- P0128 is a relatively common OBDII trouble code. It is triggered when your Ford Focus ‘s coolant temperature fails to reach the proper operating temperature. It’s a generic powertrain code, which means that regardless of who manufactured the vehicle, it’ll have the same meaning (1996+). There aren’t many symptoms with P0128, unless it gets cold.
Is it safe to drive with P0128 code?
Can I drive my vehicle with a P0128 trouble code and illuminated CEL? You may drive your vehicle with a P0128 trouble code. You will not notice any issue except for maybe the temperature gauge never reaching normal levels, and possibly the Check Engine light being illuminated.
How serious is P0128 code?
The P0128 code is set when the engine control module (ECM) determines that coolant temperature is lower than the original equipment thermostat’s opening temperature. To put it another way, the engine is running too cool or the temperature does not increase quickly enough.
What causes a P0128?
The most common cause for P0128 is the engine coolant thermostat is stuck open. When the thermostat does open, the hot coolant should start to flow and quickly warm up the radiator hose. If the radiator hose heats up slowly, the thermostat is stuck open or opening prematurely and needs to be replaced.
Can low coolant cause P0128?
Low engine coolant can alter the engine running temperature enough to signal trouble code P0128. Your intake air temperature sensor, coolant temperature sensor and coolant fan could also signal this trouble code, so these should be inspected after you look over your thermostat and coolant level.
Will check engine light come on if thermostat is bad?
the most noticeable issues occur when the thermostat gets stuck in either the open or closed position. a malfunction can result in a trouble code, generated by the engine’s computer, which can turn on your check engine light.
What happens if engine runs too cold?
If you run your engine cold all the time, you’ll most likely experience increased fuel consumption across the board. Additionally, you’ll find higher amounts of carbon buildup at various parts of the engine. The most damaging effect of feeding a fuel-rich mixture to the engine is excess fuel reaching the exhaust.
How do I know if my coolant temp sensor is bad?
Bad Coolant Temperature Sensor Symptoms
- Check Engine Light.
- Poor Mileage.
- Electrical Cooling Fans not coming on.
- Black Smoke from the Exhaust Pipe.
- Difficult Starting Condition.
- Engine Overheats.
- Poor Idling.
- Poor Engine performance.
Where is coolant temperature sensor?
On most vehicles, the coolant temperature sensor (CTS) can be found somewhere near the engine thermostat, which allows it to function optimally. The tip of the CTS is probably located right next to the engine coolant.
Can low coolant cause a misfire?
Internal coolant leaks can foul a spark plug and cause a misfire. Unfortunately, it also means that drivers will run a vehicle with a coolant leak for several thousand miles while the plug becomes slowly fouled.
How do you fix low coolant temp?
The easiest way how to fix low coolant is to begin filling your coolant back to acceptable levels and allow the coolant to soak back into the system. Upon opening your radiator cap, you will see indicators such as “max” and “min” which indicates the level of the coolant mixture currently in your tank.
What does coolant temperature low mean?
Posted on 3/17/2021. A blue engine coolant temperature light only indicates one thing: that your coolant, or antifreeze, is too cold. In fact, the temperature is so low that it is possible for your radiator to get too cold, thus resulting in your engine freezing up and not being able to start.
How do you know your thermostat is bad in your car?
Here are the signs your car thermostat is failing:
- The temperature gauge reads high and the engine overheats.
- The temperature changes erratically.
- The vehicle’s coolant leaks around the thermostat or under the vehicle.
What does the code P0171 mean?
What the P0171 code means. The P0171 OBD-II code means that, on the first bank of the engine, the fuel system is running weak or a vacuum leak exists near this side of the engine. A lean condition occurs when the engine either receives too little fuel or too much air.
Ford P0128 – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes
The temperature of the coolant thermostat is below the regulating temperature.
FordCode P0128 Meaning
In your Ford, the powertrain control module (PCM) keeps track of how long it takes for the engine to achieve and maintain the proper running temperature. As soon as the proper engine operating temperature is attained, the powertrain control module instructs the fuel system to enter ‘closed loop,’ in which the readings from the oxygen sensors are utilized to maintain the efficient air to fuel mixture, which is 14.7:1 by default. The majority of PCMs require that the engine coolant temperature sensor record temperatures greater than 160 degrees Fahrenheit within 15 minutes of the engine being started.
