Fault code P2096 OBDII. How to fix, solutions
Fault code P2096 OBDII. How to fix, solutions

Fault code P2096 OBDII. How to fix, solutions

The appearance of error P2096 is associated with the fixation of exceeding the limit of fuel-air ratio control. This is the official wording of many manufacturers, and what the error code p2096 means, how to solve it, what leads to its occurrence and how to reset – we will understand together.

What does fault code P2096 mean: deciphering in simple words

No modern engine can be certified if it does not follow toxic standards. These standards are constantly being tightened, and as a result, the manufacturer cannot keep up with the norms

Catalytic converters are not only a huge benefit to the ecology and their manufacturers, but also a huge problem for the automotive driver. The P2096 message, which occurs on older engines adapted to the new environmental standards, reveals this problem.

In 90% of cases, the fault code 2096 appears on the diagnostic scanners of the owners of Korean cars – Hyundai Sonata, Kia Magentis, Kia Cerato and several other models, including Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Cid, Soul.
система випуску
Catalyst in the exhaust system: 1) exhaust manifold; 2) oxygen sensors; 3) the exhaust tract; 4) resonator; 5) the catalyst.

The fact is that engines with MPI injection systems (injectors installed in the intake manifold), which are installed on these cars, were developed before the introduction of the Euro 3 emission standards. After the appearance of new environmental requirements, it would be logical to change the design of engines. Nevertheless, Koreans have acted more pragmatically.

With the same architecture and tuning of the engines, they used different software of electronic control units, which reduced the percentage of harmful emissions on the program, but not on the physical level. The sensors remained of the same design and did not always record the values correctly.

Ошибка Р2096
Location of primary (left) and secondary oxygen sensors

In our case, with error P2096, we are talking about oxygen sensors, lambda sensors. The fault code indicates that the secondary lambda probe detects too lean mixture. The message may occur after three engine warm-up cycles and will not be reset until the consequences are completely eliminated. At the same time, the primary oxygen sensor shows correct data, (normal or slightly enriched mixture) which does not indicate any malfunction.

Signs of malfunction. Why the error code P2096 is displayed


It is important to understand that neither at official services, nor at underground ones, error P2096 simply cannot be removed. It is permanently lodged in the ECU memory and will go away only when the secondary O2 sensor shows a normal operating mixture.

If the engine works correctly, there are no symptoms of improper engine operation, most likely, the error has appeared simply due to incompatibility of new software and old sensors, fuel system, ignition and timing settings. In this case, whatever the mechanics may say, the best way out is to re-flash the electronic control unit at an authorized dealer.

p2096 scaner

We strongly recommend not to ask for reflashing in this particular case to third-party performers, because only official and verified firmware is the first to be received by official dealers. In addition, they are responsible for changing the software.

But, as we understand, this is not the only cause of fault code P2096. There are a lot of other conditions that cause this type of failure:

  • the secondary oxygen sensor is defective;
  • loss of leaks in the exhaust system between the catalytic converter and the secondary oxygen sensor;
  • failure of the catalytic converter itself;
  • absence, wetting, oxidation of terminals on the secondary sensor;
    use of low-quality gasoline;
  • low pressure in the supply system.
oxygen sensors
Location and functions of the elements of the emission control system of the injector engine.

Diagnostics of the fault P2096. What to do if the Check Engine lights up


Before you take any action, or on your own, or entrust the case to the masters at the service station, it is still desirable to make a detailed diagnosis

Of all the reasons that occur most often, the most likely cause is poor gasoline quality or octane mismatch. Not everyone has a fuel quality lab in the garage, so if the fault P2096 occurs, the easiest way is to drain the fuel from the tank (or just roll out the old gasoline) and refuel the car with gasoline of known quality.

In many cases, this got rid of the error and it is understandable – bad fuel leads to incorrect gauge readings. Visually it can be traced by the condition of the spark plugs – they will have black soot on them.

Soot on spark plugs

Next, we’ll move up the level of diagnostic complexity:

  • Computer diagnostics with a detailed check of all engine operation data in all modes. Particular attention should be paid to the data concerning oxygen sensors.
  • A thorough inspection of the exhaust system. Basically, any blowhole and leaks will be audible enough, and the character of the exhaust will change. It remains to find the place of leakage and eliminate the fault.
  • Visual diagnosis of the catalytic converter. It is rather problematic to remove the catalytic converter, especially for those who are used to servicing at service stations. Nevertheless, the examination of the element itself should not reveal cracks, burns, all the honeycomb should be clean and translucent.
  • Careful inspection of the oxygen sensor contacts. They should be free of oxide, dirt. The contact must be tight.

Ошибка Р2096
Worn catalyst

Group failure code. If P2096 is displayed with other codes

Ошибка Р2096
Oxygen sensor

If the Check Engine light comes on and scanner check gives error P2096 along with errors P0101-P0103, you can assume that the massive air flow sensor (MAF) caused the malfunction.

The fact is that the MAF sensor plays a crucial role in the formation of the ratio of air and fuel in the mixture.

Depending on the engine model, the output voltage from the air flow sensor may vary, but it should not deviate from the nominal value at idle speed. MAF sensor is not a cheap one, so to check the performance it is advisable to use a working one and then draw conclusions.

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