Most vehicles with an automatic transmission rely on Transmission Control Module (TCM) and Engine Control Module (ECM) to communicate whenever there is a transmission issue.
Some of the signals displayed like the P0700 dodge malfunction may be because of minor issues that can be fixed by following some DIY steps while others may be linked to major damages related to either the transmission or the engine.
“In this article, our focus will be on the P0700 which is a generic OBD2 code that indicates a problem within the transmission control system. As a driver, you will know there is a problem when the Check Engine Light illuminates and the failsafe mode is triggered. These signals will not go until the problem is resolved.”
Bearing in mind how important transmission is to the overall performance of a vehicle, every driver should understand different Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) and what triggers them.
Note that, DTCs are informational codes that only show the availability of a fault without directly pointing out a specific one.
Further diagnosis using a scan tool or with the help of a professional mechanic is therefore important to identify the fault.
Can You Drive with Code P0700?
Many modern vehicles are designed to activate limp mode or failsafe mode immediately after P0700 pops which effectively limits the overall performance of the vehicle to control major damages.
In this mode, most drivers will find it impractical to drive from all the operational limitations.
Although you can still be enjoying a smooth ride even after the dodge code p0700 malfunction is set, your transmission is at risk of severe damage.
If you are driving and you notice the error code, drive to a safe location or any dealer shop near you immediately and have a complete diagnostic process carried out.
If your preferred repair shop or service center is a bit far, have your vehicle towed to the location it is to be repaired.
How Serious is a P0700 Code?
Dodge caliber code p0700 malfunction is an indication of serious issues with the transmission system which may lead to further mechanical damage if not attended too quickly.
Leave alone the cost of repairs, it becomes more dangerous when your vehicle begins to have serious drivability issues.
Avoid driving the vehicle if you experience stuck gears or difficulties when changing gears for your safety and other road users as well.
What Does the Code P0700 Mean on Dodges (Dodge Ram, Dodge Durango, Dodge Dakota)?
Whenever your Dodge Ram, Dodge Durango, or Dodge Dakota throws a P0700 code dodge trouble code, it is an indication of transmission problems.
In some cases, it is accompanied by other diagnostic trouble codes to point out a specific fault.
At times, you can get a P0700 code without any other code showing up which can pose a challenge during diagnosis.
When the P0700 code is set, the check engine light goes on and the vehicle automatically enters failsafe mode as a way of sending information about the issue that has occurred.
The failsafe mode remains same if the fault does but once the fault is repaired, the responsible control module registers that the vehicle is operating under normal specifications thus resetting the mode.
What Can Cause a P0700 Code to Your Dodge Ram?
You need to understand the genesis of the transmission fault before fixing it. Here are some causes that lead to dodge engine code p0700 malfunction.
If you notice any of them, have the issue resolved immediately by a professional mechanic or by following the DIY steps as we are going to see later in this article, to eliminate the code.
01. Faulty Transmission Valve Body
As an integral part of the transmission system, the valve body ensures that the transmission is funneling the right amount of fluid to various parts of the engine to assist you during acceleration and when shifting gears.
A faulty valve will affect the effectiveness of the transmission causing error codes to pop.
02. Faulty Transmission Control Module
Transmission Control Module (TCM) oversees the functionality of your transmission including all its actuators and sensors to ensure that they are all working properly.
When the TCM becomes faulty, it can trigger the appearance of diagnostic trouble codes.
03. Open or Shorted Wiring in the Transmission Control Circuit
Most vehicles have an electrical system that powers the transmission system. An open connection or a shorted wire will lead to a transmission malfunction thus sending an error code.
04. Malfunctioning Shift Solenoids
Solenoids regulate how hydraulic fluid flows inside the transmission system which determines how your gears will shift. Malfunctioning solenoids will interfere with the flow of fluid causing issues to your transmission system.
05. Dirty or low transmission fluid
Where the P0700 error code appears accompanied by one or more shift solenoid codes, it could mean excess dirt or contaminated hydraulic fluid.
At times you will find metal flakes in the fluid which end up clogging valve bodies and shift solenoids triggering error codes.
These excessive metal flakes are because of mechanical wear, and you may end up replacing the whole transmission system.
It could also mean a low level of hydraulic fluid due to a transmission leakage. Dirty or low fluid can lead to overheating and excessive friction between moving parts which may affect gear shifting.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a P0700 Code?
Having looked at the most common triggers of the P0700 dodge code, repair cost differs depending on the underlying issue.
For example, if it is a faulty transmission control module that triggered the error code, it will cost you between $800 and $900 to have it repaired.
In case the transmission itself is faulty, you will have to endure extremely higher repair costs of about $5000 or more depending on the model of your vehicle.
If your problem is valve body or dirty hydraulic fluid, you can count yourself lucky as you will only spend around $300 to $950 on repairs.
