Code P059F: Active Grille Shutter (Fixes, Causes, Symptoms)

p059f code active grille shutter

Vehicles nowadays are equipped with various systems to improve their performance, fuel efficiency, emissions and etc. 

But this means, that there’s also more room for potential problems.

Most of the time you expect your vehicle to perform well and take you from one place to another. But this is not always the case.

Imagine that you are cruising on the highway and suddenly a check engine light (CEL) appears, this can be both frustrating and dangerous. After that, you quickly plug in the OBD2 scanner and realize that there’s the code P059F.

So what does it mean, how to fix it, and what are the possible symptoms are all things that I will cover today.

And don’t worry you will know everything by the end of this article.

Let’s get started.

What You Need To Know About The P059F Code

As I told you before in one of my previous articles about the SRS light your vehicle is a network of electrical systems that are monitored by your engine control module (ECM). So, when the ECM detects an issue with the Active Grille Shutter (AGS) system it throws the p059f error code.

P059F Meaning

When you scan your vehicle with an OBD2 scanner and see this code, that means that you have issues with the Active Grille Air Shutter 1 performance system

There are a lot of possible causes for this code and I will explain them later. But all of them, basically means that ECM noticed an issue with the air flow within any of the grille shutters in your vehicle.

The role of the ECM is to monitor the position of these Grille shutters and when they are not moving in a certain time frame the DTC P059F appears.

To be exact if this shutter is not opening or closing this will lead to performance issues and possibly a higher engine temperature.

How The Active Grill Shutter (AGS) System Works

active grill shutter AGS system
Image Source – Valeo

Before we move further, let’s explain how the AGS system works.

The Active Grille Air Shutters are located in the front bumper of your vehicle. These shutters are motorized and their main purpose is to open or close depending on if the engine needs more cooling or not and control the airflow within the engine bay.

Let’s say that you drive on the highway at 80-90 mph (high speeds) at this rate the active grille air shutters are closed to improve the aerodynamics and reduce the air drag.

Alternatively, when you are driving at lower speeds or you are in stop-and-go traffic these shutters are open allowing more air to go through the engine bay and therefore keep your vehicle at the optimal temperature range.

Most modern vehicles nowadays are equipped with the AGS system and its purpose is to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, improve aerodynamics, and prevent your engine from overheating on hot summer days.

Possible Causes That Can Trigger This Code

There are a lot of possible causes for this diagnostic trouble code and as I told you above your vehicle is a network of electrical systems. That’s why it’s important to diagnose the code p059f problem effectively.

It’s essential to inspect carefully each one of the causes down below to make sure that you will get the problem fixed.

Faulty AGS Actuator(Motor)

The active grille air shutter actuators (motors) serve the purpose of opening or closing the front grille air shutters. It’s a common problem for these motors to fail and if they do, the shutter/shutters will remain open or closed. 

After that, you will quickly realize that there’s a check engine light (CEL) on your dashboard and if you go ahead and do a scan with a proper bidirectional tool, you will see that the code p059f is present.

Wiring Or Connector Issues

The shutter actuators send signals to your ECM and from there the ECM controls them to open and close. However, if the wiring to these motors is damaged the ECM may receive wrong signals or no signals at all. 

Another possible problem is with loose connectors and the issue is basically the same, the ECM receives wrong signals. These connectors can also burn from the engine heat because they are made of plastic and over time this plastic can break.

Faulty Control Module

It rarely happens to have a faulty control module, but it’s certainly possible. This is the module that is responsible for managing the AGS system in your vehicle. Everything from controlling the motor to monitoring shutter positions if they open or close is controlled by this module.

If the AGS module is faulty, it won’t be able to properly monitor or control this system resulting in p059f obd2 code.

Fun fact – Often times when people are tuning their vehicles they turn off the  AGS system via the so-called “remap” which opens more room for a bigger intercooler decreasing the overall engine temperature.

Blockage In The Active Grille Air Shutter

Your vehicle’s active grille is pretty exposed to any weather conditions. Debris such as leaves, trash, or snow can obstruct the movement of the shutters, causing the P059F code.

