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P2196 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

P2196
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Code P2196 Definition

O2 Sensor Signal Stuck Rich (Bank 1, Sensor 1)

What Does P2196 Mean?

 Code P2196 is a result of the pre-catalytic converter oxygen sensor detecting a rich air to fuel ratio of the exhaust on bank 1. This ratio is sent to the ECM, which uses this data, along with comparisons to the outside air, to regulate the air to fuel ratio needed by the engine. This DTC code indicates that there is too much fuel in relation to the oxygen in your vehicle, or that the oxygen sensor is faulty and reading an incorrect air/fuel ratio.

What Are the Symptoms of Code P2196?

  • Check engine light
  • Low Engine Power
  • Excessive smoke from the exhaust
  • Lower fuel economy

What Is the Cause of Code P2196?

  • Frayed or broken oxygen sensor circuit wiring/connectors
  • Faulty oxygen sensor 1 bank 1
  • Dirty Mass Air Flow (MAF)
  • Vacuum leaks
  • Exhaust leaks
  • Fuel pressure too high
  • Leaking fuel injector
  • Malfunctioning ECM

What Is the Severity of Code P2196? – Severe

Initially, this trouble code will not prevent your vehicle from running. The most common result(s) are lowered fuel economy and the engine running rough. However, if left unresolved, this code could cause internal damage to other components of your vehicle. This includes damage to the catalytic converter, or possible burnt valves, which can be extremely expensive to repair.

Code P2196 Common Diagnosis Mistakes

Prematurely replacing the pre-catalytic converter oxygen (O2) sensor before visually inspecting the wiring for fraying or disconnection, not checking for intake or exhaust leaks, and not checking fuel pressure.

Tools Needed to Diagnose Code P2196

  • Tools Needed to Diagnose:
  • FIXD
  • Basic hand tools
  • Fuel pressure gauge

How to diagnose Code P2196

Difficulty of Diagnosis: 4 out out 5

  1. Check to see if there are any other codes along with P2196 and clear your Check Engine Light with FIXD
  2. Conduct a visual inspection of wiring around the pre and post catalytic converter oxygen sensors for fraying or disconnection. If there is any damage, either repair or replace the damaged part.
  3. Visually check the mass airflow sensor (MAF) to see if it needs cleaning/replacement. Sometimes, debris can get sucked in past an old or improperly installed air filter. If your air filter is bent or not fully sealing, replace it and clean the MAF, clear the codes, and test drive to see if the concern is resolved. 
  4. Check for any exhaust leaks between the engine and the post catalytic converter O2 sensor. If there are any leaks resolve them, clear the code, and test drive to see if the concern is resolved.
  5. Replace vacuum lines or intake air tube if there are signs of cracks or disconnections.
  6. Perform a fuel pressure test to see if your fuel pressure is within spec. If too high, you could have a faulty fuel pressure regulator or the vacuum line to the fuel pressure regulator could be clogged, leaking, or not connected.
  7. Consider replacing the pre-catalytic converter oxygen sensor if the check engine light persists.

Estimated Cost of Repair

For error code P2196, 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
  • A leak in exhaust: $100-$200 (if welded to repair)
  • Vacuum leak: $100-$200
  • Fuel pressure regulator: $200-$400
FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

RepairPal and FIXD

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

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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