P0463 OBD-II Trouble Code: Fuel Level Sensor Circuit High Input
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P0463
P0463 code definition
When the powertrain control module (PCM) gets an input signal from the fuel gauge (or fuel level sensor) that is higher than the actual level of fuel in the gas tank, it will store a P0463 code, and the Check Engine Light will turn on.
What the P0463 code means
The PCM determines how much fuel is in the tank by low-voltage input signals. Typically, the highest voltage reading will be five volts, and any voltage reading outside the normal range set by the manufacturer will result in a P0463 code.
What causes the P0463 code?
Some of the most common causes for the PCM to store the P0463 code are:
- A problem with the fuel level sensor circuit
- A faulty fuel level sensor
- Damage to the fuel level sensor float in the gas tank
- Damage to, or corrosion in the gas tank
- A problem with the PCM (rare)
What are the symptoms of the P0463 code?
There are just a few symptoms that a driver may detect when the P0463 code is stored. These include:
- Illumination of the Check Engine Light
- A fluctuating or inaccurate fuel gauge
- Illumination of the Fuel Light and/or sounding of the alarm for low fuel
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0463 code?
When diagnosing a P0463 code, a mechanic will first check the code and any other codes that have been stored by using an OBD-II scanner. After this, they’ll clear the code and attempt to duplicate the circumstances under which the code was first recorded. While doing this, they will keep watch on the fuel gauge and the data it gives, determining whether it’s erratic or steady, whether it indicates that there is more or less fuel in the tank than there actually is, etc.
After taking this test drive, the mechanic will systematically work through the probable causes, clearing the code and retesting it with each repair until the code is ultimately resolved.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0463 code
Technicians report that some of the most common mistakes and misdiagnoses with a P0463 code are:
- Replacing the fuel pump when the problem is actually a damaged or faulty fuel gauge or fuel level sensor.
- Replacing larger, more expensive components before inspecting wiring and connectors for faults or shorts.
- Replacing the fuel gauge when the problem is a corroded or otherwise damaged wire or connector.
How serious is the P0463 code?
This code is not an immediate danger to the vehicle, but it can put you in a dangerous, or at least inconvenient situation. If you are unable to tell how much fuel your vehicle has, you could run out of gas when you’re far from home or in poor conditions. If your vehicle stalls due to lack of fuel in traffic, the situation could be very dangerous, as well.
What repairs can fix the P0463 code?
Some of the most common fixes for a P0463 code include:
- Repairing or replacing the fuel tank
- Repairing or replacing the fuel level sensor float
- Repairing or replacing the fuel level sensor.
- Replacing the wiring harness for the fuel level sensor.
- Tightening a loose connection in the fuel level sensor circuit.
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0463 code
While you may be able to determine how much fuel your vehicle has based on mileage, it’s still important to get this code resolved as soon as possible, especially if you need to get an OBD-II emissions test to renew your vehicle’s registration in your state. When the fuel level sensor is reading as inaccurate or erratic, the PCM will keep the Check Engine Light illuminated, which will mean that you cannot pass an emissions test until the problem is resolved. Fortunately, though, this problem is usually easily fixed without great cost.
Need help with a P0463 code?
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