Diagnostic Trouble Code P0130

P0130 “O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1, Sensor 1)”

 

What is code P0130?

Code P0130 stands for “O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1, Sensor 1)”. This diagnostic trouble code can show up for a number of problems related to the pre-catalyst oxygen sensor. Therefore, it is important to have a qualified technician diagnose the specific problem that caused the code to be stored in your vehicle’s computer.

Get this checked out soon by a CarAdvise shop, where the work will be guaranteed, and one of our expert techs will review any repair orders.

What does code P0130 mean?

A code P0130 is a general diagnostic code that tells a technician that there is a problem with the oxygen sensor mounted in the exhaust system upstream of the catalytic converter. The  ECM (Engine Control Module) has detected the problem and turned on the check engine light.

Your engine requires that a specific mixture of air and fuel enter the combustion chambers in order for combustion to happen properly. When that air/fuel ratio is out of balance, whether too rich (too much fuel) or too lean (not enough fuel), your engine will not run as it should. And when that ratio is off, fuel economy also decreases, while harmful emissions from the exhaust system increase.

To help ensure a suitable air/fuel mixture, your vehicle is fitted with anywhere from two to five sensors mounted in the exhaust system that measure the percentage of oxygen present in the exhaust gasses. Data from these oxygen sensors is sent to the ECM where it is analyzed and used to adjust the air/fuel ratio accordingly. For instance, the ECM could call for additional fuel from the fuel pump if it detects a lean condition, or more air to the intake manifold if it senses a rich condition.

If the ECM detects a problem with the electrical signal coming from one of these oxygen sensors, it will store a diagnostic trouble code and turn on the check engine light. More specifically, if the ECM detects that the voltage coming from the oxygen sensor mounted before the catalytic converter on the side of the engine containing cylinder number 1 (Bank 1) is out of reasonable limits, it will trigger code P0130.

 

What causes code P0130?

A number of causes can trigger a code P0130. That is why an accurate diagnosis is essential. Causes of this code include anything that prevents the ECM from receiving proper voltage from the oxygen sensor. For instance:

Most likely

  • Faulty oxygen sensor ($200-$500)
  • Damaged or deteriorated wiring to the oxygen sensor

Other possibilities

  • Corrosion on the oxygen sensor connector or ECM connector
  • Malfunctioning ECM

 

What symptoms are associated with this code?

Common signs associated with a code P0130 include the following:

  • The check engine light is on or flashing
  • Reduced fuel economy due to excess fuel consumption
  • Engine runs roughly, hesitates, or lacks power
  • Failed emissions test
  • Black smoke coming from the tailpipe

 

How does a technician diagnose code P0130?

If a diagnostic scan of your vehicle indicates a code P0130, a technician will perform tests to pinpoint the problem. These tests include checking for any related trouble codes. The technician will also use the scan tool to read the live data from the oxygen sensors and make comparisons under various operating conditions. The wiring that leads to the sensor will also be inspected and tested, along with the sensor itself. The technician might also inject additional fuel into the engine while it is running to watch for proper oxygen sensor feedback data on the diagnostic scan tool. 

 

How serious is this code?

In some cases, a code P0130 will not cause immediate drivability issues. That said, driving your vehicle without a working number 1 oxygen sensor (or sensors) will force the ECM to operate in what is known as “open loop” mode, which means the computer will rely on a set of factory preset values to run the engine rather than more accurate “live” values coming directly from the sensor. Operating in this way can cause your engine to run too rich or too lean, each of which, in time, can lead to engine problems such as carbon buildup, overheating, internal component damage, and more. While a code P0130 is not a cause for immediate concern, your vehicle should not be driven more than necessary without a proper diagnosis, typically within a week.

Get this checked out soon by a CarAdvise shop, where the work will be guaranteed, and one of our expert techs will review any repair orders.

 

Related Diagnostic Trouble Codes

P0132 “O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 1, Sensor 1)”

P0137 “O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1, Sensor 2)”

P0138 “O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 1, Sensor 2)”

 

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