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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice/help with my car. My '02 has been giving me a check engine light (CEL) fairly frequently. Everytime the error code I pull up in the DIC is P0410, which is "Secondary AIR System", aka the stupid smog pump. It's been doing this for the past 8 months or so. No other error codes are present. The car runs perfectly.

Normally, I could care less about the smog pump not working right. However, my state, New York, just implemented a new inspection process in April, which involves 100% reliance on the OBDII computer to report any emissions problems. They no longer do tailpipe sniffer tests on the dyno on '96 and newer OBDII cars.

Of course, as Murphy's Law would have it, my car threw another P0410 CEL on the way to freakin inspection station. So I reset it while driving in the DIC to clear the code and the CEL light, like I've done dozens of times in the past. Well, when they hook the computer up to my car, they said it failed because my car's computer said it was "not ready" for most of OBD tests. This of course was because I had just reset it and had not driven enough cycles to get a reading in memory. After driving it like 40 miles yesterday after that, I brought it back to them, and it still is reporting "not ready". I plan to take it to/from work the next couple of days to get enough cycles in it, and try again, hoping that the P0410 error won't come back before then. It does seem to be random, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, I'm not sure how to handle this stupid problem. I know my car is clean running and will pass a sniffer test with no problem. But I'm caught in a web of government red tape and my car will not pass until I fix this. :mah:

I have long tube headers on, with the stock cats. I don't think the headers are causing the problem as I didn't get this error for at least 2,000 miles after I had the headers installed. However, I have heard of others getting this error code from headers.

I read up about the C5's AIR system, and I checked my pump to make sure it was working. Started the car, pulled the outlet tube off the pump, and sure enough, its pumping air just fine. I also checked output past the electro/vacuum relay valve, and its fine. I located the driver's side AIR check valve, and it appeared to be working fine too by doing a simple blow through test. I also checked the driver's side AIR tube going into the header, and there wasn't any resistance, so I don't think it's clogged with carbon or anything. I didn't check the passenger side check valve or tube yet because of its difficult to get at location near the firewall.

The only other odd thing I've noticed with this problem, which I can't figure out for the life of me, is if I'm driving at night, I'll notice my headlamps will get dimmer and my voltage will drop a bit for a few seconds, during what appears to be the AIR system test cycle. Shortly after this, I'll get the CEL coming on, with the familiar P0410 code again. It's like the AIR system test is drawing a huge electrical load, which doesn't make any sense to me, since its not drawing a huge load when its actually running during warm-up. The only thing I could think of is if maybe the AIR pump is randomly seizing, or if the electro/vacuum relay valve isn't opening when it should during the test, thereby causing backpressure to the pump and a large electrical load and no AIR getting into the headers.

My car is out of warranty, and I definitely want to fix this myself. So my questions are:

1 - I know a tuner shop with a Tech-II can go into the computer and edit out the AIR pump and eliminate the error code from reappearing. However, will this cause a fail to show up on the NY state emissions system, since maybe it won't be giving a reading for the AIR system, similar to the "not ready" situation I have now?

2 - Assuming there is a problem with the AIR system, and not the headers, how should I go about fixing this? Should I just start replacing all the system's parts like the smog pump, relay, and both check valves?

This is extremely frustrating.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. :)
 

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Check that the AIR system is not constantly open. I read an article a day or two ago (can't remember where), that states that this situation is usually because the AIR system is stuck open. This system is used to pump fresh AIR and thus O2 into the cat's to heat them up quickly. Then shut down once the cat's are up to temp. It is possible that the error is reporting that the AIR system is on all the time, which could result in cooked the cats.

Also check to make sure that nothing is blocked, or no wiring harnesses are burnt.

I am just replying in an effort to help start the process. I am not a mechanic, and most likely the conjecture above is totally wrong. So do more homework on this problem. Hope it all works out.
 

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First of all, all Emissions are covered by Warranty to 100,000 miles except the CATS which are only covered to 50,000 miles. Take it to the Dealer and have him sort it out under Warranty.

Did all the sensors get plugged back in correctly when you put on the LT headers?? Some early LT header designs only accepted the rear sensors and you had to place Sims on the front ones. Is this the case??
 

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During start up the PCM makes the AIR pump come on and off and the PCM looks to see that there was a temp differance in the exhaust during that test. Also check the mini fuse in your box near your battery. I think it is 14 or 15. It is the O2 sensor heater fuse, This has to be good for that test also.
There was also a Service topic on the AIR check valves on the 2002 and earlier engines. I can't remember the number but I remember reading it when I had the same issue
You can toggle that code with Edit but the emission inspection test might be checking that proccess of the test. I have LG headers with OTHER mods and have no AIR issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Check that the AIR system is not constantly open.
It doesn't seem to be. When I checked the AIR pump during warmup, the pump ran for a few minutes, then shut off, just like it should. The computer controls when the pump runs, so I'm not sure how it would stay on. :-?

Also check to make sure that nothing is blocked, or no wiring harnesses are burnt.
I checked everything with this too - everything is OK. No blockages, no kinks, nothing burnt. There is plenty of vacuum from the vacuum line at the relay valve, and the pump starts and stops normally during warm up. It's the self test period that happens while driving that I'm not sure what is going on.

First of all, all Emissions are covered by Warranty to 100,000 miles except the CATS which are only covered to 50,000 miles. Take it to the Dealer and have him sort it out under Warranty.
If I take it to the dealer, they will apply the recall program to the computer for the column lock issue, and will wipe out my $600 dyno tune program in the process. So, I want to stay away from the dealer.

