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P0701 Code – What Does It Mean & How To Fix It

This is one of the most frequent OBD2 trouble codes. Read the full article below to know what it means, how to fix it, and what other codes may show related to it.

Definition

The transmission control system range/performance is an important technical area. A P0701 trouble code indicates that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has detected a problem with the automatic control system.

In addition to several automobile models using the Limp-in mode, this condition can also be caused by a variety of transmission failure codes, including P0700, P0702, and other related fault codes.

Meaning

When a vehicle is being driven, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) regulates transmission performance. The P0701 trouble code that appears on OBDII systems shows that there is a problem with automatic control system operation. We can find related fault codes in addition to P0700 and P0702 which are typical types of DTCs for this symptom.

The Limp-In mode is used in several automobiles when diagnosing the automatic transmission. Limp-In mode works very similar to OBD mode, allowing a generic trouble code to be stored and managed by a Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

Causes

The following are common causes of this issue:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Faulty shift solenoids 
  • Shift timing errors 
  • Shift pressure problems
  • Low or contaminated transmission fluid level
  • Low or contaminated transmission fluid quality
  • Incorrect ECM calibration
  • Torque converter clutch failure
  • Clutch failure inside the automatic transmission.
  • Transmission fluid pump failure.
  • Shift solenoid failure
  • Intermittent open in the vehicle's wiring harness

Symptoms

The P0701 code will produce a Check Engine Light on the instrument panel/dash and will likely affect:

  • Vehicle transmission operation
  • Transmission shift quality
  • Shift timing and/or shift RPM
  • Engine torque management. 
  • Rough shifting
  • Slippage in gears under acceleration 
  • Damage to the gearbox

Diagnosis

P0701 is properly diagnosed with a scan tool capable of sensor readings (not just one from an auto parts store). A qualified technician can read the data from the scan tool to determine when the problem occurred, or if it is still occurring. They may clear the code/light and test drive the vehicle while monitoring data to see if it returns. If the code returns, then they will know there is still a malfunction. If it does not return, this indicates that the problem has been corrected and the issue is resolved. 

  1. The mechanic must first diagnose and repair any other stored transmission codes before attempting to identify and fix a P0701 code.
  2. They should visually inspect the PCM's wiring and connectors in accordance with the manufacturer's wiring diagram.
  3. Re-test the system, if any of the wires or connectors appear good, attach the code scanner to the diagnostic connector. Download any stored codes and freeze frame data while connected.
  4. The mechanic should also top off the transmission fluid to make it accessible for leak detection.
  5. Inspect the solenoids, sensors, or switches for faults.
  6. Take the car for a spin to see if the fault returns. Reset the code and take it out for a test drive to see if anything changes.

Common mistakes

The following are common mistakes owners make when diagnosing this issue:

Mechanics fail to check for P0700/P0703 codes before proceeding with diagnosis.

Diagnostic tools do not have the proper calibration or are missing required vehicle information.

Mistakes made while interpreting trouble codes and their meanings. 

Mistakes made during actual repair of components related to this code, such as low fluid level, incorrect filter change, etc.

How serious is this?

P0701 is a serious issue that should be repaired as soon as possible. The car will not drive properly with the DTC set, and risk of transmission damage from driving it can occur. You will have a loss of performance and low-quality driving comfort until the issue is resolved.

What repairs can fix the code?

The only way to fix the code is to repair the error. 

Many of these can be fixed by replacing an old, faulty solenoid or sensor with a new one that matches the vehicle's specifications.

Fixing this issue requires removing and tearing into various components such as those listed below:

Fill the transmission up to the manufacturer's recommendation before driving the car.

Any damaged wiring, connections, or components should be fixed or replaced.

Replace the PCM in a manual transmission vehicle if it is faulty.

Replace any faulty solenoids, sensors, or switches

If any fluid leaks are discovered, repair them.

Related codes

The P0701 code could be accompanied by several other codes including:

How much does it cost to fix the P0701 code?

The average cost to repair the P0701 code is around $700. This price can vary depending on which system or components are malfunctioning, and how extensive the damage is. 

This estimate does not include diagnostic fees.

Conclusion

The car won't drive right with the P0701 code. The entire transmission system must be checked for faults or problems before proceeding to repair any components related to the code by a qualified technician. They will check fluid levels, wiring, and connectors as well as solenoids, sensors, and switches before replacing them one-by-one until the problem is solved.

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