Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P0462
P0462 code definition
When a vehicle’s PCM (Powertrain Control Module) logs a P0462 trouble code, it’s because its fuel level sensor is no longer taking correct readings.
What the P0462 code means
The way a vehicle consumes fuel in order to make the engine work is far more complicated than most people assume. One integral element in the process is a fuel level sensor. As the name suggests, this sensor is responsible for measuring how much fuel is in the tank.
It is made up of three separate components: a resistor, actuating rod, and a float. That last element rests on top of the fuel. It is attached to an actuating rod which is thin and made out of metal and pivoted at some point. This piece is attached to the resistor. A resistor is supplied with 12 volts of power from the vehicle’s battery and a wire runs from it to the fuel gauge so it can report on the level.
Obviously, it’s vital that you always know how much fuel you have. However, the PCM also needs to know this information so it can adjust the vehicle’s performance accordingly.
If P0462 is logged by the PCM, it’s because the sensor is sending voltage readings that are too low to be accurate.
What causes the P0462 code?
Despite how simple this fuel-measuring tool is, there could be a number of reasons behind it sending readings of insufficient voltage. These are:
- A faulty instrument cluster
- The fuel level sensor has suffered an opening
- The fuel tank has been damaged
- The ground circuit is open
- The ground path is rusty which is causing high resistance
- The signal circuit to the fuel sender is shorted to the battery voltage or completely open
- The BCM, fuel pump computer module or even the PCM are faulty
Admittedly, this last cause is extremely rare, but if nothing else makes sense, it’s worth investigating.
What are the symptoms of the P0462 code?
There are really only two symptoms you should expect with respect to P0462:
- The MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) lighting up
- The fuel gauge may fluctuate irregularly
Basically, if the fuel level sensor can’t do its job, you shouldn’t expect accurate readings about how much gas you have left in your tank.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0462 code?
This is actually a fairly simple problem to diagnose. These are the steps involved:
- A mechanic will use their OBD-II scanner to find out which codes have been logged by the vehicle’s PCM.
- They will inspect the tank from the outside to see if there are any signs of damage that could be leading to the poor readings.
- Given that this is a voltage problem, though, no matter what they find, they will inspect the circuitry related to the fuel level sensor that is responsible for sending readings to the PCM.
- Finally, if all else fails, the sensor itself will be examined.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0462 code
As we just touched on, one common mistake is only addressing a single issue and leaving others. For example, the tank may be damaged and that may be causing a bad reading, but code P0462 means something is wrong with the voltage. Therefore, the tank’s problems should be fixed, but a mechanic needs to continue inspecting.
How serious is the P0462 code?
Code P0462 doesn’t represent a threat to anyone’s safety, but it could end with you on the side of the road because you ran out of gas. Until you resolve this problem, you’ll have no idea of how much longer you have before your tank is on empty.
What repairs can fix the P0462 code?
Repairs for this code would include:
- Sealing the fuel tank or replacing it
- Replacing the entire fuel level sensor or the malfunctioning element
- Replacing broken or frayed wires
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0462 code
Given how easy it should be to fix this problem – and how affordable those repairs are – there is no reason to risk your vehicle running out of gas.
Need help with a P0462 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.