P0050 code definition
HO2S Heater Control Circuit (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
What the P0050 code means
This code is found when the Engine Control Module (ECM) has detected an issue with the heater control circuit for the bank 2, sensor 1 oxygen sensor. The heater circuit is used by the ECM to heat the oxygen sensor to proper operating temperature for an accurate reading. This code may be seen with P0051 and P0052.
What causes the P0050 code?
P0050 is a straightforward code with a few causes:
- Bank 2, sensor 1 failure (most common)
- Poor electrical connection
- Engine Control Module failure
- Open or short in the wiring
What are the symptoms of the P0050 code?
- The Check Engine Light will be displayed on the vehicle's dashboard.
- The car's fuel economy may be lowered and the engine may also run rough.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0050 code?
A qualified mechanic will find diagnosis of P0050 to be a straightforward process as long as all steps are followed in the proper order.
Installs a scanner into the DTC port (usually located under the dash)
Observes the code P0050 and its associated freeze frame data
Clears the code and performs a road test, recreating the operating conditions found in the freeze frame data
Performs a visual inspection of the sensor's wiring
Observes the sensor data to check for proper operation
Inspects the car’s ECM and performs the manufacturer's specified tests
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0050 code
- Skipping parts that are necessary to diagnose code P0050 correctly
- Replacing the sensor without any diagnostic testing (doesn't always solve the issue)
How serious is the P0050 code?
The most serious issues found with P0050 are worse fuel economy than normal and rough running. Typically, only the Check Engine Light on the dash is noticed by the driver.
What repairs can fix the P0050 code?
A few standard repairs fix P0050:
- Replacing the bank 2 sensor 1 (most common)
- Replacing the heater circuit fuse
- Repairing any open or shorted wiring
- Replacing the ECM (in rare cases)
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0050 code
As vehicles age, it is not uncommon for oxygen sensors to require replacement. Oxygen sensors must be diagnosed before they are replaced to avoid having to perform additional repairs. If a short is found, it is not uncommon to find a blown fuse. The fuse must be replaced in addition to any wiring repair. A blown fuse indicates a wiring issue in most cases.
Need help with a P0050 code?
YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as P0050 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit (Bank 2 Sensor 1) and was authored by Spencer Clayton.