In theory, error codes associated with Powerstroke engines should make it easy to diagnose a problem quickly. In practice, these problems could have multiple causes, making it more difficult to know what’s wrong with your engine.
Such is the case with P132B Code on 6.7 Powerstroke engines: What does it mean, and how can you fix it?
The P132B Code indicates that the cylinder is not getting enough air for the turbocharger to function. The underlying problem may be with one of the connected parts rather than the cylinder or turbocharger. There may also be a leak in the turbocharger system.
Of course, Powerstroke engines are complicated beasts, so diagnosing these issues can prove challenging.
However, with a bit of knowledge, you can correct the P132B issues on your own. So let’s get our hands dirty and take a closer look!
1. The Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor Is Faulty
The MAF sensor regulates the air-fuel mixture in your engine. That means any issues with air circulation will affect the MAF sensor and vice versa. If you’re getting the P132B error code, it’s a good idea to check the MAF sensor first.
Because it’s connected to many components of your vehicle, a faulty MAF sensor displays symptoms such as:
- Dark exhaust
- Slowed acceleration
- Lit check engine light
- Greater difficulty starting the engine
If your engine shows one or more of the above, and your MAF sensor has signs of wear and damage, you can replace that part.
Dirt and grime can cause MAF sensor issues as well. Thankfully, cleaning the sensor is easy. Just follow these steps:
- Remove the sensor.
- Spray it with MAF cleaner. You can find cans of this spray at any auto shop or purchase the CRC Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner, 4.5 Wt Oz, 05610 (available on Amazon.com). Aside from keeping your engine in good shape, it won’t leave unsightly marks.
- Wipe it down with a towel. You may need to spray and wipe it several times before reinstalling it.
The MAF sensor will get dirty from its regular operations, so one way to avoid this problem is to check it regularly. It only takes a few minutes to clean the sensor, and doing so will eliminate a lot of guesswork when turbocharger problems arise.
2. The Exhaust Is Leaking
A faulty exhaust system is a hazard. Not only will it affect your vehicle’s performance, but it can also endanger anyone inside. In addition, since the system works by taking gas out of the combustion chamber, it plays a role in maintaining airflow.
The first sign of a leaky exhaust is the engine growing louder. You may also notice a rattling or vibrating along the floor or in the steering column. Such vibrations will grow more intense as you go faster, and the sound you hear depends on the severity of the leak.
If you smell a strange odor inside the cab while the engine runs, it could be leaking into the vehicle. The exhaust pipe is in the rear to put as much distance between the fumes and riders as possible. If there’s a leak in the system, the fumes will rise into the vehicle through its bottom.
Finding exhaust leaks can be daunting due to the size of the system. It has many components that run the length of the vehicle, including the exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, muffler, resonator, and the pipes that connect it all.
Thankfully, finding leaks is simple:
- Place your hands near (not on) any part of the system while the engine is running. These parts accumulate heat very quickly, and even brief contact can lead to severe burns. You can feel the force of the exiting air from a distance.
- Check for the symptoms listed previously. Also, see if there’s gas escaping where a leak is present.
- Replace all the leaking components, and your turbocharger will be up and running again.
Alternatively, you can use an EVAP smoke machine. This device allows you to find leaks by injecting smoke into the system you want to diagnose and watching where it escapes. It’s also a safer and more reliable way to diagnose issues with your engine.
I recommend the AutoLine Pro Automotive Smoke Machine Leak Detector EVAP Vacuum Diagnostics Tester (available on Amazon.com). It’s safe to use and comes with a one-year warranty if it doesn’t work the way you want it to.
3. There Is an Intake Manifold Leak
Not getting enough air into the cylinder causes problems. On the other hand, too much air also creates an imbalance that affects performance. In addition, leaks can occur in the intake line caused by either physical damage (such as a hole in the line) or an unsealed component.
Since the intake line draws in air, holes or unsecured components force it to suck in more air from the outside. The excess air makes it impossible for the engine to achieve the proper fuel balance, causing it to work harder to compensate, only to achieve weaker performance in the end.
In the case of physical damage, you can find intake leaks by looking closely at the components. Cracked hoses are a common culprit. In some cases, you should be able to hear whistling in the area of the leak when the engine idles.
Like with the exhaust system, you can also diagnose intake manifold leaks with an EVAP smoke machine. If, after using this device, you see smoke coming out of places in the intake line where smoke shouldn’t be, you know an intake manifold leak is the issue.
In any case, repairing the leak means replacing or resealing the faulty parts.
Resealing is the best (and more cost-effective) solution if you find that the faulty part is still salvageable. For this, you’ll need black silicone RTV sealant, which is the most appropriate sealant for V-configured engines like the 6.7 Powerstroke engine.
You can grab a pack or two of the Permatex 81158 Black Silicone Adhesive Sealant (available on Amazon.com). It’s highly resistant to water, and you don’t need to worry about excess vibration undoing your resealing.
However, you do need to leave it for at least an hour to allow the sealant to dry before using your vehicle again.
4. The Turbocharger Is Failing
The turbocharger is a complex component that can suffer numerous problems, all of which can contribute to a P132B error code. It powers the engine by utilizing a turbine to send compressed air into the engine. The process is called forced induction and improves the machine’s performance.
The most immediate sign of a failing turbocharger is a weakening engine. When the turbocharger sends less and less air to the engine, the engine will lose power. As a result, you’ll experience less speed and poor fuel economy. Sometimes, the engine will flood and cut completely.
This problem is often caused by a belt breakdown. A supercharger uses a belt to turn the turbines that channel exhaust into compressed air. When the belt breaks, the supercharger cannot channel air and exhaust, but the oil continues to burn despite no longer providing as much power, if at all.
You can avoid experiencing a belt breakdown if you pay close attention to the sounds your engine produces. A damaged belt will knock against adjacent parts while the engine is running, with the sounds growing more frequent the faster the engine goes. If you notice the belt is damaged but not broken, you should change it immediately.
No matter how careful you are with your vehicle, the odds of the supercharger belt breaking down increase over time. Thankfully, they’re easy and inexpensive to replace.
Of course, the belt isn’t the only part of a turbocharger that can break down.
A crack in the charger itself hinders its ability to direct exhaust, causing excess fumes from the tailpipe. These cracks often result from a loose component or poor lubrication. In most cases, these problems will also damage the turbine blades.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely you can adequately repair a cracked turbocharger. So the best option is to replace it entirely.
You can prevent a failing turbocharger via routine maintenance. For example, a clogged or dirty oil feed or drain can reduce overall efficiency. To fix the issue, you can thoroughly clean the part by disassembling it and wiping it down.
As with the MAF, your check engine light will engage when there’s a problem with the turbocharger. Modern vehicles only activate the light after the system has failed to pass an onboard test multiple times.
I should note that the check engine light isn’t necessarily always a sign of a problem, but it’s a good place to start.
The P132B error code on your 6.7 Powerstroke engine indicates a problem with your turbocharger. The issue could be with the turbocharger or one of its many connected components.
When you get this error code, your best course of action is to search for damage on the turbocharger or its related systems and replace those that are faulty or worn.