Error Code P061D is defined as Internal Control Module Engine Air Mass Performance. This code is a generic trouble code, meaning it applies to all vehicles equipped with the OBD-II system, especially those made since 1996 up to present. It’s particularly common among Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, and Mazda. Specifications on the definition, troubleshooting, and repairs, of course, vary from one make and model to another.

The job of the Internal Control Module processor is to monitor various controller self-test duties and overall internal control module accountability. The engine torque calculation system input and output signals are subject to self-test, and constantly monitored by the PCM and other controllers. The TCM (transmission control module), TCSM (traction control module), and other controllers are bound by the interaction with engine torque monitoring system.

When Error Code P061D is stored, that means the PCM has determined an internal performance error in the MAF (Mass Air Flow) monitoring system. Other controllers can also detect an internal error in the PCM (powertrain control module, also known as ECM or engine control module in other vehicle makes) with the engine torque monitoring system, which may contribute to the Error Code P061D.

The Engine Air Mass is monitored by the PCM and other controllers, using input signals coming from MAF sensor/s. The desired MAF is programmed into the PCM and other controllers, while the actual engine MAF is calculated through input data from the MAF sensor and TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). The desired engine air mass is then compared to the actual, while the PCM makes the necessary adjustments to fuel delivery and ignition timing.

Every time the ignition and PCM are energized, internal engine RPM will initiate the RPM monitoring self-test. Aside from running internal controller self-tests, CAN (Controller Area Network) also compares the signal from each individual module, ensuring all controllers are working properly. These tests are performed simultaneously.

If the PCM determines an internal error in the desired engine air mass and actual engine air mass (exceeding the maximum allowable threshold), then Error Code P061D will be stored, simultaneously activating the Check Engine light.

Common Symptoms

  • Hesitation upon acceleration
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Engine misfire

In some cases, engine misfire codes may also be present

Possible Causes

There are many possible causes for this code to appear, such as:

  • Corroded MAF sensor connector
  • Defective MAF sensor
  • PCM programming error
  • Defective PCM
  • Insufficient control module ground
  • Open or shorted circuit or connectors in CAN harness
  • The open or shorted circuit between PCM and MAF sensor

How to Check

This code is quite a challenging problem to diagnose, and many times, it involves reprogramming issues. Thus, without the right tools and reprogramming equipment, it will be impossible to replace a defective controller and complete the repair.

If the ECM/PCM power supply codes are present, then obviously, they don’t need to be rectified before attempting to diagnose this code. Also, if there are codes for the MAF sensor or TPS, then they must be diagnosed first.

Make sure you follow the step-by-step guide for diagnosis provided by the manufacturer for MAF and TPS sensors. An oscilloscope can be helpful when it comes to testing electromagnetic sensors. Failed components must be replaced.

Many preliminary tests can be performed prior to make sure a controller is defective. A diagnostic scanner, DVOM (digital volt/ohmmeter), and reliable vehicle information is needed for diagnosis of this code.

The first step is to connect the scanner to the vehicle diagnostic port and retrieve all stored codes, including their freeze frame data. You need to write down this information, just in case the problem proves to be intermittent. After writing down all pertinent information, clear the codes and then take the vehicle for a test drive to see if the code resets, or if the PCM enters readiness mode. If the PCM does the latter, then you have an intermittent problem, which is more difficult to diagnose, as it means you would have to wait for the problem to develop more before you can successfully diagnose.

If the code resets, however, then continue with your preliminary diagnosis.

When trying to diagnose this code, refer to your information source or TSB (technical service bulletin); looks for signs and symptoms parallel to the stored code. Search for the year, make, model, and engine of your vehicle. If you are able to find the right TSB, then you may get the best diagnostic information for your problem.

Use vehicle information source to obtain component locations, connector face views, connector pin-out charts, wiring diagram, and diagnostic flow chart related to your vehicle’s error code.

Then, use the DVOM to the test controller power supply fuses and relays. Next, test and replace any blown fuses as necessary. Fuses must be tested with circuit loaded.

If all fuses and relays are running well, check whether the controller related wiring and harness are in order. You may also want to check chassis and engine ground junctions. Again, use your vehicle information source to obtain ground locations as related circuits. Test ground integrity using the DVOM.

Then, check the system controllers for any signs of water, heat, or collision damage. Any controller that is damaged, especially by water, is considered defective and must be replaced.

If controller power and ground circuits are intact, then there’s a good chance the controller is defective, or there’s a programming error in the controller. Thus, controller replacement requires reprogramming. In some cases, you may want to get aftermarket reprogrammed controllers. Some vehicles and controllers require on-board reprogramming that may be done only through the dealership or a qualified shop.

How to Fix

  • Replacement of blown fuses
  • Replacement of defective MAF sensor or connector
  • Replacement of defective Throttle Position Sensor
  • Replacement of damaged controller
  • Replacement of PCM

Unlike most codes, this code is likely caused by a defective controller or a programming error in the controller.

Test the integrity of the system ground by connecting the negative test lead of DVOM to the ground, and the positive test lead to battery voltage.