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FAQ: A604/41TE Automatic Transmission 'Limp mode'

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37 replies to this topic

#1 nstenz



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Posted 10 December 2002 - 07:36 PM

Here are a few pictures of the A604/41TE Transaxle so you know where the sensors are located. There are 2 different ones because the Chrysler 2.0/2.4 I4 engines use a different bellhousing than the Mitsubishi 2.5 V6.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Symptom: The car won't shift out of 2nd gear. The 'Check Engine' light is on.

The speedometer still works, but the car is revving up to 4000 RPM at 40-45 MPH and staying there.

Likely Cause: The Input Shaft Speed Sensor (also called the Turbine Speed Sensor or I/O Sensor) went bad. (thanks CloudedVision)
Likely Solution: Replace the sensor (Part #4800878). The part itself is less than $20 to replace, but be prepared to pay over $100 in labor at most shops if you don't do it yourself.

Likely Cause #2: Faulty or broken TCM relay. (thanks t vago)
Likely Solution #2: Try swapping the TCM relay out with another relay. The TCM relay is located in the power distribution center, in the engine bay, right beside the PCM and the TCM, near the driver's side headlight. Another possible cause could be a loose connection from the TCM wire harness connector to the tranny itself.


Symptom: The car won't shift out of 1st gear. The 'Check Engine' light is on.

The speedometer doesn't work for this one. You're only able to go about 30 MPH without going above 4000 RPM.

Likely Cause #1: The Output Shaft Speed Sensor went bad.
Likely Solution #1: Replace the sensor (Part #4800879). The costs should be about the same as the sensor above.


Symptom: The transmission is slipping. The 'Check Engine' light may be on, but generally it isn't.

Your engine may rev up without the car going any faster (or moving at all). It may only rev up for a short period when shifting, then slowly go back down again as the car accelerates. Either way, excessive slippage of the transmission is usually not a good sign. It generates extra heat and may break things (if they aren't broken already). Some earlier TCMs can be reprogrammed to fix minor slippage problems, but major ones are the sign of a larger problem.

Likely Cause: This is a sign of mechanical troubles inside your transmission. Go easy on it; it may get you too much further without repair.
Solution #1: Pay somebody a lot of money to rebuild the transmission. It will cost a lot of money, may come with a short warranty, and may fail again at any time.
Solution #2: Pick up a used transmission with low mileage from a junkyard. It's not guaranteed to work, but it's a lot cheaper than option #1.
Solution #3: Swap in a 5-speed manual from a Neon or a 2.0 Stratus. This option gives you more power and more reliability, but takes some work. It will also cause your 'Check Engine' light to stay on because your PCM will be looking for the TCM and not see it. Instructions can be found in the Performance forums.


Thanks to Cloud99c for the part #'s.

If anybody has any additions, PM me. I'll be more than happy to add anything helpful.

Edited by nstenz, 16 February 2004 - 02:43 PM.

#2 Cloud99c



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Posted 04 January 2003 - 10:42 PM

Those are Mopar part numbers, can be purchased at the dealer and run under $20 each for the 41TE trans. now the sebring coupe for some reason the sensors are $35 each. you can purchase online by looking under mopar parts online. Here's one link:



#3 98 Stratus

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 01:59 AM

ALLPAR Trans FAQ, this is about all you will ever need or want to know!

#4 98 Stratus

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Posted 25 April 2003 - 02:22 AM

If you have USEFUL info to add to this, please do. If you have ANY questions, please make a new post in this forum.

#5 95strat5spd


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Posted 29 May 2003 - 07:55 PM

had a similar problem with an intrepid,was just a broken ground wire.use a jumper wire to check it,you never know........