If one of these two requirements is not satisfied, the PCM in your Ford will make a note of it in its memory.
Ford P0128 Symptoms
- Make sure the engine is working properly. The light is on
- The idle speed is higher than usual
- Fuel efficiency has been reduced. The temperature gauge has dropped to an exceptionally low level.
Ford P0128 Causes
(The asterisk denotes the most common)
- Faulty coolant temperature sensor
- Faulty wiring for the coolant temperature circuit
- Radiator fan that is continually operating
- Stuck open thermostat*
Ford Code P0128 Severity – Low
A thermostat that has become stuck open is most likely the source of the problem; nevertheless, thermostats are often constructed such that when they fail, they remain open, enabling full flow of coolant to safeguard your engine. Before you continue to use the Ford, make sure the coolant level is at its maximum level by checking it. In the event that your engine overheats, it will result in engine failure.
Ford Code P0128 Common Diagnosis Mistakes
Many people just replace the thermostat in their Ford without investigating all of the potential problems. Examine the cooling system for rust deposits or a blend of different coolants to determine its condition. When changing the thermostat, make sure to clean the engine block and radiator thoroughly to avoid deposits from becoming lodged in the new thermostat housing.
Ford Code P0128 Diagnosis Steps
- Check to see if P0128 is the only code present on your Ford by scanning it. If there are any additional codes present, they must be dealt with first. Check the level and condition of the coolant. If there is an excessive amount of rust and poor coolant quality, this can cause the cooling system to clog up and the thermostat to become unresponsive. Remove any corrosion from the cooling system by flushing it with fresh water and replacing the coolant. It is necessary to refill the coolant system if the level is low and to check for leaks. An electronic multimeter may be used to examine the coolant temperature sensor. The ohm measurement will fluctuate in response to changes in temperature. if the ohm reading in your Ford does not change with the temperature, replace the coolant temperature sensor in your Ford or fix any damaged wiring that may be associated with the sensor Most commonly, the engine coolant thermostat is jammed open, which results in the P0128 code on a Ford. This may be easily diagnosed by feeling the radiator pipe and monitoring how hot the coolant becomes as it begins to flow through the radiator hose
- However, you must exercise extreme caution when doing so since you could be burnt. The hose should only be somewhat heated until the thermostat is activated. The heated coolant should begin to flow through the radiator line as soon as the thermostat is activated, immediately warming it. if the radiator hose warms up slowly, the thermostat may be jammed open or may be opening prematurely, and it is necessary to replace it.
- Replace the thermostat, as well as the gaskets and coolant. Test drive the vehicle and keep an eye on the coolant temperature. Look for any leaks.
Ford Focus P0128: Coolant Thermostat – Below Temp
Replacing the thermostat and adding fresh coolant is advised. Drive the vehicle and keep an eye on the coolant temperature. Make sure there are no leaks.
Focus P0128 Symptoms
Replace the thermostat, as well as the gaskets and coolant; Test drive the vehicle and check the coolant temperature. Keep an eye out for leaks.
- A loss of heat is likely to be the most noticeable symptom of the P0128 fault code in the Ford Focus. When the thermostat fails to get the engine up to the right operating temperature completely, it indicates that the water passing through the heater core is not as hot as it should be. As a result, there is reduced or no heat. With the exception of the heater not functioning properly, the only additional symptom associated with P0128 is often the presence of the service engine soon light itself
P0128 Causes: Ford Focus
Due to the fact that the thermostat is responsible for 90 percent of all P0128 errors, repairing the code is typically a straightforward process. The following are the most often seen causes of P0128:
- Generally speaking, the most common reason of the P0128 error code is going to be a thermostat that has been left open for an extended period of time. When a thermostat is jammed open, coolant is allowed to run through the engine at all times, which is dangerous. When this occurs, the engine is said to be ‘overcooled,’ and it never achieves the correct operational temperature. How to Replace a Thermostat (with Pictures) (video). Thermostat with a focus
- A issue with the wiring/sensor related with engine water temperature sensing or with the coolant temperature sensor itself may occur if the thermostat is not malfunctioning.
