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P0141 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

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What Does Code P0141 Mean?

  • P0141 definition: O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 2) – Downstream
  • Issue Severity: MODERATE– Extended driving with this code can cause internal engine damage.
  • Repair Urgency: Get this code fixed as soon as possible.
  • Diagnosis: It is important to complete the entire diagnostic process when diagnosing the P0141 code. This DTC can be triggered by a faulty oxygen sensor, incorrect voltage, or even a loose/corroded engine ground.

Heated oxygen sensors contain heating elements to help them get to operating temperature quickly in order to minimize the amount of time spent before they can provide feedback to the powertrain control module. Sensor two is downstream of the catalytic converter ensures the catalytic converter is operating efficiently by monitoring the air-fuel ratio coming out of the catalytic converter. Code P0141 occurs when the powertrain control module tests the downstream heated oxygen sensor’s heater circuit on Bank 1 and detects a short in the circuit or excessive resistance in the heater circuit.

P0141 Causes

  • Faulty rear most oxygen sensor
  • Faulty wiring/connections
  • Short or open ground in the wiring

P0141 Symptoms

  • Check Engine Light is on
  • Engine running rough
  • Decreased fuel economy

How Do I Fix Code P0141?

With a P0141 code, the first step is to get it properly diagnosed to figure out what is causing the malfunction with the oxygen sensor. Make sure there are no other codes present especially related to engine misfires or the engine running rich or lean. Using the live data function of the FIXD sensor and app allows you to read and analyze engine data to properly diagnose a P0141 code.

If the sensors are all reading correctly and you’re not comfortable further diagnosing this issue at home, we recommend finding a RepairPal-certified shop to pinpoint the problem and give an accurate estimate for repairs. 

These shops can not only help you figure out what’s going wrong before you waste time and money on the wrong parts, but they also offer a minimum 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty and stand behind all their estimates with guaranteed fair pricing.

> Find a RepairPal Certified Shop Near You

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Code P0141?

If you take your car to a shop for diagnosis, most shops will start with an hour of “diag time” (the time spent in labor diagnosing your specific issue). Depending on the shop’s labor rate, this typically costs somewhere between $75-$150. Many, if not most, shops will apply this diagnosis fee to any required repairs if you have them perform the repairs for you. From there, a shop will be able to give you an accurate estimate for repairs to fix your P0141 code.

  • Possible Repair Costs for P0141

    When it comes to making repairs associated with the P0141 code, 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
    • Catalytic converter: $400-$2400
    • A leak in exhaust: $100-$200 (if welded to repair)

    DIY Steps to Diagnose Code P0141

    If you’d like to try to fix code P0141 at home without throwing money at parts, you’ll want to follow the steps below for proper diagnosis. Complete diagnosis may require some specialized equipment beyond what the FIXD Sensor can provide, but the biggest challenge for this repair is that internal engine issues could be the root cause of this code. As such, this diagnosis and repair should not be attempted by beginner DIYers. 

DIY difficulty level: Beginner

This repair is easy to perform and doesn’t require any specialty tools/equipment.

Tools/parts needed (our top picks from Amazon):

STEP 1: USE FIXD TO ENSURE NO OTHER ENGINE CODES ARE PRESENT.

Scan your vehicle to verify P0141 is the only code present. If other codes are present, they must be addressed first.

STEP 2: CHECK EXHAUST SYSTEM. 

Examine the exhaust system for damage and leaks. Pay close attention to the exhaust manifold, gaskets, and exhaust pipes pre-catalytic converter. If any leaks are found, repair the leak, clear the code, and complete several drive cycles to verify that was the fix.

STEP 3: CHECK OXYGEN SENSOR WIRING/CONNECTORS. 

Visually check the electrical connections, wire harness, and metal tabs in terminals for any damages

STEP 4: CHECK OXYGEN SENSOR(S).

Using the digital multimeter, check that the O2 sensor is getting battery voltage. Disconnect the O2 sensor harness connector and turn the ignition to the “on” position but do not crank the engine over. Test O2 sensor for proper voltage with a multimeter using the instructions from your vehicle’s repair manual.

STEP 5: INSPECT ENGINE GROUND.

Consult your repair manual to find where the engine ground is located and inspect the connection for a loose fitting and/or corrosion. 

STEP 6: CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL.

If at this point the vehicle is still setting the same code, you may have a more serious problem with your car’s O2 sensor system, and you should bring the vehicle to a certified shop to have further diagnostic work performed.  

Common P0141 diagnosis mistakes

Replacing the oxygen sensor when the issues could actually lie in the catalytic converter, wiring/connections, or an exhaust leak before the oxygen sensor.

Still Need Help Fixing Code P0141?

If you’ve followed the steps above and are still experiencing issues with the catalyst system and code P0141, please contact the FIXD Mechanic Hotline if you’re a FIXD Premium subscriber or find a RepairPal certified shop near you to get the right repairs at a fair price.

Jeffrey-Ross

Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

About the Author

Jeffrey N. Ross

Jeffrey N. Ross

Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a '91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

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