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Code Definition P0117
An engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor output problem is low.
What does the code P0117 mean
P0117 is a generic OBD-II code indicating that the engine control module (ECM) has noticed the ECT sensor output is below 0.14 V or above 140 ° C (284 ° F).
What causes the code P0117?
The ECT sensor input to the ECM has exceeded 0.14 V or 140 ° C (284 ° F), indicating a short circuit in the sensor or wiring.
The ECT sensor or wiring harness is shorted.
What are the symptoms of the P0117 code?
- The ECM turns on the check engine light and enters safety mode by overriding the 176 ° F input.
- The engine may have difficulty starting when the engine is cold.
- Engine may run jerky and hesitate until warm.
- The engine should run almost normally after warm up.
Note: Symptoms are determined by the manufacturer’s ECM safety strategy for the vehicle during a fault and may vary by manufacturer and vehicle.
How does the mechanic diagnose the P0117 code?
- Visual inspection to check for problems with electrical connectors, wiring, or sensors.
- A technician scans and documents the codes received, and reviews the data from the frozen frames to see when the code has been set.
- The codes must be reset to clear the OBD-II fault codes and retest the vehicle to see if the code has returned.
- Disconnect the ECT sensor, watch live data to see if the readings change from over 284 ° F to -40 ° F.
- If the readings are -40 ° F, replace the ECT sensor, otherwise look for a short in the harness, connector or ECM.
The most common errors when diagnosing the P0117 code.
- Don’t follow these simple steps:
- Always perform a visual inspection first.
- Follow the manufacturer’s test procedure step by step without skipping any step.
- Do not replace the ECT sensor unless testing shows a problem.
- Before installing a new ECT sensor, try connecting it and looking at the ECM data to see if the temperature output from the sensor is as expected.
How serious is the P0117 code?
- Code P0117 will cause the engine ECM to enter fail-safe mode.
- Degraded mode can cause the engine to run poorly and hesitate until the engine is warmed up to operating temperature.
- Electric cooling fans can run continuously.
What repairs can fix the code P0117?
- Reset fault codes and run road test.
- Repair or replace the ECT connector
- Repair or replace the wiring as needed
- Replace the ECT with a new sensor
Additional notes regarding code P0117
- The ECT sensor short circuit is the most common malfunction.
- Some errors for the P0117 code other than the sensor include a short in the harness or a corrosion problem in the connector.