Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dodge RAM:Transmission Will Not Downshift

Transmission will not Downshift to 1st gear  


Its 2001 Dodge Ram, vehicle starts and runs fine,but while slowing sown it will not downshift from second to 1st gear to make a stop.It normally gives problem when engine is hot.

Manually shift to D1, D2 and D and the transmission operates normally.

Local mechanic suggested faulty Throttle position sensor which is already been replaced with brand new OEM part,but still same problem.


As per problem mentioned it seems like  1-2 shift valve in the valve body is staying in the second gear position rather than returning to the first gear position when you come to a stop. So its not downshifting to 1st gear.

So first possibility is valve body issue. 

  • Valve is physically sticking in the bore because of bore or valve damage.
  • Or its debris in the valve causing it.
  • Sometimes valves in a valve body will start to hang up more when hot which may explain why yours seems to only act up hot.

The most common thing to cause this is Governor pressure:  
  • Governor pressure staying too high  from its actual level. 
  • On the right side of the valve body is the governor solenoid and transducer which are used to control governor pressure. 
  • Governor pressure acts against one side of the shift valves in the valve body to control up and downshift timing. 
May be that required pressure is not there.

Dodge  Van Shifting Problems

This is all done by solenoid.The solenoid is used to control line pressure flow into the governor circuit to create more or less pressure, the transducer is the engine controller's feedback so it knows how much pressure is in the circuit.

Mostly in your case problem seems governor pressure transducer:

What usually causes your problem is a bad governor pressure transducer. What will happen is they start to report a lower pressure than actual. So vehicle has downshift issue.On your case its related 1st gear.but this problem can vary,it can be second gear issue.You never know,but all seems to be related to governor pressure transducer.


Governor pressure should be 0 when you are stopped and build at a rate of about 1 PSI for every MPH you are traveling. 
Now if governor pressure stays up when you come to a stop then it will still be acting on one side of the shift valves, there will be no throttle pressure on the other side of the valves to counteract it, and it hangs in second or sometimes third gear when you come to a stop. So it will not set in correct gears.

When the transducer starts to report incorrect pressures the engine controller will think pressure is at 0 when you come to a stop, but actual pressure will still be high enough to hold the shift valve over.And in your case it wil not get to 1st gear and still stuck up in 2nd gear


You can get the issue confirmed by watching governor pressure on a scan tool and comparing it to pressure shown on a manual gauge, but if you don't have a scan tool available then its suggested to just replace the transducer.


It's easy to replace and mounted just to the right of the filter on the right side of the valve body, it takes around an hour to replace. Majority of the time this will take care of the problem you are having, and if you're looking to avoid a shop I would recommend replacing the transducer.

It can be easily replaced with basic auto repair tool kit,yes that is must.

But please make sure you buy branded auto parts,as compared to third grade low quality cheap aftermarket parts.


The current part number is 68164850AA and it runs for approx $100 at a dealer. The other good option is you can order it from moparonlineparts.com and get the same Mopar part for $65 and save a few dollars.

This details will help.


2001 Dodge Ram 1500: 

Dodge Ram: 

2001 Dodge Ram:

Chrysler Town & Country:Air bag light coming on intermittently

Passenger Side air bag light coming on intermittently

warning light on dash
Problem noticed on 2006 Chrysler Town & Country.


First of all please confirm that when the light illuminates, do you have anything sitting on the passenger seat?

The possibility for this problem to occur can be issue with sensor.

The call back sensor by the bumper.

The sensors out under the bumper cover area are the impact sensors. If there was a problem with them then the airbag light would be coming on and not just the passenger airbag lamp disable light. But in your case only passenger side air bag light is coming ON.But still inspect the impact sensors.

But as per the problem mentioned the passenger airbag light will come on when there are certain amounts of weight in the seat or when there is an issue with that part of the system. 

The first thing that needs to be done is see if there are any fault codes storing in the airbag module and occupant classification module. The occupant classification module (OCM) is the module that monitors the weight in the passenger seat. Get this module scanned to confirm if there is any error code stored.That will help you troubleshoot the problem further.

