How To Fix P0501 Obd2 Code?

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Vehicle Speed Sensor “A” Range/Performance is the description of Error Code P0501. A weak signal output from the VSS (vehicle speed sensor) is the cause of many engine difficulties, such as erratic shifting or shifting that is excessively fast or sluggish.

This is an OBD-II general fault code, which applies to all OBD-II equipped vehicles, particularly those manufactured from 1996 onwards. It is important to note that the definition, diagnosis, and repair specifications differ from one model to the next.

What Does The Code P0501 Vehicle Speed Sensor Mean?

It’s a P0501 generic OBD-II code indicating that the engine control module (ECM) received input from the vehicle speed sensor (VSS) that is out of reach or erratic voltage output that is not steady or smooth.

It’s a Vehicle Speed Sensor A Range/Performance OBD2 code P0501. Sending data to the vehicle’s PCM (powertrain control module) about how quickly the vehicle is traveling is the Vehicle Speed Sensor’s (VSS) primary function. The speedometer shows this information in a few miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (km/h).

What Does The Code P0501 Vehicle Speed Sensor Mean?

As a result, automatic transmission, ABS, Traction Control, and Power Steering can use this data. One of the most common locations for the Vehicle Speed Sensor is the rear differential or an output shaft of the gearbox, although it may also be situated near a tire and coupled to a speedometer.

Other related code

Some of the other error codes related:

  • P0500 VSS “A” Malfunction
  • P0502 VSS “A” Low Input
  • P0503 VSS “A” Intermittent/Erratic/High

Error Code P0501: Symptoms, Causes & Fix

What Are The Likely Reasons for the P0501 code?

Depending on the year, manufacture, and model, DTC code P0501 may be caused by various things. Here are a few of the most popular.

  • The most prevalent causes of VSS failure are age and mileage. The VSS sensor may generally be ruled out as the source of the issue after doing circuit tests and failing to get any output from it.
  • Like crankshaft position sensors, some VSS produce their signal by use of a ring. Metal flakes might build upon the electromagnetic tip of the VSS, affecting the signal. VSS signal clarity is usually restored after a thorough cleaning, although more examination may be necessary to find the metal particles causing it.
  • The VSS voltage output is lower than predicted, resulting in a lower output speed than the actual vehicle speed.
  • Transmission or differential gears power many VSS. An irregular VSS signal might result from broken teeth on either gear. VSS replacement or transmission repair could be necessary.

What are the possible symptoms of a code P0501 Vehicle Speed Sensor occurrence?

Here are some of the common symptoms of code p0501:

  • You’ll see a check engine light come on.
  • It is possible that the vehicle’s shifting mechanism is malfunctioning.
  • In addition to the ABS and traction control warning lamps, other indicators may also come on.
  • The speedometer may not perform the proper operation.
  • In certain circumstances, the driver may not detect any adverse conditions.
  • The performance or shifting may be problematic in various instances.

How to diagnose a P0501 error code?

This issue code is simple to identify. If you’re at a repair shop or doing it yourself, you can instantly identify this problem number.

  • First, technicians scan PCM codes and record information using the scanners they’ve been given.
  • After that, visually inspect the VSS electrical connections and wire connection. Find any exposed wires, melted or broken wires, or other damage. Inspect the damage and make repairs, if any are needed. The location of the sensors varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Rear-axle components, wheel hubs, and transmission sensors are all possibilities for where the sensor will be located. When the cable and connectors are in good condition, verify the VSS signal output. Again, the particular process depends on the fabric and type of the vehicle.
  • The vehicle speed sensor changes too quickly or is out of sync with WSS; therefore, DTCs are issued if the signal doesn’t fall within the expected range or changes too quickly; for example, the Vehicle speed sensor falls instantly and then rises to 55 mph while cruise control (VSS reports 0 MPH while the WSS reports 55 mph). Failed circuits or sensors and mechanical system flaws might affect the DTC’s functionality and vehicle speed sensor range. 
  • The ECM-VSS input circuit should be checked first. The resistance between the ECM memory and VSS should be 0 ohms and more than 10 k ohms for power or ground. When the ignition is turned on, the three-wire VSS should have a 5 V reference voltage and a solid ground attached to it.
  • Three-wire VSS may be verified by detecting the DC pulse on the signal wire and spinning the wheels with a multimeter when the wheels are off the ground. It is possible to detect a two-wire VSS by detecting an increase in AC voltage and increasing the speed of moving wheels.
  • The VSS electrical connection is inspected for loose or corroded connections.
  • Remove the VSS and inspect the sensor tip for metal particles that are producing the weak signal; clean and retest to work properly.

Need These Parts to Fix OBD P0501 Code

Need These Parts to Fix OBD P0501 Code

  • An Engine Control Module problem might cause the code P0501. Replacement of worn-out or damaged engine control module is thus strongly recommended.
  • Do you recall the last time you had your vehicle’s Powertrain Control Module inspected? Powertrain Control Module malfunctions may cause a wide range of problems, including the P0501 code.
  • When it comes to your car’s safety, you can’t afford to overlook ABS System Parts. The P0501 code may start flashing if there is a problem with it.
  • If your Tachometer is damaged or broken, it’s time to replace it. Don’t be concerned; we’ve got you covered.
  • The most common cause of the error code P0501 is a faulty automobile engine wiring harness. So, to avoid any additional troubles, make sure you change it over online.
  • Is there anything wrong with the Engine Wiring Harness causing the OBD code P0501? On the other hand, the Electronic Control Unit is almost certainly defective. They need to be swapped out immediately. Best Obd2 Scanner With ABS And SRS
  • The speedometer is a critical component of every car. Take excellent care of it.

Is the P0501 code a serious error?

A straightforward issue to identify and remedy may create significant problems if not addressed correctly.

  • Code P0501 indicates a problem with the VSS, which may lead to transmission damage and shifting irregularities.
  • Emission tests are invalidated if the Check Engine Light is on.
  • The rear-end type VSS turns off the ABS light and turns off the ABS.

When troubleshooting the P0501 code, a few common mistakes

  • The VSS is not replaced before validating that the old sensor output is defective
  • When the VSS isn’t removed and checked for excessive metal particles, this indicates an issue with the internal transaxle or the rear axle components.

Cost of diagnostic trouble code p0501

“Vehicle Speed Sensor Range/Performance” is the diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P0501. This may happen for various reasons, and a technician will need to determine the exact cause in your case. Check Engine Light diagnostics may be performed at your home or business for $114.99 by one licensed mobile expert. A quotation for the proposed remedy and a credit of $20.0 will be issued to you as soon as the issue is identified. 

The VSS’s Operation

In most cases, the VSS employs a revolving reluctor ring to complete an input circuit to the PCM, which is often an electromagnetic sensor. The VSS is installed in the gearbox housing so that the reluctor ring may pass by it; it is quite near to the reluctor ring. 

There is an output shaft connected to the reluctor ring that spins with the transmission. Notches and grooves in the reluctor ring complete and interrupt the circuit quickly as it passes past the electromagnetic tip of the VSS. The PCM recognizes these circuit changes as transmission output speed or vehicle speed, which the PCM processes.


The erratic shifting caused by Error Code P0501 must be remedied as soon as possible to avoid further harm to the transition. It’s also common for vehicles to fail emissions testing if the Check Engine light comes on.