Q: I am a first-time Corvette owner and have recently subscribed to the magazine. Being a hands-on owner, I love all of the how-to articles the magazine has to offer. I am the proud owner of a C5 Corvette, but my service engine light has been coming on and going off for the last month and it’s driving me nuts.
Using a scan tool it indicates that I have a code “P1416.” After doing some research on the web I know this is a “Secondary Air Injection (AIR) System Bank 2” issue. I am not sure how to address this problem. My mechanic said to replace the air pump, and the best answer I can get from the Internet is to look for plugged hoses and/or corroded wires, all of which I have tried with no positive results.
Have you heard of anyone else having this issue with their C5 Corvette? My car runs great. Can I drive the car with this problem or could driving the vehicle cause damage?
Thanks for your assistance,
A: David, this is a common problem with C5 Corvettes and this fault seems to be more prevalent when the ambient temperature is cold. We will cover the most common repair for this fault code. Remember, your car could have a different problem, but this usually will correct this fault.
This is basically how the system works: the Secondary Air Injection pump is used on vehicles to help lower tailpipe emissions on start-up. The Powertrain Control Module monitors the oxygen sensor voltages to diagnose if the Air Injection pump system is working correctly.
There is a cleaning method we can try that usually will repair fault codes “P1415 Secondary Air Injection bank one” (driver side) and “P1416 Secondary Air Injection bank two” (passenger side).
There are two (2) check valves that usually stick. The fault code will help determine which check valve is giving you a problem. The check valve for the driver side is easily serviced. The check valve for the passenger side is behind the engine and difficult to access.
Disconnect the Secondary Air Injection hose where it passes near the alternator. You will find there is a connector in this area with no clamps attached to this hose.
The cleaning will be conducted from this location. Sometimes you notice a slight oil residue on the inside of the tube. Pull the hose apart and spray throttle body cleaner toward the check valves. This should be the part of the hose going toward the rear of the vehicle.
Note: Throttle body cleaner is milder than carburetor cleaner. If you choose to use carburetor cleaner, use a name brand such as CRC that is safe for oxygen sensors and catalytic converters.
Now use compressed air at about 25 psi to blow the cleaner through the AIR hose toward both check valves. Repeat the process.
Blow air through the system for approximately three to five minutes after the last douching of the system to evaporate the cleaner.
The check valves have a spring-loaded disk that seat on a plastic seat. If this disk and seat gets moisture from the cold air on it or exhaust residue, it is possible that can cause the disk and seat to stick shut.
Now that you have forced the cleaner through the system, give the hose a good shot of WD-40 and again use compressed air at about 25 psi to blow the WD-40 through the AIR hose toward both check valves.
Cleaning the system and using WD-40 should free up the check valves. If for some reason the cleaning method above did not work, you may need to remove the hose from the check valve and force chemicals into that individual valve.
If cleaning doesn’t clear up the fault code, then the check valve may need to be replaced. Also, at this point you may need to check the system for an air leak from a split hose or gasket. You can smoke test the system to check for any leaks.
David, congratulations on becoming a Corvette owner and let me know if this fixes your problem.