The upstream oxygen sensor measures the amount of oxygen in the engine exhaust that is about to enter the catalytic converter. When this cross-counting voltage activity drops below a minimum level, the powertrain control module (PCM) may set the P0153 trouble code.
What Does the P0153 Code Mean?
Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0153 stands for “O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 2, Sensor 1).”
Note: Code P0153 is a generic code set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The vehicle’s manufacturer may define the code differently. In case of the latter, refer to the repair manual.
Oxygen sensors issue high voltage signatures when they detect a rich air mixture and low voltage signatures when they encounter lean mixtures. An upstream oxygen sensor that doesn’t generate different voltage levels fast enough may have an issue that compromises its performance, resulting in this diagnostic trouble code.
The oxygen sensor covered by the P0153 is fitted between the cylinder head and the catalytic converter on bank 2. It checks the oxygen levels of the exhaust leaving the exhaust manifold and the PCM compares its reading with the signals coming from the oxygen sensor 2 behind the converter.
What are the Possible Causes of the P0153 Code?
You can trace the reduced cycling rate of an oxygen sensor’s cross-counting voltage activity to problems that affect either the device, engine performance or the exhaust system. The following issues can cause the PCM to set a P0153 code:
- Bad or failing oxygen sensor
- Oxygen sensor circuit problems (e.g., damaged wires or poor connections)
- A rich or lean running engine
- A leak in the exhaust system
- An issue with the PCM (e.g., software update required)
What are the Common Symptoms of the P0153 Code?
Here are some of the usual symptoms you are likely to observe when the code P0153 is set by the PCM:
- Activated or blinking check engine light
- Increased emission levels in the exhaust released by the catalytic converter
- Engine performance problems (e.g., rough running and lack of acceleration)
How to Diagnose the P0153 Code
It is recommended to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop if your scanner shows code P0153. However, if you are an experienced car DIY-er, you can get an idea of what the troubleshooting process might involve by watching the video below:
How to Fix the P0153 Code
Even though many DTCs share symptoms and causes, that does not mean that they share solutions as well. The exact repair process will vary according to what set the code off and the affected vehicle’s make and model. For instance, the confirmed fixes for a P0153 in a Jeep are likely not the same for a Ford or Chevy.
Find out how to resolve the P0153 code by looking for a fix that’s specific to your vehicle and the problem that triggered the code. Once you’ve figured out the underlying cause, you can do some research on car forums (and other similar platforms) to find the appropriate repair for your car. Make sure to include the code and your car’s year, make, and model when you do your search.
You may also consult online auto repair resources and guides or get an ALLDATA single-vehicle subscription to get detailed repair information for this code and any other repairs you may need to perform in the future.