Now the main issue.Which is mostly seen on such cases.Inside the right front seat there is a bladder type weight sensor that weighs the passenger and the OCM determines how hard the airbag should be deployed. If the light is coming on it's because the sensor is reporting a weight in the seat under 100 pounds or there is a fault code setting. 

If there are no codes stored in the module and no weight is being put in the seat at the times the light is on then either the OCM or the weight sensor could be bad, more likely it would be the sensor. If this was the case then it would need to be diagnosed while it's acting up which sounds like it's going to be tough to do. Because when problem is not there,you cannot confirm the fault.

If you are under 100 pounds and the light comes on with you in the seat, or if there is something fairly heavy but under 100 pounds in the seat when it comes ON.

Getting this possibilities checked will help.


Monday, February 18, 2013

2004 Jeep grand Cherokee Laredo: Turnsignal Not Working

Blinkers not working after car sitting overnight

Vehicle pulls while driving

There are two issues.
Turn signal works ok,but problem starts after vehicle sits overnight.So its intermittent problem.Also while driving it feels like vehicle pulls.

2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser:Engine Cooling Fan Comes ON with Engine OFF

Engine Cooling fan comes on all by itself

Fan comes ON and stays On till it drains the battery.

There are few possibilities that can cause this problem:

The cooling fan can only come on with the engine off because of a few reasons.

1) The very first possibility it could be an internal problem in the TIPM.

What is TIPM?

The TIPM is the module/fuse box under the hood that controls many electrical features, one being the cooling fan. If for some reason it was applying ground to one of the relay control circuits with the engine off then the fan would run.

2) Another possibility can be  wiring problem. If one of the relay driver wires between the TIPM and relays shorts to ground it will turn one of the relays on and run the fan.

3) And very much possible it can be one of the fan relays. There is a high and low speed fan relay mounted directly to the back of the fan shroud. If one of these stuck on then it would cause the fans to run with the engine off.

To start troubleshooting this problem i suggest to start by inspecting the wiring.
 If  wiring checks ok. No loose connection or no short anywhere,then try replacing the relays and see if that takes care of it. They're inexpensive and have a fair chance of repairing the problem.At our garage we have seen mostly the issue is weak relay,which needs replacing and such problem goes away.
 Otherwise the problem would have to be diagnosed through electrical testing at the time it's acting up.

Hope this helps.


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Chrysler Voyager: Liftgate will not Open?

 Rear hatch wont open

Liftgate Hatch will not open with not open with key or door switch.

The lift gate not opening is often caused by the handle linkage rusting and preventing movement but it could also be the latch itself.

To confirm the problem  the door trim panel has to be removed enough to get in and access the latch and linkage. Although it's touch with the liftgate closed, the panel can be removed enough to get in behind it and get to the latch and linkage to get it opened. 

This will let you confirm what is faulty or worn out and as per that you can get it repaired.

Hope this helps.


2008 Chrysler town and country mini van: Sliding Door Not Working?

Left Sliding Door Not Working

Chrysler Sliding Door Fuse

First inspect the fuse controlling sliding door.

Left sliding door module is powered by fuse J11 and it's a 30 amp fuse. The fuse box is located under the hood right next to the battery. On the fuse box lid you will see diagram showing all the fuse location numbers. Find J11 on the diagram of the locations and then you can locate the fuse in the box.

Take a look at the fuse and see if it looks ok visually.
Another possibility to check fuse is by voltmeter.If you have a voltmeter you can check continuity of the fuse to make sure it's blown, or you can swap it out with any other 30 amp fuse in the box and then see if the door starts working again. Once in a while a fuse can be broken or blown in a way that's not easy to see by eye, if you test it or swap it with another then you can be sure you've ruled the fuse out.So try it before you are confirm its working or not.

If there is no power at all to the electrically operated sliding door then its faulty fuse.If the fuse is working then it can be faulty sliding door switch or its wiring issue.

