Secondary Air System Malfunction
Our emissions expert has put together the following information about the P0410 fault code. We have also included diagnostic procedures you can take to your repair shop if the mechanic is having difficulty analyzing the code.
OBD II Fault Code
- OBD II P0410
Fault Code Definition
The Secondary Air System pumps outside fresh air into the Exhaust System during cold engine start up. This additional air helps burn up the highly rich exhaust emissions that are produced when the engine is warming up. The Secondary Air System typically has an Air Pump and some tubes or plumbing to route the air. The system also has a solenoid and Check Valve(s) to control the air flow.
- Check Engine Light will illuminate
- In many cases, no abnormal symptoms may be noticed
- In some cases, the engine may hesitate on acceleration
Common Problems That Trigger the P0410 Code
- Defective Air Pump Check Valve(s)
- Faulty Air Pump or Air Pump Relay
- Faulty air control solenoids or vacuum lines
- System may be restricted or plugged with carbon
- Air Pump Check Valves function, but are slightly restricted
- Air Pump is replaced when the relay is the problem
- Parts are replaced when the the system is restricted or plugged with carbon
- Many Saturn vehicles set a code P0410 due to a restricted air passage in the cylinder head
- Study the Diagnostic Theory section below to learn about the scan tool data that indicates a restricted air passage
- Learn more in the Diagnostic/Theory section at the bottom of this article
P0410 Diagnostic theory for Shops and Technicians
When a code P0410 is set, the PCM is not seeing the front oxygen sensor voltage drop sufficiently when the Air Pump is supposed to be adding outside air in to the exhaust system to burn off the excessive HCs and CO that are created during the cold start of an engine. One should test the system with a data streaming scan tool, during a stone cold start up of the engine. Some scan tools provide the Technician methods to test the Secondary Air System or SAS when the vehicle is already warmed up, but this feature is not present on all scan tools.
Cold start the vehicle and watch the front oxygen sensor(s) on the scan tool data stream. After about 5-10 seconds, you should hear the secondary air pump start, it actually sounds like a vacuum cleaner running under the hood. Just as the Air Pump kicks in, the front oxygen sensor(s) voltage should go to less than .125 volts ( 125 millivolts ). If this does not happen, then you have verified a fault condition in the SAS or Secondary Air System.
- If you do not hear the Air Pump Motor start, then check the SAS Air Pump and relay.
- If you hear the motor, inspect the components that control the Air delivery such as the Check Valve Solenoid, the Check Valve and the rubber hoses, metal piping and passages.
- On Saturn vehicles with the metal air pipe that connects to the cylinder head, if the air pump is running but the oxygen sensor voltage does not change, remove the metal air pipe that goes in to the cylinder head and inspect the air passage to see if the passage is plugged or restricted.