P0051 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

Code P0051 Definition

HO2S Heater Control Circuit Low (Bank 2, Sensor 1)

What Does P0051 Mean?

The P0051 code is a result of the bank 2 HO2S1 (pre catalytic converter heated oxygen sensor) heating element having low voltage. Heated O2 sensors have a separate heater inside the sensor to get them to operating temperature quickly. The faster your O2 sensor(s) get to operating temperature the faster the car is in a fuel-efficient and emissions friendly configuration. If this code is set, the oxygen sensor heater is not working.

What Are the Symptoms of Code P0051?

*No noticeable adverse conditions in some cases

What Is the Cause of Code P0051?

  • Frayed heater circuit wiring/connectors
  • Faulty heater circuit fuse
  • Faulty heated oxygen sensor
  • Malfunctioning PCM/ECM

How Serious Is Code P0051? – Moderate

This trouble code will not prevent your vehicle from running. The most common result(s) is lower fuel economy and poor vehicle operation. However, if left unsolved, this code could increase the likelihood of your vehicle running rough and cause potential damage to other components of your vehicle.

Code P0051 Common Diagnosis Mistakes

Prematurely replacing the heated oxygen sensor before attempting to visually inspect the wiring around the oxygen sensor for chafed/frayed wiring.

Tools Needed to Diagnose Code P0051:

How to Diagnose and Repair Code P0051:

Difficulty of Diagnosis and Repair – (3 out of 5)

  1. Check to see if there are any other codes along with P0051 and clear your Check Engine Light with FIXD.
  2. Conduct a visual inspection of bank 2 pre catalytic converter oxygen sensor wiring for fraying and/or disconnection.
  3. Check the ground side of the O2 sensor’s heater circuit for continuity to ground. It should have good continuity; if it doesn’t, repair wiring.
  4. With the engine off and the key “on”, use a voltmeter to check for approximately 12 volts (should be the same voltage the vehicle battery is at) on the power side of the O2 sensor heater. 
    1. If no voltage is registered, check the fuse; if the fuse is good, consider repairing short/open in heater circuit wiring.
    2. If low voltage is measured, check for high resistance in the wiring.
    3. If the voltmeter registers 12 volts, consider replacing the heated oxygen sensor.

Estimated Cost of Repair

For error code P0051, one or more of the below repairs may be needed to solve the underlying issue. For each possible repair, the estimated cost of repair includes the cost of the relevant parts and the cost of labor required to make the repair. 

  • Oxygen sensor $200-$300
  • Wiring repair/replacement $100-$1000

Was this post helpful?

Comments 2

Michael Brennan

April 16, 2019

Yes

Mike Brennan

May 14, 2019

I have a new O2 Sensor #1 Bank 2, I also have a knock Sensor error P0328, will the O2 sensor cause is?

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