F150 Intake Manifold Runner Control Guide
Since its release in 2011, Ford’s 5.0 Coyote V8 engine has perennially been one of the top small block V8s on the market. It produces fantastic performance with great reliability, and it sounds and looks incredible. It has been an option in the Mustang GT and F150s since its debut. In the F150, it makes between 360-400 horsepower and 380-410 lb-ft of torque, depending on the model year.
However, the 5.0 Coyote is far from bulletproof, and one of the more common issues are with the Mustang GT and F150 Intake Manifold Runner Control (IMRC). The F150 intake manifold runner control can throw the P2004/5/6/7 DTC codes with unfortunate regularity. Not only are these problems generally pretty expensive, but they are very serious.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about the Mustang GT IMRC and F150 IMRC issues. We’ll explain what the IMRC system is, what the DTCs mean, and we’ll go over how to solve the problem.
What Are 5.0 F150 Intake Manifold Runner Controls?
The problem with the 5.0 F150 intake manifold runner control relates to the improvements Ford made between the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Coyotes engines. When Ford redesigned the intake manifolds for the Gen 2s, they added charge motion control valves (CMCV). CMCVs, also known as IMRC in other applications, were implemented to help maintain fuel economy while boosting low-end torque.
Without getting too technical, CMCVs act to regulate the amount of air entering the engine from the manifold. They are valves that sit in the manifold’s runners, which open and close to allow and restrict airflow. At wide open throttle, the valves are fully open to allow the most possible airflow. They are more closed at partial throttle to reduce air volume while increasing airflow velocity.
There is one valve for each individual runner, and the four runners on each cylinder bank are run in unison. They are opened and closed via control rods that are themselves controlled by actuators. The actuators are told by the PCM how much to open or close the valves based on engine need.
It gets a little confusing with the F150 CMCV and IMRCs, but they’re the exact same thing. CMCV is just Ford’s proprietary name for their specifically designed IMRC system. DTC codes use generic terms, so that’s why the DTCs all say IMRC, but they refer to Ford’s CMCV system. This guide will use the terms interchangeably.
Ford 5.0 F150 Intake Manifold Runner Control Issues
The main issues with the F150 intake manifold runner control are the valves either getting stuck open or stuck closed. If the CMCV is stuck open, that means the PCM can’t regulate the amount of air entering the engine. This is less of an issue than if the CMCV is stuck closed, because that means basically no air can enter the engine. If the PCM detects that a CMCVs is open and can’t be closed, or vice versa, a DTC pops up. Typically, only one side will have an issue, but there have been some cases with both runner banks having stuck valves.
As you can imagine, having your IMRCs either stuck open or closed is detrimental to engine performance. If they’re stuck open, you’ll see decreased performance because the PCM won’t be able to get ideal air-to-fuel mixtures. If they’re stuck closed, the engine will be effectively choked of air. You’ll notice your vehicle struggling to maintain idle and accelerate, and it’ll start to sputter and feel like it wants to quit. In extreme cases, the vehicle won’t start if several valves are stuck shut.
Associated F150 5.0 Intake Manifold Runner Control DTCs
Here is a list of all associated F150 intake manifold runner control DTCs:
- P2004: IMRC Stuck Open Bank 1
- P2005: IMRC Stuck Open Bank 2
- P2006: IMRC Stuck Closed Bank 1
- P2007: IMRC Stuck Closed Bank 2
- P2008: IMRC Circuit Open Bank 1
- P2009: IMRC Circuit Low Bank 1
- P2010: IMRC Circuit High Bank 1
- P2011: IMRC Circuit Open Bank 2
- P2012: IMRC Circuit Low Bank 2
- P2013: IMRC Circuit High Bank 2
- P2014: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Bank 1
- P2015: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Range/Perf Bank 1
- P2016: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Low Bank 1
- P2017: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit High Bank 1
- P2018: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Interm Bank 1
- P2019: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Bank 2
- P2020: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Range/Perf Bank 2
- P2021: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Low Bank 2
- P2022: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit High Bank 2
- P2023: Intake Manifold Runner Position Sensor/Switch Circuit Interm Bank 2
The IMRC/CMCV system has one valve for each runner, and each cylinder bank has its own DTC codes. Cylinder bank 1 corresponds with the left engine bank, looking at the engine from the front. Cylinder bank 2 is the right cylinder bank.
P2004/5/6/7 apply if the PCM detects one of the bank’s valves are stuck open or closed. These are by far the most common Mustang GT and F150 intake manifold runner control DTCs. Chances are, if you have an IMRC/CMCV DTC, it’s a P2004/5/6/7.
The remaining P2008-P2023 are related to the wiring harnesses and circuits of the IMRC/CMCV system. If the PCM gets conflicting voltage measurements it will throw these codes. Many of these codes are caused by dirty valves, broken control rods, and failed CMCV actuators.
