Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. B1280 OBD-II Trouble Code: Servo Motor Potentiometer Coolair Circuit Failure

B1280 OBD-II Trouble Code: Servo Motor Potentiometer Coolair Circuit Failure

diagnostic check engine light

B1280 code definition

The B1280 trouble code detects an error with the servo motor potentiometer coolair circuit.

What the B1280 code means

The B1280 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code that notes a malfunction with the servo motor potentiometer cool air circuit. The potentiometer acts as a voltage divider for the cool air system, and therefore allows the air to be adjusted. If a circuit error is detected in the servo motor potentiometer, then the B1280 trouble code may be stored.

What causes the B1280 code?

Some causes for the B1280 trouble code include:

What are the symptoms of the B1280 code?

The B1280 trouble code may be joined by an illuminated check engine soon Warning Light, or a blinking A/C light on the climate controls. The vehicle will usually experience problems with the climate control system, such as an inability to produce cold air through the vents.

How does a mechanic diagnose the B1280 code?

The B1280 code will be diagnosed with the aid of an OBD-II trouble code scanner. A reputable technician will use the scanner to view the freeze frame data and gather information about the B1280 code. The mechanic will also check to see if any other trouble codes are present. If multiple codes are detected, then they will need to be diagnosed in the order in which the scanner displays them. The mechanic will then reset the trouble codes, restart the vehicle, and check for the presence of the B1280 code. If the code is no longer detected, then it was likely triggered inaccurately, or is the result of an intermittent issue.

If the code is still detected after the reset, then a visual inspection will be performed on the electrical components in the system. Any wires that are shorted or damaged, connectors that are open or corroded, or fuses that are blown will need to be replaced. The servo motor and potentiometer will then be inspected.

After any part is replaced, the mechanic will reset the trouble codes, restart the vehicle, and again check to see if the B1280 code is present. By doing this, the technician will know as soon as the B1280 code is resolved.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the B1280 code

The most frequently made mistake when diagnosing this code comes from not properly following the OBD-II diagnosis protocol. It is extremely important that technicians always comply with the protocol, as it helps ensure a diagnosis that is efficient and devoid of erroneous repairs.

Fully functional potentiometers and servo motors are often replaced when the only issue was a damaged wire or connector.

How serious is the B1280 code?

A vehicle with the B1280 trouble code will still be drivable, and won’t experience any drivability problems. The climate control system may not work well, and the vehicle may not be able to produce cold air, so the vehicle should be inspected as soon as is convenient.

What repairs can fix the B1280 code?

Repairs for the B1280 trouble code include:

Additional comments for consideration regarding the B1280 code

It is very rare for a defective control module to be the cause of the B1280 trouble code. Mechanics should always inspect all potential causes before a controller is assumed to be faulty. In the event that the PCM, climate control module, or body control module does need to be replaced, then it will also need to be reprogrammed.

Need help with a B1280 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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: Check engine light is on.. Its not running any differently and it starts normally..

You need to have the engine computer scanned to see what trouble code is stored. Not all codes will cause the engine to run bad or cause a noticeable problem. For instance, a trouble code could be triggered by a...

Q: Does the OBD system use more than lights to communicate with the driver?

Malfunction Indicator Lamps (MIL) and audible alarms are currently the only means by which the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system can inform the driver of any issues that adversely affect the operation of the engine or other electronically controlled system. The...

Q: The Check Engine Light came on, I hooked it up to my scanner and got the code P0308 (cylinder #8 misfire).

An easy way to isolate if the ignition coil is the problem is to swap the #8 coil with another cylinder. Swap the #8 coil with the coil from the adjacent cylinder, then clear the codes. If the code remains...