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P0731 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation. Our certified mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to perform the Check Engine Light diagnostic. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.
When the automatic transmission in a vehicle cannot shift into first gear, the PCM (powertrain control module) will detect and store a P0731 code, and the Check Engine light will illuminate.
An automatic transmission is designed to detect the driver’s acceleration and deceleration patterns, and to use that information to match the engine’s best torque and power characteristics to select the appropriate gear. The P0731 code occurs when the PCM detects a discrepancy between the speeds of first gear’s input RPM sensor and transmission output RPM sensor. As a result, the vehicle cannot shift into first gear, and it could indicate that the transmission is slipping.
A number of scenarios can lead to a P0731 code being detected and stored. These include:
In addition to the Check Engine light coming on, drivers may notice a few other symptoms:
After identifying the P0731 code with an OBD-II scanner, the mechanic will first check the level and quality of the transmission fluid. If the fluid is low, they will add more and retest the system. If the transmission fluid appears dirty or contaminated, and/or it smells burnt, the mechanic will flush the system, change the transmission fluid, clear the code, and retest once more.
They will then move on to inspect and test the transmission for internal mechanical problems, circuit problems, and issues with the shift solenoid. After each repair, they will clear all codes and retest the vehicle to see if the P0731 code appears again.
The P0731 code is often misdiagnosed as an engine misfiring issue or a problem with the vehicle’s driveline. If the system is not thoroughly inspected and diagnosed, it can also look like an internal transmission problem when it’s actually a much simpler and less expensive issue.
If your transmission is unable to shift into or out of first gear, the vehicle can become inoperable in very short order. Symptoms may worsen as you continue to drive without resolving the P0731 code, and this can lead to dangerous driving situations, such as being unable to accelerate to get out of the way of oncoming traffic.
Some of the most common repairs to resolve a P0731 code include:
A detected P0731 code is a serious issue that should be resolved as soon as possible, even if the vehicle is still driving relatively normally. Failure to shift into first gear can result in a number of other transmission problems, and if the problem is caused by a slipping transmission, further shifting problems can be expected soon if this one isn’t dealt with.
In addition to making the car unreliable and/or unsafe to drive, a P0731 code will always be accompanied by a Check Engine light. An Illuminated Check Engine light will prevent your vehicle from passing an OBD-II emissions test, so it’s essential that you get the problem resolved before you need to pass an emissions test to renew your vehicle’s registration.
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.