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Hello, I am having two issues and they could be related but I am not sure. The only code I am getting is the P1797. Please advise as to where this switch is and how can I replace it. I have searched out this switch online but have failed to find that this switch is actually even used on my 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan. Symptoms are that it is difficult to shift the lever out of park and if the ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL light is on, is on then this is when I have the problem. I must power down and restart in order to start. I am afraid eventually it will fail completely.

I am wondering what this ECS which has a button on the front console on the same panel as the hazard lights is coming on? When I push the button, it seems to do nothing. Why is this light coming on? What can I do to correct this issue?
 

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Regarding the P1797 fault code, I think this is the same component I've been having intermittent problems with on our Journey (62TE transmission). It's not a neutral safety switch, but is now referred to as the TRS (Transmission Range Sensor). Unfortunately, it is deep inside the transmission requiring the pan dropped and valve body removed to access. Probably looking at 2-3 hours labor at over $100/hour (maybe more).

I would advise having a properly equipped shop or dealership confirm the diagnosis first. Mine has never been hard to get out of park. I just had no start issues. Whenever the no start situation occurred I could move the gear select to neutral and it would start up. Your symptoms sound more like a hardware or physical problem - maybe a brake interlock problem or a dragging parking pawl? Perhaps the parking pawl has been damaged? Again, I recommend a competent shop or dealer to do diagnostics - plan on an hours labor charge.

I'm not sure if the ECS is related or not. My Journey owners manual indicates if the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) light is on (other than at start up momentarily) a malfunction has been detected.

The ECS/ESP button you refer to allows you to partially turn off the electronic stability control. The ESP (or in your case ECS) light will be on to indicate this. Consult your owners manual.
 

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. . . . The only code I am getting is the P1797. Please advise as to where this switch is and how can I replace it. I have searched out this switch online but have failed to find that this switch is actually even used on my 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan. . . .
You can do an internet search on diagnostic code P1797. You will find information that indicates there is a malfunction with the Park / Neutral switch. On the 62TE automatic transaxle in your vehicle there is no Park / Neutral safety switch. There is a transmission range sensor that sends binary signals / ON, OFF to the PCM (powertrain control module). A rationality check is performed on the transmission range sensor signals and that is how the logic knows which range / gear the transmission is currently operating.

However I did a review in a Chilton service manual for 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and it indicates that code P1797 is associated with manual shift overheating in the transmission. So this is confusing. Maybe others can specifically identify the condition related to code P1797.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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FWIW - the TRS lists as a relatively inexpensive part - about $40-$60. The problem is the pan and valve body have to be removed for R&R. Then you have to figure in labor costs and fresh fluid.
 

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Good find. It is always nice to have an image showing where parts are located.

I am still questioning the interpretation of code P1797. When OBD II was established codes P0000 --> P0999 were generic and used by all manufacturers to indicate the same type of fault / device / failure / etc. Codes P1000 --> P 19999 are manufacturer specific. So Chrysler code P1797 will not necessarily mean the same as another manufacturer's code P1797. In fact I did an internet search and found one manufacturer where P1797 indicates a crankshaft position sensor failure.

To the original poster concerned about getting stranded and NOT being able to move the shift lever from the PARK position:

Go to this link and view the video on how to override the shift lever interlock and move the shift lever. Vehicle is a 2009 VW Routan which is really a rebadged Dodge Grand Caravan sold by VW. Go to time interval 21:28 to see and listen to the comment about override.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpCNgEH4eLA
 

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Something is, or thinks that it is overheating? Do you drive the vehicle in AutoStick mode?
First check the ATF fluid level. Radiator fan working? (I seem to remember that you had previous problems with this).
ATF cooler functioning OK?

P1797-MANUAL SHIFT OVERHEAT

The major cause of heat build up in the transmission is torque converter slip. With the transmission in the AutoStick® mode, the torque converter can slip during aggressive driving or heavy loading conditions such as trailer towing or driving up steep grades. In the non AutoStick® mode, internal controller logic prevents the transmission from overheating by managing the shift and EMCC schedule. In the AutoStick® mode, when the transmission or engine temperature approaches an overheat condition, the manual shift overheat DTC sets and the AutoStick® mode is temporarily suspended until the temperature returns to normal.

