Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

P0180 OBD-II Trouble Code: Fuel Temperature Sensor A Circuit Malfunction

Check Engine Light

Fuel Temperature Sensor ‘A’ Circuit Malfunction

What the P0180 code means

P0180 is a generic OBD-II code that is triggered by a malfunctioning fuel temperature sensor 'A.' This could indicate that the sensor is not within specification, or that the fuel temperature or fuel rail is too hot or too cold.

What causes the P0180 code?

  • The engine control module (ECM) sets the P0180 code to memory when it detects a malfunctioning sensor circuit; the sensor input is either below or above the specified range designed for the sensor

  • The fuel could be too hot or too cold

  • The fuel tank or fuel rail temperature sensor could be out of sensor range, or the connector could be corroded

  • In diesel engines, the ECM monitors the temperature of the diesel fuel when the fuel heater is activated, and will set the P0180 code if the temperature is out of range

What are the symptoms of the P0180 code?

  • The vehicle will not start if the fuel is frozen from extreme cold, or if there is water in the fuel

  • The vehicle will not start, or may lose power and stall, if the fuel gets too hot and boils off

  • Excessive additives in the fuel can cause erratic sensor readings and cause the fuel to boil off at lower temperatures, causing the sensor to malfunction

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0180 code?

  • Scans codes and documents the freeze frame data, then clears the codes to verify code returns

  • Does a visual check of all the wiring and connections to the sensor, checking for breaks in the wiring or loose connections

  • Disconnects the connection to the sensor and checks to see if the sensor is testing within specifications

  • Takes a fuel sample to compare the actual temperature of fuel to the sensor input

  • Tests the diesel fuel heater for proper operation to make sure it is working to heat the fuel, without overheating the fuel

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0180 code

Follow these simple guidelines to prevent misdiagnosis:

  • Do a visual check of the connections to the sensor to make sure they are making good contact with the fuel heater and fuel temperature sensor

  • Check the fuel for excessive additives that can cause sensors to malfunction

How serious is the P0180 code?

  • The vehicle will not start if excessive water is in the fuel, the ambient temperature is below freezing, and the fuel heater is defective due to the temperature sensor

  • The engine may misfire, hesitate, and stall if the fuel temperature exceeds normal operating temperatures due to temperature sensor circuit malfunction, or if the fuel rail gets too hot.

What repairs can fix the P0180 code?

  • Testing the fuel temperature sensor and replacing it if it is out of specifications
  • Repairing or replacing a defective connector or wiring to the sensor
  • Replacing the diesel fuel heater assembly with the temperature sensor

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0180 code

The code P0180 is used on diesel engines with fuel heaters and on gasoline engines to monitor the fuel temperature in the fuel tank or at the fuel rail. Follow the manufacturer's recommended testing procedures for the vehicle and type of fuel you are working on.

Need help with a P0180 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
Icon-warranty_badge-02

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.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: Failed emissions codes P0134, P0327, P3fff

The P0134 code means that the air fuel ratio sensor is not operating. Most of the time it will need replacing to correct. The P0327 code means that your knock sensor is not getting enough voltage. The P03FF may indicate...

Q: Check Engine light on with specific codes.

I would like to start off by saying that the numbers you gave only contain two trouble codes, which are Codes P0405 and P0455. The 01/02 is code 1 of 2 and 02/02 is code 2 of 2. The KWP...

Q: Does the VIN number have to be in the ECM for the vehicle to run?

Some new ECMs will give you a certain amount of free starts before it will not start unless the VIN is added. I am not sure if this is the case with your ECM but you have a dealer telling...