These details will help.


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Dodge Ram:Charging system, Transmission, A/C and Cruise Control Stopped Working

Dodge Automatic Transmission , slow to shift when cold but all gears work fine

Alternator already replace with no difference in problem.

On dodge vehicle models the charging system, transmission, a/c and cruise control functions all are controlled by PCM. PCM is also called as  powertrain control module. PCM  is the module mounted behind the airbox on the firewall.

  • Now as per what the details are mentioned  transmission shifts and if the fuel gauge still works we can assume the PCM is still up and functional. If the fuel gauge did stop working at the same time as the tach and charging system then most probably the issue is faulty PCM.Still it has to be checked,but mostly its PCM.


  • Other possibility,it can be faulty alternator,but its said that alternator is replaced,but still alternator will not work, 

The alternator receives voltage from the ASD relay and then charging is controlled by the PCM. The PCM turns the ASD relay on only when it knows the engine is running.


  • Other thing can be faulty Crank Sensor.Which i think is most possible.


On the timing cover just above the crank damper is the crankshaft position sensor. The crank sensor runs off the crank damper and tells the PCM the engine's speed. When the PCM sees a signal from the crank sensor it will turn the ASD relay on and the alternator can charge. The crank sensor is also what allows the tach to work, it's the only input for engine speed.

As per your problem also tach and charging system stopped working together
Also  tach and charging functions both rely on the crank sensor's signal and these were the only two things lost at the same time it's very likely that you have a bad crank sensor.


It can be tested with a digital voltmeter, although it is somewhat hard to get to in the close quarters. If you don't have the means to test it then I would do a visual inspection of the wiring and connection, and replace the sensor if all looks ok.


The PCM is the powertrain control module already mentioned before.Its a silver rectangular module mounted on the firewall behind the airbox. It has three 32-way electrical connectors. This is the best indication to locate it.

The timing cover is the thin black steel cover on the front of the engine. The crank damper is the large pulley on the front of the engine, easiest seen from the bottom. It's the largest pulley and is the one coming directly from the engine itself.


You will see some wires coming from a harness at the front of the motor leading down past the waterpump  going to the sensor.

The wiring to the crank sensor will run right down past the water pump area and the sensor mounts to the timing cover below the pump area. The crank sensor is the only thing electrical up there.

View the actual picture of a 12 valve Cummins with an arrow drawn to the crank sensor wiring.

12 valve cummins

Mostly it seems faulty crank sensor but if all control function stopped working then it can also be faulty PCM.
These details will help you.


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2006 Chrysler 300: Door ajar light is ON


The door ajar switches are integral to the front door latches.Its very common and very famous problem, noticed by many others too.


The ajar switch signal goes to the instrument cluster which also serves as the body control module. When the ajar switches close it applies ground to the circuit, the cluster sees this and turns on the interior lamps and the door ajar warning.


Inspect the front doors,are they closing properly or there seems to be difficulty to close the doors.Or there is any kind of blockage to the door area.
If your doors are closing properly, then unplug the door latch and see if warning light goes OFF or not.

Even after unplugging the latches doesn't turn the warning off then either the problem is internal in the instrument cluster or both of these ajar circuits are shorted to grounds somewhere in the wiring harness. The wires may be pinched or rubbed through on a grounded component, or it could even be from moisture in an electrical connector. There are many possibilities,check for all basics mentioned.

What you'll need to do next is check for a short to ground on both of these ajar circuits.If you find the ajar circuits are shorted to ground then unplug the cluster and see if the short goes away. If it does then the short is in the cluster and it will need to be replaced.

BUT, if the short is still there with the cluster unplugged then the problem is somewhere in the harness between the cluster and each of the doors.You will have to follow wire by wire to trace the faulty wire.
You can also use test light to check continuity to the wires. On shorted wire you will not get continuity.

This will help.

