Code P0411: Secondary Air Injection System Incorrect Flow Detected

Trouble code P0411 points toward a problem involving the flow of fresh air into the engine or exhaust system in a car or truck. The first sign of a problem may be an illuminated Check Engine malfunction indicator light, backfiring during hard acceleration or other trouble codes that suggest Secondary Air Injection System issues or low oxygen levels in the engine. Here’s what you should know about the causes of an OBD-II scanner error code P0411 problem and fixes that could clear this code.

The Secondary Air Injection emission control system relies on an air pump to direct fresh air to the necessary parts of an internal combustion engine when in open loop or closed loop operation. This system relies on an air pump to move fresh air into the exhaust manifold or ports in open loop or the pre-catalytic converter while in closed loop.

What Does the Code P0411 Mean?

The trouble code P0411 should direct your attention toward the secondary air injection system of a vehicle. The powertrain control module in a vehicle monitors the timely operation of this and other engine and exhaust mechanisms, setting trouble codes when standard operating conditions are not achieved within a reasonable amount of time or sustained as long as necessary. When diagnostic testing indicates issues with the function of the Secondary Air Injection System, a car or truck engine is not capable of operating as cleanly or efficiently as possible and may not pass inspections.

Secondary air injection emission controls rely on an air pump that draws electrical power or operates mechanically with the drive belt. The flow of fresh air towards the exhaust when the engine is in open loop or the pre-catalytic converter in closed loop helps to reduce all of the following types of emissions:

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Hydrocarbon (HC)
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)

The timely delivery of fresh air to the emissions system through the Secondary Air Injection System plays an important part in converting Carbon Monoxide (CO) into Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and turns hydrocarbons into water vapor (H2O).

What Causes Incorrect Flow Air Injection System Issues?

More often than not, a P0411 code is set on a vehicle’s on-board computer when the air pump, check valve or exhaust components have sustained damage. This code may turn up in testing alongside a range of codes related to the Secondary Air Injection system.

Codes P0410 through P0419 indicate problems involving general malfunctions of the secondary air injection system that range from potentially faulty parts that require replacement to specific issues involving open or shorted switching valve circuits or other malfunctions involving faulty components such as relays, voltage levels that are too low or high, or insufficient air flow through the check valve, pump or vacuum lines in Bank 1 or Bank 2.

How Do I Fix Trouble Code P0411?

Testing pump operation, voltage levels to the relay and relay control circuit, and the vacuum solenoid valve can identify faulty parts and draw attention to any damage involving components in the Secondary Air Injection System, such as fuse, relay, solenoid valve or wiring-related issues.

It may be easier to precisely identify and address the problem causing a P0411 trouble code if you can use a scan tool. In the key on engine off setting, try activating the air pump. Other tools such as a multimeter or methods for confirming the presence of vacuum conditions from the pump solenoid valve to the cutoff valve. You may also want to closely examine the condition of exhaust parts such as the steel line that runs to the catalyst or exhaust ports for any signs of physical damage that could trigger this trouble code.

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