Chevy Silverado P0480: Meaning, Causes & Diagnosis

P0480 Chevy Silverado

The OBDII code P0480 can be a common one.  It indicates that your Chevy Silverado’s “cooling fan 1 control circuit” is malfunctioning.  It’s a generic code, so it has the same meaning for any vehicle made for the 1996 model year and up.


Índice de Contenido
  1. P0480 Definition:  Cooling Fan 1 – Control Circuit Malfunction
    1. Cooling Fan 1.
    2. Control Circuit Malfunction
  2. P0480 Symptoms: Chevy Silverado
  3. Chevy Silverado P0480 Causes + Diagnosis
    1. 1. Look for other codes
    2. 2. 1. Check out Cooling Fans
    3. 3. The Wiring Harness is located at the Fan.
    4. 4. Check out the Fuses and Relay Fan
    5. 5. Additional P0480-related Causes
  4. Conclusion

P0480 Definition:  Cooling Fan 1 – Control Circuit Malfunction

P0480 Meaning for the Chevy Silverado

This is the Chevy Chevy Silverado's definition of P0480, divided into two parts. 

Cooling Fan 1.

The modern vehicle is equipped with an electric cooling fan.  When your Silverado is at a specified temperature, they are turned on by the powertrain control module (PCM).  They will turn on either one or both when your air conditioner runs.

Control Circuit Malfunction

If the PCM has commanded cooling fan 1 to turn on, but there is an error, P0480 will be stored in the PCM’s memory.  This occurs if either the fan doesn’t respond or the PCM detects a serious fault in the control circuit.

P0480 Symptoms: Chevy Silverado

Your Silverado will drive the same with P0480.  The engine's performance will not be affected by the fan (unless it is overheated).  The engine might start to knock, misfire, or smoke if you heat it too much.

As stated above, driving your Silverado without a functioning fan can cause it to overheat, particularly if you are driving on a hot day or you’re in heavy traffic.  The air conditioner may also stop working properly.

You’ll want to keep an eye on the temperature gauge and fix P0480 as soon as possible.  Overheating can cause a blow to the head gasket, which will require a more costly repair.

Chevy Silverado P0480 Causes + Diagnosis

P0480 Diagnosis Chevy Silverado

These are some possible causes for P0480.  There are many possible causes for this code.  These are the causes that we have listed.  

1. Look for other codes

You can gain invaluable insight by cross-referencing codes.  If you receive a code relating to engine coolant temperature sensor then repairing it could clear P0480 from your Silverado.

2. 1. Check out Cooling Fans

The battery should be disconnected.  You don’t want the fan spinning up (which could happen if you try and spin it and the vehicle is hot).

There are two Chevy Silverados fans. BUT NOT directly in front the air conditioner Is almost always fan 1.

You’re going to spin the fan to see if it’s locked up or otherwise bad.  Before you spin the fan make sure it is cold and unplugged.  When the engine heats up, fans can switch on by themselves.

If the fan requires effort to spin, then it’s bad.  The problem should be resolved by replacing the fan.  Try clearing the codes again to check if it is working.

3. The Wiring Harness is located at the Fan.

Check the wire harness connecting to the fan to make sure it is turning ok.  The road debris can cause damage to fan wiring by kicking it under your vehicle, tearing apart the harness.  If you live in an area that is chipmunk friendly, don’t be surprised if they chewed the wiring.  I’ve seen this a few times.

You must ensure that your terminals are securely connected to the fan.  Make sure that pins don't corrode and are straight.

4. Check out the Fuses and Relay Fan

Now that we have verified that nothing obvious is causing P0480, it’s time to take a look under your Silverado’s hood at the fan relay.  Before you do, inspect the fan relay fuses to make sure that they haven’t been blown.  Visually, you can check this.  Check that power is flowing to the fan relay.

Now it’s time to take a look at fan relay 1 itself.  Check out the video below, it’ll show you how to test the fan relay with a multimeter.  If there’s no power going to the relay, you’ll need to find where the short is.

Here are some other common causes of P0480, although they aren’t as common as the ones listed above:

  • VSS = Vehicle Speed Sensor
  • Refuse to Intake Air Temp Sensor
  • A/C Pressure switch


A bad fan, or relay of a fan can often cause P0480.  Good luck fixing your Chevy Silverado!

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