The ESC light being on may be related. The fault code for that should be stored in the ABS module. It would help to know that code also.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Regarding the P1797 fault code, I think this is the same component I've been having intermittent problems with on our Journey (62TE transmission). It's not a neutral safety switch, but is now referred to as the TRS (Transmission Range Sensor). Unfortunately, it is deep inside the transmission requiring the pan dropped and valve body removed to access. Probably looking at 2-3 hours labor at over $100/hour (maybe more).

I would advise having a properly equipped shop or dealership confirm the diagnosis first. Mine has never been hard to get out of park. I just had no start issues. Whenever the no start situation occurred I could move the gear select to neutral and it would start up. Your symptoms sound more like a hardware or physical problem - maybe a brake interlock problem or a dragging parking pawl? Perhaps the parking pawl has been damaged? Again, I recommend a competent shop or dealer to do diagnostics - plan on an hours labor charge.

I'm not sure if the ECS is related or not. My Journey owners manual indicates if the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) light is on (other than at start up momentarily) a malfunction has been detected.

The ECS/ESP button you refer to allows you to partially turn off the electronic stability control. The ESP (or in your case ECS) light will be on to indicate this. Consult your owners manual.
Thank you for the information. I emailed someone I found on youtube that works on Dodge for a living and he said this:

"I'm showing P1797 being a manual shift overheat. Its a code that can come up when driving in autostick mode and not realizing it. I would clear the code....make sure the fluid level is correct and then see if it returns. Might help to talk to the driver to see how they have been shifting it and showing them where the autostick feature is. Its a feature that really isn't needed and cause be overlooked. As far as the light.....the codes need to be pulled to see if any are present"

and this:

"if you move the shifter all the way down....and then move it left or right, you will be placing it in autostick mode. It will show a number on the dash instead of the "D". Prolonged driving in autostick mode will cause the trans to get hot and set the code. It can be accidently by just bumping the shifter. Getting that code thats setting the light will be the biggest help when it comes to checking it further"

I could not find a Neutral Switch and I had been reading about the TRS and from what it looks like on most vehicles, it is outside the transmission but reading responses here below indicates that it is not the case. Bummer
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You can do an internet search on diagnostic code P1797. You will find information that indicates there is a malfunction with the Park / Neutral switch. On the 62TE automatic transaxle in your vehicle there is no Park / Neutral safety switch. There is a transmission range sensor that sends binary signals / ON, OFF to the PCM (powertrain control module). A rationality check is performed on the transmission range sensor signals and that is how the logic knows which range / gear the transmission is currently operating.

However I did a review in a Chilton service manual for 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and it indicates that code P1797 is associated with manual shift overheating in the transmission. So this is confusing. Maybe others can specifically identify the condition related to code P1797.
Thank you for replying I have a feeling it is the TRS . I also think it will probably eventually not shift out of park
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Something is, or thinks that it is overheating? Do you drive the vehicle in AutoStick mode?
First check the ATF fluid level. Radiator fan working? (I seem to remember that you had previous problems with this).
ATF cooler functioning OK?

P1797-MANUAL SHIFT OVERHEAT

The major cause of heat build up in the transmission is torque converter slip. With the transmission in the AutoStick® mode, the torque converter can slip during aggressive driving or heavy loading conditions such as trailer towing or driving up steep grades. In the non AutoStick® mode, internal controller logic prevents the transmission from overheating by managing the shift and EMCC schedule. In the AutoStick® mode, when the transmission or engine temperature approaches an overheat condition, the manual shift overheat DTC sets and the AutoStick® mode is temporarily suspended until the temperature returns to normal.

The ESC light being on may be related. The fault code for that should be stored in the ABS module. It would help to know that code also.
I had the torque converter already replaced about 150K miles ago I hope that it is not going out again. So, the code could have been set when driving aggressively which I have done on occasion but, to my recollection, I have never seen it or have even ever tried to go into autostick mode. I may not have noticed it though. What is weird about this is. there is not a problem until the ESC light comes on and when I stop to pick up a passenger I have to put it in park, in order to open the auto door. And if light is already on, I have to turn off the ignition and restart in order to shift into drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Something is, or thinks that it is overheating? Do you drive the vehicle in AutoStick mode?
First check the ATF fluid level. Radiator fan working? (I seem to remember that you had previous problems with this).
ATF cooler functioning OK?

