P2210 code definition
The P2210 trouble code detects an issue with the NOx sensor heater circuit.
What the P2210 code means
The P2210 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code that detects an issue with the nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (NOx) sensor in bank 1, which is the engine bank that houses the number one cylinder. The powertrain control module (PCM) determines the ideal sensor voltage readings for each catalytic converter’s NOx sensor based on temperature and exhaust composition data from the upstream and downstream oxygen sensors. When the PCM notes that the NOx sensor circuit voltage readings have deviated too far from where they should be, the P2210 code will be detected.
What causes the P2210 code?
The P2210 trouble code is commonly caused by a malfunctioning catalytic converter. However, the issue is normally more complex than that, as the catalytic converter has usually stopped working due to an additional vehicle component that is defective or failing. Defective mass air flow, manifold air pressure, and coolant temperature sensors are common causes for catalytic converter failure, as are extensive leaks, contaminated oil, and improper fuel usage. It is also possible that the P2210 code has been triggered by a defective upstream or downstream oxygen sensor, or a faulty NOx sensor.
What are the symptoms of the P2210 code?
The P2210 trouble code will usually be accompanied by the Check Engine Light illuminating on the vehicle’s instrument cluster. This may be the only symptom, but the vehicle may also experience serious engine performance issues, ranging from the minor (hissing noises and acceleration hesitation), to the severe (constant stalling or a non-start condition).
How does a mechanic diagnose the P2210 code?
The P2210 code will be diagnosed using an OBD-II trouble code scanner. A trustworthy mechanic can use the freeze frame data from the scanner to assess the P2210 code, and look for additional trouble codes that are present. If other codes are noted, they should be addressed in the order in which they appear. The mechanic will then reset the trouble codes, restart the vehicle, check to see if the code has returned. If the code is absent following this reset, then it was probably erroneously triggered, or the result of an intermittent error.
If the P2210 code returns after the reset, the mechanic should begin with a visual inspection of all electrical components that could be impacting the oxygen sensors, NOx sensor, or catalytic converter. Any shorted wires or damaged connectors should be replaced. The exhaust system should then be checked for leaks, which are a common cause of catalytic converter failure.
Next, the technician can use a temperature gun to note the temperature of the exhaust pipe both upstream and downstream of the catalytic converter that is being inspected. If the noted temperatures to not match the manufacturer’s recommendation, the catalytic converter is probably defective, and the mechanic should continue with a thorough inspection to find why the catalytic converter has failed.
The mechanic can then inspect the upstream and downstream oxygen sensors, as well as the NOx sensor, to make sure that they are in working order.
Any time a component is repaired or replaced, the mechanic will reset the trouble codes and restart the vehicle, to again check to see if the code returns. This helps the mechanic know when the issue has been resolved. However, even if the P2210 code disappears, the technician may need to continue with the inspection, to make sure that the root of the catalytic converter failure is found.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P2210 code
The most frequently made mistake when diagnosing the P2210 code comes from a failure to properly follow the OBD-II trouble code diagnosis protocol. Mechanics should follow the protocol step by step, at all times, to be sure that all diagnoses and repairs are efficient and accurate.
It is very common for the catalytic converter to be replaced without any attention being paid to what caused the converter to fail in the first place. It is also common for oxygen sensors to be erroneously replaced.
How serious is the P2210 code?
The P2210 trouble code will not always keep a car from being drivable. However, it’s fairly common for the car to have a no-start condition, or other serious engine performance issues. As such, the trouble code should be addressed as soon as it is noted.
What repairs can fix the P2210 code?
Possible repairs for the P2210 code include
- Replacement of NOx sensor
- Replacement of electrical components
- Replacement of upstream or downstream oxygen sensors
- Replacement of the catalytic converter, and whatever components caused the catalytic converter failure
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P2210 code
It is common for oxygen sensor trouble codes to accompany the P2210 code. When this is the case, the P2210 code will often be resolved when the oxygen sensor codes are addressed.
Need help with a P2210 code?
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