Some trouble codes are more serious than others, requiring prompt attention. One of these is the P0700 code. If this DTC is present in your code scanner, it’s time to take action.
In this guide, I give you the meaning of the P0700 trouble code and discuss its causes. I also look at the relevant symptoms, show you how to fix it, and discuss some aspects of it you might not have known.
Code P0700 Definition
P0700 – Transmission Control System TCS Malfunction
What Does the P0700 Code Mean?
The P0700 code indicates that the transmission control module (TCM) detected a problem with the transmission parameters. It communicates with the engine control module (ECM) to set the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) when the fault is detected.
P0700 is not a specific code. Therefore, it won’t tell you exactly what is wrong. It only shows that there’s a general fault with the transmission. Further diagnosis is needed to identify what is causing the fault.
What Are The Symptoms Of P0700?
Because the P0700 DTC can point to many different transmission problems, it’s difficult to summarize all of the symptoms that could exist. For the most part, you will see the Check Engine Light and a variety of transmission problems.
Here’s the full list of what might occur. Other symptoms could also be present.
- Check Engine Light
- Trouble shifting transmission
- Slipping transmission
- Limp mode
- Additional transmission codes in the system
- General drivability issues
What Are The Causes of P0700?
Because P0700 is a transmission-related trouble code, you know there’s something going on with this vital mechanical part. After you complete a diagnostic rundown, you will be able to pinpoint what’s happening. I outline some steps below to get you started.
In the meantime, here are some of the most common P0700 causes.
- Faulty shift solenoids
- Bad valve body
- Contaminated transmission fluid
- Bad transmission
- Open or shorted circuit to the transmission control module (TCM)
- Defective transmission control module (TCM)
Some of these problems lead to another. For example, if the fluid is contaminated, it can cause problems with the shift solenoids.
How Serious is the P0700 Code?
Severe – The P0700 trouble code indicates problems with the transmission. If the problem isn’t serious yet, it could turn in that direction very quickly. When this code comes up, you should take action immediately to protect the well-being of your transmission.
Ideally, you would stop driving at the first sign of trouble. If you don’t stop driving, permanent damage can occur. The car may go into a limp mode to further protect the components. In this case, you may not be able to get out of one gear, forcing you to drive very slowly.
Even if the problem isn’t severe at first, you will protect the transmission by taking immediate action. By turning off the engine, you ensure that no further damage occurs until you have the chance to fix it.
How Do I Fix the P0700 Code?
Once you have completed the diagnostics, you should know what you need to repair. Here are some of the most common repairs you might be facing.
- Replace shift solenoids
- Replace valve body
- Change transmission fluid
- Swap out transmission
- Repair open or shorted circuit to the transmission control module (TCM)
- Update/replace transmission control module (TCM)
Common P0700 Diagnosis Mistakes
If you don’t follow the normal diagnostic procedures, mistakes can be made. When assumptions are made, you can end up replacing parts or fixing things that aren’t defective. You don’t want to guess at what the problem could be, since the P0700 trouble code is generic. That’s why I outline all of the steps you should take to figure out the problem.
It’s important to start by checking the transmission fluid and scanning for other codes to figure out what’s wrong. After that, take your time to follow the upcoming steps one at a time until you determine what part is faulty.
How to Diagnose the P0700 Trouble Code?
To diagnose the P0700 code as a professional, you will need an advanced scan tool. You must have one that communicates with the transmission control module. Otherwise, you won’t get the data you need.
Once you have your tools ready, follow these steps to figure out what’s wrong.
- Check the transmission fluid. If it is low, fill it up. If the fluid looks old and contaminated, perform a change and a transmission fluid flush.
- Use your advanced scan tool to check for other codes. If additional transmission-related codes are present, these can help you identify the problem.
- Check freeze frame data. Look carefully at the engine load (torque), RPM and throttle position.
- With your scan tool, compare the RPM input speed and output speed on a flat surface.
- Consult a professional mechanic if you are having trouble diagnosing the system or you aren’t sure how to repair it.
If your compatible code scanner doesn’t communicate with the transmission control module, there could be a fault with the TCM. It may require an update or a replacement. There’s also the chance that your scanner won’t work with the TCM, meaning you need something more sophisticated.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Code P0700?
Once you’ve determined what the problem is, you are ready to move on to the repair. The average repair costs outlined below include both parts and labor. If you can perform the job yourself, you can expect lower prices.
- Replace shift solenoids – $150-$650
- Replace valve body – $300-$1,000
- Change transmission fluid – $75-$250
- Swap out transmission – $550-$5,000
- Repair open or shorted circuit to the transmission control module (TCM) – $50-$550
- Update/replace transmission control module (TCM) – $250-$2,500
If you don’t have a scanner that works with the TCM, you may need to take it to a shop for the diagnosis too. To have the codes read, you shouldn’t need to spend more than an hour of labor. In fact, many shops offer a flat rate for this service.
A Mechanic’s Tips About The P0700 Code
The P0700 commonly turns on because of contaminated transmission fluid or bad shift solenoids. With this warning, there should be other DTCs. The most common cause for trouble with the shift solenoids is contaminated or low fluid. There could be a fluid leak that’s causing it to escape the system.
If the code is on because the transmission is failing, you may notice metal flakes in the fluid. The flakes will clog up the valve body and shift solenoids. Most often, these metal flakes reveal that the transmission is on its last leg. It likely needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is P0700 serious?
Yes. The P0700 indicates a problem with the transmission. Once the Check Engine Light comes on, the vehicle might go into a limp mode so no further damage is done. You should stop driving immediately and have the vehicle towed to where it will be worked on.
How do I reset the TCM?
With an automatic transmission, you may be able to shift through the gears a minimum of two times and reset the light. Some cars have different procedures, so it’s important to read your vehicle’s service manual to see what’s recommended by the automaker.
How do I fix error code P0700?
You must first figure out what’s causing it by using an advanced code scanner. Once you know what’s wrong, you can repair the fault and reset the codes to turn off the Check Engine Light. It might need a transmission fluid change, new shift solenoids, a valve body or a rebuilt transmission.
How much would it cost to fix code P0700?
It depends on what needs to be repaired. If a transmission fluid change is all that’s needed or there’s a simple electrical issue, you may only spend $75. However, if the transmission needs to be replaced or the TCM is bad, your repair costs could be several thousand dollars.
The P0700 code is not one you want to see when you scan the computer. It points to serious transmission issues that need to be resolved right away. However, this code alone isn’t going to tell you what’s wrong. It must be read in conjunction with the other codes to determine what’s faulty. The issue can be something as simple as contaminated fluid, or something more complicated, such as the need for a new transmission.
Above all, it’s important to take this trouble code seriously. When the Check Engine Light comes on and the car goes into limp mode, you want to stop driving as soon as it’s safe to do so. Continuing to push your vehicle any harder could lead to permanent transmission damage. Thankfully, a lot of these problems can be prevented by ensuring the transmission service is always up to date.
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Categories: OBD Codes