Ford Focus P0128 Diagnosis
Checking if the engine is running at its proper operating temperature will help determine whether or not the problem is due to a sensor malfunction or a problem with the thermostat. When driving in a car that does not have a temperature gauge, this might be extremely difficult to determine. A decent approach to at the very least get a good indication of whether or not the problem is with the thermostat or the sensor is to start the car cold and let it idle for ten or so minutes before diagnosing the problem.
In addition, a mechanic will often inspect the area under the hood where the radiator hose meets the thermostat housing for problems.
If it is simple to squeeze the hose, it is likely that water will be running through it at the time. Ensure that you are conscious of the belting attachments as well as the fan in the event that you pinch your hose. The fan may be turned on and off at any moment.
In the short term, P0128 does not pose a severe threat to the driveability of your Focus. It should be mentioned that most contemporary fuel-injected engines prefer to operate at temperatures of 200 degrees or higher. Allowing them to run at too low a temperature for a lengthy period of time might cause difficulties. Have a great time discovering out what is wrong with your Focus!
P0128 Ford Focus
When the 2.0L engine of a Ford Focus fails, the P0128 error code is frequently encountered. The P018 code is defined as follows:P0128 Coolant Thermostat (Coolant Temp Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature)The engine computer anticipates that the engine will heat up in a predictable manner based on the engine coolant temperature and ambient air temperature sensors, engine RPM, engine run time, and accelerator pedal position, among other things: A fault code is generated if the computer detects an engine temperature that is higher than intended.
Diagnosing a P0128 Ford Focus trouble code
The following are the most typical reasons of this error code: 1.) A faulty thermostat that is permanently stuck in either the open or closed position. It might be caused by a faulty water pump that is not circulating coolant effectively, or it could be caused by air in the cooling system, which prevents the engine coolant temperature sensor from collecting an accurate measurement. 4)A faulty engine coolant temperature sensor that is transmitting incorrect information To evaluate whether or not the engine coolant temperature sensor is functioning properly, check the sensor resistance and voltage, or examine the reported reading using a scan equipment that is capable of displaying real-time data.
Right next to the thermostat housing, take note of the engine temperature.
A thermostat or air pocket problem may be present if the engine coolant temperature sensor reads much higher than the intake manifold temperature.
If the thermometer test results in a temperature that is lower than the typical operating temperature range of 190°F – 210°F, it is likely that the thermostat is stuck in the fully open position and that the engine is overcooled.
P0128 Ford Focus is usually caused by a bad thermostat
The following are the most often encountered reasons of this error code: (a) 1.) A faulty thermostat that has been stuck in either the open or the closed position. It might be caused by a faulty water pump that is not circulating coolant effectively, or it could be caused by air in the cooling system, which stops the engine coolant temperature sensor from getting an accurate measurement. 4)A faulty engine coolant temperature sensor that is transmitting incorrect data. When testing the engine coolant temperature sensor, look for resistance and voltage readings in the sensor or use a scan tool that can read real-time data to see whether the sensor is malfunctioning.
Right next to the thermostat housing, you should check the engine temperature.
A thermostat or air pocket issue may be present if the engine coolant temperature sensor indicates a significantly different temperature than the intake manifold reading.
It’s possible that the thermostat is stuck in the fully open position, overcooling the engine, if the thermometer reading is lower than the typical operating temperature range of 190°F – 210°F.
Best thermostat for Ford Focus
Authentic Ford and STANT thermostats, in my view, are the most reliable options when it comes to replacing your thermostat. The MotoRad Fail-Safe thermostat has been a source of much frustration for me personally. In the case of an overheating scenario, the Fail-Safe thermostat is designed to lock in the fully open position. However, my experience has shown that the thermostats produce false positives much too frequently. I see that the heating isn’t getting hot enough and then realize that the thermostat has been left unlocked for some reason.
So I swapped out the MotoRad product with another and kept an eye on the temperature indicator.
After that, I replaced the Fail-Safe unit with a STANT thermostat, and I haven’t had a problem since.
Rick Muscoplat posted a blog entry on
Code P0128 – Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature
Date last updated: July 31, 2021 The codeP0128 – Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperatureindicates that the engine has not reached the anticipated temperature after being operated for an appropriate amount of time, or, in other words, that it is taking an excessive amount of time to warm up. In frigid conditions, this code frequently causes the Check Engine light to illuminate and then turn off.
