P0081 is a kind of OBD-II Diagnostic P-Powertrain Diagnostic Trouble Code.
It is considered generic because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles, although specific repair steps may be different depending on your car model.
Symptoms of a P0081 diagnostic trouble code may include:
Faulty or damaged wiring
The engine oil will exhibit dilution from the ECUs attempts to increase engine temperature. Some vehicles advance the fuel injection timing slightly after top center to afterburn a small amount of fuel to increase exhaust temperatures. Some of this fuel enters the crankcase. When the ECU determines the necessity to regenerate the DPF, the service life of the oil be shortened significantly
Poor fuel economy
The light may stay on or light intermittently as the DPF regenerates. The engine will be sluggish on acceleration.
Possible Causes :
An air leak forward of the DPF will change the sensor readings resulting in the code
Rusty exhaust systems, cracked exhaust manifolds or damaged or missing gaskets or donuts will cause air leaks.
A large vacuum leak would cause a massive amount of un-metered air to enter the intake manifold resulting in an overly lean mixture.
Repair Processes :
Now, clear the codes and test-drive the vehicle to see if the code is reset.
Look for missing ground strap or a rusty ground where the fuel tank is grounded to the frame. Check for damage to the wiring harness connector.
Replace the oxygen sensor that is downstream from the catalytic converter on the side of the engine that does not contain cylinder #1. Also, if a oxygen sensor code stating "heater circuit malfunction" the sensor has most probably failed.
Diagnostic trouble code P0081 is not difficult to diagnose and repair. Thus, it always pays to have a qualified technician to look after your vehicle should this error code arise.
Diagnosing this code requires the engine to be in good running shape, without unmetered air entering the engine. If other codes that relates to misfiring condition, lean running or air entering the engine is present, then you must first fix those error codes before P0081.
Fortunately, P0081 is a fairly common OBD code, meaning that it applies to all makes and models of vehicles made after 1996.