TEST 3: Verifying The MAP Signal With A Multimeter
With this last MAP sensor test, we're gonna' either completely eliminate the MAP sensor as bad or be able to say that it has failed.
As stated at the beginning of the article, the MAP sensor creates a varying voltage signal depending on the amount of vacuum it senses.
When the MAP sensor fails, it will no longer create a varying voltage. In other words: no matter what the amount of vacuum applied to it, its output voltage will stay fixed at one single voltage value.
So, to find out if the MAP sensor is stuck, we're gonna' manually apply vacuum to it ourselves with a vacuum pump (or the good ole' lungs) and with a multimeter to verify its voltage output.
Again, this MAP sensor bench test, we're about to perform, will let us know beyond a shadow of a doubt if the MAP sensor is bad or not.
This is what you'll need to do:
Remove the MAP sensor from the top of the intake manifold.
Reconnect the MAP sensor to its electrical connector, if you had to unplug it to remove it, since this test requires that the MAP sensor stay connected to its 3-wire electrical connector.
Connect your multimeter's red test lead to the wire that connects pin number 3 of the MAP sensor.
You'll need to back-probe the MAP sensor connector or use a wire piercing probe to connect your multimeter to this circuit (to see what a wire piercing probe looks like, click here: Wire Piercing Probe).
Ground the black multimeter test lead.
I suggest grounding the black multimeter test lead directly on the battery negative terminal.
Turn the key on (but don't start the engine) and take a look at what voltage your multimeter is registering.
It should register around 2.9 Volts (± 1 V). If your multimeter is registering something different at this point, don't panic because right now you're just setting up the test.
Attach a vacuum pump to the MAP sensor's vacuum inlet port using the appropriate size vacuum hose.
If you don't have a vacuum pump, you can use the ‘good ole' lungs’ and provide the necessary with your mouth.
The voltage, your multimeter is registering, should decrease as you apply vacuum with your vacuum pump (or with your mouth).
The MAP sensor's voltage, as registered on your multimeter, should increase back to the original voltage value you saw in step 4 as you release the vacuum you applied with the vacuum pump (or your mouth).
NOTE: Applying vacuum, via the vacuum pump or your mouth, should make the MAP signal voltage get smaller on your multimeter. Releasing vacuum should make the MAP signal voltage get bigger (back to the original voltage you saw at the beginning of this test).
Let's take a look at what your test results mean:
CASE 1: The MAP sensor's voltage decreased and increased as you applied and released vacuum. This confirms that the MAP sensor is good and operating normally.
This test result completely eliminates the MAP sensor on your Honda as bad. If you're still having the MAP sensor trouble code come back, take a look at: MAP Sensor Is Good But Code Doesn't Go Away!.
CASE 2: The MAP sensor's voltage DID NOT decrease or increase as you applied and released vacuum. This confirms that the MAP sensor is bad and needs to be replaced.
If you need to buy the MAP sensor and would like to save some bucks, take a look at the section: Where To Buy Your Honda MAP Sensor Cheaper.
MAP Sensor Is Good But Code Doesn't Go Away!
There's a good chance that, after bench-testing the MAP sensor, you've reach the conclusion that the MAP sensor is OK and not the cause of the P1128 OBD II trouble code.
So, if the sensor is good, why does the PCM keep setting the MAP sensor trouble code? Well, because several things can fool the PCM into thinking that the MAP sensor is bad, when the MAP sensor is only reporting what is actually happening.
So, to further assist you, in this section I'll offer a few testing tips and/or suggestions:
- Check for vacuum leaks.
- An intake manifold gasket leak or a ruptured vacuum hose (especially a big one) that's leaking vacuum will have a direct impact on the MAP sensor readings.
- Check engine mechanical health.
- This means doing a compression test.
- What you're looking for is uneven wear and tear between the cylinders. This means that the compression each cylinder is producing varies more than 15%.
- This tutorial will help: How To Test Engine Compression (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- Check timing belt synchronization.
- If you've just replaced the timing belt (or had to remove it for any reason), double check your timing marks.
- Make sure that the MAP sensor is getting power and Ground.
- Take a look at the following section: P1128 Basics You Need To Know.
- A short in the wiring between the MAP sensor and the PCM.
- You'll need to check the continuity of the 3 wires between the MAP sensor and the PCM using the appropriate wiring diagram.
- A bad PCM.
- This is very rare, but it does happen.
- A fuel system malfunction (that is also setting other trouble codes).
- If there are any other trouble codes, you'll need to diagnose and repair these first (since they may be indirectly causing the P1128 code).
- You've replaced the throttle body gasket and used silicone sealer on it and this sealer has plugged the MAP sensor's vacuum passage and/or orifice (I've seen this happen a lot!).
Where To Buy Your Honda MAP Sensor Cheaper
If the MAP sensor failed the bench test and you need to buy one, you could run down to your local auto parts store and buy it there.
If you've already priced the MAP sensor there, you know it's not cheap. As a matter of fact, it seems everything at the local auto parts store is over-priced!
I don't buy my parts at the auto parts store anymore, it's just cheaper online. Yup, buying my parts online has been one of the biggest money saving decisions I've ever made and I think you'll benefit from it too.
The box on the left, with the photo of the MAP sensor and price, is a link. If you click on it, you'll find out more info about the MAP sensor offer.
If you're wondering if this is the MAP sensor that'll fit your particular Honda, amazon.com will ask you for the specifics of your particular Honda or Acura vehicle to make sure it fits. If it doesn't, they'll show you several that will. It's that easy to find the right part!
Give it a try and see for yourself just how much you can save! I think you'll agree that buying it online is a whole cheaper and can be done without having to deal with the hassle of getting to the auto parts store.
More Honda Test Tutorials
If this article has helped, or in the least it has been informative, check the other in the Honda 2.2L, 2.3L index. You can find this index here: Honda 2.2L, 2.3L Index Of Articles.
Here's a small sample of the articles/tutorials you'll find in the index:
- P0107 Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) Circuit Low Voltage (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- P0108 Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) Circuit High Voltage (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- P0420 Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- How To Find A Bad Fuel Injector (Case Study).
- How To Test A Misfire Condition (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- How To Test For A Broken Timing Belt (Honda 2.2L, 2.3L).
- How To Test The Igniter, Ignition Coil Accord, Civic, CRV, and Odyssey (at: easyautodiagnostics.com).
- How To Bench Test A Starter Motor (Step By Step) (at: easyautodiagnostics.com).
If this info saved the day, buy me a beer!