Did all the sensors get plugged back in correctly when you put on the LT headers?? Some early LT header designs only accepted the rear sensors and you had to place Sims on the front ones. Is this the case??
The headers I have are only a year old, and they are designed to retain the stock O2 sensors. LAPD did the installation, and I checked everything from under the car after the installation, and they did a perfect job. All of the O2 sensors are present and hooked up. I suspected maybe the O2 sensors weren't reading properly during the AIR system self test, but that wouldn't explain why I'm not getting any O2 sensor error codes. It's also unusual for O2 sensors to go at only 15k miles.

Also check the mini fuse in your box near your battery. I think it is 14 or 15. It is the O2 sensor heater fuse, This has to be good for that test also.
Good idea - I haven't checked this. But isn't there a separate error code for O2 sensor heater problems?

There was also a Service topic on the AIR check valves on the 2002 and earlier engines. I can't remember the number but I remember reading it when I had the same issue
Do you recall what the summary of the service topic was? What was the problem and recommendation? I know the check valves are cheap to buy, so I'm thinking of just replacing them anyway in the remote chance it actually fixes the problem.

Thanks again. :)
 

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You can take it to the Dealer and spefically tell them NOT to reprogram and they won't. Mine is programmed from Mallett and I have no problem with the Dealer. It's written "DO NOT REPROGRAM" on the Service Order and I place a sticker tag on the steering wheel as well.

Even if it is Warranty/TSB the service tech can not do anything on your car unless YOU Authorize him to do so. If you speciifically tell him he can't do something then he can't.....and if he does the Dealer has to pay to correct it.
 

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The write up mentions changing the check valves. Water (condensation) was getting into the valves and sticking them
 

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I have made a locking plug that goes over my OBD11 connector that has a small tag that says car will "exploded if removed" call 910-555-5555 if need to remove. Then I tell the tech personaly not to [email protected]*k with program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DJWorm said:
You can take it to the Dealer and spefically tell them NOT to reprogram and they won't.
I was under the impression that since the column lock recall is a safety recall, that the dealer is required by law to apply the recall to any car affected that comes in. In this screwed up legal system, I could easily see both the dealer and GM getting sued if a dealer didn't apply a recall and the owner got injured from a recall related accident, even if the owner specifically asked them not to do the recall.
 

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Why are you worried about if the Dealer/Chevy/GM would get sued.

Just tell them not to reprogramm it. PERIOD. End of story.
Tell them the column lock was already taken care of. Tell them you have the Column Lock Bypass, or get one, whatever.

The frigg'n Emissions is under warranty for 100,000 miles!
Why screw with it? Why worry about it? Why pay for it?
IT'S THEIR PROBLEM!! Make them deal with it!

Putting it another way...if you or a non-Chevy Dealer screws with it then you will void the warranty and WILL pay for it!.....In fact isn't it illegal to screw with Emissions devices...be anal about that instead of the Column Lock.
 

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If your on long island and you had LAPD sometime in the past do your dyno tune...(maybe you lived out there? and transported the car to Long Island?)

I'd take the car to a tuner on long island and have them properly tune and take care of your car to assure passing emission testing....

Worth 300 dollars in my opinion..

Who knows you might even pick up a few ponies to boot..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, a year later from when I first started this post, and I'm still getting that annoying P0410 code. I haven't done anything to try to fix it yet, but the car is due for inspection again.

I ordered a set of O2 sims, as it sounds like A.I.R. related codes (P0410, P0420, P0430, etc.) are not uncommon with long tube headers, although the only code I've ever gotten was P0410. Does anyone know if O2 sims will prevent the P0410 code from showing up again?
 

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Z06ified said:
Well, a year later from when I first started this post, and I'm still getting that annoying P0410 code. I haven't done anything to try to fix it yet, but the car is due for inspection again.

I ordered a set of O2 sims, as it sounds like A.I.R. related codes (P0410, P0420, P0430, etc.) are not uncommon with long tube headers, although the only code I've ever gotten was P0410. Does anyone know if O2 sims will prevent the P0410 code from showing up again?
Yes. The O2s will now be functioning correctly in the eyes of the PCM. I had the same codes, so I had the codes programmed out, and consequently failed the new OBDII test (although the tester did something so I got my sticker). I plan on getting some simms to remedy this problem.

-N
 

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I have made a locking plug that goes over my OBD11 connector that has a small tag that says car will "exploded if removed"
That's a federal offense. Claiming to have placed an explosive device, in a car?? (or anywhere else for that matter)

You can't be serious. Even though "explode" was misspelled.

Funny, but they will take that seriously, joke or no joke.
 

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I have the same code and needed to pass smog. Last year when i had this problem i just cleared the code from my dash and i was ready to go. This year i went to my mechanic and he cleared the code with his Computer and i have to drive till all the sensors are ready and cross my fingers the light doesn't come back on first. I understand that all sensors have to be "ready" except for one which can still be "not ready" in order to pass the test. Is it possible that clearing a code through the dash just send one sensor back to "not ready" which was my secondary air and that's how i passed last time?
 

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No as EPA is not that dumb and it designed into all cars that if error codes are manually cleared or battery is disconnected the PCM wipes at ALL I/M onboard smog tests back to a non complete state.
This then means clearing out just one code now forces the PCM to run and retest all smog functions over several valid drive cycles which means just turning ign key off/on several times is still only 1 drive cycle

Fix the smog pump (AIR) checkvalve and correct the problem
 

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I've seen this problem several times and it has almost always been the check valve for the passenger side. Murphy's Law... the hard one to get to... I've had some success with spraying WD40 into the supply side of the check valve from the "T" on the driver side.
 

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ya I've tried the wd 40 several times flowed by the air compressor. No luck. I just wanted to pass smog but it doesn't seen as it will be as easy for me as last year. I remember someone posted instruction on how to replace the air check valves but i can't seem to find it anywhere now that i need it. Any one have a link
 
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