Error Code P1481 is defined as Faulty Fan Clutch Assembly. This means a problem in Fan Clutch Assembly harness, which may have resulted from an open or shorted or poor electrical connection circuit in the Fan Clutch Assembly.

This error code is a manufacturer-specific trouble code, meaning it does not apply to all vehicles makes. Rather, it applies only to specific vehicle makes, such as Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, GM, Lincoln, Mercedes, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Opel, Plymouth, etc. Specification on the definition, troubleshooting, and repairs still vary from one make and model to another.


Error Code P1481 is set when the PCM (powertrain control module, also known as ECM or engine control module in other vehicle makes) detects the radiator fan is not spinning as fast as commanded. The PCM regulates the speed of the fan, varying the voltage and ground to it. When the PCM sets the fan to spin at a certain RPM, and the fan spins lower than what the PCM commands, the code will be set.

Common Symptoms

As with other error codes, this code activates the Check Engine light and registers the code the vehicle’s system.

Possible Causes

Many factors lead to this error code, some of the most common causes are:

  • Faulty Fan Clutch Assembly
  • Fan Clutch Assembly harness is open or shorted
  • Fan Clutch Assembly circuit poor electrical connection

How to Check

To diagnose, the first thing you need to do is run a direct power lead to the fan to see if it works.

Also, check the wires to see if there are any signs of issues, make sure check the plugin as well. Take it apart and look for evidence of corrosion on the terminals. Then, test for power at the plugin.

How to Fix

The first thing you need to do to fix this code is to unplug the fan and replace the fan assembly. Then, reset the codes for the PCM.

In cases where the mechanical fan sounds loud, you need to replace the fan clutch and not the electric fan. If the clutch has locked up, it will make a loud sound, and make it spin when it’s not supposed to, or spin faster than the PCM commanded it to. Pull the clutch fan off and then replace the clutch, then reset the PCM codes.

In many cases, this error code is cleared by replacing the fan assembly. However, as with other error codes, it requires a thorough diagnosis to be sure.