P1797-MANUAL SHIFT OVERHEAT

The major cause of heat build up in the transmission is torque converter slip. With the transmission in the AutoStick® mode, the torque converter can slip during aggressive driving or heavy loading conditions such as trailer towing or driving up steep grades. In the non AutoStick® mode, internal controller logic prevents the transmission from overheating by managing the shift and EMCC schedule. In the AutoStick® mode, when the transmission or engine temperature approaches an overheat condition, the manual shift overheat DTC sets and the AutoStick® mode is temporarily suspended until the temperature returns to normal.

The ESC light being on may be related. The fault code for that should be stored in the ABS module. It would help to know that code also.
How do I find out what the ABS code is, Do I have to go to dealer? None of this issue so far has turn on the check engine light. Oh yeah but about 2 weeks ago I did get a check engine light and it say it was the Brake Switch, I cannot remember the code but, after I replaced the brake switch by the brake pedal the code went away. I certainly am not ready to retire my Caravan. I hope it is not a hard thing to fix
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good find. It is always nice to have an image showing where parts are located.

I am still questioning the interpretation of code P1797. When OBD II was established codes P0000 --> P0999 were generic and used by all manufacturers to indicate the same type of fault / device / failure / etc. Codes P1000 --> P 19999 are manufacturer specific. So Chrysler code P1797 will not necessarily mean the same as another manufacturer's code P1797. In fact I did an internet search and found one manufacturer where P1797 indicates a crankshaft position sensor failure.

To the original poster concerned about getting stranded and NOT being able to move the shift lever from the PARK position:

Go to this link and view the video on how to override the shift lever interlock and move the shift lever. Vehicle is a 2009 VW Routan which is really a rebadged Dodge Grand Caravan sold by VW. Go to time interval 21:28 to see and listen to the comment about override.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpCNgEH4eLA
I will watch it. I know about sticking something in the hidden square hole to get it to release but maybe this is something different. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Regarding the P1797 fault code, I think this is the same component I've been having intermittent problems with on our Journey (62TE transmission). It's not a neutral safety switch, but is now referred to as the TRS (Transmission Range Sensor). Unfortunately, it is deep inside the transmission requiring the pan dropped and valve body removed to access. Probably looking at 2-3 hours labor at over $100/hour (maybe more).

I would advise having a properly equipped shop or dealership confirm the diagnosis first. Mine has never been hard to get out of park. I just had no start issues. Whenever the no start situation occurred I could move the gear select to neutral and it would start up. Your symptoms sound more like a hardware or physical problem - maybe a brake interlock problem or a dragging parking pawl? Perhaps the parking pawl has been damaged? Again, I recommend a competent shop or dealer to do diagnostics - plan on an hours labor charge.

I'm not sure if the ECS is related or not. My Journey owners manual indicates if the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) light is on (other than at start up momentarily) a malfunction has been detected.

The ECS/ESP button you refer to allows you to partially turn off the electronic stability control. The ESP (or in your case ECS) light will be on to indicate this. Consult your owners manual.
I know how to turn off the ESC Electronic Stability Control by holding the button in for 5 seconds. But, that will not keep it off if there is a problem turning it back on in my case
 

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The ESC (electronic stability control) resides in the ABS (anti-lock brake module). See if you can get someone to read the code(s).
If this 'hard shifting out of Park' problem began after the brake switch replacement, I think that the switch installation may be the cause. I would have whoever performed the switch replacement to review the installation/adjustment.
The ESC system and fault code P1797 don't seem related to the Brake-Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) circuit whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for the information. I emailed someone I found on youtube that works on Dodge for a living and he said this:

"I'm showing P1797 being a manual shift overheat. Its a code that can come up when driving in autostick mode and not realizing it. I would clear the code....make sure the fluid level is correct and then see if it returns. Might help to talk to the driver to see how they have been shifting it and showing them where the autostick feature is. Its a feature that really isn't needed and cause be overlooked. As far as the light.....the codes need to be pulled to see if any are present"

and this:

