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P0071 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.


DTC means diagnostic trouble codes, which are a standard system that the vehicle uses to communicate and detect possible problems. The P0071 code is a specific DTC code associated with the Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Range/Performance.


The P0071 code indicates the range or performance of an Ambient Air Temperature AT sensor isn’t working properly. In order to measure the temperature within the atmosphere surrounding the vehicle, AAT sensors play an essential role. It provides an accurate outside temperature reading of the vehicle’s computer, which helps to optimize a range of systems that include engine air-fuel mixtures in order to improve performance and fuel efficiency.


The activation of the P0071 code can be contributed to a number of factors, such as: Faulty  

  • Ambient Air Temperature Sensor: A defective or malfunctioning AAT sensor can provide incorrect temperature readings or fail to operate within the expected range.
  • Problems: The performance of the AAT Sensor circuit may be affected by damaged and corroded wiring, loose connections, or short circuits that can trigger the P0071 code. 
  • Sensor placement: If AAT sensors are not properly installed or exposed to outside elements, they may affect the accuracy of temperature readings leading to code activation.
  • Problems in the electronic control module: AAT signal interpretation can be disturbed by a malfunctioning of the vehicle’s main computer, which results in code activation.


A number of symptoms may occur after triggering the P0071 code, such as: 

  • Illuminated Engine light: P0071 is the basic indication of a malfunction code, which includes the activation of an illuminated engine light. 
  • Inaccuracy of external temperature readings: Your vehicle’s display may indicate an inaccurate or uneven outdoor temperature reading.
  • Engine Performance Issues: Depending on the severity of the problem, you may experience reduced engine performance, decreased fuel efficiency, or other drivability concerns.


It is appropriate to follow these steps when diagnosing the P0071 code: 

  • OBDII scanner: For the purpose of determining the problem codes and any associated codes that have been entered into the vehicle’s computer, an automotive technician uses an OBD II scanner. 
  • Visual inspection: To be able to detect the visible signs of damage, corrosion, or missing links it is necessary to have a full visual inspection of the AAT sensor and its wires.
  • Sensor Testing: Using a multimeter or special instrument, the technician shall perform testing with resistance, voltage, and temperature readings of an AAT sensor. 
  • Circuit testing: For continuity, short circuit, or open circuit, the wire and circuitry of the AAT sensor shall be examined. 
  • ECM Analysis: In order to determine whether any additional issues are contributing to the code being activated, an analysis will be made of the data from the ECB.

Common mistakes

  • It’s crucial to avoid typical errors while working with the P0071 error code since they may result in needless repairs or incorrect diagnoses:
  • Neglecting Basic Checks: Before beginning more advanced diagnostics, basic checks like making sure connections are secure and looking for broken wires should be done.
  • Ignoring Related Codes: The ECM’s related codes might offer important details about the underlying issue. Incomplete repairs might occur from ignoring these codes.
  • ODM Recommendations Omitted: To guarantee the correct and efficient resolution of the P0071 code, it is essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for diagnostic techniques, repairs, and part replacement.

How serious is this?

The specific circumstances and the design of the vehicle are largely to blame for the seriousness of the P0071 code. If you ignore this problem, it may result in an engine that does not perform well, reduced fuel efficiency, or possible damage to further components, even if the initial inconvenience of incorrectly interpreting temperature readings is minor. It is recommended that the code should be addressed without delay, so as not to create any additional complications.

What repairs can fix the code?

repair manuals

Once the root cause of the P0071 code is identified, the following repairs may be necessary:

  • AAT Sensor Replacement: if the sensor is damaged or defective, replacing it with a new reliable sensor should resolve the problem. 
  • Wiring Repair: Repairing damaged or corroded wires, ensuring proper connections, or replacing the wiring harness may be required to restore the sensor’s performance. ECM repair or replacement: It may be necessary to repair or replace the computer in rare cases where the ECM causes the problem.

Related codes

There are several related codes that maCircuit, sociated with the P0071 code, including:

  • P0070: Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Circuit Malfunction
  • P0072: Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
  • P0073: Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input

These related codes may provide additional insights into the underlying issue and assist in the diagnostic process.


To diagnose and solve problems with your vehicle, it is necessary to understand the DTC code P0071 for an ambient air temperature sensor range or performance. You will be more capable of handling the code in an effective way if you know its meaning, causes, symptoms, diagnosis procedures, common mistakes, seriousness, possible repairs, and associated codes. It is advisable that you consult a qualified car mechanic if you have encountered the P0071 code or noticed an AAT sensor problem.

P0071 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It