Ford 5.0 Coyote F150 IMRC Failure Symptoms
The most common Mustang GT and F150 intake manifold runner control failure symptoms are:
- Poor fuel economy compared to normal
- Poor low-end performance and throttle response
- Poor or rough idle, or failure to maintain idle
- Inability for engine to start
- Check Engine Light illuminated on dashboard
- P2004-P2023 DTC Codes
Since the CMCV is responsible for how much air the engine can intake, F150 and Mustang GT CMCV failure presents a lot of issues. If the valve is stuck open, it’s not as big of a deal – though your engine will struggle to compensate.
It’s when the valve is stuck closed that more serious issues arise. If the valve is closed your engine will struggle to get air, giving it a rough idle and poor performance. Your engine might not even start if several of the runners are stuck closed on both banks.
Ford 5.0 F150 Intake Manifold Runner Control Failure Causes
The most common F150 and Mustang GT intake manifold runner control failure causes are:
- IMRC/CMCV solenoid/actuator failure
- IMRC/CMCV wiring harness failure
- IMRC/CMCV loose or broken valve plate screws
- IMRC/CMCV broken valve plates
- IMRC/CMCV broken control rods
- IMRC/CMCV faulty sensor/switch
The most common causes for F150 IMRC/CMCV DTCs are solenoid/actuator failure, wiring harness failure, loose screws, broken valves, and broken control rods. More than likely, it is broken control rods. The control rods open/close the valves, and they are built into the runners – meaning they can’t be individually replaced. Unless the issue is related to loose screws, you will likely have to replace the entire IMRC system.
5.0 Coyote F150 IMRC DTC Severity
Severity Level: High – Fix Immediately
As you can imagine, having your IMRCs either stuck open or closed is detrimental to engine performance. As such, it’s imperative that you get the DTC taken care of as quickly as possible. If not, your car or truck might leave you stranded.
How to Diagnose F150 5.0 Coyote IMRC Failure
Here are the steps to diagnosing F150 and Mustang GT IMRC failure:
Step 1: Confirm the correct DTC through an OBD II code reading device. IMRC/CMCV codes fall between P2004-P2023 and are listed above.
Step 2: Complete visual inspection of IMRC/CMCV wiring harness. Repair or replace if necessary.
Step 3: Complete visual inspection of IMRC/CMCV actuator/solenoid for damage.
Step 4: Use scan tool to check solenoid/actuator function. If no response, the actuator is faulty.
Step 5: Check control rod linkage between manifold and actuator/solenoid, this will require removal of manifold.
Step 6: Inspect valves for corrosion and carbon buildup.
After these steps have been performed, you should be able to narrow the problem down to the wiring harness, actuator, sensor/switch, or control rods. As we stated, by far the most common cause of IMRC/CMCV DTCs are broken control rods. But, faulty actuators are not entirely uncommon problems either.
If the problem is with the wiring harness, then it is a relatively straightforward fix. However, actuator or control rod problems will likely mean a new manifold, as they can’t be removed and replaced.
Common Mistakes When Diagnosing 5.0 F150 IMRC Failure
The most common mistakes when diagnosing IMRC/CMCV failure are:
- Not confirming a IMRC/CMCV DTC
- Failure to inspect wiring harness
- Failure to inspect or test actuator
- Failure to inspect control rod linkage
The most common mistakes are not properly following all of the steps to diagnosing the problem outlined in the previous section. Make sure you follow each step to confirm the right DTC is present, and that all of the parts are visually inspected. You don’t want to buy an entirely new manifold if just a wiring harness needs replacement.
How to Fix F150 5.0 Intake Manifold Runner Control Failure
The fix for the F150 intake manifold runner control problems are relatively simple. After going through the above diagnosis checklist, you should be able to narrow down which component is faulty. Unfortunately, most of the components of the IMRC/CMCV are all part of the same piece. This means that most of the time the entire intake manifold has to be replaced for IMRC problems.
One solution is to find the same generation intake manifold for a direct swap. You can also upgrade to a newer generation of Coyote intake manifolds if your car has a Gen 2 engine. Another option is to upgrade to an aftermarket intake manifold. Check out our 5.0 Coyote intake manifold guide if you’re interested in going that route.
5.0 Coyote F150 IMRC Failure Diagnosis and Repair Costs
Unfortunately, if you need to replace the intake manifold due to IMRC problems, it’s pretty expensive. With labor and parts, you can expect it to exceed $1,000 after everything is said and done. Generally, Ford has done a good job of repairing these issues under their powertrain warranty. But if it happens outside of warranty, get prepared to pay.
Many people decide to upgrade to an aftermarket intake manifold due to the large repair costs. Keep in mind however, that any intake manifold swapping will require tuning, which is a pretty big expense. You will see performance gains from a new manifold, but it’ll be much more expensive than just a direct replacement.
5.0 Coyote F150 Intake Manifold Runner Control Failure Summary
While Mustang GT and F150 intake manifold runner control issues aren’t incredibly common, they can pop up occasionally. Usually, you’ll feel the difference in engine performance before you get the DTC, but sometimes you might not notice it. The IMRC/CMCV DTCs are fairly serious, so if one does pop make sure you get it taken care of immediately.
Let us know in the comments below about your experiences with F150 or Mustang GT IMRC/CMCV issues.