The P0073 code is an OBD-II diagnostic trouble code that indicates a problem with the ambient air temperature sensor circuit. The ambient air temperature sensor is responsible for measuring the temperature of the air outside the vehicle and providing this information to the engine control module (ECM). The ECM uses this data to make adjustments to fuel mixture, ignition timing, and other engine parameters for optimal performance and efficiency.

When the ambient air temperature sensor circuit malfunctions or provides inaccurate readings, it can trigger the P0073 code. This may occur due to a faulty sensor, damaged wiring or connectors, or a problem with the ECM itself. The code typically illuminates the check engine light on the vehicle’s dashboard, indicating that there is a problem that needs attention.


Fixes for OBD-II Code P0073

Fixing OBD-II Code P0073 involves identifying and resolving the underlying issue with the ambient air temperature sensor circuit. Here are the general steps to address this code:

  1. Inspection: Begin by inspecting the ambient air temperature sensor and its wiring harness for any visible damage or signs of corrosion. Check for loose connections, frayed wires, or damaged insulation.

  2. Sensor Replacement: If the sensor is found to be faulty, it will need to be replaced. The sensor is typically located in the front grille or bumper area of the vehicle. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to safely remove the old sensor and install the new one.

  3. Wiring Repair: If any wiring issues are identified during the inspection, repair or replace the damaged wires or connectors. Ensure proper connections and secure the wiring harness to prevent future problems.

  4. Clearing the Code: After the repairs are completed, use an OBD-II scanner or code reader to clear the fault code from the vehicle’s ECM. This will reset the system and allow you to monitor if the issue reoccurs.

  5. Testing: Once the repairs are done and the code is cleared, it’s important to perform a road test to verify that the code does not return. Monitor the ambient air temperature reading on the vehicle’s display or through a diagnostic tool to ensure it is functioning correctly.

If you are unsure about performing these steps yourself, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic or dealership who can diagnose and fix the issue accurately


Related DTCs to P0073

There are some codes that likely would have been shown along with the aforementioned code: P0070, P0071, P0072, P0074.


The average cost to fix an OBD-II code P0073 is in the interim between $100 to $300 and can vary depending on several factors. The underlying cause of the code, the make and model of your vehicle, and the labor rates of the repair shop makes an impact on price. Here are some factors to consider when estimating the cost:

  1. Diagnostic Fee: Many repair shops charge a diagnostic fee to identify the specific cause of the P0073 code. This fee can vary but typically ranges from $50 to $150.

  2. Parts Replacement: The cost of parts will depend on the components that need to be replaced. In the case of a P0073 code, the common cause is a malfunctioning ambient air temperature sensor. The cost of a new ambient air temperature sensor can range from $20 to $100, depending on the brand and where you purchase it.

  3. Labor Costs: Labor charges will vary based on the hourly rate of the repair shop and the complexity of the repair. Replacing an ambient air temperature sensor is generally a straightforward task that doesn’t require extensive labor. Labor costs can range from $50 to $150, depending on the shop’s rates and the time it takes to access and replace the sensor.

It’s important to note that the cost estimates provided are general ranges and can vary significantly depending on your location and the specific circumstances of your vehicle. Additionally, if the P0073 code is caused by a more severe issue, such as a wiring problem or a malfunctioning engine control module, the repair costs can be higher.

While you may be able to drive short distances with a P0073 code without immediate consequences, it’s best to have your vehicle inspected and repaired as soon as possible. 

Driving with a P0073 code is generally not recommended, especially if the code is accompanied by noticeable symptoms such as poor engine performance or erratic behavior.

This error signs affecting the accuracy of the sensor’s readings and subsequently impact the engine’s performance and fuel efficiency.

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