P0713 trouble code definition
A P0713 trouble code is related to a vehicle’s automatic transmission temperature sensor and the automatic transmission fluid itself. The sensor will constantly monitor the transmission’s temperatures and send a signal to the transmission control module (TCM). As temperatures increase, so does voltage which the TCM will read as an overheating transmission.
What the P0713 code means
P0713 is an OBD-II generic code for a voltage problem with the automatic transmission temperature sensor. If this code is triggered, the TCM is reading voltage that is too high for the manufacturer’s parameters, meaning the automatic transmission fluid is too hot.
What causes the P0713 code?
There can be a variety of causes for a P0713 – some more severe than others – but it’s important to treat this code seriously as it could lead to costly repairs if ignored. Some of the most likely causes are:
- Low automatic transmission fluid from a leak
- Dirty automatic transmission fluid
- Faulty automatic transmission temperature sensor
- Slipping or damaged transmission
- Damaged sensor wiring
- Faulty TCM and or engine control module
What are the symptoms of the P0713 code?
Because a P0713 could be triggered by an actual mechanical issue, you could experience poor shifting or even what’s known as “limp-mode” – a stored set of driving parameters designed to get a vehicle to a repair shop with as little damage to major components as possible. It’s likely that (if equipped) an A/T Oil Temp light will also illuminate with a P0713. If the code is caused by low fluid levels from a leak, chances are high that smoke will be visible.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0713 code?
There are two paths a mechanic will take with a P0713 and the one they pick will depend on how the vehicle is driving with the code. If it is shifting poorly and has an A/T Oil Temp light, chances are high the temperature sensor is doing its job and there’s a mechanical problem. Because leaks are a common cause of a P0713, a visual inspection will come next. Leaks most commonly originate from either the front seal, the oil pan, or the rear output shaft. All leaks should be repaired and fluid should be refilled with the manufacturer’s recommended variety. Depending on where the leak is, labor can be intensive as some transmissions may need to be “dropped” in order to access the leaking seal i.e. the input shaft.
However, if the transmission seems to be in fine working order, the sensor itself could be to blame. A professional multi-meter will help a mechanic determine the ground and voltage/resistance of the sensor to test it. If all the wiring appears to be intact, replacing the sensor with a high-quality part will be a mechanics next move followed by a thorough test drive to bring the transmission fluid up to operating temperature.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0713 code
Transmissions can be tougher than one might let on and a P0713 doesn’t have to end with a complete transmission rebuild. Having personally dried up a transaxle (transmission with a center differential for an all-wheel drive vehicle) to the point where the vehicle would hardly move only to refill it with fluid and repair the leak to continue driving, I know how resilient these pieces of machinery are. When dealing with a P0713, it’s important to try the most obvious and least expensive repairs first before spending more money than you have to.
How serious is the P0713 code?
A P0713 can be either very serious or not that big of a deal and it all depends on what the true cause is. If the temperature sensor is working as it should, then you have an overheating transmission which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. If the sensor is faulty though, the transmission is likely fine and won’t require any repairs.
What repairs can fix the P0713 code?
The most common repairs for a P0713 are as follows:
- Visual inspection of the transmission to determine leaks and fluid levels. If fluid is low, refill it, clear the code and monitor for it to return.
- Repair any obvious leaks, change fluid, clear the code and monitor for it to return.
- If no leaks are detected and fluid levels are fine, inspect the temperature sensor and replace/repair any damaged wiring or the sensor itself.
- If the code persists and the transmission continues to perform poorly, a rebuild or replacement may be needed.
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0713 code
How the vehicle performs with a P0713 will be a big indicator of what the cause of the problem is. Make sure to tell your mechanic exactly what happens when the code is triggered, how the transmission shifts, if there are other associated warning lights, and what kind of noises can be heard. Low fluid levels will often reveal the sound of cogs rotating, and an audible “howl” will be heard under acceleration.
Need help with a P0713 code?
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