Description of DTC code P0161

Basically, the DTC code P0161 OBD2 is established when the PowerTrain Control Module (PCM) detects that there is excessive current consumption, or that there is a short circuit in the circuit of the heating element of the Oxygen Sensor (O2). As a result, vehicle emissions tend to increase due to this problem. Specifically, this code refers to the Oxygen Sensor (O2) number 2 which is located in the back of the catalytic converter.

Symptoms of fault code P0161

  • Since the vehicle emissions increase, since the time in which the Oxygen Sensor (O2) heats up is more than normal, the Check Engine service light turns on.

Causes of OBD2 P0161

The reasons for establishing a diagnostic code P0161 can be the following:

  • It is possible that the supply circuit of the heating element of the O2 (Oxygen Sensor) is shorted.
  • Perhaps the ground circuit of the Oxygen Sensor heater (O2) is short.
  • The signal from the oxygen sensor may be affected due to the presence of moisture or oil in the connector.
  • Probably Oxygen Sensor 2 (HO2S) is defective.

Possible solutions of the DTC code P0161

To solve the code P0161 you can do the following:

  • Perform a visual inspection of all the cables and connectors that lead to the Oxygen Sensor 2 (HO2S). Repair or change if you find defects in one of these components. They may also not be connected correctly.
  • With a digital multimeter, check the resistance of the heater circuit of the oxygen sensor. Compare the obtained readings with the factory specifications. Repair or change as warranted.
  • In case the Oxygen Sensor is OK, check the resistance of the rest of the circuit that goes from the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) to the sensor connector located in bank 2. It should be mentioned that a normal reading for these cables is less to half an ohm.
  • Replace Oxygen Sensor 2 (O2S).

Codes related to P0161

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