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new transmission solenoid causes check engine light

Discussion in '1995-2017 FWD Sedans, Coupes' started by weasels2, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    My Chrysler Sebring has 98000 miles on it. I could not get the vehicle to shift from 2nd gear so I swapped out the transmission solenoid. I also changed the transmission fluid and filter. Now the car won't shift out of first and an engine light appeared after a couple of minutes of driving. I am assuming the code would indicate the transmission is in limp mode but why would that happen with a new solenoid and would it do any good to put the old solenoid back on? It seems I have a bigger problem now than I did before the swap. Any advice?
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    First, you should have diagnose and found what error codes were present before swapping the solenoid. If it wasn’t shifting, there would have been stored codes.

    Now, you really need to get it scanned for codes. You may learn something with a generic scanner or you may need a shop with a more sophisticated scanner. Double check your work. Make sure all electric connections are secure.
     
    #2 valiant67, Jul 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
    AllanC likes this.
  3. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    Thank you for that advice. I didn't realize there would be codes available because there was no check engine light on when I purchased the vehicle. I will recheck all electrical connections but is there a chance the replacement solenoid is defective?
     
  4. LordHobbit

    LordHobbit Active Member

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    Only use a mopar replacement. Store brands won't play nice with the electronics.

    Reinstall the old solenoid after disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery. After the old solenoid is back in, connect the battery and go for a drive. Report back.

    What year is your sebring?
     
  5. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    If you can borrow an OBDII scanner, see what codes it reports. This might confirm or deny a bad solenoid. You'll likely have a P0700 code which just means there is a problem reported in the transmission. Any additional codes may point you to the problem area.
     
  6. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    Thanks, LordHobbit. I was actually thinking about doing that. And it makes sense that a Mopar product may be more sensitive to the vehicles electronics. I will try to get the scan done and hopefully with this advice I can get the vehicle back on the road. It is a 2006 Chrysler Sebring. I'll
    definetly report back.





    .
     
  7. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    Been unable to find the time to reinstall the old transmission solenoid but did run a code scan. P0870, transmission fluid pressure sensor/ switch c circuit. Will report back next week after I do the reswap but since I never got that check engine light until I put on the new solenoid, makes me think the new solenoid's electronics may be the culprit. Anyone out there agree with me?
     
  8. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    More specifically P0870 is the OD clutch hydraulic pressure test failure. If that is the only fault code and if it is why you replaced the solenoid pack to begin with, then solve for the OD issue.
    See the possible causes list and rule out what you can one-by-one. I don't expect you to have access to a DRB scan tool or the Transmission Simulator tool and adapter kit 8333.
    Many electrical tests can be done with a simple volt/ohmmeter. An ATF pressure gauge would be needed to test OD clutch pressure. The pressure taps are at the front of the case (p. 319). Pressure may not be high enough to trip the OD pressure switch due to an internal leak?

    See p. 99 of the JR transmission diagnostic procedures book here:
    http://oskin.ru/pub/chrysler-dodge/...R_Stratus_Sebring/18606-jr-trans_sgmldiag.pdf
    Verification tests, component locations, connector pinouts and a simplified schematic diagram are shown in the back.
    The OD clutch is used for 3rd and 4th gear.
     
  9. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    Thanks for responding, ImperialCrown, I replaced the transmission solenoid because the vehicle would not shift from second to a higher gear. There was never a check engine light until I decided to change the shift solenoid. I also did a filter and fluid change before taking the vehicle out on the road. Not to minutes after leaving my driveway, the check engine light came on and the car would not shift vout of second. I thought the car had gone into limp mode but the code says that did not happen. I'm thinking if I put the old solenoid back on and somehow that eliminates the check engine light then my electrical problem was in the new shift solenoid. If the light reappears then I'm thinking I disturbed something electrically when removing the harness to the solenoid. Does that make sense?
     
  10. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    Possibly. Let us know.
     
  11. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    Most likely there is an electrical problem in the power circuit to the shift solenoid pack or in one of the 4 clutch control circuits. Instead of swapping parts and guessing at a fix, get the transmission codes stored in the transmission controller portion of the PCM / powertrain control module retrieved, post them here and a direction for a remedy can be determined.
     
  12. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    I finally got around to double checking all my electrical connections and I noticed what seemed to be some moisture in the base of the solenoid connection pins. I had used some crc cleaner before reconnecting the cap but thought I had allowed enough time for it to dry. Now I'm thinking that may be why I got the P0870 code. Would applying some dielectric grease to those pins help ensure a moisture free connection? I don't want to make things worse but I have attempted to wipe out the extremely small droplets from the pins but I can't find anyway to remove possible moisture from the female connections of the cap. At this time I am not going to put it back together without some guidance.
     
