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P0217 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Engine Overheat Condition". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation. Our certified mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to perform the Check Engine Light diagnostic. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.
Engine Overheating Condition
The P0217 code means that the engine is or was overheating and should be turned off as soon as possible.
Most engines have an engine coolant temperature sensor that sends a voltage reading to the powertrain control module which converts that into a temperature. If this temperature exceeds a certain limit set by the vehicle’s manufacturer, the Check Engine Light will be illuminated and a P0217 code will be stored.
A leak in the cooling system from parts, such as the radiator, thermostat housing, radiator hoses, heater hoses, water pump, head gasket, or the engine itself
A faulty coolant temperature sensor
Damaged wiring associated with the coolant temperature sensor
A faulty powertrain control module
Inoperative fan clutch or electric cooling fan
Restriction in the radiator or other parts of the cooling system
A thermostat that is stuck close
A message displayed that indicates that engine power has been reduced (on vehicles with fail-safe cooling systems).
Engine may shut off to avoid severe overheating
Steam or smoke may be emitted from the engine compartment
Loud boiling sounds coming from the engine bay
Coolant may explode out of any part of the cooling system if the system has become over pressurized
Severe engine damage may result from overheating
A mechanic may diagnose the P0217 code by checking the coolant level and inspecting the cooling system for any obvious damages such as cracks and leaks.
If no obvious issues are found, the mechanic would then run a cooling system pressure test to help locate any leaks that may exist. A leak found during this test would likely cause the P0217 code and would need to be repaired before any further diagnosis may take place.
If no leaks are found in the cooling system, the mechanic would then check the operation of the electric cooling fans or fan clutch. If the fans are not working properly, fuses and relays may be checked to resolve the issue if the fan is electric. If the fan is not working and is not electric, the fan clutch would likely be replaced.
If the electric fan is inoperative, the fuse, relay or fan itself may require replacement. As long as no issues are found with the operation of the cooling fan, the mechanic would then use an infrared thermometer to check the cooling system for hot spots.
Hot spots that exist in the cooling system indicate that the cooling system has a restriction in it. A cooling system restriction can only be corrected by replacing the part that has the restriction or is running a high pressure coolant flush on the vehicle. If no hot spots are found, the problem may lie with the coolant temperature sensor or the powertrain control module.
A common mistake that could be made is replacing the coolant temperature sensor before thoroughly checking each component for leaks. When a P0217 code is stored, the chances of it being a false alarm are very slim. If this code exists in your vehicle’s powertrain control module, it is likely a real problem and should be diagnosed and repaired immediately.
The P0217 code is very serious. This code being stored in the powertrain control module for too long can lead to the end of a vehicle’s operation. Engine overheating can result in engine failure. Anyone with an overheating condition should consider this very serious and should act as soon as possible to correct the issue and prevent further damage.
Repairing or replacing wiring that is associated with the coolant temperature sensor
Repairing wiring that is associated with the electric cooling fan
Replacing the electric cooling fan or fan clutch
Running a high pressure coolant flush on the vehicle
In order to avoid getting a P0217 code, it is a good idea to keep up with your basic vehicle maintenance. Having your vehicle’s coolant replaced at regular intervals will help prevent overheating issues throughout the life of the vehicle.
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.