P0900 OBD-II Trouble Code: Clutch Actuator Circuit / Open

Our certified mechanics come to you · 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

SCHEDULE P0900 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront
Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0900 code

P0900 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Clutch Actuator Circuit / Open". 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. 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.

Cars Estimate Credit towards follow-up repair Earliest Availability
Ford$20.00
Toyota$20.00
BMW$20.00
SCHEDULE P0900 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

P0900 code definition

This trouble code is defined as the clutch actuator circuit being open.

What the P0900 code means

When the PCM (powertrain control module) detects an open circuit in the clutch actuator control circuit, it will log a P0900 code. The PCM is constantly monitoring the output voltage of the actuator as it engages and disengages the vehicle’s clutch. In order to change gears, the PCM has to send out a command to energize the clutch actuator so it releases the clutch. After that, actuators in the transmission disengage the current gear and engage the next one (whether higher or lower).

Some models use a solenoid-type device in their actuators to operate a specific kind of clutch that uses brake fluid. Others use pneumatic actuators, hydraulic actuators, electronic sensors or some combination of these controlled by microprocessors. In any case, if this code gets reported, it’s because a circuit is left open so the PCM can’t engage a gear.

What causes the P0900 code?

There are a number of reasons that could be behind the P0900 code:

  • Corrosion of the electrical connectors
  • Electrical failures inside the actuator solenoids or motors
  • Motion or travel sensors failing in the clutch
  • Damaged wires
  • Loss of ground

The problem could also be that the PCM is faulty. However, this is incredibly rare and, if the PCM was reporting codes erroneously, they wouldn’t be accompanied by the symptoms mentioned below.

What are the symptoms of the P0900 code?

The main symptom of this trouble code is simply that the vehicle won’t engage a gear. However, the issue could also spread and affect other components. Aside from a Check Engine light, these symptoms may be present too:

  • The engine stalls after control system failure
  • The engine doesn’t crank (this is actually a safety precaution activated by the PCM).
  • The transmission enters into “limp” mode
  • The transmission gets stuck in one gear, but doesn’t enter into “limp” mode

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0900 code?

A qualified mechanic will begin by using an OBD-II scanner to retrieve all the trouble codes that have been stored on a vehicle. They will then proceed to address any accompanying issues that may have come before P0900. Finally, they will need to do some combination of the following steps:

  • Inspect the PCM terminal voltage
  • Inspect the PCM terminal condition
  • Inspect the clutch actuator circuit
  • Inspect the clutch actuator harness and connector
  • Inspect the clutch actuator assembly

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0900 code

A common mistake that a lot of mechanics make is only addressing one of the above. They may fix the PCM terminal voltage problem and assume that’s the end of it when really the clutch actuator needs some attention too.

Another error is not using the OBD-II scanner because a seasoned mechanic may listen to the owner’s description of the problem and assume they know how to act. While they may address the P0900 problem, there could be others that played a role in it occurring in the first place and will do so all over again.

How serious is the P0900 code?

The code is serious insofar as the vehicle will be impossible to operate until the underlying problem gets fixed. It could also lead to a problem on the road, like the vehicle stalling out, leaving the owner stranded and in need of a tow. For this reason, even if the problem seems to go away after a minute, it’s really best to have a mechanic take a look ASAP.

What repairs can fix the P0900 code?

To fix this problem, a mechanic will do some combination of the following:

  • Repair faulty wiring or connectors
  • Replace PCM terminals
  • Replace the clutch actuator

In very rare scenarios, the PCM may need to be replaced.

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0900 code

As we covered earlier, there are a number of different actuators, so when addressing the P0900 code, it’s important to understand how it works and how its mechanics affect the rest of the vehicle.

Need help with a P0900 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 1-800-701-6220.

trouble codes
P0900
Check Engine Light

Fast and easy Check Engine Light is on Inspection service at your home or office.

SCHEDULE P0900 DIAGNOSTIC
Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

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

4,796

Rating Summary
4,411
187
47
28
123
4,411
187
47
28
123

Matthew

31 years of experience
633 reviews
Matthew
31 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz E320 - Check Engine Light is on - Williamsburg, Virginia
MATT WAS AMAZING! HE EXPLAINTED EVERYTHING SO WELL! HIS EXPERTISE AS A MECHANIC IS EVIDENT AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HIM.

Mario

18 years of experience
101 reviews
Mario
18 years of experience
Lexus LS430 - Check Engine Light is on - Naples, Florida
NICE GUY, COMPLETED ALL WORK PROFESSIONALLY, HE ACTUALLY OFFERED SUGGESTION AND ATTITUDE WAS THAT HE CARED UNLIKE PAST MECHANIC

Kai

12 years of experience
3 reviews
Kai
12 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Check Engine Light is on - Plano, Texas
Great. He was knowledgable and wasted no time getting to work. Had lots of helpful information for me

Patrick

31 years of experience
1038 reviews
Patrick
31 years of experience
Mazda CX-7 - Check Engine Light is on - Austin, Texas
Patrick is always on time and extremely knowledgeable and professional. I am quite picky when it comes to somebody working on my car and I fully trust that Patrick will do an excellent job every time.

More related articles

Related questions

Is it the part or a deeper problem when the camshaft position sensor error displays after replacement

As a technician, anytime two sensors fail at once, I suspect there is something that both these sensors have in common. This common item is the likely point of failure. It is unlikely that two sensors would fail at the...

Are there 2 camshaft positioning sensors to replace on this car

You actually have four camshaft sensors. Two on each head and one for each camshaft. There is likely a deeper issue that should be diagnosed. 1208 is "Constant adjustment of intake camshaft or right cylinder bank in direction retarded."...

DTC Help Request

You might have a problem with fretting corrosion in the connectors of the modules of the vehicle. There is a technical bulletin out for your Saturn VUE: 09-06-03-004D, dated December 2010 for corrosion in the small connector pins of the...

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.

1-800-701-6230 · hi@yourmechanic.com