2010 Jeep Wrangler:Front Wheels Bounce and Vehicle Out Of Control

Front wheels vibrate violently While Driving Above 50 KMPH

Its a front end collision rebuilt vehicle,bought from salvage yard with a salvage yard certificate.

There are few possibilities for this problem to arise:

1) Get complete inspection  done of any steering components that aren't new. Like any loose tie rod end, ball joint, track bar or control arm bushing will contribute to this.

2) Next get the alignment checked. If caster is too far positive it will cause this. Since it's been in a front end collision this could be an issue

3) If all the basics checked out ok. Then, the main cause of this is a weak steering damper, which mounts between the right axle tube and right drag link. 

It's job is to absorb road input to the steering to prevent the exact problem you are having. The original dampers on these were very small, especially if there is a lift or over sized tires on the vehicle. If you still have problems after checking alignment and replacing any loose front end parts then I would recommend replacing the steering damper with a heavy duty aftermarket one.Please don't go for low quality cheap auto parts.They don't give required performance and don't last long.

Hope these will help.

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A/C - Driver side cold, Passenger side hot?

Air conditioning blows hot on passenger side but cold on driver's side

2009 Grand Cherokee A/c  driver side gets cold but the passenger side gets warm.

Take apart dash and look for blend door at A/C.

See if everything functioning correctly or not. If everything looks to be turning correctly then you can hopefully rule out the control head and actuators.

Set the temp and see if you can control temperature on heat. If you aren't able to control temperature on the right side when it's on heat then you know you have a right blend door problem, in that case the heater box will have to come out and be disassembled.

But if you can control temperature on heat but the a/c is warm on the right side it's likely a charge issue. The refrigerant charge you can understand.

If you read working of heater Box,it will help you to know the problem much better:

With the way airflow is set up in modern Chrysler heater boxes one side of the vehicle gets air from one side of the evaporator and the other side of the vehicle from the opposite side. 
When a/c charge becomes low it will be able to cool one side of the evaporator but not the other so it creates a temperature difference between left and right.
 If you are able to control heat ok then the first thing that will need to be done is evacuate and properly recharge that a/c and it should take care of the problem.But if heat is not getting controlled then definitely heater box has to be inspected.

Many a times the problem occurs even after the A/C system is recharged.
On that cases its the problem related to internal refrigerant leak in the evaporator or a broken blend door. 

Why i am mentioning about evaporator leak,because at our auto garage we have seen this.The evaporator is made up of a series of plates that are soldered together to make single cores, the evaporator is made up of a stack of these cores. Once in a while they will develop an internal leak and one side of the evaporator will cool and the other won't. This is uncommon but possible.

The other possible cause would be a broken blend door. If you're sure the charge is ok at this point the heater box will need to be removed and disassembled to inspect the blend door.


Here's the procedure,

First you will have to remove the entire instrument panel as an assembly. Please note that the bracing and everything comes with it, just removing the trim panels won't be enough. The steering column has to be removed or dropped, the center console removed, and then the entire instrument panel assembly. Once it is done then only the the heater box on the firewall  can be removed.

Brace is not very difficult to remove but it looks so,.The brace will not come out as it has two bolts and a screw holding it there and then it has a huge rivet looking pin,that has to be pushed out.

See the image shown below:----

The bolts above and below that are the ones that hold it to the pillar, they're either 13 or 15mm. Those are what needs to be removed.Once the bolts are out,the brace is loose to be easily removed.

You will also require basic tools and much is confidence to do this task.

Hope all goes well.



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Friday, February 15, 2013

Nissan Maxima: How To Replace Alternator?

Alternator Replacement

Nissan Maxima 1993 to 1998 Alternator Replacing Procedure:

Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definite way to determine the condition of your alternator.So its advisable to first test and get confirmed that alternator is faulty.

Also there is way to test the Alternator.

How To Test Alternator?

The easiest way to test the performance of the alternator is to perform a regulated voltage test.

  • Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature.
  • Connect a voltmeter between the positive and negative terminals of the battery.
  • Voltage should be 14.1-14.7 volts.
  • If voltage is higher or lower than specification, connect a voltmeter between the battery positive (B+) voltage output terminal of the alternator and a good engine ground.
  • Voltage should be 14.1-14.7 volts.
  • If voltage is still out of specification, a problem exists in the alternator or voltage regulator.
  • If voltage is now within specification, a problem exists in the wiring to the battery or in the battery itself.
This testing will help you to confirm the alternator is working or not.
Once its confirmed that alternator is faulty, you can go for replacing it.

Follow the details below to replace Alternator:


See Figures 1 through 5
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable, for safety purposes.
  2. Remove the right side splash guard from under the vehicle.
  3. Disconnect the alternator lead wires and connections. Label them if you are unsure of their locations.
  4. Keep marker pen ready to mark the position of wire.This helps while reconnecting.
Fig. Fig. 1: The large positive lead connection is protected by a rubber boot

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 2: Make sure the alternator ground wire is also removed
  1. Loosen the drive belt adjusting bolt and slip the belt off the pulley.
  2. Remove the lower adjustment bolt, followed by the upper pivot bolt.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the lower adjustment bolt ...

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 4: ... followed by the upper pivot bolt. Make sure you support the alternator
  1. Lower the alternator from the vehicle.
To install:
  1. Using a C-clamp and a socket, push the upper pivot bushing back in it's bore until it bottoms out.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 5: Using a C-clamp to push in the pivot bushing will make installation easier
  1. Raise the alternator into the engine bracket, and push the upper pivot bolt all the way through the bracket to support it.
  2. Install the lower adjustment bolt, followed by the upper pivot nut.
  3. Place the belt on the alternator pulley, and tighten the belt.
  4. Tighten the upper and lower mounting bolts.
  5. Engage the alternator lead wires and connections.
  6. Connect the negative battery cable.
  7. Start the vehicle, and check for proper operation.
  8. Readjust the belt tension, if necessary. Install the lower splash guard.

Proper belt tension is important. A belt that is too tight may cause alternator bearing failure; one that is too loose will cause a gradual battery discharge and/or belt slippage, resulting in belt breakage from overheating.

Alternator Precautions

To prevent damage to the alternator and regulator, the following precautions should be taken when working with the electrical system:
Please go through it,before you replace alternator:

  • Never reverse the battery connections.
  • Booster batteries for starting must be connected properly: positive-to-positive and negative-to-ground.
  • Disconnect the battery cables before using a fast charger; the charger has a tendency to force current through the diodes in the opposite direction for which they were designed. This burns out the diodes.
  • Never use a fast charger as a booster for starting the vehicle.
  • Never disconnect the voltage regulator while the engine is running.
  • Avoid long soldering times when replacing diodes or transistors. Prolonged heat is damaging to AC generators.
  • Do not use test lamps of more than 12 volts for checking diode continuity.
  • Do not short across or ground any of the terminals on the AC generator.
  • The polarity of the battery, generator, and regulator must be matched and considered before making any electrical connections within the system.
  • Never operate the alternator on an open circuit. Make sure that all connections within the circuit are clean and tight.
  • Never disconnect the battery while the engine is running.
  • Disconnect the battery terminals when performing any service on the electrical system. This will eliminate the possibility of accidental reversal of polarity.
  • Disconnect the battery if arc welding is to be done on any part of the vehicle.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

1999 dodge Ram 1500: Automatic Transmission won't shift in first gear

Transmission Gear shift Issues

No first gear, or Will not go out of first gear,Transmission stuck up in first gear.

This types of all issues are related to few possibilities.

Either worn out shifting bands, or very low transmission fluid,or issue with speed sensor.

On some cases if the problem is started after filling the tranny fluid then may be wrong transmission fluid is filled/replaced.

Please reconfirm what fluid have you used.

Go through the explanation in more details:----

That will help you to know and understand the problem much better.

For your information, the bands need to be adjusted at every fluid change, every 30,000 miles.
If you haven't had the bands adjusted for more then 5 years then the first thing i recommend is attempt to adjust them and see where you're at.