#6 JusteR


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Posted 16 July 2003 - 12:41 AM

before you get scared about your trans needing a rebuild per above in this thread... try checking the fluid. it should tell you a little about the condition your trans is in. if it's too low or too high, it may also cause your trans to slip. if you want to be a little bolder than just pulling the stick, you could try dropping the pan and inspecting the fluid there and the magnet. a lot of shiny metal is bad, some near the magnet is normal... hope that helps :yes:

#7 PhatzStratz


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Posted 22 August 2003 - 11:51 AM

this is what happened to me

i had my car goin into limp mode, it was ok, till i had it happen on the highway

then i was choked

so i took it to a transmission place and it turns out that i had to change the whole computer.....its not too bad, i thought it would be much worse.....just had to spend 350 canadian to fix this crap

thats my experience, so i hope this helps

btw, i got a 95 strat 2.5 v6

#8 hardwarz


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Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:32 AM

had a similar problem with an intrepid,was just a broken ground wire.use a jumper wire to check it,you never know........

Broken ground wire where?


#9 mbcirrus


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Posted 25 February 2004 - 07:46 AM

Thought I would add my experience to this as well...

I had all of the signs of a bad input speed sensor. Replacing it changed nothing, would still drop into limp mode. Thanks to a suggestion from the guys at my local transmission shop, I ended up only needing to replace the plug that goes into the sensor. Chrysler has a kit the includes the connectors, heat shrink tubing, and a tray that I guess you can use to catch any solder that drips. Cut off the old ends, splice in the new ones, a little solder, heat up the tubing, plug it back in and voila no more limp mode.

The kit actually has the ends for both the input and output sensors (I've only replaced the input one so far). From my receipt, the part number/description was "4419478 WRG PKG W 8015008". Cost was $21.85 plus tax

#10 Daydreamer


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Posted 26 April 2004 - 02:00 PM

A few months ago my check engine light came on and I noticed that I couldnt go over 60 mph. I would be hitting 6 to 7,000 rpm at 60 mph and couldnt go any faster. my mechanic said that I somehow messed up the solenoid and damaged the computer so I had to replace both. before the problem was fixed, I was idling at 3,000rpm. I amost blew the motor getting it to the shop lol. Just wanted to share my experience.

#11 Keebs


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 12:39 PM

My check engine light doesn't come on, but it does stick in 2nd and revs up to 4000rpm at 35-40mph. Also, lately its been started to all of a sudden shift into neutral when I'm going up hill at around 40mph then switch into second gear and stick there. The fluid is fine, I've checked it numerous times. It usually seems to downshift suddenly from 3rd gear into second when I'm breaking to come to a gradual stop. It happens mainly after the cars been running for a while and its warmed up. I found that if I pull over, put it in park and shut the engine off for a minute and then turn it back on, it temporarily fixes it. You can really hear a loud knocking sound when it first turns over after you shut it down.

#12 albablazinwheels


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Posted 12 May 2004 - 08:42 AM

man, i'm having all these problems, My check engine light popped on last night, but my car is straight,(hope i'm not jinxing myself) If i get diagnostics run on it, will it tell me my problem?

#13 Keebs


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Posted 26 May 2004 - 08:07 PM

So right now my car is at the tranny place getting fixed. I was told it was one of two things, either (1) the computer that controls the transmission went bad because it is so close to the tranny and gets hot or (2) a sensor that went bad. Its $400 for either one, luckly the guy is nice and is first going to replace the computer and if that doesn't fix it, he's going to put the old computer back in and replace the sensor, all for $400 and not a total of $800. Not cool though if you ask me. And he ran a check of the computer and it said there was a problem (I forget what the problem number was) but that it had fixed/reset itself (which is what turning the car off does). All I know is I want my car back. I've been driving my mom's Explorer around and it just sucks down gas and I actually have to use the brake around turns or I'll flip the damn thing.

#14 Keebs


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 10:06 PM

Ok, well, the problem came back and I went down to see the transmission guys and I'm dropping the car off tomorrow night for them to fix it Tuesday. It was the same code 41 that they saw before. The already replaced the TCM and now they're going to replace the transmission solenoid pack. They checked the wiring and everything was fine there so I hope this fixes it.

