Engine-Codes - Generic - P1281

P1281 - Engine Is Cold Too Long

Repair Importance Level: 3/3
Repair Difficulty Level: 3/3  What is this?
Table of contents

P1281 Possible Causes

  • Engine coolant level too low
  • Faulty thermostat

How is the P1281 code repair?

Start by checking the "Possible Causes" listed above. Visually inspect the related wiring harness and connectors. Check for damaged components and look for broken, bent, pushed out, or corroded connector's pins.

Tech Notes

Start by checking the coolant level, add coolant if level is too low. If the problem persists the thermostat may be faulty. Using the incorrect thermostat or coolant mixture could trigger the P1281 code.

What is the cost to diagnose the P1281 code

Labor: 1.0

The cost to diagnose the P1281 code is 1.0 hour of labor. The auto repair labor rates vary widely across the country, and even within the same city. Most auto repairs shops charge between $75 and $150 per hour.

Possible Symptoms

  • Engine Light ON (or Service Engine Soon Warning Light)

P1281 Meaning

Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) is monitored with engine running. The P1281 code will set if the engine coolant temperature does not reach 181 F (83 C) while driving for more than 3 minutes and less than one hour depending on the engine load and start up temperature.

More Information

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Information for specific makes

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