OBD-II Trouble Codes

P0073 Code: Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Circuit High

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The ambient air temperature (AAT) sensor measures the temperature of the outside air. One or more of your car’s computers use this information for functions, such as ambient temperature display on your dashboard and automatic climate control operation.

If you encounter the P0073 code, a potential problem has been detected with the AAT sensor or its circuit. Will the P0073 affect your vehicle’s drivability? Find out more about the error code P0073 with this brief guide.

What Does the P0073 Code Mean?

Diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0073 stands for “Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Circuit High.” It indicates that there might be a problem with your vehicle’s ambient air temperature (AAT) sensor or the sensor’s circuit.

Automatic climate control systems have made it easier for users to select the right temperature for their vehicle’s cabin. One only needs to select their desired temperature and the system will do the rest. Usually, the computer that controls the climate control system is the Climate Control Module (CCM). It handles the vehicle’s heating and air conditioning components, the blend and vent door positions, the fan speed, and other related elements.

aat sensor
Code P0073 may be set if the PCM perceives a problem with your vehicle’s ambient air temperature (AAT) sensor or the sensor’s circuit.

To function properly, the CCM relies on various sensors that keep track of various factors that affect cabin climate. These sensors measure factors such as engine coolant temperature, A/C clutch operation, and outside ambient air temperature.

The AAT sensor measures the air temperature outside the vehicle. It converts the temperature information into an electrical signal and sends it to the powertrain control module (PCM). Usually, the PCM shares that data with other modules (including the CCM). Together, the devices use the information to control functions, such as automatic climate control operation and the ambient temperature display on the dashboard.

The engine code P0073 registers in your vehicle’s memory if the PCM determines that the signal from the AAT is higher than its normal range.

Vehicles that are prone to code P0073 include various models of Dodge (especially Dodge Journey), Ford, BMW, Chrysler, and Jeep.

Note: Troubleshooting and repair steps may vary depending on the vehicle make and model, the type of AAT sensors installed, etc.

What are the Possible Causes of the P0073 Code?

The P0073 code, like most OBD-II codes, has several possible causes. Listed below are just some reasons that can trigger the code. Note that determining the exact root cause for this trouble code is important for proper diagnosis and repair.

  • Faulty AAT sensor
  • AAT sensor circuit problems, such as damaged wiring or poor connections
  • Control module issues

What are the Common Symptoms of the P0073 Code?

There are a handful of noticeable indications that the P0073 code has gotten stored in your vehicle’s memory. If you notice any or a combination of the symptoms below, you must plug in a scanning tool to verify the issue.

  • Activated engine light or malfunction indicator light
  • Faulty climate control functions
  • Instrument cluster may not read outside temp accurately
  • Overhead console may not read outside temp accurately
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An activated check engine light is a common symptom of code P0073.

How to Diagnose the P0073 Code

Diagnosing OBD-II codes like P0073 is challenging because you have to narrow down the issue to a specific root cause. Given the list of possible causes, it can take quite a while for the average DIYer to get to the bottom of the P0073.

Fortunately, troubleshooting does not have to be a daunting task, especially now that there are a lot of repair guides, subscriptions, and even online tutorials available. If you’re looking to learn more about the engine code P0073, you’ll find the video resource below quite useful:

How to Fix the P0073 Code

There is no single solution for OBD-II codes because vehicles are built differently depending on the manufacturer. Special features and additional components also have varying configurations. Hence, it’s important to follow the repair instructions specifically made for your vehicle.

If you’re a seasoned DIYer, you can avail of a repair guide subscription to help you fix the P0073 code. These repair guides have detailed instructions and diagrams, plus other helpful suggestions. However, if you’re not that confident in your repair skills, you can have your mechanic do the job for you.

Other Notes About P0073

The P0073 has a moderate repair importance level. This means that this error code will not affect your vehicle’s drivability. However, it can give you and your passengers an uncomfortable driving experience as it greatly affects the climate control system.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic.

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