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Old 11-11-2018, 09:34 PM   #1
Sera
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1997 SW2
Default P0706 Code on '97 SW2

Hi! This is a bit long, so I apologize in advance and thank you for taking the time to read it.

I've been searching lots of old posts on this forum about this code popping up, and the various wires, corrosion, and switches that can cause it. I'm in need of a bit of advice concerning my own situation, as I'm no good with car repair, and I definitely have a problem.

The car is a 1997 Saturn SW2 automatic transmission with about 250,000 miles. I don't know the exact service history, but it drives quite well, and the trans fluid is pink with no metallic bits in it. It's starting to dull a bit, though, so I suppose it's probably for due for a trans fluid change. The fluid is not low.

The car has some intermittent electrical issues (someone installed a high-tech audio system in it before I got it, and my theory is they didn't get the wiring quite right). The seatbelt sensor likes to beep at me sometimes, and the rear defroster doesn't like to work sometimes, but that's about as dramatic as it gets.

Very occasionally, the check engine light comes on, and gives me this code (P0706), but the light will go off within 10-15 miles and not return for a few thousand miles. Until now, I haven't noticed any actual problems. The drive has always been smooth as butter.

But for a few weeks, the shifter seems like it has a brief delay, like I'll shift it into reverse or park, and it seems like it takes it a second or two to audibly change. It was still smooth sailing, so I wasn't too worried until last night.

I do delivery driving late at night, and sometimes I drive 100 miles of stop-and-go city driving a day. So at about 2 am, the check engine light came on. It had done so before, so I wasn't too worried... until I put the car into reverse, upon which it slammed so hard it was like I'd been hit by another car. It drove in reverse just fine, and shifted back to drive without complaint, but needless to say, I was quite alarmed. Being a lady out at 2 a.m. in weird parts of town with a malfunctioning car will put one on edge.

I drove home, and noticed a slight hitch when the car would downshift into what I imagine was either 1st or 2nd gear as I'd come to a stop at stoplights. Not the "make sure all trays are in their upright and locked position" bodyshaking slam of shifting into reverse, but just a slight hitch.

I had been idling for an abnormally long time in drive right before the light came on and this happened, so maybe that could have made the transmission get too hot and played a role? (After reading many posts here on this, I now know this is a huge mistake, and one I will not make again. I'll idle in neutral from now on!)

Today, I started up the car to go down the road to get AutoZone to read the code for me, and... no reverse slam. The slightest of hitches, but no lurches. The people at AutoZone told me I probably needed a new transmission cable, but after reading the posts here, I'm not so sure.

What can I do, seeing as I'm no mechanic? I don't want to get screwed over by a transmission shop, but I also don't want to damage my car further by continuing to drive it. I do not have the capability or resources to do Wolfman's reverse slam cure, and I wouldn't have the first clue how to remove the battery to start checking transmission sensors and cables.

Help? Anyone know what I could try, or order a mechanic to do for me? Or if there's something idiot-proof a weakling like me could try?

...
1997 SW2 - 260k and going strong
2000 SL2 - 340k, RIP (Died in a hit and run on the interstate)
2002 SC1 - 98k, my chariot!

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Old 11-11-2018, 11:23 PM   #2
Sera
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1997 SW2
Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

Well, to add intrigue to mystery, the problem appeared to spontaneously fix itself tonight. I had to take a short trip down the road, and when I cranked the car, the check engine light was still on. I shifted it from park to neutral, and the light went off. No more hitches when shifting to reverse, no more delays when shifting period. Transmission feels smooth again.

What in blazes is going on? Is this something electrical?

...
1997 SW2 - 260k and going strong
2000 SL2 - 340k, RIP (Died in a hit and run on the interstate)
2002 SC1 - 98k, my chariot!

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Old 11-12-2018, 07:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

Mystery problems self healing may be the most difficult to repair but you do have an error code. Is this code repeating or are there other codes? A repeating code is one thing, other codes coming and going just makes this problem more mysterious. If it's the same error code, P0706, then there may be a solution.

P0706 Transmission Range Switch Performance (transaxle park/neutral position switch)

Here's the service manual descriptions;

The PCM determines which gear is selected by a combination of opens and grounds in circuits 771, 772, and 773 at the transaxle park/neutral position switch. Each combination indicates a specific selection on the manual shift quadrant, P, R, N, D, 2, or 3. Circuit 776 is either open or grounded to produce an even number of grounded circuits, 771, 772, 773, and 776. Invalid data indicates that the sum of the grounded circuits 771, 772, 773, and 776, in 1 of the manual shift quadrants is equal to an odd number.

Conditions for Setting the DTC

DTC P0706 is set when the PCM has detected an invalid bit pattern for more than 3.5 seconds, twice per ignition cycle.

The difference between DTC P0706 and DTC P0705 is that a possible bit pattern error due to misadjustment could set a DTC P0706.

Test Description

1.This step verifies the conditions for DTC P0706 still exist.
2.If the shift cable or switch is misadjusted, a DTC P0706 may set while in certain gear shift positions.
3.DTC P0706 may set due to 1 or more circuits being shorted to ground. By disconnecting the switch, the PCM should read all circuits as high and the scan tool should display OPEN.
4.This step will isolate an open circuit. As each individual circuit is grounded, the PCM/TCM should see the low signal and the tool should display INVALID.
5.The PCM/TCM supplies a 12 volt signal to each transaxle park/neutral position switch circuit. This step tests for that voltage.
6.DTC P0706 may have been set due to 1 of the circuits being shorted to voltage. This step verifies if a short to voltage exists.

