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P0773 OBD-II Trouble Code: Shift Solenoid E Electrical

check engine light

P0773 code definition

This DTC is the universal OBD-II code for Shift Solenoid E Electrical, indicating a problem with the solenoid valve which responds to signals telling it which gear position to initiate.

What the P0773 code means

The transmission control module (TCM) turns shift solenoid valve E on or off depending upon the operating conditions of the vehicle. If there is a malfunction somewhere in the wiring or solenoid itself, it will cause abnormality in the gear ratio, causing P0773 to set.

What causes the P0773 code?

A number of issues can cause this DTC, including:

  • A faulty shift solenoid E valve
  • Low transmission fluid
  • Dirt or debris in the transmission fluid
  • An open or short in the shift solenoid E valve harness
  • A poor electrical connection in the shift solenoid E valve circuit
  • Rarely, a bad PCM or TCM

What are the symptoms of the P0773 code?

Common symptoms include an illuminated Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light, slippage while shifting gears, transmission overheating, harsh shifting, and compromised fuel economy. The vehicle may go into limp mode, and other shift solenoid codes may set. In some cases, there may be no discernible symptoms at all aside from the Check Engine Light and the stored code.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0773 code?

The following actions may be necessary to diagnose this DTC:

  • Use of an OBD-II scanner to verify the code and any others, as well as capture freeze frame data and the order in which the codes occurred
  • Clearing of all codes to see if they return
  • Diagnosis and repair of codes which occurred prior to P0773, if necessary
  • Inspection of transmission fluid level and condition
  • Removal of the transmission pan to visually inspect shift solenoid E and its wiring and connections
  • Measurement of resistance between the solenoid terminals to ensure it is between 11 and 15 ohms
  • Application of two volts to the terminals to check for a clicking sound (indicating proper solenoid function)
  • Inspection of transmission oil pan to check for metal bits or shavings
  • Flushing and replacement of transmission fluid

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0773 code

The first temptation is to automatically replace the shift solenoid, when in fact the problem often lies in the circuit. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s diagnostic procedures in order to correctly diagnose and repair the problem.

How serious is the P0773 code?

This can be a very serious problem if not addressed promptly, particularly if the vehicle is already exhibiting signs of gear slippage or has entered limp-in mode. It’s important to catch the issue early on to avoid severe damage to the transmission itself, if possible.

What repairs can fix the P0773 code?

In order to rectify this DTC, one or more of the following may be necessary:

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0773 code

Bad wiring or connectors may cause an intermittent condition – meaning the code will not set consistently. This can be a difficult situation to diagnose, and sometimes it’s best to wait until the problem does return repeatedly in order to get a proper diagnosis and repair.

Beware if a shop immediately tells you your transmission must be replaced, unless they have thoroughly examined all other possibilities. Often, replacing the solenoid itself will remedy the issue, which is a much more inexpensive fix than a complete rebuild. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion from a qualified mechanic if you have any doubts about the correctness of the diagnosis and repair recommendation you have received.

Need help with a P0773 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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