But if you find yourself in a situation whereby the repair costs are as high as 75% of the value of the vehicle and the estimated amount will not add the same value to your vehicle, replace it instead.
How do You Fix P0700 Transmission Control System Malfunction?
Once you notice the p0700 code, you will have to identify what triggered it before fixing it.
You need to carry out a diagnosis process to get to the root cause of your transmission control system malfunction. Here are some DIY steps to guide you.
Follow this link for information on how to fix the P0700 code:
Step 1: Use an OBD2 Scanner Tool
Checking all the problems related to the transmission control system manually can be tiresome and time-consuming. That is why an OBD2 tool is important to make the diagnosis process easier.
Connect it to your vehicle’s computer and all active errors will be displayed immediately. If you had previously resolved some errors, they would also pop.
Depending on the diagnostic trouble codes you get, you will be able to point out the underlying issue accordingly. Also, keep in mind that this code may lead to other engine problems.
Step 2: Check Freeze Frame Data
When those codes accompanying P0700 are diagnosed, it becomes easy to deal with the triggers thus eliminating the error codes.
But if the codes are still there, check all the freeze frame data to determine under which circumstances the faults occurred.
Check whether there is any significant variance between transmission output and input speed, to identify any excessive torque converter slip.
Step 3: Clear the Code and Test Drive the Car
Clear all the OBD2 scan codes and take the vehicle for a road test to see whether the check engine light will still go on or the problem has been resolved.
Step 4: Perform a Visual Inspection
If after carrying out the diagnosis process you didn’t observe any operational fault or internal slippage, consider performing a thorough visual inspection of your transmission system and all its actuators and sensors.
If you are finding it hard to locate, refer to your vehicle’s manual for guidance on where to find it.
Carefully, check the transmission wiring harness from where it meets the vehicle’s main data link harness to the ends and see whether you will find any frayed, pinched, or damaged wire.
Also, check those transmission sensors mounted externally for any sign of corrosion or damage at where they connect. Also, check the valve body and solenoids for any visible damage.
Step 5: Check Transmission Fluid
Check your vehicle’s transmission fluid to ensure that it is clean and full to the right operating capacity. Dirty and insufficient hydraulic fluid can trigger error codes.
If the fluid looks dark in color and has a foul and burnt odor you can change it and if it is less yet clean, add to the right capacity.
Step 6: Utilize Live Scan Feature
If after all the above steps you are still stranded, consider using a live scan feature to see what is going on inside the transmission system.
You will be able to identify any electrical or mechanical issue if there is any.
Step 7: Check for Transmission Control Module Updates
If you are yet to identify the cause of your vehicle’s transmission malfunction, check in to your local dealership for any available TCM software updates.
Additionally, beware of common mistakes when diagnosing the P0700 code. Follow all the steps each at a time and once you begin a step ensure you complete it.
Do not be tempted to begin with transmission control module updates yet you have not gone through all the other steps.
Misdiagnosing a P0700 error code malfunction can cause more damage to your transmission, and you may end up spending more and having unplanned repairs.
Avoid initiating an extensive repair plan before determining the actual problem.
Check all the data and codes accompanying the P0700 code so you do not over-diagnose or under-diagnose.
It could be a wire that needs to be replaced, a dirty fluid that needs to be changed, a fluid level that needs to be toped up, or even a transmission failure.
If you are afraid of doing it yourself, reach out to a trusted mobile mechanic or visit a reputable dealership shop and have them inspect your vehicle’s transmission for you at a cost.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can you tell if your transmission control module is bad?
A faulty transmission control module takes longer than usual to pick up speed. Your transmission changes gear without any warning or you are shifting.
At times you may find yourself unable to shift out of neutral, having difficulties when you try to shift up while accelerating or shifting down when coming to a stop.
You may also experience a drastic decline in fuel economy. Have a thorough inspection of your vehicle once you start noticing these signs.
Will a bad shift solenoid throw a code?
Replacing shift solenoids can be a bit expensive but replacing a transmission system is even more expensive.
A faulty transmission shift solenoid will send a warning light, or an error code and you can land yourself in serious problems such as stuck gears if you ignore these signs.
Again, your vehicle is at risk of severe mechanical problems if no action is taken immediately.
What Does Limp Mode Mean?
It is also known as a failsafe mode or limp home mode. It is a security feature that vehicles activate automatically when the transmission control system or the engine detects a malfunction.
When the limp mode is activated, the overall performance of your vehicle is reduced to protect your vehicle from more serious mechanical problems.
Your vehicle remains in this state until the problem is addressed.
As a driver, try to keep close contact on the dashboard so you can easily notice when a warning light or an error code pops to avoid spending a lot of money or mechanical damage that can easily be avoided.
If you follow the above DIY steps, you will easily reset the P0700 dodge error code but if none of them works for your vehicle, have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic.