Have you gotten the check engine light and diagnosed a P0410 code on your car? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover on this topic, and learn all you need to know how to solve the matter.
Doing proper research on a problem is the way to go. Especially if you are a gearhead and you want to wrench on your car as we do. Research is key in our opinion since if you don’t do proper research, you will end up paying thousands of dollars in some cases on repairs that could have been avoided.
And out there in the world, there are tons and tons of sketchy mechanics who would want to rip you off until they eventually solve the problem. So, opening up the horizons with new information and learning about the problem and the causes for this problem is the way to go in our opinion.
In this article, first, we are going to discuss the basics of car diagnostics and learn more about this procedure and how it is done on a modern car. Then, we will take a look at what is a secondary air injection pump and elaborate more on the problem with the P0410 code.
In the second part, we are going to elaborate on the causes, symptoms, and how to diagnose this problem on your car. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Now before we dive into more complex topics and learn more about the P0410 code, let’s first take a look at what is car diagnostics and try to understand more about it.
Modern car diagnostics is not like diagnostics back in the day. Back in the day, car diagnostics was different. The mechanic was the diagnostician and mechanic at the same time.
Which nowadays in many shops is not the case. First, you take your car to be diagnosed and then you take your car to a mechanic to get it fixed. Then, you can worry about issues such as how much is for a car diagnosis. Even though, shops have both types of technicians.
Nevertheless, your job, in this case, is to be the diagnostician and the mechanic. For this, you need a special tool known as an OBD2 scanner. This tool is essential when it comes to solving problems with your car. Because this tool allows you to read trouble codes and learn which sensor and component perform badly.
So, you have the ability to get live data using this car diagnostic tool. Even though this is a feature only available on more advanced devices.
The second tool that is quite essential when it comes to diagnosing problems is the multimeter. The multimeter will give you the ability to read the electric properties of your electrical components. For example, voltage, resistance, and continuity. All these three properties are really important for properly diagnosing a sensor.
And the last thing is that you will need that problem-solving attitude. And if this is your characteristic, then then this will be the right job for you. But how to solve the P0410 code? More about that, we are going to elaborate later on in the article. Now let’s take a look at what is a secondary air injection pump.
Secondary Air Injection Pump
Now before we elaborate on the P0410 code, let’s first take a look at what is a secondary air injection pump and what is its role.
The secondary air pump is a part of the secondary air injection system. The secondary air injection system is a special system that is designed to tackle emissions. So, this system is considered an emissions system. Thus the code P0410, every trouble code concerning the emissions starts with 4.
Nevertheless, the secondary air injection system has a simple role. And this role involves injecting air into the exhaust of the engine at a cold start. So, why is this necessary?
Well, when you do a cold start on your vehicle, the car is running considerably rich. Many times above normal. And when a car is running rich, it means that there is too much gas and too little fuel.
This is a rather important thing since you cannot start when the engine is running lean. It would simply not work and the engine will be stalling. This might explain why your car struggles to start when the engine is cold.
The downside of this rich air-to-fuel ratio is that the emissions will be really high. So, in order to tackle this problem, carmakers have invented a way to reduce this pollution at startup, and attain the best and most optimal air-fuel ratio, with the secondary air injection system.
When you do a cold start, immediately the secondary air injection pump kicks in. Then the air is pushed directly into the exhaust before the catalytic converter.
Then as the O2 sensors warm up, the computer will shut off the air pump and the car will resume working normally. This system only turns on for a minute or two and then shuts off. So, that answers the question of do you have to warm up your car and for how long.
But what is bad is that it can break down and cause a lot of problems. Such as the code P0410. So, what this code means? More about that, we will find out next.
P0410 Secondary Air Injection System Malfunction
Before we dive deeper and start learning more about how to solve the problem. Let’s first elaborate on this code and see what this code is all about. What is the definition of this code?
The definition of this code is “P0410 Secondary Air Injection System Malfunction”. So, what does this definition mean exactly?
This means that the O2 sensor has noticed that there is an abnormal level of oxygen. You might otherwise notice some of the symptoms of a bad O2 sensor. So, the PCM (powertrain control module) got the data and evaluated that there is a problem with your vehicle.
More specifically, in this case, the O2 sensor didn’t notice an increase in the oxygen levels in your exhaust. So, this means that the air pump didn’t kick in, or the valves that control the airflow are blocked and did not allow the air to pass through. More about the causes, we are going to cover in the following chapters.
So, what you should be aware of is that this system consists of the secondary air pump that does all the heavy lifting of pumping air into the exhaust. But there is also an electronic switchover valve and the secondary air valve.
There are also fuses and relays that are controlling everything. So, there could be a few components that are worth addressing. Now that we covered the P0410 code, let’s move on and learn more about whether this problem is serious or not.
Is A P0410 Problem Serious
Another thing to cover is whether this problem with the P0410 code is serious or not. Should you be too much worried because of this problem?
Well, not quite. Think about your secondary air pump system as an auxiliary system in your car. It turns on for a minute and it shuts off. Then, it is not on until you do another cold start.
And this is a good thing since it is not as serious as something like a bad O2 sensor which can prevent you from driving the car.
Even though, since the problem is there and you live in cold climates, we would recommend fixing the issue before you damage the O2 sensors.
If the O2 sensors are damaged and you have to consider the cost of a new O2 sensor, you might notice accompanying OBD error codes for a bad O2 sensor, such as:
The rich air-to-fuel mixture at longer periods can be detrimental for both the O2 sensor and the catalytic converter.
This is why the secondary air pump is somewhat crucial since it helps your car get up to temperature a lot faster and also improves your emissions.
And this is another downside since it can cause you to fail the emissions testing. This is why if you live in a state where rules are really strict (or if you live in what states do not require vehicle inspections), we would strongly recommend solving the code P0410 in order to avoid these outcomes.
But what are the causes of the problem? Let’s elaborate more on that in the next chapter.
Causes For P0410
Now let’s move on and learn about the causes of the P0410 code. What could trigger this type of code on your car?
We will go through all of the possibilities in the following chapters in great detail and see what could be triggering the P410. So, you don’t want to miss that.
1. Broken Secondary Air Pump
The first reason behind this problem with the P0410 code is the broken secondary air pump. The secondary air pump as we noted is the pump that pumps air into the exhaust.
So, this pump can fail and stop pushing air into the system. And once this problem occurs, you can expect a malfunction of this system and a check engine light with this code.
What is unfortunate is that these pumps can be pricey for some cars. And replacing it can be an expensive adventure. But more on the prices, we are going to elaborate later on.
2. Bad Air Pump Check Valve
The second most common cause for this problem is a bad air pump check valve. This valve basically purges this system and allows the air to enter the intake.
So, if the valve is stuck and inoperable, the system will not function properly and you will end up with a defective system.
And this is a common problem because these valves are like solenoids. They open and close. So, they can malfunction and cause a problem with the P0410 code. So, it is worth checking out this valve before you deem that the pump is bad.
3. Blockage In The System
The next cause that is less probable but still can trigger the P0410 code is the blockage in the secondary air pump system. A blockage can occur and cause this system to malfunction.
There could be debris that could enter the hoses and prevent the valve from opening. Especially carbon deposits that are very common.
So, it is definitely worth checking if the system has a good flow of air. Still, this should be the last thing that you want to check. The next causes for this P0410 code are more probable.
4. Bad Air Pump Fuse
The next cause that is also very common for the P0410 code is the bad fuse for the electric pump. As you probably know, since this is an electronic device, it has to have a fuse.
So, there is a special fuse in the fusebox dedicated to this pump. So, you should definitely check out this fuse and make sure that the fuse is not blown.
If it’s blown you can replace it. But fuses usually fail because there is some problem inside the electrical system for the secondary air pump. And you need to uncover the problem. Very often, this is triggered by malfunction of the wiring harness or the connections.
So, make sure that you check this out before you decide that the pump is the fault and you have to replace it. Now let’s move on to the next probable cause for the P0410 code.
5. Bad Air Pump Relay
The last on our list of causes for the P0410 code is the bad air pump relay. But what is a relay?
Well, cars also have relays. This is basically an electro-mechanically operated switch. The relay is employing an electromagnet to engage or disengage an electric circuit.
So, the relay has to be on if you want to have power to your secondary air pump. If the relay has malfunctioned, it means that you have a problem.
Replacing the relay will solve the issue. These relays are mounted in the fusebox inside the engine bay. They are hidden under a plastic cover. And these relays are a common cause for a situation like in our case with the P0410 code.
But what about the symptoms that are associated with this code? Let’s cover them in the next chapter.
Bad Secondary Air Pump Symptoms
Now that we covered the P0410 code causes, let’s move on and discuss the symptoms that this code produces. Knowing the symptoms is really important if you want to diagnose the problem with your car. So, let’s cover the symptoms.
First in our secondary air injection pump symptoms is the check engine light. And since you are here, you are probably aware of this symptom because in order to diagnose the P0410 code, you have to get a check engine light of course. So, let’s move to the next symptoms.
