Questions and Answers
Dodge Intrepid Transmission And ATC
Q. Problem 1:
While operating the car normally, usually on the highway, the car loses First, Second, and Fourth gears. The car only operates in what appears to be Third gear. When I pull over, the shift will move and the car will take the reverse gear, but will only operate in Third gear. When I turn the car off and restart, the transmission resumes normal operation in all gears.
I took it to the shop and the mechanic told me that he gets a code that "....results in the transmission to go into a 'limp-in'(?) mode". But he said he could not get a handle on the problem unless the problem exists when the car is in the shop.
I can't seem to time the problem and get it to the mechanic (without shutting off the motor) to get a reading on his probe during the failure, (his probe was red and the size of a 2 pound box of Russell Stover Chocolates and plugged it in under the dashboard).
This problem doesn't seem to happen often, but I seem to remember it happening for the first time and frequently over last summer, so I might be in for it come the start of the hot weather season. The transmission was rebuilt once at 113,000 miles. Another diagnosis I got was a problem with the Solenoid Pack or the Transmission Control Module.
While operating the A/C unit, the electronic readout goes out (no lights) and the system defaults to high heat. If I press are few buttons at the same time on the unit, the lights come back on and it returns to normal operation, and exactly to the setting prior to the failure/default.
Before the problem existed, I noticed that when I would toggle the rear defogger to the on position, I would hear a loud ticking sound in the module, so I toggled it to off and never operated it again, for fear it was a short. But eventually the A/C problem (previous paragraph) started to occur.
Pushing a few buttons to get the A/C back on line doesn't help anymore and I had to remove the blower motor fuse to stop heat from coming in high, but I do feel some heat, which seems to suggest that the heater door is open.
Not wanting to put any substantial money into the car (due to the transmission problem) I went to a scrap yard to get a replacement (used) heater control module. It did not work at all, nor did the system default. Nothing. I found out through some due diligence that these modules often need to rebuilt, but if I ordered one and it did not work, I would have to pay a restocking fee of $50.00.
While the unit I bought was not rebuilt, I have trouble believing that it was a coincidence that the one I bought from the scrap yard was also failing.
While the losing of power steering fluid, about a pint a month, may be causing damage to electric lines under the hood, I find it hard to believe that it could cause the TCM to fail, problem 1, or the HVAC control module to fail, problem 2. I really need to get another eight months out of the car.
Power steering line leak (appears to be the pressure line to the top of the radiator)
- 1994 Dodge Intrepid ES
- 3.5 liter V-6
- Manual transmission
- 173,000 miles
- Fuel Injection
- P/S, Auto A/C, Cruise Control
Your thought are greatly appreciated.
A. This is a trick question, isn't it? A vehicle with a manual transmission doesn't have a Transmission Control Module (TCM). But on the small chance you do have an automatic transmission, I'll give it a shot.
The TCM continuously monitors system performance. When a problem is detected in the electrical control or hydraulic portion of the system, the TCM stores a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). Most DTCs cause the transaxle to enter limp-in or default mode.
The DTCs need to be accessed with the Chrysler DRB-II scan tool. A generic scan tool may not be able to access the DTCs. I think the diagnostic time to find out the DTCs will be worth the money. Most often a transmission goes into limp-in mode due to an electrical problem.
As for the Automatic Temperature Control (ATC), you can run a diagnostic on it yourself. Here's how to do it.
The ATC system can be diagnosed two ways. The DRB II scan tool can be used or the vehicle's own control head display may be used. The control head can only be placed into the diagnostic mode while the engine is running and the vehicle is not moving. Set the control to a 75°F. setting (so there is no confusion with 23-36 Diagnostic Trouble Codes).
To place the system into it's diagnostic mode, press and hold the floor, mix and defrost buttons (at the same time). The ATC head display will begin to blink. When the control head display begins to blink release the floor, mix and defrost buttons.
Once the control head enters its diagnostic mode, the display on the control head will continue to blink until it completes its tests and calibrations. Then it will display any diagnostic trouble codes that are present in the body controller (which relate to ATC operation) on the control head display. If there are no diagnostic trouble codes the system will return to its normal operation as indicated by temperature display.
Diagnostic trouble codes related to the ATC system will appear on the display in numerical form. The diagnostic trouble codes are stored in the body controller and diagnostic trouble code numbers can range between 23 and 36. The control head can only show one diagnostic trouble code at a time. Under certain circumstances more than one diagnostic trouble code could be in the memory. To scroll through any additional diagnostic trouble codes, press the panel button.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The control head cannot display all diagnostic trouble codes stored with in the body controller. There may be other diagnostic trouble codes in the body controller not related to the ATC system. These codes can only be found using the DRB II scan tool.
Description 23 A/C Blend Door Feedback Failure 24 A/C Mode Door Feedback Failure 25 Ambient Sensor 26 ATC In-Car Sensor 27 Sun Sensor Failure 31 A/C Recirculation Door Stall Failure 32 ATC Blend Door Stall Failure 33 ATC Mode Door Stall Failure 34 Engine Temperature Message not Received 35 Evaporator Sensor Failure 36 ATC Head Communication Failure
When we know the transmission and ACC DTCs, we'll be better able to decide what to do.
As for the power steering leak, it is almost always a leaking high pressure hose.
Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA
Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA