P0046 6.0 Powerstroke

The Ford 6.0 Powerstroke’s PCM is equipped to generate diagnostic error codes in order to alert the user of potential internal issues. The P0046 6.0 Powerstroke is one such DTC that can present itself, and this article provides an easy-to-follow explanation of its symptoms and solutions for those who may be experiencing it. It offers a comprehensive guide on the topic that is suitable for readers of all levels of expertise.

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What Does P0046 6.0 Powerstroke Code Mean?

What Does P0046 6.0 Powerstroke Code Mean?
What Does P0046 6.0 Powerstroke Code Mean?

P0046 is an error code indicating a malfunction in the turbocharger boosts control “A” circuit performance. This specific code relates to vehicles that utilize VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger) instead of a traditional turbocharger. The PCM monitors and controls these vanes, which adjusts pressure levels when necessary. When the PCM detects a problem with the boost control solenoid, it generates P0046 as an associated diagnostic trouble code (DTC).

To further troubleshoot this issue, an ordinary OBD-II scanner may be used for initial diagnosis; however, for more comprehensive information pertaining to this DTC, it is advised to employ a bi-directional scanner. With this device, one can diagnose and repair any issues related to P0046 quickly and accurately.

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Symptoms of Receiving Code P0046 on a 6.0

Symptoms of Receiving Code P0046 on a 6.0
Symptoms of Receiving Code P0046 on a 6.0

The P0046 error code commonly presents itself with a variety of symptoms, such as an illuminated check engine light, stalling or misfiring issues while idling or under load, and decreased fuel efficiency.

  • Check Engine Light (CEL) Active
  • Engine Temperatures Increase Significantly
  • Heavy Black Smoke from the Engine Exhaust
  • Poor Acceleration Performance
  • Other VGT Related Codes such as P0046, P0047, P0048, P0049, P004A View 

The Causing Factors Of The Error Code P0046

Several factors can contribute to the diagnostic trouble code P0046, and among the most common are inadequate air supply, high fuel pressure, or a damaged exhaust gas recirculation valve.

  • Control Circuit is Open or Short Circuit
  • Faulty Cables (Turbocharger Related)
  • Faulty VGT Actuator
  • Leaked Cat & Intercooler Pipes
  • Faulty Powertrain Control Module 

Faulty replacements can also contribute to the occurrence of this error code.

How Serious Is Code P0046 On 6.0L Powerstroke?

The code for the 6.0L Powerstroke is a serious matter that should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid potential harm to the engine in the future. It is imperative to act swiftly and address this error code before any long-term damage can occur.

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How To Solve P0046 Error Code On 6.0L Powerstroke?

How To Solve P0046 Error Code On 6.0L Powerstroke?
How To Solve P0046 Error Code On 6.0L Powerstroke?

Anyone with a solid understanding of technical principles can troubleshoot the P0046 error code. If attempting to fix this issue on their own, they should ensure they have the required tools and equipment listed below:

  1. Multimeter
  2. AutoEnginuity Scan Tool (Or Any Duplex Scan Tool)
  3. Technical Service Bulletin

Troubleshooting methods with the help of equipment are given below: 

Check Wirings Related To The Turbocharger

It is essential to inspect the wiring coming from the turbocharger. Any damage, burning or looseness should be immediately identified and rectified. A multimeter can help determine any irregularities in the wiring that could indicate a problem. If this is found, the replacement of these wires must not be delayed.

Check Cat & Intercooler Pipes

Leaking or damaged cat and intercooler pipes can lead to boost failure. It is essential to regularly inspect these components of the engine in order to ensure optimum performance:

  1. The first step is to remove the air filter entirely from its position.
  2. Secondly, start up the truck and place your hand over the pipe where you have detached the air filter in order to block it off.
  3. Finally, you should notice a strong suction pressure as well as some strange noises coming from both the cat and intercooler pipes.

If a driver notices a strange noise or perceives that their airflow system is about to collapse, it’s important to ensure that the catalytic converter (cat) pipe and intercooler pipes are free of leakage. If they find a leak in either of these pipes, it is recommended to replace both the cat pipe and intercooler pipe systems to ascertain if the low boost problem persists while driving.

