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P0132 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Meaning

Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P0132 is one of the many OBD-II codes that indicate any irregularity in the operation of the Oxygen (O2) sensor. This generic trouble code indicates when the Bank 1 Sensor 1 of the Oxygen sensor circuit is above specifications. This is the situation that occurs when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects that your vehicle’s heated Oxygen sensor voltage has exceeded the manufacturer’s predefined temperature. This usually occurs when the O2 sensor temperature remains above 450 millivolts for more than 20 seconds.

The primary function of the O2 sensor is to monitor the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system of your vehicle. This information is necessary to ensure optimum engine performance and keep environmental pollution to a minimum. When the O2 sensor encounters any issue, there is an interference with the vehicle’s overall performance and that interference triggers the DTC code P0132.

This trouble code is usually considered not so serious by many technicians. This is because it does not pose any severe effects on the vehicle’s performance at the early stages. That does not mean that this code should be left unrepaired. As a matter of fact, the prolonged presence of this code in a vehicle always results in severe damages, such as a damaged catalytic converter.

Causes

There are a number of defects that could lead to a very high voltage of the bank 1 sensor 1 of your vehicle’s O2 sensor circuit. It is also quite important to note that these factors may vary from one vehicle make to another. Nevertheless, we have compiled a list of common causes for this problem in a vehicle regardless of the vehicle’s make or model. These causes include:

  • Shorted oxygen (O2) sensor heater circuit
  • Corroded, broken, or exposed oxygen sensor wires
  • Defective engine coolant temperature sensor
  • Fuel temperature is too high
  • High fuel pressure
  • Defective O2 sensor
  • Defective Mass Airflow (MAF) sensor
  • Engine fuel temperature transducer performance is below specification
  • Powertrain Control Module (PCM) software is out-of-date
  • Malfunctioning or a defective PCM

Symptoms

At the initial stage of this trouble code, the driver may not notice any serious symptoms beyond the illumination of the Check Engine Light (CEL) also known as Malfunctioning Indication Light (MIL). However, the longer this code is left unrepaired in a vehicle the more damages it causes. When this code is left in a vehicle for a long time, it begins to show series of symptoms, most common of them include;

  • Illumination of the CEL
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Reduced or erratic engine performance
  • Black smoke discharging alongside the exhaust smoke
  • Rough running

Diagnosis

The diagnostic trouble code P0132 can be caused by a number of problems in a vehicle -From a defective O2 sensor to a faulty Mass Airflow (MAF) sensor. To achieve a perfect diagnosis for this code, you will need an OBD-II scanner to read the freeze frame data. Although this code may seem relatively non serious, yet we do not recommend DIY repair for this diagnosis when you have no prior experience.

  • Using the OBD-II scanner, download and read the freeze frame data and all codes stored by the PCM
  • Reset all stored codes to clear the P0132 error, this will turn off the check engine light
  • Having reset the codes, take the vehicle for a test drive and observe if the code returns
  • If the code returns, it is most likely that bank 1 of the O2 sensor is faulty. In this case, you should consider replacing it
  • With the aid of the OBD-II scanner, view live data and monitor the voltage levels going to the O2 sensor. This process is carried out to ensure the proper voltage of the sensor
  • Lastly, conduct a visual inspection on the O2 sensor wiring, checking for broken, frayed, or exposed wires
  • Repair the wiring as appropriate

Common Mistakes in Diagnosis:

When dealing with this trouble code, there are some common mistakes that usually occur. Firstly, it is important to carefully analyze the source of the problem before you begin the repair. Very often, you may be required to replace the Oxygen sensor and the air-fuel ratio sensor in order to rectify this problem and clear the trouble code. Also, there may be fault with the MAF sensor which may call for a replacement. Lastly, it is of necessity to conduct visual inspection on the O2 sensor wiring for broken, exposed, or frayed wires before you replace the sensor.

How Serious if P0132?

Generally, technicians do not consider DTC P0132 as a serious trouble code. This is because this code usually does not pose any significant threat to the vehicle’s drivability aside increased fuel consumption. Meanwhile, a vehicle with this trouble code is harmful to the environment as it usually emits harmful pollutants, such as hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide to the environment.

What Repair Can Fix P0132?

In addition to the diagnosis above, your vehicle may require additional repairs in order to completely clear the code. In this case, you should consider the following repairs on your vehicle;

  • Consider replacing the O2 sensor
  • Consider replacing the MAF sensor
  • Troubleshoot the fuel pressure valve
  • You should replace the engine coolant temperature sensor
  • Identify and fix any broken, frayed, or exposed wire connections
  • Replace the spark plug if you notice an accumulation of whitish substances
  • Lastly, repair or replace the PCM if defective

Related Codes

This diagnostic code is related to other trouble codes that deal with the malfunctioning of the O2 sensor circuit, most especially the bank 1 sensors. Some of these related codes include:

  • P0130 – O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
  • P0131 – O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
  • P0133 – O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 1, Sensor 1)
  • P0134 – O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 1, Sensor 1)
  • P0137 – O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
  • P0038 – Heated Oxygen Sensor Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 1, Sensor 2)
  • P0140 – O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 1, Sensor 2)
  • P0144 – O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 3)

Conclusion

DTC Code P0132 is usually not a very serious code at the onset. However, leaving the code to tarry before taking action can worsen its effects. Although this code is not one of those notorious trouble codes, DYI repair is not recommended for people with no similar experience. Apart from the fact that you can complicate the issue with your inexperience, you may also forfeit your warranty by the manufacturer. Therefore, having an expert conduct this repair is always the best as it saves you reasonable time and poses less threat.

P0132 code – what does it mean & how to fix it

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