensor

Inspect wiring and repair broken connection

Replace old air filter

Inspect and repair mass air flow sensor

Check resistance of the circuit and take measures to fix the voltage
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P0110 Symptoms

There are some common symptoms that you will experience when the P0110 code is generated by the powertrain control module (PCM). These symptoms include:

  • Check engine light illuminates
  • Engine’s performance drops
  • Erratic acceleration
  • Trouble when starting the car
  • Drop in mileage
  • Engine backfires

Possible Causes

  • Faulty IAT sensor
  • Dirty or contaminated IAT sensor
  • Wiring or connection problem
  • Dirty air filter
  • Damaged mass airflow sensor
  • Short circuit in the wiring

Possible Solutions

  • Replace faulty IAT sensor
  • Service or clean the IAT sensor
  • Inspect wiring and repair broken connection
  • Replace old air filter
  • Inspect and repair mass airflow sensor
  • Check resistance of the circuit and take measures to fix the voltage

How to Diagnose the P0110 Code?

Here are some steps you can follow to diagnose the P0110 code:

Connect a Car Battery Charger

The first step you should take before you start the diagnosis is to connect a car battery charger. When working on the fault codes, your car’s ignition is usually switched on, which can lead to a discharge of the car battery. A low battery voltage can cause further error codes to be generated, making the situation even worse. Therefore, it is always best to connect a car battery charger.

Connect the OBD2 Scanner

For the diagnosis of error codes, it is important to have an OBD2 Code Scanner. This device is used for self-diagnosis and reporting and is available in two versions: as a normal code reader and as an advanced scanning tool. With an OBD2 scanner, you can easily read the error generated by the P0110 code and also use the built-in functions for data logging.

Check Broken Wire Connections

Check the cabling and connections around the IAT sensor. Check if the wiring is too close to a high voltage component; this could cause a problem. Poor electrical grounding also causes a problem.

Check IAT Input Voltage

Scan the IAT sensor with an OBD2 scanner and check if it has a 5V input. If the measured value fluctuates or is not close to 5 volts, the IAT sensor must be replaced.

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Check for Reference Voltage at PCM

After checking that the 5-volt input signal is not present, check the reference voltage on the back of the PCM connector. If the 5 volts are present there but not on the IAT sensor, repair the opening in the signal wire.

Steps to Fix the Problem

Reset the OBD2 scanner and take your car for a test drive and then check if the code disappears or not. If the problem persists, check the voltage at the IAT sensor, which should be 5 volts, and also check the wiring and connections. Disconnect and reconnect all connections to reset the settings. After resetting, notice if the voltage at the IAT output rises to 5V when the motor temperature reaches its optimal level. If the IAT sensor seems to work properly, your problem is solved. Otherwise, replace the MAP sensor and check it again. If the problem persists, there is a possibility that the problem is related to the PCM.

Cleaning the IAT and MAF Sensor

Before replacing the IAT and MAF sensors, you should first clean and service the sensors to remove any dirt or debris that could lead to an incorrect reading. To perform the cleaning process, make sure you have the following tools available:

Electrical cleaner
Socket wrench
Cleaning Rag

Step 1: Disconnect the battery
Before starting the procedure, remove the negative terminal of the battery so that the battery is disconnected. Removing the battery is important to protect against electric shock.

Step 2: Locate the IAT sensor
The IAT sensor is located on the left side of the intake manifold, while the MAF sensor is located on top of the filter box.

Step 3: Spray the Cleaner
Spray the electrical cleaner thoroughly and rub gently on both sides of the sensor to remove dust and dirt. Allow the sensors to dry for a while after cleaning.

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Step 4: Install the Sensors Back
After the sensors are completely dry, reinstall them and connect the negative pole of the battery.

Should I Repair the P0110 Trouble Code Right Away?

Yes! the error code of P0110 should be corrected immediately, as it can cause performance problems and if the problem is ignored for too long, the engine can also be damaged. In addition, a defective IAT sensor also reduces fuel mileage and also causes a problem with acceleration.

Recommended Tools to Fix P0110 Code

• OBD-II code scanner
• Car battery charger
Multimeter
• Engine Performance Diagram

Further Questions?

If the above solutions have not helped to solve your problem, let us know the details in the comment section below and we will certainly contact you with a desirable action plan.

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

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