Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

P0735 OBD-II Trouble Code: Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio

check engine light

P0735 code definition

The P0735 code is an indicator that the automatic transmission can’t be shifted to the 5th gear.

What the P0735 code means

This code is used in vehicles that are built with automatic transmissions/transaxles that rely on torque converters to drive the rear wheels and increase the engine torque output. The converter is located between the transmission and the engine. Most modern vehicles are equipped with this type of transmission setup.

P0735 can be triggered when your vehicle is driving in 5th gear or while you’re shifting into it. With an automatic transmission, the vehicle’s computer is in charge of the shifting. Part of the process involved is calculating engine speed against the transmission speed sensor to assess the torque converter slip and gear ratio.

If the calculation doesn’t match the ideal value, the P0735 code will show and the Check Engine Light will come on. The code is also associated with P0730, P0731, P0732, P0733, P0734, and P0736. These codes should be addressed first before proceeding with trying to fix the problems behind P0735.

What causes the P0735 code?

There are a handful of common reasons the calculation we mentioned above may not match up and thus cause a P0735 code. These are:

  • The transmission fluid is low or dirty
  • The transmission main control is suffering from internal blockage
  • Shift solenoids
  • Transmission hydraulic control circuit
  • Mechanical problems inside the transmission

What are the symptoms of the P0735 code?

One very common symptom would simply be the Check Engine Light coming on. A more specific one, though, would be if you notice that the transmission is shifting incorrectly. Your vehicle may not even be able to hit 5th gear. Either case would indicate that the components responsible for automatically doing this for you are experiencing some type of problem. You may also even be able to feel the transmission slipping. Finally, a loss of fuel economy is also a potential symptom related to P0735.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0735 code?

As we mentioned above, a mechanic would first address any other codes. Then, the mechanic would check the fluid level and then its condition – whether it’s dirty or not. They may also test drive the car quickly if it’s only displaying one incorrect ratio code. This will show them if the gear is actually working or not.

As the internal clutches of a transmission are usually controlled by fluid pressure or a solenoid, a mechanic would check there next. They’d also want to see if a fluid passage is being obstructed in any way. A mechanical issue could also be to blame. Examples would be issues with the transmission main control, or torque converter.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0735 code

A lot of times, all a mechanic needs to do is address internal transmission failures as this is responsible for the P0735 code more often than not. Unfortunately, many mechanics will miss this completely and replace a solenoid unnecessarily.

How serious is the P0735 code?

Best case scenario, a P0735 code means you’re not getting the fuel economy you should and you’re going to have a difficult time accelerating. On the other hand, the underlying issue causing your shifting problems could also be a symptom of something far more serious. You could end up with an overheated transmission or otherwise needing to replace yours.

What repairs can fix the P0735 code?

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0735 code

Even after repairs and after the system has been retested, use a short test-drive to ensure shifting works and to see if P0735 or other associated codes return. Also, if an intermittent issue is to blame, it’s going to take a lot more work to pin down the problem. The mechanic should look at every possibility before blaming PCM failure as this is extremely rare and a costly piece to replace.

Need help with a P0735 code?

If any of the above sounds familiar, YourMechanic is here to help. To speak with a service advisor, call 1-800-701-6320. You can also schedule an appointment online with one of our certified mobile mechanics. Either way, you’ll receive a free quote and the mechanic will meet you at your home or place of business.

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

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: Trouble code P0101

Hello. P0101 is the trouble code for a problem with the mass airflow sensor and or circuit. This code is thrown when the computer detects an issue with the signal of the MAF sensor. The MAF sensor is one of...

Q: Need to know if I should replace my turbo or not

Hi, thanks for writing in. The turbo system is comprised of several different components. Without knowing the exact trouble code, it would be hard to guess at what is going on. There could be a bad sensor, a leaking intake...

Q: Stutters under acceleration or load, fine at idle

If there are no codes for a random misfire on any cylinder, the ignition control module - what the ignition coils are plugged into - is known for causing your eact symptoms. It can cause intermittent misfires. I suggest having...