Intake manifold runner position sensor: Working, Function

What is an Intake manifold runner position sensor?

The intake runner position sensor or runner valve is a component of the intake manifold that handles the volume flow rate of air supplied to the engine based on the requirement of the engine.

For this purpose, the runner position sensor controls the flaps inside the runners of the intake manifold. As the flap opens or closes, the flow rate of air gets changed.

The runner position sensor is located underneath the car hood and mounted on the Intake manifold of the engine.

The above figure shows the solenoid used for controlling the vacuum-operated runner control sensor/valve.

How Intake manifold runner position sensor work?

The working of the runner position sensor depends on the driving conditions of the vehicle which are described below,

1] When the engine is accelerated from rest, the engine requires a faster air supply. Therefore in this situation, the runner position sensor slightly closes the flap so that due to the decrease in the area the air moves faster in the intake manifold and the vehicle gets help to accelerate faster.

2] At lower RPM, the engine requires a lesser volume flow rate of air. Hence the position sensor slightly closes the flap and lowers the flow rate of the air.

3] When the speed of the engine increases the engine requires a higher volume of air supply hence the runner position sensor opens the flap to meet the requirement of the engine.


The intake manifold position sensor performs the following functions in the IC engine:

  1. It helps to control the airflow as per the engine’s requirement.
  2. It also works like a throttle body as it helps to control the air-fuel ratio (AFR).
  3. By operating flap helps to slower or faster the flow of air into the intake manifold.
  4. It helps to increase fuel economy.

Symptoms of bad Intake runner position sensor:

The bad sensor disturbs the working of the flap. The improper working or failure in the runner position control sensor may show the following symptoms in your vehicle:

  1. The ‘check engine’ light will glow indicating the malfunctioning in the engine and showing the error code ‘P2015’.
  2. Difficulty while starting the engine.
  3. Lowers the fuel economy.
  4. Low-end power loss.

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Pratik is a Graduated Mechanical engineer. He enjoys sharing the engineering knowledge learned by him with people.

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