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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE: Problem resolved! See below for the steps I took to resolve this issue.

I have a 2004 Mazda 3 hatch with 90k miles on it. Check engine light popped on, so I took it to my local auto parts shop to get a free diagnostic. These are the codes that came up:

P2188 - System Too Rich At Idle Bank 1
P2196 - Oxygen Sensor Signal Biased / Stuck Rick Bank 1 Sensor 1
P0133 - Oxygen Sensor Circuit Slow Response Bank 1 Sensor 1

The car had been bucking and lulling when at a stop for the past couple days (although it never actually stalled or shut off), until yesterday. It ran like a dream yesterday, except for the check engine light. Should I still be concerned?


Possibly Unrelated Side Note
I took it though the car wash shortly before the bucking started, and we've been having some freezing rain and nasty weather recently - could that be the cause?

Sorry if this is too ramble-y, I'm just worried about my baby!
How to fix:
1. Buy this O2 Sensor from Amazon.
2. Rent and O2 sensor removal tool from your local auto parts store (I got mine at O'reilly's). This tool will help remove the sensor without pinching the cable.
3. Pop the hood and locate the upstream O2 sensor. It's super easy to find - it sticks out from the back center of the engine block, you can't miss it.
4. Push down on the black clip of the sensor connector and pull it apart.
5. Use a socket wrench and your newly acquired removal tool to unscrew the O2 sensor from the engine block.
6. IMPORTANT! Spread some anti-seize (included in the Amazon package) around the threads of the new O2 sensor. Screw it down tight and connect the other end.
7. Disconnect the negative terminal from your battery and leave it over night.
8. Reconnect the battery and start up the car. Let it run for at least 30 minutes so it can re-learn it's idle (disconnecting the battery makes the computer forget everything, but it will quickly re-learn what it lost)
9. Go for a drive! The check engine light might not disappear right away, but give it some time. I had to drive mine around for over a week before my CEL went away.

Hopefully this helps! PM me with any questions you might have.
 

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Demon Spawn
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I have a 2004 Mazda 3 hatch with 90k miles on it. Check engine light popped on, so I took it to my local auto parts shop to get a free diagnostic. These are the codes that came up:

P2188 - System Too Rich At Idle Bank 1
P2196 - Oxygen Sensor Signal Biased / Stuck Rick Bank 1 Sensor 1
P0133 - Oxygen Sensor Circuit Slow Response Bank 1 Sensor 1
p2188 means your air/fuel mixture is too rich (too much fuel in the mix)
p2196 and p0133 are issues with the bank one sensor one 02 sensor (the one closest to the engine) i noticed you said you went through the wash before this all started. something may have gotten wet that was not supposed to, the bank 1 sensor 1 o2 sensor is located in the back of the engine compartment on my 08 hatch (same motor) the wire harness runs up to passenger side and plugs into the main harness right behind the oil cap. i would first start by checking that plug and ensure the wiring looks good and the plug is tight and dry. check the wires for breaks in the shielding or 2 wires touching or wires touching bare metal (the harness is attached to bare metal so its possible to have a short to ground there) if everything looks good i would consider visiting the local junkyard and pulling an o2 sensor out of another mazda with the 2.3L make sure the plugs look the same as different 2.3L use different o2 sensors on the 3 the 5 and 6 depending on year and California or federal emissions) to test a fix to the issue, however i would not continue to use an old o2 sensor out of another car even if it does function normally as electrical parts at the junkyard are subject to very harsh neglect but i would use a junkyard one to test it as a new bank 1 sensor 1 o2 sensor is expensive.

you will need an o2 sensor wrench which can be loaned from just about every autoparts store (its a socket or weird looking wrench with a slit in the side so you can turn the nut on the o2 sensor head without twisting and breaking the wires) this video is for a mazda 6, however the location of the front 02 sensor is the same and removal and replacement are similar the wiring may just look slightly different and/or go the other way on your car: https://video.search.yahoo.com/vide...mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&tt=b

good luck post more if you need further assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply! I just inspected the top O2 sensor - everything seems to be secure and clean. I just ordered
from Amazon. Hopefully it fixes my problem. I'll post when I get it installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Welp, car stalled for the first time since I bought it while slowing down to turn into my driveway. New O2 sensor is due to arrive in 2 days, for now I'm gonna avoid driving it as much as possible. Hopefully I didn't make the problem worse by driving it for a week with the CEL on.
 