  • The kickdown band is the forward most band and is applied for first and second gear, your problem involves the kick-down band in one way or another.You will have to inspect that band position.

  • It may be that the band is out of adjustment simply from lack of periodic adjustment.

  • Or the other possibility is the band anchor may have fallen out of place. 
Anchor is very important part, it goes between the band and adjuster. It can fall out of place because it breaks or if the band gets worn far enough without proper adjustment.Yes it's possible.

  • Another possibility can be leaking or damaged kickdown band servo. The servo is the hydraulic piston that applies the band.If it leaks on band then band can get slippery and slip from its actual position and cause gear shift issues.


  • If all checked ok,then other possibility is faulty sensor.Yes absolutely a bad output speed sensor or governor solenoid or transducer issue can cause gear shift problem. we have seen and lots of such cases at out car repair Auto Garage.
  • If the check engine light isn't on or there are no fault codes stored then these wouldn't be nearly as likely as a band issue.But if check engine light is ON,then i suggest get the engine module and transmission module scanned.It will provide you code for start up.as per that you can continue further.


Yes its not that very hard.

But to perform this task you need to have basic garage tools ready with you.
Also confidence is another thing required or you can take help of mechanic friend of yours or go to local garage mechanic.

I will mention the procedure/. The very first thing  kickdown band is adjusted from outside of the case.So dont open the case,its alignment is difficult.So just outside the case,look near the front cooler line and  band adjuster will be seen. You will loosen the lock nut and then torque the adjuster in the center to 72 inch pounds. The adjuster is then backed off 2 7/8 turns and the lock nut tightened back down.Please be sure the adjustment should be correct like its mentioned.Otherwise it can be loose or over tight band and hat will not help.
Accuracy is the key here.You cannot go few inch plus or minus.It should be exact.


If you find that the adjuster threads into the lock nut all the way an won't tighten down then the band anchor has fallen out of position. In that case the next step is to remove the pan and look for it, and then the valve body if necessary. The anchor should be fallen in there.If the anchor has fallen out of position then it would have to be on top of the valve body if its not in the pan.
It's roughly one inch square and somewhat of a wedge shape, it has a notch in one end and a concave part on the other end. The anchor goes between the band and the adjuster on the outside of the case.

The lock nut should not thread all the way into the lock nut without bottoming out?

  • If it does then, band isn't adjusted. If it threaded all the way in then it wasn't possible to adjust. As earlier mentioned for adjusting the band  it requires to be torqued to 72 inch pounds and then be backed off. 

If you couldn't get the adjuster torqued down then the band isn't adjusted.You will have to again see whats going wrong.

  • Another possibility ,if it is threaded all the way in then the band anchor has fallen out or the band is worn beyond use.Yes it happens,this bands gets old,dried and worn out by age and also form cracks or get broken. If the anchor is out it is either broken which caused it to fall out or it fell out due to lack of periodic band adjustment.Yes if you dont get your band adjusted by time,then also such problem occurs.If the anchor is not seen then i suggest Remove the pan and look for the anchor. 

BUT IF, bands and anchor looks fine and its also properly adjusted then i suggest get the vehicle scanned for error code.or you can purchase code reader do it yourself to retrieve error codes.


There are many error codes related to this,but mostly P0500 and P0720 are noticed.

P0500 means  the speed sensor  malfunction and 
P0720 means output speed sensor circuit malfunction.

Please Note: Fault codes are a starting point for diagnosis, they don't pinpoint a problem.

If in your case you get any of those error codes then i suggest replacing output speed sensor.

As per your dodge vehicle details, the output speed sensor is situated on the left rear of the trans.
This sensor  threads directly in and has a two wire electrical connector. Output sensor signal is used for governor pressure calculations and without a clean signal from it that could be causing the trans issue.
May be that is what causing the problem in your case too.

So going through this possibilities will help you to at-least start troubleshooting your problem.

Hope this helps.


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