First, I'd like to send a HUGE THANKYOU to RamTech - your insight & posts regarding the secondary timing chain tensioners inside my engine saved me $1100 in shop fees. My Father & I knocked it out over the weekend.
And we all know that as soon as you fix something and you think things are running great again, something's bound to go wrong...
...A little over a month ago, I had a full oil change, differential change, and tranny fluid change/service (filters, etc) done to my truck (03 Ram 1500 4.7L 4wd). Up to that time, I've never had a problem towing, or with any noticeable slippage when driving the truck.
Shortly after the tranny service, I began having small issues when shifting into drive from a cold start. It would take the transmission a second or two to actually shift and begin pulling the vehicle. The same was true for reverse. Once it did shift, however, the vehicle drove fine. Like I said, it was noticeable, but didn't seem to be troublesome once the truck warmed up and things got going.
Then, last week, the check engine light came on - giving me the following codes:
- P0700 "Transmission Control Sys Malfunction"
- P0841 "Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch A Circuit Range..."
I immediately took it in to the shop. He read the code with his reader and then said he didn't think it was something they caused. Then he called his 'buddy' at the local transmission shop and I heard a one sided conversation about "is this something we could cause?, oh it isn't? Ok, I'll send him down" Sounded sleazy to me! He gave me the number to the tranny shop and said i should call them. Needless to say, I dont trust the guy. - AND I noticed that he had erased the codes...trying to covering his tail?
So here's where I'm at now - The truck stayed at the same level of service for about a week. The tranny pulled fine once it locked in and I only drive it a few miles from home to the job site these days, so I went back to work till I could diagnose or figure out what to do. Also, the engine light stayed off, that 4 or 5 days that I continued to drive it. It was something I want to take care of, but my schedule is 12hrs/day 6 days/week right now, so it's tough.
Yesterday something changed.
It drove fine all day, but pulling into the job site after picking up some materials at the hardware store, the tranny suddenly had almost no pull. I'd say 10-20% or less. I was at the project house, so I parked it and went back to work to finish my day. End of the day, I let it warm up and wanted to see if it was having the same issue, or if it would shift into gear and at least get me home. It did - for a while. Fortunately, the back roads around here were free from major hills, but I live at the top of a hill, and it the tranny lost all pull as I got there. I mean zero. Infact it started rolling backwards. Neighbor helped me tow it to the driveway and there it sits. The check engine light is back on with the following codes now:
- P0700 & P0841 - Same as before
- P0845 - Fluid Pressure sensor/switch B circuit malfunction
So the truck is stuck and I'm desperately trying to figure out the right thing to do. I'd have a hard time getting it to the shop to FORCE them to put it on the lift and open the tranny back up. Even then, I'd be skeptical of their analysis as they seem to want to cover their own possible mistakes. I'm not 100% that it's their fault, but the timing sure seems more than coincidental.
I could have a mechanic out to diagnose the problem, but it's money I REALLY would like to keep around for this remodel project we're right in the thick of. If the shop screwed up, they need to pay for it - I've got to find out if they did and not destroy the evidence in the process!
What would you do?
- How can I tell if they put the wrong tranny fluid in there?
- The fluid (and/or tranny) smelled bad yesterday!
- What kinds of errors would cause these symptoms?
- The tranny in-line cooler radiator was cool to the touch yesterday after the drive home
- How can I prove they screwed up, if in fact they did?