P0218 Fault Code

P0218 OBD-II Trouble Code Short Description

Transmission Over Temperature Condition

What does trouble code P0218 mean?

The P0218 fault code is a diagnostic trouble code that indicates a problem with the transmission over-temperature condition. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, including a faulty thermostat, low transmission fluid, or a blocked transmission cooler line.

When this code is detected, it means that the transmission control module has detected an abnormally high transmission fluid temperature for a predetermined period of time. This can cause damage to the transmission components and should be addressed immediately.

The solution to this issue varies depending on the cause. If the thermostat is faulty, it should be replaced. Low transmission fluid levels can be corrected by adding the appropriate amount of fluid to the system. Blocked transmission cooler lines may need to be flushed to remove any debris that is causing the blockage.

In summary, the P0218 fault code indicates a potentially serious issue with the transmission overheating. It is important to address the underlying cause promptly to avoid further damage to the vehicle's transmission system.


What are the symptoms of the P0218 code?

The P0218 fault code is typically related to the transmission temperature sensor circuit. Some symptoms that may indicate a P0218 fault code include:

  1. Check Engine Light: The most obvious symptom of a P0218 fault code is the illumination of the check engine light on the dashboard.

  2. Harsh Shifting: If the transmission is shifting in a particularly rough or jerky manner, it could be a sign of a P0218 fault code.

  3. Sluggish Acceleration: The transmission may be slow to shift or the vehicle may feel sluggish during acceleration.

  4. Transmission Overheating: This fault code is often related to the transmission temperature sensor, so if the transmission is overheating, it could be a sign of a P0218 fault code.

  5. Transmission Stuck in One Gear: If the transmission is stuck in a single gear and will not shift, it could be due to a P0218 fault code.


What causes the P0218 code?

The P0218 fault code is a generic powertrain code that indicates a transmission over temperature condition. This code may appear on any type of vehicle with an automatic transmission, including cars, trucks, and SUVs.

When this fault code is triggered, it means that the transmission fluid temperature has exceeded the acceptable range. The transmission's temperature should be within a specific range while the engine is running. If the temperature is too high or too low, it can cause damage to the transmission and result in various performance issues.

Possible Causes of P0218 Fault Code:

  • Low transmission fluid level or pressure
  • Dirty or contaminated transmission fluid
  • Weak or faulty transmission cooler
  • Defective transmission temperature sensor
  • Electrical issues, such as faulty wiring or connections
  • Malfunctioning transmission control module (TCM)

Symptoms of P0218 Fault Code:

  • Illuminated check engine light (CEL)
  • Reduced performance and acceleration
  • Overheating of transmission
  • Delayed shifting or slipping of the transmission
  • Harsh shifting or gear engagement
  • Reduced fuel efficiency

To resolve the P0218 fault code, it's essential to take your vehicle to a certified mechanic or transmission specialist. They will perform a diagnostic procedure to identify the root cause of the issue and ensure that the transmission is running within acceptable temperature limits. They may need to replace any defective parts or perform a transmission flush to eliminate any contaminants from the fluid.

Possible Solutions

How to fix P0218?

P0218 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) related to the transmission over-temperature condition. It indicates that the transmission fluid temperature exceeds the maximum allowable limit.

If you see this fault code on your car, here are some steps you can take to fix it:

  1. Check the transmission fluid level and condition:

    • Ensure that the transmission fluid level is within the recommended range.
    • Inspect the fluid for any discoloration, contamination or burning smell.
  2. Check the transmission cooler and lines:

    • Check the transmission cooler for blockages, clogs or leaks.
    • Check the transmission lines for kinks, leaks or restrictions.
  3. Replace the transmission fluid temperature sensor:

    • If the sensor is faulty or malfunctioning, replace it with a new one.
  4. Repair any electrical connections:

    • Check all electrical connections related to the transmission system.
    • Repair or replace any faulty or damaged connections.
  5. Check the transmission control module (TCM):

    • If all the above steps fail to resolve the issue, it may be an indication of a faulty TCM.
    • Consult with a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair the TCM.

In conclusion, the P0218 fault code requires immediate attention, as it can cause damage to the transmission. Perform the recommended maintenance and repair steps to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your vehicle's transmission system.


  • What is P0218?

    P0218 is a diagnostic trouble code related to the transmission fluid temperature sensor circuit.

  • What are the symptoms of P0218?

    The most common symptoms include harsh shifting, a reduction in fuel efficiency, and stalling.

  • What causes P0218?

    The most common causes include a faulty transmission fluid temperature sensor, damaged wiring or connectors, or a low transmission fluid level.

  • Can P0218 be fixed?

    Yes, P0218 can be fixed by repairing or replacing the transmission fluid temperature sensor, repairing any damaged wiring or connectors, or refilling the transmission fluid to the proper level.

  • How much does it cost to fix P0218?

    The cost of fixing P0218 can vary depending on the severity of the issue and the specific repairs needed, but it typically ranges from $200 to $500.

  • Is P0218 dangerous to drive with?

    While it is not immediately dangerous to drive with P0218, it can cause further damage to the transmission or lead to more costly repairs if left unfixed.

  • Can P0218 be prevented?

    Regular maintenance and fluid changes can prevent issues with the transmission fluid temperature sensor, as well as keeping an eye out for any warning signs such as harsh shifting or stalling.

  • Will P0218 clear itself?

    In some cases, P0218 may clear itself if the underlying issue causing the code has been resolved, but it is important to have it properly diagnosed and repaired to prevent further damage.