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P0854 OBD-II Trouble Code: Drive Switch Input Circuit Low

diagnostic check engine light

P0854 code definition

The P0854 code is a generic powertrain code related to the transmission, including pressure faults and sensor failures. In this case, the engine control module (ECM) is receiving a voltage signal from the drive switch input that is lower than allowed preset parameters.

Codes related to the P0854 include:

  • P0850: Park/Neutral Switch Input Circuit
  • P0851: Park/Neutral Switch Input Circuit Low
  • P0852: Park/Neutral Switch Input Circuit High
  • P0853: Drive Switch Input Circuit
  • P0855: Drive Switch Input Circuit High

What the P0854 code means

A P0854 code is stored when the ECM has detected a fault or malfunction in the drive switch input circuit. This code will only apply to vehicles equipped with four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission.

The drive switch is the device that tells the ECM which gear the transfer case is in, and most drive switches are of variable resistance. The switch is located over the transfer case shift shaft, and the shift lever will slide over it. When the shift lever is moved, the range sensor pivot hits different contacts. These contacts send the ECM voltage levels and helps it determine shift strategy and more.

The vehicle’s transfer case shift select range sensor sends data to the ECM, which utilizes the data to calculate engine timing and more. If the ECM is sent data from such sensors as the vehicle speed or transmission shift solenoids that shows the vehicle is lower than the correct transmission shifter range, the P0854 code can be stored.

What causes the P0854 code?

Several problems may cause a P0854 code including:

What are the symptoms of the P0854 code?

Symptoms of a P0854 code may include:

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0854 code?

A mechanic may use several methods to diagnose a P0854 trouble code, including:

  • Utilize an OBD-II scanner to check for a stored P0854 trouble code
  • Visually inspect system wiring and connectors for visible signs of damage or corrosion
  • Check drive switch for battery voltage and ground signals
  • If battery voltage or ground signals are open, check for continuity and resistance in both circuits with a digital volt/ohmmeter
  • Test all related circuitry and the sensor for resistance and continuity, and compare with manufacturer recommendations

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0854 code

At times, the transfer case range sensor may be incorrectly identified as the problem and replaced, when there may be a simple alignment adjustment that could solve the problem.

How serious is the P0854 code?

Because a vehicle’s safe driving operation may be impacted due to faults that store a P0854 code, this code is considered a potentially serious code. When this code appears, it is recommended to immediately take your vehicle to your local service center or mechanic for repair and diagnosis.

What repairs can fix the P0854 code?

Several repairs can fix a P0854 trouble code and include:

  • Repair or replace damaged system wiring and connectors
  • Retest system and continue to repair any damaged or defective wiring
  • Replace damaged or defective drive switch
  • Replace damaged transfer case range sensor
  • Clear all codes, test-drive the vehicle, and rescan to see if any codes reappear

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0854 code

It is recommended to always diagnose and repair trouble codes in the order in which they appear, especially when related to electrical wiring and sensor faults, as subsequent codes could be symptoms of a code higher up the list.

Need help with a P0854 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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