OBD2 Code P0141: What It Means

Figuring out why your Check Engine Light is on means deciphering OBD-II (or “OBD2”) codes, and that can be kind … Continued

Figuring out why your Check Engine Light is on means deciphering OBD-II (or “OBD2”) codes, and that can be kind of annoying. That’s why Car Bibles did it for you! You’re welcome, now let’s get into solving your issue.

OBD2 P0141: What It Means

This code reads as O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 2).” That means the heater that internally warms the O2 Sensor on cold starts, is faulty. “Bank 1 Sensor 2” means that this is the downstream O2 sensor after the catalytic converter on the exhaust system. 

Likely Symptoms 

Here’s what you may experience due to the P0141 code:

  • Check Engine Light. Almost guaranteed, as the engine computer self tests regularly.
  • Rough running. If the O2 sensor malfunctions, the engine computer can’t read the fuel/air mixture properly, so it cannot run optimally.
  • Reduced fuel economy. If the O2 sensor malfunctions, the engine computer can’t read the fuel/air mixture properly, so it cannot mix fuel optimally, and run rich (extra fuel) to protect itself. 

Probable Causes

Here’s what could be causing the issue:

  • Malfunctioning/bad O2 sensor. The O2 sensor heater has failed and the whole O2 sensor requires replacement.
  • Faulty wiring or electrical connectors. The wiring could be damaged to the O2 sensor, typically four wires run to the sensor itself. Inspect them, and the connector for the damage.

What Part Is Potentially Affected?

The downstream O2 sensor is malfunctioning, so the car cannot read its own air/fuel mixture effectively. If left too long, it could damage the catalytic converters from overheating, or damage the engine from improper running.

Possible Fixes

Here are the most common fixes to remedy the P0141 code:

  • Check and repair wires and electrical connectors. Inspect the wiring going to the O2 sensor and verify that it is intact. Make sure the connector isn’t loose or not fully plugged in.
  • Replace the O2 sensor. Usually, this code indicates that the O2 sensor has failed internally, because the car is detecting excess resistance in the O2 sensor heater. More likely than not, that means it’s beyond repair. 

Finding The Parts You Need

Now that you’ve figured out what’s wrong with your hooptie, let’s talk about where you’re gonna find that part’s replacement.

There are plenty of places you can buy auto parts from, but Car Bibles gets paid if you click this Advance Auto link so that’s the one we’re serving up. Advance Auto Parts also has delivery, curbside pickup, and a host of helpful diagrams to aid your repair!

Chris Rosales

Chris RosalesChris has owned 12 cars of questionable quality, is an experienced motorsports photographer, and a good all-around wrench. When he isn’t tinkering with his car in his home garage, you can catch Chris in the canyons around SoCal. He also hopelessly hankers for Euros, but he honestly knows he should get something Japanese, eventually. Contact the author here.