How to Fix the P0217 Code on Cummins (Step-by-Step Guide)

Some issues will always persist regardless of how careful you are with your vehicle. For several reasons, you may often notice the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) on your car’s computer screen. The codes indicate some major problems that need to be solved.

The code P0217 on Cummins indicates that the engine is overheating and needs to be checked as soon as possible. Nonetheless, a faulty coolant sensor can be one of the causes of this problem.

However, if you are having this kind of issue or code, don’t worry! This article will cover all the possible factors about the code, from finding the causes to fixing it. 

How to Fix the P0217 Code on Cummins

What Does P0217 Code Mean On Cummins?

As mentioned above, the code P0217 means that your car’s engine is overheating and needs to be turned off. More precisely, the code lets you know about the engine’s overheating condition. In order to keep the engine cool for a long time, coolant is usually used. 

The coolant temperature sensor sends the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) the signals of temperature voltage reading. Once the engine’s temperature exceeds the expected limits, the engine light comes on, and the P0217 Cummins code is stored. 

Furthermore, a vehicle’s cooling system needs to function correctly so that the engine doesn’t overheat. Here is the breakdown of the code to increase your understanding.

  • P= Powertrain.
  • 0=A generic number derived from the SAE standard.
  • 2= Ignition nozzles.
  • 17= Specific fault index ( the engine is overheating and needs to shut off)

How Serious Is Code P0217 on Cummins?

The engine is one of the most critical components if any vehicle needs to function correctly. However, like any other engine, your car’s engine can overheat for some reason, and the code P0217 notifies that.

According to experts, engine overheating is a severe and acute problem for any particular vehicle. This is because if the engine remains overheated for a certain period, it may be damaged and lead to other severe consequences. 

There can be additional consequences. If the condition persists, you may find problems with the vehicle’s operation. 

What Causes the P0217 Code on Cummins?

Leaks in the cooling system or the incorrect coolant concentration cause the P0217 code.  Other causes of the code include the following:

  • Defective coolant temperature sensor
  • Low coolant.
  • Faulty thermostat.
  • Defective powertrain model control (PCM)
  • Faulty water pump.
  • Bad radiator fan.
  • Inappropriate cooling fan or fan clutch.
  • Debris in the cooling system.
  • Overloaded trailer towing.

What Are the Symptoms of the P0217 Code?

The code P0217 can have symptoms. The most frequent symptoms of the code P0217 include the following:

  • Thumping noise and ticking sound from the engine.
  • The unusual engine shut off.
  • Steam or smoke comes from the engine compartment.
  • Extreme loss of engine power.
  • Malfunction indicator lamp illumination.
  • Severe engine damage.
  • Coolant is expelled from the radiator.
  • The hood of the car becomes hotter.
  • Check engine light on.

Can You Drive Your Cummins with Code P0217?

You can drive your Cummins with code 0217, but experts don’t recommend driving in this case. You should realize that engine overheating on your Cummins is not a minor issue. 

There is a greater chance that your car’s engine will get permanently damaged if you continue driving your vehicle with an overheated engine. 

Furthermore, there is also the chance of the engine misfiring while driving a car with the code P0217, and you may never want this to happen. Nonetheless, continuing to drive a vehicle with the code causes the engine to be damaged, creating trouble and damaging other car components. 

How To Fix Code P0217 On Cummins?

When it comes to fixing the code, if you are unsure about fixing the problem on your own, it is always better to consult a professional with all the necessary expertise. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you fix the P0217 code on your Cummins.

Step 1: Check the Coolant System

You should start the fixing process of code P0217 by checking the coolant system. In most cases, additional leaks or damage to the coolant cause the engine to overheat. 

In addition, you have to check all the coolant system parts gradually. The coolant system includes a radiator, housing, thermostat, water pump, head gasket, radiator hoses, etc. If you find some sort of leakage in the coolant, you should repair or replace it. Once you do this, restart the engine to check whether the engine is still overheating. However, if there is no leakage issue, follow the next step.

Step 2: Check Electric Cooling Fan

Now you have to check the fan clutch or electrical cooling fan. Sometimes, an inappropriate or faulty fan clutch can cause the issue of engine overheating. If you find significant damage to the fan clutch, you should replace it and recheck the engine.

On the other hand, if there are no issues with the fan clutch or it is not inappropriate, you have to check the cooling system for hot spots. To do so, you need to use an infrared thermometer. If everything is ok, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Check Coolant Temperature Sensor

Like the fan clutch, the temperature sensor of the coolant may go bad. So, you have to check the sensor carefully. If you find an issue with the coolant temperature sensor, don’t forget to replace it. 

Check the wiring that is associated with the coolant sensor. If you find any defects with the wiring, you need to repair or replace it based on its condition.

Step 4: Check the Power Control Module

If you can’t find any problems with hot spots or any type of issue with the coolant, then the PCM itself may cause the issue. To be sure of this fact, you need to check the PCM. 

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Cummins P0217 Code?

There is not a single amount to fix the Cummins P0217 code. Nonetheless, the fixing cost will depend on the types of reasons that caused the code. 

However, if you need to replace the coolant temperature sensor, it will cost you around $50-$200. Furthermore, replacing the radiator fan clutch will cost $200-$400, depending on the shop and service provider.

In addition, if you choose a professional to fix the issue, you may need to spend around $75 to $150. So, as you can see, the actual cost of fixing the P0217 code on Cummins largely depends on many factors. 


Whenever you notice the P0217 troubleshooting code on your car’s computer screen, you should try to fix the code as soon as possible. This is because you may never want to see the poor operation and any further damage to your vehicle.

If you fix it on your own, try to carefully follow the fixing steps mentioned above. It is always a good idea to get assistance from a professional who has experience in this field. The sooner you take steps to fix the code, the better it is for your vehicle.

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