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Demon Spawn
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its possible to mess your catalytic converter up running rich as raw fuel is not good for it. easy way to tell if it is atleast flowing good is to go start your car and put your hand firmly over the tailpipe (do this before car has warmed up) and it should have enough pressure to try and force your hand off the pipe if its justbarely any or no air movement out of the pipe you may have messed up the cat. although if it is stuck "rich" from a messed up o2 sensor then it will usually try to lean out the mixture which can cause sputtering and stalling. i would get a ride til your o2 sensor comes in just out of caution. the codes indicate your o2 sensor is stuck rich biased and therefore the computer always thinks it has too much fuel in the mix and will put less in as a result i bet its actually running too lean and stalling because of a lack of adequate fuel for proper combustion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
its possible to mess your catalytic converter up running rich as raw fuel is not good for it. easy way to tell if it is atleast flowing good is to go start your car and put your hand firmly over the tailpipe (do this before car has warmed up) and it should have enough pressure to try and force your hand off the pipe if its justbarely any or no air movement out of the pipe you may have messed up the cat. although if it is stuck "rich" from a messed up o2 sensor then it will usually try to lean out the mixture which can cause sputtering and stalling. i would get a ride til your o2 sensor comes in just out of caution. the codes indicate your o2 sensor is stuck rich biased and therefore the computer always thinks it has too much fuel in the mix and will put less in as a result i bet its actually running too lean and stalling because of a lack of adequate fuel for proper combustion.
Man I hope that's not the case. I put my hand over it, no strong push back (but then again, I don't really know what to consider strong or weak). Are cat's something that get bad overtime or suddenly (because my problem stated in the opening post seems to have happened quite suddenly. Everything ran fine one day, the next day not so much)
 

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Demon Spawn
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a catalytic converter typically lasts the life of the car its 99% of the time when a cat fails its another issue with the car that caused it such as misfiring that dumped raw fuel a failed o2 sensor that was left unchecked and caused a bad fuel mixture, or oil leaking into the exhaust, i bet your cat is fine though. it takes quite a bit to kill em and your taking care of the problem in a timely manner so you should be ok. i bet your issue is a really lean mixture caused by the bad 02 sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE: Yesterday I successfully replaced my O2 sensor. Here's what the old one looked like. Looks pretty nasty.



I drove around the block right after I replaced the sensor and there was no change. The car still lurched and surged occasionally when coming to a stop. I ran my codes at OReilly's today and the same codes came back (see opening post). The employee who ran my codes told me the computer takes time to "re-learn" after replacing a sensor, so I'm going to drive it a lot this next week and see if the codes clear themselves. I'll post again in a week or so.
 

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Demon Spawn
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it is possible it needs to relearn, but it could be something esle, drive it about 150 miles and it should have everything learned, did you disconnect the battery for 10-15minutes after replacing the sensor? if not do that then drive 150 miles to reset everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
it is possible it needs to relearn, but it could be something esle, drive it about 150 miles and it should have everything learned, did you disconnect the battery for 10-15minutes after replacing the sensor? if not do that then drive 150 miles to reset everything.
No I did not disconnect the battery. I'll do that before I go on the drive. Thanks.
 

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have you fixed your issue? wondering if you need any further help?
Yes I did! I wanted to wait a while before replying just to be sure I fixed it. I disconnected the battery, let the car run for a while and re-lean its idle, and took it for a drive. There was no immediate change in the way the car handled and I almost gave up and took it to the shop. But last week when I started it up again the CEL was gone and the stuttering/slow acceleration had resolved themselves. So far it has been driving and handling like the day I bought it!

Thank you so much for your help. I will update my opening post with the steps I took to resolve this issue. Hopefully someone else with the same problem will find this thread useful.
 

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Demon Spawn
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Yes I did! I wanted to wait a while before replying just to be sure I fixed it. I disconnected the battery, let the car run for a while and re-lean its idle, and took it for a drive. There was no immediate change in the way the car handled and I almost gave up and took it to the shop. But last week when I started it up again the CEL was gone and the stuttering/slow acceleration had resolved themselves. So far it has been driving and handling like the day I bought it!

Thank you so much for your help. I will update my opening post with the steps I took to resolve this issue. Hopefully someone else with the same problem will find this thread useful.
yep sounds like a bad o2 sensor. those can, and as you experienced do act weird.
 
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