  13. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    AllanC, Using an OBD2 scanner, the only code I got was P0870.
     
  14. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    After you apply the cleaning agent you can use compressed air to facilitate the drying process. The cleaner should evaporate quickly. If water / moisture is present compressed air will speed the cleaning process.

    Dielectric grease is intended to provide a barrier such that moisture laden air does not contact the electrical contacts. Get all components and mating pins and receptacles clean and continue your test. You can add dielectric grease if you like.

    In post #8 contributor ImperialCrown gave a link to a transmission reference manual. On pdf page 105 of the manual possible causes are listed for code P0870 and an explanation is given as to why the transmission controller logic sets this code. The controller logic momentarily applies pressure to the hydraulic circuit and expects to receive a signal that the pressure switch has closed. The controller logic is not receiving the expected signal that the OD pressure switch has closed. So the pressure switch could have failed or there is a problem in the hydraulic pressure circuit preventing the circuit from reaching proper pressure, or there could be no internal problem with the transmission. The problem could lie with the circuitry that is sensing and communicating with the transmission controller. The circuit could have an open, short to power or short to ground.

    See attached image and how to test the resistance in the offending circuit.

    Transmission Control Wiring 6.gif
     
  15. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    After being satisfied I had no problems with the electrical connections I took LordHobbit's advice and put the old solenoid back on drove a mile or so with NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT TRIGGERED. Now obviously I still had my transmission problem (no shifting out of second) but this says to me that the new solenoid was causing the P0870 code to trigger. Any opinions? I appreciate the info I have been given and since I'm a novice some of that advice was beyond my comprehension, but none the less I thank you for helping me out. BTW, I ran another scan after this test drive and it said NO CODES READ.
     
  16. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    Did you test the OD pressure switch circuit for excessive resistance as stated in post #14? A circuit and its connectors can appear to be good but an actual test must be performed. When the vehicle is running and moving the transmission controller performs a circuit pressure test and momentarily applies hydraulic pressure on the OD circuit.It expects the pressure switch to close and pull the circuit from 12 volts to 0 volts. Two repetitions of the test are applied and a diagnostic code is set if 2 consecutive switch close failures occur.

    Now the transmission goes into limp mode but no diagnostic codes. This is an elusive situation to diagnose.
     
  17. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    I did not do that test and I'm sure it is beyond my abilities and knowledge to do so. I guess you're telling me that the solenoid is not necessarily the problem and I thank you for that info. I'm going to take it to a mechanic and rely on his diagnosis. Any guesses about outcome and costs involved. Thanks again people for the assistance.
     
  18. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    YES. The diagnostic procedure for code P0870-OD HYDRAULIC PRESSURE TEST FAILURE pertains to the OD hydraulic circuit pressure switch and NOT the solenoid control.

    Return to post #8 that ImperialCrown provided. That link is the diagnostic procedure that a technician should follow to determine the cause and remedy for code P0870. Print pages 99 thru 102 that give the detailed procedure. Give that to a mechanic / technician and tell him / her that it is the detail specified by the manufacturer, Chrysler. A knowledgeable and conscientious technician should appreciate any and all diagnostic information that is provided. Tell him / her that you replaced the solenoid pack and the results you obtained. Indicate that you change the transmission fluid and filter. Did you use the correct fluid, ATF+4? Is the transmission fluid level correct?

    The diagnostic information in the detailed print out gives items to check from easiest, least expensive to administer to more expensive. The last items internal transmission problem or transmission control module replacement will be expensive. Quite often owners / technicians fire the "parts cannon" and randomly throw parts at a problem associated with a diagnostic code. Checking circuits for excessive resistance, short to power, short to ground reveal the actual problem and not necessarily a part failure. But one has to be exhaustive and thorough with a methodical approach to diagnosis so as to NOT make an incorrect assessment.
     
    #18 AllanC, Jul 18, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  19. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    Yes, used ATF+4 and fluid level is correct. Thanks for your contribution.
     
  20. weasels2

    weasels2 New Member

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    Want to thank all who gave opinions about my transmission problem. After much deliberation I did not take it to a mechanic. Instead I decided to return the solenoid I had purchased from Rock Auto and take LordHobbits advice and put in a Mopar solenoid. Lo and behold, no more problem. Shifts beautifully and the Mopar solenoid was only $50.00 more so I am very happy. Thanks again. Now can anyone tell me should I attempt to change my transmission filter and fluid on my 2011 VW Routan? There is no dipstick to check it and they say the fluid will last the life of the vehicle. It has almost 115000 miles and I AM NOT having any issues with it.
     
    ImperialCrown likes this.

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