How to Troubleshoot & Fix P0480 Jeep DTC Code? (Detailed Guide)

P0480 is a generic OBD-II trouble code. It indicates a specific issue with the ECU leading towards a faulty cooling fan (1). Even though your Jeep will still run with this issue, it’s essential to get it fixed to avoid long-term consequences. 

But various factors work together to give birth to P0480 engine error. That’s why it’s often difficult for users to identify the actual reason and fix it. 

What Does P0480 Jeep DTC Code Mean?

The P0480 code stands for a faulty cooling fan (1). On the other hand, P0481 shows up when cooling fan 2 gets damaged or broken. 

That’s why people often confuse the meaning of DTC code P0480 with P0481 or P0482. You see, all three of them are fan related errors. That clears up everything, right? 

One problem with engines is that they tend to get very hot. You need multiple cooling fans near the radiator to keep the temperature under control.

It’s a big issue when the cooling fan stops responding. And, P0480 signals you about this specific error in the radiator fan.

Usually, you see the warning first on the dashboard. The “check engine” light informs you about a malfunction.

For a better insight, here’s the code breakdown for you.

  • P = OBD-II powertrain trouble code.
  • 0 = generic number derived from the SAE standard.
  • 4 = emission control unit (ECU).
  • 80 = cooling fan 1 control circuit

P0480 Code: What Causes the Cooling Fan Control Circuit to Fail?

There’s no one cause behind a failing cooling fan. In fact, it’s hard to identify whether the issue is with the fan itself or the ECU. The ideal troubleshooting method depends on your findings.

Here are the most common reasons why you see the P0480 code on the OBD-2 scanner.

  • A blown-out fuse
  • Faulty Fan Relay
  • Corroded wiring or electronic connection
  • VSS stopping the fan from working
  • Inoperative Thermostat
  • Damaged AC pressure switch

Last but not least, the problem can be with the fan itself. Usually, cooling fans last several years. But it’s better to inspect the fan’s condition as well.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot & Fix P2181 Jeep DTC Code? (Ultimate Guide)

How to Troubleshoot & Fix P0480 Jeep DTC Code?

Before the introduction of DTC codes, it was a big hassle trying to pinpoint any fault with the cooling fan. 

The major symptom of this error is an overheating engine. So, you had to constantly check out the temperature level to make sure everything was ok.

The use of OBD-2 scanners has made the process so much easier. Here is the list of important elements to check.

1. Change the Fuse

We will start by inspecting and then changing the fuse (if necessary). Fuse protects the fan from sudden electrical surges. In case, the power supply is way over the fan’s capacity (50 A), the fuse gets blown and breaks the bridge.

That’s why it’s a must to look out for blown fuses when the fans are not turning on. Thankfully, it’s the easiest thing to do. You just open the fuse box of your Jeep. 

Locate the radiator fan fuse and open the cover. It takes seconds to notice a burnt fuse. But you can also get a voltmeter if you don’t like checking manually.

The reading would be close to 0V with a blown fuse. As for the next step, change the fuse to a new one. 

2. Replace the Fan Control Relay

If the fuse is fine, check the fan control relay. It is the gateway for electrical devices like a cooling fan. Control relay is an electromagnetic switch that opens the path for electrical supply to the radiator fans.

If there’s a problem with the relay, be it dust or technical damage, the cooling fan 1 won’t receive any electricity to turn on. 

You can just check the relay box and see the condition first. If there’s a lot of coax/debris, use a thin screwdriver to scrape it off.

After that, check whether the fans now work or not. If not, you have no other option but to replace it. For that, make sure the model is appropriate and suitable for your Jeep’s engine.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot & Fix P0522 Jeep DTC Code? (Detailed Guide)

3. Check the Thermostat

Once you have done easier inspection with relays and fuses, the real work begins. You see, the thermostat or temperature control module is merely a sensor that triggers the cooling fan to start operating. In simpler terms, the thermostat is in charge of measuring the heat inside the radiator. 

If it crosses a predetermined level, the sensors activate. Finally, the fan’s control circuit gets the message and turns the fans on. 

That also means a fault within the thermostat’s ability to measure the temperature can cause the fans to not work properly.

Usually, you will see black smoke coming out of the exhaust including poor fuel economy. 

So, what you have to do is replace it with a new one. The temperature control sensor is placed near the radiator hose. 

Park the Jeep and open the engine cap. Then, give it a coolant flush. Use a torque wrench to remove the old sensor and place the new one. 

Stick to the manual’s part number when it comes to choosing a new thermostat.

Note: Make sure to go for a test drive after the installation is over.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot and Fix Jeep B2204-00 DTC Code?

4. Fix the Wiring

Damaged or corroded wiring is the last thing we consider. Still, there’s a chance, the cooling fan is dealing with corroded or broken wiring.

Normally, it’s a tedious task to pinpoint which part of the device has been damaged. 

We would suggest you hire a professional to find the fault within the wiring. If it’s only rust, a quick clean-up would fix the issue. There’s no need for any replacement.

5. Get a New Cooling Fan Altogether

Finally, the cooling fan might have reached the end stage. Just check the last time you replaced the radiator fan. If it’s more than five years, your assumption might be right.

The average cost of replacing a cooling fan in a Jeep is around $150 to $300. New parts come from $50 to $100. Whereas, the labor charge for assembly might vary between $50 to $100 per hour.

Note: Before going through any of the fixing methods, ensure an optimum coolant level. Sometimes, a low level of coolant messes the engine up.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot & Fix P1745 Jeep DTC Code? (Detailed Guide)


Not knowing what a DTC code means, can frighten you in the middle of the road. Luckily, we have this small FAQ section to answer your queries on code P0480. Have a look.

Can you drive a Jeep with the P0480 code?

P0480 code indicates an error within the cooling fan 1. It doesn’t stop the engine from working totally. You can still drive the Jeep. However, you would notice the vehicle overheating. Thus it is better to avoid driving after the code is stored.

How much does it cost to fix the Jeep P0480 code?

There is no straightforward cost estimation. If you choose to replace the entire fan, it will cost around $150 to $300. However, if the fan itself is fine, you can save some bucks (around $20 without labor charge).

What causes cooling fan relay to fail?

A failed cooling fan relay is one of the major reasons behind a faulty radiator fan. It can happen when the VSS is activated to change speed, or the thermostat doesn’t send a signal as the temperature rises.


P0480 code doesn’t refer to a random cooling fan error. In fact, it is specifically coded for the fan labeled as 1. You see, there’s no room for even a slight confusion.

As for the solution, just changing a part doesn’t necessarily solve it from the root. 

If there’s a poor electrical connection, no matter how many times you change the fuse, it will still get blown. So, before replacing the part, make sure you figure out the root cause.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot and Fix P0344 Jeep DTC Code? (Detailed Guide)

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