There might be no symptoms at all, or there could be any of the following symptoms associated with the code P0128: Because of the cold weather, the engine takes a long time to warm up; the engine temperature lowers when driving on the highway, especially in the winter; the air conditioner and (or) temperature gauge quit working; and (or) the Check Engine light illuminates (GM).
Is it safe to drive with the code P0128?
If the car is in good running condition, the coolant level is enough, there is sufficient heat, and there are no other driving difficulties, it is conceivable that the thermostat is stuck intermittently. In general, this is not a major issue, however it may have an impact on the gas mileage in some cases. We would nevertheless recommend that you get the car inspected by a mechanic.
Low amount of coolant Sensor for measuring the temperature of the coolant The following are examples of common causes: Incorrect or stickythermostat – The thermostat seal is not sealing properly, allowing coolant to bypass a closed thermostat – Faulty engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor – Engine computer (PCM) software needs to be updated – Low coolant level – Radiator fan does not turn off – Faulty intake air temperature (IAT) sensor
How the code P0128 is diagnosed:
The Torque app is being used to check the engine temperature. First and first, a simple check beneath the hood must be carried out: is the coolant level satisfactory? Check to see that the engine coolant temperature sensor connector is free of corrosion and that it is correctly connected. Do you know whether there are any service bulletins? The following step is to check to determine if the engine temperature sensor is functioning properly. You should check the engine temperature when the engine is cold if you have a scan tool that can record live data.
- Drive the car for 10 minutes and then check the engine temperature again; it should be between 180 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit (82 and 105 degrees Celsius).
- An ohmmeter can be used to test the engine temperature sensor if you don’t have access to a scan tool.
- More information may be found at: Symptoms, issues, and testing for the engine coolant temperature sensor are all covered in this article.
- It is common practice to replace a thermostat anytime the code P0128 is present.
In certain cases, reprogramming the engine computer (PCM) with current software may be sufficient to resolve the issue. This may be done at your local dealer and costs between $80 and $120 if the vehicle is not still under warranty. See the list of frequent issues below.
Common problems causing the code P0128 in different cars:
The code P0128 is frequently associated with a faulty thermostat in numerous General Motors vehicles (including the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet HHR, and other models). When the code P0128 is activated in some General Motors vehicles, the temperature gauge stops operating and the radiator fans operate continuously. Unless there are other concerns, replacing the thermostat is usually sufficient to resolve the problem. For the code P0128 in 2006 Chevrolet Malibu, Impala, Pontiac G6, and a few other vehicles, a 2007 General Motors Technical Service Bulletin proposes reprogramming the PCM as a remedy.
- According to the Mazda service notice, the code P0128 may be caused by incorrect calibration of the PCM (engine computer) in some early Mazda 3 and Mazda 5 model year vehicles.
- Subaru service bulletin 09-56-13 is available.
- It was discovered that resetting the PCM (engine computer) is recommended when the code P0128 is detected in a handful of Chrysler technical service bulletins for many Jeep and Dodge models.
- In this case, a shim should be used in conjunction with a thermostat housing that has been modified.
How the thermostat works
Thermostats are temperature-controlled valves that are fitted in the vehicle’s cooling system. It regulates the flow of coolant through the radiator and aids in and protects the radiator from overheating. Read more:Thermostat: how it works, what it looks like, what it causes, what it tests. Many contemporary automobiles have thermostats that are regulated electrically.
Ford P0128 Engine Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature – Car OBD Codes
It is defined as follows by the OBD2 code P0128 Ford:This signifies that the engine’s PCM detects that it has not achieved the appropriate temperature level within a given length of time after starting the engine. The P0128 Ford code is intended to signal that the thermostat is malfunctioning. Codes that are similar: P0125 Ford P0125 Ford When determining whether or not the engine has reached a ‘normal’ temperature, the length of time the vehicle has been running, the readings from the intake air temperature (IAT) sensor, the reading from the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor, and the speed of the vehicle are all taken into consideration.
The following are possible symptoms of OBD code P0128 Ford: With the exception of the MIL lighting, you will most likely not notice any drivability issues.