"if you move the shifter all the way down....and then move it left or right, you will be placing it in autostick mode. It will show a number on the dash instead of the "D". Prolonged driving in autostick mode will cause the trans to get hot and set the code. It can be accidently by just bumping the shifter. Getting that code thats setting the light will be the biggest help when it comes to checking it further"

I could not find a Neutral Switch and I had been reading about the TRS and from what it looks like on most vehicles, it is outside the transmission but reading responses here below indicates that it is not the case. Bummer
Good find. It is always nice to have an image showing where parts are located.

I am still questioning the interpretation of code P1797. When OBD II was established codes P0000 --> P0999 were generic and used by all manufacturers to indicate the same type of fault / device / failure / etc. Codes P1000 --> P 19999 are manufacturer specific. So Chrysler code P1797 will not necessarily mean the same as another manufacturer's code P1797. In fact I did an internet search and found one manufacturer where P1797 indicates a crankshaft position sensor failure.

To the original poster concerned about getting stranded and NOT being able to move the shift lever from the PARK position:

Go to this link and view the video on how to override the shift lever interlock and move the shift lever. Vehicle is a 2009 VW Routan which is really a rebadged Dodge Grand Caravan sold by VW. Go to time interval 21:28 to see and listen to the comment about override.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpCNgEH4eLA
It is not an issue at all about being stranded. The issue is that I have spent a fortune on this van and I still love it anyway. But, I drive a taxi for a living and our business has been cut more than half. I just do not have the financial resources to buy another one and I am not ready to let this one go. I have 309K miles on it with original motor and tranny. I expected that I eventually would be having issues with the tranny I just know that it cost alot to work on one of them. My taxi still looks new on the inside and good on the outside and I baby it and do all the maintenance myself to keep it running great. However, I have neglected this ESC light issue because I thought it was related to the CLOCKSPRING which mine has sprung for the drivers side front air bag so, I ignored it . I did not just imagine the CLOCKSPRING, but I have researched and found some information that leads me to believe it.
 

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A failed clockspring would light the AIRBAG light and maybe you would lose steering wheel controls like horn, cruise control and radio controls.
The clockspring might also have the steering wheel angle sensor in it that the ESC depends on for steering wheel input information during an emergency maneuver.
 

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. . . . Thanks but it would have been better if it was on the 62TE, this picture shows the TRS on a 41TE I hope it is the same location on the 62TE
I agree that the image labeling is misleading. Even though it states 41TE I believe the image is a 62TE. My reason for believing this is because it shows a variable line pressure solenoid adjacent to the TRS sensor plug. The 41TE transaxle did not have this additional line pressure solenoid. Besides this the 62TE is physically very close in design to the 41TE so expect the TRS and other components to be in virtually identical in location.

. . . Thank you for replying I have a feeling it is the TRS . I also think it will probably eventually not shift out of park
You need to perform this test / observation before condemning the TRS. Turn the ignition switch to ON / RUN. In the lower part of the speedometer housing the P R N D will illuminate. If the transmission shifter is in PARK position, there should be a rectangle outlining the P. As you move the shifter to R, N, and D positions the rectangle outline will move to each letter in sequence. Does this happen? If YES then the TRS is functioning properly and has NOT failed. How does one know this?

Moving the shift lever actuates a mechanical control cable on the transmission valve body. On the actuator arm inside the transmission and near the valve body, there are 4 cams that move and open and close 4 logic sense switches: T42, T41, T3, T1. These 4 switches aggregated together represent a digital code for each gear selector position. The PCM interprets this binary code and sends the appropriate signal to the instrument cluster module to display P or R ro N or D. If these 4 switches were not functioning properly nor was the digital code interpreted correctly, you would see something wrong. For instance with the selector In PARK position the R would be highlighted or if the shifter was in D position, N would be highlighted. If the P R N D display illumination matches where the shifter lever is positioned, the TRS mechanism is working correctly and NOT the cause of the stuck shifter.