Damaged Active Grille Air Shutter

Lastly, if these shutters are damaged due to plastic breaks, road accidents, or any other reason they won’t be able to operate effectively which can certainly be one of the causes of the p059f code.

Important Note – Although these are the most common problems that can trigger this code, there’s also room for more potential causes like faulty ECM, software issues, loose ground connections, and more. That’s why it’s important to diagnose the p059f code correctly to avoid spending money on any unnecessary repairs.

Which Makes And Models Are Commonly Affected?

The common causes listed above can apply to basically every vehicle that is equipped with the AGS system. 

However, some car models are known for this issue.

  • Nissan Altima – In this model, some users report that the grille shutter is stuck due to ice or snow.
  • Chevy Cruze – For the Chevy Cruze, this error code often indicates a faulty active grille air shutter actuator. 
  • GMC Sierra – Some models of the GMC Sierra from 2020-2021 2500HD/3500HD models have also been known to trigger this code, often due to issues with the aero shutters.
  • Cadillac Escalade – The 2019-2021 models of the Cadillac Escalade have also been known to experience this code, often due to issues with the aero shutters.

These are the most common makes and models, but this doesn’t mean that your vehicle could not experience it. So if your vehicle is equipped with the AGS system make sure to do your own research based on the model you have.

P039F Symptoms

P059F code symptoms on the dashboard

There are a variety of symptoms that you may notice if the P059F code is present.

That’s why knowing these symptoms can help you fix the P059F and treat the problem effectively without wasting money on unnecessary parts.

Let’s see them:

  • Engine Overheating – As I told you above the active grille air shutter serves the purpose of cooling your engine when needed. If the shutter is stuck closed this can reduce the airflow coming through your engine bay and therefore cause higher operating temperatures.
  • Bad Fuel Efficiency – The active grille air shutter system (AGS) helps increase fuel efficiency as it reduces aerodynamic drag. If this system doesn’t work properly you may notice an increase in your MPG leading to higher fuel costs over time.
  • Decreased Performance – If the AGS system is malfunctioning it won’t be able to regulate the airflow effectively which can lead to rough idle or poor engine performance.
  • CEL On – This is the first symptom that you will experience if there’s a problem with the AGS. The only way to check if this is the exact problem is by using an obd2 scanner and scanning it for codes.
  • Unusual Noises – f the Active Grille Air Shutter is stuck or not functioning properly, you might hear unusual noises coming from the front of the vehicle, especially when driving at high speeds.

Keep in mind that these are only the most common symptoms and if you don’t experience any of them you can check your owner’s manual to address the problem accordingly.

Related article – What Does The Wrench Light Mean?

Is It Serious?

Car engine temperature sensor close up arrows
Car engine temperature sensor close up arrows

Although this issue is not so serious and you do not need to stop immediately, there’s certainly a potential risk for bigger problems that can occur.

Here’s why you should not ignore it:

  1. Bad Fuel Efficiency
  2. Decreased Vehicle Performance
  3. Potential for Overheating
  4. Bad Emissions And Failing To Pass The Emission Test

How To Fix This Error Code

Close up of OBD 2 Plug with orange OBD-2 Car diagnostic tool in the background, on white background

To fix this code, first start with the possible causes listed above.

Also here’s a step-by-step process that can guide you along the way.

  • Step 1: Scan For Codes – If the AGS code is present, continue with the steps below.
  • Step 2: Check For Damage – The easiest thing to do first is to inspect if there’s a problem with the active grille. If you see any signs of damage, debris or leaves make sure to remove them clear the codes, and do a test drive.
  • Step 3: Inspect Wiring and Connectors – Visually inspect the wiring and connectors and if there’s any sign of damage make sure to fix them.
  • Step 4: Check The Actuator – To check the actuator you can use a multimeter and check the voltage to see if it’s faulty.
  • Step 5: Check The Control Module – Oftentimes if the control module is faulty you won’t be able to access it with an OBD2 scanner.
  • Step 6: Clear The Codes and Test Drive – After you’ve done some repairs make sure to clear the codes and do a test drive. If the code doesn’t appear again it’s likely that issue has been resolved.

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