What are P0153 Code Symptoms and Causes? | How to Fix P0153 Code?

Your vehicle’s upstream oxygen sensor calculates the amount of oxygen in the engine exhaust trying to enter the catalytic converter. When this cross-count voltage activity becomes less than a minimum level, your powertrain control module (PCM) sets the P0153 code. This article mainly explains the causes and symptoms of the P0153 code.

P0153 Code Definition

The P0153 code stands for “O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 2 Sensor 1).”

In the definition of P0153, Bank 2 indicates the side of the engine that contains the cylinder number. 2, and “sensor 1” indicates the upstream oxygen sensor.

What does the P0153 Code Mean?

The P0153 trouble code indicates that the upstream O2 sensor on Bank 2 is not properly regulating the fuel and oxygen levels. The O2 sensor voltage switches between high voltage (fuel) and low voltage (air) at a quick rate of speed.

If the O2 sensor is switching slower than normal, the response between the PCM and the O2 sensor will be slow.

P0153 Code

The O2 sensor (bank 2, sensor 1) shares information with the PCM about the engine’s air/fuel ratio and adjusts accordingly. This helps to control the emission of exhaust gases and the vehicle’s fuel economy.

Your PCM triggers the P0153 code when the voltage output sent from the oxygen sensor to the PCM is not changing fast enough for the air/fuel ratio when the accelerator pedal is depressed.

The upstream O2 sensor that doesn’t produce diverse voltage levels fast enough can have problems that affect its performance and cause the DTC P0153.

Causes of P0153 Code

  1. Bad oxygen sensor
  2. Damaged or corroded oxygen sensor wiring
  3. Dirty MAF sensor
  4. A rich or lean running engine  
  5. Damaged oxygen sensor connections
  6. Exhaust leak
  7. Intake air leaks
  8. Engine vacuum Leak
  9. PCM issues (e.g., software update required) 

Symptoms of P0153 Code

  • Illuminated Check Engine Light
  • Poor Fuel Economy
  • Black smoke from the exhaust pipe
  • Failed emission test
  • The engine runs very rough
  • Engine Stalling
  • Poor engine stalling
  • Poor idle
  • The engine doesn’t operate as smoothly during start-up

Read More: P0141 Code Symptoms and Causes

How to diagnose the P0153 Code?

  1. Use an OBD-II scanner to find the code.
  2. Record all stored fault codes, along with all available freeze frame data. Clear the codes and make a test drive. If the code returns, then move forward for further inspection.
  3. Check the exhaust system for leaks.
  4. Inspect the vacuum and intake hoses by going to the intake or engine to check for the vacuum leak.
  5. Check for coolant or oil leaks.
  6. Check the wires connected to the affected O2 sensor for corrosion and damage.
  7. Inspect the affected oxygen sensor connectors
  8. Inspect the mass airflow (MAF) sensor for damage or blockage. If your MAF sensor is damaged, then replace it with the new one.
  9. Inspect the O2 sensor for damage or contaminants. If your O2 sensor is damaged, then replace it.
  10. Use an OBD-II scanner to check the O2 sensor voltage switch, and find whether or not the sensor voltages are switching as they should
  11. Follows the manufacturer’s specific pinpoint tests for further diagnosis.

Common P0153 Code Diagnosis Mistakes

  1. Not checking for a stored code in another PCM fault storage
  2. Not confirming the existence of the P0153 once a code reader finds one
  3. Not performing a visual inspection of the MAF sensor or oxygen sensor before replacing it.
  4. Replacing the O2 sensor without inspecting the sensor wiring for damage or corrosion.
  5. No inspection of the oxygen sensor wire harness for water entry into the harness cover
  6. Replacing the O2 sensor without inspecting the sensor’s loose connections.
  7. Not inspecting the exhaust and engine vacuum leaks.

Repair Cost of P0153 Code

The fixing or repair cost of the P0153 code varies according to the vehicle model, labor cost, and repair cost of the relevant part. To fix the DTC P0153, you may need one or more of the following repairs:

Oxygen Sensor replacement$150 to $510
Exhaust repair$90 to $210
Vacuum leak$90 to $210
Catalytic converter$380 to $2500

FAQ Section

How serious is the P0153 code?

  • This is not a much serious code. It doesn’t create many severe problems like other trouble codes. However, you may face some minor issues, such as poor fuel economy with this code. 
  • In some cases, traveling with this code for an extended period of time may affect the catalytic converter performance.

What repairs can fix the P0153 code?

  • Replacing or repairing the frayed, shorted, or damaged wires.
  • Repairing the damaged or loose connections to the O2 sensor
  • Fixing the exhaust leaks
  • Fixing the vacuum leaks
  • Inspecting the MAF sensor for the right operation
  • Replacing or fixing the O2 sensor (bank 2 sensor 1)
  • Replacing or reprograming the PCM

What causes O2 sensor slow response?

The slow response of an O2 sensor may be due to a sensor that is just getting old and over time may get contaminated with time with carbon and other contaminants that deteriorate the sensor over time.

What can cause a false O2 sensor code?

The exhaust valve leak, engine misfiring, or exhaust manifold gasket leak that permits air to enter the exhaust may cause this type of code to be set.

Can bad spark plugs cause O2 sensor code?

Yes, a faulty spark plug can confuse your vehicle’s PCM and trigger the oxygen sensor code. In most cases, driving with a bad spark plug can be dangerous.

Read More
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  2. P0122 Code Meaning, Symptoms, and Causes
  3. P0134 Code Meaning, Symptoms, and Causes
  4. P0135 Code Symptoms and Causes
  5. Different types of Engines

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