Volkswagen Jetta P0480: Meaning, Causes & Diagnosis

P0480 Volkswagen Jetta

OBDII code P0480 is quite common.  It indicates that your Volkswagen Jetta’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: Volkswagen Jetta
  3. Volkswagen Jetta P0480 Causes + Diagnosis
    1. 1. Look for other codes
    2. 2. 1. Check out Cooling Fans
    3. 3. Examine the wiring harness at the fan
    4. 4. Examine the Fuses and Fan Relay
    5. 5. Others P0480 Reasons
  4. Conclusion

P0480 Definition:  Cooling Fan 1 – Control Circuit Malfunction

P0480 Meaning for the Volkswagen Jetta

Below is the P0480 definition for Volkswagen Jetta. It has been broken down into its two main parts. 

Cooling Fan 1.

The modern vehicle is equipped with an electric cooling fan.  The PCM (powertrain controller module) activates them whenever the temperature of your Jetta is above a set point.  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.

P0480 Symptoms: Volkswagen Jetta

Your Jetta will drive the same with P0480.  The way the engine runs is not affected by the fan, unless it starts to heat up.  The engine might start smoking, knocking or misfiring if you heat it too much.

As stated above, driving your Jetta 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.

Volkswagen Jetta P0480 Causes + Diagnosis

P0480 Diagnosis Volkswagen Jetta

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. Look for other 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 Jetta.

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).

Two Volkswagen Jetta fans? The one you have is the most loyal. NO, not in front the air conditioner Is nearly 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.  It should be replaced to fix the P0480 problem in your Jetta.  Try clearing the code and seeing if the problem is solved.

3. Examine the wiring harness 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. Examine the Fuses and Fan Relay

Now that we have verified that nothing obvious is causing P0480, it’s time to take a look under your Jetta’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.

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
  • Failed Intake Air Temp Sensor
  • A/C Pressure switch


A bad fan, or relay of a fan can cause P0480.  Good luck fixing your Volkswagen Jetta!

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