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Old 03-16-2014, 12:29 PM   #1
pacocase
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Hey everyone, this is my first post here. I'm glad this forum exists as it's helped me out a few times with other issues on this car.

It's a 2002 Vue AWD 3.0.

The check engine light is on. It will run fine for the first few minutes after starting in the morning, but then for the rest of the day it stays lodged in a high gear and to get going I have to shift down into L and drive to about 30MPH and then chunk it into I or D.

Before getting the codes scanned, I tried a few things that others have had luck with on this forum. I cleaned the contacts in the C200 connector on the driver's kick panel, which were not corroded. I don't have a sunroof.

I took apart the battery box and cleaned and hit the ECM contacts with dielectric grease, and in the process found some nasty corrosion in the battery tray that I took care of, but other than that, it did no good.

I drained some pretty dark trans fluid and replaced it with 4.5 fresh quarts of Valvoline T-IV type found at my local auto parts store, but still no luck.

With the car still behaving the same way, I took it back to the auto parts store to get the codes scanned yesterday. Here are the results:

P0970 Pressure control solenoid low
P0735 Gear 5 Incorrect ratio
P0700 Transmission Control System Malfunction

I'm unsure if these codes all relate to the TCM and if replacing it will clear them, or if the Pressure Control Solenoid is something separate I need to replace, or is symptomatic of a larger issue.

I'm a good backyard mechanic, but when it comes to technical stuff like this I need a little guidance. Any input is appreciated!

Thanks.

Last edited by pacocase; 03-16-2014 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:04 PM   #2
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Welcome aboard! How many miles on this '02?
Unfortunately (for you anyway), we've seen very few problems with this Aisin tranny. I'm thinking that P0970 might cause the other 2 codes. On an S-series TAAT, we typically compare the resistance of all the Solenoids to see if any one is out of line with the others. This is a schematic Far2Grumpy provided once upon a time . . .
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File Type: jpg AT-TCM Wiring.jpg (101.8 KB, 31 views)
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:55 PM   #3
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
Welcome aboard! How many miles on this '02?
Unfortunately (for you anyway), we've seen very few problems with this Aisin tranny. I'm thinking that P0970 might cause the other 2 codes. On an S-series TAAT, we typically compare the resistance of all the Solenoids to see if any one is out of line with the others. This is a schematic Far2Grumpy provided once upon a time . . .
Thanks for the reply. It has 118,000 miles and is in really good condition besides this problem.

I thought the P0970 was likely to cause the other 2 codes as well. It's good to hear a similar opinion.

I found a reman TCM on a website that's only $170 or so after core charge, and was thinking replacing it isn't out of the question at that price.

I've seen some of Grumpy's posts and have noticed that there is considerable corrosion on top of my TCM, something he has pointed out to others. The screws are so rusty they won't move and although the outside connections are clean, I fear that some moisture must have gotten in through the top if the outside looks so bad.

Before I do that, though, how would I go about testing the solenoids? Can I do it from the TCM wiring? I've looked at this diagram and I don't think it's telling me that, although it is telling me that the TCM could be my whole problem.

Thanks,
Pacocase
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:19 PM   #4
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2007 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacocase View Post
Thanks for the reply. It has 118,000 miles and is in really good condition besides this problem.

I thought the P0970 was likely to cause the other 2 codes as well. It's good to hear a similar opinion.

I found a reman TCM on a website that's only $170 or so after core charge, and was thinking replacing it isn't out of the question at that price.

I've seen some of Grumpy's posts and have noticed that there is considerable corrosion on top of my TCM, something he has pointed out to others. The screws are so rusty they won't move and although the outside connections are clean, I fear that some moisture must have gotten in through the top if the outside looks so bad.

Before I do that, though, how would I go about testing the solenoids? Can I do it from the TCM wiring? I've looked at this diagram and I don't think it's telling me that, although it is telling me that the TCM could be my whole problem.

Thanks,
Pacocase
I've attached P0970 extract.

It appears you can check several resistance values.

Step 3 gets the ball rolling to isolate to solenoid or wiring between TCM and 14 pin connector at auto trans.

Repost or send PM if procedures refer to any other document which might help.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DTC P0970.pdf (60.2 KB, 41 views)
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Maybe attached from F2G will also help . . .
(Pins 4 & 11 are the LP Solenoid)
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File Type: pdf AT Inline Harness Conn.pdf (62.1 KB, 58 views)
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:30 PM   #6
pacocase
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
I've attached P0970 extract.

It appears you can check several resistance values.

Step 3 gets the ball rolling to isolate to solenoid or wiring between TCM and 14 pin connector at auto trans.

Repost or send PM if procedures refer to any other document which might help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
Maybe attached from F2G will also help . . .
(Pins 4 & 11 are the LP Solenoid)
Thanks for the replies!

I'll try to isolate the circuits tomorrow. It's currently snowing here yet again and without a garage I'm not anxious to get out there and work in it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:05 PM   #7
pacocase
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Everything tested out. I took the TCM out once again and left it out with the battery unhooked overnight. I then put dielectric grease on each individual prong and reconnected everything.

It ran like crap for a day - would immediately go into 5th when put in drive, not even trying to run through the gears like it had before. I thought maybe I'd made it worse.

However, maybe the computers were just relearning because it's run completely problem-free for two days now. I'll keep everyone posted if it has any more trouble, but so far the signs are encouraging. Thanks a million for all the help!
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:10 PM   #8
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2002 3.0 Trans throwing codes, not shifting.

Just an update - it started acting up again a few days after my last post. I found a junkyard TCM on ebay and put it in last weekend. The car now shifts a lot more confidently and I am getting fantastic mileage.

Thanks a ton for all the troubleshooting help. All in all, I'm only out 115 bucks for the used TCM and about $3 for a tube of dielectric grease. Not bad to get a car that wants to run back on the road!
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