P0526 code definition
The P0526 code means that the PCM detected a voltage reading that was either too low or too high from the electric cooling fan control circuit.
What the P0526 code means
In order to maintain proper powertrain cooling requirements, and to reduce the cooling fan noise as it is in use, the PCM uses a signal from the cooling fan to assess its speed. If the speed of the fan is higher or lower than the manufacturer’s specifications, the PCM will store the code P0526.
What causes the P0526 code?
In most cases, the P0526 code is caused by a faulty cooling fan motor. However, this code may also be stored due to:
- Faulty cooling fan relay
- Corroded or loose electrical components
- Faulty engine coolant temperature sensor
- Shorted or open electrical wiring, which may cause a blown fuse
- Faulty cooling fan
What are the symptoms of the P0526 code?
In addition to the stored code and the illuminated Check Engine Light, it is possible that the engine may overheat, and that the air conditioner may not work as efficiently.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0526 code?
After an OBD-II scanner detects the P0526 code, an inspection of all the wiring, connectors, and other electrical components should be the first diagnostic step. Any damaged elements should be replaced, reconnected, or repaired as necessary, to ensure that the code was not a simple malfunction due to faulty electrical components.
The mechanic should clear the code from the PCM and retest the system. If the code returns, they have successfully diagnosed a larger issue with the fan speed sensor circuit, and should move on to other repairs.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0526 code
In some cases, a reoccurring P0526 code is due to a mechanic replacing the cooling fan motors without performing a more thorough diagnosis. Cooling fan relays are more likely to be the problem, and have been the subject of several recalls in newer model vehicles.
How serious is the P0526 code?
The P0526 code represents a very serious issue that should be repaired immediately. Without the ability to keep the powertrain at the optimum level, the engine will most likely overheat and become inoperable. If an OBD-II scanner has detected this code, the vehicle should be taken to a mechanic as soon as possible.
What repairs can fix the P0526 code?
Addressing the issues that can cause a P0526 code may include some or all of the following repairs:
- Replacing a faulty cooling fan motor.
- Replacing a faulty cooling fan relay.
- Replacing or repairing corroded or loose electrical components.
- Replacing a faulty engine coolant temperature sensor.
- Replacing or repairing a shorted or open electrical wiring. If this issue caused a blown fuse, the mechanic will also need to replace those fuses.
- Replacing a faulty cooling fan.
It is important to always clear the P0526 code from the PCM, and perform a retest of the system, before moving on to another repair. This process allows mechanics to pinpoint exactly what went wrong to cause the code, which ensures that they do not repair the incorrect element, or assume that a vehicle has been fixed when the issue is, in fact, still present. If the code is a reoccurring code, narrowing down the underlying cause can help with future repairs.
Need help with a P0526 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.