Some of the reasons of OBD code P0128 Ford are listed below. A code P0128 Ford may indicate that one or more of the following events has occurred: Engine coolant is at a low level. Thermostat that leaks or is jammed open The cooling fan is not working properly (running too much) Sensor for coolant temperature (ECT) that is not working properly The intake air temperature (IAT) sensor is faulty.
Based on previous experience, it appears that replacing the thermostat is the most likely option. In any case, the following are some recommendations for troubleshooting and fixing a Ford OBD II code P0128: Check the coolant’s strength level. Check to see that the cooling fan is operating properly (and that it is not running more than it should). If required, replace the item. Check that the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor is functioning properly, and replace it if required. Check that the intake air temperature (IAT) sensor is functioning properly, and replace it if required.
Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) for Nissan vehicles should be checked for any updates since the ECM may need to be reconfigured in order to rectify the P0128 Ford code.
The OBD2 Code Information Be Applicable For Ford:
Ford Taurus, Ford Mustang, Ford Kuga, Ford Fusion, 2012 Ford Focus, 2011 Ford Mondeo, 2011 Ford Focus, 2011 Ford Edge, 2010 Ford Mustang, 2009 Ford Focus, 2008 Ford Fiesta, 2008 Ford Escape, 2007 Ford Mondeo, 2006 Ford Focus, 2005 Ford Mustang, 2005 Ford Escape, 2003 Ford Mustang, 2003 Ford Focus, 2000 Ford Mustang, Ford Focus, 2003 Ford Mustang, 2003 Ford Focus, 2000 Ford Mustang
1. The list of vehicle manufacturers on the right-hand side of the display screen. The Ford makes are represented by the ODB-ii codes that are currently in use. 2. Use the search box to look for any other OBD II Trouble Codes that may exist. In the search box, type in the five-character problem codes and hit the ‘Search’ button. Remember that a particularOBD-II code does not always represent the same thing across different vehicle manufacturers, since there are numerous different manufactures specific codes in use.
This is because not allOBD2 codes used by one manufacturer are also used by other manufacturers.
The material included on this website is provided solely for the purpose of providing general information.
If you have any questions or concerns about the repairs on your car, please speak with your mechanic.
P0128: Coolant Thermostat Temperature Below Regulating Temperature
When your check engine light illuminates as a result of trouble code P0128, it is possible that you have a problem with your engine thermostat.
Here are some useful measures to follow in order to figure out how to solve error number P0128. Learn how to troubleshoot and repair your thermostat if you receive this error number. How to Interpret Your Check Engine Light
What Is Trouble CodeP0128?
This generic issue code can be triggered by a wide range of vehicle makes and models. When your powertrain control module detects an abnormal temperature measurement while your engine is running, a code is generated and displayed on your dashboard. When your thermostat does not read any temperature or reads the temperature incorrectly, you will often receive a notification from the system. In this case, the conclusion is formed based on the data from the intake air temperature sensor, the amount of time your vehicle has been operating, and the reading from the engine cooling temperature sensor.
According to your vehicle, the actual position of the thermostat, as well as the concerns associated with a malfunctioning thermostat, may be different.
When it comes to managing coolant temperature and monitoring for more significant engine concerns, your thermostat is a critical component. A faulty thermostat, on the other hand, is unlikely to result in any performance concerns. So, what exactly does the code P0128 represent? Most likely, you’ll see that your malfunction indication bulb has turned on. Additionally, while driving at high speeds, you may notice that it takes a longer period of time for your engine to warm up, or that the temperature drops.
One of the most common reasons for this is that the thermostat is leaking or has become stuck open. Due to the fact that related issues would normally result in another error code, this should be one of the first areas to look into. Your service handbook will have the exact position of your thermostat listed. Nonetheless, before you replace your complete thermostat, be sure to check the following locations as well: Low engine coolant might cause the engine operating temperature to rise to the point where the fault code P0128 is activated.
How toFix P0128
Begin with the most straightforward repair solution, which is low coolant levels. Before you begin, switch off your engine and allow it to cool completely before opening your coolant reservoir. A coolant system is pressurized when it is in use as it should be. If you don’t take caution when opening a hot coolant system, you might suffer burns and other damage. Once your engine and coolant system have cooled to a safe operating temperature, check the levels and strength of your coolant, and compare them to the levels indicated in the service manual for your vehicle.
