P0480 OBD-II Trouble Code: Cooling Fan 1 Control Circuit Malfunction

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P0480 code definition

P0480 is a general OBD2 trouble code that refers to the a malfunction within the cooling fan control circuit. This code is similar to P0481 and P0482 codes.

What the P0480 code means

P0480 means that the cooling fan 1 control circuit has a malfunction. The vehicles ECU has tried to control the cooling fan 1 and it has failed to operate or a fault was detected. The ECU then triggers a Check Engine Light to illuminate on the dashboard.

What causes the P0480 code?

  • Faulty cooling fan 1
  • Poor electrical connection in the fan circuit
  • Failed fan control relay has failed
  • Failed coolant temperature sensor
  • Faulty AC pressure switch
  • VSS not operating properly

What are the symptoms of the P0480 code?

  • The most obvious symptom will be the Check Engine Light on the dashboard being illuminated.

  • The more serious side effect is that the vehicle's temperature may rise enough to overheat the vehicle if the fan is not operating.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0480 code?

  • Uses a scan tool and checks for any codes stored in the ECU

  • Notes the freeze frame data that shows the coolant temp, RPM, vehicle speed, and etc. from when the code was set

  • Clears all of the codes

  • Takes the vehicle on a test drive and attempts to duplicate the conditions from the freeze frame data

  • Performs a visual inspection of the the fan system, checks carefully for fan operation and looks for damaged or worn wiring

  • Uses the scan tool to look at the datastream and confirms that the VSS sensor has proper readings, and that the coolant temperature sensor is reading accurately

  • Uses a relay tester to test the fan control relay or switches the relay with a good relay to test

  • Checks for proper operation of the AC pressure switch and that it is reading within specifications

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0480 code

Mistakes are made when step by step diagnosis is not performed or steps are skipped entirely. There are many systems that may be responsible for the P0480 code and if they are overlooked the fan may be replaced when it was really the coolant temp sensor causing the fans not to operate.

How serious is the P0480 code?

P0480 can become serious if the vehicle is allowed to overheat. If the vehicle overheats it can cause engine damage or the engine to fail entirely.

If the P0480 code is found and the fans are not operating then the vehicle should not be driven.

What repairs can fix the P0480 code?

  • Replacing the VSS sensor
  • Replacing the engine coolant temp sensor
  • Repairing or replacing of the fan wiring harness
  • Replacing cooling fan 1
  • Repairing electrical connection issues
  • Replacing AC pressure switch
  • Replacing the fan control relay

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0480 code

Access to the live data stream of the vehicle of the vehicle is needed to diagnose the P0480. This is accomplished with a professional level scan tool. This type of tools allows much greater access to information than the scan tools that simply read and clear codes.

Need help with a P0480 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

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