The next symptom on our list would probably be the difficulty starting the engine on cold starts. The engine will start eventually but it will be working extremely rich. This means that the mixture will be too rich since the O2 sensor is not warmed up on time.
This could decrease your fuel efficiency by a small margin. Mainly because the warm-up period only lasts for a couple of minutes and then the secondary air pump shuts off.
And during this warm-up period, you might be experiencing poor acceleration from the car because the air-to-fuel mixture is too rich and the O2 sensors are not working on the proper spec.
And the last symptom on our list is probably the secondary air pump noise that will not be present in the car. When this pump fails, it could stop working altogether.
So, if you notice no noises in your car, then it is worth checking the problem out and making sure that you diagnose it properly. But how you can diagnose a P0410 code? Well, more about that, we are going to cover later on in the article in detail.
Diagnosing A P0410 Code
Now let’s learn more about the diagnostics process of this problem and what should be your following steps. What you can do about this problem?
Well, the first thing you want to check is the fuse for the secondary air pump as well as the relay. Since if these two components are failed. You can check very easily if a fuse has popped out. There is a break in the connection as well as some burnt marks on the inside of the fuse.
But relays can be somewhat more complex to test. For this job, you will need to get a multimeter and with this multimeter, you need to test the relay and its properties to determine if it’s performing well or not. Usually, the relay itself has schematics of the circuit. For more about the testing, you can check the video that we attached.
The next thing you would want to check is the valve that opens and closes, as well as the air pump itself. The valve can be checked with a 12v supply. It should click when you activate it. Simple to check.
In order to check the air pump, you should measure the resistance. The resistance should be below 1 ohm for a good air pump. If the resistance is a bit higher, like 20 ohms, it means that the air pump is probably bad and has to be replaced.
Also, the air pump produces a sound on a cold start. This means that the air pump is spinning. If it’s not spinning then probably the pump is bad unless the fuse or the relay is failed. As you can see, very simple component to diagnose. Even with audible symptoms.
Secondary Air Injection System Repair Cost
Now let’s discuss more on the price of solving this problem with the secondary air pump and code P0410. How much can you expect to pay in order to tackle the matter?
Well, the price to solve this problem really depends on what is causing the issue. If it’s a simple relay or a fuse, it will only cost you a few bucks.
But if the problem is much deeper and the valve is bad, you can expect to pay up to $150 to replace it. Or other scenarios where the air pump is broken, you can expect to pay up to $400 to replace this unit on your car.
Driving With A P0410 Code
If you decide to drive like this with the code P0410 code, technically you can. But you cannot expect that the problem will be solved.
Your car will have some issues at startup until the engine warms up. This is why we would recommend that you sort out the problem.
Also, you could fail your emissions testing if the secondary air pump is not working, as it’s considered a serious emissions system problem. So, keep this in mind.
P0410: In Conclusion…
In this article, we covered the P0410 code. First, we discussed car diagnostics in general and learned more about what is modern car diagnostics. Then, we learned what this code is and its definition.
Then, we learned more about the causes, symptoms, and the way to diagnose the problem on your car. And also, how much it will cost you to sort the problem out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is The Secondary Air Injection System
The secondary air injection system is a special system that is designed to tackle emissions. This system basically pumps air into the exhaust to improve the work of the O2 sensors. So, this system only turns on at the startup of the engine. Then the pump shuts off.
Where Is The Secondary Air Injection System Located
The location really depends on where the car maker would install it. The important thing is that this pump is located inside the engine bay. For the exact location of your specific application, you can look online for diagrams of your engine and learn where is the exact mounting spot.
When Does The Secondary Air Injection Pump Run
The secondary air pump only turns on at startup for a minute or two, depending on how much time the can needs to warm up properly. Once the O2 sensors warm up, the air pump will turn off.
How Do I Fix Code P0410
Fixing this code really depends on what is causing the malfunction. The problem could be caused by the fuse, relay, air pump, or valve that opens and closes the flow of air.
How Do You Fix A Secondary Air Injection System Malfunction
Fixing this problem really depends on the thing that is causing it. It can be a fuse, a relay, the air pump, or the valve that opens and closes. All these things have to be checked in order to properly solve the problem.
How To Start A Fuel Injected Car That Has Been Sitting For Years
Well, starting a fuel-injected car is not as difficult as a carburetted one. We would recommend emptying the gas tank from the old gas. Then add new gas, and a new battery, and you will be good to go. The car should start up if everything is good.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.