Date registered: Dec 2006
Vehicle: 2013 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2011 Mazda 2, 2000 E320 4Matic Wagon (retired),1994 C280 (retired)
Location: Toronto, Canada
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This is, in all likelihood, a failure with your air pump. This is part of your pollution control system that, on a cold start, pumps extra air into your exhaust stream to reduce the extra pollution associated with the rich fuel mixture on a cold start. The pump will run for about 30-60 seconds on a cold start only. After that, it doesn't do anything.
I have been driving my C280 with a P0410 for three and a half years now. I have my own hand-held code scanner, so I can clear the codes any time I wish. This is a good idea because you want to make sure you don't have another code "hiding" behind the code you know about. I'm not replacing my air pump because the part will cost about $700 and I'm just not interested in spending that kind of money for a pollution control device that runs for 45 seconds on a cold start. However, if you have to get your car smog checked periodically it might be a problem for you. Depending on where you live, checking for codes could be part of the smog check, which means they could discover that you've cleared the codes just before bringing them the car for your smog test if the scanner's test sequence is showing "pending" on a number of the test subjects. They'll fail you for the "pending" reading and tell you to come back when the car has gone through its full diagnostic cycle.