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P0701 OBD-II Trouble Code: Transmission Control System Range/Performance

check engine light

P0701 code definition

A P0701 trouble code indicates that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has detected a malfunction in the automatic control system. In addition to some models of vehicles placing the transmission into Limp-in mode, this code can be triggered by a selection of different transmission failure codes, including P0700, P0702, and other related trouble codes.

What the P0701 code means

When a P0701 trouble code is stored, the transmission control system has detected an abnormality in the readings from one or more sensors. This code can also derive from a malfunction with a solenoid or switch, or any malfunction with a specific transmission component or the transmission system itself.

What causes the P0701 code?

Some of the more common causes of a stored P0701 trouble code include failure of the torque converter clutch, shift solenoid, or other transmission component. A low fluid condition is another cause of this type of code, most likely the result of a transmission leak. Faulty sensors, switches, and defective wiring and connectors are some other likely causes.

What are the symptoms of the P0701 code?

The symptoms of a P0701 trouble code include total transmission failure in a worst-case scenario, or, in some cases, there are no symptoms at all. Some common symptoms include the check engine light illuminating and shifting, slipping, and overheating of the transmission. Engine stalling and difficulty shifting are some other common issues arising when a P0701 trouble code is stored.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0701 code?

To diagnose a P0701 trouble code, a mechanic needs access to a manufacturer's wiring schematic for the vehicle they are diagnosing, a digital volt/ohmmeter, and an advanced scanner or OBD-II code reader. To diagnose a P0701 trouble code, a mechanic needs to:

  • Before attempting to diagnose and repair a P0701 trouble code, the mechanic needs to diagnose any other stored transmission related codes first.
  • Then, they should visually inspect the PCM wiring and connectors using the manufacturer's wiring schematic.
  • Next, retest the system, attaching the code scanner to the diagnostic connector if the code returns or all of the wiring and connectors look good. While connected, download any stored codes and freeze frame data.
  • The mechanic should also fill the transmission fluid to a level to allow for the checking of leaks.
  • Inspect the solenoids, sensors, or switches, as a fault with one of them can cause the PCM to store a P0701 trouble code.
  • Clear the code and take the vehicle for a test drive to see if the code returns.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0701 code

A common mistake that many mechanics make when diagnosing and repairing a P0701 trouble code is to completely rebuild the transmission when a less expensive part replacement would have fixed the problem. As part of the rebuild process, many mechanics also replace the torque converter, making the repair even more expensive.

How serious is the P0701 code?

The seriousness of a P0701 trouble code depends on the cause of the problem. If the code is stored due to damage from a low fluid condition, a mechanic might have to rebuild the transmission if the damage is extensive enough. A faulty sensor, switch, or solenoid can trigger the storage of a P0701 trouble code, and the driver can continue to drive the vehicle without fear of any major damage, though failed sensors, switches, and solenoids can cause a slippage, rough shifting, or other problems in a vehicle transmission.

What repairs can fix the P0701 code?

To repair and clear a P0701 trouble code, a mechanic should perform the following steps:

  • Repair or replace any faulty wiring, connectors, or components.
  • In a manual transmission vehicle, replace the PCM if faulty.
  • Repair any fluid leaks if detected.
  • Fill the transmission to an appropriate level before test driving the vehicle.
  • Replace any faulty solenoids, sensors, or switches.

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0701 code

This type of code only applies to vehicles with automatic transmissions. If a P0701 trouble code is stored on the PCM of a vehicle with a manual transmission, the mechanic should suspect a faulty PCM.

Need help with a P0701 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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