Engine light is on. Plugged it in while getting an oil change and diagnosed with P0141 OBD-II. How serious and pressing is this issue? Is it safe to drive? What will happen to car if I drive with the light on?
My car has 48000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.
You can drive the car normally and get it repaired at your earliest convenience. The trouble code that you are referring to, P0141, typically means that the heater element in an oxygen sensor is not functioning or the circuit to the heater element has a fault. A consequence of this sort of malfunction is the engine will not run as efficiently as possible and you could experience some degradation in mileage. To resolve something like this, the recommended procedure is to request a check engine light diagnostic. During such a diagnostic, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic would use a code scanner to retrieve the specific diagnostic trouble code(s) from your car’s PCM that will identify the "system" or area of the fault. The appropriate individual vehicle components or sub-systems (often a sensor, circuit, and the like) are individually tested to pinpoint the cause of the fault. In this case, the testing would focus on the oxygen sensor heater circuit. Once the faulty part, component, or wiring (e.g., bad connection) is pinpointed, it is explained to your satisfaction and the mechanic will let you know of the cost to repair. In your case, the resolution might be that you will need a new oxygen sensor but that remains to be proven via an actual diagnostic. Note that the code you were given absolutely does not constitute a diagnostic. To actually diagnose a failed heater circuit, or a failed oxygen sensor, the part must be tested directly. Trouble codes, such as P0141, are clues ONLY. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.
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