It is possible that a defective thermostat will not show any apparent symptoms of harm. Check these other systems first before replacing your thermostat before replacing your thermostat:
- The intake air temperature sensor, the engine coolant temperature sensor, and the cooling fan are all included.
What is Trouble Code P0128 – Coolant Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature
Thermostat for the coolant (Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature)
Here is what a P0128 means, in simple terms
The P0128 trouble code indicates that your engine is operating at an excessively high temperature. This sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? In actuality, it isn’t. An engine that is unable to reach the necessary temperature in the requisite amount of time may result in an increase in dangerous emissions. So the Engine Control Module (ECM) is configured to recognize low engine coolant temperature (when compared to ambient air temperature and a pre-determined value), as well the pace at which the pre-determined engine coolant temperature must be achieved.
What caused my vehicle to set a P0128 trouble code?
The Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor is used by the engine control module to assess whether or not an OBD-II P0128 code should be generated. Any time a trouble code P0128 appears by itself, a shop technician is likely to believe that the sensor for the engine coolant temperature or the thermostat is malfunctioning.
- A coolant thermostat that is either jammed open or opens prematurely
- Engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor and/or ECT wire (most commonly at the ECT connection/harness) that are not functioning properly
What symptoms will my vehicle experience when trouble code P0128?
- Your vehicle’s check engine light (CEL), Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), or Service Engine Light (SEL) is illuminated when the engine is running. When the ECC detects an issue with the engine coolant temperature, a light will be lighted and freeze frame data will be saved, containing information on the engine sensor data at the moment of detection. In addition, the trouble code P0128 will be logged in the ECM ROM memory. The engine will take an excessive amount of time to warm up (particularly on cold days)
- Because it uses the engine’s coolant to heat the vehicle’s interior, the air conditioning heater may not be able to achieve the desired temperature because the coolant never reaches its maximum working temperature. Because the correct engine operating temperature is not attained quickly enough, the smell of HC (hydrocarbon) lingers for a longer period of time than is typical during engine beginning.
How can I fix a P0128 problem and where should I start?
We recommend that you start by checking to see if your engine’s thermostat is functioning properly. A properly functioning thermostat should only let the flow of coolant after the coolant has reached the right operating temperature (usually around 200f). Start your engine (from a cold start) and observe the temperature of the radiator hose that is connected to the thermostat housing to determine whether or not the thermostat is working properly. To begin with, the hose should be chilly to the touch, but it should quickly become quite hot (after around 3-5 minutes depending on ambient air temperature).
- If you do not notice a sudden increase in the hose’s exterior temperature and instead feel the hose gradually getting warmer, your vehicle may have a thermostat that is stuck open, which allows coolant to flow through the radiator immediately after the engine is started.
- Providing the thermostat is performing as it should, the next component to be checked is the engine coolant temperature sensing device.
- Check for reference voltage from the ECM to the ECT while the ignition is turned on and the engine is turned off.
- After that, start the engine and measure the voltage across the ECT signal line.
- However, because the values vary from car to vehicle, we will not go into specifics about what voltage you should be seeing here.
- The most crucial thing to pay attention to is whether or not there is a voltage fluctuation.
As a final precaution, make certain that you take the reading after the ECT connection and at the ECT sensor. In this way, you may establish whether the problem is caused by a faulty connection, which might save you money by not having to replace the ECT needlessly.
- First and foremost, we recommend that you check to see if your engine’s thermostat is working properly. Only once the coolant has attained optimum operating temperatures should a functional thermostat enable the flow of coolant to occur (usually around 200f). Start your engine (from a cold start) and observe the temperature of the radiator hose that is connected to the thermostat housing to determine whether or not the thermostat is functioning properly. At first, the hose should be chilly to the touch, but it should quickly become quite warm (after around 3-5 minutes depending on ambient air temperature). The thermostat in your vehicle may be stuck open, allowing coolant to flow through the radiator as soon as the engine is started and not allowing the coolant in the engine to get hot enough before opening the thermostat. If you do not notice a sudden rise in the hose’s exterior temperature and instead feel the hose gradually getting warmer, your vehicle may have a thermostat that is stuck open. The thermostat should be replaced. Providing the thermostat is functioning properly, the next component to be checked is the engine coolant temperature sensor. It will be necessary to use a voltmeter as well as basic diagnostic knowledge in order to check the ECT. Check for reference voltage from the ECM to the ECT with the ignition on and the engine turned off. A consistent voltage of 5 volts should be observed. Afterwards, turn on the engine and read the signal wire from the ECT system. The voltage of the signal wire should drop as the engine heats up. However, because the values vary from car to vehicle, we will not go into specifics about what voltage you should be seeing here. However, at maximum operating temperature, the measurement should be about 0.5 volts. The most crucial thing to look for is whether or not there is a voltage fluctuation. Please also check that you obtain a reading both before and after the ECT connection and at the ECT sensor itself. As a result, you will know whether the problem is due to a faulty connection, and you will avoid spending money on an unnecessary replacement of the ECT.
