P0890 OBD-II Trouble Code: Traction Control Module (TCM) Power Relay Sense Circuit Low

Our certified mechanics come to you · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0890 code

P0890 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Traction Control Module (TCM) Power Relay Sense Circuit Low". 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 is on diagnostic inspection. 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.

P0890 code definition

Applying only to vehicles with a traction control system, a P0890 trouble code indicates a fault in the traction control module communication circuit. The traction control module communication circuit relays information to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) that helps the vehicle computer decide on how much fuel and RPMs the vehicle engine needs depending on current driving conditions and factors. The traction control module communication circuit also helps with engine timing and other things while the vehicle is in operation. Some similar trouble codes include P0880, P0881, P0882, P0883, P0884, P0885, P0886, P0887, P0888, P0889, P0891, and P0892 codes.

What the P0890 code means

When the PCM or other control modules do not receive the necessary data from the traction control module communication circuit, a P0890 trouble code is stored and the Check Engine light may illuminate, in addition to the traction control malfunction light illuminating. The PCM might also place the vehicle transmission into Limp-in mode.

What causes the P0890 code?

A defective traction control ON/OFF switch is the most common cause of a P0890 trouble code, with liquid spilled into the switch being the most likely culprit behind the failure. Some other causes include shorted, corroded, and damaged wiring or connectors, as well as corrosion in the sensor connector.

What are the symptoms of the P0890 code?

In addition to a stored code and illuminated Check Engine and Traction Control Malfunction lights, some other symptoms of a P0890 trouble code include a lack of traction while driving in slippery conditions and failure of the traction control system. Other symptoms include harsh shifting or failure to shift by the transmission, as well as a reduction in the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0890 code?

To properly diagnose a P0890 trouble code, a mechanic needs an advanced scanner, digital volt/ohmmeter, a specialized scanner for diagnosing the pins of the Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus harness, auxiliary ground cable, and a CAN Bus system wiring diagram. The mechanic must also perform the following steps when diagnosing:

  • Inspect and check the wiring and connectors for damage or fault.
  • Clear the trouble code and test the system to see if it returns.
  • The mechanic should also download all stored codes and any flash frame data.
  • If the code returns, the mechanic needs to use a specialized scanner to test the pin values of the CAN Bus Harness, comparing their findings with the manufacturer's specifications.
  • When inspecting and testing the CAN Bus system pins, the mechanic should use both a CAN Bus system wiring diagram and an auxiliary ground cable to make the process easier.
  • The mechanic should also check the continuity of the ground circuits of the various related control modules using the digital volt/ohmmeter.
  • Clear the code and retest the system to see if the trouble code returns.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0890 code

When diagnosing a P0890 trouble code, mechanics often make the mistake of citing the traction control module as the problem instead a faulty switch, wiring, or connector, which is actually at fault. This results in the problem remaining unfixed and the trouble code returning.

How serious is the P0890 code?

A P0890 trouble code needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. The resulting symptoms make the vehicle difficult to drive at best. Some of the problems associated with a P0890 trouble code include loss of traction, failure of the transmission to shift properly, and worsening fuel mileage.

What repairs can fix the P0890 code?

Repairing a P0890 trouble code requires a mechanic to do the following:

Need help with a P0890 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.

trouble codes
OBD-II
P0890

No more waiting rooms! Our mechanics will come to you to diagnose and fix the P0890 code.

Get a $20 credit for the follow-up repair

Recent Check Engine Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Check Engine Light is on Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

5,736

Rating Summary
5,302
211
50
34
139
5,302
211
50
34
139

Nazareth

26 years of experience
168 reviews
Nazareth
26 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz CLA250 - Check Engine Light is on - Los Angeles, California
Polite and very professional! Nazareth quickly identified my car was suffering from low voltage issues and the battery was the problem. The reader was showing 8 volts hence why my car didn’t receive enough power to start, it needed 12v. My battery was 4 years old and never been changed. Thank you Nazareth!

Cornelius

17 years of experience
78 reviews
Cornelius
17 years of experience
Chevrolet Cobalt - Check Engine Light is on - Peachtree City, Georgia
He was very helpful with explaining what could lead to my check engine light being on. And helping clear my engine light.

Marco

28 years of experience
78 reviews
Marco
28 years of experience
Nissan Maxima - Check Engine Light is on - Highland, California
Marco did a great job of finding the source of the problem and his recommendations were greatly appreciated.

Juan

8 years of experience
128 reviews
Juan
8 years of experience
Chevrolet Tahoe - Check Engine Light is on - Altamonte Springs, Florida
Juan was on time for both appointments. He was knowledgeable and polite and I will most definitely be requesting him for my next steps based on the quote he provided me for other issues I need to address. Excellent customer service and top notch repair work!


More related articles

P0768 OBD-II Trouble Code: Shift Solenoid D Electrical
P0768 code means there was a problem detected in shift solenoid "D" often due too low/dirty transmission fluid or faulty parts.
B1966 OBD-II Trouble Code: AC Post Heater Sensor Circuit Failure
B1966 means the AC heater sensor is not working properly, most likely due to a damaged electrical component.
P0922 OBD-II Trouble Code: Gear Shift Forward Actuator Circuit Low
P0922 means an abnormally low voltage reading from the actuator circuit has occurred due to a faulty actuator, shift shaft, or wiring issues.

Related questions

Obd codes 33,34, and 43 what does this mean? 1993 Chevrolet K1500

Hi - the diagnostic trouble codes you mention are: 33- Manifold Absolute Pressure circuit/sensor malfunction: wiring open circuit/shorted circuit to positive, hose blocked/leaking, MAP sensor, 34- manifold Absolute Pressure circuit/sensor malfunction: wiring shorted to ground, 42- ignition control module circuit...

Are Code Readers and Scan Tools Different?

There are differences and similarities between code readers and scan tools. With the advent of the vehicle on board diagnostic system (OBD) there have been many different makers of scan tools and code readers. The code readers were the first...

My car won't let me drive passed 2500 rpm. And I have no idea why it is doing that when I recently bought it.

The reason it will not go over 2500 rpm is because the computer is in limp mode. This mode is for when the computer has a failure in it. Limp mode will trigger if there is an issue with one...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com