How to fix P0218 Obd2 Code (Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis)

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A P0218 fault code will be stored in your vehicle’s OBD-II computer whenever the transmission in your vehicle is experiencing an overheating issue. In these sections, we will investigate what triggers this particular DTC, the diagnosis method, and the several potential solutions that are available to solve the actual problems. 

P0218 Code Definition

P0218 is defined as a “Condition relating to transmission over temperature.” If your Professional obd2 Scanner displays the P0218 error code, it indicates that the temperature of your vehicle’s transmission has risen to a point where it has surpassed the manufacturer’s maximum temperature threshold for safe operation.

Causes of P0218

The fluid of transmission starts from the bottom pan. After being sucked into the transmission case, it passes via the oil filter and the valve body assembly’s control on its way to the oil pump assembly.

The assembly of the oil pump generates pressure, and that pressure is subsequently transmitted to the control valve. It is here that it is transformed into the primary fluid source for the transmission’s hydraulic circuits and other subsystems.

When the converter clutch apply valve is engaged, the hot fluid exits the converter and is sent to the transmission oil cooler via the valve of TC apply and the transmission cooler lines. The transmission’s cool fluid loops in this cycle and assembly, where it lubricates and dissipates heat. Other common causes

  • If your OBD2 Scanner for DIY reads the P0218 error code, your transmission might be experiencing overheating but the exact causes may vary. These are some common causes that typically trigger the code:
  • A transmission system leak can originate from the transmission pan, cooler, or even the radiator itself. 
  • Problems with the control module for the engine(PCM)
  • Transmission failure due to internal damage resulting in increased friction between moving transmission components that high up the temp very quickly.
  • Problems with the transmission temperature sensor
  • Having an overheated engine could also lead to transmission overheating.


Transmission problems, such as slippage, hard shifts, or a complete lack of responsiveness, could be signs of the P0218 fault code. When you notice one of these signs, you should grab your Obd2 Scanner With Live Data and see whether you actually get the code.

In the event of a transmission failure, certain automobiles feature a fail-safe mode designed to help the driver stop the vehicle in a safe location and state. An additional sign could be the activation of the vehicle’s fail-safe system if one is installed.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Transmission or transaxle fluid level becomes too low.
  • Torque converter coolant, oil, and other fluids seeping from various points of entry.
  • There is no transmission or transaxle engagement.
  • The noticeable limping condition


If a mechanic sees the P0218 code, the first thing he or she should do is check the transmission fluid. Internal damage to the transmission is possible if the fluid level becomes too low or if it has a burnt smell.

The transmission and cooling system would be checked for transmission fluid leaks next. If a leak is discovered during this investigation, it could be a contributing factor to the heating problem that eventually triggers the code.

Before proceeding with diagnostics, it is important to fix any leaks and refill the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid would get burnt if the level drops too low, therefore a burnt odor is not necessarily indicative of transmission failure.

Even if there were no visible leaks, the presence of a burnt odor coming from the transmission fluid would be cause for concern. Never ignore any odd smell coming from under the hood.

Once you rule out these attempts, you’d need to check the temperature sensor of the transmission to whether or not it’s properly functioning. Whenever necessary, you should replace it.

If the gearbox temperature sensor checks out, the powertrain control module(PCM) could be the source of the problem. This is the worst scenario of having the P0218 code. 

Common Diagnostic Mistakes

The P0218 code can be difficult to diagnose, and it’s easy to make the mistake of focusing solely on a single issue. A transmission leak is one issue, but if the fluid level dropped too low, the transmission may be damaged internally.

Before declaring a problem fixed, it’s crucial to be sure it has been addressed from every angle. Even if a leak in the transmission fluid is fixed, the P0218 error message may still appear.

There are also chances that you’ve received the P0218 code for multiple causes. At this point, the code would still appear even if you’ve fixed one cause. That’s why a thorough inspection is required.

How to Fix P0218 Code

The P0218 error can be resolved in various ways. the corresponding components like the gasket of the transmission pan, cooler, cooler lines, or even the entire radiator may need to be replaced before the leak can be stopped. 

In the worst scenarios, you may need to repair or replace the powertrain control module or the temperature sensor of the vehicle. You may need to refurbish or replace the entire transmission set. Finally, if the engine is overheating and causes the code, it may need to be repaired.

You need to maintain or fix the problems first before clearing or resetting the code using a reliable OBD II scanner like Autel MP808TS or similar tools.

Tips to Avoid future

Inspecting the transmission fluid for each oil change will help you avoid the P0218 error message. To maintain the transmission in top shape, it’s also crucial to have the fluid and filter changed at regular intervals. You can follow the owner’s manual to keep up with the proprietary treatments on your transmission.


The problems with P0218 and the symptoms may vary. Its appearance on OBD II scanners like Foxwell NT630 Plus & NT604 may indicate one or more problems in your transmission and corresponding assemblies that cause overheating.

You need to respond to this immediately to avoid costly damages. Replacing the gasket or sensor might not be too expensive but it would be when you need to replace the entire transmission

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