I found a site online that lists all the codes that come up with tranny problems on the A604 Chrysler transmission. Heres what it says about code 41:

Code 41 to 44 - Solenoid circuit error
41- L/R
42- 2/4
43 - OD
44 - UD

Note: The controller has seen an electrical problem when it tested the solenoid circuit.

Diagnostic Tip
These codes are usually set by:
Opens or shorts in wiring between solenoid pack and controller.
Solenoid or controller connections
Bad controller
Solenoid pack

So I'm hoping we'll be good to go after this. If you want to read all the other codes, heres the site: http://www.robskorne.../A604codes.html

#15 Keebs


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Posted 19 August 2004 - 02:00 PM

Ok, hi there, I'm back again. Just got my car back today. They tried a new solenoid pack and one of the guys took it home overnight to see how it was working. They said the next morning he started it up and it was doing the same problem so it wasn't the solenoid pack after all, it was the computer again. So they ordered another one (whether it was new or used, I don't know) and put it in. He told me that sometimes with these Chysler TCMs, it can take like 2 or 3 computers before you find a good one because so many are bad and they place he gets these from refuses to admit they bad. Luckly he isn't charging us any more than he did the first time we had them repair it ($400). So, who knows, this computer might work, or maybe I'll need like 6 more.

#16 RookieMechanic


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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:36 AM

Year I got a code 41 with mine.

Also, i got another code, which i forgot the number of... but in the books it stated:

I dont know but since then i've had a complete rebuild with new computer and harness. About $1000 since i did it myself.

#17 procyoncloud



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Posted 06 April 2005 - 10:05 PM

How I can know if the firmware (tcm ?) have be upgraded

#18 dstratus00


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Posted 05 June 2005 - 11:17 PM

I gotta give props to u guys you really helped me out.My stratus has been out of commision for over a year, I had the engine rebuilt and when I got it back it would not shift I couldnt understand what was wrong with it so I went to Autozone and used the obd2 scanner on it and five different codes came up:p0731 gear 2 ratio incorrect, p0733 gear 3 ratio incorrect, p0734 gear 4 ratio incorrect, p0715 input/turbine speed sensor a circuit malfunction, p0700 trans control malfunction,so I switched the TCM relay and that wasnt it, so I went to the Chrysler dealership bought the input speed sensor it was $30.12 went home took out the old put in the new wich was really simple (just a little cramped) took it around the block shifted perfictly took it on the freeway not one problem so I went back to autozone hooked it back up to the scanner erased the codes that got rid of the check engine light and now I can cruise the streets once again.So thank you for helping me out you saved me a lot of time, money, and headaches.

#19 Stratuscaster


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Posted 06 June 2005 - 07:07 AM

How I can know if the firmware (tcm ?) have be upgraded


The dealer needs to check to see what revision is already there, and if there is a newer one available.

Note that most dealers WILL charge for this.

#20 checkmarshall


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Posted 06 December 2005 - 10:44 AM

Well, after garaging my 2000 Cirrus for a year. I took it to a shop to get trans flushed. and a couple other things to get it up to daily driver again. $750

(it may have not been flushed. cant remember what they said with a higher milage car, what they do.)

After a couple days, I noticed when I put it in reverse....it wouldnt go until i reved a little. Same when I put it in drive. When I got going, it would be fine though the gears.

I was a little upset but I had to get to work that week.

I noticed it only did it when it was real cold.

Well today when I went to drive to work, It was slipping as usual, and I started making my way up a slight hill. The snow was causing a lack in trac. So with more rev and no go. I noticed my CEL came on. :help: When I hit the Highway, that when I noticed my tac was at 4-5000 and my speed was only about 40-45. i knew it was in limp mode.

I took it to AAMCO and am waiting for a call back. Ill update you guys when I get a call back this afternoon.


Wish me luck.

Edited by checkmarshall, 06 December 2005 - 10:46 AM.