Repair Verification

Monitor DTC menu Code Status for Pass Since Code Clear and Pass This Ignition Cycle. When both have passed, the repair is verified.

Criteria for pass:

*No active DTC set.
*Two valid selector positions are decoded. You must move the shifter to obtain a pass.

Diagnostic Aids

When the PCM detects a fault in the circuit, an open, ground, or short, the PCM will open the circuit internally to protect the circuit.

If no circuit problems can be detected, check the shift cable and switch adjustment.


With 250k reliable miles, this may simply be a well worn xmission range switch creating the error code that goes away when the electrical contacts are positive as opposed to intermittent. The pcm needs to detect the xmission switch selected electrically correct otherwise detecting it incorrectly tells the pcm something's wrong. If the pcm cannot detect correct switch contacts and sees additional incorrect signals, confusion forces a default instead of normal behavior. Either the range switch is worn, cables and linkages are worn and sloppy or something worse. Others have posted similar problems with solutions.

At the least, you might want to ensure main power and distribution are in good condition. Main power and distribution; battery, battery cables, their connections, two main grounds - chassis and engine block, drive belt system and alternator. On standby, battery voltage should be 12.5v. With engine running, alternator output measured at the battery terminals should be around 14.5v.

Last edited by fdryer; 11-12-2018 at 07:29 AM..

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Old 11-12-2018, 08:08 PM   #4
Sera
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1997 SW2
Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

Thank you, fdryer! I will check all of that out!

Car drove beautifully today. I'm certainly glad, but I have no illusions that the problem is magically gone. I'll get everything checked out asap and report back!

...
1997 SW2 - 260k and going strong
2000 SL2 - 340k, RIP (Died in a hit and run on the interstate)
2002 SC1 - 98k, my chariot!

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Old 11-12-2018, 08:43 PM   #5
Packard
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Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

Ive had a similar issue with these transmission range switch . There nothing more than telling the tranmission computer what gear car is in. My fix was wiggle the wires on mine and it took car of it light never came back . It was a connector issue I believe .

transmission range sensor circuit is not communicating correct data to the engine control module (ECM).

The TRS is at the end of the shift cable, on the transmission. It's basically a "set" of switches, that close various pairs of contacts based on the position you select with the shifter. For example, when you're in Park or Neutral, it closes the contacts for the circuit that goes to the starter solenoid, allowing you to start the engine only in P or N. When you shift to reverse, it closes the contacts for the reverse lights. And so on. It also "tells" the PCM what gear you're in. A common failure is that it goes out of adjustment; it basically "slides" as you move the shifter from one position to the next. When it goes out of adjustment, typically it goes "out of phase" by one position; for example, it might "think" that you've selected Reverse when you've really selected Neutral. This can sometimes lead to starting problems (doesn't connect the starter solenoid properly, or, if it gets snarfled enough for the PCM to "notice", it'll set that P0706 code.

Your tranny just plain picking the wrong gear would be consistent with the 706 code. Check out OldNuc's picture gallery; I believe he's posted the FSM pages for adjusting the switch. If that doesn't do it, you'll probably have to replace it. Also make sure there's nothing shorting any of the terminals on the connector (or is it connectors, multiple?) to the switch. Make sure all the wires going to it aren't damaged.

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Old 11-12-2018, 08:55 PM   #6
Packard
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Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

The transmission selector might need adjustment. This is how to test If u have no continuity you will have found the problem.

If your unsure what continuity means its nothing more than a closed circuit to allow the flow of electric between two contacts like a light switch turned it on the light comes on. So u take a meter to read continuity through the ohm selector if u have 0 u have no continutiy and need to adjust according to above instructions to fix your car. Without continutiy the error code will appear so when your in drive and there is no continuity computer does not know the gear is drive or park. TEst for continuity and adjust if necessary to get the continuity in D4.

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Old 11-12-2018, 08:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

1. This step verifies the conditions for DTC P0706 still exist. 2. If the shift cable or switch is misadjusted, a DTC P0706 may set while in certain gear shift positions. 3. DTC P0706 may set due to 1 or more circuits being shorted to ground. By disconnecting the switch, the PCM should read all circuits as high and the scan tool should display OPEN. 4. This step will isolate an open circuit. As each individual circuit is grounded, the PCM/TCM should see the low signal and the tool should display INVALID. 5. The PCM/TCM supplies a 12 volt signal to each transaxle park/neutral position switch circuit. This step tests for that voltage. 6. DTC P0706 may have been set due to 1 of the circuits being shorted to voltage. This step verifies if a short to voltage exists.

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Old 11-12-2018, 09:12 PM   #8
Packard
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Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

Both the cable and switch must be adjusted. These are links to the procedure.
Selector cable, do this check first.

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...hp?photo=52339


RANGE SWITCH

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...hp?photo=49744

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Old 11-12-2018, 09:18 PM   #9
Packard
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Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

Both the cable and switch must be adjusted. These are links to the procedure.
Selector cable, do this check first.

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...hp?photo=52339


RANGE SWITCH

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...hp?photo=49744

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Old 11-12-2018, 09:19 PM   #10
Packard
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Default Re: P0706 Code on '97 SW2

ANOTHER CULPRIT IS A FUSE . cHECK ALL FUSES IN underhood area for any blown ones .there are fuses that deal with the TRS

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