Can I drive my vehicle with a P0128 trouble code and illuminated CEL?
- You may be able to use your car while the P0128 problem code is displayed. Except for the possibility that the temperature gauge never reaches normal levels and that the Check Engine light is lighted, you will not notice any problems with your vehicle. In addition, if your vehicle is required to undergo smog testing, the presence of the P0128 trouble code and the presence of the check engine light will result in the vehicle failing the test. The check engine light or malfunction indicator lamp is illuminated while the P0128 trouble code is recorded in the ECC.
I’m now working on a 2003 Ford Focus that had the MIL turned on and the DTC P0128 (coolant temperature below thermostat regulating temperature) stored in its memory when it arrived. The client was unsure of when the light initially turned on, how long it had been on, or whether it had been on continuously the entire time he was there. He didn’t bring the car to us because of his mother-in-law, but rather because he thought the automobile had been running a bit sluggishly since the light first turned on.
- There are no sensor readings that appear to be out of range in the freeze frame data that was taken when the DTC was saved, according to the freeze frame data.
- I have no past experience with this sort of coolant temperature monitoring equipment, so I’m not sure what to think.
- Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
- Consider the following: When the engine is cold, it requires a richer mixture to get it started and to keep it running for long periods of time.
- Even if the oxygen sensor(s) and catalytic converter(s) haven’t had a chance to warm up yet, it’s not reasonable to expect them to perform well in terms of cleaning up the additional unburned hydrocarbons that escape via the exhaust pipe and into the surrounding environment.
- As a result, even before the engine achieves operating temperature, oxygen sensor warmers ensure that the sensors are fully operational and ready to perform their duties immediately (literally within seconds).
- Only that the engine had been attempting to attain the required operating temperature would be known; the fact that it had failed to do so would be known only by the failure.
Providing that the engine is operated in a manner that generates adequate heat, the engine coolant temperature (ECT) should rise in a predictable manner.
The timer is started while the engine is running at a moderate load (30 percent) and the vehicle is traveling at a speed that exceeds a predetermined limit (15 mph).
It is suggested that there is a fault if the timer surpasses the goal time (between 300 and 800 seconds) and the ECT has not warmed up to the correct temperature.
Warm-up temperature would be regulated to 175 degrees Fahrenheit for a normal 195 degree Fahrenheit thermostat.
A two-hour soak period with the engine off is necessary in order to rerun the monitor and clear a pending or verified DTC.
Starting with the 2000 model year, Ford began employing this monitor in their vehicles.
Allow a coworker to drive the car while you keep an eye on the ECT PID display.
If the vehicle has any unexpected PID dropouts during warm-up, it may be due to a faulty ECT sensor.
Assuming that your prior testing did not reveal any issues in that region, I’m placing my bet on the thermostat.
During periods of colder ambient temperatures, this function becomes even more critical.
Additionally, in addition to failing the monitor, your customer’s complaints regarding poor engine performance are likely related to the fact that the engine is failing to attain the required operating temperature during operation.
Finally, a word about thermostats: Those with gray hairs may recall a time when a thermostat replacement was included in the seasonal maintenance of some automobiles.
In the fall, a ‘winter’ thermostat with a greater opening temperature was added, allowing the engine to operate significantly hotter during colder temperatures than it would otherwise.
In the spring, the ceremony was performed in the other direction. The automobiles of today don’t require nearly as much maintenance as they did in the past. Obtain a PDF version of this document.
Engine Code P0128 Ford – 01/2022
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