yep, one would think all codes would be generic but, that would make sense.
Like one oil filter, one spark plug type, one motor oil type, one coolant
type, one transmission fluid type, to fit all make and models of a
particular auto manufacture. Then I woke up from a cold sweat.
Let's not leave out the one unit of measure... metric OR SAE, not both.
Stop with the Torx heads, the 12-point heads, the octagonals, and any other
off-the-wall, one-off fastener.
Yeah... dare to dream...
P1281 indicates the ECT (engine coolant temperature) sensor didn't register
a warm-enough reading. There are two causes here - either a bad ECT sensor,
or a stuck-open thermostat. Both are pretty simple to change, but you'll
need to do a little diagnostic work to determine which one's really bad.
Measuring the voltage from the ECT with a DVM, and comparing to a chart of
known voltage-to-temperature mappings, or using an OBD-II scan tool that can
read the ECT output directly, will help you determine if the sensor is bad.
It will go out on it's own after more than several (50, I believe) ignition
cycles. You cna clear the code immediately with an OBD-II scan tool, or by
disconnecting the battery for 15 minutes or so.
Now - I ask this question with all sincerity... do you have the ability to
diagnose this problem yourself, and then do you have the ability to either
change this sensor or change the thermostat? If the answer to any of those
is 'no', then you're better off in the long run by having a shop take care
of it. It will save you money in the end.
Either way, good luck with it
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