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P200A error code - VCM replace and ECM upgrade?

7235 Views 12 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  nickleblu
Got a P200A error code on my 2011 Sportage (2WD, 2.4L). Local non-Kia mechanic saw that a vacuum hose had a small tear; replaced hose; all seemed ok. But Chk Eng light came back on, with same error code.

They pulled a service bulletin from All, which states that: a. the error code stays in memory; and b. the VCM has to be replaced, along with an ECM upgrade (ECM must be reprogrammed). As much as they wanted to do the work, they said they can't do the ECM upgrade; only a stealership can.

Anyone have any experience with this? Is there a workaround of some sort? Last thing I want to do is hand over my wallet and half my paycheck at a stealership. Thanks.
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The correct way to proceed with this is to first function test the VCM, not automatically replace it. If the VCM tests ok, then the problem is likely to be with the runners inside of the intake manifold. Kia says to replace the intake manifold, but what they don't tell you is that it might be possible to clean the gunk out and correct the problem that way. But that's not surprising at all, because saving you $$ and reducing their income is not a part of their business model. And I've never read a report from a DIYer who said they actually needed the ECM upgrade, so just I recommend just tossing that part into the waste basket.
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… When you say "I recommend just tossing that part into the waste basket", which part are ya referring to ? ....
I was referring to the ECM upgrade, which has been found in actual cases to be unnecessary.
Kiaguy......So, is crankcase 'pull-over' collecting in the intake manifolds to the point that it is creating air flow issues or actually sucking oil gunk? …
I don't know the answer to that question, and I suppose it could even be a combination of both things. That said, this is not a really common or systemic issue, so it shouldn't be normal to find a big mess inside of the manifold, and certainly there's been no evidence (so far) that it should be proactively removed for cleaning.

…. Do the runners change position (or open/close) to help increase or spread out the torque curve of the engine?
Now that's a very interesting question that I do have some information about, but all of it comes from the Kia/Hyundai service manuals and I'm only repeating what they wrote. On my Forte, the doc clearly states the only purpose of the VCMA system is to turbulate the air flow in the intake for just the first few seconds during a cold start, after which that system goes inactive until the next cold start.

So I had been naturally assuming the VCMA system had that same functionality for all Kia/Hyundai vehicles. Then a couple years ago, I was posting on a thread on the Hyundai forums where a Hyundai owner mentioned that his vehicle (2015 or 16 Sonata IIRC) had a different write up for the VCMA. The text from his manual clearly stated that VCMA was continuously active in manipulating intake airflow. However the doc didn't describe anything about why that air flow adjustment was being done. My guess is that the air is being turbulated in order to create a better/more effective air/fuel mix, but that's just speculation on my part.

I guess we all look back wistfully to the days where it was so much easier to understand what was really going on with our vehicles. Nowadays there are so many individual components working together, both mechanically and electrically, and sometimes t's really hard to figure out what a particular sensor or system is actually doing. But EV is going to take us back to the simple days, assuming it does actually happen as they're telling us it will.
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… I'll see if I can get a mechanic to check out the VCM and the intake manifold.
My suggestions are primarily intended for DIYers, and you need to be aware that most shops are likely to be reluctant about requests by owners, especially when those things do not appear in the documentation they subscribe to. Now in this particular case, testing the VCM should be a reasonable thing for them to do, because the VCM is easy to remove and test by applying voltage directly from the battery. And if the VCM doesn't test ok, then replacing it is easy as well, although they will likely want to get the part from a Kia dealer for around $400 or so. (versus ordering online for less $$)

However, if the VCM tests ok, then removing/reinstalling the intake manifold is a time consuming job, and would be billed at 2 hours or more, which translates into $300+. And they are also likely to be very skeptical about possibly resolving the issue by cleaning the manifold, based on advice from a forum.

So consider these things before speaking to them, in order to plan what your response will be, depending on what they have to say.
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… I have a couple different independent mechanic shops that I use....these are 1 or 2-person operations, and they are willing to do tests, and clean out things, etc, rather than doing the typical stealership action of rapid parts replacement. And, they're also willing to install parts that I procure, including non-OEM parts. .....
Very fortunate to have one shop which operates that way, much less two! Good for you, and I suspect they will do just fine with this work.
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If you're still following this thread, and haven't taken your vehicle in yet, there's one additional thing that I forgot to mention previously. For the linkage going from the VCM to the intake manifold runner shaft, the automaker used plastic parts, and there has been at least one prior report from a DIYer of that linkage breaking. And when I removed the VCM on my Forte for inspection a few months ago, I was really surprised how flimsy those plastic parts are, including the shaft on the VCM itself, which is part of the linkage.

My vehicle has not had a problem, and I suspect that as long as the runners are moving smoothly and freely, this linkage will probably hold up ok. However, if the runners become gunked up and start to bind, that alone might be enough to break the linkage. So it would not be surprising if your mechanic finds broken plastic linkage when he removes the VCM from your vehicle, and it would be good to let him know about this possibility in advance.
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