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Code P0032. Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Repair

Is your car set to fail-safe mode? Is the Check Engine light on? If yes, it is likely that your vehicle has activated the code P0032.

Fault code P0032 refers to a problem with the oxygen sensor located in bank 1 just in front of the catalytic converter. A sensor is of great importance for the proper functioning of the engine.

Stay with us and let’s discover its meaning, symptoms, causes, and how to repair it.

Oxygen Sensor 1 (HO2S) Operation

HO2S heated oxygen sensors are used in vehicles to determine the oxygen content in the exhaust system before and after catalytic converters.

They use feedback to adjust the fuel system. To maintain an optimal air/fuel mixture ratio of 14.7:1.

Oxygen sensors use a heated sensor circuit for faster feedback to the control module. The oxygen sensor may use three or four wires depending on the vehicle.

oxygen sensor 1 It is also known as an air/fuel ratio sensor in some makes and models of cars. It works by detecting the oxygen level of the exhaust gases before passing through the catalytic converter.

The vehicle then adjusts the air/fuel ratio entering your engine. When the temperature of the gas leaving the exhaust is low, the sensor becomes less effective.

That is why it comes with a heater, which is controlled and activated by the oxygen sensor based on its readings.

Therefore, error code P0032 means that the resistance of the heater circuit is higher than it should be, or simply does not fall within its predefined parameters.

In some cases, the resistance level (signal voltage) must be around 10A or higher to trigger this error code. Please note that error code P0032 is similar to P0031, P0051, and P0052 in nature.

You may also be interested in Code P0030. Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Repair

What is Code P0032?

Fault code P0032 comes with the following description: “High HO2S Heater Oxygen Sensor Control Circuit (Bank 1, Sensor 1).”

This fault designation applies to all OBD-II-equipped vehicles, and therefore, is a generic code.

Error code P0032 It is related to the HO2S sensor in your vehicle. Specifically, the sensor heater control circuit that is located in front of the catalytic converter.

The ECM (Engine Control Module) closed loop system receives data from the HO2S after warming up. If the heater circuit is above 10A then it is clearly out of the desired range.

If your vehicle sets OBD error code P0032, it means that sensor 1 of HO2S sensor bank 1 is not sending correct data to the engine control module. Most likely it is defective or damaged.

The chance of the ECM becoming damaged is quite low.

Common Symptoms of Code P0032

Apart from the activation of the Check Engine light, this error code also comes with various symptoms such as:

  • The PCM will read that the O2 sensor heater circuit is high and will go into failsafe mode until the ignition is turned off.
  • The failsafe mode can cause various driving problems, depending on the car model. The driving problems that come with failsafe mode will continue until the fault is resolved.

Other visible symptoms are the following:

  • Loss of engine power.
  • Higher fuel consumption.
  • Poor operating condition.
  • Emission of black smoke from the exhaust pipe.

Possible Causes of Code P0032

Typically, if this code activates, it is because the heated oxygen sensor for bank 1, engine sensor 1, is not sending the correct data to the PCM, which may suggest damage, defects, or bad wiring.

There may also be a problem with the PCM module, although this is not common.

This error code may be caused by one or more of the following factors:

  • Failed oxygen sensor heater.
  • Short in the sensor heater circuit.
  • Broken connectors or wiring.
  • Damaged O2 sensor caused by road debris.
  • Defective O2 sensor.
  • Big exhaust leaks.
  • Poor quality fuel additives.
  • Low or excessive fuel pressure. In this case, you should also check for error codes related to fuel pressure.
  • Open circuits caused by blown fuses. If this is the case, you should change the fuse, and also look for the cause of its breakage.
  • Problems with the powertrain control module or engine control module.

