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P0481 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Cooling Fan 2 Control Circuit Malfunction". 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 for $79.99. 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.
The P0481 code identifies a problem with the control circuit for cooling fan 2. It is often associated with the P0480 code.
P0481 is the OBD-II generic code for a problem with the control circuit for cooling fan 2. The cooling fan should be commanded on under certain conditions where the engine requires more cooling, and this is controlled via the cooling fan relay. If this does not take place, the Check Engine light will illuminate on the dashboard.
The cooling fan 2 control circuit malfunction code may have several causes:
Other than illuminating the Check Engine light on the dashboard, the P0481 code may cause the engine to overheat as a symptom. This is because the cooling fan, meant to help regulate the coolant temperature, did not function properly when commanded on by the ECM (engine control module).
P0481 is diagnosed with an OBD-II scanner. A qualified technician will use a scanner that is capable of scanning the factory sensor readings (more advanced than one from the auto parts store) to read the code. The code will then be reset.
The technician will then observe data on the scanner while driving. If the same code comes back, then both cooling fan 2 and the associated relay will be inspected for damage or a short in the wiring. If the code does not come back, then the technician will perform further testing to diagnose the issue.
Often when the P0481 code is observed, it is immediately assumed that either the cooling fan itself needs to be replaced or the cooling fan relay is faulty. There are a number of sensors the ECM (engine control module) uses to control the cooling fan relay. These include:
These components should be inspected along with with the cooling fan relay and wiring to ensure that the issue is taken care of without needlessly replacing parts.
The P0481 code will not prevent the vehicle from starting and driving, but all the same it can be a serious issue. In conditions where the engine is experiencing excess heat, serious damage could occur if the cooling system cannot work properly. Overheating in the engine can damage a number of crucial components and lead to very expensive repairs.
The most common potential repairs to address the P0481 code are as follows:
When there is a trouble code present that can be set off by a sensor in the drivetrain, there are a number of possible causes. Sometimes small electrical issues or malfunctions can falsely set off codes, so the first step in diagnosis is always to reset the code and see if it activates again when the vehicle is running. Sometimes the code occurs constantly as soon as the engine is turned on.
Simple things like a bad wire or corrosion around the connectors can cause trouble codes to appear. This is why it is crucial to have a qualified technician perform a diagnosis before any parts are replaced.
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.