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Stratus 1999 in limp mode

5057 Views 31 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Papiweb

I have an easy question for specialists
On the road of holidays, my Stratus (2.5 V6 year 1999) turns on limp mode.
I recently changed the sensors and the transaxle is only 50 000 km old.

As I just try a new fuel (flex fuel E85) I wonder if an engine trouble can turn the car in limp mode or if limp mode is only due to a transaxle problem ?

The car starts directly in second gear. Even after turning ignition key off and on. No trouble engine light on.

Is there a link between engine processor and transaxle processor ?

Thank for your quck answer.

Pierre Giudicelli
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There is a seperate computer for the transmission. Sometimes a transmission problem can illuminate the Check Engine light, sometimes not.
You need to find a shop that has a scanner than can access the transmission computer to pull any error codes stored there.
Papiweb said:
I recently changed the sensors and the transaxle is only 50 000 km old.
What sensors did you change?
So,you say that limp mode is only due to transaxle trouble and not engine trouble.
Ok There are two computers but they can be linked.
I changed input and output sensors.
Not the solenoid unit but There were a protector cap on the solenoid that I have removed
It does not make sense to change the solenoid pack unless there is an error code pointing to it.
OK for the code error to find.

Maybe you can help me.

There were a protector on the solenoid pack.

I removed it when changing the sensors two weeks ago. As it was damaged, I didn't put it in place.

Is it just for the noise or is it also a protection against heat ?

(my car turned in limp mode in a car jamming)


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I'd get a new protector and maybe a new solenoid pack...
The sol pack shield was for noise insulation. The ones prior to 2002 made a 'ratcheting' noise when shifted into gear. It was normal, but annoyed some folks (sounded like clashing gears?).
The newer ones are quiet and don't require the foam padded shield.
I'm sure the transaxle is ok.
The solenoid pack is not powered (always on second gear even after ignition off and on)
So I will check the relay , the fuse and connectors
Shops for codes are rare in France
The TCM will turn off the EATX relay when 'limp-in' is requested. No power from the relay may be a symptom of the problem and not a cause of the problem.
It could be an electrical, mechanical or hydraulic issue.
By starting out with a transaxle fault code diagnosis, it will likely save you a lot of time and frustration by allowing you to go right to the trouble area. Having a service manual with diagnostic/repair procedures and wiring diagrams would also help.
You are true.
I already had others stratus with hydraulic problem and in this case the car turns in limp mode after starting, truying to shift. Possible to erase the limp mode by switching ignition off and on.

Now it is another problem.The car is in limp mode imediatly. Seems to be a memorized default. Not possible to erase with ignition off and on.
So I think it is an electrical problem.

Is there a heat sensor, because I was in a car jam.

There is a thermistor to measure ATF temperature and send the signal to the TCM. I believe that it is part of the TRS terminals #2 and #3. It usually won't fail from overheat. I wouldn't just replace the TRS without proof that the thermistor is definitely the problem. It can be measured for resistance and that will vary inversely with temperature.
Even if the thermistor is open or shorted (code 72), the TCM will run with a 'calculated' temperature value (code 74) borrowed from the PCM. See link:
Transmission Range Sensor; 1996 — on - TodoAutos
I think that the reason that the 'limp-in' returns immediately after a (battery-disconnect) memory erasure is because it is a 'hard' fault. The real reason for the shift default will be revealed with a TCM fault code scan which I strongly suggest as the next step in diagnosis.
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The question I have to ask is why did you change the input and output sensors in the first place? Were you having transmission problems to start with?
And why are you using E85 fuel in a car that is not designed for it? Is the engine still able to run with it? It will ruin the fuel system components.
I changed input and output sensors because I Turned in limp mode 3 weeks ago. I had new sensors so I replaced them and no more problem. I run more than 2000 km till.
Flex fuel is 0,80 instead of 1.5 euros ...
But i stop With it.
Stratus runs 90% fine With flex fuel. Loss of power and difficult to start when it is cold (below 15 celcius)
The 80% ethanol can be very damaging to the fuel system of the car. There were HUGE problems here in the States with MTBE and methanol in the '90s. Ethanol isn't that corrosive, but it will damage the fuel system if used consistently.
I would advise finding a Chrysler dealer who can read the TCM codes for you. Here in the States, we have OBD-II as our standard vehicular diagnostic interface. I'm not sure what you use in France, but it probably will only be able to pull generic transmission trouble codes. Ours are the P0700 series of codes, but there are many more Chrysler-specific codes mentioned in the manual than OBD provides for.
Yes,E85 is corrosive but so cheap. I'm not sure the fuel pump is designed for this fuel (many plastics parts).

But fuel can't be the cause of my limp mode problem.

In France we also use obdII for diagnostics. The cars are the same. Not sure that a classic obdII tool can read error codes of the transmission.

Tomorrow I'll come back from holidays and I will take my chrysler left in a car rent shop last saturday. Not possible to go on holidays in spain with a car running at 70 km/h, I rented a car.

I will have to drive 200 km to go home. It will be great !

Just a question : last week, driving to the car renter, in limp mode, I saw the kilometer display was malfunctioned (bizzar figures). Is it linked with limp mode problerm ?
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Were they numbers or letters? Or just symbols?
There is an instrument cluster self-test that might show codes in the odometer display.
1) With the ignition off, hold the odometer reset button in.
2) Roll the ignition key to the 'on' position.
3) Release the odometer button. Write down any information or codes that the display may show.
I don't care how cheap E85 is - the 2.0, 2.4, and 2.5 engines in the JAs weren't set up to use it and in my view it's just asking for more problems.

Using regular gas is still cheaper than a new engine.
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