Start by checking the "Possible Causes" listed above. Visually inspect the related wiring harness and connectors. Check for damaged components and look for broken, bent, pushed out, or corroded connector's pins.
The code means that there is a problem with the heater element circuit of the heated oxygen sensor. The control module monitors how long it takes the sensor to warm up and start sending an adequate signal. The code is set when the sensor is taking too long to warm up. Water getting inside the heated oxygen sensor connector can cause the heated oxygen sensor fuse to blow. Before replacing the sensor, check for the condition of the heated oxygen sensor fuse and connectors. If the fuse and connector are OK, replacing the O2 Sensor usually takes care of the problem.
The cost to diagnose the P0051 Oldsmobile code is 1.0 hour of labor. The auto repair's diagnosis time and labor rates vary by location, vehicle's make and model, and even your engine type. Most auto repair shops charge between $75 and $150 per hour.
Heated Oxygen Sensors (HO2S) are used for fuel control and post catalyst monitoring. Each HO2S compares the oxygen content of the surrounding air with the oxygen content in the exhaust stream. The HO2S must reach an operating temperature to provide an accurate voltage signal. A heating element inside the HO2S minimizes the time required for the sensors to reach operating temperature. Voltage is provided to the heater by an ignition voltage circuit through a fuse. With the engine running, the ground is provided to the heater by the HO2S heater low control circuit through a low side driver within the Engine Control Module (ECM). The ECM uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to control the HO2S heater operation to maintain a specific HO2S operating temperature range.
The Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) will be set when the ECM detects a short to ground in the heater output low side driver circuit of the heated oxygen sensor when the heater is commanded OFF for greater than 5 s.
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