Dodge Ram P0480: What does it mean? Causes and diagnosis

P0480 Dodge Ram

OBDII Trouble Code P0480 is quite common.  It indicates that your Dodge Ram’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. 1. Cooling fan
    2. Control Circuit Malfunction
  2. Dodge Ram P0480 symptoms
  3. Dodge Ram P0480 Causes and Diagnosis
    1. 1. You can also check for additional codes
    2. 2. 1. Check out Cooling Fans
    3. 3. The Wiring Harness is located at the Fan.
    4. 4. Check out the Fan Relay or Fuses
    5. 5. Others P0480 Reasons
  4. Conclusion

P0480 Definition:  Cooling Fan 1 – Control Circuit Malfunction

P0480 Meaning for the Dodge Ram

This is P0480 definition for Dodge Ram. It's broken down into two parts. 

1. Cooling fan

Electric cooling fans are now standard equipment in modern vehicles.  When your Ram is at a specified temperature, they are automatically activated by the powertrain control module (PCM).  When the air conditioner turns on, one of these lights will come on as well.

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.

Dodge Ram P0480 symptoms

Ram's should drive no differently with P0480.  The engine's performance will not be affected by the fan (unless it is overheated).  Overheating can cause the engine to start coughing up, misfiring or even smoking.

As stated above, driving your Ram 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.

Dodge Ram P0480 Causes and Diagnosis

P0480 Diagnosis Dodge Ram

These are some possible causes for P0480.  This code can have many causes.  These are listed in an order that allows you to verify their authenticity.  

1. You can also check for additional codes

It is possible to cross-reference other codes and gain useful insight.  If you receive a code relating to engine coolant temperature sensor then repairing it could clear P0480 from your Ram.

2. 1. Check out Cooling Fans

Unplug the battery.  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 Dodge Ram owners. DO NOT place the AC on its side. Is almost always fan 1.

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

If the fan requires effort to spin, then it’s bad.  It should be replaced to fix Ram P0480.  Check the codes to see if it returns.

3. The Wiring Harness is located at the Fan.

The fan should be spinning well. If not, make sure to check the wiring harness.  Debris from roads can damage fan wiring.  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 Fan Relay or Fuses

Now that we have verified that nothing obvious is causing P0480, it’s time to take a look under your Ram’s hood at the fan relay.  Before you do, inspect the fan relay fuses to make sure that they haven’t been blown.  This can be done visually.  You can verify that the fan relay is powered on.

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.

5. Others P0480 Reasons

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
  • The A/C Pressure Switch


A bad fan, or relay of a fan can cause P0480.  We wish you all the best with your Dodge Ram repair!

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