On the spectrum of OBD-II codes, a P0113 is considered moderately severe. This means that, if you’re having issues with your vehicle and your OBD-II scanner reads a P0113 trouble code, you will still be able to drive it for a short period of time—but doing so can lead to bigger issues later on, so it’s best to address the code and get the necessary repairs done as soon as possible.
What Does the P0113 Code Mean?
Diagnostic trouble code P0113 stands for “Intake Air Temperature (IAT) Sensor Circuit High Input.” If your OBD-II scanner reports this code, it means your car’s computer has determined that there’s a problem with the IAT sensor 1 or its circuit.
What is an IAT Sensor?
The computer, which is often referred to as the powertrain control module (PCM), uses the IAT to observe the temperature of the air going into the engine. In most cases, the device sends a 5-volt reference voltage to the IAT sensor, a thermistor whose electrical resistance changes according to the temperature.
High temperatures lower the resistance of thermistors, making it easier for an electric current to flow through the material. Conversely, low temperatures increase resistance, causing the IAT sensor to produce a high signal voltage.
A working IAT sensor sends its readings to the PCM. Guided by this data, the computer adjusts the fuel injectors and other components that control the internal combustion chamber. Accurate readings help the engine burn fuel efficiently.
When the PCM gets a signal voltage reading above the maximum value, it realizes that the IAT sensor has malfunctioned. The computer then switches on the Check Engine Light and logs the error code P0113.
During a P0113 code, instead of using data from the IAT sensor, the PCM may rely on default internal values or substitute values from other sensors. This safety strategy varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and some strategies may cause the engine to run lean.
Keep in mind that operating the vehicle on a lean air-to-fuel mixture for long periods can damage internal engine components, causing further problems.
What are the Possible Causes of the P0113 Code?
There are several possible issues that can trigger the P0113 code. Common culprits include the following:
- Intake air temperature sensor 1 experienced an internal problem
- Bad connection between the IAT sensor 1 and its circuit due to problems like dirt, rust, and looseness
- Damaged IAT circuit wiring
- Problem with the mass air flow sensor (if the IAT is integrated into the mass air flow sensor)
- PCM issues (such as software in need of an update)
What are the Common Symptoms of the P0113 Code?
The most likely symptoms of the code P0113 include:
- Flashing or illuminated Check Engine Light
- Engine performance problems, such as rough running, misfiring, and lack of acceleration
- Engine stalling
When code P0133 is set, the engine can also display other symptoms such as difficulties in cold starts. The exact symptoms can vary depending on the manufacturer, so a P0113 in a Ford vehicle may present slightly differently in a Nissan with a P0113.
How to Diagnose the P0113 Code
Finding the root cause of an OBD-II trouble code can be difficult as there are a lot of factors to take into account, as well as several possible causes. The engine code P0113 alone has a handful of possible culprits, as listed above.
The video below can help you get an idea of how to troubleshoot this particular code:
How to Fix the P0113 Code
Because OBD-II codes have several possible causes, there’s no one way to fix a specific code. With each possible cause comes specific solutions and fixes, which is why it’s essential to diagnose OBD-II codes correctly and find out the exact cause before attempting any repairs.
With that said, only drivers with sufficient technical knowledge should attempt DIY fixes on an engine with a P0113 code. Otherwise, bring the vehicle to the nearest auto repair shop and get a trained professional to replace the ailing IAT sensor.
If you do decide to tackle the P0113 fix yourself, keep in mind that different types of vehicles may require their own distinct solutions—so always check the owner’s manual and consult the factory repair information for your application.
Repair manuals, such as those from Chilton, are useful, but an ALLDATA subscription is even better. ALLDATA has single-vehicle subscriptions for DIYers that provide detailed factory repair information.
It’s also worth noting that not every instance of a P0113 trouble code requires replacement of the IAT sensor. The fault may lie in other parts of the IAT circuit, such as the connection. If the sensor is faulty, a replacement part can cost anywhere between $1.94 to $110.93 on CarParts.com.
Other Notes About Code P0113
There are other diagnostic trouble codes that cover the IAT sensors and their attendant circuitry. For example, an intermittent IAT sensor signal falls under P0114. Meanwhile, a sensor that produces a low voltage input merits the trouble code P0112.
P0098 is the mirror image of P0113 since it reports the same issue of low temperature, higher electrical resistance, and high signal voltage in sensor 2, the second IAT sensor in the engine.