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What Does This OBII Code Really Mean?


rckowal's Avatar
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10-28-03, 05:30 PM   #1  
What Does This OBII Code Really Mean?

'98 Pontiac Grand AM smaller 6 cylinder engine. The "Check Engine" light came on. OBII checker said it's a code 1133. It was rainy & very humid for two days prior to the light coming on (so engine wires, etc may be damp) if that means anything.

According to my OBII user manual, this translates to "Front Main O2 Sensor Signal No Change". That's nice to know, but what does it really mean? Is the sensor bad, or misbehaving intermitently, or what? By the way, the OBII cleared the "Check Engine" light once its test was done.

Yoiur help will be much appreciated.

Best regards, Dick

 
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YamahaWolverine's Avatar
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10-28-03, 06:45 PM   #2  
A P1133 refers to an insufficient switching HO2S Bank1 sensor 1.
The HO2S is your heated Oxygen sensor. The HO2S Monitors the oxygen content in the exhaust stream. The voltage signal produced by the O2 should constantly switch between rich and lean. Bank 1 sensor 1 refers to the front O2 in this application. Without a scan tool or meter it is difficult to diagnose a this problem. Verify that the sensor is connected properly and all of the wires are in tact. Were there any other DTC's stored?

 
rckowal's Avatar
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10-29-03, 06:42 AM   #3  
Thanks for the reply YamahaWolverine - it's appreciated.

To answer your question, "No" there were no other DTC codes stored.

I'll probably take this in to my mechanic for servicing so I'm not going to dig into wire connections, etc. myself.

However it would be helpful to know if this sensor will affect the operation of the car or is it just one of the emissions gadgets that can wait a while to be serviced?
As I said, the light is out now (cleared by the OBDII).

I ask because this car is in use by my son who just started a new job. To take the car in for service within the next few days means critical interuption in his new job - not a good thing during these hard times when jobs are hard to come by!

Best regards, Dick

 
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10-29-03, 09:07 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Get it in ASAP as emission related codes can mean more expensive repairs later on.

 
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10-29-03, 03:30 PM   #5  
sleepyfloyd
i had the same code on my Plymouth Voyager. I reset it and it came back on in 2 or 3 days..

I ended up changing the front O2 Sensor and its fine now..

It wasnt hard to remove once I figured out where it was.. there are 2 of them.. one in front and one behind the catalytic convertert.. though it helps to have the 02 Sensor socket tool for my ratchet. (basically a normal socket with a notch cut out to make room for the electrical connection.)

so.. from my experience, I would try to locate it in the exhaust.. and if it looks like its not to difficult to get to.. I would order a new one and replace..

I got mine from:

http://www.buyoxygensensors.com.

If you don't know what you're looking for, visit the website first.. then get an idea of what they look like.. then crawl under your car and follow the exhaust pipe.. you should be able to locate it pretty easily that way..

 
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10-29-03, 05:14 PM   #6  
No, wrong advice. An O/2 sensor code doesn't nessessarily mean the sensor is the problem. It's telling you something about what it's seeing in the tailpipe so don't assume it's lying to you. It could be too lean or it could be too rich. A too rich condition would definately not be a bad sensor. You may have something like a broken vacuum line or a dirty Mass air flow sensor. Throwing parts at it is not the answer and the problem MAY be important.

 
rckowal's Avatar
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10-29-03, 06:22 PM   #7  
Thanks to all who have replied.

I intend to take it in to my mechanic to be serviced some time soon. He's pretty good, trustworthy & fair. I could probably replace it myself but as Desi501 pointed out, throwing parts at it may not fix the problem.

Regardless, all of your comments are very much appreciated.

Best regards, Dick

 
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10-29-03, 09:47 PM   #8  
Depending on how many miles the car has the sensor should probably be changed anyway.

 
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10-30-03, 06:49 AM   #9  
Joe_F
I'd agree about changing the sensor, but the root of the problem must also be found or the light WILL return!

 
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