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Old 12-02-2019, 03:24 PM   #1
bitterman
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Default Dreaded P0480 and P0481 code

Good afternoon,

It seems every year at the beginning of winter my 06 vue 2.2 starts throwing the P0480 and P0481 codes. I do not recall what I did to fix this last year. Here is what I do know.

I have checked both high and low fan relays. Both check out on ohm check and voltage check.
Controls for heat inside cabin is set to blow out the vents so a/c clutch is not called to engage.
I did an ohm reading on the fan resistor. Reads 0.00. Also check for continuity and that checked out ok.
I can start the car and within 3 to 5 seconds, the fan will spin on its highest speed. If I remove the fuse or relay it will stop but shortly after, the low speed fan will start and run constantly just like it did at high speed.

Am I missing something??? What other tests can I try to sort this out.

Engine still has the original coolant temp sensor. Gauge reads fine and no overheating. Thermostat was changed last year. Engine has 207,000 miles and still runs strong.

Please advise and thank you

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Old 12-03-2019, 08:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dreaded P0480 and P0481 code

Any ideas?

Anyone???

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Old 12-03-2019, 11:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dreaded P0480 and P0481 code

Is it safe to say you verified and cleaned grounds?

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Old 12-04-2019, 12:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dreaded P0480 and P0481 code

Correct, I have checked all grounds. All are clean and tight.

I did read on a post from far2grumpy that the ECM can command the fans if the AC pressure is high. I located the pressure sensor but do not know how to test it. My scan tool can tell me voltage of that sensor if that will help.

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Old 12-06-2019, 12:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dreaded P0480 and P0481 code

I would think to test the sensor, some resistance value would need to be met to 'trip' it. I'll wait for smarter heads to chime in

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Old 12-07-2019, 03:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dreaded P0480 and P0481 code

Don't bother attempting to test the ac pressure sensor if its a three wire unit. The pressure transducer is always on, measuring pressures and outputs varying voltages from approximately 0.1-4.9vdc. The ecm only needs to 'see' one of two pressures and determines when to disable compressor operation; extremely high pressures exceeding approximately 425 psi or very low pressures below approximately 25 psi (from damage releasing refrigerant). Each extreme in pressures are two voltage signals. The ecm simply disables compressor operation to protect the compressor from destroying itself. The transducer does not directly influence cooling fan operation. Put another way, if your ac is working then the pressure sensor is fine. Disconnecting it will not alter ac operation or cooling fan issues but will remove compressor protection. Normal ac operating pressures never exceed 350 psi. Gauges are the only way to measure operating pressures. Something else is causing this error code to return. Normal ac operation automatically turns on low speed fan(s) then ramps up as air, coolant temps and ac pressures rise. Coolant temps are one of several criteria in determining what speed cooling fans are needed whether ac is used or not but ac use always turns on low speed cooling.

The best way to check coolant sensor operation is with a reader; once with a cold engine to compare coolant temps with ambient air temps and at operating temps where its expected to display between 185F-200F before the cooling fans turn on. If you observe cold engine temps matching (within a few degrees of) ambient temps and operating temps within specs, the coolant sensor is fine. What may throw off operating temps would be both fans running that will cool off the radiator.

One or two threads in the Vue forums have reprinted info on when cooling fans turn on. https://www.autocodes.com/p0480_saturn.html is one site describing the error code and what to check. Service manuals - GM, alldata.diy or Mitchell are great sources of info. If I'm not mistaken, the fan control module (next to the battery) is the electrical and electronic interface between both fans and ecm.

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Old 12-09-2019, 12:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dreaded P0480 and P0481 code

Thanks. I'll use the scanner to check out the coolant sensor. AC does appear to be working fine so I'll dia
Smith my thoughts about the pressure switch as advised. Thank you. I'll report back if anything is out of whack.

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