How Long Can You Drive With a P0128 Code – Your Answer Here

How long can you drive with a P0128 Code? Some drivers may be confused about how serious the problem is.

When drivers see the Code, some may stop the car to fix the problem, while others want to continue the journey.

You would like to keep driving as you have something important to do, but you are worried about your safety. The information below will help you know the safe distance you can travel with this PO128 engine code.

What Does A P0128 Code Mean?

DTC code p0128

You may not know that the engine temperature operating system needs an ideal temperature to operate normally.

People think that a hot engine is not good for their car. Yes, it is true, but the car requires specific heat to run properly.

The required temperature levels for your car to operate are 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, you will face the coolant thermostat p0128. It means your car’s coolant thermostat is working below the proper temperature.

The car needs to operate in a close loop to gain heat. Once it has enough heat, it will start open-loop to work efficiently.

Causes Of Coolant Thermostat Code

P0128 engine code

There are five common reasons why the car code p0128 appears. So keep reading, and you will learn where to check when having the Code and control the problem in advance.

Stuck Open Coolant Thermostat 

If the thermostat is in an open position for a long time, there will be errors when it reads the temperature.

People have a misconception that it is better with the thermostat opened than closed. However, the engine cannot warm up enough with a stuck open thermostat, and it will switch to the code 0128.

Missing Thermostat 

When there is no thermostat in your car, you may also face the po128 coolant thermostat. It is because there is no coolant, and the engine can get the car to overheat.

Faulty Coolant Temperature Sensor 

Some outside factors can also affect the engine coolant temperature sensor. Thus, the incorrect temperature reading may impact the power control module and cause the P0128 Code.

Radiator Fan 

In case you don’t use a radiator fan in your car, the hot temperature will continue increasing. There is no way to cool down your engine, and the heat will not escape enough. Hence, the P0128 Code will appear.

Faulty Wiring For The Coolant Temperature Circuit  

The engine will get hotter when the coolant temperature circuit wire is defective. It is also the reason causing the appearance of engine code p0128.

How Long Can You Drive With A P0128 Code?

How Long Can You Drive With a P0128 Code

There is no fixed distance that you can drive with the P0128 Code. However, depending on your situation, you can decide to continue or stop. Driving 500 miles with the Code is no problem, but some would advise not to go further.

Before 500 Miles

In fact, there is no fixed safe distance for code P0128. One thing we cannot deny is that the car will work best in the specific temperature range.

When we receive this Code, it means the car is not in good condition and could have damages.

However, it is still safe if you have something to do and must continue driving 500 miles (804.6 kilometers).

The P0128 Code is not a big problem. One thing to notice is that you should not ignore this occurrence for a long time, which will lead to other trouble in the future.

After 500 Miles

You should only travel with the DTC code p0128 for 500 miles. During the distance, the car will not have much damage and risks.

However, some people would travel more than 500 miles, which may cause car problems. It is not safe to go more than 1000 miles.

You should adjust this Code before driving this far. If not, the problem will arise, and your car may suffer bad damage.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Code P0128 Error? 

The earlier you fix the issues of error code P0128, the safer you can travel with your car. That is to say, you need to know some symptoms when the error code appears. It will help you to diagnose and troubleshoot the Code in time.

Unusually Low Temperature Gauge

You can pay attention to the gauge and recognize how low the temperature gauge is. If the temperature is too low, you can consider the P0128.

Higher Than Normal Idle

One clear sign you can see is the idling duration. If you see the idle longer than usual, your car may have a problem.

Decreased Fuel Economy

The car with the p0128 Code will take longer and more fuel to warm up. It means that you will need to fill in extra fuel than usual. Notice it, and you will know it is a code error.

Check Engine Light is on

One thing you can know for sure is the engine light. Once it is on, your car is probably having some problems. Think of this error and check the thermostat.

Why Can You Drive With A P0128 Code For This Long?

Driving is okay with this OBD-II codes p0128. It is not dramatically problematic, but it still needs repairing in the end.

People having the error can still travel at least 500 miles. Not fixing the problem will result in many engine issues, and the cost will depend on how many parts are damaged.

So if you must travel immediately, it is okay. You must remember that you will pay some extra for the engine damage. In case you care about the cost, troubleshooting the error right away is better.

How Do I Fix Code p0128?

You can solve the problem with its root cause, the thermostat. Check the temperature if it reaches the suitable range or not (160° – 200° Fahrenheit).

To do it, you measure the temperature of the radiator hose first. It should turn into a hot condition within 3-5 minutes. If not, the thermostat may be stuck open, and you may need to replace the thermostat.

If the radiator is fine, you next check the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor. Use a voltmeter to check from the engine control module to the electronically controlled transmission.

Although the reference voltage of various vehicles differs, it will usually be 0.5 volts.

Besides, it will be best when you scan the coolant. If it comes with massive rust, flush the rust completely. Then, scan to see whether there are leaks in the coolant system.

These are some simple steps you can check with your car. It will help you see the scope of the problem.

If none of it can solve the error, you should take your car to a certified technician who will help you fix the car completely.


How Long Can You Drive With a P0128 Code? The answer is at least 500 miles. However, no one should drive more than 1000 miles, which will put you and your car at risk.

You have noticed some symptoms of the obd p0128 and try to do the basic step to see the problem.

When you cannot fix it on your own, it is advisable to take the car to a certified technician so that they can find the root cause for you.

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