How to Diagnose Code P0032

Below, we present the steps you must take to make a correct diagnosis of this failure:

  1. First of all, the first step is to scan your car with an OBD2 tool. Take note of the codes you detect in addition to P0032.
  2. Next, you should clear all the fault codes and then perform a road test, for about 20 minutes.
  3. If you come back with error code P0032, then you must proceed to a visual inspection of the entire circuit. As the wiring becomes damaged due to excessive exhaust heat, this is quite common.
  4. As with other related codes, you will need to thoroughly check all connectors and wiring leading to the sensor.
  5. Make sure the cables are in good working condition and have the proper voltage and ground for the sensor.
  6. If the system is equipped with a fuse and heater relay, you will also need to check these. Next, use a voltmeter while the engine is off and the key is on and check to see if there is more than 12 volts at the sensor heater element.
  7. If there is no voltage, repair the circuit and any blown fuses.
  8. After this, if you see that the ground supply is perfect and intact, remove the circuit from the ECM wiring connectors and check the resistance in the circuit.
  9. In case there is infinite resistance, you will need to repair the open circuit.
  10. Finally, check the condition of the sensor and replace it if necessary.

Always refer to your service manual for the specifications of your car’s volts and ohms measurements.

Common Errors When Diagnosing Code P0032

There are chances that you will make the mistake of replacing the HO2S sensor before checking the related wiring and connector. Most likely they are damaged and not the sensor itself.

Also, check the cables and connectors on both sides to make sure where the problem is. A good diagnosis and review will save you headaches.

How to Repair Code P0032

As with other error codes, you need a proper diagnosis to correct this code. Although the common solution for this error code is to replace oxygen sensor 1, you cannot skip the diagnosis.

This fault code can be triggered by many different problems. But connection and wiring problems are the most common as they can be easily damaged by excessive heat.

Let’s see the steps to solve this code P0032:

  1. Turn off the engine and keep the key in the ignition.
  2. Next, use the voltmeter to check for 12V at the heater element battery power.
  3. If no voltage is present, then repair the open or short circuit in the 12V power circuit. However, you must first determine if it is really necessary to replace any fuse blown by the short circuit.
  4. If the battery power shows OK, remove the control circuit (ground) from the PCM wiring connector. Next, check the resistance of the circuit.
  5. Repair the circuit if there is infinite resistance.
  6. If the resistance is greater than 10 A and the control circuit is in good condition, then the problem must be with the oxygen sensor directly. This means that the sensor needs to be replaced.

Parts Replacement

The replacement of any system component should always depend on the results of the diagnosis. These are some of the components that can be replaced if they are found to be faulty.

  • Oxygen sensor: In general, it is the most common replacement when this failure occurs, although you should not do it without first checking its operation.
  • Engine control module: The chances of your ECM malfunctioning are pretty low for this problem. This replacement is expensive as it also includes reprogramming.
  • Wiring and connectors: Another common fault is loose, damaged or broken wiring. This replacement is the most economical.
  • Fuses: If the fault is in the system control circuit, you should always check the status of the fuses. If you detect any of them open, you should change it, but not before checking why it triggered.

Is Code P0032 Serious?

This code is not serious. Most of the time, the symptoms are imperceptible to the user and do not affect driving the car. Even if any initial symptoms are detected, they will disappear when the car is warmed up.

However, there are cases in which the fault is serious and can activate the car’s fail-safe mode. This mode will limit the power and speed of the car until you repair the code.

Another important point is that this fault activated in your car will not allow you to pass the emissions tests that you do. Our recommendation is that you carry out diagnosis and repair as soon as possible when detecting this code.

How to Avoid Code P0032?

If the fault is in the sensor, there is little you can do to avoid it. Sensors can be damaged by time of use and working conditions.

When the fault is located in the wiring, it is perfectly avoidable with routine maintenance and inspection. Generally, these cables are damaged by being too close to the exhaust pipe, or by a blow from an external agent.

With a routine check, you can check the condition of the cables and prevent them from touching the exhaust pipe, or from colliding with something moving.


You may also be interested in Code P0031. Causes, Symptoms and How to Fix It

The P0032 code is not that difficult to diagnose and repair. But if you consider that you do not have the necessary knowledge to do it, it is always worth having the support of a qualified technician.

Diagnosing this code requires that the engine be in good operating condition. If there are other codes related to misfire, lean running, or air entering the engine, you should fix those codes first.

It is also very important to retest the system after each step to ensure a reliable repair.

Also, keep in mind that it is always recommended to replace components with original spare parts, so you should contact your trusted distributor to do so.

If you want to know other articles similar to Code P0032. Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Repair you can visit the category Fault Codes.


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