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Old 11-08-2008, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default P0410 solved on a 2000 sl

I was working on my P0410 problem for a little while, and wanted to relay my findings and results.

I have a 2000 sl, sohc. I was trying to get the car to pass emissions, and to get the MIL light to go off. I recently fixed another problem concerning P0301 and P0507, I found I had an intake manifold gasket leak, a little carb cleaner sprayed around the intake gasket altered the high idle, and I knew something was happening. So I replaced the intake manifold gasket, and replaced the Electronic Coolant Temperature Sensor ECTS (I still had the plastic one which I replaced with the brass tipped one I kept reading about), and got rid of two of those errors.

But 410 kept tripping the check engine soon light. From reading everything online I could find, I figured it was in the EGR system, something with the air pump, egr valve, vacuum lines, or something.

Now I am just a guy trying to understand my car, but this is how I understand the system. It seems (correct me if I am wrong) in the start up sequence the car turns on, then a few seconds later the secondary air injection system turns on the air blower, a solenoid attached to the EGR moves a diverter valve to allow the vacuum tube to suck the air out of the EGR diaphragm, opening the EGR valve to allow air to blow into the exhaust manifold. This air getting pumped into the exhaust is registered by the oxygen sensor as an increase in oxygen, which allows anything not fully burned in the exhaust to burn in the catalytic converter before leaving the tailpipe. If during the start up sequence the oxygen sensor fails to register the increase in oxygen, the P0410 error is logged in the onboard computer. After a certain amount of time (maybe 30 seconds) after the initial start up sequence turns on the air blower, it turns back off again until needed.

But the air pump always went on, and it would blow a lot of air in the start up sequence (taking off the hose to the EGR valve showed this, every time I turned the car on the blower would blow a lot of air). I didn't have any problems or blockages or leaks in the vacuum line from the throttle body area down to the EGR. The check valve seemed to work, and removing the EGR from the pipe that goes to the engine, the air blower seemed to properly blow air through the EGR when activated. I did open up the EGR, and cleaned it out some, but the MIL light would still go on.

What I found to be my problem was the air passages between the EGR and the exhaust manifold passages were terribly clogged. At first I tried just shoving some wire down the pipe while spraying carb cleaner down that silver (aluminum?) pipe from the EGR to the exhaust manifold. (I can't recommend anything, because lots of times I do things I probably shouldn't) But that wasn't good enough. Finally I did the job thoroughly. I had to remove the exhaust manifold to clean the passages. For this I needed to remove the serpentine belt (made things easier, and wasn't too difficult to get back when done right), unbolt the air conditioner pump and lift that out of the way. I removed the bracket the air cond pump was mounted on. I removed the spark plug wires from the plugs, making sure I knew where they all went (fairly easy since I didn't take them off the distrib, and they are cut to the length they need to reach their specific plug). I removed the oxygen sensor from the exhaust manifold so I wouldn't soil it or damage it. Then I unbolted the exhaust manifold from the engine block, and also from the exhaust pipe. (the other way around might be better) I found the exhaust manifold gasket was made out of metal, and didn't need to be replaced. I don't know how good the shape of the exhaust manifold flange gasket was, but hey, it still works. Here I found handy a bolt extractor set I got from Craftsman, $20, it looks like an Easy Out in reverse, it's like a socket. The rusty old nuts and studs didn't want to come off with regular 6 sided sockets, but these things worked like magic. I wanted to replace all the studs I removed, but when I had trouble finding them, I decided they weren't that bad. I know I'll regret it someday. (When I reinstalled the old studs, nuts, and oxygen sensor I used some Antiseize compound on the threads, so I might someday be able to get those threads loosened. Mind you it is the opposite of thread locker.)

So, I found that the silver pipe from the EGR valve to the manifold was caked with soot. And the Exhaust Manifold has air passages in it to let this air enter each exhaust passage separately. All these passages were clogged. Finally those exhaust manifold air passages go into the engine block, and come out just within sight of the exhaust port. I needed to open those passages too. Then I put everything back together, fine sanding the exhaust manifold gasket and the manifold and block with 800grit just to remove any black stuff before putting it all back on. While I had the AC pump off, I also changed the thermostat which is hidden down there, because I wasn't getting my engine temperature above something just above a quarter even after replacing the ECTS (it was just below a quarter before changing the ECTS, I figured the engine would burn cleaner if it operated at the correct temperature rather than too cold). Now the temperature gauge reads about a half, and after 500 miles the lights aren't going on (no codes listed on the OBD II), and most importantly, I passed the emissions test. And for help putting the serpentine belt back on, there is a little diagram on the front of the engine compartment that shows the route the serpentine belt is supposed to follow, and also shows where to put a wrench to take the tension off the self tensioner to get enough slack to slide the belt on. The trick was getting a wrench on the right pulley (automatic tensioner), and having a long enough handle (pipe or other wrench) and room to swing the wrench, to move the automatic tensioner enough to slacken the belt enough to put it back on. But I did it!

It is my theory that since I was living with the bad intake gasket for well over a year the engine was running rich, and sooting up the EGR system air tubes.


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Old 11-08-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: P0410 solved on a 2000 sl

OK, I was mistaken in what I called the EGR Valve, someone else called it a diverter valve. In any case, for the secondary air injection system, the valve in question is the aluminum one in front of the engine attached to the blower. Richpin06 added a good YOUTUBE video more or less showing the process I went through to find my blockage. I wish I found it before I pulled my hair out. Here is his video, it seems good.


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