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Summary
  • The diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P013A indicates “O2 Sensor Slow Response – Rich to Lean (Bank 1 Sensor 2).”
  • Your vehicle’s powertrain control module (PCM) will log this code when it detects that the post-catalytic converter oxygen sensor (Sensor 2) in bank one is responding slowly.
  • Common causes of the P013A code are a bad oxygen sensor (bank 1, sensor 2), issues with the connectors or wirings, and a problematic catalytic converter.
  • A vehicle that sets a P013A code can show symptoms like an illuminated check engine light, decreased fuel efficiency, and poor engine performance.

Oxygen sensors play a vital role in the operation of your engine. They are installed either in the exhaust manifold or in the exhaust pipe (downstream from the manifold). The main function of these sensors is to measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. This information is used by the vehicle’s powertrain control module (PCM) to adjust air-to-fuel ratio accordingly.

Just like any other engine sensor, these sensors can develop problems because of several reasons. P013A is just one of several engine trouble codes related to a possible fault with the performance of one of the vehicle’s oxygen sensors. If your scan tool reads this code, and you’re wondering what it means, you’re reading the right article.

What Does the P013A Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P013A stands for “O2 Sensor Slow Response – Rich to Lean (Bank 1 Sensor 2).” It is logged once the PCM perceives that the post-catalytic converter oxygen sensor (Sensor 2) in Bank 1 is responding slowly. Bank 1 refers to the side of the engine that contains cylinder #1.

See also  P0131: O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1, Sensor 1)
oxygen sensor P013A
Oxygen sensors play a vital role in the operation of your engine.

Code P013A indicates a problem with the downstream O2 sensor, which is already supposed to be lazier than the upstream sensor on a system where the catalyst is storing oxygen correctly.

Conventional oxygen sensors actually use their ceramic electrolyte-based zirconia bulb to compare oxygen in the exhaust stream to atmospheric oxygen – and at 600 degrees F they  create their own voltage (0.2 to 0.9 volts), which the PCM uses to determine O2 content in the exhaust stream. The downstream sensor works like the upstreams sensor but has a slightly different job; it measures the catalytic converter’s oxygen storage capacity.

Code P013A indicates a problem with the downstream O2 sensor, which is already supposed to be lazier than the upstream sensor on a system where the catalyst is storing oxygen correctly.

– Richard McCuistian, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Generally, if the amount of oxygen in the exhaust is high (lean condition), the voltage signal should be low. On the other hand, low oxygen concentration in the exhaust (rich condition) should trigger a higher voltage signal.

The PCM uses the data from the upstream oxygen sensor when calculating how much fuel to give the engine. Meanwhile, the PCM primarily uses the signal from the downstream sensor to determine the health of the catalytic converter.

See also  P0136 Code: O2 Sensor Circuit (Bank 1, Sensor 2)
engine control module activating P013A Code
The PCM uses the data from the upstream oxygen sensor when calculating how much fuel to give the engine.

Once the PCM detects a slow response time from the oxygen sensor (Bank 1 Sensor 2) over a set period, it will trigger code P013A.

Note: The definition of code P013A may be different depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Consult the appropriate repair manual or repair database for the exact code definition.

What are the Possible Causes of the P013A Code?

Here are some possible triggers of the P013A engine code:

  • Faulty oxygen sensor (bank 1, sensor 2)
  • Wiring and/or connector issues
  • Malfunctioning catalytic converter
  • Leaks in the engine exhaust
  • An issue with the PCM
  • Engine running too rich or too lean

What are the Common Symptoms of a P013A Code?

Here are some common symptoms of this error code:

How to Diagnose the P013A Code

You can try diagnosing code P013A using a scan tool record utility. The ECM/PCM knows how rapidly the downstream (rear) O2 sensor should be switching based on the faster switching upstream sensor. It’s a rationality check algorithm. Usually the downstream (1/2 and 2/2) sensors will be more sluggish anyway by default, but the ECM/PCM knows when there’s something wrong, and it’ll flag a sluggish downstream sensor when it detects that. Usually the upstream sensor dies first, though, and that’s a different code.

Note, however, that it isn’t easy to diagnose P013A. Considering that there are several faulty components that may trigger the code, it may be difficult for you to identify which one is causing the issue. If you’re not well-versed in auto repair, it’s best to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop and let a mechanic inspect your vehicle.

See also  P0155 Code: Oxygen Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2, Sensor 1)

If you’re confident about diagnosing the code yourself, it’s a good idea to start by reading  vehicle-specific repair manuals or online repair databases. They can help you identify the diagnostic procedures that may be compatible with your vehicle.

How to Fix the P013A Code 5

It isn’t easy to fix issues with any vehicle sensors, especially if you don’t have adequate knowledge and the appropriate tools to get the job done. You can always choose to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop and let a mechanic fix the issue for you.

However, if you don’t mind spending the money and you’re wrench smart, throw a sensor at it yourself – that’s pretty likely to be the problem in a situation like this. We also suggest consulting vehicle-specific repair manuals or subscribing to an online repair database to help you determine the appropriate fix.

When consulting these resources, it’s important to remember that vehicles may be structured differently per manufacturer. For instance, the repair steps for a P013A on a Ford may be different for a P013A on a Chevrolet.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : OBD-II Trouble Codes Tagged With :
Garage Essentials
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