Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

P2210 OBD-II Trouble Code: NOx Sensor Heater Sense Circuit Low Input Bank 1

Check Engine Light

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

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?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...

Related questions

Q: My car won't let me drive passed 2500 rpm. And I have no idea why it is doing that when I recently bought it.

The reason it will not go over 2500 rpm is because the computer is in limp mode. This mode is for when the computer has a failure in it. Limp mode will trigger if there is an issue with one...

Q: Check engine light, ABS light on

Hello, thanks for writing in. If the check engine light is coming on and going off then usually it is not too serious. Most of the time this is caused by a sensor that is not reading quite right. The...

Q: Check Engine Light is on with trouble code P0014.

Hello, this over-advanced camshaft timing is a significant problem, and should be checked out ASAP by a professional mechanic. Trouble code P0014 indicates a problem probably due to worn timing chain guides, a stretched timing chain, or a weak timing...