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Adventures of the P0481 kind

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07 Aug 2016, 01:39 am
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: ohio
Posts: 26
Default Adventures of the P0481 kind

bought an 06 TE. When I bought it it had loose wires run from a switch on the driver's door to the fan relays.
A CEL code PO481. PO told me: ran hot, rebuilt head, new head gasket, water pump, still ran hot. took to dealer and they said 'computer bad, 2600$. PO says XXXXXX and hotwired the fan. Fan burned out, PO added a replacement fan assy. Drove it for a year with the hotwires in place, sold it to me. fan died that week.

I start at the fan. Bad, replace fan, pulled fanmotor apart, brushes bad. OK. Now checking wires from power and computer. Erratic readings. 3.7 v 3.4v, etc.

CEL says dOnE

Send of for recoded computer, 169$ on ebay, I have used these guys before with no problems. Install computer. Nothing new, still doesn't work. sXXt!
Track hot and control feeds to fan. Not getting continuity between body GROUND and Battery ground Clean and polish main ground stud on bulkhead, dielectric grease, the works. Still no GROUND at fan. Build direct ground from batt terminal to fan. proper joints, soldered and heat shrink, correct terminals etc. OK good ground to fan, to body, good all around. Getting good at pulling and reinstalling fan,, etc.

Control legs to fan are correct voltage, as far as I can tell. Voltage to hot leg of fan, 3.7v. huh.. Go back to fuse panel. Good there, current should be getting through. Hotwire to check fan and it works on cue. ok. find a 50 amp fuse and socket, built a whip direct from +post of battery to fan harness. 12V. Plug everything in, and fan kicks on . since then, never exceeds 1/2 of temp gauge, even in traffic and AC on. All new wiring has proper soldered and crimped fittings, heatshrink and wire tied in place, Success! Also CEL went out, and pulls no codes.The fault is somewhere in the wiring harness, a broken connection, a bit of corrosion, I dunno.

tl:dr before you spend too much fixing the PO481 code, check your wiring harness, grounds and actual voltage output.

Last edited by 944tim; 07 Aug 2016 at 01:40 am. Reason: surprise emojis
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Old 07 Aug 2016, 07:05 am
rckstein's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,518
Default Re: Adventures of the P0481 kind

Welcome to the forum

Sounds like you've had quite the adventure already with your PT. Please post some pics of it when you get a chance.
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Old 07 Aug 2016, 08:01 am
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
Posts: 1,348
Default Re: Adventures of the P0481 kind

Quote:
Originally Posted by 944tim View Post
bought an 06 TE. When I bought it it had loose wires run from a switch on the driver's door to the fan relays.
A CEL code PO481. PO told me: ran hot, rebuilt head, new head gasket, water pump, still ran hot. took to dealer and they said 'computer bad, 2600$. PO says XXXXXX and hotwired the fan. Fan burned out, PO added a replacement fan assy. Drove it for a year with the hotwires in place, sold it to me. fan died that week.

I start at the fan. Bad, replace fan, pulled fanmotor apart, brushes bad. OK. Now checking wires from power and computer. Erratic readings. 3.7 v 3.4v, etc.

CEL says dOnE

Send of for recoded computer, 169$ on ebay, I have used these guys before with no problems. Install computer. Nothing new, still doesn't work. sXXt!
Track hot and control feeds to fan. Not getting continuity between body GROUND and Battery ground Clean and polish main ground stud on bulkhead, dielectric grease, the works. Still no GROUND at fan. Build direct ground from batt terminal to fan. proper joints, soldered and heat shrink, correct terminals etc. OK good ground to fan, to body, good all around. Getting good at pulling and reinstalling fan,, etc.

Control legs to fan are correct voltage, as far as I can tell. Voltage to hot leg of fan, 3.7v. huh.. Go back to fuse panel. Good there, current should be getting through. Hotwire to check fan and it works on cue. ok. find a 50 amp fuse and socket, built a whip direct from +post of battery to fan harness. 12V. Plug everything in, and fan kicks on . since then, never exceeds 1/2 of temp gauge, even in traffic and AC on. All new wiring has proper soldered and crimped fittings, heatshrink and wire tied in place, Success! Also CEL went out, and pulls no codes.The fault is somewhere in the wiring harness, a broken connection, a bit of corrosion, I dunno.

tl:dr before you spend too much fixing the PO481 code, check your wiring harness, grounds and actual voltage output.

The constant cycling of the fan either lo or and high speed causes higher AMP draw and probably higher amp draw as it comes to end of life for the brushes causing heat, and if the harness connector pins are just a little loose lots of heat buildup melting the connector and loosening the connector pins even more until they fail. A new fan is installed and the unsuspected connector causes confusion because now the new fan doesn't work . Glad you found the problem...
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Old 07 Aug 2016, 08:19 am
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Default Re: Adventures of the P0481 kind

Welcome to the formun, Tim. Nice job and write up on your repair.
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Old 07 Aug 2016, 11:02 am
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: ohio
Posts: 26
Default Re: Adventures of the P0481 kind

I posted this because I was looking all over for info and the most useful came from these forums, so payback, anything I can learn and share is help for someone else.
rckstein, Fk5 and chuzz like this.
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