What Does the Engine Code P2609 Mean?

If your car is showing the P2609 engine code, you’re dealing with a problem with your intake air heater system’s performance.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jan 1, 2019
If your car is showing the P2609 engine code, it means your intake air heater, which warms the air going into the engine on cold startups, has a problem. While this doesn’t typically cause driveability issues, you should get it fixed promptly to avoid a decrease in fuel efficiency.
Trouble codes show up to alert you of a problem with your car’s engine. If you own a code reader, you may be able to identify and fix these problems yourself—but it’s important to
understand what each OBD code
means, so you can do so correctly.
Being an informed driver means staying up to date on important vehicle codes.
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wants to help. Read on to learn more about the P2609 engine code: what it is, how to repair it, and how much it will cost.
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What does the engine code P2609 mean?

Definition: Intake air system performance issue
The P2609 engine code indicates a problem with your car’s intake air heater system. Your car’s engine control module (ECM) uses an intake air heater to warm air going into the engine for proper combustion. When there is a failure in the intake air heater or its wiring, the P2609 code will be shown.

How much will it cost to fix?

The average cost to fix your intake air heater system is between $75 to $150 per hour of labor.
Keep in mind that the cost of this service will vary based on certain factors, including:

What can cause the P2609 engine code?

A damaged intake air heater relay is the most common cause of the P2609 engine code; however, there are other causes to consider, including: 
  • Loose wiring
  • Open or shorted intake air heater harness
  • A burnt-out air heater or broken blower 
  • A broken ECM (rare)

Common symptoms of the P2609 engine code

There may be no conspicuous symptoms of the P2609 engine code other than a
Check Engine Light coming on
. Other signs to watch for are:
  • Engine stalls
    or will not start
  • Longer than normal cranking time
  • Rough idle at cold temperatures 

How serious is the P2609 engine code? 

If there are no driveability issues, the P2609 engine code is of moderate concern, but in some cases can be serious—like if you have a faulty ECM for instance.
Also, keep in mind that if you don’t deal with this issue promptly, your car could experience a decrease in fuel efficiency, as the intake air heater system isn’t operating as efficiently as it could be on cold startups.

Can I fix the P2609 engine code myself?

If you have the tools and experience to do so, it may be possible to fix the P2609 code at home, but it’s important to diagnose the issue correctly first. 
In order to do so, you’ll need an advanced scanner, a digital volt/ohmmeter, and an infrared thermometer with a laser pointer. If you don’t have these tools handy, you’re better off
taking your car to an experienced mechanic
.

Diagnosing the P2609 engine code

If you do decide to diagnose and fix the P2609 engine code yourself, you’ll want to follow these steps to confirm what part of the air heater system is at fault:
  • Inspect the wiring and connectors and replace any that are faulty or disconnected.
  • Inspect the heating element using the advanced scanner and see if the heater is given a command by the ECM.
  • Inspect the blower and listen for whether or not you can hear it operating.
  • Inspect the heater relay with the digital volt/ohmmeter, and if the voltage readings do not comply with the standard specifications for your vehicle, you’ll need to perform further testing.

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