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Error Code P0761 is defined as Shift Solenoid C Performance / Stuck Off. This is a generic trouble code, meaning it applies to all vehicles with the OBD-II system, especially those made since 1996 up to present and equipped with automatic transmission. This includes vehicles from, but not limited to, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Hyundai, Ram, Kia, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Honda, and Volkswagen. Specifications on the definition, troubleshooting, and repairs, of course, vary from one make and model and powertrain configuration.
Automatic transmissions usually use at least three solenoids (Solenoids A, B, and C). The Error Code related to the “C Solenoid” includes:
These codes are based on a specific malfunction that alerts the PCM (powertrain control module, also known as ECM or engine control module in other vehicle makes) and activates the Check Engine light. These codes will be associated with Solenoid circuit A, B, or C. If your vehicle comes with an overdrive or other transmission warning lamp, then it may illuminate as well.
The job of the Shift Solenoid Circuit is to help the PCM monitor the shift solenoid and manage the movements of fluid between various hydraulic circuits, and the change in transmission gear ratio at the right time. This routine maximizes the engine’s performance level at the lowest RPM possible.
Automatic transmission depends on multiple bands and clutches to change gear. This is done by having fluid pressure at the right place at the right time. This is where the importance of transmission solenoid gets into the picture – to open or close the valves in the valve body and allow the transmission fluid to flow thoroughly to the bands and clutches and make way for smooth transmission shift as the engine accelerates.
When the PCM determines a malfunction in the Shift Solenoid “C” Shift Circuit, various codes may be triggered depending on the vehicle, transmission, and the number of gears inside the automatic transmission.
In Error Code P0761, the error is associated with a problem in the performance or a stuck off situation in the transmission Shift Solenoid “C” Circuit.
- Vehicle in limp mode
- Overheated transmission
- Transmission slipping when shifting
- Transmission catches in gear
- Increase in fuel consumption
- Misfire like symptoms
- Not enough fluid level
- Clogged or dirty transmission filter
- Contaminated or dirty fluid
- Restricted passages in the hydraulic
- Defective transmission valve
- Defective shift solenoid
- Internal failure in transmission
- Corroded or damaged connector
- Damaged or faulty wiring
- Defective PCM
How to Check
Before starting with any troubleshooting process, it’s important to check the with vehicle’s TSB (Technical Service Bulletins), specific to its year, model, and transmission. In some cases, this can help save a lot of time, as it points you in the right direction. Also, it pays to check the vehicle’s records to verify the last time the fluid and filter was changed.
Inspect Fluid and Wiring
First, check the transmission fluid’s condition and level. Before this, you can consult with the vehicle’s records to verify the last time the fluid and filter was changed.
For the wirings, it’s obvious. Make sure the connectors and connections are secured, and there are no signs of damages and corrosions. This includes inspecting all wirings and connectors to the transmission pressure control solenoids, transmission pump, and PCM. Depending on the configuration, the transmission pump can be electrically or mechanically driven.
These steps may vary from one vehicle to another, and requires advanced equipment to perform, such as digital multi-meter and specific technical references for the vehicle. You will need the specific troubleshooting guidelines for your vehicle prior to proceeding with this kind of diagnosis.
Also, remember that voltage conditions may vary based on the model of the vehicle. Fluid pressure requirements can also vary based on the design and configuration of the transmission.
Unless it was specified in the technical data, the normal resistance reading for connections and wirings is 0 ohms. Continuity check should be performed with the power removed from the circuit to avoid shorting the circuit and doing more damage. Resistance or no continuity is a sign of faulty wiring, which may be open or shorted, and must be repaired, if not replaced.
How to Fix
- Replacing fluid and filter
- Repair or replacement of defective transmission valve body
- Repair or replacement of defective shift solenoid
- Repair or replacement of defective transmission
- Cleaning passages through a transmission flush
- Cleaning connectors off of corrosions
- Repair or replacement of faulty wiring
- Replacement or flashing of PCM
The severity of this code starts at moderate, but it can develop into something serious when not corrected soon enough.