Check Variable Geometry Turbocharger Actuator

After the cable and pipe checks, the VGT actuator needs to be inspected. The VGT actuator can be successfully inspected by following a series of steps below:

  1. The user must turn off the key and disconnect the VGT actuator.
  2. Then, they should turn on the key and ensure that the engine remains off.
  3. Afterwards, the actuator’s two pins (Pin 1 & Pin 2) must be connected with a multimeter for further testing.
  4. Lastly, users will need to check for a voltage reading of more than 10.5 to complete Step 4 successfully.

The voltage reading should be checked to determine if the VGT actuator is functioning correctly. If the voltage reading is more than 10.5V, then the VGT actuator is considered in good condition; however, if it’s lower than that value, a faulty VGT actuator must be replaced.

Run Turbo Boost Test

Autoenginuity’s Scantool is an excellent tool for performing turbo boost tests. The user should launch the program on their computer and initiate the test, setting the RPM to 1200. Once this has been completed, it is essential to follow the results provided by Scenarios 1 and 2 to get accurate data from your test. Doing so will ensure that you are able to make any necessary changes or adjustments quickly and efficiently.

Scenario 1: RPM Is Changing, But MGP & EBP Are Not

Scenario 1 results in a curved RPM graph, flat Manifold Gauge Pressure (MGP), and Exhaust Back Pressure (EBP) graphs. This could be indicative of two potential issues – VGT/Turbocharger Issue or PCM issue. To diagnose the problem, installing a new PCM and conducting a turbo boost test is recommended. If the graphs show standard curves after doing this then it can be concluded that the original PCM was likely malfunctioning; however, if there are still no changes then replacing the VGT should resolve the issue.

Scenario 2: RPM Isn’t Changing At All

When conducting a turbo boost test and the RPM graph isn’t changing, it is wise to suspect faulty control solenoid & VGT. To address this issue in an economical manner, consider replacing the boost pressure solenoid first. Once done, rerun the turbo boost test to determine if anything has changed. If not, replacing the turbocharger should be considered a potential solution.

How Much Does It Cost To Solve The Error Code P0046

The cost of resolving error code P0046 depends on the chosen replacement parts; a price chart outlining possible components is available for customer reference. Customers can determine their total repair cost by reviewing the listed prices associated with each replacement part when fixing the error code P0046.

  • The PCM Costs Around $800
  • VGT/Turbocharger Costs $700 to $2000
  • Turbo Boost Pressure Solenoid Costs Around $100
  • Cat Pipes Cost $60 to $70
  • Intercooler Pipes Costs Around $350
  • Wirings Can Cost Around $50
  • AutoEnginuity ScanTool Costs $250 to $300

At an auto shop, customers should expect to pay an additional fee of $75 to $150 per hour in addition to the cost of the replacement parts.

Common Mistakes While Solving The P0046 Code

Mistakes in coding can be avoided by following a few simple steps. Utilizing best practices such as double-checking code and running tests to verify accuracy are two of the ways one can ensure fewer mistakes are made when correcting code.

  1. Not obtaining a bi-directional scan tool can lead to blindly replacing parts, potentially resulting in costly repairs.
  2. It is not recommended to replace expensive parts such as the PCM and VGT before considering cheaper alternatives that may be able to resolve the issue at hand.

It is essential to check the TSB in order to determine the precise location of all engine components referred to in this article.

Additional Comments To Consider Regarding The P0046 Code

It is common for vehicles to receive error code P0046 when they reach 100 thousand kilometres. In such cases, it can be rectified by using an OBD-II scan tool. This is a diagnostic device that helps in identifying and resolving errors in a vehicle’s computer system. This tool can remove the error code from the vehicle to continue operating correctly.

This article clearly explains the P0046 6.0 Powerstroke code. It is recommended that those new to vehicles, or who are uncomfortable taking apart engine parts, seek the assistance of a professional without hesitation.

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