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P0460 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.

Definition

P0460 is an OBD-II Code that refers to Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Malfunction

Meaning

A P0460 code is caused by an ECM (Engine Control Module) receiving a signal from the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) indicating a difference between the fuel gauge reading and the vehicle's real fuel level in the tank.

Causes

Common causes for this code include:

  • The most common reason for a fuel sensor failure is that it may be faulty.
  • There may be an issue within the wiring or its harnessing such as a short or corrosion, preventing the sensor from reporting fuel levels accurately. 
  • In addition, physical damage to the vehicle's gasoline tank may be the source of the issue since the sensor's parameters might not match up with those of the tank.
  • In rare cases, it can be caused by a faulty fuel level controller or PCM.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a P0460 code are: 

  • The dashboard fuel gauge, on the other hand, might be faulty. The vehicle's fuel level may not accurately reflect the dashboard fuel gauge readings. The readings can be erratic or off by a significant amount.
  • Vehicle may have reduced power.
  • Malfunction indicator light (MIL) is illuminated

Diagnosis

To diagnose a P0460 DTC code, a technician would:

1. Verify the code is present using an OBD-II scanner 

2. The electrical wiring must be investigated for signs of corrosion, disconnection, or damage next.

3. The sensor elements should be examined for faults or damage if the electrical circuits are in good working order.

4. If the fuel sensor is good, the entire fuel tank and PCM should be inspected for visible damage.

5. If the vehicle's computer has recorded any additional trouble codes, they may be used to help you locate the issue.

Common mistakes

The following are common mistakes when diagnosing the trouble code P0460:

  • Relying on visual symptoms alone to diagnose a fueling system issue is the most common mistake made.
  • Misinterpreting or misdiagnosing additional trouble codes along with the P0460 code can also lead to further problems and possible replacement of parts needlessly.

How serious is this?

A P0460 code is a serious and potentially dangerous issue. This is because the timing between the camshaft and crankshaft will not be in sync, which can cause increased emissions and increased fuel consumption. In addition, this can lead to a misfire or other issues with the crankshaft position sensor. In a worst-case scenario, it may also lead to a breakdown of the engine.

What repairs can fix the code?

The following are solutions that may fix this problem:

  • Replace the fuel level sensor or whole fuel tank assembly
  • Reprogram/Replace the PCM (Powertrain Control Module)
  • Replace wiring harness; replace damaged, corroded, or shorted wire; repair open circuit
  • Repair damaged components in the vehicle's powertrain system. If any damage is found to be present in the gas tank, replace it with an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part before attempting any more repairs on this component. 
  • Perform a complete inspection of all components and replace as necessary

Related codes

A P0460 is related to and may be accompanied by the following codes:

  • P0442 – Fuel Level Too Low
  • P0456 – Evaporative Emission System Incorrect Purge Flow
  • P0480 – Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor Circuit Malfunction
  • U0126 – Loss of Communication with ECM/PCM "A" 
  • U1077 – Loss of Vehicle Speed Information from ECM/PCM A

How much does it cost to fix the P0460 code?

The repair cost of a P0460 code that does not have any other related codes should only be about $50-$100 for parts and around ½ hour of labor. In addition, replacing a fuel tank as well as wiring harnesses could cost several hundred dollars as well as additional time spent on diagnostics.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the P0460 code is a serious code that can lead to numerous issues if not repaired. This is mainly due to the fact that the fuel tank will run out of gas before reaching its destination, which can be dangerous. If the sensor malfunctions, it can cause other issues that may result in expensive damages. To avoid unnecessary vehicle faults, it is advisable to get this code fixed.

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