P0125 code definition
Insufficient Coolant Temperature For Closed Loop Fuel Control
What the P0125 code means
P0125 is the OBD-II generic code for the engine computer, or Engine Control Module (ECM), not detecting enough heat in the cooling system before the fuel management system can take control. The ECM has a predetermined value after you start your vehicle to expect a certain coolant temperature. Your vehicle may have other codes, such as P0126 or P0128.
What causes the P0125 code?
- Disconnected plug to the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor
- Possible corrosion in the ECT sensor connector
- Damage to the ECT sensor wiring to the ECM
- Defective ECT sensor
- The engine is low on coolant or has coolant leaks
- The engine coolant thermostat is not opening at the proper temperature
- The ECM is damaged
What are the symptoms of the P0125 code?
- The Check Engine Light on the instrument panel/dash
- Bad fuel economy
- Car is overheating
- Lack of heater performance
- Engine damage
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0125 code?
The P0125 is properly diagnosed with a scan tool and infrared thermometer capable of sensor readings (more advanced than what you might find at an auto parts store).
A qualified technician will read the data from the scan tool and can compare it with the temperature readings, ensuring they match, to determine the root cause.
The coolant level should also be verified with the engine cold.
The mechanic will clear the code/light, and test drive the vehicle while monitoring data to see if the code returns.
Based upon the conditions of the testing, further diagnosis will be required. Diagnosis could require multiple tools such as:
- An advanced scan tool to read data from the ECM
- A digital voltage meter with attachments
- An infrared thermometer
- Coolant test strips
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0125 code
Replacing the thermostat without being certain that it is the source of the problem
Not bleeding the cooling system properly to remove air pockets thus preventing overheating
Not Visually inspecting and testing with an advanced scan tool and special equipment to make sure what is causing the issue
How serious is the P0125 code?
The P0125 code will not likely prevent your vehicle from running. However, it may:
- Cause your engine to overheat
- Prevent heat from coming out of your vents
- Affect fuel economy
- Cause fuel instability which may damage your engine
- Prevent you from passing emissions
What repairs can fix the P0125 code?
To address the P0125 code follow these steps in diagnosis and repair:
Connect a professional scan tool and verify that the code exists
Check for any other faults and clear the code to see if it returns
Analyze the data from the ECM
Verify the coolant level
Determine that the thermostat is opening properly
Road test the vehicle
See if the P0125 code returns
Inspect all of the items listed above (wiring, leaks, etc.)
Further diagnose the problem with the equipment listed above (scan tool, voltage meter, infrared thermometer). This information will determine where the problem exists. If the information is within specification, then we need to move towards the wiring or computer.
Replace the components that are faulty.
I have experienced this particular code in the past. I have replaced ECT sensors and thermostats, filled coolant, replaced hoses, fixed wiring/connector issues, and many other items. A proper diagnosis is certainly required.
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0125 code
Any diagnostic code may occur at all times, or may be intermittent. Also, further diagnostics are required to find the root cause. The solution may be simple, or require more time for an experienced technician to resolve.
If the thermostat is not opening, then it will cause your issue. If the ECT sensor is not reading properly, then it will set a code. If the coolant is low, it will cause the code to set. If the coolant is low, then you likely have a leak; a coolant pressure test needs to be performed if the coolant is low.
Using the infrared thermometer, a scan tool, and a visual inspection from a qualified technician will help solve your P0125 code and prevent further issues.
Need help with a P0125 code?
YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.