Dose the cruise control function correctly? That is does the cruise disengage when depressing the brake pedal? If it does that correctly then the brake sense function is being monitored correctly by the PCM. The TRS digistal sense code and the brake sense code are sent over the vehicle network to the wireless control module. The wireless module controls the unlocking feature of the shifter.

Does the vehicle have keyless entry where you use a remote key fob to lock and unlock the doors? Does the remote lock and unlock feature work properly? If YES then you know that the wireless control module is communicating over the vehicle network. It receives the command, lock or unlock, via digital air transmission, interprets the command and then sends the appropriate signal over the network to the receiving device to lock or unlock. If this is happening then there is no lack of communication between modules and that is not the reason for the stuck shifter.

I am thinking that there is a potential mechanical problem in the shifter such as a stuck cam or the locking solenoid has a poor wiring connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree that the image labeling is misleading. Even though it states 41TE I believe the image is a 62TE. My reason for believing this is because it shows a variable line pressure solenoid adjacent to the TRS sensor plug. The 41TE transaxle did not have this additional line pressure solenoid. Besides this the 62TE is physically very close in design to the 41TE so expect the TRS and other components to be in virtually identical in location.



You need to perform this test / observation before condemning the TRS. Turn the ignition switch to ON / RUN. In the lower part of the speedometer housing the P R N D will illuminate. If the transmission shifter is in PARK position, there should be a rectangle outlining the P. As you move the shifter to R, N, and D positions the rectangle outline will move to each letter in sequence. Does this happen? If YES then the TRS is functioning properly and has NOT failed. How does one know this?

Moving the shift lever actuates a mechanical control cable on the transmission valve body. On the actuator arm inside the transmission and near the valve body, there are 4 cams that move and open and close 4 logic sense switches: T42, T41, T3, T1. These 4 switches aggregated together represent a digital code for each gear selector position. The PCM interprets this binary code and sends the appropriate signal to the instrument cluster module to display P or R ro N or D. If these 4 switches were not functioning properly nor was the digital code interpreted correctly, you would see something wrong. For instance with the selector In PARK position the R would be highlighted or if the shifter was in D position, N would be highlighted. If the P R N D display illumination matches where the shifter lever is positioned, the TRS mechanism is working correctly and NOT the cause of the stuck shifter.

Dose the cruise control function correctly? That is does the cruise disengage when depressing the brake pedal? If it does that correctly then the brake sense function is being monitored correctly by the PCM. The TRS digistal sense code and the brake sense code are sent over the vehicle network to the wireless control module. The wireless module controls the unlocking feature of the shifter.

Does the vehicle have keyless entry where you use a remote key fob to lock and unlock the doors? Does the remote lock and unlock feature work properly? If YES then you know that the wireless control module is communicating over the vehicle network. It receives the command, lock or unlock, via digital air transmission, interprets the command and then sends the appropriate signal over the network to the receiving device to lock or unlock. If this is happening then there is no lack of communication between modules and that is not the reason for the stuck shifter.

I am thinking that there is a potential mechanical problem in the shifter such as a stuck cam or the locking solenoid has a poor wiring connection.

ok i Have new info. i was looking on yourube to see if i could read codes without a scanner and found that on older models that if you put key in and turn it to off 2 times and a third time leave on that you will get codes. I went to Oreilys had her hook up the scanner and I tried this .
first of the audible alarm chime that you would think would turn on a light comes on and no light.
then all of the sudden the ABS and the Brake light came on and flashed. Then following that but not at the same time comes the ESC light.
codes were P0572, P0703, P1797 and C1000. I replaced brake switch a week ago. a part i got at Oreilys. . Reminder, Front driver airbag has been deployed.
 

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P0572, P0703 and C1000 are all brake switch codes. Are these old codes from before the switch was replaced? Or have these codes set since the switch was replaced?
The P0572 and P0703 may have a 'starts since set' listed that you can see on the scan tool. This might give an idea of how long these codes have been stored in the module.
Better erase them and see what comes back.

P0572 -Brake Switch 1 Stuck On
C1000 - Brake Pedal Switch 1 Circuit Performance
P0703 CHRYSLER - Brake Switch Performance

I still think that your 'hard to get out of Park' problem is due to a brake switch issue. Make sure that your brake taillights in the rear work.
 
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