P0410 – Secondary air injection (AIR) system -malfunction

Reinier

By Reinier (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2016-03-21
Automobile Repair Shop Owner

Trouble CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P0410 Secondary air injection (AIR) system -malfunction Wiring, AIR valve, AIR solenoid, ECM

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What Does Code P0410 Mean?

OBD II fault code PO 410 refers to a fault or defect in the Secondary Air System, also known as the Secondary Air Injection System, that is fitted to some vehicles. The purpose of the system is to inject atmospheric air into the exhaust system during cold starts to assist in the oxidization, or burning off of uncombusted and/or partially combusted hydrocarbon molecules in the exhaust stream that result from incomplete combustion during cold starts, when most engines run on highly enriched air/fuel mixtures.

Secondary Air Systems typically consist of a relatively high-capacity air pump in the form of a turbine, a relay to control switching the pump motor on and off, a solenoid and check valve(s) to control air flow, as well various tubing and ducting configurations to suit the application. The image below shows a simplified schematic of a typical Secondary Air System layout.

secondary-air-system

Image credit: http://www.partinfo.co.uk/articles/152

What are the common causes of code P0410 ?

Since Secondary Air systems are relatively simple, there are only a few possible causes of system failure. The most common causes are-

  • Defective, or malfunctioning pump check valves.

  • Defective, or malfunctioning pump relays.

  • Defective, or malfunctioning control solenoids.

  • Ruptured, or leaking hoses and ducting.

  • Restrictions in the form of carbon build up in hoses, ducting, and other components.

  • Breaks, or interruptions in the power supply to the pump motor due to bad connections, poor ground connections, or short circuits due to damaged wiring

NOTE 1: Since air pumps are known to fail without warning, it is easy to ascribe system failure to a defective pump, when the real problem is often a failed relay. Other common misdiagnoses involve check valves that are taken to work, even though they may be slightly restricted by carbon thus reducing airflow to the exhaust, which can trigger the Check Engine light.

NOTE 2 : Some GM models can experience system failure due to the ingress of moisture into the pump and motor. The relevant Technical Service Bulletin can be found here. Note that this TSB calls for the replacement of some hoses and other components along with the damaged motor/pump.

What are the symptoms of code P0410 ?

  • The Check Engine light will illuminate in most cases; however, on some vehicles of European manufacture, the Pollution Control warning light will illuminate.

  • In a large percentage of cases, there will be no adverse symptoms, or outward signs of trouble.

  • In some cases, the air pump may be noisy due to mechanical wear, or the presence of foreign objects in the pump.

  • In many cases, there may be some hesitation on acceleration when the engine is cold. The degree of hesitation will vary from car to car, but the presence of code P0 410 indicates a specific cause of the hesitation, which in this case is a malfunction of the Secondary Air System.

How do you troubleshoot code P0410 ?

Code P0410 is set when outside air to burn off excessive hydrocarbons in the exhaust system is absent during a cold start, thus causing the voltage across the front oxygen sensor not to drop to a predetermined level.

Troubleshooting involves the use of suitable diagnostic equipment, with the ideal being a scan tool that can monitor data streams, but this function is generally not available on low-priced tools. Some advanced scan tools have the ability to perform diagnostic tests on the Secondary Air System while the engine is hot, but again, this function is usually not available on scan tools that are available to DIY mechanics.

Nevertheless, the diagnostic procedure requires that the engine be cold, ideally not having run for at least 10-12 hours. Assuming that the scan tool can monitor data streams, start the engine, and confirm that the voltage across the front oxygen sensor drops to, or below 125 millivolts (.125 Volt), after about 5-10 seconds. A fault in the Secondary Air System is confirmed if the voltage does not drop to this value, so perform the following checks-

  • If the voltage does not drop to 125 millivolts, but you hear the air pump running, check all hoses, ducting, valves, and solenoids for leaks. However, also be sure to check all hoses, ducting, and valves for obstructions such as carbon build-up.

  • If the air pump does not come on, check all related fuses, relays, wiring, and the pump motor for continuity, and replace/repair as required.

  • If despite these checks the fault persists, it may become necessary to remove the exhaust manifold(s), and/or the cylinder head(s) to gain access to the system ports for the purpose of cleaning out carbon deposits.

Codes Related to P0410

Trouble codes related to P0410 include the following-

  • P0411, that sets when there is an incorrect airflow to the exhaust, usually as the result of restrictions or leaks in the system.
  • P0412, that sets when there is an issue with the control solenoid, as opposed to the air pump and check valves.
  • P0492, that sets when there is an insufficient flow of air on bank #1, which is the side of the engine that contains cylinder #1.
  • P0492, that sets when the airflow on bank #2 is insufficient . Bank #2 is best described as the side of the engine that does not contain cylinder #1.

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